Dysfunctional relationships

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
@Stn

Because some people are fatalistic idiots?

I'm quite happy believing that there are a significant number of women i could spend my life with. I think the fatalist attitude leads a lot of people to make the unrealistic demands we've been discussing, and to disregard real, imperfect candidates.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Well yes I agree, but then you have to look at why they are so emotionally repressed and uncomfortable about talking about their feelings and all that...

I mean, my Dad is WAY more relaxed and open than his parents were, but they were a total nightmare. So you are starting from pretty low down the scale.

In fact I am constantly amazed at myself for being so well balanced, emotionally mature and attractive. ;)
This issue is fairly raw for me at the moment, hence my unwavering atititude on it at present.

Emotional repression is a terrible thing. Be open - what's the worst that can happen? People who die without realising this fuck with my head.
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
At university I lived with five people who were all very close to their families and it used to drive me mad with resentment.
Oh but having a really close family can be like another kind of dysfunction. I think I learned a lot of really negative patterns from being raised mostly in the Italian-American tradition where family is everything and you're almost in "romantic"-level relationships with each member of your extended family. It can be just another kind of stress that you don't need and if you don't learn to cut them off it gets really destructive as you get older.

My mother basically gave up her entire life and got married at 17 so that her younger twin brothers wouldn't be put up for adoption after her father died and her mother was permanently hospitalized. So I grew up with my uncles in the house and her other siblings and nieces and nephews all living down the street. One big unhappy family.

I found this very suffocating and really my coping strategy from early in life was to go pretty far in a "counter-dependent" direction, which I thought would get me out of the cycle but then I learned it's just part of the "codependent spectrum."

The older I get the more I realize that if you love someone you should really just want them to be happy and lay off all of the selfish dependencies if you can. Which is easier said than done. Like Eden said, practical stuff is more important than drama, but when chaos is all you've ever known from your loved ones it's hard not to recreate that in your life.
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
Getting back to romantic love - I guess Bridget Jones seems to have captured a feeling amongst some twenty-something middle class women. This expectation that a rich attractive man will sweep you off your feet and you will marry and be in love forever.

Certainly a bunch of single women I know seem incapable of getting it together with blokes because they have ridiculously limiting expectations. (or maybe the blokes I know just can't be arsed and should make more effort, ha ha)
No, I think those kinds of books and films hit on something real in the culture, but it's something really disturbing. It's another negative feedback loop where women have low self-esteem and no life whatsoever because they expect Prince Charming to "complete them", when maybe if they developed their own single selves and forgot about Prince Charming they'd also gain the sort of traits that people find attractive in the process. I've noticed so many girls I know, from very young, were taught that they were supposed to find fulfillment through relationships, and that was it, everything else would come second. Also, they were to be loved exactly "as is", anything else would be unacceptable--no work would be involved, and no compromise.

It's funny, when Laci Peterson was first missing, many forensic psychiatrists said they knew Scott P. had murdered her when the press asked him what he missed most about her and he quoted a movie-- "she completes me"--and said, well, just look at her picture, that's all you need to know. "Prince Charming" is a sociopath anyway.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
If love is what the surrounding culture thinks it is, then down with it. Always thought that. Burroughs says it brilliantly in one of the early cut-up novels, that it's a total con and a mystification. Advertising, and false advertising at that.

Then again, in much later life: "Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller what there is".

Which sounds wrong, from him - "natural"? - but this is a junkie who always fantasized about being able to metabolize his own kick, like Iain M. Banks's glanding Culture bods, realizing that he's been able to do it all along, just by caring passionately for another living creature.

You could say, cynically, that all this proves is that "caring passionately" is just another way of getting that kick. There are love-junkies same as there are other kinds of junkies. But Burroughs didn't love his cats because it gave him some kind of hit; he loved them because he loved cats, loved everything about them, and found that in loving them his need for the hit - an emotional need hardened into a chemical dependency - was addressed and assuaged.

Interestingly, at least one of Burroughs's human lovers described him as "feline" in bed. A much softer creature between the sheets than he was in his public character: divested of ego and character armour, the animal self emerging like a daimon or a familiar.

The love of ego for ego is generally an ugly thing, ego's love for itself wound up in a control-loop. "The Ugly American" was Burroughs's name for that self-love in its swaggering, worldly manifestation; his own spectral persona as "El Hombre Invisible" was the Ugly American staging its own disappearance, fading in the gray dawn. But there is more to life than killing that in yourself which you despise.
 
yes, why is there just one, rather than some other preordained number? I've never understood that.

'I think she might be one of the six'.
It's in the Symposium. Humans started off as androgynous souls with four arms, four legs and two faces on a single head. Zeus felt they were too powerful, so cut them in half. So now we spend our lives searching for our other half, to complete our self. According to Aristophanes.

A recipe for utter disaster if ever I heard one!

the idea of romantic love is a weirder one the more I think about it...

Anyone have any links to articles with a potted history of the concept?
The first thing that springs to mind is C. S. Lewis's famous argument (in The Allegory of Love) that the medieval French troubadours effectively invented romantic love. Fin amour is initially purely a literary fiction. Then people start turning art into life, much to the religious establishment's chagrin, since the fiction is founded on adultery, (marriage being a political-financial deal, essentially). Then, I suppose, marriage has to take on these trendy ideas of romantic idealisation in order to be appealing again. Something of the shift has happened between Chaucer and Shakespeare, but it's interesting that although Shakespeare's happy endings are marriages, I couldn't think of a single play in which we have a happily married couple represented.* That comes later, I think.Found Lewis saying elsewhere that 'the conversion of courtly love into romantic monogamous love was...largely the work of English, and even of Puritan, poets'

One would probably now want to ask where the troubadours got their new ideas about love from. I think the most interesting theory is that the crusading princes picked it up from the Arab poets.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love#Andalusian_and_Islamic_influence

*In fact, I can't think of much later literature or art on this...
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
It's in the Symposium. Humans started off as androgynous souls with four arms, four legs and two faces on a single head. Zeus felt they were too powerful, so cut them in half. So now we spend our lives searching for our other half, to complete our self. According to Aristophanes.



The first thing that springs to mind is C. S. Lewis's famous argument (in The Allegory of Love) that the medieval French troubadours effectively invented romantic love. Fin amour is initially purely a literary fiction. Then people start turning art into life, much to the religious establishment's chagrin, since the fiction is founded on adultery, (marriage being a political-financial deal, essentially). Then, I suppose, marriage has to take on these trendy ideas of romantic idealisation in order to be appealing again. Something of the shift has happened between Chaucer and Shakespeare, but it's interesting that although Shakespeare's happy endings are marriages, I couldn't think of a single play in which we have a happily married couple represented.* That comes later, I think.Found Lewis saying elsewhere that 'the conversion of courtly love into romantic monogamous love was...largely the work of English, and even of Puritan, poets'

One would probably now want to ask where the troubadours got their new ideas about love from. I think the most interesting theory is that the crusading princes picked it up from the Arab poets.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love#Andalusian_and_Islamic_influence

*In fact, I can't think of much later literature or art on this...
This made me chuckle, very emo:

Stages of courtly love
(Adapted from Barbara Tuchman[21])

Attraction to the lady, usually via eyes/glance
Worship of the lady from afar
Declaration of passionate devotion
Virtuous rejection by the lady
Renewed wooing with oaths of virtue and eternal fealty
Moans of approaching death from unsatisfied desire (and other physical manifestations of lovesickness)
Heroic deeds of valor which win the lady's heart
Consummation of the secret love
Endless adventures and subterfuges avoiding detection
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
This made me chuckle, very emo:

Stages of courtly love
(Adapted from Barbara Tuchman[21])

Attraction to the lady, usually via eyes/glance
Worship of the lady from afar
Declaration of passionate devotion
Virtuous rejection by the lady
Renewed wooing with oaths of virtue and eternal fealty
Moans of approaching death from unsatisfied desire (and other physical manifestations of lovesickness)
Heroic deeds of valor which win the lady's heart
Consummation of the secret love
Endless adventures and subterfuges avoiding detection
Boastful group SMS sent by courtly knave to his friends
Smug change of relationship status on Facebook
Exchange of mix tapes
Bashful introduction to lover's flatmates while brushing teeth in underpants
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
We were talking about CBT in another thread. They taught us a few of these techniques in outpatient, specifically to get through drug cravings, and I have to say they're very useful in general, I use them all the time. Ideally it goes like this: the feelings are going to come, don't ignore them or push them down, just let them pass through you (there's a special kind of breathing you can do that helps, but no counting or thinking about anything else, you can visualize this happening if it helps), and remember that you can't always have what you want, because it's not always good to get what you want.

I try to do this before I buy something stupid that I don't need, or do something impulsive. Sometimes I fail but it's better than my old way of coping, which was: who cares, life sucks either way, so what does it matter?
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
the feelings are going to come, don't ignore them or push them down, just let them pass through you
[] grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

or, alternatively:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see it's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

& I dunno anything about CBT but does anyone else have experience with encounter groups? we had to do them twice a week at this place I lived growing up. the yelling gets a bit formulaic & boring after awhile but it's one approach to dysfunctional relationships, to say the least.
 
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nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
[] grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

or, alternatively:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see it's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

& I dunno anything about CBT but does anyone else have experience with encounter groups? we had to do them twice a week at this place I lived growing up. the yelling gets a bit formulaic & boring after awhile but it's one approach to dysfunctional relationships, to say the least.
Yup, they really drill the serenity prayer into your mind in NA...the second one sounds a little like the anxiety disorder CBT approach...

What's an encounter group? This sounds kind of amazing. (Wikipedia makes it sound like one of those things they send you to at work to encourage teamwork...)
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
the second one sounds a little like the anxiety disorder CBT approach...
it's the Litany Against Fear, from Dune.

What's an encounter group? This sounds kind of amazing.
well, I dunno about that Wiki entry. the encounter groups I experienced were like this - every Mon & Fri we'd split up into groups of 10-15 kids, each group with a staff member. then we'd spend the next two hours yelling at each other, one at a time. you could swear & say pretty messed up stuff but you weren't allowed to use insults, e.g. nothing about race, ugliness, obesity, etc. like, some dude would yell at me & be like "ah, f**k you, it makes me so f**ckin angry the way you're always a sarcastic asshole, fu**king shut your stupid mouth" or whatever. then I would yell at some other dude about something & so on & so forth. they called the yelling "getting your feelings off". you couldn't directly request to be in a group w/someone but you could kind of sideways request or insinuate about it. really it's hard to explain in a message board post. anyway it was supposed to, I think, be like an alternate way of dealing w/pent-up feelings, cos there was really strict no violence rule. oh, staff members & kids weren't allowed to get their feelings off for each other - they used to allow it back in the 80s I heard but the staff members would say stuff that was just too messed up, weird power dynamic, so they changed the policy.

we also had this thing called a general meeting for someone who got in serious trouble, the person would stand up in front of the entire house, like 50-60 kids, and then everyone would get their feelings off for them 4-5 at a time. staff members were allowed to yell at general meetings.

one more interesting thing - so you didn't see your parents for like 6-8 months after you got there & then the first time you saw them you had to get your feelings off for them. then you would sit down & talk to them about it. that was f**king bizarre, I was like 14 at the time. I had one w/my mom & another one w/my dad who, true to his character, told me afterwards that I should have done a better job yelling at him.
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
it's the Litany Against Fear, from Dune.



well, I dunno about that Wiki entry. the encounter groups I experienced were like this - every Mon & Fri we'd split up into groups of 10-15 kids, each group with a staff member. then we'd spend the next two hours yelling at each other, one at a time. you could swear & say pretty messed up stuff but you weren't allowed to use insults, e.g. nothing about race, ugliness, obesity, etc. like, some dude would yell at me & be like "ah, f**k you, it makes me so f**ckin angry the way you're always a sarcastic asshole, fu**king shut your stupid mouth" or whatever. then I would yell at some other dude about something & so on & so forth. they called the yelling "getting your feelings off". you couldn't directly request to be in a group w/someone but you could kind of sideways request or insinuate about it. really it's hard to explain in a message board post. anyway it was supposed to, I think, be like an alternate way of dealing w/pent-up feelings, cos there was really strict no violence rule. oh, staff members & kids weren't allowed to get their feelings off for each other - they used to allow it back in the 80s I heard but the staff members would say stuff that was just too messed up, weird power dynamic, so they changed the policy.

we also had this thing called a general meeting for someone who got in serious trouble, the person would stand up in front of the entire house, like 50-60 kids, and then everyone would get their feelings off for them 4-5 at a time. staff members were allowed to yell at general meetings.

one more interesting thing - so you didn't see your parents for like 6-8 months after you got there & then the first time you saw them you had to get your feelings off for them. then you would sit down & talk to them about it. that was f**king bizarre, I was like 14 at the time. I had one w/my mom & another one w/my dad who, true to his character, told me afterwards that I should have done a better job yelling at him.
Wow sounds primal screamish. I doubt they'd endorse that these days. I did hear about sensitivity training being used a lot in the military somewhere, but this--I hope this is not the technique they're using.

But yeah, as for the session work you're talking about--we had those too, at my house, but they were informal, we called it "everyday at my house"...
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
When I was growing up I had absolutely no fucking clue about where my parents were coming from and the impact of things like the 2nd world war on them as people.
Didn't think of this as a factor...Over here, the depression seems huge in the generation gap between the baby boomers and their parents. My grandfather still talks about it all the time, he and my grandmother still eat the same sort of weird foods that people made back then with severely limited groceries and money, they're still very cheap to the point where they'll drive 6 extra miles to save a dime on a gallon of gas. If I dared to complain about anything in front of him...omg...I would never hear the end of it, how easy my life compared to what his generation went through.
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
Study about counter-dependency and chronic pain is interesting. I've heard good things about using "biofeedback" techniques for neuropathic pain, haven't tried it though.
 
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