December 20, 2016 (Tuesday)

by Yule Heibel on December 19, 2017

These are – or will be – mid-morning pages: I walked with W. to the station, then came home and settled in with coffee and a long perusal of Twitter, obsessively searching for updates on yesterday’s attack in Berlin. Eventually I also phoned I. – she had called me yesterday afternoon around 1pm, and at first I thought it had something to do with Berlin. But her call was actually about two hours prior to the terrorist murders in Berlin. Twelve dead so far, 48 injured. An arrested suspect – Pakistani refugee – now deemed not the perpetrator. The latter (if the Pakistani is innocent) still at large.

I was initially worried that F. and J., or also S., could be affected. But I. says all’s quiet on the barking chain, so I assume they’re safe. Twitter is crazy. It’s best not to say anything, but the people who are saying things are either spouting platitudes (the usual “pray for” pap) or they’re A) insisting Islam has “nothing” to do with it, or B) it has everything to do with it. It seems pretty obvious it has a lot to do with it, and I found myself also in sympathy with a Mark Steyn post (he’s a “notorious” Canadian rightwinger) wherein he points to the idiocy of erecting bollards around Christmas markets, etc., and asks why we don’t erect them at borders instead.

Meanwhile, N. phoned yesterday. Soon into the call she was crying. I think (I hope) I made her feel better. She cried when, describing the part in McBride’s book where the author recommends re-engaging with the things one enjoyed doing as a child, she (N.) couldn’t think of anything. Of course this was quite eery to me (and I explained it to N.) because I too stumbled on exactly that same part of McBride’s suggestions for recovery. I told N. that I had to go forward to my early teen years (and up) to “find” my enjoyment in singing. We talked about how we often felt anger, not enjoyment.

Later, I wondered whether enjoyment has to come under circumstances when you feel you can relax, when you can physically ease into uncramping, untensing, to experience instead a sense of flow. I think that’s probably in part why I started drinking so young, smoking (tobacco and pot), too. It allowed me to un-tense, to let my guard down. The stressed and traumatized brain can’t untense easily, and therefore finds it difficult to sink into the enjoyment of flow. Enjoyment requires the body. As a young child, to feel unsafe means feeling physically unsafe – it’s all very visceral. If those feelings are constantly “on,” real, deep enjoyment is harder to come by. Overstimulation is perhaps a way to force the body to give in after all. Manic masturbation, the repeated hitting of the orgasmic highs, also might be symptomatic of this struggle to achieve “release,” but only through an “extreme,” if you will. A kind of “hah-hah-hah-hah” as opposed to one long “aaaahhhh.” The repeated, forceful, short, spasmodic exhalation, in explosive, propulsive bursts (“hah-hah-hah”), versus the long, utterly non-explosive, gentle exhalation that is “aaahhh…” There’s a holding of the in-breath prior to the explosive burst, too.

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