I'm putting it out there - Am I rude? Harsh? Hostile? Am I just a disgruntled, middle-aged curmudgeon?

On this blog, I lambaste parents on a regular basis. I take frequent hard shots at teachers and doctors, religious leaders, pundits and politicians, of course, even therapists. Especially therapists! I often declare that if you're not self-actualized and you're not engaged in some kind of self-work to get there, then you should just shut-up on most subjects of importance.

So, what's up with me? Why do I do this? Why do I get people mad at me?

Well, here it is.

As a kid, I saw that grown-ups habitually lied - to their kids, to each other, to themselves. Parents were either overly enmeshed with their kids or mean to their kids... and as well, to each other. Married adults often fought bitterly and often cheated on each other. My relatives seemed to despise people who didn't look like them or talk like them for no reason other than that. In church, every Sunday, the priests, and especially the nuns, were abusive to kids, but even worse, I would listen to what Jesus said in the Gospel, and then I would listen to what the priests said in their sermons, and they were often completely contradictory. Doctors did cigarette commercials, while their patients' bodies were in all kinds of a mess. My elementary school gym coach was a nearly psychotic sadist, forcing kids to abuse and humiliate each other in public. And Cool Whip was passed off as food!

In junior high and high school, I watched every progressive leader of import in the country get assassinated - President John F. Kennedy, future president, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X... right there in broad daylight. And no one ever talked about why right wing leaders were never gunned down.

In college, in the early Seventies, while soldiers killed un-armed students on the Kent State campus, this guy - - elected TWICE - was illegally trying to steal an election and lying about it, reassuring us that he was "not a crook."

In the Eighties, as a social worker on the streets of New York City, I watched homelessness become a phenomenon almost overnight from the defunding of in-patient psychiatric and rehabilitation programs, while this guy - - said it was "Morning in America!"

In the Nineties, this pubescent, impulse-ridden guy's ego was the only thing bigger than his... ... and his most famous line after eight years was "I did not have sex with that woman."

And worst of all, in the 00's, there was (and still is) this guy - Enough said?!

Meanwhile, throughout my adult life, I worked on myself, in therapy, in spiritual practices, through studying nutrition and how the body and mind works, by getting degrees in sociology and social work and more, and I worked with the inner lives of many people, of all ages and backgrounds, year after year.

And what I found is what has led me to become the writer that I am today.

Most people lie. Not always consciously, in fact, usually unconsciously. Most people don't want to know the truth - about most things, but especially about themselves. Many people even rework it to believe that there's no such thing as the truth - there's just "my opinion" and "your opinion." "It's all relative." And the louder and more pompously one voices those opinions, the righter people think they will be.

Well, it's not all relative.

Alexander Lowen, a brilliant man, once wrote that "99% of all children are abused." He was right. It's not an opinion. Once you include squashing your child's spirit with your own ungratified expectations and fantasies from your life, it makes the 99% number a no-brainer.

So, I write.

I write that many parents suck the life out their children. I write that many doctors exploit their patients for money and don't have a clue about real healing. I write that politicians support corrupt businessmen who vacuum up all the resources for themselves and pay the least amount proportionally in taxes. And they support the politicians. I write that religious zealots are the biggest sinners and hypocrites, that homophobes are closeted homosexuals, that people who want to own guns actually DO want to kill something - for "fun." I write that using the word "stupid" to describe certain people is constructive, that smiling through your teeth is destructive.

And I write that I hold these truths to be self-evident: Love is the essence of All That Is and We are all one.

Until we all get that, I will keep writing.COOL WHIP INGREDIENTS: water, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oil (CPKO), sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), vanilla extract, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60 (glycosperse), and beta carotene. YUM!


pocayenta said...

Great post, PL, you've been on a roll lately! I've been a loyal lurker here for months, enjoying your 'disgruntled, curmudgeonly rants'. I was finally (almost!) moved to comment by your fine take on that yutz with the anorexic daughter. i saw that piece on the Huffpo and was stunned by her ignorant, clearly self-serving agenda. Needless to say, i feel for her daughter. I had an eating disorder in days of yore when i was a teen (fully recovered!) Your statement of the problem strikes me as absolutely spot on:
"I intuitively understood that her efforts at self-destruction had a connection to her early relationship with her parents, that she had negated her own need for emotional nourishment in favor of what she perceived to be the emotional needs of her parents, and then translated that self-negation into not even needing physical nourishment." PARENTS ARE (STILL) ALWAYS PART OF THE PROBLEM! (EXCEPT FOR LAURA COLLINS LYSTER-MENSH?!)
Your memorial day post re: idealizing our kiddie soldiers was also excellent. keep up the good work! Cheers from 'Pocayenta' on the Lower East Side

Anonymous said...

Agreeing with pocayenta, I've been a lurker since around October, and usually your blogs (agree or disagree on my part) leave little if any room for comment. You stand by what you say, and I respect that. I've spent almost six months in therapy trying to undo what my loving parents unknowingly did to me. In the event I ever have kids, I'll spend just as much effort fixing myself as I do raising them. Thanks, Peter.

Also, nice mention of Alexander Lowen. I picked up a copy of Betrayal of the Body for a buck out of curiousity and told myself, "this guy makes a lot of sense." I've seen his detractors here and there, but I just laugh and go on.


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