THEORIES OF PERSONAL GUILT
I recently wrote a faux ad for myself, stuck it at my website. It was really a humorous article entitled "NEW SEMINAR GIVEN BY FAMED PSYCHIC, HOW TO BE A PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE".
The article is a laughing gas history of all the earliest signs of insanity that my son gave off in the several years before I knew he was schizophrenic. Every one of those weird passive aggressive Buster Keaton scenarios was done by HIM to ME! (article is at http://home.earthlink.net/~astrology/passive.htm. I published it on my own website, an honor that uneducated, unpublished, wannabe media pundits can freely allow themselves for the stipend of a server fee of roughly 2$ to 5$ a month if you use a web host like THESE THAT I EXTOLL.. I published it online & promptly got an e-mail fan-letter from a reader who asked if I had any 'newer' experiences, cognitions or revelations' on Passive aggression. I told her that my research tool or guinea pig, the sole source of experience with this odd stripe of behavior, recently had been locked in a mental hospital but that I now could contribute one more fact, that such aberrant behavior as Passive Aggression doesn't come from a SANE person..... it comes from the totally berserk.
Covert aggression isn't logic and hate. It is illogic and hate. I told my reader that ONE was not responsible for the part of the aggressive person that is illogical, but one MAY be responsible for the hate. That was my part in the dance.
As a mother of this young man, I feel guilty. Part of my brain says I should NOT be, I didn't cause it. Madness is like a random bullet, which takes someone out in a stadium. I shouldn't feel that a mad son comes to a mother who deserves it. Still, I do. I think that I created his hostility, then --his madness.
This son was ---(I must fight this past verb tense business) HE IS my favorite son). I two others to compare him to....denizens of the real world both of them, and sadly so. They are alienated users, unfeeling punks in comparison.) He was different. He had feelings. He was a real little Jesus. I felt that he cared about me his first dozen years. He certainly wept at my tragedies. I went through such a hard time that I wept a lot as I was studying primal scream then and it was a noisy phase. Anyway, that's when he had to move away emotionally. I noticed it, too. (through my tears).
This boy went on to be a kind, feeling teen and adult in later life, but no longer so very kind for me, but for OTHERS. For instance, I came upon him once lighting candles and praying for the welfare of starving Mexicans, writing little prayers on pieces of paper, saying "I am cause in this matter, I decree that the people of Mexico will get food." I framed those pieces of paper for a while, later sent them to his shrinks as proof of both his kindness and madness.
After he reached age 13, when anger and testosterone hit the bloodstream, he never was wholeheartedly nice to me. But he pretended to be and during the next decade, pretended better and better. I was able to collect a lot on covert aggression and the forms it takes.
But, now that the dear little guy's gone, --- to the big padded room that L.A. provides for the monkeys it can catch or bring down from the banana palms, I reflect on our 30 years together and ask myself, which came first ... his hostility to his mother? Or his hostile behavior? Or his GUILT for his hostile behavior to me? And did that guilt lead to his madness? That's the theory next door to it, that goes "Whom the Gods abhor they first drive mad" which pivots on the concept that if we hate ourselves, then God hates us, as we are our own God. The exact, metaphysical theorem is that when hate ourselves, the part of US that is God --- drives the part of US that is NOT --- NUTS.
But conscience can come up with so many theories of personal responsibility here. I no doubt did plenty of things to him that demanded hostility. After all, I was an over caffeinated cottage industry guerilla capitalist single mother of four bambini. Did those irritable, selfish things precipitate his madness? Should I feel guilty and drive myself mad along with him? And then, there are these whole OTHER collateral questions. Which came first, his insanity or his insane behavior, his hate, his guilt or was there a basic insanity? Way back in my family three, there's a grand aunt Margot who was a home-care schizy. When I try to focus on all these angles, questions, my brain STOPs dead. Such mental wanderings make brains freeze up. Madness is a ZEN KOAN that blitzes gray cells entirely. I don't know why they call brains "gray cells". These neurons only process BLACK AND WHITE facts. THEY abhor the color gray and any gray information will shut down the black and white bi-nominal thinking system entirely!
Well, I am not sharp enough to figure out what happened. I have to stop carding and re-carding the tangled facts of our shared history and just realize that I miss him. Memory and everything else dies out but in the ashes you always find the basic love.
I'm sorry if I caused him to go mad. I'm sorry I was a bad mother. I used to kick cats, too, now I adore them, can't understand how I once was so unfeeling to them? People evolve is all.
I really do love him. (Note, today l0 yrs later, he’s well, medicated. Or should I say medicated and WELL.) But at that time, I wanted to do something primitive like get down on my knees and PRAY that he get well. (Note: he did, and they are about to release him to community living.) I prayed that the State would go easy on him. That some doctor at the nuthouse transfers to him, (several did), sees the goodness, the Messianic sweetness and that my son easily transfers to anyone nice and somehow he can grab a ladder out of the snake pit. I don't actually get down on my knees and PRAY however, because I'm not a card carrying religious disciple I am a scientist. I stick to facts, to what's proven and the power of prayer is NOT proven.
Anyway, I don't have the scientist's notebook full of facts. I can't remember much. I can't figure out what went wrong with him and me because I wasn't really 'there' when it happened. Raising four babies as a single mother, I fell in love with a powerful older man. I was dizzy with passion while I raised them. My memory, like my intuition does not go there so there is no possibility of an answer. The State has answered for us, having taken upon itself to dose him with an ARSENAL of drugs they have that will stop the hallucinations, voices, illogical assumptions and stop that messianic compassion for this tilted world which keeps him in acute pain.
After 36 months of his being on state-issued drugs, I ask him.... Do you still have wild ideas? No, he says. How about the OLD WILD ideas, I ask. Do you still think a werewolf lives under the bridge on Victory Blvd? YES is the answer. And that the Sasquatch breathed on you when you were in your sleeping bag up in the mountains? "Oh yes." So modern medicine can't cancel out old beliefs but new ones aren't getting thought up as much.
There's a pony here somewhere. If anyone is EVER covertly hostile to you again... you can SUSPECT him of being totally off his rocker, a paranoid schizophrenic, delusional and even STUPID person. Yes, I have proven this theory to myself. Madness and the rage it rode in on, both take a very low IQ. Rage can’t eat at us if we take responsibility, and look to number one as the cause, (ourselves). And mental illness can't RAVAGE us if we're smart. We see the signs of impaired logic and say HOLE ALARM!! To recognize an assumption as delusive, specious metaphysics, and not reality at all, is to be sane. ALL our crazy hunches are not real! For instance, I THINK that I see a big case of impending GUILT stirring in me, and personal madness on the horizon. After all, I did smoke grass once when I was pregnant with him. Maybe I fried his neurons. A MOM boiling her son's brain? EEK! Guilt's a dangerous thing, for now I've got a sign on my back which says "bad karma, God, kick me." Any scientific, reasonable person would know karma, like the theory of an avenging God, doesn't exist. Karma is an oriental superstition and there are herbs one can take for it. Just as there are pills one can take for guilt. Prozac they call it. And just as there are chemical drugs for lunacy. Demons can be tamed by science.
Man keeps trying to design a guilt-free world and keeps trying to hammer it into existence. God didn't design it that way. He left us to our own executive abilities to take responsibility and with analysis, vows, method, and maybe (!) prayer and affirmation, hammer out an accord, a peace, with our own conscience and a road out of the wilderness back to safety.
To read PASSIVE AGGRESSION 101 go to: http://home.earthlink.net/~astrology/passive.htm.
ß BACK TO THE PSYCHIATRIC INDEX PAGE