Silence Is Not Golden

My friend told me about spending a birthday with her granddaughter on her 16th birthday. She told me that the girl told her of her mother’s betrayal, telling the girl’s Tai Kwando teacher, the mother’s co-teacher and secret lover, that the girl said his teaching technique was faulty. The mother told her boyfriend and the boyfriend then attacked the daughter for a variety of unrelated things. Clearly to the girl, it was punishment following the mother’s betrayal.

As a result, the girl was not speaking to her mother except for necessary directives and the mother seemed not to notice. The girl, an adoptee, asked by her mother years ago if she as regarded as her mother, answered one half. Mom immediately said that they could hunt down the girl’s mother in Guatemala if she wanted. Mom was totally unthinking, probably unconsciously and deliberately so, that the girl found her to be one half a parent because she acted in a half-parent way. Telling her boyfriend what her daughter said about him was a perfect example.

I asked my friend what did she say to her granddaughter when she heard the story. She said, “I was silent.” I heard a warning note in her voice, a “don’t go there” and wondered why. She was being half a grandmother the way her daughter was half a mother.

I dared to ask why she said nothing in return to her granddaughter’s disclosure. She said I don’t want to say bad things about my daughter. She said it in a haughty way, part of her Buddhist training to only support love. I wanted to say more but she clearly did not want to hear it. So, I will say what I did not say to her and then some, here.

She had a vituperative demanding mother who required worship. She was designated the caretaker of her younger brothers. No one thanked her for it and she quickly learned to keep her mouth shut, particularly since her father was even worse and had no interest in her at all. Keep an A average and get out of my way when I leave to be with my friends at the airport (he had a tiny plane) bought from his teacher’s and minister’s salary. Family came last if at all.

Fear underlay her silence although she painted it with the color of goodness. Sometimes, what we tell ourselves about how wonderful we are is merely a cover up. She exemplified the silence that her granddaughter was using towards her mother, a kind of unstated non-endorsement. She was supporting the same kind of alienation she had from Mom and Dad in childhood. She was covering up her own overly indulgent behavior she always had toward her daughter, giving her the support no matter what she never got from her Mother and creating a self-centered spoiled brat. It is this brat part of the girl’s mother who did not think to ask what makes me only one half a mother to you, my daughter.

My friend needs to tell her granddaughter to tell her mother about her hurt feelings at the mother’s passing on the girl’s secret to her lover. Yes, the mother’s feelings might be hurt. It might be hard for her to consider that something she is doing is causing a problem. But do remember that the mother’s upset and subsequent (hopeful) examination of her motivation as well as thoughtless if not ill-intentioned doing, feeling sorry and apologizing will bring mother and daughter closer.

It is always better to air grievances so that trust is reestablished. There is nothing better than knowing you can always talk about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get the Losers to Fight

Political statements which support depriving middle and lower classes while holding onto wealth and power are repeated by the writing of corporate funded news. These stir up hatred by stating that one group steals the ever fewer jobs from the other. Those with their hands in the till (of our tax money and their investments) tell us that we are endangered by ….. Muslims, blacks, Jews, women, Indians trying to protect our water, ….  anyone who wants to protect those with power from being accused and punished for their life destructive incursions.

The 1 percent goes up and the 99 percent goes down, down, down. Let us look at Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, who has zero experience, understanding and interest in public schools. She said that public education “is a poor investment.” Part of her family’s great wealth comes from collecting student loans. She stated that she wants to offer vouchers to poor people so that their children can go to the assumed superior charter schools. This stated intention is a scam. After receiving the voucher, poor people still cannot afford to send their child to a charter school so the child does not attend. Children in charter schools are there from the start because their parents have money to pay. Voucher money is taken from the public school kitty for the sole goal of impoverishing it. Look where the money goes when assigning responsibility.

The Trump group is talking about closing the Department of Education (i.e. public schools) in 2018.  Education when effective, creates a thinking person. DeVos has stated her intention is to have the schools endorse religious principles. She called it God’s Kingdom, presumably a Christian enclave. Remember the separation of church and state? Now forget it. Such restricted schooling gets students to submit to the propaganda of millionaires and billionaires who enhance their wealth by getting rid of public services; to end Medicare and Medicaid; to privatize the Social Security they call an “entitlement, a misnomer which is a euphemism for a lie. Social Security is a lifetime investment taken from your “pay check”; Teachers increasingly “teach to the exam” which means suppressing thought. The controlling 1 percent has got its claws in creative teaching. Passing a test does not mean you can think.

We are inundated with the false understanding about what threaten us instead of how we are actually being robbed. Panicked by an imagined history, we ignore the threat of EOs (Executive Orders) one after the other. Recently an EO proposed to end the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) which reveals money-making environmental damage, the EO canceling the CPB (Committee for Public Broadcasting) which supports air time for small and public supported voices. Day after day, on and on and on. All the basic stuff of life is being turned into money. They are pulling up the sidewalks.

I was quite depressed and fearful last night, even of the consequences of my being noticed for writing this. Then I had this dream.

I saw a group of children, perhaps about 50 of them standing together and not of the “same” racial group. One of them did or was said to have said something negative against another. It was stated by the teacher as if being a criminal act. The teacher asked, “…who did it” to the crowd. Asked them to expose that child so that the others would get angry and attack. “Speak up. Talk. What is your reaction to this behavior?” But no one spoke. She tried to up the ante by characterizing the unknown child as “a bad one.” But still, there was no speech. The teacher could not stir up fear and hatred. She was defeated, silenced.

At the end of my dream, there was happiness in the children’s eyes. Also in my own eyes as I awakened. I felt the spirit of love shared by all the children. Love sustains life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Women’s March

I went to a great and wonderful meeting in New York City on Saturday morning, a meeting which started in Australia since Saturday came there first.  I first encountered it on the subway at 9 A.M. Instead of everyone burying their noses in their cell phones or in reading books and papers, they smiled and looked around. Most of them were women wearing signs and carrying posters. Some took photos of the others. Many wore pink hats as well or carried cat signs, a mockery of Trump’s admission of molesting women. The spirit was one of a gigantic laugh which summarized defiance. The women were saying, “you’re not allowed to do that to us….. again.”

The women were young and old, all races and nationalities. There was a reasonable smattering of men. Every seat was taken and the rest were standing. My favorite sign that day which two women independently imagined featured a golden haired man grabbing the crotch of the Statue of Liberty. It pretty much summarized what could happen. My favorite written comment was, If you screw a woman she’ll multiply.

Finally at the UN gathering,  Josie Perez, as MC told us that  when seeking a permit for the event, she told the policeman that she  expected 500. He called the number unrealistic. 500,000 showed. 600 sites were reported around the world. The total number was in the millions.

This huge convergence of women (and men) has to do with the alarm people feel at the Trump crew’s intention to remove social care long fought for and needed to expand. They spoke against the loss of Planned Parenthood, which doesn’t only offer abortions but medical services for those who can’t afford them. Planned Parenthood said they will not accept their closing. People spoke for Medicare for all people  as is found in every western nation. People spoke against our current form of slavery. Blacks up north and down south, part of the school to prison population are arrested for almost anything and then rented out to corporations from their cells. They spoke of student debt and the planned bring down of public education

We were told that New York State and New York City are sanctuaries which means that we will not turn in races, nationalities deemed undesirable by those who want to build racist walls. New York has people from every country speaking every language, artists, scientists, planners, laborers, terrorized escapees. This mix makes New York great (unless the “planners” upscale and make it a city for the rich. Sanctuary says no removing Muslims, gays, Mexicans, Jews…. Sanctuary.

An Asian woman spoke of being kidnapped as a child and sold into prostitution until she escaped. She spoke of child prostitution as a growing racket in the US.  A Mexican man spoke of loving his mother who fled with him across the border, in order to survive. He is the first one in  his family to go to college and now a lawyer. All spoke of the need to say no to the misuse of tax money and the taking away of our rights.

After the speakers and singers ended, we walked down 2nd avenue. It was a slow beginning with people still entering from all the streets around us  as well as a poorly planned if not ill-intentioned too small opening in the hawsers for the crowd to exit. But no one panicked. I had the pleasure of standing next to the Raging Grannies, their hats full of we-stand-against buttons. They laughingly had plenty to say. There were drummers and chanters, call and response: e.g., “What do you call democracy? This is democracy!” There were roars from back to front, a gigantic sound which made us feel our number. There were hawsers to keep the marchers on one side of the avenue. Another laugh at the unexpected. People were on both sides of the hawsers and on the side walk. Uncontainable. The march was very slow, like the initial surge of pushed out earth before the explosive force of an earth quake.

A huge fight lies ahead. The Affordable Care Act which offers coverage to 20 million poor, is currently in the hairs of the ready to fire Trump gun. There is no replacement offered. The presidential website no longer has Climate change on it. Trump stated he “doesn’t believe in climate change, that it is  a myth circulated by the Chinese. His cabinet choices either agree with his climate ignorance or do not care about it like Rex Tillerson from Corporate oil, which has lied about oil destruction for years and for whom nothing counts but profit. There is Betsy DeVos as education secretary, a billionaire who doesn’t believe in public education. All of the people nominated are against functioning of the agency they are supposed to represent.

President Trump seems unable or unwilling to get informed. He may not remember what he has said before and constantly changes his story. He is exclusively focused on image. He is not a reader. Possibly he lacks the ability to concentrate on the written word. He despises the press when they are not in his pocket and will try to keep or eject them from his meetings which have been very few. He labels all journalists as low life and what they say as lies. Tyranny starts with suppressing the press.

Trump is a hypersensitive man who takes every group and individual’s reaction personally and is quickly moved to rage. Destructive decisions follow. Trump has chosen advisors who represent his biases and will quickly move to enact them. There is fear in US citizens, that they will be attacked, jailed, murdered for speaking out. Some take a humiliated “wait and see” approach as if they can ignore what is happening. Hannah Arendt spoke of Germans not seeing the murderous prisons in their midst. She called it  “…the banality of evil.” One turns ones eyes to not see what scares you. You know the saying, “first they came for….” ending with “and then there was me.”

I have heard people say that Trump is right to do exclude and excoriate the press, that they should not be so insulting. These people do not understand that press is our 4th Estate, that a democracy needs to have its faults exposed in order to improve. All of us is capable of the highest or lowest motives and behaviors. We need solidarity to help us choose the high road. In order to survive an onslaught on our civil liberties and our survival needs in the next 4 years, we need to become activists, to join the group which most calls us and to work on locally elected officials to represent us. New Yorkers need to get Chuck Schumer, our Democratic leader, to raise a courageous flag like did Bernie Sanders. Politicians are usually not a courageous group unless their economic and elected position is threatened.

 

Money is the Trump cabinet’s calling. Let us not buy their products, stay in their hotels, save money in their banks. If the Courts and Congress were able to support the law, our president who hides his unpaid taxes and enormous debt, who has all the DC visitors stay in his hotel, would be disbarred for receiving emoluments, money received for favors.

Will we be suppressed by millionaires and billionaires who increasingly own more of everything than the entirety of people beneath them? People will die of starvation, disease, violence; the physical world will enter a state of serious exhaustion from our practice of extraction. All gone now will be the result of our not choosing.

 

Please consider reading my book Unloved Again. Email me directly a elangolomb@gmail.com in order to get your signed copy. Paperback ($16 Squareup.com/store/elangolomb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming Aware of Your Repetition Compulsion

Do your love relationships start in the stars and end in the gutter? Recognize the pattern.

Are you unclear about what loving is? Study your history to see how your thinking developed. You may have a lot to unlearn in order to know love.

Are you attracted to mistreatment as much as it troubles you? “Nice people” strike you as boring.

Do your friends worry about whom you choose to love but you see it as representing your true self and feel compelled to continue. Your needing this is not a conscious action. You admit your lover has abused you, particularly when pressed to do so but in your heart, the abuse is dismissed or taken as a sign of love.

Do you always take the blame when things go wrong? It is your fault with Mr./Ms. Perfect. They agree with you as faulty, an ongoing hurtful harmony.

Since you cannot see that you deliberately choose to be with an unloving person, how are you to change it? Awareness precedes change. Awareness is your goal.

You need to develop an adult mind that properly labels abuse. This means leaving your inner child behind as a deciding factor. The inner child may scream about it as frustrated children do which does not make their opinion justified or right.

You can do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Did I Come to Write Unloved Again

I Wanted to Study how I learned to love those who could not love. It was writing Unloved Again that taught me the origin is childhood pain denied.

You who love those who cannot love you or reject those who can, do not know why you do it. It is like you are in a state of amnesia. You do not know how you got here. Things simply happen to you. If you are unable to see that it is you who make the choices, in effect the same mistakes, ask the opinion of people who are objective. Repetition is a tell-tale sign of choice.

It is like you are perched on the roof of a dark and shuttered house. You do not know how you got there nor how to enter. You periodically receive messages from that house along with feelings. These messages tell you who to love and hate including to hate yourself. You think these messages come from the “real you.”

Why do you assume that this inner voice represents your adult self?  It is like believing advice from someone who profits if you make the “right  choice.” Accepting the terrified thinking of your inner child and the terrifying directives of your inner parent denies that you can grow. You are to remain fixed in childhood. You may fool yourself into accepting  these opinions by calling them your “intuition.” There are so many ways we fool ourselves.

The internal structure of the darkened house is very fragile. Its parts connect one to the other like cripples leaning against one another for greater balance. If one of them steps out of the pack, all the rest fall down.  The source of this mad circumstance of lasting disorder is that it represents half fighting and half surrender. It is the power of surrender which brings the parts down together – I fall into you. It is the power of resistance which binds the two together – You can’t get up without me. This building is covered by a dark roof which protects its contents from the wind and rain of recognition. You are to hear what it tells you and feel what it sends you but not understand the source.

How the child survived with unloving, brutal and rejecting parents is what the house is about. Many of these aspects have to do with denying the reality of what happened. The child turns his abuse into something better or takes the blame for it. If it all was his fault, punishment was called for. Does he need more? The parent was a bully whose nails of hatred were hammered into the child’s wood of self-identity. How does the adult handle this? How does it color his view of love?

The adult perched on the roof hears the child’s distant cry and takes it as his own. He has not separated from his internal child. Some neurotically-driven people dedicate their lives  to saving the inner child. But you cannot rewrite the past. You can only understand it in order to leave the past behind. Those dedicated to saving their remembered inner child, sacrifice their present life. There are many forms of arrested development and this is one.

To accept the feelings and directives from that darkened house is to declare yourself invalid. You need to break into that mental building and examine its every piece. Study the child’s willingness to surrender. See the rationalizations and lies that make this possible. Study your parent’s emotional weakness which underlies their terrifying behavior. Remember them as hungry ghosts, throat too small to swallow and fill their endless need  (Dante’s Inferno) Get a calendar in your mind so that you can distinguish past from present.

You will be energized to follow this difficult path by pain. See that your pain was inflicted by a cruel parent who needed to injure their child. Reject accepting pain as the path to love. Do not identify punishment as love. Pain is pain and  nothing else. Pain is a terrible connection. Sever yourself from that kind of union. Pain is there to alert you to do something about its source not to surrender, not to quiet you down. Growing numb does not free you. Feeling my pain and understanding where it comes from and especially not accepting a guilty position helped me stop choosing people who could not love me You can do it too.

Unloved Again shows people struggling to understand their history. The internal child will always cry in terror. Is that terror relevant to your “now?” The internal parent will always threaten the child. Should you, the adult be afraid? An adult mind declares these experiences to be from the past. It is time for achieving great emptiness in order for something new to enter.  Loving someone who can love you now is living in the present.

Get my book Unloved Again today! Email me directly at elangolomg@gmail.com in order to get your signed copy. Hardcover ($25 including shipping) and Paperback ($16 Squareup.com/store/elangolomb.)

Slavery in America

I went to see a film called The 19th. Knew it was about something important but not exactly what. Now I know. Seeing The 19th was like a splat of cold water in the face and a stabbing pain in my heart. Seeing what is going on in great number without any of us knowing was like living writer Hannah Arendt’s  “the banality of evil,” the experience of Germans living next to concentration camps and not seeing them, intent on leading “moral” lives. Are we the same? Is there something good about our ability to turn a blind eye to what might alarm us? There is a bit of comfort in denying what is going on until we too fall into the pit. The 19th Amendment has to do with how we run our prisons, their purpose and means. Nothing said about the effect on prisoners.

US prisons are cells with bars, everywhere enclosed spaces watched by often violent guards. The experience for prisoners is one of fear and aggression, hopelessness, boredom and work. There is no training for the future. There is only now. Recidivism is high when the prisoner is released. It is different in Germany where prison is an open place full of teachers and inmate-students, people acquiring important skills and speaking about emotional problems. German recidivism is low. Treat a human as worthy and that is what get. Treat that person like an animal and their behavior follows suit. Would you expect anything else?

Those who wrote the 19th Constitutional amendment after the Civil War were mostly men of wealth and means. The 19th, seemingly well-intended writers kicked slavery out the front door and snuck it in the back. It said that no man could be forced to work for free (or for pitifully little) unless he was in prison. That statement is like a Trojan Horse with bells on it. You commit a crime or are reported to have committed one and you are transferred to the work gang..

This intentional parasitism did not come out of nowhere. Early America grew wealthy on the sale of tobacco , cotton and sugar raised by slaves. Slaves build great mansions for white folks including the White House where they served. Slaves built colleges and slave labor supported these institutions partly built to train missionaries who would to out and Christianize the “natives.” Among the slave-created and salve-supported schools are Harvard and Princeton and Brown and William and Mary and University of Pennsylvania and Columbia and Rutgers and Dartmouth.

Extracting free labor is the fastest way to make a fortune. You rise on another man (or woman’s) shoulders, ignoring their sweat and tears. You labor them an inferior race that does not much feel pain. At one time US jail was associated with making license plates. Now inmates make almost everything in almost every US corporation. Big business receives Federal tax credits for employing inmates in excess of millions yearly. Business is not complaining

The United States Government is the primary guilty party in formulating a slave-based operation. The Federal corporation, UNICOR sets working conditions and wage standards for working inmates. Prisoners are said to work an 8 hour day for wages ranging from .23 cents/ hour to 1.15/hour. Due to the inflated cost in prison of making telephone calls and of purchasing items in the commissary, many prisoners leave jail in greater debt than when they arrived.

Here are some of the companies using slave labor: Whole Foods, WalMart, whose company policies clearly state “forced or prison labor is not tolerated” but get around this restriction by using a 3rd party for almost every item in the store . There are Farms with inmate labor who work under a blazing sun without adequate sunscreen, food and water. There is Victoria’s Secret where South Carolina inmates replace “Made in Honduras” tags with Made in the USA. There is AT&T which laid off thousands of telephone operators who were union members, to increase their profit. They were replaced by inmates who work in Call Centers for approximately $2 a day. There is BP which, after spilling 4 million barrels of oil in the Gulf Coast, used African-American inmates to clean it up instead of the local community of out-of-work fisherman. Other prisons using inmate labor include Microsoft, Nike, Honda, Pfizer, Saks 5th Avenue, JC Penny, Macy’s and Starbucks.
When inmates come before the parole board praying for release after 5 or 10 or 15 or… years of stifling imprisonment and imposed labor, reviewers pay little attention to their work time or to their good behavior. These appointed judges usually revert to the crime which brought that person to jail in the first place and on that basis answer no. The parole officer seems proud of his moral position. He lacks awareness of how prideful behavior becomes abusive.

Prison as a correction institute has been turned into a “tough on crime” torture zone by elected officials who think that repeating this slogan will get them elected by fearful voters. Those in prison have little or no time to spend with their children depending on how far the prison is from their home. When they meet, they are divided by a wall of glass and speak through a phone. Children are not embraced. Prisoners are deprived of almost all that makes life worth living.

Prisoners are beginning to rebel against their slave condition. They want reasonable wages and respectful treatment. Those who recently went on strike to call attention to their mistreatment were seriously beaten by guards, many thrown into solitary confinement including boys as young as 14, a sure way to make them grow insane. The prison’s intention is to break the spirit of its inmates and force them to turn the the wheel of outside profit.

How can slavery go on under our noses without our knowing it? We do not know it because the corporations which use inmate labor do not want us to know. Slave labor spoils their image. We might think twice about buying something made by unpaid or barely paid inmates. We might ask questions and learn that most people are in jail because they lack money for bail as do their relatives. They have not had their time in court, have not been convicted of any crime.

Many think that our prison system is itself a criminal event. It is clear that a functioning society needs no jail. Instead, it needs to create a place to help those who fail and fall between the cracks. Such people need psychological support and job training, not punishment. They need patient models who demonstrate how to live in society, something you cannot learn in a cage. They help inmates learn to get close to people, rather than feel helpless and enraged. This approach for those who fail in any way, would benefit us all.

Don’t Put On a Happy Face

It’s interesting, the publicity campaign for my book always puts forward the idea of making yourself and your family happy while leaving out the entire middle part. It is like climbing Mt. Everest by helicopter. Actually nothing gets climbed that way. Happiness it not achieved by helicopter science. This ad campaign misses the entire gist of my recently published book Unloved Again. The message of Unloved Again is that you are programmed during your formative years of childhood by childhood experience, not by words, to make yourself (and ultimately your lover and your children) to be unhappy. Unloved Again shows you how to get out of this “program.” Climbing this mountain requires that your unconscious motivation, your fear and drive become conscious. Then, you can move away.

You can’t stop doing something if you do not know what it is. You can put on a happy face and do the same old thing. Publicity has joined the central idea of our “avoid feeling pain” society, that pain must be avoided from the start. Putting this foremost as your intention, is following a path to nowhere but where you are. Pain serves a purpose for man and beast. Pain tells you that something is wrong and needs your attention, that something needs to be changed. Pain is vital to finding a path to happiness.

Seeking a quick fix means that that you are going to have ever more of it. If your behavior is hurting someone else, you have to admit their pain. If someone is hurting you, you have to feel and know it. When you tell the person who is hurting you to stop, you have to recognize that they have heard you by what they say and do. If they do not stop hurting you, the next step is up to you. It is your choice whether to go or remain a suffering beggar.

Those who think that their speech has not been clear enough, or who think due to some personal short-coming they need to beg and beg again, that they need to make sacrifices to win the other person’s love, that they have to learn to grin and bear it, these are the ones with a smiling face behind which their painful heart is sobbing, these are the ones whose self-condemning cause them to lead a hurtful life.

Note your pain clearly. Tell your partner about it. If the one who hurts you is too angry or condemnatory to do anything about it including punishing you for speaking, you need to get out of that situation, not just for the moment but for good. If you are too frightened to make the change, if you do not know how to escape , there are organizations that help abused partners get out, not to grin and bear it. Do not give up. Seek help. Get clear and strong. Move on.