Friday, 12 June 2015
I had different tactics used on me, which kept me on the hook. I kept saying to the people around me, "Look I need help, because I really do not know the ropes in your culture and people around me are starting to abuse me because I really don't know what I should be doing, or what I ought to be thinking, and my father is particularly abusive." And they would say to me, "Well sure, but it is really, really unclear what you are getting at. If you work on making your needs clear, we will surely fall over ourselves to help you, but right now it just is really, really unclear."
As I had no other choice, I worked on becoming clearer, by trying to depict myself and my father's behavior and the behavior of those around me. I was very careful in trying not to insert my own interpretation of anyone's behavior, but just to represent it as fact -- or what is called in philosophy, in a "phenomenological" sense (just representing phenomena). The more I tried to remove myself from any sense of bias I might have (since I did not wish to appear "emotional" and cause people to dismiss me for no reason), the more abstract and detached I became. There was little emotion in what I had to say about anything, so the people I spoke to just imposed their own cultural framework on what I had to say, and made it seem as if I were a very shrill American or Australian. I found that very mentally disturbing after I had been working for more than a decade on doing nothing else than trying to make myself very, very clear. It seems that cultural meanings do not cross cultural barriers very well, but at the same time, if somebody asks for your help and you keep insisting that the clarity is not good enough for you to render any sort of help, you are a narcissist and an ass. Really, it was never going to be good enough, I found. I had to patch up my own wounds, make my own judgements about the situation and march along as best I could.
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