How Was It for You? Terrible! And for You?

I keep saying I have vanquished Reeducation but it is never quite true. Now, however, I think I have it by the gonads. (I hope to drive up my hit count by saying gonad.) If a degree and practicum were optional, if all that were absolutely required were to pass an exam, I would study for, take, and pass the licensing exam for clinical psychologist (remember I am already a Dr.). Why? Because I am the most competent!

Assiduous readers may have inferred that after Reeducation, I sought advice from other Reeducators as to how I might return to normalcy. Some of them had some interesting things to say, but most said Reeducation was right. This drove me to despair. The useful comment I got during this time was that Reeducation had had a very negative countertransference to me — had seen in me, projected into me, everything it feared and hated and wanted vanquished. Nobody, however, asked what I transferred onto Reeducation. I have at last deduced that this was the key question. It has taken me fifteen years to understand that, but then I am not educated or licensed in the field, and I have consulted several people who were.

So there, Reeducation, it’s sock it to you time. Anyway, what I transferred onto Reeducation was my first education, in addition to a few things about my infamous first academic job. That is not to say that Reeducation did not also do all the things I have already said it did. But it does explain how it is that Reeducation held me so in its thrall.


I realized this because I was thinking about how I am still reticent to do the things that make the day pleasant — because Reeducation thought I was doing too well and in insufficient pain for a person with the background it was convinced I had. Only if I could get into worse shape would I improve (because then I would “feel”). And if I were unwilling to do that, it would only mean that I had even more shadows in my soul than Reeducation believed. (Remember, Reeducation already believed I was a victim of infantile sexual abuse and was hoping for bipolarity, alcoholism, schizophrenia, and multiple personality disorder, which it wanted to heal by hypnotizing me and getting me to reveal repressed memories.)

I was willing to do myself some harm if it meant I could be saved from really heavy drugs, hospitalization, permanent disability, and all the other things Reeducation had intimated I might need once we started this cure (to which in the end I never agreed). I drew the line not only at hypnosis but also at some other activities I consider major harm, including self mutilation and weight gain. Minor harm like learning to smoke, renouncing my research program, getting turned down for tenure, giving up excursions to the mountains and seas, not working out regularly, and undergoing regular sleep deprivation, all of that I was willing to do if it would absolve me of the accusations being made and save me from the remedies being threatened.

I was thinking today, as I got ready to go do some pleasant things, who besides Reeducation was jealous of your having a nice day under your own steam? And I realized: my first education.

Suddenly everything became easy. I have resisted my first education before and I know exactly how to do it. Reeducation made that a lot harder but if I just leave it to the side for a moment — I have it by the neck and gonad anyway — and consider that it is only my first education I must resist, at least for now, then life is easy, and I can run and jump.

That is how I know I transferred my first education onto Reeducation; that is why I am surprised nobody I consulted ever suggested I investigate this question; that is why I deserve a license in clinical psychology much more than many who hold these.


11 thoughts on “How Was It for You? Terrible! And for You?

  1. I think that if clinical psychologists had any insight at all, they would follow the thread of that insight to the point of not being able to do their jobs — that is, not being able to get ppl to conform to the dominant status quo.

  2. Also I do think you need to give up on the notion that your insights regarding reeducation are inherently understandable by others. Such a high level of insight into things is rare.

    381 (GS)

    On the question of being understandable. [2]— One does not only wish to be understood when one writes; one wishes just as surely not to be understood. It is not by any means necessarily an objection to a book when anybody finds it impossible to understand: perhaps that was part of the author’s intention—he did not want to be understood by just “anybody.” Every more noble spirit and taste selects its audience when it wishes to communicate itself; and choosing them, it at the same time erects barriers against “the others.” All the more subtle laws of any style have their origin at this point: they at the same time keep away, create a distance, forbid “entrance,” understanding, as said above—while they open the ears of those whose ears are related to ours.

  3. I guess that really is their job, although if you read the writings of anyone actually good, they don’t see it that way! But I really did not understand that *at all* back then.

  4. There are some people who are actually good — but few and far between, I think. Judith Lewis Herman elucidated a great deal for me, about the link between the nature of individual trauma and social structures. The link is far more direct than I’d ever thought it was.

  5. So that quotation is from the Gay Science … and so Benjamin got that idea from Nietzche … ??? C’est fascinant. You may be right about the high level of insight — I just have trouble believing it. That’s why I have trouble believing everybody can’t be smart like Judith Herman, and so on.

    I got the insight about transference today by reading a Peruvian psychoanalyst about race. This is obviously also a really good analyst and he doesn’t have some special new method — he just really listens to what the client says and is bright & educated (not just “trained”).

  6. I didn’t know that Benjamin had that idea.

    The high level of insight you have is testimony to your deep level of psychological health. This probably comes from your childhood.

    I also have trouble believing that some of the Neechy insights and so on are anything but “natural”. However, you can try to relate your experiences to those who are less healthy in mind and body than you are (and therefore, have less ability to listen objectively) and they will probably just attack you for trying to communicate with them.

    So ultimately, you realise that being healthy and able to communicate — without fear of what Pandora’s box this might open up — is the case of the exception, not the norm.

  7. Benjamin — see “The Task of the Translator!” It’s in Goethe too if I remember right. Nietzche trained as a philologist and was quite a good one, so…

    I should turn this comment into a post in bold so my parents will notice it — they’ll love it, deep level of psychological health coming from childhood. But how can you tell, from Australia — oh yes, the insight. That, of course, was what Reeducation called thought, which was evil because alienating. A very foolish idea, that.

    The lack of fear of Pandora’s box was of course what Reeducation thought meant Pandora’s box must be really really well buried.

    So Reeducation just mistook speed for bacon, as we say in Spanish. D*** how frustratingly simple, and how not worth years of figuring. Ah, well, it’s done now.

    Attack for trying to communicate, you’re quite right, because that’s just what Reeducation did.

    Exception not norm — I guess you’re right, but it is all still so hard to believe!!! Then people are really messed up!!! How do they live??? If I have a hard time then how do they get through the days at all??? It must be so non fun!!! C’est affreux!

  8. The idea that you can’t convey certain things — at least not to everyone — encompasses the idea of “spirit”. “Spirit” is that which cannot be related to in conventional terms, in everyday reality. It therefore pertains to nonordinary reality.

    People are messed up by living in hierarchical society and not realising what that means or how it is affecting them. They adapt SOMEHOW — but it does them damage.

  9. Verily, my friends, I walk amongst men as amongst the fragments and limbs of human beings!

    This is the terrible thing to mine eye, that I find man broken up, and scattered about, as on a battle- and butcher-ground.

    And when mine eye fleeth from the present to the bygone, it findeth ever the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances—but no men!

    The present and the bygone upon earth—ah! my friends—that is MY most unbearable trouble; and I should not know how to live, if I were not a seer of what is to come.

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