This morning a woman came into work to ask about getting invitations. As I was talking to her the phone rang. It was a question about invitations. Five minutes later a woman came in and placed an order for invitations. This was the first time this week anyone had asked about invitations. Coincidences like this lead me to believe there are powers at be.
Today was another good day at work. These good days come at a price. We are falling behind on our monthly sales goal. I find it hard to wish for the kinds of days that bring us closer to our goal. I feel guilty.
After work I feel good and upon entering the house I see my dad lying on the couch. I decide to read Henry’s Demons on the couch next to him. The book begins to shift my overarching outlook on my illness. Away from shadow governments towards a spiritual bent. Spiritual forces are acting on humans. These forces also battle each other and are beyond our capacity to understand. Shifts like these are common. The only thing I’m sure of is that there are forces that influence me and other people in real ways. The nature of these forces is beyond my experiential ability to understand. It is a metaphysical problem. These forces, however, influence the lens through which I perceive them.
As I’m reading my dad turns on the T.V. I continue reading. “Can you hear that man?” My dad asks. “Yes” I reply simply. The announcer comes on and he continues, “Her voice is much louder than his.” He says this in an overly authoritative manner. I say nothing. He picks up his wine glass seemingly pleased. Little interactions like this annoy me. I perceived this interaction as his assertion over me, albeit in this case subtlety. I don’t get along with my dad. As I understand it, this is because he refuses any relationship with me where he is not dominant. I find this unsatisfactory. I would prefer to be equals. There are frequent power struggles and he yells when he doesn’t get his way. I have responded in a variety of ways including yelling back. My current solution to this problem is to keep my exposure to him low and bear as well as I can his lack of grace. My dad has had a lifetime of failed relationships and I have inadvertently learned many of his patterns which have caused a similar problem in my life. I’m trying to learn to relate and live with people in a more effective manner. It is a work in progress.
Dominance as it relates to relationships has been a constant source of pain and consternation. I lived the first 23 years or so unaware of power struggles and the fact that I had little power in my relationships. My illness has awakened me to this fact. Now it causes me pain. I don’t like to be aware of the instances where I get dominated.
Power struggles are negative. Power struggles are the main source of pain and strife in the world. Look at every failed relationship from a married couple to two modern nation states and I think the cause will be a struggle for power. A few months ago I searched philosophy and religion for an answer to this problem. The solutions are very similar to the medication I take. There are strategies to contain and diminish the power struggle problem but no win all solution like there is medication to diminish the thoughts but not take them away. Thus is life.
Friday, February 14, 2014
As I read about the coincidences of a couple years ago I realize how unpersuasive that will sound to the average person. It also reminds me of an article I once read about statistics. It talked about coincidences and people's interpretation of them and how bad our intuition is in calculating the odds of something happening. For instance the article talked about the coincidence of two people on a soccer field during the game having exactly the same birthday. Out of the players on both teams and the referees it is statistically more likely that two people do share the same birthday than not. That seems counterintuitive and if discovered at the time a person would probably think, "how odd," not knowing that it would be even "more odd" if every player had unique birthdays.
I don't know much about chaos theory but consider that in a long list of pi, which is essentially a random list of numbers there are several "runs" of the same number, and so it is for any system which is random so it should not be surprising that out of my 6 year tenure at FedEx Office there were "runs" of coincidences. If these did not occur that would be more evidence that the system was controlled. To this day however it is hard for me to convince myself that my experiences were in fact random and not controlled, but I'm working on it.
My thinking on spirituality is not wholly psychotic. There are cultures who believe in spirits and the spirits do, according to these traditions, interact with the real world. However these beliefs are not consistent with the culture I grew up in, and I was convinced that I had somehow been singled out by these forces. Thus I do infact consider most of my spiritual inclinations to be affected by my disorder. Today I try and keep my beliefs consistent with a standard religion, a denomination of christianity,
The interaction with my dad does highlight quite acutely how I over analyzed things and the degree to which minor changes in tone or body language would negatively affect me. It's nice to be in the moment and be cognizant of tones and body language but not to the point where it dominates your internal thoughts and distracts you from actually being present.
I still tend to gravitate towards the bottom of social hierarchies in groups. Having little power to influence the systems in which I find myself. I have however become more accepting of this position. It is unlikely I'll ever be a leader of a large group but I've come to believe that there is value in being a good follower.
Although I do believe most of the pain in this world comes from power struggles I also believe that conflict is a necessary and healthy part of any relationship. How the struggle or conflict is handled does a lot in determining the success of that relationship.
I am of course still a work in progress, but that is much better than being a work of stagnancy.