Sunday, 27 April 2008

Creativity and Sensitivity

In my previous article on Creativity and Self-destructiveness, I wrote about the receptivity and sensitivity of creativity. I'm not entirely certain though, whether some people are naturally more sensitive than others, or whether other factors are at play. Certainly, a persons past and present experiences, can make them sensitive to certain triggers, which can bring back feelings or memories of things like abuse or bullying. Sensitivity, can also mean sensitivity towards others, and which is also a part of creativity, and our ability to love and care for ourselves and others.

Part of the creative process, is a filtering of masses of perception into smaller parts, and which sometimes gets mistaken as misperception of facts, or as physical, emotional, and intellectual dissociation. At the same time, there is a selection process to creativity, which enlarges certain details for atmosphere and effect, whilst there is also an enlargement of the whole.
I'm also interested in whether being very sensitive, can lead to more erroneous or more accurate objective description of facts, sensations, thoughts, and feelings. This whole area doesn't seem to be looked into much. I think that whilst the raw masses of information, received at the initial stages of creativity, are disorganised and over-lapping, that at some stage a structuring process takes place, and which involves more elemental and holistic thinking, and with attention to subtle and finer details. This is certainly required for effective studying, learning, teaching, and creating.
Paranoia is another area which interests me. Paranoia is, in a way, a social thought process, because it involves being connected to others, albeit in a negative way. I think paranoia and delusions occur when the details are enlarged or exaggerated, but the background and factual information processes are blocked or omitted. It does seem to me that when a person is deluded, that they are more sensitive to experiences, but are unable to connect a detail or details to the whole, including factual information.
Fetishism is another area of some relevance. Fetishism, is not, as is often assumed, a splitting off of an area or part of the body from the whole. In its initial stages, it may be a kind of split or fixation, but it is simply about appreciating the beauty of an area of the body, which is usually overlooked or not aesthetically or sexually appreciated. In this way, it is about appreciating the beauty and sexual attraction of the whole body, and a fetish can very easily become integrated into an appreciation of the whole.
There is a view in medical psychiatry, that people with so-called schizophrenia can't filter out experiences and information they receive, unlike other people. This view says that because diagnosed schizophrenic people can't filter out experiences and information, that they are overwhelmed with experiences which oppress them, and distort their thoughts and feelings. This is one reason why heavy psychiatric medication is prescribed to voice hearers and others.
There is a filtering process to creativity, and which can take place at some stage towards more objective thinking or recovery. A filter is different to block, but sometimes the so-called filter is indeed a block, and can be just something like ignorance, prejudice, discrimination, or narrow mindedness.

Punishment, Hooliganism, and Discipline

Some people say that children need more discipline in schools, and that otherwise it will lead to hooliganism. Whilst I agree that some discipline is important, I do not believe in corporal punishment and the use of the cane, as it was misused in my school.
When I was 11, we had a teacher who used the cane and the slipper, although the slipper was actually a rubber plimsoll. This teacher allocated a kid in my class, to put ticks next to the names of people who were talking in class. The kid didn't like me or my friend, and so he put ticks besides our names even though we weren't talking.
As a result of this, me and my friend were caned six times each, and it was extremely painful leaving red marks on my skin. The second time I was caned I was indeed playing up in class. I remember that after receiving his caning, the other kid who had also been playing up, starting laughing when I was caned, because I screamed out loud, to which the deputy head teacher said "Do you want some more!?". This was only three strokes of the cane and wasn't so painful though.
The third time I was caned, we were all lined up outside a classroom, waiting to go into class, and a teacher who had a red nose walked past. Some kids shouted out some insults, to which he just pulled me out at random and sent me for the cane. Again, when I had said nothing. I was caned three times again.
On another occasion, I remember being in the school assembly, and because one kid was smiling, he was pulled out in front of the school and caned six times. I thought this was very unjust, just to cane a child for smiling, but the kid told me afterwards, that the deputy head caned him because the deputy head was also a magistrate, and the teacher did not like the kid's uncle who had been in prison.
So it seems to me, that the cane can be used selectively, against certain children some teachers just take a disliking to, and I've seen this happen. I'm also against caning, because some teachers gain sexual pleasure from inflicting it.
Also, some of the bullies at my school were caned, and this made no difference to them, and didn't stop them from bullying. Indeed, the bullies seemed to feel that being caned, had made them harder and given them a mark of status and respect.
Whilst some people say there's not enough discipline in schools, and not enough respect for teachers, a lot of this is to do with bad parenting, as is hooliganism. Maybe some basic parenting skills should be taught in secondary schools, so that when children get older they have some idea of how to be good parents.
I also don't agree with smacking children, because this can be misused too by some parents who use it to abuse a child, along with hitting, kicking, pulling hair, knocking glasses off of the face, throwing things at, etc. I was abused in this way, and smacking was also a part of this, and I was often smacked for no reason.
I'm also against smacking because in itself it's a form of bullying, saying that I am bigger and stronger than you and can hurt and dominate you. Whilst some discipline is important, children also need to be taught self discipline and respect for each other. Bullying is a big problem in schools, and I think that persistent bullies should be expelled from schools in order to protect the other children.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The Doctor Who Hears Voices

I recently watched a TV programme called The Doctor Who Hears Voices, broadcast on the 21st of April 2008, on Channel 4 at 10 p.m. The programme basically showed, that how someone who heard negative and intrusive voices, could be helped to recover or cope, and get back into work, using psychotherapy, and without psychiatric drugs, coercion, or hospitalisation.

This was however, a psychologist (Rufus May), helping one individual client (played by an actress with the name of Ruth, to protect the identity of the real person), and I wondered how this could work, or be put into place, for everyone who hears negative and intrusive voices. It would require a lot of trained professionals and resources, and which I'm not sure would ever be delivered by any government. Rufus May had himself in the past heard voices, but I didn't feel that enough was said about his own hearing voices experiences, or how he coped with them or recovered.

I thought the programme was quite good, but I was concerned that the very beginning of the programme - when Rufus May was demonstrating what it's like to hear a voice - could be triggering to some psychiatric diagnosed people, because the voice was saying "Go cut and kill yourself, and kill others!" etc., and that this might have prevented some people from watching the rest of the programme.

There was also very little in the programme, about voices being positive in tone and content, except one part of the programme at the end, where Ruth said that her voices went away for a few days, that she missed them on that occasion, and that they sometimes made her laugh when they took the mickey out of other people. I could relate to the fact that the contents of the nasty voice Ruth heard, was that of a guy who used to bully her at secondary school for two years; as I was also bullied at secondary school for two years, and have heard the voices of my tormentors in the past, when I've been very unwell.

It was good that so-called delusions, were shown to have a personal and social meaning to them, in the programme, but I didn't really understand the ending of the programme. It seemed to me, that a huge chunk of information had been left out. Ruth went back to work in the end, and said she felt more powerful than the voice. I take it that she still heard the voice, but it had less control over her. This left me wondering though, had she recovered? and what was the full process of that recovery?

All in all, it was good to have another programme broadcast on hearing voices, and I'll look forward to the next hearing voices programme called Am I Normal?, broadcast on the 28th of April 2008 on BBC 2 at 9 p.m.. This forthcoming programme might show the more overall positive aspects of hearing voices, as it will be about hearing voices and spirituality.

Monday, 7 April 2008

My Experiences of Being Abused as a Child and Teenager

(This article has recently been edited, because my aunt protested that I should not have written about my mum and dad's sexual relationship, as this is a private matter that my dad at least would not want to be discussed in public. Needless to say, that I still believe that bad or unsatisfactory sexual relationships between parents or adults, can be a cause of child abuse).
From as young as since I could remember, from the age of about five, and up until my early teens, I was physically, mentally, verbally, and emotionally abused by my mother as a child and teenager. She would violently attack me all the time for no reason, making me cry, and then she would violently attack me again for crying (a psychotherapist I saw some years back, said that whatever emotion I expressed as a child, was suppressed and considered bad or wrong).
My mother attacked and terrorised me, and I lived in constant fear of her violence or the threat of her violence. She would often slap me around the head or face, knocking my glasses off, kick me, pull my hair, and sometimes punch me, and she would often throw objects at me.
My mother abused me in these ways, whenever my father wasn't around, and my brother was an instigator to some of the abuse, even though he was very occasionally abused as well. My brother would often lie to my mum that I had said or done something to him, and this would then give her a reason to physically and verbally attack me. She would also often come into my room at night, wake me up, and drag me out of the bedroom by my hair, so she could violently attack and abuse me again.
Although my mother never sexually abused me, she seemed to get sexual pleasure from abusing me, and on the odd occasion, she would abuse me for long periods, making me cry repeatedly, then she would force me to sleep in the same bed as her at night. This was yet another way for her to emotionally and mentally abuse me, as I slept in fear of her violently attacking me again.
There was no escape from her violent rages, and I would often cry myself to sleep at night. She also verbally abused me, often screaming at me that she hated me and wanted to smash my face in, and she often used to call me a "fucking kid!". My brother was also occasionally abused by my mother. She sometimes used to drag him to bed by his hair, and she once threw him out on the streets, in his slippers and pyjamas, on a freezing cold day. I remember seeing him in the street, and asking him what he was doing in his pyjamas and slippers, and he said that she had kicked him out.
She also used to threaten me and my brother, with sending us away to boarding school, and which I found very distressing and frightening, as she said that she would phone the boarding school up, and they would take me away from home, and that I would never come back.
When I was 15, I started to tell my dad about the abuse when we were sitting in the living room of an evenings, whilst my mum was asleep on the sofa. She wasn't properly asleep though, and she could hear what I was saying to him. This didn't stop her from violently attacking me though. In fact, it made the abuse a lot worse. When I was 15, my mum once came into the toilet after I had used it, and she grabbed hold of my hair and started pulling it. I retaliated on this occasion though, and started kicking her, telling her to let go of my hair, and which eventually she did. I don't regret retaliating, because I had to defend myself.
My mum also started to verbally attack and threaten my dad. She would sometimes threaten to stab him and stick a knife in him. My mum and dad were having rows with each other all the time, and one day my dad and me left her for good. When we left my mum, I remember unleashing a lot of anger upon her, with my nan begging us not to leave her daughter.
Since the abuse, I have tried to understand my mum and understand why she abused me. I don't believe that it was because she never loved me, although she never in the past showed me any love or affection as a child. I've since learnt about her, that she came from and grew up in a very poor, rough, and emotionally hard background and environment. Also, whilst her father was a very loving and nice man, he was also authoritarian towards her on occasion. My nan suffered from manic depression, and so maybe that's where she learnt that power-relationship from, of being neglected emotionally, or she was rebelling against powerlessness in a way, and in that way associated my nan's powerlessness with me as a child. I've since learnt that wherever violence occurs there is also poverty and powerlessness. My mum was also house-bound and in an unsatisfactory relationship with my dad, but she wanted to work.
Because my mum abused me, when I left home with my dad I refused to see her for four years. In hindsight though, this was a very cruel and stupid thing for me to do, because my mum was a changed woman and she was feeling very guilty and crying and grieving over me. She was genuinely sorry for what she had done to me as a child, and I should have forgiven her there and then. I got into Buddhism and learnt that all life was basically made up of suffering, and this made me realise that my mum must have been suffering, at the time of the abuse too. I also think that she was suffering from some kind of hypomania and possibly depression. Hypomania is where a person goes into a rage and can't control themselves (it could be said that they choose to lose control), and it is marked by racing thoughts and constant elation or irritability, and it is a symptom of manic depression. I've since learnt that different people respond differently to depression. Some people become more withdrawn and passive, whilst others can become volatile and angry or even violent.
When I was 17 and living in a flat with my dad, my mum came to visit me, and was crying, in a very bad way, and she looked drained of life-force and like she was having an emotional and mental breakdown. I unleashed all my anger upon her, some of the anger stemming from the way that my dad and his partner were nagging and bullying me at the time, and I pushed her over and kicked her, asking her why she violently abused me, and then I threw her out.
A psychotherapist I saw some years ago said that I had a right to be angry, but some of that anger involved some hatred, and I always regret violently attacking my mum on that occasion and rejecting her. Again, I was wrong, and should have forgiven her. I don't like anger, because when a person is angry they can lose their thinking faculties and self control. I think that if anger is integrated with love, understanding, and forgiveness, then it is OK, but by itself, anger can very easily blind us and turn into hatred.
It was when I left home from living with my dad and his partner, that I decided to see my mum again. I tried living on my own but found it hard. I moved into a bedsit, and then into another flat, but I eventually moved into my mum's house where I have been living ever since.
As an adult, my mum has been very good to me, and the way I look at it, she has made up for being a very bad mother towards me as a child.

Sunday, 6 April 2008


Stream-of-consciousness (SOC) is accepted as a sane, literary style, if it is written, but it is sometimes perceived as madness if it is spoken by people in everyday conversation or communication.
Some psychiatric-diagnosed people, use SOC in their speech or communication, because they see life events as being in some way very much interconnected, whether through some religious notion such as Karma, or from some more social or personal notion. SOC is used in a persons speech or communication, because it adheres, in some ways, to how people see life-events, along with their beliefs and values.
The interconnectedness and over-lapping of events, plays a big part in our influences, dreams, and subconscious, and can tell us a lot about our present experiences and behaviours. SOC can also be used because a persons life events may seem fragmented, and streaming is seen as a way of linking and reconnecting events and experiences in the mind.
In literature, SOC is used to describe a character's actual thoughts-patterns, and their responses to external stimuli in their environment, but it is questionable whether stream-of-consciousness actually represents objective reality, as it is a more subjective approach to expression, learning, and understanding.
Another reason SOC might be used in speech or communication, is because if the mind is releasing a lot of ideas in one go, then there may be more possibility of another person connecting to these ideas, if the other person can keep up with the density or pace.
A psychiatric-diagnosed person I used to know, would talk very fast in streams, and then if you responded with a word or statement, he would then ask you what that word meant and was all about. This was his way of trying to encourage the other person to think in streams of ideas, and suspend their critical faculties, but he was also anticipating a rational approach being used against his streaming, and so he would anticipate this or assume, that the other person was going to ask him what he meant, as a way of the other person controlling his consciousness, thinking, relating, and communication.
SOC is sometimes used if a person is stressed out, and can be a form of so-called brainstorming. Brainstorming is where the mind uploads ideas on a given subject, usually within a group, so a person can get many ideas on paper in a short space of time. This can also be a way of releasing stress and anxiety. Another reason why some psychiatric-diagnosed people brainstorm, is because they may have a problem with memory and connecting their ideas and thoughts together.
A person may be half-way into a conversation, and then forget what they were going to say, but by brainstorming and releasing a stream of ideas, the person can then think associatively, and possibly reconnect to what they were trying to say beforehand. This is a way of overcoming short-term memory blocks. On the other hand, the person might just fly off into another direction, and reconnect to something completely different, suspending all rational, critical, and structuring faculties.