Cruel and Kind

I finally put my letter in the mail at the post office this morning. Then Gloria and I had a breakfast at Carl’s Jr. She said, Thank you for being you. Out of curiosity I asked her where that came from. She said that her other client gave her a hard time over something trivial, a stream of verbal abuse for an hour. Gloria thinks she has control issues. I don’t know what to make of it but it’s silly. A lot of people can be quite illogical and unfair, without meaning to be. Elsewhere, Karen isn’t very nice to Kim either. For instance, when customers give Kim a tip sometimes, Karen demands that she hand it over to herself due to something Kim is doing wrong. Though I haven’t said anything, I don’t believe that’s fair at all. Karen’s kind of justice is like the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe
She had so many children she didn’t know what to do
So she gave them some broth without any bread
And whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed

Now maybe I’m not being very fair, but it’s what I see. I imagine this kind of treatment happens in many places, but it’s such an obvious wrong, no matter how they try to justify it. Gloria is an 81 year old woman, so I take that into consideration and try to do what’s right. Kim has health issues, so Karen’s treatment of her is really very egregious, but there’s nothing I can do.

Gee, I wonder what loosened my gob today! I probably feel relieved to get my business done, thanks to Gloria for driving me there and back.



I went ahead and ordered the book of Stevenson this morning sometime. I’d wanted to read a book today but I was really too tired to do anything much. I did some writing to myself and realized that, since last Sunday, I’ve been feeling rather unwell in terms of my illness. So now, I can make up my mind whether to go to church again or not. I don’t think it’s healthy for me to do dichotomous reasoning or the symptom called splitting. I was doing that on the dimension of good and evil, but real life is not so simple as that. In my right mind I don’t see myself as diabolical or possessed by demons or whatever. Dunno. Maybe my friends in church don’t believe it either? I guess that in order to know their opinion I have to ask them to their face. And maybe a few of them will demonize me and others won’t. It’s probably all in my own mind, but again I haven’t been well.

It’s true that one pastor a long time ago judged that I was demon obsessed and I needed a deliverance ceremony to cast them out! But he was a very radical kind of Christian. I think he was kind of a sick puppy, unfortunately… It had been about three months before I went to church again last week. Thus it was a bit of a shock to me to suddenly do it again.

Quite frankly, I don’t know where else to find friends I can hang out with. It’s not that the people are not nice to me; they really are good to me. It’s just a difficult thing, trying to balance myself between at least two different modes of thinking. And what do constitute a Christian way of thinking and acting, etc etc? And is that a good way for me to be also?

Lots of serious questions come up the more I ponder it. It will be a decision for me to make on my own: another serious step in one direction or the other.

What Is Selfish?

Five thirty. I took the plunge and ordered the bass I wanted! And the guilt and fear were all my responsibility. I overcame those feelings and did what I wanted to do.

Ten thirty five. I’ve been lying in bed torturing myself with thoughts of egoism versus altruism, and now I finally understand why. It’s because I went through the same thing three years ago when I was first getting sober and the medication hadn’t taken effect yet. Today has been like a flashback to that time. Maybe the weather contributed. It was sunny and warm all day. Another item is that my big Plato book arrived this afternoon, as iconic as the philosopher himself… I took the plunge on the G&L bass— so now will I go to hell for selfishness? For this was the delusion I had in 2018. Some accident of the atmosphere brought it back. It was also in April of that year when I had a big breakthrough against the same delusion and started making music again in spite of my illness. It was kind of like Huckleberry Finn taking his chances with hellfire for doing what he wanted to do. Yet isn’t it right to do what is pure and authentic of yourself?

Eleven thirty. It started with a red SX bass I bought in November 2016. It arrived damaged in shipping and then it just sat in a chair for a year and a half. One day in April I worked up the courage and motivation to pick it up and play it, defying my dog who hated music. This went okay, and a few days later I had my neighbor drive me to Guitar Center to get the instrument repaired. The victory of this was that I’d really wanted to play my new bass, and now I was finally doing it. The take home lesson is that people don’t know what they’re talking about when they condemn egoism. Of course you have to do some things out of selfishness. It’s impossible not to. And to this day I disagree strongly with Twelve Step programs for their overemphasis on abnegation. 

Advice or Abuse?

Wee hours.

Band practice yesterday afternoon went very well. Mike bought us an ambient microphone for smartphone so now we can record our sessions. It works great. Listening again to our opening jam in D minor, I thought to myself that the bass alone wouldn’t sound like much, but in the context of the drums and keyboards it makes sense… At three thirty I left the house with my kit bass in my grip. It was 48 degrees outside so I didn’t wear a jacket. I tried to clear my mental windscreen and just go and play music with the fellas. I encountered a few neighbors on the street, but kept on walking. When I got to B— Lane, Mike passed me in his truck and offered me a lift, but it was only a few minutes to his house so I declined…

Most of the clutter in my mind stems from guilt received from my case manager at Laurel Hill. It does me a lot more harm than good to feel so burdened by health professionals who do nothing but criticize me. It takes all the joy out of life to be browbeaten. I think I’ll start looking for an alternative to the agency because quite frankly I despise it. I only need someone to prescribe my medication— that’s all. They can keep their stupid advice.

Therapy and Me

Six thirty. I should analyze what went wrong today. Why was I thinking I was gay? I have a Platonic impulse and an Aristotelian. Plato is deeper, I believe. He is round, Aristotle flat. But Aristotle is proud and upright. There must be something in my past influencing my present. It’s been a weird day ever since I got up this morning. I only know that I had physical therapy yesterday, and probably something about it set off queer thoughts today. Time will tell why. Maybe some of the exercises Erin put me through suggested sexual stuff to my mind, even humiliating things. And no, I don’t think I like it, even if it’s just me. One more session, I reckon, then I’ll discontinue the program. Physical therapy is not my kind of thing.

Eight o’clock. I wonder what gives me such a strong attitude of pride, and why is it often wounded? I hate being put in a compromised position by anyone else. A position may be literal or figurative, physical or mental. I hate to be degraded or demeaned by people or situations, likely as a result of abuse somewhere in my past. And it’s awfully easy for new people to come along and abuse me even more. I’m just not the type for therapy for that reason. I’m more inclined to go off by myself and lick my own hurts…