Sunday, February 15, 2015

A real-life death-defying tale... and some unrelated cool photos!

In my cathartic deluge last post, I left out the part about something else that happened on January 30, (the day Michael Shermer came to Town Hall). It concerns a woman around my age, who used to seem rather straight-laced, worked at a bank, and who briefly knew Dr. Hypno before a bizarre downward spiral took her to life on the streets.
` Because of his problem-solving and reframing brilliance, and his blunt honesty, she prefers to consult DH for advice when she is in a serious jam. Though she doesn't always take this advice, partly due to poor impulse control and planning ability, she did take to heart what to do if her psycho ex-boyfriend ever tried to come back and kill her:
` Puncture an artery/lung by stabbing him under the arm with a screwdriver.

Cloudy solar eclipse Oct 23, 2014 through a filter from a welding mask.
Not related, but ominous-looking nonetheless!

As I was thinking about what I'd do at Town Hall with some friends that evening, her homicidal ex found her campsite and attacked her with a ball peen hammer. She held her hands up in self-defense and slashed his face with a razor knife, while he swung the hammer at her arms, breaking both of them.
` He then cracked her skull with the hammer, causing her to lose her balance. He pulled off her pants and raped her, all the while choking her and beating her face in.
` Luckily, her screwdriver was just within reach of her broken arm, and by sheer force of will she was able to stab him under the arm. With the screwdriver jammed to the hilt in his chest cavity, he ran off, spluttering and gurgling. On the unlikelihood of his survival, the police told her, "Good."

Although she needed some intensive medical care, including a hole drilled into her skull, she is now recovering -- on the streets. (She did return to Dr. Hypno for some thanks, company, advice, and hospitality.) She continues to be ebullient, talkative, and optimistic as ever, and now knows the power of her own survival drive.

I had taken a photo of her last winter, on my previous phone, which was stolen. I remember becoming overwhelmed by her personality and high energy -- and that was after she had walked miles in the cold with her knee bandaged from a necrotic insect bite.
` I figured I'd try getting a photo on my new phone, and when she came by briefly on January 16, I got a candid shot of both of us, having a laugh -- alas it didn't come out so well.
` I include it anyway because it could well have been the last time I would have a chance to see her. Thank goodness she's a regular Indestructible Bastardess -- this is not even the first time she's had to fight for her life, nor the first time I thought she might be dead. And she's still finding more to laugh about.

Though she may not seem like someone to look up to, I do find her determination and strength to be inspirational. On top of that, any time that I think my life is bad, and that my ex is psycho... well, I have to ask myself, compared to what?
` Honestly, I have nothing to whine about. I'm fine. Stop worrying about me so much.

Now, before I go, I'd like to point out that there are some more photos up on Flickr, and I shall continue uploading more. Next up will be the photos that I was able to back up from my previous phone, which got stolen last July.
` But first... here are a few I've taken after The Amazing Meeting last year:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Grateful to still be alive and thinking -- and skepticalof 'gaslighting' abuse!

If it weren't for my interest in science and the skeptical movement, plus a need for recovering from so many traumas, I wouldn't have also gotten into psychology, cognitive reframing, denominalization, hypnosis, meditation, psychedelic research, or gaslighting, nor would I have discovered my role as a narcissistic source.
` Without my taste for critical thinking and unlocking the mind, I wouldn't have been able to overcome most of my trauma-related impairments, see my way out of a trap I didn't even know I was in, as well as discover more delusions of the world that aren't even talked about in the skeptical community.

Last week, I went to Michael Shermer's lecture at Town Hall concerning the subject of his latest book, The Moral Arc. It got me thinking about the information I was processing from the night before, a realization about my ex -- who I'll call "X" from now on.
` Basically, I had just realized that X's acting as though nothing was wrong was all part of his trying to make me doubt my grasp of reality, and that's why I can't stand him when he's being really nice.
` After telling me that I was crazy, "killing" him slowly, and that I had been hypnotized into being some sort of 'attack robot', and that I shouldn't talk to other people about it because they don't know what's "really going on", etc. he has continued pretending as though everything is fine.
` Wait -- what!?

It's not just that he won't acknowledge the extreme damage he's done to my sanity and health, but that he acts as though it never happened. I haven't been the same since the significance of this fact hit me so hard that I was physically recoiling as though I was being beaten.
` In those moments, when I told a friend about what was going through my head, my voice came from so close to my spleen that I could barely even spit out words over the grunts of involuntary rhythmic recoiling.
` My voice was so guttural that I imagine I sounded like one of the hypnotized victims in Bob Larson's exorcism games. "What kind of sick person does this to someone?" I kept growling. "Oh my GOD!! OH my GOD!!! WHAT!??!!"

As Shermer was going on about how reason has helped us to overcome senseless brutality, slavery, ignorance, fear, prejudice, superstition, etc., I thought about how it could be that people started out that way to begin with. I realized it was because everyone acted as though it was normal.
` That is the most insidious part, yet finally I can appreciate it. When no one bats an eye, it seems as though everything is being done the right way, and that you're crazy for saying otherwise. Of course, people today are not generally near the pinnacle of morality -- there is probably quite a ways to go. And how is it that this goes so unnoticed?
` Because we act as though nothing is wrong. To take an extreme example, how is it that parents can allow a tumor on their daughter's head to grow to the size of a soccer ball until she dies in agonizing pain? Because, to that family, it's just normal to believe this is all part of God's plan.
` It's not just abuse and neglect that is the problem, but the mentality that this is the way things should be. And to someone who has been severely damaged by this, acting as though they have not been harmed only hurts them on a deeper level -- or kills them in some cases.

This is why so many false beliefs are dangerous. Even if you don't believe the BS that supports some sort of abuse, but are are surrounded by people who do, and who act like it's normal, that alone is damaging to you: