It wasn't only my friends who suffered from female rivalry. I remember when I was just sixteen years old, during spring vacation, being whisked off to an early lunch by my best friend's brother, only to discover, to my astonishment and hurt, that she was expecting some college boys to drop by and didn't want me there to compete with her. When I started college at Sarah Lawrence, I soon noticed that while some of my classmates were indeed true friends, others seemed to resent that I had a boyfriend. It didn't help that Sarah Lawrence, a former girls' school, included very few straight men among its student body--an early lesson in how competing for items in short supply often brings out the worst in women. In graduate school, the stakes got higher, and the competition got stiffer, a trend that continued when I went on to vie for a limited number of academic jobs. I always had friends and colleagues with whom I could have trusted my life--but I also found women who seemed to view not only me but all other female academics as their rivals. This sense of rivalry became more painful when I divorced my first husband. Many of my friends I depended on for comfort and support suddenly began to view me as a threat. Some took me out to lunch to get the dirt, then dropped me soon after. I think they found it disturbing that I left my unhappy marriage while they were still committed to theirs. For other women, the threat seemed more immediate--twice I was told in no uncertain terms that I had better stay away from someone's husband, despite my protests that I would no more go after a friend's husband than I would stay friends with a woman who went after mine. Thankfully, I also had some true friends who remained loyal and supportive during one of the most difficult times of my life. To this day I trust them implicitly, with the kind of faith you reserve for people who have proved themselves under fire. But I've also never forgotten the shock and disappointment of discovering how quickly those other friendships turned to rivalries.
The tattoo artist inflicts pain and I take it. With each breath I count to one again. Each inhale, each exhale, time passes in the smallest of pieces, and pieces still smaller than those.This is how you count a life. This is how you go through it. Each second of hurt is a second that's already passed, one you never have to go through again. I have counted in pieces that small, when walking from the bed to the fridge seemed an insurmountable goal. I have counted my breaths, my steps, my eye-blinks, my hiccups, the tiny pulse in my thumb. And when I started getting tattooed, two of the things I used to need were gone: to write on myself, and to find irrelevant things to count. A second of intense pain is the most profound thing you can live through. And another, and another, and another, and then you know what it is to feel, and to struggle through that feeling one small agonizing increment at a time, and if you know that, you know what it is to live with mental illness.
What is this thing called life? I believeThat the earth and the stars too, and the whole glittering universe, and rocks on the mountains have life,Only we do not call it so--I speak of the lifeThat oxidizes fats and proteins and carbo-Hydrates to live on, and from that chemical energyMakes pleasure and pain, wonder, love, adoration, hatred and terror: how do these things growFrom a chemical reaction?I think they were here already, I think the rocksAnd the earth and the other planets, and the stars and the galaxieshave their various consciousness, all things are conscious;But the nerves of an animal, the nerves and brainBring it to focus; the nerves and brain are like a burning-glassTo concentrate the heat and make it catch fire:It seems to us martyrs hotter than the blazing hearthFrom which it came. So we scream and laugh, clamorous animalsBorn howling to die groaning: the old stones in the dooryardPrefer silence; but those and all things have their own awareness,As the cells of a man have; they feel and feed and influence each other, each unto all,Like the cells of a man's body making one being,They make one being, one consciousness, one life, one God.
No pain, no gain." You can hear the phrase in the world of physical exercise and conditioning. Muscles that feel no pain are probably getting neither stronger, nor more flexible. It presents an analogy for the exercise of the heart. Those who run the risk of genuine love alone must worry about emotional pain. The more friends; the more good-byes - and the more wakes to attend, the more graves to visit, the more deaths to share. Those who truly live life to the fullest will bear the full cup of suffering. Only those who are willing to pay the price in pain and anguish find life full to the brim. Happy people also suffer; they are no more lucky than the rest. They create their own happiness. That's the rule of thumb.Some thumbs, however, don't seem to rule very well. Slogans and catch-words, for all their conventional wisdom, fail to carry the whole weight of truth; they leave too much room for false inferences. "No pain, no gain" may leave one with nothing but pain - an intolerable amount of it. There is simply no guarantee that pain will bring gain, that hardship will yield happiness, that suffering will make one a better person. It may; but it's not inevitable.
Part of the problem was that I couldn't seem to get past the fact that I hadn't tried to escape from Kas. Even in France, when he'd left me on my own for several days, I'd carried on working [as a prostitute] and doing all the things he'd told me to d. And although I knew that it was because of the fear he'd so carefully and deliberately instilled in me, I still felt as though I'd somehow colluded in what had happened to me - despite knowing, deep down, that nothing could have been further from the truth.
I resolved to come right to the point. "Hello," I said as coldly as possible, "we've got to talk.""Yes, Bob," he said quietly, "what's on your mind?" I shut my eyes for a moment, letting the raging frustration well up inside, then stared angrily at the psychiatrist."Look, I've been religious about this recovery business. I go to AA meetings daily and to your sessions twice a week. I know it's good that I've stopped drinking. But every other aspect of my life feels the same as it did before. No, it's worse. I hate my life. I hate myself."Suddenly I felt a slight warmth in my face, blinked my eyes a bit, and then stared at him."Bob, I'm afraid our time's up," Smith said in a matter-of-fact style."Time's up?" I exclaimed. "I just got here.""No." He shook his head, glancing at his clock. "It's been fifty minutes. You don't remember anything?""I remember everything. I was just telling you that these sessions don't seem to be working for me."Smith paused to choose his words very carefully. "Do you know a very angry boy named 'Tommy'?""No," I said in bewilderment, "except for my cousin Tommy whom I haven't seen in twenty years...""No." He stopped me short. "This Tommy's not your cousin. I spent this last fifty minutes talking with another Tommy. He's full of anger. And he's inside of you.""You're kidding?""No, I'm not. Look. I want to take a little time to think over what happened today. And don't worry about this. I'll set up an emergency session with you tomorrow. We'll deal with it then."RobertThis is Robert speaking. Today I'm the only personality who is strongly visible inside and outside. My own term for such an MPD role is dominant personality. Fifteen years ago, I rarely appeared on the outside, though I had considerable influence on the inside; back then, I was what one might call a "recessive personality." My passage from "recessive" to "dominant" is a key part of our story; be patient, you'll learn lots more about me later on. Indeed, since you will meet all eleven personalities who once roamed about, it gets a bit complex in the first half of this book; but don't worry, you don't have to remember them all, and it gets sorted out in the last half of the book. You may be wondering -- if not "Robert," who, then, was the dominant MPD personality back in the 1980s and earlier? His name was "Bob," and his dominance amounted to a long reign, from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. Since "Robert B. Oxnam" was born in 1942, you can see that "Bob" was in command from early to middle adulthood.Although he was the dominant MPD personality for thirty years, Bob did not have a clue that he was afflicted by multiple personality disorder until 1990, the very last year of his dominance. That was the fateful moment when Bob first heard that he had an "angry boy named Tommy" inside of him. How, you might ask, can someone have MPD for half a lifetime without knowing it? And even if he didn't know it, didn't others around him spot it?To outsiders, this is one of the most perplexing aspects of MPD. Multiple personality is an extreme disorder, and yet it can go undetected for decades, by the patient, by family and close friends, even by trained therapists. Part of the explanation is the very nature of the disorder itself: MPD thrives on secrecy because the dissociative individual is repressing a terrible inner secret. The MPD individual becomes so skilled in hiding from himself that he becomes a specialist, often unknowingly, in hiding from others. Part of the explanation is rooted in outside observers: MPD often manifests itself in other behaviors, frequently addiction and emotional outbursts, which are wrongly seen as the "real problem."The fact of the matter is that Bob did not see himself as the dominant personality inside Robert B. Oxnam. Instead, he saw himself as a whole person. In his mind, Bob was merely a nickname for Bob Oxnam, Robert Oxnam, Dr. Robert B. Oxnam, PhD.
You heard him say it? 'Pain's the only evil I know about.' You heard that?"The monk nodded solemnly."And that society is the only thing that determines whether an act is wrong or not? That too?""Yes.""Dearest God, how did those two heresies get back into the world after all this time? Hell has limited imaginations down there. 'The serpent deceived me, and I did eat.
But Alonso kept smiling that smile and nothing made any sense with that smile looking you in the face. 'Jim, don't tell me that, you know, brother-shit. I have been through it all. Take, you know, advice. There is only one thing and that is the kick, the Now. Nothing else counts. Get yours. Get it because, you know, no one cares and they will always put you down in the end, Jim, and the only word that counts is, you know, Now. Not that foolish brother and bopping jazz, Jim. Now. Because if it all don't go up in any, you know, twenty minutes; up, all gone; then they are going to put you down and keep you down. Now.
Pain,without lovePain, I can't get enoughPain, I like it rough cuz I'd rather feel Pain than nothing at all.You're sick of feeling numbYou're not the only oneI'll take you by the hand and I'll show you a world that you can understandThis life is filled with hurtWhen happiness doesn't workTrust me, and take my hand When the lights go out you will understand(repeat)Anger and agony are better than miseryTrust me, I've got a plan When the lights go off you will understand(chorus)I know (4)That you're woundedYou know(4)That I'm here to save youYou know (4)I'm always here for youI know (4)That you'll thank me laterPain,without lovePain, I can't get enoughPain, I like it rough cuz I'd rather feel Pain than nothing at all.Pain,without lovePain, I can't get enoughPain, I like it rough cuz I'd rather feel Pain than nothing at all.Rather feel Pain than nothing at allRather feel Pain!!
Closing The CycleOne always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Sorry doesn’t mean anything! Not when you’re still with him. It’s not just that you cheated—it’s that he’s still here, and you’re still with him. It just goes on and on, and it hurts every single time I see you with him. I hate it that he makes you smile, and that there’s nothing I can do to stop this. I can’t think straight, and everything hurts, and nothing makes sense anymore. You’re shredding my heart with one hand and stroking his ego with the other. And it’s killing me, Faythe. You’re killing me. And it’s only going to get worse, now that everyone knows.
UPYou wake up filled with dread.There seems no reason for it.Morning light sifts through the window,there is birdsong,you can't get out of bed.It's something about the crumpled sheetshanging over the edge like junglefoliage, the terry slippers gapingtheir dark pink mouths for your feet,the unseen breakfast--some of itin the refrigerator you do not dareto open--you will not dare to eat.What prevents you? The future. The future tense,immense as outer space.You could get lost there.No. Nothing so simple. The past, its densityand drowned events pressing you down,like sea water, like gelatinfilling your lungs instead of air.Forget all that and let's get up.Try moving your arm.Try moving your head.Pretend the house is on fireand you must run or burn.No, that one's useless.It's never worked before.Where is it coming form, this echo,this huge No that surrounds you,silent as the folds of the yellowcurtains, mute as the cheerfulMexican bowl with its cargoof mummified flowers?(You chose the colours of the sun,not the dried neutrals of shadow.God knows you've tried.)Now here's a good one:you're lying on your deathbed.You have one hour to live.Who is it, exactly, you have neededall these years to forgive?
Sometimes you have to let go a little bit and travel the path of least resistance but this doesn’t mean that you quit when things get tough, as you are working towards a goal! It just means that you may only be able to see a rough draft of your final destination, right now, and that it’s safe to explore along the way.
[Clayton] Christensen had seen dozens of companies falter by going for immediate payoffs rather than long-term growth, and he saw people do the same thing. In three hours at work, you could get something substantial accomplished, and if you failed to accomplish it you felt the pain right away. If you spent three hours at home with your family, it felt like you hadn't done a thing, and if you skipped it nothing happened. So you spent more and more time at the office, on high-margin, quick-yield tasks, and you even believed that you were staying away from home for the sake of your family. He had seen many people tell themselves that they could divide their lives into stages, spending the first part pushing forward their careers, and imagining that at some future point they would spend time with their families--only to find that by then their families were gone.