Ambivalence Part 4 - Transcript


0:00 - Introduction
1:49 - Understanding the Genesis of Ambivalence
7:56 - Fear and Guilt in Emotional Experiences
17:36 - Emotional Pressure and Tough Situations
22:23 - Perceiving Emotional Experiences
27:36 - Internalization of Pain and Fear
35:41 - The Real Trauma
37:36 - Speaking the Truth vs. Self-Abuse
41:33 - Conclusion

Long Summary

In this extensive conversation, I delve into the complex topic of ambivalence, exploring the roots and dynamics of this phenomenon. I reflect on the concept of storing emotional experiences and memories, highlighting the idea that we retain both tangible and emotional details within us. By accepting this, I suggest that we can better understand the genesis of ambivalence and how it manifests in our lives.

I present a compelling anecdote about a woman with dementia who revealed repressed memories late in life, emphasizing the depth of our emotional recollection. Drawing parallels between animal instincts and human emotions, I underline the primal nature of our responses to threats or attacks.

I guide the listeners through a series of metaphors and examples, illustrating the notion that while we may experience ambivalence, it is not inherent to our being. Instead, ambivalence is imposed upon us by external factors, such as the reactions of others to our authentic experiences. I stress the importance of distinguishing between our genuine emotions and the projected hostility or opposition we encounter, unraveling the impact of internalizing external reactions.

Moreover, I address the underlying fears and inhibitions that prevent us from speaking our truths, pointing out that the suffering derived from silencing ourselves surpasses the pain of the original experiences. Encouraging honesty and self-awareness, I advocate for overcoming the cycle of ambivalence by voicing our authentic narratives and freeing ourselves from the constraints of self-censorship.

Ultimately, I emphasize the transformative power of speaking the truth and shedding light on suppressed emotions, highlighting the path to healing and liberation from the traps of internalized ambivalence. Through introspection and vocalizing our realities, we can confront past traumas, dismantle self-destructive patterns, and embark on a journey towards self-empowerment and emotional liberation.


[0:00] Introduction

[0:00] Hi everybody, it's Steph, hope you're doing well. Sorry to those who are not such a big fan of the gym casts, but I must say that I just do get some great ideas when I am with the working out. So sorry to those who are annoyed by things that are in fact annoying, but it is just a great brain stimulant and I can't seem to get the same effect any other particular way. And since I'm still rehabbing my shoulder, this is just kind of a necessary evil. I hope you don't mind. I'll try and keep it quiet, and I'll use my normal frilly tassely weights, also known as the Bobby set, so that there's not any unpleasant grunts if I try to go over two and a quarter pounds or so. So, this is ambivalence part four. There may be a part five.

[0:46] It really depends when I get tired today. But this is one of the weakest ideas that we talk about here. So, I hope that you'll be patient as we work through it. And thanks again for your donations. look forward to more. Remember, every dollar you give to FDR can help us get up to 2,000 people. Sorry. Yeah, no, that's right. Every dollar you give, sorry, every dollar you give can get up to 20 people to come to FDR. So 100 bucks, put that into StumbleUpon, we get 2,000 people hitting the site. So it is a very, very great way. I think a very cost-efficient way to help spread freedom. So, thanks so much. Remember, I've got this deal going on at the moment, $79 for PDFs and audiobooks, all combined, or $39 for the PDFs, $49 for the audiobooks, including The God of Atheists, if you haven't heard it yet. So, when it comes to dealing with ambivalence, I guess you could say this one is the curing ambivalence, or at least starting that process of curing ambivalence.

[1:49] Understanding the Genesis of Ambivalence

[1:49] There are a couple of things that I think we have to take for granted or have to accept the very concept of ambivalence as a naturally occurring phenomenon, and also that we have to accept if we're going to figure out how we can most productively deal with the problems or challenges of inherited ambivalence in particular, but ambivalence in general.

[2:12] The first thing I think that we have to accept in terms of the genesis of ambivalence, and I touched on this in the last podcast, but I'd like to go into it in a bit more detail now. The first thing is that I think that we need to understand as a basic fact is that we store everything. And we store, not only do we store everything, but we will also store our emotional experience of everything.

[2:36] And if we sort of accept that as a basic fact, then we go a long way towards understanding why we end up with all this ambivalence. So if I am, say, humiliated in a classroom, I will remember that. No, I mean, to my conscious mind, I will only remember certain aspects of it. I may not in fact remember it at all, but as has been proven fairly consistently with hypnosis and so on, we do store an enormous amount of detail in our minds, even if we don't have access to it. And this is a ridiculous anecdote. And of course, it's completely unverified. But it does bring to mind something that I read years ago in a newspaper up here called The Globe and Mail. They had this section on the back of the main paper where reader essays would be published. And one of them I thought was very interesting. No, a number of them. But the one I remember now is a woman who who was talking about her mother. And her mother went through phases of Alzheimer's. I can't remember if it's Alzheimer's or dementia, but something which kind of scrubbed the.

[3:43] Higher functioning of consciousness, particularly the inhibitors of consciousness later in her life. And she'd always been very hostile towards sex and so on. And shortly before her mother died, she began to talk about an uncle who'd been dead for many years and to attempt to ward him off and to re-experience the sexual abuse she'd experienced as a very young child. And this, of course, is very late in life. And apparently there were enough details that it seemed to be more than just a hallucination or a fantasy, but seemed to be actually, you know, the color of the room when she was very small and things that wouldn't be, uh, no. Now, again, I don't know if it's true or not. Again, it's completely unverified.

[4:19] But it certainly does have some resonance for me in terms of how I have experienced my own consciousness and, and memory are things that I couldn't, couldn't remember, um, have sometimes come back with startling vividity. And again, there's lots of, uh, uh, situations where people can recover memory. I mean, there's some nonsense about it too, But hypnosis does help people remember stuff that they couldn't otherwise remember. And if we accept the possibility, the possibility of the notion that we remember everything, both tangibly, but more particularly in a more important way, it doesn't really matter what the color of my room was when I was a kid. But it does matter what my experience was of being a kid, right? What my emotional experience was. So even if we don't remember all of the sensual details, we do, I believe, have a very strong recollection of all of the emotional details.

[5:17] And if we sort of understand that we have all of these emotional details, a number of things kind of become clear, like they kind of hove into view, they become very clear for us. The first is that it really helps us to understand the question or the issue or the problem of ambivalence, right? Because if we remember everything...

[5:36] Then it explains the unconscious, right? The unconscious is where the memories go, and the conscious mind is used as an inhibitor to select those memories, right? It's sort of been said that the unconscious is like moonlight and the conscious mind is like a flashlight. It illuminates more clearly, but not in any broad way. So if we also, so yeah, we understand that, I'm just going to talk about the emotional side because I don't particularly care about sensual memory. I do care, like in terms of, you know, the five senses, I do care about emotional memory because that's really at the root of ambivalence right i mean we may not particularly remember what the color was of our room when we were kids but we're not ambivalent about it doesn't really matter but we do get torn about whether our parents are good or bad right that definitely shows up and that's as an ambivalent situation if if that is a question for us so when we If we sort of understand that basic reality, then the question is, if we remember everything, why is it that we have opposing or multiplicity? Where does the ecosystem come from?

[6:40] Well, because we remember things and we have these experiences, but a lot of what we remember and we experience is negative towards the perceived self-interest of other people. So this is just a basic thing to understand. When I have the fear of being attacked by my mother, then that emotion is highly detrimental to my mother, obviously, because she doesn't want to remember herself as having attacked a helpless child. And, of course, it is also a negative memory, or a difficult memory, or a memory that is against the perceived self-interest or the immediate gratification of my father, right? And since my brother participated in the attacks, it is also a negative memory for my brother, right? So, when we look at ambivalence at its root, I think that we can start to really understand it, that ambivalence is our own authentic experience that is opposed by those to whom our authentic experience is negative.

[7:56] Fear and Guilt in Emotional Experiences

[7:56] So when my mother attacked me, my fear of that situation is positive for me. Fear is good and fear is healthy. But my fear is negative towards my mother because it provokes guilt.

[8:11] And in this way, we can start, I think, to really understand the question not only of ambivalence, but how to begin to undo the damage that it continues to wreak. And so, if you've gone through this process of talking to people honestly about your experience, then we all know the basic thing that happens, right? Which is that the moment that we begin to talk about our true and authentic experience, say, of our families, then immediately, pretty much, what happens is people tell us that we're wrong, that we misremember, that we're bad. And of course, what is implied there is that our genuine experiences are unjust, selfish, manipulative, false accusations. So, just to give you one example, when I talked to my brother about my experience, the genuine experience of our mother, I mean, he couldn't deny that bad stuff happened, because he's not, he knew that I wouldn't go for that, right? But, I mean, he did try the old, you don't have kids yet kind of thing, and he also did try the approach of saying that.

[9:38] We can more wisely understand our mother if we remember that she went through the war and had her own issues, her own problems, and so on. And that approach that, yes, bad things happen, but a just person will temper or really eliminate a negative emotional experience with a positive and wise understanding, That is a very, very common approach at times. Different to the parents who say we did the best we could. So, that is not a neutral response to somebody's experience. is.

[10:20] And I mean, in my experience, it's virtually impossible to have a neutral response to somebody's experience. I mean, again, that's just my experience. But I mean, if I'm completely bored with someone, then I can't really legitimately claim to have a neutral experience because I'm irritated that they're boring me, right? So from that standpoint, We can't have a neutral... So, when somebody says to me, Steph, your legitimate experience is wrong and unjust, then they are setting themselves up, of course, in complete opposition to what it is that I'm saying. Because if I have a hostile thought or reaction towards someone, and that arises out of a lack of sympathy and understanding, then my hostility then becomes a kind of immaturity, right? Now, if my genuine emotional experience of my mother is negative, but that actually is immature, then my hostility towards my mother is immature, but that can only be true if the same standard, of course, is not applied to my own mother, right?

[11:38] Let me sort of run through that again to make sure it's clear. If my brother says that my anger towards our mother is unjust, then he's saying that hostility is unjust, because it doesn't take into account historical circumstances. And therefore, it's bad for me to feel hostility towards our mother. However, if, on the other hand, it is a universal rule that hostility is unjust, then my mother's hostility towards myself, which was the cause of my hostility towards my mother, is also unjust because it lacks historical perspective and understanding and so on and so on and so on, right? So I hope that this makes some sort of sense, right? That the people set themselves up in opposition to our genuine experiences. And this is all to do with ending our own narcissism, right?

[12:28] Because if we take as a given that our genuine emotional experiences, and other people's hostility and opposition towards our own genuine emotional experiences are both our own, then we're mistaking the world for ourselves, right? So I was very clear as a kid that nobody wanted to hear any of my complaints about my family. I mean, the evidence was completely obvious that there was, you know, a horrible mistreatment occurring, and I got that nobody wanted to hear about it, right? And so, there was hostility towards my genuine emotional experience. So, when we say something like, I'm torn, right? I both feel angry towards my parents and feel bad about feeling angry towards my parents. It is, I believe, a very fundamental misapprehension of the reality of the situation. Instead of saying, I have a genuine experience and the opposite of that experience, I have pain and shame, pain about being attacked and shame at being attacked, that is inaccurate.

[13:46] And it's inaccurate in a very fundamental and important way. So let me sort of try and reframe that or refocus that so that we can look at it more accurately. Clearly, I was attacked and I felt fear and anger. And then if I expressed my fear and anger, I was also attacked again. Right? This is...

[14:08] Root of dysfunctional ambivalence. I was attacked, and then I experienced fear and anger, just to say, fear and anger as a result of being attacked. And then when I expressed my fear and anger, either to my attacker or to bystanders, I was attacked and rejected, or rejected, or whatever, ever, right? So I think this aspect of ambivalence is so, so, so important to understand. It's not that I feel fear and anger for being attacked and then feel guilty for that fear and anger. I don't manufacture that and its opposite of my own accord, right? I mean, if I am set upon in the woods by a pack of wolves, and I manage to flee to my car. Obviously, I feel fear, and the fight or flight, the flight pod is activated, and I feel fear, and I run away. I feel unclouded and uncluttered relief at making it to my car, slamming it shut and and squealing out of there to escape the wolves. On the way home, I don't become overwhelmed with feelings of guilt that I deprived the wolves of their meal.

[15:34] To give another example, if I'm in the ocean scuba diving or something, and I see a great white shark, and he starts swimming aggressively at me, and I make it to the boat and jump into the boat, and lie there panting, giddy, dizzy, ecstatic with relief. I don't... I'm not ambivalent about it. Right? Say to myself, oh, and now I feel really bad for getting away because that shark could have been hungry, and now the shark won't have enough to eat, and it's bad, and so on, right?

[16:14] In the same way, and let's say, just to continue the analogy a bit, to elevate it to a sort of human dimension, Let's look at it this way. Let's say that a mugger, a guy sort of yells at me, and give me your money, and starts running at me. And what I do is I flee to my car, and I drive away. And I do drive away. Of course, what I feel is the same kind of give you relief, right? Got away. Let's say I'm a woman, and some guy, he's like, I'm gonna rape you, and he chases me through a park, and I make it to my car, and I drive away. I don't feel any ambivalence about getting away, do I? I mean, unless I'm really disturbed, right? Like, I don't sit there and say, God, now I feel guilty, because this guy's gonna have blue balls, right? I don't feel guilty because this mugger's is not going to have his drug money or whatever, right? So that aspect of things, it's not whether or not we are, whether it's an animal or a human being, we just are very, very happy to escape being attacked.

[17:36] Emotional Pressure and Tough Situations

[17:36] However, if we are put in a situation, let's say, where...

[17:44] Are subject to the continual emotional pressure of someone, then we are in a tough situation, right? So, if someone tries to attack me and I beat them back or escape or whatever, and I just feel relieved, right? Somebody tries to grab my wallet and I snatch it back and push the guy over, I'm relieved and happy. It's not a lot of ambiguity or ambivalence there for me, right? But clearly the attacker feels bad, feels angry that I did that. And if I internalize that anger that the attacker has towards me, the frustration, the negative emotional, if I internalize that and confuse his emotion for my emotion, then what's going to happen is I'm going to feel quote, ambivalent.

[18:36] Ambivalent, right? But I'm only going to feel ambivalent because I'm internalizing, his particular emotional desires, which are in fact the opposite of mine, the opposite of my feelings. And of course, in a very real sense, the opposite of my emotional well-being, right? I mean, obviously, if the mugger or the rapist has his way, not good for me, right? So if I internalize my attacker's distaste or dislike for my genuine emotional experience, then I will feel ambivalence. But that does not mean that I feel ambivalent. That is such an important distinction. And to really begin to heal ambivalence, we need to understand that. that, right? I'm going to say that again. If I internalize my attacker's dislike of my negative emotional experience and think that it's my own dislike of my negative emotional experience, then I will perceive myself as ambivalent. So important.

[19:46] If we take myself and my mugger's emotional makeup or emotional experience of the attack and the escape, if we put those two together, and we imagine that that is the experience of one person, right? Sorry to be so obtuse, but it's so important to get. The mugger wants me to not run away and to give him my wallet, right? That's what he wants, right? But whereas I want to not give him my wallet and run away, he wants me to give him my wallet and not run away. I want to run away and not give him my wallet, right? So if we put those two, I guess, emotional realities together as if they are the genuine and true experience of only one person, then of course that would be opposing an opposing emotional experience, right? But the reality is that we only cause this perception of internal ambivalence by ignoring the oppositional source of the feelings, right?

[21:01] So if we say, well, I want to tell the truth to my mother about abusive history or abusive episodes. So if you say, well, I want to tell the truth to my mother, but simultaneous to that, I also do not want to cause her any discomfort, then if we think that all of those feelings, just kind of mysteriously or magically have appeared within us, then we're going to feel torn, right? But that's like looking at two men in a boxing ring and saying one man is hitting himself.

[21:36] It doesn't make any sense. Then, I mean, if Boxer A wants to win the title and Boxer B wants to win the title, therefore he wants Boxer A to lose, then because Boxer A wants to win the title and Boxer B wants to lose, and Boxer B wants to win the title and Boxer A wants to lose, is it reasonable to say that the reality is that Boxer A both wants to win and lose and Boxer B both wants to win and lose? Of course not. It's not a reasonable or empirical approach at all. It's non-scientific, right, to conflate these kinds of things, right? I mean, if we look at a lion and an antelope, I think we can very clearly see that while the theme of survival of the fittest is common for them both, as individuals, they have opposing self-interest. A lion wants to eat and wants the gazelle not to escape. A gazelle wants to not be eaten and wants to escape.

[22:23] Perceiving Emotional Experiences

[22:24] A gazelle wants the lion to stop chasing him and so on. So when we look at ourselves, when we look at our genuine and true emotional experiences of the world, there's our true experiences, and then there's other people's hostility towards our true experiences.

[22:43] Certainly is true, that we genuinely perceive these as very often largely co-joint, right? So we experience a desire to tell the truth followed by a fear or guilt about telling the truth, right? So we have the stimulus and we have the response. But if we say, I want to tell the truth, but then I feel guilty. I mean, that I guess is sort of true. But if we say, I want to to tell the truth, but I am guilty. I feel guilty, but I am guilty, right? That is not accurate or valid, I believe. What is more accurate, I would say, is to say the following. I want to tell the truth. My mother does not want me to tell the truth, right? That is a genuine and true genesis, let's say of the experience and if we say i want to tell the truth but i am guilty i feel guilty the feeling of guilt is mine then you say well i'm torn i'm ambivalent but it's not you're experiencing ambivalence because you're experiencing two opposing desires one of which is genuinely yours and the other was inflicted on you through attack and rejection, i want to tell the truth my family does not want me to tell the truth and of course this is just confirmation, right? If you say, well, I want to tell the truth about having been attacked by my family, and then you say, well, my family will attack me for telling the truth, then you've just kind of confirmed the original stimuli, right?

[24:12] I said, oh Lord, many podcasts ago, let's say, I said that it's so essential to not mistake the world for yourself, right? Or yourself for the world, right? But to have strong ego differentiation between your genuine experiences and that which is convenient for others. It's certainly convenient for you. In fact, it's what would be called the virtue of honesty to say, I had this genuine experience of being attacked by my family. This, of course, though, is highly non-positive for your family.

[24:51] Reality is, they feel the guilt of not defending you when you were a child. You don't, right? You feel fear at being attacked and anger at having been attacked for expressing fear at being attacked, right? And it's something that I experience very strongly. In fact, it's occurring right now with the conversation on the board of the Christian. So the Christians have these teachings which say, kill atheists, right? And so when I point this out, people get get mad at me, right? And we see this all the time, right? That after hearing about my abuse as a kid, people say, Steph, the problem is you talk too much about your abuse as a kid, right? So when you're attacked, you fear, and then when your cries for help are attacked again, you feel anger, right? Because clearly people are being selfish and narcissistic and saying, well, I don't feel comfortable confronting your mom, so I'm going to attack you instead, right? For causing me discomfort, which is the same principle, of course, that the mom is doing too, right? So I think it's so important to understand that while we do experience ambivalence, we ourselves are not ambivalent. Remember the wolf, remember the shark, remember the rapist, remember the mugger. We are not ambivalent about escaping attack and physical destruction or physical harm. However, those who attack us have opposing emotional experiences, desires, wants, needs two hours, right? And.

[26:19] Us up, right? So I'll take one more example, if you don't mind. Again, it's a plethora of examples, but I think there's a good reason for them. But if a mugger attacks me and I get a good ID, then clearly he's going to experience great anxiety and not want me to go to the police and identify him, right?

[26:38] So his desire is for me to not experience my pain and suffering, because if I really experience my pain and suffering, I will also have empathy towards other people that he is going to attack, and I will go to the cops or the droves in the future or whatever. So this aspect of things I think is so important. They don't want us to fess up because they will be revealed as evil or corrupt or manipulative or destructive and hypocritical and so on. Our genuine and true emotional experience and desire is to be honest with with what has occurred for us, right?

[27:16] But that is highly negative to other people. They don't want us to go for help. They don't want us to genuinely experience our own history, because it's detrimental to them. So then the question, which can be answered very quickly, or at least relatively quickly with fewer examples, the question then becomes, well, why do we internalize this?

[27:36] Internalization of Pain and Fear

[27:37] Well, because, of course, the whole point of pain, right, of physical pain or emotional pain, what differentiates it from sadism is that it's designed to avoid you right so like a sadist will keep putting your hand in a fire but your body says i'm gonna make you have a negative experience for putting your hand in the fire it's input to hand the fire anymore right so the internalization and prediction of pain is essential right so if we only felt pain after the fact then we keep putting our hand in the fire and going out but the whole point of pain is that it conditions us us to feel pain ahead of the stimuli, so we internalize the expectation of pain, and we feel that pain then before the stimuli, right?

[28:17] Ever looked at a picture of a guy who's been badly wounded and winced? I feel completely sick and queasy when I see those kinds of pictures. You've ever looked at a picture of an injury and winced, or you see someone on a sitcom stub their toe and writhe in pain, you're like, oh, I can feel that. Well, of course, that's your body's sympathetic nervous system kicking in to help you prevent a recurrence of pain, right? So this is something that is seized upon and used by manipulators and controllers in order to silence us, right? So if my mother attacks me and I experience fear, and then I am attacked for expressing that fear, then I try to avoid both the fear and the pain, right? I've tried to avoid the attack, which means that I have to internalize the negative stimuli which causes the attacks, right?

[29:03] So if I'm attacked for being honest, I have to internalize the emotion of the attack so that I can avoid it in the future. So if people say that I'm bad or unjust or unfair for getting angry at my mother, and that makes me feel bad or guilty, then of course I'm going to internalize that guilt so that I avoid doing that stuff in the future. That's how the voices pass from the outside to the inside. It's a very very healthy aspect of life it's very positive and healthy aspect of our body and of course it's like most of the damn things like like the fact that pain is a positive and healthy aspect of our body is seized upon by sadists to make us feel bad the fight or flight emotional mechanism that we have is seized upon by others who then use the inevitable internalization mechanism designed to help us avoid pain to put us in a continual state of ambivalence right we can't eradicate our original emotional experience but if they can which will inevitably happen get get us to internalize their hostility towards our genuineness, then we will feel both our genuine experience and their hostility towards it as internal states, and then we will mistake that, as self-generated ambivalence. I hope that makes some sense. It certainly does to me. If not, let me know. I'll do part 22 if I have to.

[30:14] Let's just use one more metaphor if you'll be so very kind diagnosis so to speak so.

[30:23] When we look at this uh this experience of ambivalence the idea that we can somehow disown or eradicate our original experience to me is sort of metaphorically similar to the same to this situation right so let's say that we know english right and we learn english If you're at this podcast, I'm going to make that assumption.

[30:48] And we are imprisoned in some nefarious manner. And we're sitting in our prison cell. We know what's going to happen. And then some guy comes up and starts whispering outside the door of our prison. And he says, tomorrow, I'm going to sort of slowly cut off your testicles and pull your fingernails out and chew off your ear and stuff like that. And he's saying in a perfectly calm and reasonable voice, us, we may, or in fact we probably would, genuinely wish to not hear what he's saying. I mean, we'd be very happy to not understand what he's saying, because what he's saying is going to fill us with fear and dread, and why not pass another night in ignorance if nothing's going to change in the outcome? But we don't have the choice. We can stop our ears and so on, but we cannot hear the words and not understand them. And that's why I said he's speaking in a calm and reasonable manner, so that if we did not understand English, we would not know what was being said, and we would not be able to judge it from the tone.

[31:55] That as a setup, right? So, here's a situation where we are automatically processing stimuli, and although we may desperately wish that we weren't, we simply cannot stop that occurrence, right? And I would put this down as highly analogous to the situation of our original emotional experiences. We may wish for them to be different than what they were, but we cannot unlearn the process or the situation. We cannot stop or pretend that we didn't experience what we experienced. We can, but we can't eradicate that experience. We simply can't any more than we can eradicate our knowledge of English simply because we are being told something that we do not want to hear. So, the original experience cannot be, and of course, if the original experience could be eradicated, genuinely and totally, we would be in a highly vulnerable situation, right? I mean, if we could completely eradicate our fear of an experience of having been burned, we'd be at great risk for being burned again, right? So we couldn't. And of course, if we could, or if we had the capacity, then we wouldn't need to have the opposite emotional experiences brutalized, pounded, and layered into us, right? So my fear and anger towards my mother, let's say. And just to be clear, those who get confused by this stuff, it's not that I experience this every day. We're just talking about this as an example.

[33:25] But my fear and anger towards my mother, if that could be genuinely eradicated, then there would be no need to layer in the guilt and the fear and the hostility that would come out if and when I spoke of my original experience, right? If you could genuinely erase it, you wouldn't need it right if you could genuinely wipe someone's memory you wouldn't need to kill them if you didn't want them to testify or something like that right just wipe their memory but, and you can't illness or lobotomies I guess can wipe memories and even then we don't know what traces occur but, as we can see from the example anecdotal to be sure that I gave earlier about the woman who only spoke in her dying days, and unconsciously about the abuses that she suffered earlier in her life the hands of her uncle.

[34:17] So just to sum this up sorry it's taken so long but it's a hard thing it's hard for me to get but it's a very very important thing to get about ambivalence we experience ambivalence but we, are not ambivalent ambivalence is inflicted upon us but we are not naturally or inevitably ambivalent so and and a lot of this of course has been around you know when i say to people follow the benefit right so if you want to tell the truth about your family but people, or you feel a certain amount of trepidation or fear about doing that, then it's, as I say very often, right? Just follow the benefit, right? Who benefits from your silence? And who would benefit from you honestly speaking the truth about what happened to you? Well, clearly, your family benefits from your silence because those who were abused, you're complicit or indifferent to what you suffered or experienced, those people will suffer from your honesty, right? So any suffering or negative emotions that you feel when you contemplate speaking the truth simply do not and cannot come from you. It's just sort of an elemental and essential fact.

[35:30] And this is another important thing to understand in terms of the sum total of emotional energy in this area. Because we always look at the original trauma as the worst thing, but it's not.

[35:41] The Real Trauma

[35:42] And this I can say with all confidence, mad though it may sound. It simply is not. The real trauma, for me, was not the screamings or the beatings or all the horrible stuff that happened in terms of physical or emotional violence or abuse. That was not the worst thing for me. I mean, that for sure. I can absolutely guarantee that for me and for you. because we can understand this just based on empiricism, based on the actions that were taken, right? Of that, there's no question. So if we look at, you know, just a completely crazy-ass situation, right, where, you know, somebody's holding a gun to your head and says, put your hand on the stove, right? Well, are you more afraid of being burned or being shot? Well, we'll know the answer to that based on what you do, all right? If you say, shoot me, I'm not burning my hand, then we know that you're more afraid of being burned than being shot. Whereas if you say, fine, you put your hand on the stove, then we know empirically, just based on your actions, right? We know empirically that...

[36:51] Being shot than being burned, right? So, given that it is healthy and right and proper to speak the truth of your emotional experiences, right, and that it would give you relief and, satisfaction and intimacy and joy to speak the truth of your emotional experiences, is, if you don't do that, what do we know for sure? Well, without a shadow of a doubt, well, we know for sure that the threat that is proffered up to you, should you speak the truth, is worse than the suffering that would be relieved by speaking the truth, right?

[37:36] Speaking the Truth vs. Self-Abuse

[37:36] Because you don't speak the truth, right? So clearly, since the truth would be a huge relief to you and would would make you feel sympathized with, understood, justified, a bit relaxed, that ambivalence. Well, clearly, since you're taking the path of not speaking the truth, then clearly, not speaking the truth is less painful to you than speaking the truth. Would be positive, right? I'm not sure if that quite added up. Let me try that again. If you do not speak the truth, it's because you fear the punishment that would be involved in speaking the truth. so you disown your own original experience. In other words, you quote self-abuse, which is to incorporate the abuses of others. You self-abuse rather than speak the truth, which means that, for sure, you experience speaking the truth as worse than the original self-abuse, since you are willing to deny and reject and scorn it and take all of the attendant suffering and neuroses that goes along with denying and attacking a core historical experience, right? So this is how we know that empirically, attacking the effects of abuse is always far worse, far more dangerous, far more hostile, far more negative than the actual original abuse, right? And this is where we, I mean, this is part of what I'm trying to do in this conversation is to bring people up to that speed, right? Because we all say, you know, those of us who had tough childhoods or abused childhoods, we say, oh man, that was tough, right?

[39:06] But to the degree that we lie about and obscure our current, sorry to belie about it, obscure history to those around us. We are actually experiencing worse abuse in the present than we did in the past, right? Just as a basic reality that I keep talking about here, it ain't over till you speak the truth. It ain't over till you speak the truth. In fact, it's worse and worse. I think it's worse and worse until you speak the truth, right? Until you get the costs that are accruing to you by not speaking Speaking the truth, you're going to continue to lie to yourself, to others, and so on. That I'm sort of talking about in this aspect of the conversation. Speak the truth. Do the opposite of what you did and speak the truth. And if we can continue to do that, then we are in fact overcoming all of the original trauma that got us into this kind of situation in the first place. Right? So healing ambivalence is recognizing that our hostility or fear or anxiety or guilt or whatever, However, whenever we have a desire to speak the truth, it's recognizing that all of the inhibiting feelings are not ours, but others.

[40:22] Simply, right? If somebody holds a gun to her head when we were a kid and says, keep burning yourself on the stove, as an adult, we look at a stove and we feel torn, right? We both have a desire to touch the stove to avoid the historical remember punishment, and we have a desire to not touch the stove because it hurts. Are we going to say that we're messed up? No, we're just going to say we're scarred, right? And we were brutalized, and we were attacked, and we tried to survive in an intensely contradictory situation. Well, the pleasure of our sadists was our prison, our pain. So pleasure was good, their pleasure. Our pleasure, in terms of not being attacked, was bad. Our pain was good because it satisfied their sadism. Their pain is bad because if you speak the truth, they feel bad, and that's bad, right?

[41:03] But we're not ambivalent. Right. We are provoked into opposition as a methodology of survival. level, but that all comes from others, from outside. I hope that this helps you at least understand why it's so important to voice the opposite, right? Even to voice the self-attack, right? As we heard about when talking about this with Greg in 1.31, right? Voicing the self-attack gives you great insight into how to set yourself free in the present. So anyway, we'll do one more of these and I think we'll be done.

[41:33] Conclusion

[41:33] Thank you so much for listening as always. Look forward to your donations. I will talk to you soon. Well, thank you so much.

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May 2024

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