Listening to a “This American Life” episode this morning, focusing on global warming. This addresses two of my favorite interests: humility and denial.
I was seven when I began to grasp some of the issues that have always concerned that small band of unhappy few who actually care to use more than 5% of their on-board computers; issues such as suffering, war, disease and as of the last 50 years, global warming.
For now, I’ll just cut to the chase. My father relentlessly abused my mother and me from the time I was six, and almost always behind closed doors. It was probably a lot earlier than that for Mom, but that’s when it started for me. Bottom line is that it was some combination of sociopathy, PTSD brought on by childhood and adult trauma, OCD and male Jewish anger. I only saw a relatively normal father in the last two years of his life. At that time he was put on a daily dose of an antipsychotic starting the very first day that he was admitted to a nursing home.
My point is that David (Dad) was convinced that my mother and I were deficient in various ways that necessitated regular exposures to his dictates and wisdom. He even went so far as to take us together to a venerable psychiatrist ( as I recall, a classic Viennese old-school Freudian) to get an evaluation of us two. We only went once and D made it clear that it was we two who were to be scrutinized, not him.
I won’t have time to finish this this morning so I will tie this all together this weekend, inchallah, but for now my point is that, in general, pride and denial rule human affairs, and now they rule our global environment. Most of us never seem to be able to make the tiny mental leap from witnessing the sheer craziness all around us to understanding that we can all easily fall prey to the illusion that everyone else may be fallible but we ourselves are the soul of sanity and realistic thinking.
(To be continued)