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Was it Andre Gide who said, "It is better to be hated for who you really are than to be loved for who you aren't"? I'm thinking of making this one of my thoughts to live by.

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( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
last_journal
Nov. 24th, 2002 11:27 pm (UTC)
It might have been said by Gide or one of many of the fin de siecle artists, poets, writers. It sounds like Whistler or perhaps, going further back Sydney Smith. Andre Gide certainly said, through 'The Counterfeiters' " The most decisive actions of our lives ... are most often unconsidered actions." More to the point today is his observation that 'It is with noble sentiments that bad literature is written' (letters) But are you old enough yet to live in the manner of a Grande Dame, hated for your wit and ruthlessness rather than as simply an irritation which is what so many are 'hared' for. Most people that are truly 'hated' are so either because they deserve to be, tyrants, bullys and the like, or because of their difference to 'us.' A difference which is an affront or a challenge to society or to our personal belief system. It is reaaly quite hard to be hated for the right reasons.

Love, however is relatively cheap and can be quite nourishing if the diet is varied.
judith
Nov. 25th, 2002 07:07 am (UTC)
No, not quite old enough to live as a Grande Dame - in any case, I am not ruthless - or am I? Maybe that's it.

You are far better educated than I. I had an okay education for my time and for a public school, better than what, it seems, many young people get now. But I studied very little serious literature. I read tons now, making up for it, but feel at times quite out of it. ANyway, I looked it up - and it is Gide.

I would be hated for being different. For thinking differently. More to the point, for letting people know these thoughts and not apologizing for them, and for being almost arrogant in my beliefs. Why do I think it's bad to believe I'm right? Maybe I'm not saying that the way I mean. I like to be open, to accept others' ways of seeing things. But there is a limit, in me, to how much I can accept. It's a complicated path to tread, one I don't understand all that well myself.

My therapist says I am a passionate person, that she likes this about me. I worried that some subjects in conversation really bring out a part of me that I can't seem to control, that I can only speak about heatedly, even as I realize people are backing away. Sometimes I imagine them thinking, "There she goes again", dismissing my words because they think I'm raving. I don't want to be considered "raving". I want to speak in a rational, considered way, and know when to shut up. If I can accomplish this, and still be hated for what I believe, then I can accept that, embrace it.

Good point, that it is hard to be hated for the right reasons. I think that's the point Gide was making.

As for love, I haven't found it cheap in my life. I stupidly want to be loved for what I am also. And not for what I am not.
last_journal
Nov. 25th, 2002 08:25 am (UTC)
Re:
Hmmmm This is one I have to come back to to do justice to. Re Education, I left school at 15 and never had a single GCSE, GSE or as it would be in the US 'not graduating from High School'. I then attempted to get my BA but left after 2 years to avoid Finals which I knew I would fail. I only got into University in the first place through Chutzpa and writing an appreciation of Eliot's 4 Quartets which split the faculty into Love her/hate her camps. I did not know this until I left.

On Therapy. Therapy Like Church should be a learning experience which you move on from.
It has only two things to teach.
1) Everybody is Paranoid (in the classical sense of believing words or ideas can actually harm them.
2. That the first 6 years of one's life are formative.

These two truths should be mastered in 1-2 years depending on the transference.

I was surprised that your therapist expressed an opinion. So she isn't of the analytical tradition.
judith
Nov. 25th, 2002 09:16 am (UTC)
Education, of course, comes from many sources. I don't much like the idea of forcing children to spend their days studying rather than playing, so I am not an advocate of forcefeeding education. I remember, when I visited Italy in 1994, that the twin sons of the person I traveled with were about six years old and spending hours and hours on schoolwork outside class. I thought it was horrible. WE Americans are not, generally, as well educated as children in some European countries, but I would not want to sacrifice childhood to make up that difference. Surely there is a better way.

Therapy. No, Jill is not an analyst. Therefore, we never have discussions of formative years or whether one is paranoid or not. To me, at this time in my life, therapy is an opportunity to be listened to, to be heard. I see jill once a month for this purpose. It helps me to hear myself, to think. I do all the work, naturally. I just use Jill as a sounding board, a chance to check my progress. She has told me that she does not know how she does what she does. She doesn't follow any set theory. What I've noticed is that she is very positive and accepting. Genuinely. And she has no problem saying she likes me as a person, quite apart from our therapeutic relationship. For me, that is important too.

Years ago my daughter and I went to see a child psychologist. I was amazed when he actually told us things to do, was "directive". It was what I needed at the time. It took a load off me.

Before that, I discovered cognitive therapy, and learned to use those tools. I think, of all of my experiences, this was the most useful.

I remember, though, when I was a teen, I had the idea that therapy=analysis and that only through analysis could I possibly face, confront, and overcome my own demons. I no longer believe this. I have never undergone analysis, do not know specifically where many of my fears and misconceptions come from, but have a general idea when I am facing reality and when I am not. That seems to be enough.

The trouble with these discussions is that they leave so much unsaid. I never know when to quit.
last_journal
Nov. 25th, 2002 03:58 pm (UTC)
Re:
I only believe in analysis.
judith
Nov. 25th, 2002 08:51 pm (UTC)
like a religion? I mean, is therapy a religion for you?
last_journal
Nov. 25th, 2002 09:49 pm (UTC)
Re:
No.
last_journal
Nov. 25th, 2002 10:24 pm (UTC)
Re: knowing when to quit
nods sympathetically.,No I see that. How does that make uou feelJudith,(encouraging smile)it's alright,take your time.
judith
Nov. 26th, 2002 06:50 am (UTC)
Re: knowing when to quit
I can see that you are poking fun at the "positive" therapists. Jill is not like this illustration. No "how does that make you feel" kind of thing. I am too watchful, too wary, know when I am being manipulated, and she doesn't manipulate.

She also didn't arrive out of nowhere, went through training.

I found, when I was young, that the credentials are not what matter, though. I have worked with psychiatrists (my first therapist and one of my daughter's were psychiatrists), psychologists, and with those who simply have a masters degree in social work, emphasis on family therapy, something like that. The first to do any good was the family therapist, available for free from the L.A. County of Mental Health. Jill is also this type, supplemented by specialized study over the years.

As illustrated by the Soteria project, paraprofessionals can be as much help - and more - as professionals, in treating schizophrenia. One might assume that lower-level professionals can work well with those who have other less-threatening issues, like me. Jill is a professional, but "only" at the masters level. I think a lot of the good that comes from therapy comes from who the therapist is, not the specific technique. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. And heaven knows, I've had enough experience, between my daughter and me, to back up my impressions.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 09:21 am (UTC)
Re: knowing when to quit
I wasn't poking fun at you Judy as you seem to acknowledge but of the explosion of 'therapists. You did say that Jill isn't sure how she works - but I'm sure she is aware of how she works out her fees - and that would bother me. I confess I have several problems with therapists, even of the classicaly trained variety. If intuition is so big a deal in their work then it is something they were born with, so I feel that they have no right to charge a fee. They are only,after all, being a hired friend. And while it is nice to hire a friend it is not so nice to charge for being one. But shall we leave it there. 'Thearapy' is yet another mark, I think of cultural 'anomie' and in itself begs larger questions than it answers - for the 'worried well'. Not aimed at you but a genral feeling about the 'something' that has gone wrong in the last 100 years.
judith
Nov. 26th, 2002 10:11 am (UTC)
Re: knowing when to quit
I think I understand what you are getting at. It all seems a part of a bigger trend - refining ourselves. Not being good enough as we are.

For a long time, being "in analysis" was very trendy, particularly, it seems, in New York. Anyone who was anyone had an analyst. I am not sure this is still the case, but I do think the classic Dear Abby response - see a therapist - is sometimes worth laughing at.

I do think of Jill as a hired friend. I don't mind paying her for this service. That way I do not feel obligated in any other way, and my relationship to her is purely through this process. She pays attention to me solely and I do not have to pay attention to her personal self. It's my time, I pay for it. She's a little like a mirror, helping me to see myself in a slightly different way. I can only see myself through my own experience-distorted lens, and she helps me to see myself perhaps as others usually do. I find this valuable.

If I were to quit these sessions I would survive. They are not essential to my being. I am not dependent on them. Yet I find it a relief to be able to talk so freely about my thoughts and experiences without worry that I will offend her.

For a while I was averse to "therapy" and in some senses I still am. I don't really look to Jill for "help". As we all know, the answers are inside ourselves. When I am scheduled to see her, though, I try to put my thoughts together, to format the discussion somehow. It is a way to organize my disorganized mind.

It's an odd thing, this mind. I feel like there are thoughts flying around that I can't quite get hold of. It's a struggle, a frustrating one, because I so want to be clear, concise, well-organized, in my statements. And I'm not.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 10:22 am (UTC)
Re:organized.....
Who is - while they struggle, and try?
judith
Nov. 26th, 2002 11:47 am (UTC)
Re: organized.....
I don't know. Sometimes it seems like other people know the whole of what they are thinking, and can explain it, better than I. Others just don't think, so it isn't a problem for them.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 01:07 pm (UTC)
The quick and the dead.
No, some people have well rehearsed lines and parts while others do not - they improvise but they are alive - The quick think and the dead seem to know.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 05:34 am (UTC)
Re:
re:not being educated as well as europeans - could this be a cause of an extended national infancy best symbolised by your leaders and their penchant for playing war games?

How do youhave a general idea when you are facing reality or not. *shrug* What is reality? How does one define it? - a rhetorical question.

We have 'therapists' in England who don't know how they do what they do - its a good way to make a living I guess,and the mystery may seem almost 'spiritual'.
judith
Nov. 26th, 2002 06:55 am (UTC)
"re:not being educated as well as europeans - could this be a cause of an extended national infancy best symbolised by your leaders and their penchant for playing war games?"

It's as good an explanation as any - but it doesn't explain Tony Blair. Or, for that matter, Ariel Sharon.

The bigger question, which Michael Moore asked in "Bowling for Columbine", is "Why are Americans killing each other at so much higher rates than those of other countries?" I see a certain machismo thing going on here - but if it were simply that, then Spain would have these statistics instead of the U.S. Or Mexico. I do think, as Moore proposes, that Americans are far more fearful, are encouraged in this fear, and tend to overreact. That's one explanation but it isn't enough, for me. I think it connects with Bush's stupid war, though.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 08:58 am (UTC)
But you are not answering my question Judy. Your original premise was that it was better for children to 'play' than study. I asked if such an extended adolescence, (and America as it portrays itself does seem very much involved in an endless love affair wih a sort of childish fantasy world, from Disney to Spielberg)of 'playtime' leads the USA to become a sort of huge and dangerous playpen. We are facing your war - due partly to having produced our own emotionally retarded child I'll admit. But Bush, in many ways has been precursed by other 'children', Reagan, Carter, Kennedy, only Eisenhower presents, perhaps, an exception.

So,Is there a link? Between an ill educated, playful nation and a childish inability to accept the resposibility that goes with world leadership? If so then surely an extended playtime is dangerous for all the World. I know it is still a sensitive area but many Europeans, probably the majority, were as shocked, more so, by Amerca's over-reaction to the WTC than the act itself. (We were also surprised it had come so late)

There is surely something wrong when we, in England and Europe, watch such an event as the WTC attack and cannot feel the grief we should for fear of the mindless carnage which we know will follow- as your leaders throw a collective tantrum.
judith
Nov. 26th, 2002 10:42 am (UTC)
My statement was not that children should play instead of study, but that there should be an end to school time in a child's day. They should not be studying all the time. A great deal of learning takes place through play.

So no, I don't think this is the cause of the "extended adolescence" we see in our leaders. In fact, most, if not all, of our political leaders went to the best schools, got the best educations, had parents who pushed them.

I met some of these parents when I worked for Lindamood-Bell, a literacy-training company (developed new techniques for helping people with difficulties in reading and comprehension). They put their bright, high-achieving children in these four-hour-a-day summer sessions, even though the children were not having difficulties in reading, just to give them an "edge". They felt their children needed every advantage to get into the "best" schools. And those who actually did have learning difficulties - woe was they! There were some very not-understanding parents, who had achieved in their own lives and expected all of their children to do the same.

I tend to feel that children should be children, not little adults. You can be a child for only a short time, and then you are an adult for the rest of your life. There is no going back. I am perhaps more impassioned about this subject because I feel I was more of a "little adult" myself, that I never learned how to play. How can I learn now?

"There is surely something wrong when we, in England and Europe, watch such an event as the WTC attack and cannot feel the grief we should for fear of the mindless carnage which we know will follow- as your leaders throw a collective tantrum."

I completely agree. I was horrified more by the reaction than by the actual event. In fact, as time went on, I became more rather than less sympathetic to the terrorists! I wish some of these other countries would stay the course, keep on opposing the U.S. actions and threats, yet many have already capitulated. What we need is for the European Union to become an equal force, economically and otherwise, to the U.S., to provide at least some balance.

I don't know what this fascination with might is all about. This show of force, the need to "not blink", all this stupid military posturing. Maybe i should run for president. I'd show 'em.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 10:50 am (UTC)
Re: Judy for President...
I smile with warm alarm....

As for other countries staying the course - that is where the UK has failed you.
Blair frightend me before he was elected, truly frightened me. And I am so glad that I have a dozen witnesses to that terror so I know I didn't imagine I had said -"he is the most dangerous man in England since feudal times" And we have NO opposition. It is frightening.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 10:40 am (UTC)
Re: Blair & Sharon
No it doesn't but both stand out as exceptions - in America , as you know, it's the norm.
judith
Nov. 26th, 2002 11:55 am (UTC)
Re: Blair & Sharon
Unfortunately, I do know.

I have the sense that what makes these campaigns do-able is that we demonize so quickly and easily. Of course, the American propaganda against Germany & Japan during WWII is well-known. I think we learned from that and now use this kind of "us against them" technique all the time.

It is a lot easier to attack someone who is "evil", who is entirely different from you, than to attack someone who shares some common traits. So we keep hearing about how Saddam and bin Laden are "evil" (and how we aren't, of course) and we see bumper stickers and jokes about them, the kind that would be considered inappropriate if they were about some racial group, for example.

In general, Americans have very short memories and tend to accept the media versions of events. There are a few exceptions, which amaze me - including the public's distaste for the investigation of the Monica Lewinsky affair. No matter how hard the media tried to make that an issue, most Americans refused to buy it. These few cases give me hope.

There is more and more evidence of a "peace movement" here. Not yet visible enough but getting there. I hate to say it, but only when such things become "popular" do masses of people join them. It's clear that our media will never represent this movement as popular, but will always marginalize it. War makes better stories.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 12:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Blair & Sharon
Yes what I love about THIS journal is the vision which the young have. I simply hope that the ones I am thinking of outnumber and out manouvre the sons and daughters of Bush and Blair. Because what we hand on we have Royally fucked up.
judith
Nov. 26th, 2002 07:00 am (UTC)
"How do youhave a general idea when you are facing reality or not. *shrug* What is reality? How does one define it? - a rhetorical question."

In a philosophical sense I doubt any of us really knows when we are facing reality. I believe I know when I am facing reality because I look and watch and listen and try to be aware of my own filters. Yet there is no such thing as a "pure reality". It's always in context.


last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 08:25 am (UTC)
Re:
filters?
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 08:32 am (UTC)
Re:
But who defines the context.
judith
Nov. 26th, 2002 12:00 pm (UTC)
filters & context
I use that term, "filters", to mean the way I personally distort what I see or hear, based on my experience.

Oliver Sacks wrote a really good piece in the New Yorker some years back, about seeing. He followed several people who had been blind for many years and who then had their sight restored. He described what it was like for them, and concluded that seeing is not a mechanical thing so much as it is a brain, a learned, thing. You have to learn how to see. That silly movie, "Blink", had a small inkling of this truth in it.

Thus I conclude that I have learned how to see and so have you, and what we see is not necessarily the same thing.

Context - define it any way you want. That's the trouble. There is no absolute or any kind of process that can put two persons' visions in the same place.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 12:51 pm (UTC)
Re: filters & context
I use that term, "filters", to mean the way I personally distort what I see or hear, based on my experience.

A classic case of irrational, illogical and pseudo-reasoning. I filter the effect Jay has on me because my mother, helped by my aunt, destorted my perception of women. That is why I kill them. But that is okay - as you will explain to the jury at my trial. However if, like you, I know all this, it follows that I choose to ignore what I know and follow my distorted reason, whilst knowing that I do so. Guilty or Not guilty or so clever that I must be mad.

Sacks and You,Judy, describe nothing. You interpret. You interpret through your filters,distortedly. And I? I am not being modest or disengenuous when I say. "I see nothing" - except that 'seeing'is and has been, to this hour that which I follow; not that which I hold.

But I think this is inevitable. You judge or interpret in a highly individualist way - the American disease, in fact the disease which will topple our civilisation in the end. The individual plays games but has no ethical system to judge the effect of their games on others. That is decadence and it is always the herald of the passing od power from one epoch to another - or to put it in contemporary terms. If there were to be a Great War between Islam and The West Islam might well win through knowing why they fight and what they fight for. And us - we fight because Mr Bush, our headmaster, said so. Context is defined by effect.
judith
Nov. 26th, 2002 01:11 pm (UTC)
Re: filters & context
Aha!

First, you misunderstand me.

Second, you are using your own filters to describe what I am doing.

"A classic case of irrational, illogical and pseudo-reasoning. I filter the effect Jay has on me because my mother, helped by my aunt, destorted my perception of women. That is why I kill them. But that is okay - as you will explain to the jury at my trial. However if, like you, I know all this, it follows that I choose to ignore what I know and follow my distorted reason, whilst knowing that I do so. Guilty or Not guilty or so clever that I must be mad."

Did I say I ignore it? Did I say "it's okay?" What I said was that I am aware of my filters. This helps me TRY to see more clearly. There is nothing unethical about this, or lacking in responsibility.

"The individual plays games but has no ethical system to judge the effect of their games on others."

This is no way describes me. It says to me, instead, if others also see me this way, that I have not done a good job of representing who or what I am here in this space.
last_journal
Nov. 26th, 2002 02:18 pm (UTC)
' I have not done a good job...
'.....is it important to 'have done a good job?' Are you a prophet or a teacher? Here to share or here to teach, here to learn for many or for yourself to be followed, loved even?or here for others edification...? Is this Pride I see, punctured? - Or regret I see, rising? It is all transference Judy -
The crossfire of projection and counter projection...
didn't Jill tell you...or should I ask 'reflect back to you.'
(SMILE) xx
(((HUGGS)))
Goodnight X
bryantcafe
Nov. 27th, 2002 04:26 pm (UTC)
Opinions
I would say there are many other things someone can get out of therapy. It sounds as if church and therapy are stages one must move out of. I can see where that might not be true at all. For me being an adult is a spiral...I move into understanding, I move into greater enlightment, then I become a beginner, then I am aware I know nothing. And I continue to seek and learn and then I go back into therapy. I am 58. I am beginning to realize (duh!) that there are more things in heaven and earth than I have ever dreamed about. I know so little. Understand so little.
last_journal
Nov. 28th, 2002 03:17 am (UTC)
Re: Opinions
Different strokes for different folks - but then perhaps I'm biased I had a while intrainin analysis.Thanks for the note.
last_journal
Nov. 28th, 2002 03:45 am (UTC)
Re: Opinions
Different strokes for different folks - but then perhaps I'm biased I had a while training
in analysis.
Thanks for the note.
last_journal
Nov. 28th, 2002 12:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Therapy & Church
I think I may have answered this so, if I have apologies, just skip it.Yes I would say, I do say that Church and therapy are something one learns about and then moves on to live what one has learned. What often surprises me is that regular churchgoers know so little about either The Bible or The ethical system drawn from its teachings - and this is across all denominations. And of course my statement about therapy is meant to be a little provocative -although I still fundamentally believe it. Most of the ills which plague us, separation,mourning,sexual,feelings of dissociationcan be placed either under the Heading of Paranoia, (though again I am surprised at the ignorance of the meaning of that word by people in or outside of therapy) or projection/transference. These are endemic and yet totally illogical and painful for the individual in our society.
Nice of you toleave a note - thankyou:-)
last_journal
Nov. 28th, 2002 01:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Therapy & Church
I think I may have answered this, so, if I have, apologies - just skip it.Yes I would say, I do say that Church and therapy are something one learns about and then moves on to live what one has learned. What often surprises me is that regular churchgoers know so little about either The Bible or The ethical system drawn from its teachings - and this is across all denominations. And of course my statement about therapy is meant to be a little provocative -although I still fundamentally believe it. Most of the ills which plague us, separation,mourning,sexual,feelings of dissociation etc etc can be placed either under the Heading of Paranoia, (though again I am surprised at the ignorance of the meaning of that word by people in or outside of therapy) or projection/transference. These are endemic and yet totally illogical and painful for the individual in our society. As for the first 6 years....well you either believe it or not. But let me reverse things here - what else can one get out of therapy? Understanding Paranoia and defence systems hardly count as 'all you can get' in a diminutive sense. As for moving forward in a spiral, well, ok its a reasonble analogy but why the need to return to a therapist.?? I would say that my analysis re-fathered me and like any child who grows up I moved on with a blessing.
Nice of you to leave a note - thankyou:-)
luckydragongirl
Nov. 25th, 2002 05:32 am (UTC)
Wow, that's a great quote. That's something I really need to keep in mind in my own life. Thanks for posting it.
judith
Nov. 25th, 2002 06:54 am (UTC)
Eureka
I found it! THe actual words:

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

And it is Gide, yes. I heard it on public radio the other day, on the Writer's Almanac. Garrison Keillor repeated one quotation by Gide, then said this one, and I didn't catch whether it too was by Gide, but it sounded like it could have been.

I thought it was great, too, because I struggle with the consequences of saying what I think. It is time for me to let go of wanting to be liked all the time.
luckydragongirl
Nov. 25th, 2002 10:28 am (UTC)
Re: Eureka
Me too. Thank you.
last_journal
Nov. 25th, 2002 12:47 pm (UTC)
Uhuh
bryantcafe
Nov. 27th, 2002 05:58 pm (UTC)
The art of conversation
For me, I feel very engaged in learning about another's point of view when I feel I am respected for my differences. It is hard for me to talk with someone who has no interest in the dialogue, the give and take of learning the other. In that way, we both win. We stretch our understanding, and we may even move, if ever so slightly, into a new direction through the discourse.
ex_kim_hatto286
Nov. 29th, 2002 03:07 am (UTC)
Re: The art of conversation
tactics, he has been replaced by 13 other 'pseudo russians' among which is one called 'fuckoff2000' so last_journal is deleted while I figure a way round this. This morning I couldn't use it anyway it was insisting I log on to every page and with every click. I notice at least two other journals have decided to delete but I didn't know them...I'll see what happens next, maybe leave it awhile and set up from scratch. So far the biog seems uninfected by cossacks. I notice 2 other journals are deleting BTW...
Kim

I'm not sure whether this note is adressed to me or generally ~ it's weird replying from one journal on behalf of another. But just in case there is a basic misunderstanding due to my 'uhuh' comment I was parodying my analyst's stock response - not exactly directive.(smile) and quite rightly not. I have a strong respect for other's views but an exchange which goes on for a couple or more hours leaves me needing to take time out....But if I have offended you, (don't see how) I offer my apologies without quite knowing why. ... I really DO believe that therapy and Church are learning experiences one moves on from - and I have no desire to discuss it. It's an 'article of faith' with me.
K
bryantcafe
Dec. 2nd, 2002 09:05 pm (UTC)
No offense
No offense, just offering my point of view. Take it or leave it; that's fine with me. Cheers, Mary
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