Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Universals & Particulars...

With everything going on my life currently I have been examining this idea of Universals vs Particulars.  Some of you might not be familiar with the terms so here goes:

A Universal, is an absolute statement.  This would be akin to "I always do this"  "everybody knows that", "you've never....(fill in blank!)"  It isn't too difficult for you, or anyone to find such uses of language in our life.  Yet these universals are traps.   We never stop to ask "is it true?"  Does "everyone" do ____?  Or have you "never"____?

Particulars, on the other hand are simply when we are judging/evaluating what is directly in front of us in any given moment, without filtering or preconception.



So, a few day back when I get a voice mail from my "father" who hasn't bothered to reach out to me in over 30 years, one of the first things out of his mouth in his hateful drunken diatribe is "You haven't changed a bit in 51 years..."  After the initial fight/flight PTS reaction, which no longer has the kind of intensity it once did, I actually listened to the voice mail, and started to laugh.  "I haven't changed a bit in 51 years."  The absolute absurdity of his statement struck me like I was listening to a 5 year old wailing because he didn't get his way.

Let's see, I'm 51...grey haired, a few extra pounds, arthritic, a tad bit wiser, I could go on and on, but you see my point.  This poor deluded man is railing against someone who never existed, the "son" in his imagination.  After I hit puberty, this man basically pushed me away.  When I "failed" in society, in vocational and aspirational  life (in his view I failed, anyhow), when I was suicidal,  hospitalized, and doctors asking them to help me, at 27 years of age, he couldn't see me, he was too busy with the delusions in his alcoholic mind.

This is not to say that to many my affect, my behavior didn't seem outrageous.  I'll easily cop to this, hands down.  I had not been receiving any appropriate treatment, what was to be expected?

When my brother got married some 20 years ago, I was supposed to be his best man.  Yet staying in my parents' house, they did their constant best to belittle and humiliate me.  Here I was a fully grown adult, not home for more than a few hours....sitting in their hot tub, and a cover to one of the jets pops off.  BOTH parents start railing at me "SEE you never CHANGE, you ALWAYS break everything you touch."  I left the next morning, a few days before his wedding, just got up and left and drove back to SoCal.  I could not, would not allow them to project some ancient hallucination of me onto who I was...who I was discovering.

You can be sure, when we use universals in our speech, that we are not willing or able to see reality as it is, right in front of our eyes, right under our noses.
***
This message is for all of you adults with AgCC children:
Not IF, but WHEN your adolescent "goes ballistic" "off the wall" "outrageous", please hold to love and patience, we need your help at this time most of all.
****

***
This is for all of us adults with AgCC who were later diagnosed, or even some who grew up knowing we were AgCC:
It is incredibly difficult for our parents.  They have/had hopes and wishes, aspirations (through us), they become confused, frustrated, even disappointed....but this really has nothing at all to do with you.  Keep on keeping on.  Don't give up hope....Even as I was just told by my own father "you will never hear from me again", I know that my true and chosen family loves me exactly for who I am.  You can build, or "collect" your own family/loved ones...It will get better <3
****

~Joseph




2 comments:

  1. <3 <3 <3 Your opening about universals/particulars is a great point for anyone. Our culture uses universal statements flippantly and without much regard, my self included, and then if called on such statements the particulars amend the former statements. It's something we should be mindful of because this is how stereotypes form, whether it's a harmful stereotype or just plain ignorant, every moment of life is unique, we can't force a universe of wonderment into a box and still expect to dream new dreams. Even our words limit true potential. Love freely, be patient, show respect and compassion to all life and all things. <3

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