What’s your problem?

Filed under:poetry — posted by Schizostroller on November 13, 2018 @ 5:01 pm

What’s the fuss?
Why won’t you accept
Our contradictory
Common sense?
We’re not authoritarians,
It’s just that you
Have to put up with it.
Poor us.
Getting upset
When the snowflakes
Answer back.

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Types of ‘voice’ behaviour

Filed under:Random notes — posted by Schizostroller on November 7, 2018 @ 11:06 am

In previous writing I have referred to voice dialogue, but this is closer to the Maastricht Interview associated with Intervoices and the Hearing Voices Network. This experience informs my writing, but my writing is not about this so much, attmepting to take a broader look at the discourse itself. I have also worked through 25 causes of my psychosis based on a variety of different theories (none bio-medical though) that all seem to fit my personal experience. Anyway below are my voice ‘behaviours’.

I have 26 types of voice (alienated thought if you will) that I can identify as having disitnctly different behaviours

1. solidarity voices: voices that acknowledge what i think but don’t make a deal of it. Are nomadic in the sense in that they seem to be triggered by affinities in the content but otherwise tend not to bother me.
2. Playful voices: When i am stressed but in a good mood will paly with language or word forms.
3. Charity/ Karpman’s Drama triangle voices: The first of the negative one’s. Try to help me, but there is always a condition, often of, ‘approved behaviour’ or insisting on me accepting a different belief from my own, or some sort of conforming behaviour from me. Will attack or ‘poor them’ if denied. Will often police the playful, blaming all the playful for the smaller number of manipulators.
4. Approvers: Will approve of my behaviour but only to ‘keep the door open’ for the possibility of disapproval – so related to the preaching conformity voices. will police the playful as the ‘approvers’ disapprove, not being ‘moral’.
5. Insecure bullies: Will pass on unfactchecked gossip, or have a go because they feel insecure, or i am exhibiting ‘rights-defensive’ behaviour to the social conservative hegemony they would like to challenge but are too cowardly to do themselves. Will bully the play they don’t get and feel insecure about.
6. Hypocrites/ Prejudiced/ Authoritarian voices: They come in with prejudiced judgments but without the full facts, so from my own perspective I know are wrong. Will rarely listen to reason. Their belief in ‘free speech’ is to be prejudiced but not allow a reply to that prejudice (denial of free speech in others)
7. ‘Liberals’/ passive aggressive tone police: Will tone police my behaviour standing up to the negative ones. But then get sensitive when challenged themselves, calling in others to police (often the Hypocrites/ prejudiced) but claim ‘they are not right wing’. Poor them.
8. Narcissists: Make the act of me standing up to the other negative voices about them. In a good mood I am tolerant, but if i am overwhelmed by the others, they can undermine demanding i am nice leaving me defensive against the other negative ones, or I have a go a them instead, thus proving i am the bad one for their narcissism. Thus they are exploitative. But will also defend their exploitation with a ‘poor them’.
9. Nosy/ Inquisitive judgers/ gossips: Want to know more information about my circumstances to either exploit me when i am justifying myself to the prejudiced, or the disapprovers, or will phish for information to use later as gossip or for their own later disapproval. Will never use for solidarity (or rarely) will use to confirm their preexisting prejudices. Will manipulate or ignore factual information that does not tally with their prior prejudices.
10. Misdescribers: I hear these talk to other voices not to me directly but constantly misrepresent me. Will poor them if challenged. Call in authoritarian prejudiced in defence.
11. Victim blamers: will blame me for feeling the need to defend myself. The prejudiced are always the one’s who are right. whatver I do i am the one on the wrong. And moreover have asked for it.
12. Manipulative/ con-merchants: Will hear the ‘battle’ with the negative one’s and try to get something out of the chaos. Can also zone in to manipulate the playful voice games, or dishonestly emulate the playful one’s turning a good mood dark. They clear off when the solidarity voices come in.
14. Naive realist: They insist their experience of voice hearing, or their belief in recovery, or their normalised relation to the hegemony as being the only possible intepretation or perspective of the world. Often with little evidence based practice. Will move to vctim blamer (it’s your own fault etc), poor them or insister if challenged.
15. Insisters. As far as they are concerned my mental health is only caused by the thing they have decided on, are focused on (cognitive bias of focusing effect), to the detriment of all my other experiences (given I have identified 25 different factors affecting my mental health in the past – although their focus may not necessarily be one of these causes, it may just be something they made up or learnt through gossip or mimesis due to their prejudices). May insist on procrustean naive realist recovery techniques or biomedical arguments rather than accept differing arguments from my lived experience.
16. Deniers: Deny some single label (such as ‘right wing’) whilst participating in the above nexus in one of the negative ways. Will trun to ‘poor them’ or authoritarian or insecure bully when challenged.
17. Can’t do anything wrong: Will manipulate using many of the above so that I am always wrong either to escape punishment themselves, evade their own superego and conscience, or some other prejudice so that i have to maintain a lower status, just as long as they are not in the wrong.
18. Boo hoo: I am not allowed to move from ‘bad me’ to ‘poor me’ as others have more right to ‘poor them’ than me. Dynamic status quo protector.
19. Superlative: Use a superlative like ‘always’, ‘all of us’. every’, ‘never’ etc either as a straw man for something particular where the universal would be ridiculous, or to garner support from others who may not actually be aprt of the set ‘we’ from their persepctive in order to outnumber me in the gaslight. Also used as a ‘poor them’.
20. not good enough: Whatever my circumstances or behaviour i am not good enough. It is their justification for blaming me for their treatment of me, it is the justification for my explanations and defence being rejected (it is even manipulated in a victim blaming form as proof of guilt to even need to defend oneself), it is the justification that I always have to play the bad me role for others poor them. Any of the negative roles can be used to maintain this, it is even the dishonesty behind the approval role.
21. Resentment: If i do anything for my own pleasure or to improve myself, seens as above my lowly status, i get judged for it ,what they were deprived of, or what i am not allowed to do, unless I maintain and ‘bad me’ sackcloth and ashes status for their poor them, in defence of this authoritarian nexus status quo.
22. Harry Enfield/ Mansplaining/ Dunning- Kruger: If i don’t toe the line then i am asking for it (if that’s what you want then that’s what will happen) combined with staring at goats attempts to fix my problems. Alighned with Karpman Triangle, victim blamers and authoritarians.
23. Submit to our belief: There is an emotional theory that suggests that fear combined with trust leads to submissiveness. There is another theory that one brings comfort in, but one dumps out for self-care purposes, socially organised by level of trauma. However, this ‘submit to our belief’ group expect submissiveness and for others to dump in, comfort (compassion) out even toward prejudice and authority (the status quo), i.e, expecation of submissiveness (or you are a bad person) whilst maintaining their right to comfort in/ dump out based on ‘hard work’ rights to kvetch (prejudicely about others rather than their own issues, hence bypassing the demand to dump in (self blame)) rather than trauma informed perspectives. Whilst of course maintaining it’s your fault you are blamed for not recovering quickly enough and being ‘in work’ to claim ‘bigoted dumping rights’ for yourself (if you can’t beat them join them).
24. Is this about me: Voices that think me working stuff through is a justification to them personally. Obviously related to narcissist but covered up with an authoritarian or approver/disapprover gloss.
25. Meritocratic ideological belief disbelief: The idea that mental health is about lack of effort, combined with a belief in recovery through hard work that culminates in the idea that surely if i was doing a PhD looking at mental health i should be well. I must, must, have some blame for the way the worst treat me (meriticracy and individualism being related to victim blaming) given all my hard work, or they have recovered themselves and have worked harder than me, i should stop complaining, or some such, otherwise they would have to challenge the ‘hard work’ mentality to mental health recovery themselves, and either their social capital is too invested, or they may now have ‘recovery’ jobs, as for whatever reason there is strong cognitive dissonance, that leads to the denial and disbelief of my own self-reported mental health experience. I have some pity for these, is if they believe that so much that they deny me, the question is left begging, how hard are they on themselves?
26 Nudgers/ pushers: Alien intrusive thoughts that will try to change or nudge my own thoughts into something else, due to the cognitive dissonance on the part of the phantasm, rather than the phantasm being responsible for it’s own actions (if you want you can think of this as a memory of people being that pushy with regards thew right to work through, discuss or understand stuff – in a way that Freud suggested someone changing a conversation in therapy was avoiding their deeper issues). Other than the authoritarian one’s (and this one is related) this type of voice behaviour I consider the most ‘violent’

Different phantasms/ or constructs can shift between different roles. At the end of a signifying chain the phantasm or construct will have a different ‘identity’. But will have passed through several stages. These are related to emotional states but cannot be simply reduced to them. I have multiple regular constructs (more than 26) who are never a static identity but seem familiar on repeated occasions. Others are nearer to thoughts (especially the nomadic solidarity one’s) and have less of a temporal identity. Also consider these behaviours ideal types as Max Weber would describe such typifications. Moreover these ideal types can work in combination (having elements of one, two or three or more different flavours)

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Who is Sisyphus Bellerophon Part 1: The improvisor’s wicked problem – or why all play is Sirius. (section i. )

Filed under:"Who is" series — posted by Schizostroller on November 5, 2018 @ 5:17 pm

“What is the sentence?” the Traveler asked. “You don’t even know that?” asked the Officer in astonishment and bit his lip. “Forgive me if my explanations are perhaps confused. I really do beg your pardon. Previously it was the Commandant’s habit to provide such explanations. But the New Commandant has excused himself from this honourable duty”. Franz Kafka, The Penal Colony

“…Ancient life was all silence. In the 19th Century, with the invention of machines, Noise was born. Today, Noise is triumphant and reigns sovereign over the sensibility of men.” Luigi Russolo, the Art of Noises.

The term ‘wicked problem’ was first diagnosed by Rittel and Webber in a paper in 1973. Wicked problems are particularly difficult to solve. They are more or less unique, they lack definitive formulations, they have multiple explanations, there is no test to decide the value of any response to them, no outcome measures, yet each response has important consequences, so there is no real chance to learn by trial and error. This means that wicked problems are interrelated, any wicked problem has complex links to others, any response to one may impact others.
There is a certain sense that intractable forms of psychosis are wicked problems. In worst case scenarios they get reclassified as personality disorders. Tractable at least with regards personality, though, is a synonym for docile, as Foucault described. What ideology, or as Deleuze discussed in his book on Foucault, diagram of power lies behind such disciplinary practices. Deleuze in his famous Postcript on the Control society described the constant remoulding of subjectivity required of modern semio-labour, the constant retraining, always prepared for the next job. Taking that subjectivity even in their relation to the means of production outside the workplace in their orientation to consumerism and commodities: ‘owning their choices’.
Freud says: “What has been called the dream we shall describe as the text of the dream or the manifest dream, and what we are looking for, what we suspect, so to say, of lying behind the dream, we shall describe as the latent dream-thoughts. Having done this, we can express our two tasks as follows. We have to transform the manifest dream into the latent one, and to explain how, in the dreamer’s mind, the latter has become the former.”
In ‘Who is Salome Bentham’ the question “who” became a “what”. Hannah Arendt in the book the Human Condition writes, “The problem of human nature, the Augustinian quaestio mihi factus sum (“a question I have become for myself”), seems unanswerable in both its individual psychological sense and its general philosophical sense. It is highly unlikely that we, who can know, determine, and define the natural essences of all things surrounding us, which we are not, should ever be able to do the same for ourselves – this would be like jumping over our own shadows. Moreover, nothing entitles us to assume that man has a nature or essence in the same sense as other things. In other words, if we have nature or essence, then surely only a god could know and define it, and the first prerequisite would be that he be able to speak about a ‘who’ as though it were a ‘what.” The perplexity is that the modes of human cognition applicable to things with ‘natural’ qualities, including ourselves to the limited extent that we are specimens of the most highly developed species of organic life, fail us when we raise the question: And who are we? This is why attempts to define human nature almost invariably end with some construction of a deity, that is, with the god of the philosophers, who since Plato, has revealed himself upon closer inspection to be a kind of Platonic idea of mine. Of course, to demask such philosophic concepts of the divine as conceptualisations of human capabilities and qualities is not a demonstration of, not even an argument for, the non-existence of God: but the fact that attempts to define the nature of man lead so easily into an idea which definitely strikes us as ‘superhuman’ and therefore is identified with the divine may cast suspicion upon the very concept of ‘human nature’. (p.10-11). Such an issue is indeed another kind of wicked problem.
In the therapy for voice hearers called voice dialogue, a whole panoply, a veritable pantheon of voice constructs are conjured up much as in a séance, each construct appearing as a ‘who’, in fact covers up for a ‘what’. Communication with such choruses are a means to work through such wicked problems, they can make tractable, but is there a method where instead of the personality becoming more docile, there is a possibility for the personality to make traction?
“Perhaps the most important new element in our music is our conception of free group improvisation. The idea of group improvisation, in itself, is not at all new; it played a big role in New Orleans’ early bands. The big bands of the early swing period changed all that. Today, still, the individual is either swallowed up in a group situation, or else he is out front soloing, with nothing but any of the other horns doing anything but calmly awaiting their turns for their solos. Even in some of the trios and quarters which permit quite a bit of improvisation, the final arrangement is one that is imposed beforehand by the arranger. One knows pretty much what to expect.
When our group plays, before we start out to play, we do not have any idea what the end result will be. Each player is free to contribute what he feels in the music at any given moment. We do not begin with a preconceived notion as to what kind of effect we will achieve.” Ornette Coleman.
Can we improvise with our voice constructs? However when such a group plays… do we know what the end result should be? A result that leads to freedom in an exploratory practice, but that outcome measures for costed auditing measures will always constrain, foreclose and limit.
I raised improvised music as it is a musical practice that gives possibility to more open possibilities in music. In the exploration of psychic phenomena it is not that unlike Freud’s theory of free association. However “Freely improvised music, variously called ‘total improvisation’, ‘open improvisation’, ‘free music’, or perhaps most often simply, ‘improvised music,’ suffers from – and enjoys – the confused identity which its resistance to labelling indicates. It is a logical situation: freely improvised music is an activity which encompasses too many different kinds of players, too many different attitudes to music, too many different concepts of what improvisation is, even, for it all to be subsumed under one name.” Derek Bailey
Derek Bailey’s argument here is akin to Michel De Certeau’s argument about the panopticon and minor practices: “the exceptional, indeed cancerous, development of panoptic procedures seems to be indissociable from the historical role to which they have been assigned, that of being a weapon to be used in combatting and controlling heterogeneous practices. The coherence in question is the result of a particular success, and will not be characteristic of all technological practices. Beneath what one might call the “monotheistic” privilege that panoptic apparatuses have won for themselves, a ‘polytheism’ of scattered practices survives, dominated but not erased by the triumphal success of one of the number” (p.48). When we put these together with Freud’s theory of a censoring apparatus in the dream and Lacan’s neutering Symbolic, we can find a portmanteau of practices to get to the latency beneath the manifest dream as a means to deal with this wicked problem.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace