The brutal side of nature

I recently researched the behaviour of the common cuckoo, a bird which is well known in our culture as something ‘mischievous’ and ‘deceptive’. The more I looked into this parasitic creature, the more I realized just how brutal its breeding strategy is.

The mother cuckoo patiently scopes out a suitable host nest. It chooses a host species who eggs are a similar colour to its own. When the host parents are away the cuckoo swoops in, rolls an egg out of the nest and lays its own. If the cuckoo is seen the host species may detect its egg and destroy it.

If not the cuckoo chick is the first to hatch in the nest. From the moment it is born, it is driven by instinct to roll an egg onto its back and out of the nest. The cuckoo chick’s back is flat and well suited to this task and its strength is greater than its ‘siblings’. One by one, it pushes the eggs out. If a host chick hatches the cuckoo chick will wrestle them onto its back and hurl them out of the nest. Anything evicted from the nest will die on impact with the forest floor or will be grievously injured and die from exposure. The cuckoo chick will then have the attention of both host parents, who mistake it for one (or more) of their own.

This parasitic strategy disturbs me for a number of reasons.

The host chicks have almost no chance of survival once a cuckoo egg is in their nest. Their only hope is that the cuckoo chick accidentally hurls itself out of the nest.

The ‘killer instinct’ of the cuckoo chick is disturbing to see. From the moment it hatches it attacks its ‘siblings’. The host chicks have no way to comprehend what is going on.

It the host parent returns and the cuckoo is rolling out its eggs or wrestling its chicks, the parent does not intervene. I found it traumatizing to see that, so close to their guardian, the host chicks were killed one after another by their ‘sibling’. The host chicks were hurled from their place of safety with no chance of an intervention.

The cuckoo chick is the master of deception, attracting the parents to its massive red beak with song and movement. It ‘greedily’ demands their attention, even if the other chicks are still alive. The host parents expend their energy on their own demise, whilst instinctively doing what they ‘feel’ is the best thing to do.

The final tragedy is that the host parents feed the massive cuckoo fledgling up to obscene proportions – far larger than themselves.  They continue feeding it even after it leaves the nest. They expend their ‘hope’ and energy on a parasitic, oversized intruder. By not recognizing their folly, they ensure that another generation of cuckoos will grow to kill the chicks of their species. Every cuckoo you see reach maturity means three or four host chicks killed in their nest.

Until the host species evolve greater intelligence, they will be preyed upon by the ‘insidious’ cuckoo. They have many opportunities to detect an intruder – firstly, an egg many times larger than their own. Secondly, a chick many times larger than their own, rolling eggs and chicks out of the nest. Lastly, once the cuckoo chick begins to grow massive and visibly different from themselves, the host parents have the opportunity to abandon it to starvation.

We often think of nature as a source of healing and beauty, filled with wonderful creatures. This is certainly part of the truth. But we highly evolved humans, in our ‘technological paradises’ must never be detached from the sheer, innovative, amoral brutality of species in the wild. The cuckoo – in my opinion – is the epitome of this ‘mindless evil’. From the moment it hatches its life is one of violence against the helpless and parasitism upon the helpful.

It is not my place as a human to make ‘moral statements’ about the struggle for survival. But I certainly am entitled to feel what I feel – an instinctive revulsion at the intruder and its destructive enterprise.

Why people of colour are left out of progressive movements

For the whole of my life as an activist, I have seen mixed groups dominated by white, middle class people. Even in urban centres where people of colour are a majority, still they are in a secondary position.

I have seen progressive left housing cooperatives, activist groups, climate groups, feminist groups, you name it, that are entirely white. As in, not a single person of colour can last in such groups, inspite of the ostensible goal of liberation and equality. Even in those groups with more ‘diversity’, I have never seen an equal representation.

Why is this the case? We are probably all wise enough to know that whiteness is normalized, middle class privilege offers better education and opportunity, the system is stacked in favour of white people, the system does not favour people of colour, the effects of socio-economic deprivation and so on. These are the well-known reasons and no amount of gaslighting can blind us to them.

But I wish to offer two more reasons why we might end up with white-dominated progressive groups, both of which I feel are hidden behind veils of politeness and correctness.

The first is this – white people do not want to do the hard work of navigating mixed groups in their own homes, or in the stressful environment of activism. Although we can all agree that white people tend to have more resources – psychic and material – nevertheless, if they are using those resources and are close to burn out, they could be as vulnerable as someone without those resources. I believe that even progressive white people subconsciously desire spaces where they can just be – to live around equals without the constant pressure of ‘others’ to consider.

The second reason leads into the first – the status of people of colour as sacred. So long as progressive white people are afraid to criticize people of colour – for fear of being a bad ally, being perceived as a racist, and so forth – they cannot feel fully safe around us. You can see this in white friends and comrades trying to glorify the culture their brown and black comrades come from – even if that culture has extremely regressive and oppressive elements (i.e. Hindu nationalism, patriarchal Arabian oil states, Chinese mining corporations – they are no better than their western equivalents). White guilt can prevent comrades from seeing people of colour as criticizable equals. Nothing good can come of this guilt – it will create subconscious resentment, fear and a desire for separation.

You might throw up your arms and say ‘Woe is them! Who will save the white people?’ – but they are the ones with access to privilege and the greatest power to change society – so get used to it.

I believe we will start seeing more people of colour in mixed groups if we do the following. Firstly to recognize that our mere presence can be de-stabilizing in an already strained group. Holding open and honest discussions about this issue, showing mutual understanding, having a progressive culture which is allowed to tell dark and dirty jokes (as opposed to a politically correct minefield) – this is how we can begin incorporating ourselves into mixed groups. What other ways can you think to smooth things over, increase stability, make an effective change?

Secondly, to resist people of colour being seen as anything other than whole, complete people. This means your religion, your cultural norms, your ethics, your everything, is up for constructive criticism.

It makes sense that we might glorify the oppressed, as a kind of counter-attack against reactionaries. Racists, fascists and the right are all too eager to irrationally criticize us from a place of white supremacy and fear-riddled conservativism. The progressive left should criticize from a place of evolution and democracy.

Please remember that all of this is intended to be relevant to progressive white people, not to the population at large. Among the social norm, the burden on people of colour is immense – to survive a hostile system, to have to ‘educate’ and explain to the ignorant why they are problematic, and so on. But in a progressive left space, where white allies are already trying, I believe we can thrive in such groups with more understanding and dialogue.

I do not think it is an ideal solution to need ‘PoC only’ spaces and groups to thrive. Society gives white, classed people more resources, a sense of ease and safety and a fuck-load of power. Rather than push this away, resent it, feel it isn’t for us, I think we should involve ourselves as much as we can.

Everything that is good in our ‘western european society’ should also be for you – if you want it. That includes the power to direct society and I cannot see that happening if we are denied access to spaces traditionally dominated by white people. We have to get into those spaces or else have to get used to being second-class for the whole of our lives.

How a narcissist borrows sellotape

The vulnerable narcissist just asked me if she could borrow my sellotape.

She had two large rolls of heavy duty tape and I asked why she didn’t use those.

She claimed that she had used them both up – an unlikely scenario for a normal person, but with her lack of planning skills and inability to marshal resources effectively, it is a possibility.

I told her that my tape was for work purposes (true) and that I couldn’t really lend it out. I asked why she didn’t go out to buy some more and she claimed that she was ‘too busy and had to give the ladder back’. She then asked why I am so precious with money and why I didn’t do it – evidently her time is more valuable than mine, despite her status as unemployed and not looking for work.

She said she only needed a little bit and I was rapidly losing patience with her vampiric presence. So I told her to take as much as she needed.

Upon taking the amount she needed, she tried to make out how difficult it was for her to take the tape downstairs. Then she insulted me by saying ‘you sell your land very expensively’.

I then asked her if that is how you say thank you and she fumbled some words out of her entitled mouth. She might have tried to counter-attack me by suggesting that I am being insulting for demanding gratitude when I was being ‘stingy’. This time she didn’t, possibly because she still fears what happens when she pushes too far.

This is how a narcissist works – they feel entitled to your things. They will not ask for help directly, because they must know deep down that no one wants to go near them. So they devise false situations to try and force you to help them. When you do help them, they are not grateful but might even be insulting toward you for being ‘too precious’ with your things, or not giving enough.

In her warped world of zero empathy, the people around her are not fully-realized people. They are resources to be drained for a momentary hit of power.

Really what I should have done is said a solid ‘no’ to her and affirmed a strong boundary. However I must also be gentle on myself – this is my home, not a warzone and I shouldn’t have to be on guard against the possibility of being insulted by a vampiric entity.

Never do anything for a narcissist. Do not help them in any way, shape or form. You do not owe them anything, your time does not belong to them in any way.

The Emotional Wasteland

For most of my life I have lived in environments that can be likened to an emotional wasteland.

The most common iteration of this wasteland is created by a ‘maternal figure’ shouting all of her problems out. In my personal experience this is a vulgar mediterranean woman shouting with no self-control – an episode of irrationality and violence.

The tone of voice is that of a flattened, pathetic spirit; a peevish, ugly, childish vulgarity. It is a projection from the chest and has the same rhythm, regardless of which abuser is doing the shouting. It is a generational poison, the voice of a neglected child who was become their abuser – the legacy of vulnerable narcissist. It is the fascistic rage of a fool blind to her own wretchedness. It is a learned behaviour that is ingrained in them; the default they will drift into if they do not better themselves (and how can they improve themselves, if all the other adults in their sphere are equally violent and vulgar?)

The shouting sometimes lasts for days. The periods in between are so traumatic that they are hardly any respite at all. There is a lot of erratic behaviour; smashing pots and pans, harming plants, breaking doors and appliances (in one bout of domestic violence the abuser started frantically sawing the bathroom door in the late evening, scarring the door frame and almost ruining the door until I stopped her. In another she broke her door off the hinges and started hissing at me to ‘help her’, throwing a tantrum when I refused).

The noise does not stop. If the abusive woman is not shouting, she is singing a tuneless song, humming inanely, speaking to herself, or performatively pretending that she is ok. She often says that she is a ‘positive thinker’, which is a way of saying that if anyone calls her out on her abusive behaviour, they are a ‘negative person’. Of course, most of what she says is negative, cynical, nihilistic, and prejudiced – so even by her own shallow standards she is unable to achieve this childish state of ‘positive thinking’.

But it makes no difference if you have truth on your side. There is no way to reach these abusers. The emotional wasteland is the inevitable result of their ignorance, self-hatred, self-pity and entitlement.

How entitled do you have to be to think that you can literally just shout all of your problems out? For these bloviating, sick women, such violence is their birthright.

In her world view, one person’s problems must become two. It is difficult to focus on yourself when this sad, depressed figure is committing an endless stream of domestic violence. This crippling effect is not a by-product, but essential to their cycles of violence and entitlement. The vulnerable narcissist abusers need punching bags and they need constant supply of attention – no healthy person would remain near them for long. So they damage all around them, causing harm to whole families.

And it happens again and again and again, generation after generation after generation, abusers abusing abusers abusing abusers.

These harridans are the product of a patriarchal society. There is nothing in them that speaks of female power. There is nothing in them that is of ‘feminist cause’ because enlightened women would be targeted by these resentful harridans. They are deeply pathetic, abusive, cruel, insecure, spiteful, heedless, disrespectful, nihilistic destroyers.

And they leave an emotional wasteland behind them.

Generations of Cowards

Generations of cowards.

Generations who were abused but never faced up to their abusers.

Generations who filled their children with guilt and shame.

Generations who became every bit as cruel as the narcissistic pieces of shit who destroyed them.

Generations who were too weak to resist being possessed by the evils which they suffered.

Generations who never learned to turn their righteous hatred against the true object of their hate.

Generations who shamelessly hurt children.

Generations who hid behind their ‘family values’ to oppress, abuse, repress and destroy.

Generations who replicated their own appalling culture, even as it destroyed everything around them.

Generations who never learned how to be vulnerable; who even in their dotage used psychological violence against those they drained.

Generations of selfish parasites.

Generations of fools who never possessed the curiosity to discover themselves.

Generations who never held a sword in their weak hands.

Generations of broken people who thought their ignorance was strength.

Generations of failures who created nothing but legacies of violence and mental disorder.

Generations who never asked for help and fell into dark chasms beneath the earth.

Generations of chaos, instability and violence.

Generations of obedience to the sick parody of religion which poisoned their backwards culture.

Generations of blind fools who lived in the shadow of an abuser-god who had long since faded to nothing, leaving only his poisons behind.

Generations of starved, warped, abandoned, pitiful pieces of shit.

Generations of liars, deceivers, honourless pieces of shit.

Generations of tense, stunted, empty, spiritless pieces of shit.

Generations of fearful, cowed, obedient, bovine pieces of shit.

The silent abused becomes an abuser

Watching in real time, the abused slowly transform into their abusers.

Like a parasite inside their souls, their silence allows abuse to flourish.

Like an invasive spirit possessing them, all their virtues are drowned by the evils that overcame them.

Warped into almost-exact parodies of the ones who battered, demeaned, degraded them.

The cult of abusers venerate those who destroyed their lives, even after the abusive parents, aunties, grandmothers and grandfathers pass to dust.

They protect the honour of their batterers and they become their batterers.

With no other way to resolve their broken selves, they become what destroyed them.

This leaves them constantly depressed, anxious, abandoned. Three feelings which feed back into their cynical perspective; which make the world seem like a place where their suffering was inevitable.

The cult of abusers are in truth nothing but cowards; a pack of emasculated, immature, spineless, overgrown children. They are afraid to admit what happened to them, they are afraid to be vulnerable, they are too ignorant to strive for understanding.

They would rather have the ‘consolation prize’ of abusing and degrading the next generation then trying to better themselves.

It does not matter to them that this will lead to chaos, misfortune, pain and poverty spiritual and material. It does not matter that everything they suffered will be repeated and they will become the people they hated.

They do not love themselves. They have a broken sense of self. They have no self-esteem. They fear the world and its inhabitants. They do not care if results are bad. They have no empathy, least of all for themselves. They are narcissistic and chaotic. They hate the sight of joy; the joy they have been denied and denied themselves. They will turn every environment they enter into a psychic hell until the day they die.

But they are weak when you know how to fight them.

When you understand their narcissistic rage comes from a place of deep wounding and childhood chaos they become pitiful. Even the slightest resistance can silence them. They feign independence, when they are parasitically dependent on their hosts. They are terrified of further abandonment and fearful of retaliation.

They are powerful only in our heads. They seem powerful only because our feelings of hatred are denied us. This is because the cult of abusers are elders who had twenty years to implant the next generation with feelings of guilt, shame and self-hatred. These three things would ensure that the abused accepted their ‘punishment’ for daring to exist.

The guilt that the abused feel for being angry at their abuser, the shame for feeling righteous hatred toward their batterer, is the poison which infests and atrophies the soul. These wretched emotions ensure that nothing can change – for the forces of abuse are irresistible if they are not spoken and emotions not felt.

The cult of abuse is a religion, the baton they pass down to each generation. It is sacred to the elders; an immutable law of the cosmos. It is a law of an abuse-enabling society: honour thy father and mother has no get-out clause if you had abusive or narcissistic parents.

But I don’t want to be a piece of shit abuser; I never did. I want to be someone who has a balance of happiness and woe, not an endless psychic hell of my own design.

This means transformation, from a shameful, resentful, battered being into something more magnanimous and powerful.

This is the journey of strength and vulnerability I have been on for over five years. Progress has been hard but it has been undeniable.

The cult of abusers will do much in their power to stop me and those like me, even as they also wish they had taken the same path. Perhaps they also dream of liberation deep in their atrophied hearts, but that is their decision to not make.

The fate of these vulnerable narcissists is none of my concern – and there is the beginning of true healing.

I was never taught to love myself

I was never taught to love myself.

I was never taught to care for myself.

I was never given the skills necessary to function as a healthy adult.

The opposite was true.

I was taught to be a punching bag when they wanted to abuse someone.

I was taught to be a source of attention for when they were feeling ‘vulnerable’.

I was taught to feel shame for not fulfilling their bottomless needs, to feel guilt for having any kind of initiative or self-direction.

I was constantly gaslighted around the realities of mental health – this morning I received an email which laid all the blame on me, with no acknowledgement of their neglect and abuse.

A message written by an abusive adult with the maturity of a toddler.

They do not ever mature. I have seen these people replicate their violent ways across the generations, almost constantly in a state of anguish and sadness. They are almost always cruel and unkind, cold and lifeless.

Let that sink in – these are fully grown adults who still do not know how to look after themselves.

They were never given love, never given self-esteem, never given guidance.

They were used as punching bags or bottomless wells. Now their main source of consolation is to replicate that appalling way of life.

Their violation creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. By abusing others, they push their support network away. They become isolated and needy whenever their humanity resurfaces. By then there is no one who wants to go near them. Their cynical world view is ‘reinforced’ and they return to abuse, manipulation and parasitic behaviour.

This is a downward spiral, an abyss of bottomless depravity. But hold your sympathy. These people are choosing their own depravity; their evil and abusiveness. It is not inherent in them, they always have a choice.

But to take that choice requires an acknowledgement of vulnerability, an acknowledgement of finitude. To take that choice requires the courage to break through mental health stigma and perhaps hardest of all – to break through the shame of what they have done.

They have to acknowledge the sheer amount of evil they caused in the past and continue to commit against us as adults.

They not only abused children but they taught those children they deserved abuse, even after they had gone through the same thing themselves.

They taught us to continue their lineage of oppression and moral depravity which created so much their spiritual and material poverty.

They have become the monsters that destroyed them, imitating their ways of speech, strategies at maintaining power and abusive ways to relate to others.

These adults are truly depraved and reprehensible people – they are also cowards.

They were obedient to the abusers who debased them.

Even as mental health disorders flourish in their barren minds they continue to protect the honour of their abusers.

Even as they prepare for painful autumn years of isolation and psychic hell they continue to attack the only people who might help them.

This is the toxic, strangling weed that grows in the soil of vulnerable narcissism. It kills everything in the garden, then it dries up and dies.

I am left with the question of how much of their poison is in me. I am certainly not ‘transcendent’ of their vile, childish cowardice.

I just know how to better forgive myself for my failings, to be vulnerable and start the long painful process of transformation-healing.

The dependent abuser

The old woman has started to develop physical health problems, presumably as a result of bad mental health. The bad mental health is the result of her abusive streak and harming of all around her.

The symptoms are definitely exacerbated by her untreated problems. Despite speaking against pharmaceuticals, she is now taking seven or eight different types of medication. She is in and out of hospital, GPs, phone calls, pharmacies.

Recently the abusive old woman had a full blown panic attack and called an ambulance. I had to talk her out of it and she eventually calmed down.

But even in spite of this anxiety attack, she will not admit she has mental health problems. As a result, she cannot properly diagnose herself and is in a state of self-induced confusion.

She continues to try to use guilt, shame, or just sheer brute force to get people to look after her.

Whilst desiring to be looked after, she treats her carers with the usual demeaning attitude. She needs help, but cannot ask for it. So she abuses for it.

I have never seen this abusive old woman fall so deep into delusion, to literally say something and then do the opposite.

She has seen what happens to people who go down this road – her ‘mentor’ aunt spent the last years of her life alone, suffering and full of violence.

I left her to die alone on her deathbed and I do not regret this action for a moment. It was my proudest hour; a symbol of self-love and refusal to sacrifice for an abuser under any circumstances.

In spite of all this, the sheer power of her backwards culture, trauma and religious stupidity is working its force. Even in a weak, hypocritical, vulnerable position the abuser is still looking for ways to demean, undermine, frustrate and hurt those around her.

No wonder we all have so much anger and confusion around this pathetic person. You cannot simply help her, because she hides her needs behind a veil of violence. It is hard to ignore her, because this kills your own humanity in the process. She takes you for granted when you are there and is even more abusive to you when you are not.

That is another genealogical curse these entitled people carry with them – taking people for granted. They think we exist to fulfill their needs for love when they are vulnerable or as punching bags for when they want to exert their maligned power. Even though this clearly does not work for anyone involved, the abuser keeps the cycle turning.

The abusive old woman enjoys degrading others, but is being destroyed by her own game. By pushing others away, she falls into isolation and becomes the victim of her own stupidity. When her humanity resurfaces, she is left to suffer and no one wants to help her.

This is the price she has chosen to pay for her short-term strategies of abusing others whenever feeling vulnerable.

This is the price of a coward who never dealt with the parental and familial abuse which damaged her life.

Here is the tragic imperative for those of us who are abused. You have to seek help and learn to be vulnerable, or else the risk of becoming an abuser yourself is greatly magnified.

I am seeing the same story pan out, generation after generation, coward after coward, fool after fool.

If she continues like this, she will be the second person I leave to die alone on her deathbed. And I will not feel an ounce of remorse in my heart when I do.

A letter to my low self-esteem

Dear self-esteem,

Thank you for sharing your vulnerability with me and please excuse the cringe-worthy pretention of me writing to you.

I think the alienation and abandonment you are feeling is common, particularly among the rising percentile of ‘invisible hetero men’ suffering the inequalities of capitalist society.

I would say this – we live in an age where social media is amplifying the instinct to show off. Every time you log on to Instagram you are forced to see people showing a contrived, romanticized, glorified version of their life. It is instinctive to compare your whole, nuanced life with that fetishized image of happiness and success. But those people, by virtue of showing off, are probably quite dissatisfied deep down and in need of constant approval. That is not a state-of-being to envy.

Even the woman talking about how she hooked up is presenting a romanticized version of events. It is more appealing than reality, because for her it took place in the world, for you it takes place in your mind. So I would recommend challenging that fear of missing out by realizing that what you might be missing out on is,  in reality, more complex without than within.

Secondly remember that most people are chasing after an infinitely receding horizon. That woman who is sleeping with X guy might be satisfied at first, but when she becomes habituated to him, she might start desiring after Bradley Pitt (or some other such ‘hunk’!) Then she might feel the same dissatisfaction at not having Bradley Pitt’s amorous attentions as you lacking the attention you desire. Where will we draw the line?

I have found that even when women are showing interest in me – mostly friendly but sometimes flirtatious – I still have these narratives of being ‘neglected, abandoned and invisible to women’. This says to me that the root of these thoughts are deeper than the immediate instances around me; the thoughts are not ‘proportional and empirical’ but something ‘mythical’. The deepest neurotic impulse can always find something to confirm itself – focusing on instances of rejection and ignoring times when it was in the spotlight. In other words, any absolute feelings of invisibility are more prevalent in the mind than they can possibly be in reality.

What is the real cause of abandonment? Will a woman’s love or sexual attention absolve that deeply rooted pain? After the hook up do people transcend reality and live happily-ever-after?

I think that, all things being equal, it is better to have some kind of dating / sex life and loving connections than not. I understand very well what it means to go years in the wilderness, alone and feeling unwanted. I am man who has been single for nearly six years, through the toughest period of my life (and only managed to go on two dates in that time lol). However it is important not to glorify romance and love as some kind of redeeming force, because it is much more complex and messy than that. Therapy, community, self-care – these are things that will help the most. Dating, love, fornication – they can make life nicer, but they can also cause real damage and be unhealthy ways of coping.

Hopefully this has chipped away at the bitterness!

I also want to show you understanding and solidarity. Some people do have it easier than others. There are rising celibacy rates in society. Capitalist inequality adds even more barriers. It is tough and tiring to find a date, particularly for ‘average hetero men’. Dating apps and social media are toxic. We live in a patriarchal, binary society where women’s sexuality is oppressed, encouraged to be submissive and passive (such that confident, dominant women who might pick up quiet, cute guys are sadly not encouraged to do so.)

Some days it will get the better of you and you will feel down. As a finite human being this is normal. But if you are adaptable and persistent, then your chances of success will increase. No guarantees, but better chances. If you fight against the social forces which put us in a bad situation to begin with, all the better. In your own time pal and at your own pace.