Sunday, February 5, 2017

On Talking Fast

In childhood I talked so fast that is was hard to understand me, and I never knew why.  Then I had the key feeling. My father was so anxious that he could not sit still and pay attention. When I did have to ask him something, I sensed his impatience and hurried through it. I talked fast. He also never wanted to hear anything I said so he would find reasons to delay listening. "Can't you see I am busy?" I got punished for asking because it was never at the right time. He had no time for me.    

In fact, he didn't want me around. He never addressed me unless it was a criticism: stand up straight, stop talking through  your nose (I had a constant running nose). Mostly, it was “stop bothering me.” He had no time for me. The fates got him at age 63 with a giant heart attack. I began crying at home on the way to the cemetery and my mother ran out screaming, “He's crying!  He's crying!” The opposite of a compassionate mother. She had no interest in acting maternal because she was a five year old and talked baby talk.    

Crying became an anathema. It was nowhere in the family lexicon. I never saw either parent show any feeling in my lifetime. It was a robotic existence. But my metabolism was set to churn at the pace of their indifference. Their whims became my destiny. When they decided to move, there was no warning or explanation;  just pack and get going. Talking to me was a reminder that there was a job to do: take care of me. They wanted no reminder of that.   

I slowed way down later on as I slipped into my feelings about how they had children but wanted nothing to do with them. I was an orphan with a mommy and daddy.


  1. Hi Art,

    did that make you into their 'caretaker'?

    I often felt like an orphan with parents when at boarding school; and at times at home too.

    I became my mother's caretaker, to an extent. . . She was always ill with something, so was I. I internalised guilt for my mothers unavailability. My Mum used to hide behind the housework, then watch daytime TV. She was also like a child, maybe a bit older - 11 perhaps.

    I reckon I got stuck at ten, 18months into boarding school I clamped down emotionally. That was it. . . Since my breakdown in 2010 I cried a river of tears as a boarding school child.

    Now I know what 'Childhood Melange' means for me. A title in the Legacy I will be very interested in studying when I buy it.

    Paul G.

  2. Talking about talking, lately I've been lost for words.And that feeling that I've got nothing good enough to say is still here. I didn't realise it was a feeling until now. I realise now I've been struggling with that feeling for as long as I've been reading your blogs, over two years now.Wow that's a long time to ignore a significant feeling isn't it.

    I get so much out of reading all your stories and reflections. But maybe not as much as if I had my feelings about it too! Anyway I still get so much from reading it! I'm just sick of trying to be smart when I feel stupid and lost for words. Thanks for helping !


    1. Courage my friend. It will get better as you understand more and more. Art

  3. That hurt is intense; severe. Just not right that parents would treat their child like that. You turned out so well in spite of your parents (who were a tremendous handicap for you growing up). Just not right; the "treatment" from your father and your mother not even being a mother. You possess great strength; even growing up, you sure knew what was going on. You did the best you could at all times,that is what I think, considering the circumstances/situations that your parents "dished" out to you.

  4. I can guess that the difference in your upbringing and my have marginal differences... it to make sentences of something impossible as experience is a solitude to yourself... but I mean physiological differences!

    It has not just been a matter of talking to fast for me! I think I my self also was/are lost in what I had/have to say when I spoke/speak too fast. First of all there is a threat of listening to myself... it's as if I'm scared of myself... to understand what it is I am saying... and what the answer will be by feeling the threat from whom I am trying to make my self heard. So has all become a threat to me... and so I am lost in my hell of fear. And so I have become scared and shy for all in my life... if not my anger or hatred made a difference of my situation.

    I could not ever look my father in his eyes! So my dearest Art now you know the impossible in my life... all I have left is to feel my loneliness and my need full of fear.

    I can understand why God has become a refuge! To have illusions made a difference enough!

    One would wish that there were a technology that made possible to transfer the full horror experiences that have taken place in reality... it for a psychiatrist to experience so he would know what he has to do.


  5. Part two!

    All this is the reason why I never could learn/teach my self anything and still struggeling with!


  6. RE: traumatic childhoods:

    The problems of traumatic childhoods are infinitely complex.

    And simplifying them, usually results in misunderstandings, because every case, has to be evaluated on it's own factors.

    With that risk in mind, I will say this:

    Basically there is always or often a win/lose option/ condition.

    It depends on the severity of the trauma, the pressure, if the trauma is overwhelming not, or to what degree the overwhelm is.

    Sufficient overwhelm will break a child's will, beyond the breaking point, the point where a child cannot recover, or rebound, where the child cannot psychologically "get up and dust himself off and get on with life" point. This is where the adrenal glands are damaged and made dysfunctional. The fight hormones are not produced any more.

    Place this subject on a scale of zero to one hundred. With zero "0" as death, and 100 as a perfect undamaged child. The child is born with "100" potential, which is close to unlimited.

    But the problems (traumas) of life, from before conception through conception through gestation, birth and so on, knock the child down the scale, accordingly. The more trauma, the more abuse, the more the severity the abuse of every conceivable kind, beatings, abandonment, rejection, invalidation and being taught false and limiting life knowledge, correspondingly/respectfully knock the child down the scale, notch by notch over time. There is a point which is specific to each child, beyond which he will not recover or fully recover. Or be proportionately physically disabled or and mentally disabled. It is all matter of type of abuse and degree of abuse by commission or omission. A child can take a considerable amount of abuse and still do ok in life, even in spite of the damage and scars, but only to a point.

    And most people have some damage and scars.

    Often people can exploit or capitalize on their disabilities (scars) and use them to their advantage, if they are not past the breaking point, where their will is damaged beyond the point of no recovery.

    The people who have been broken beyond the point of no recovery, are the ones on welfare permanently or ‘wanderers” or on disability pensions. The homeless are the extreme examples.

    Due to the innate ability of ambition of a child and an innate desire to survive and thrive of every "being", everyone does the best they could with what they have. There is no exception.

    Do not judge a person, unless you have walked two moons in his moccasins. You do not know what kind of "cross" (burden) he is bearing.

    End of part one.

  7. Hi Art

    At least you have courage to name it all. For me it is still difficult, I've heard that I am loved and at the same time I was beaten. Barefaced lies.

    1. Don't always believe what you hear. Art

    2. Piotr,

      people confuse the words with the actions. They can dismiss you with 'kind words' and expect your actions to meet up with their expectations. An expression I have heard: "It's the thought that counts". . . No it isn't ! Then they may even tell you actions speak louder than words (as long as it's your actions and not theirs). People are capricious, contradictory and don't understand their own motives; most of all when they feel the need to get out of an 'obligation'.

      People want to 'get out' of many things as an act out for the original need to 'get out'.

      Paul G.

    3. Yes, Paul. People can lie to you and then to themselves, and it becomes one more cognitive exercise to get their way with no knowledge of what is driving it-- their lower-brained, long-ago forgotten needs.


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
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Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
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Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
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Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

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His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
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“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.