Letter to Dad: Day 2 of 5-Day Fast

March 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here’s a letter to my dad, minus the shameful, incriminating first part in which I thank him for the hundreds of dollars he gives me this month for my automotive expenses.

(Dear Dad, etc.)

I have just found a place to live and hope for success in a final, confirming interview today, in which I have to convey, persuasively, but not so as to drive this person away, that I don’t want my door knocked on and do want basically to be left to my personal/writing projects and not importuned to provide idle chat… that’s what the Internet is for.  The place is really nice and really central; it’s in Sherman Oaks — a civilized, urban-but-with-green-lawns (multitudinous Starbuckses… which are homes-away-from-home for multitudinous TV and commercial and film and stage actor denizens, and neighbors of the largest Sam French [drama specialty] bookstore in America), professional-offices area (multitudinous therapists) 5 mins. to the Getty Museum, 30 mins to Malibu and 20 mins. to SHARE (Self-Help and Recovery Exchange), where I will now be able to work on starting my fasting group.  I have done a lot of work in that area on line since the end of last semester at art school.  I have made a number of fasting-support friends on line, some of whom I like so much I want to visit them, as soon as I can, really.  One woman, Janet, is in South Africa, and another woman, Gretchen, is in New Zealand.  They are both about 50.  There are a couple of girls, younger than I, in the UK.  We all write to each other several times a week.  Janet is a visual artist and so is Gretchen, as a matter of fact.  Janet makes “slideshows” and mini-films using software for that and using photos of her family.  The software distorts and photoshops her images, and it’s a lot of fun.  She sends me links to free downloads of the software and how to use it, but I haven’t tried it yet.  Maybe I will shortly.  It might be a really good project.  A lot of people apparently find it really therapeutic.  And when I went back to art school I could use that software to do coursework.  There are many courses in video at SMFA.  I have,as I mentioned previously, got in touch with a person who performs at Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater who wants to teach me to write comedy just so he can practice teaching.  Now, living in S. Oaks, I will be able to get together with him at last — as soon as my writing gets a bit under way.  So ultimately all this personal work will become shows, though the personal work has to get done first.  Most importantly, I have started my blog on learning fasting, which I hope will basically become novels.  All the material is very relevant to culture right now, though you may not think so.  I hope that you come to respect my work.  Your attitude has been very rejecting and disrespectful.  Your expressions of fear and, really, loathing, have basically crushed and annihilated me.  After every time you say stuff like “you will die” etc. I am so destroyed it takes me about 2 months to become able to write again.   Your saying stuff like “you will die” — is not morally acceptable.  It is utterly violating and disrespectful; it is morally unacceptable because it is said without your even having tried to find out who I am and what I am going through.  It is horrifying.   I have been very intimidated and depressed by the various things you have said to me, since I am so sensitive.  I request you simply not comment if you do not have supportive things to say, and only fearful and disrespectful things (along the lines of “be careful” or “you will die.”  I simply have to ask you NOT TO SAY THINGS LIKE THIS since they are so totally, violatingly disrespectful.  I hope you understand.  If not, I hope you will refrain from making any comments anyway.)   Above all, and I figured this out in (daily) therapy, you and some unfortunately-influential  others have deprived me of the experience of being accepted.  All people need to be accepted, and at some stage they need to be accepted unconditionally.  I needed to be accepted even in case I do have a death-wish.  Everybody needs this level of acceptance from others, or at least from themselves, and they learn it by experiencing being accepted by others.  I guess I will never be respected or accepted by you.  I guess you are not capable of that.  This disappoints me, crushes, me actually, but I cannot tolerate any more comments in the vein of “you will die” or “be careful.”  This is VERY IMPORTANT.  Because I have had such a hard time, I can’t speak to you any more if you can’t respect me this way.  And guess what?  Some people do have a death-wish.  That’s life.  What such people need above all, really, is to be respected in this… and I think people develop a death-wish in fact because they need to find somewhere (yes, ultimately within themselves) that unconditional acceptance, that kind of respect.  I know that my writing is very necessary and very important and that what I have to say is very necessary and very important.  Everyone I meet thinks so, and I am letting you know now that you can’t beat me up any more or disrespect me by sitting there and saying to a serious person “you are a danger to yourself.” It is horrifying that you say things like that to me. It would not be morally acceptable even if it were true.  In the blog I want to rehearse letters to editors of various publications so I can provide critique of the mainstream attitudes to fasting (the NY Times, though it recognizes compulsive overeating as a genuine illness, persists in a most violent and oppressive way in pathologizing fasting — this SORT of attitude — ossified, repressive; and, strange as it may seem, rather rooted in its own unacknowledged pathological commitment to food addiction, which distorts the personality/creates this tendency to repressiveness  — is one of the keys to its growing irrelevance as a publication, in a way); also I need to write letters to the various horrifying psychotherapists whose garbage I have been oppressed by in the past.  It may sound fanatical, but I am serious about stating somehow the case for simply respecting/accepting others unconditionally. I hope to see the start of a movement which would make it as unacceptable to pathologize people who fast, or who just want the basic self-mastery and control and dignity and empowerment of being able to control what they eat, as it is now to pathologize gays.  I realize I am not providing any background and thus not being very, if at all, convincing.  I just couldn’t hold this in much longer.    If I didn’t lean so much toward fiction (when I can write it) I would like to make a documentary on the whole horrible oppressive medical culture.  Everybody who goes through what I go through feels this way and I know my work is very necessary and would be welcomed.  In a class last year at Santa Monica College I proposed such a documentary and the idea was very well received… Mostly my blog is to track my own progress.  I have been trying to start it for a long time.  I think I always felt too much alone, before, not that I need have; I just did.  I want to systematize this self-documentation and open the blog as a website for others to check in similarly.  Everyone loves my idea.

Love,
Laura

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