I’ve never thought much about it, but maybe the fact that I attract few friends and develop mostly adversaries is a disadvantage in my life as a writer. Historically, I have used this kind of rejection and disinterest to increase my focus on the craft. At a certain point, I stopped trying to get others to like me. That’s right, I am not afraid to tell the readers or the people I counsel the truth.
Perhaps, the reason I have taken to writing in the first place is because I find the world, I inhabit to be full of blood-sucking vampires. In writing, I opt to craft a world in which I can convey, my bloodletting experiences in a likable manner. I always edited and edited to get the words right, but then found there was no one around to read my work.
Before I started learning how to market my writing, I developed a strategy to get noticed. I figured I would write a memoir that would be good enough to grab peoples’ attention. Then all those poetry years might get increased visibility. Then, I could use my status to write a book to change the way treatment providers work with psychosis.
I wrote the memoir about a two-year period when I believe I was a targeted individual. I went through this time without having much emotional support. I was labeled as psychotic and the people who were forced to help me out did so in a begrudging manner. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful to avoid homeless shelters, but supporters did not want to know about what I was going through and were mostly controlling and negative while I worked tirelessly.
I wrote the memoir to let them and the world know what it is like to have America’s secret-society-security-force taunting you. I wrote and rewrote for eight years. I got the thing good enough to earn a contract and got a lot of help with editing. Maybe editing is a privilege I don’t always have, but I like to think I used it to repeatedly improve my craft. I broke the contract because they wanted to misrepresent my political views. I got five-star reviews and several awards.
But alas, I didn’t have the friends, the know-how or the community to get the feedback I needed. Many friends accepted free books and did not read or review them. Some just started to be hostile and used my vulnerability and further marginalized me politically. Sales never took off. I have continued to feel just the way most people treat me, like I am obsolete.
So, I am forty-seven years old and have learned a great deal about how to survive without friends. I have come to accept this reality quite well. I am not ashamed to say it. But to survive and maintain my career despite a security force being against me, I had to learn how to overcome what I have come to term the “trickster” phenomenon.
When someone has power over me like a parent in a family, a boss in an administration, a teacher in a department, or a nurse on a treatment team, I may notice that they have a bone to pick with me. Then in informal or formal secret society meetings, I get this sense that they may spread negative words about me or my writing. I may sense this kind of gossip and even see it in the behavior of secret society members. If I see this happen and believe that the whole team has turned against me because of the one or two people who clearly have a bone to pick with me, it is possible that I might act to increase this phenomenon exponentially. Hurt and hostility can be sensed inter-personally. Control and humiliating abuse can be enhanced.
Thus, if I sense and disapprove of this kind of systemic abuse, I put out hostile energy that will ensure that the team will turn against me and amp up their efforts to control me. In the past, I have done things like move to the inner-city where no one knows me, move across the country to start over again, or lose touch with people who seem to tolerate me from these past lives. Running and starting over again is something I have done repeatedly in my life. That is the main reason I have no friends. Like Tom Waites says in a song, “You build it up; you wreck it down; And then you burn your mansions to the ground.” I have done this repeatedly throughout the various stages of my life. One doesn’t have to be a substance user or a musician to experience this phenomenon.
Carl Jung talked about the spiritual reality of the trickster archetype. A trickster is a spiritual figure in mythology that will lie and cheat to gain material advantage. Hence, I have learned to address all signs of control and systemic abuse as though they are spiritual tricksters. Instead of getting angry and running, I stay and focus on ignoring the trickster. Instead, I put out positive spiritual energy that will pray and hope that the sign of control is just a trickster.
In order to have a career and make a livable wage, I did have to get the security force off my back. I may still see signs of it; but doing so does little to interrupt me now. In other words, I did have to learn to disrupt this powerful trickster system that secret societies reinforce. When I see signs that people are holding me in a negative light and I believe that one or two people is misrepresenting me in a negative way, I face this negativity with positive prayerful energy instead of hostility. Then, those one or two people who are gossiping about me in their secret society won’t have success. The key is to see the persecution picture and prayerfully and spiritually disrupt that reality. Let them think you have been neutralized. Play the part! Punch with words!
I must confess, that I have been losing this battle on several fronts in my life as of late. Last month, in my monthly report to my email followers, I admitted that I believed this was going on and I was upset about it. Admitting that people are against me is rarely a good idea when it comes putting out contrasting energy and prayers that people will not be against me. However, even in my highly scrutinized writing, I have done this.
As an author I often feel unsuccessful. I never feel like I have enough followers and likes. If the reader checks out my Facebook page, they may indeed see why I feel this way. And complaining about this even here probably doesn’t help.
However last month I paid for a consult regarding building my writing platform with a Canadian named Kimberly Grabas at: www.yourwritingplatform.com. This was my Christmas present to myself and Kimberly was quite generous with her time and advice. Turns out the hard work I was doing on my DIY website was just not up to industry standards. Nor was my brand,
Thus, I have had a less productive month in terms of output on my blog and spent a lot of time drafting my brand, breaking it down and turning it around. And I have hired a tech person in India named Partap to build me a wordpress.org website.
Starting over means admitting that I burned a great deal of time and money trying to do it myself. But I work and save money and over time this means I can invest in marketing over time. Even though having nice visual representation and a concise display of things like my values and mission feels counter to my belief in the value of my writing craft, I am putting my hopes and dreams in it. Maybe playing the game to get more followers will help my writing get the attention I feel it deserves. Really, it is about getting out from under the people who I believe are holding me down.
I chose to see it this way: in trying to get my brand right, I am prayerfully putting out the energy into the universe to counter the fact that I am surrounded by people who want to foil my efforts. I am putting out energy into the universe that the people with power over me who are gossiping in their contrived secret societies and trying to minimize and kill my work before it gets off the ground, will be disrupted.
In fact, I have been giving my power over to all the people who want to keep me down too much lately. My email list can become my community of support. I have built one up even with a DIY website. I am going to improve my newsletter efforts. Plus, I believe in my work and feel it is getting better, not worse. With a wider following I can get around the people who are holding me down, diminishing my work behind my back, and winning.
And the greatest part about it is that I still don’t need to have friends. I can be free to me my own free, cantankerous-ass self.
I will be providing a workshop May 1, at California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies in Concord, CA. At the workshop I will be providing a rationale and outlining skills that will help providers and family members join with the person who is suffering and understand how to support them. This is part-one of a four-part training that I have developed. This is a training I hope one day to use to provide CEUs to providers to help them know how to work with sufferers.
Next month I also will publish a four-part series examining my own experience in psychotherapy. This is a series of essays that I wrote to better understand my own relationship with psychotherapy so that I could get permission to try EMDR treatment from my therapist. It should all be published on the new website that I hope will artfully display my style and brand.