The Outer Critic and realities of Social Injustice

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LittleBoat

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The Outer Critic and realities of Social Injustice
« on: August 23, 2018, 02:17:59 PM »
Hi all.
It's been a while.  But I've basically been hijacked by my Outer Critic.  It is virulent and makes me bed bound. 

I read and re-read Pete Walker's wonderful work on the Outer Critic. 

But what happens when you bring social injustice into the mix?  Things like overt sexism, misogyny, sexual violence, racist violence, or attacks specifically targeted toward sexual preference and gender identity?

Attacks, assumptions and oversights (and actual danger) occur daily because of one's gender/race/class/sexual orientation/gender orientation.  I also deal, at this point, with ageism and classism.  I know this looks like my Outer Critic is trotting out a laundry list of reasons to frighten me (and judge others) even more deeply.

But social injustices are real and can be deeply damaging and dangerous.  Sometimes fear or anger in response to other's prejudices and untrustworthiness seem like accurate and honest modes of self protection.

Overall, my question is:  How to disentangle the Outer Critic from actual injustices and dangers?   

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Kizzie

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Re: The Outer Critic and realities of Social Injustice
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2018, 06:18:01 PM »
Quote
social injustices are real and can be deeply damaging and dangerous.

I just went back to therapy for this reason (in particular Trump in the US but then I started being triggered by any news of social injustice).  I've been feeling extremely angry, depressed and helpless about how some human beings treat others and get away with it.  I guess this is my past and the way I feel about how I was treated rearing its ugly head again.  I do not know how to move out of it so I am back to therapy for some ideas.

I've only had one session so far but she did have some good ideas, a few of which I had started doing on my own already such as really limiting my exposure to news so I am not constantly adding trigger on top of trigger. I also read/watch things that are rational, reasonable and grounded in reality and more things that are lighter. In therapy we are going to work on better processing how I was treated (trying EMDR) so I can deal with these very real issues more objectively and at a bit of a distance.  I am hopeful as I know I need to gain some perspective and just haven't been able to do so because of my own past. 

Hope this helps.




 

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Jdog

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Re: The Outer Critic and realities of Social Injustice
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2018, 03:15:23 PM »
LittleBoat-

I hear you.  I find myself getting overwhelmed by hatred that is perpetuated upon us, and others, in the world.  The best antidote I have found, personally, is continuing to connect with caring adults in my circle as well as working with young people.  Young people, despite the bad rap that is sometimes given them, are eager for positive role models and more forgiving of foibles.  They are trying to figure out who they are (arenít we all..) and respond well to genuine caring.

I donít know whether you have a ready supply of caring adults or any young people with whom to connect.  But if you can find just one, it can be very grounding.  The nasties in the world wonít go away, but you can build a different reality just for a bit.

If this is no help whatsoever, please disregard. 

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Kizzie

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Re: The Outer Critic and realities of Social Injustice
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2018, 05:23:06 PM »
I've had a few more T sessions and see now that my Outer Critic is triggered because of how I felt as a child - helpless, powerless, hopeless, objectified (born to feed my NPD parents & B), worthless... When I'm triggered I tend to hear and see all the negative behaviour out there.  I am stuck in trauma time or part of me is.

When I see situations like this - Puerto Rico for example, how they have been abandoned by a President who simply does not care, it brings my own experiences to the surface. It makes me incredibly angry but under that is a lot of hurt that I did not matter and never will to my family of origin.

I'm trying EMDR to feel those feelings and process them so that they are more at a distance.  They will always be a part of me becasue that is what happened, but the hope is I will not feel them as though they just happened, I will gain some distance and be better able to manage them. We'll see. 

I am becoming more vocal on Twitter about voicing my opinion regarding situations like Puerto Rico and other similar situations. It does seem to help me feel more in control, that I am taking back power and that my voice does count so. Maybe tht's a sign I'm shifting out of being so triggered I find it difficult to function. 

Hope this resonates/helps. 

Re: The Outer Critic and realities of Social Injustice
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 11:47:22 PM »
This has been a major theme in my life, since childhood. The earliest memory I have of this kind of internal dynamic was when I was 7 and noticed that social institutions like police, child protection and the court system were completely crazy. In the years since I've driven myself absolutely crazy about this kind of thing and experienced huge amounts of stress and angst. None of that was productive.

Social injustice informed my life so much that I even chose to study it academically. My extremely well developed OC and righteous  passion meant I did very well academically and could have made an entire career out of it.

HOWEVER, as you guys have noted, there is a very toxic element to it and it is, in reality, very damaging. I, too, have been bed-bound because of it and any time I am becoming incapacitated about something, it makes me useless to effect any change.

Studying it academically exposed me to other opinions and a more balanced reality, and now my stance is actually acceptance. I can't control these things. Conservatives play an important, balancing role. There are realities to this planet that must be acknowledged and reconciled. We will never be able to control other peoples' beliefs, preferences or thoughts. It's not personal, it's people on a journey. I have much more humility and trust and neutrality now. That came when I accepted my own past, could see my parents in a new light, and dropped a lot of my judgment and hatred.

It was super hard for me for a while because I was working in this space and hearing all the time about abused children and teenagers and people in crisis. Because of my university study, I was acutely aware of the structural violence against poor people and the injustice of it nearly drove me over the edge. All of it, projections of my past mixed with basic compassion.

The core of it for me was this concept that I shouldn't have suffered the way I did and others shouldn't suffer. There is nothing to suggest that suffering shouldn't happen in this world. There's nothing to suggest that suffering is not possible to overcome, or that good things don't come out of it. There are some wonderful thinkers on this topic like Johnathan Haidt who discuss anti-fragility and the intuitive natural responses of people who are progressive VS people who are conservative.

 The final part of this for me was discussing it with a therapist who drew a diagram for me of a person with three circles: child, adult and parent.
She asked me to list qualities of those three archetypes. During that conversation I could see that it is childlike to wish that social injustice didn't happen, and adult to accept that it does then act from a clear and balanced mind.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 11:49:57 PM by fullofsoundandfury »

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Kizzie

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Re: The Outer Critic and realities of Social Injustice
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 04:25:46 PM »
It's been a few weeks since I finished up with the EMDR sessions LittleBoat and I just wanted to let you know that I was able to shift out of the feeling that things like Trump's N behaviour were happening tome as though I were that trapped child again. I got back onto the adult part who does have control & power in the world and can keep myself safe and sane.  I can't quite say I am accepting that social injustices happen, it's more that I am not debilitated by them.

I should mention that I did have some residual anxiety after the sessions I think because EMDR stirred up more than what I went for (i.e., we have layers of trauma versus the single or short term trauma of PTSD). I mention this because while it did help me I am cautious about recommending it without mentioning that and encouraging others to look for an EMDR practitioner who is trained in CPTSD specifically and is knowledgeable about our need for safety, grounding and going at our pace).