So I gather the 10 or so young adults at the meeting (I am 62 so you can surmise on your own without much didactic reasoning what I mean by young) to discuss the “Voices that Play in our heads”
Ages varied among those in the group from 14 to 28. See “YOUNG”
I encourage you to be aware of the voice that has started to take space up in your head right now. “This is stupid” “This is interesting (hopefully, that is my voice as I compose)” “My ass itches,” “Ass itches” may prompt a voice in your head as you read this, “I think I am gonna stop as this is meaningless babble” “I wish I had a job and did not have time to read this crap” “This guy is an asshole for bringing up that I don’t have a job” and on and on…
So in order for the discussion not to just explode into existential pabulum I asked 3 questions after a brief presentation of what I was proposing to them as a “theory” and hence a point of discussion.
First the theory.
And it is a THEORY not the TRUTH. Another theory is that when an individual reads or hears that something is the TRUTH one of two things may happen in terms of the VOICE IN THE HEAD.
- BULLSHIT When somebody says this is the TRUTH hearing that triggers the defensive or argumentative or revolutionary VOICE in the head. Smart ass, know it all, arrogant, pompous, etc etc etc Catch my drift?
- OK This is the TRUTH sort of like the funny commercial with the hairy guy and the saying “I read it on the internet so therefore it must be true” and then the French model comes strolling out. So it must be true.
So this is just a theory to consider I proposed to the group. Here it is.
We all HEAR VOICES. Listen right now to your reaction to reading this statement “WE ALL HERE VOICES” HERE is spelled wrong. This makes no sense. I am not gonna waste my time. And on and on. I propose that you react with a voice similar to flinching when somebody acts like they are gonna smack you in the mouth. You don’t decide to flinch. You just flinch. The voice is similar. You don’t decide to hear the voice you just hear it as a reaction to whatever stimuli that is prompting you to react.
So I say to the folks I am talking to (notice I did not say young folks)
My theory not THE TRUTH is that WE ALL HEAR VOICES and the voices we hear have a huge affect on our behavior and our interpretation of the world. Meaning the “meaning and the emotional reaction” we have to everything going on around us and inside us.
Again not TRUTH just a theory.
So nobody says “BULLSHIT” and nobody says “Yeah this must be true” cause I say IT IS JUST A THEORY A PROPOSAL to have a discussion about. OK???
They all say “OK” either agreeing to enter into a discussion or to pacify this old guy who has asked for some of their time.
So given the theory.
QUESTION #1 What do you think causes the voices?
I don’t know I hear a voice in my head. “Stupid, disinterested, smart ass,” What did your voice say?
Nothing caused the voice. It is just there. My voice “Not thinking hard enough, I did not explain well, disinterested” your voice?
My past. “HMM?” What do you mean “My past?” answer by one of the youngsters (Did I trigger a voice with that term youngster??) “My past causes my voice.” “Tell me more” “The shit that has happened in my past creates the reaction I have to anything that happens on the outside or inside of me and then I tell myself this is this or this is gonna happen when I experience this kinda thing, and then the voice pops up when it happens. Like I see somebody who looks like a girl I dated and had a great make out session with. My voice says She looks like Amy who made out like a vampire. Oh my god this girl must make out like one too! Or I miss Amy so much. Or I wanna hunt down Joe for stealing Amy from me and hit him in the knees with a baseball bat! The voice just comes into my head based to a degree on my past with Amy and all the other pasts I have had about things. I just react with my voice in my head. I don’t really choose how to react with the voice it just happens” The other group members react based on their voices. “Dude far out” “Deep shit man” “You must be trippin” “Where can I meet Amy’s sister?!” “That is stupid. Who thinks like that?!” I say “interesting”
QUESTION #2 If the past can cause the voices can you control the voices?
Nope you can’t control the past. The past is the past. Forget about it.
I heard you control your recollections of the past by dropping a lotta acid. Whoah!!
You gotta get over the past cause your memories of the past mess you up. I ask to this response. “Do all past memories screw you up?” Some say “yes” some say “no” I say “gimme an example of “no”. A dude with green hair says(what did the voice say to green hair?) “Somebody rips off your cell when you leave it out on a table. You learn to not leave it out on a table. Your cell doesn’t get ripped off”
Another girl says. “Yeah but if somebody says a black dude was snooping around the table at the same time does that then make you cop an attitude about black dudes? (does black dude create a voice in your head? Does the question create a voice in your head?) Meaning does a voice come on in your head every time you see a black dude?” “Fuck no!” “You sure?” “Yeah” “I think this voice thing and the past contributes a lot to prejudice and all the bullshit we see” “I’m not prejudice!” “I am” “I’m not” “I don’t like that I am but I am” “Whatdaya mean?” “Based on my past I “PRE JUDGE” that is where the word comes from “PREJUDICE” comes from “PRE JUDGING” “I’m not” “OK be truthful do you wanna eat Thai food with me?” “You know I hate Thai food” “Why?” “Cause I ate it once and got sick” “SO all Thai food makes you sick and you don’t want to eat any of it?!” Group says “BUSTED MAN!!” “Well I still can’t change my past. I ate the fucking food, puked, and hate it now. Hate even thinking of it!” I throw into the mix. “So could the puking Thai food guy change his past?” Everybody says “NO!” except for a girl in a leopard skin pair of somethings on her lower torso. She says “Maybe” I say “HOW?” She says “Stick his toe in the water now in spite of the voices from the past” A Mexican kid says “What the fuck are you talkin about?” She says “He sees Thai food or hears about, voices immediately says Don’t do it dude remember the last time, you puked your fucking brains out! He says to the voice “I know, but I am gonna try just a small amount at a different place and not get the same food” And a girl with a tattoo of an angel on her back says “And he doesn’t blow beads!!” And another guy with half his head shaved says “He might make himself blow beads! Like to prove himself right!” I throw in “Lets save that discussion for QUESTION #3” The girl who admitted she is prejudice says “HE can change his past!” “No way” “Fuck yes! If he sticks his toe in the water and tries the Thai food and doesn’t puke he creates a new voice it goes like this maybe “Dude you puked once but not the second time! He changed his past!” The group mumbled shit I couldn’t quite hear cause I am old and do not distinguish voices too well in a crowd. (What voice just popped up reading that one?? My grandfather or great grandfather or great great grandfather is like that. Does he wear diapers too!!) Ah those voices. So I say “So whataya think? Anyway to change your past?” Group still kinda mumbly so I ask the mumblers to speak so the old fart can hear. “No way. You can’t change the past!” “OK” I say “Anybody else?” “Sort a” “Tell me more” “IF my voice says don’t eat the Thai food and I do and don’t puke I kinda change the voice cause I create a new past to draw from” “You can’t change the past. No way” “If a black cop finds the black guy who your friend saw standing near your cell when it got ripped off and the black cop brings the black guy to you and you say yeah that was him and the black guy says “what is this about?” and you say “You were near my cell when it vanished I think yo might a stole it” and he says I saw you put it in your back pack, and then you search at the bottom of the pack and under the makeup, the flaming hot cheetos, the mp3 player, and the panties that you want to change into later to impress your friends you find your cell, does that change the voice in your head about black guys?” “Shit I don’t know” “It’s change mine” “Me too”
QUESTION #3 Do you think folks look for evidence to support the voice in their heads? Make the voice right? In spite of contrary evidence?
What do you mean?
What is your voice saying right now? “This is preachy. This is a waste of time? This is not what A Month of…is supposed to be about” My voice is saying stuff too. Much of what I just wrote. And what I say to the voice is “It will be what it will be”
So back to Question #3. “Yeah if I got a voice telling me that all girls who look like Amy the vampire make out like the vampire and I liked the vampire ANY GIRL who vaguely reminds me of the vampire I say MUST be like the VAMPIRE! And if they look like the vampire but tell me they ARE NOT LIKE THE VAMPIRE I look for evidence to dispute that they are not like the vampire in spite of them telling me they are not like the VAMPIRE!!! And then say I don’t want to do that! And you say You do, you just don’t want to admit it. And you say yes! You are teasing me! You aren’t being straight with me!! Cause you are looking for evidence to prove you and your fucking voice are right!!!” Ask people at rape crisis centers about this phenomenon (Voice “Who cares? This is confusing as hell. Stupid) and another girl chimes in and says “Yeah I dated this guy who used to say I reminded him of his ex and he tried to get me to do things she did and I would say I don’t do that and he would say you must cause you are so much like her!” “What ‘d did he want you to do?” “None a your business!” OR “If I hear that somebody got into Harvard I think things about them and I don’t even know em. And if I meet the guy and the things I think don’t seem to be accurate like he must be really smart, (meaning I think he is average or stupid) he must have an in with someone to have gotten in, he must have a lotta dough, and he doesn’t’ fit the voice, I argue with the voice. I look for shit to support the voice dismissing the things that seem to dispute the voice” “Oh he just is acting not so smart to fit in” “He probably doesn’t want to be teased about being smart” “Maybe is just fucking dumb!” Can’[t be He got into Harvard!!” I forced myself to eat a rotten burger once from my favorite burger joint cause when it tasted like shit I said to myself. This place is good and it can’t be rotten! I regretted that for 2 days as I puked my guts out!” “Still your favorite burger joint?” “No fucking way!” “Why just because you got 1 bad burger?”
Voices from the past creating what some call TRUTH. REALITY
And what some call LIMITATIONS
Maybe the voices of the past just create interpretations of the world and not the world itself but the WORLD AS IT OCCURS FOR ME.
I thanked the younger people than I for their time. Some looked bored as hell. Some did not.
I shared something with them I heard a long time ago regarding changing my past. It stuck with me. I have it on a wall in my kitchen. Whataya want from me I’m Italian!!!
If I always do
What I’ve always done
I’ll always get
What I’ve always got
And always be
Who I always was
If I no longer do
What I’ve always done
I’ll start to get
What I never got
And become the man
I never was
So there you go. A month of VOICES IN MY EAD
We encourage you to come share your Hearing Voices story at the live show! If you post a Hearing Voices story in the comments here, you get into the show for free.
A Month Of
Stage 773 1225 W.
Belmont Wed Sept 11th 7:30-10:00
$10 or free with a shared dish/posted story