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‘Odin’s Eye’
Some Thoughts on Invalidation as the Basis for Civilization: Part 1 of 3

Just a moment ago I sat on my $4 surplus elementary school chair and enjoyed the fall of my great tormentor the Sun with the coming of night shrouding the horizon, his allies the thunderclouds ungathered. Since 2006 I have experienced eye seizures accompanied by nausea, dizziness and reduction in mental acuity. According to the three doctors I consulted—two being neurologists—there is an abnormality in the base of my brain, which regulates circadian rhythms causing one or more nerves to become agitated. Although the syndrome is called such things as “cluster headache” and “suicide headache,” I have never experienced it as a headache, but as severe and focused pain in the right eye, alternately feeling like a burning thumb is pushing it into my brain or witchy caws are plucking it from its socket.

By 2009 I had discarded the various medications, having mastered the pain and nausea myself and even reveling in the one superpower it bestowed, the ability to resist a blood choke by a room full of jiu jitsu experts, who could not render me unconscious even though I offered no resistance, a functionally useless superpower as any of them could have snapped my neck.

My family and sparring partners refused to believe, even looking at my shrunken right eye, half the size of the other and declaring it was the same size, despite evidence in photographs and mirrors to the contrary. My family didn’t like me not having tolerance for the sun as they revel in its rays, and sunlight directly to the right of the right eye sends me from 0-9 on the pain and vomit scale in an instant. My sparring partners didn’t want to take it easy on me, so denied that any such thing existed according to their vast medical knowledge. Everyone twisted the truth to fit their narrative, to fit their use for me.

Despite gaslighting from loved ones, friends and associates I learned about what brings on this affliction and when to recognize I am in a cycle. Alcohol will not bring on a cycle. But if I am in cycle it will bring on an attack. Sleep deprivation and concussion will bring on a cycle. Once in a cycle, speaking at normal volume will bring on an attack. People cannot seem to understand that they could be as loud as they want and it affects me not at all, but if I raise my voice it makes me sick. People will usually refuse your reality in favor of their delusion and particularly in favor of their use for you, as to most folks, even family, we are just props. The art of invalidation is the art of civilization, of reducing fellow humans to mere props in our own stage play.

For instance, this March, when I met with Jack Donovan, I was at the onset of a cycle, as usual, brought on by seasonal weather changes, which can be seen in the Instagram photo he posted, with me barely able to look into the camera lens without my sunglasses. I then began to learn more about how tiny and non-central I am to my life. I have known that these attacks rarely affect me in high altitudes and that a return to the East Coast would bring on a cycle as soon as the airplane I was on dipped into the Potomac Watershed. I arrogantly came to believe that I had this condition in my back pocket, had mastered it, until, as I jokingly told a Christian friend, “Odin decided to take his eye back.”

I have spent a total of two weeks in pain exceeding my previous idea of what a “10” on the pain scale was, mostly sitting cross-legged in the dark with sunglasses on trying not to cry or moan or puke or otherwise disgrace myself. My darling sister, who I called just so I could hear her tell me about her day in her sweet voice—a simple desire to hear something beautiful while experiencing something ugly, felt the need to fix me. The weakness of my voice put her into a panic and she began to cry and beg me to call an ambulance and I had to spike that pain to 12, hitherto 2multples above the level of pain that used to send me into convulsions and pass out, and say, “Girl, I don’t need you to fix me. I just want to hear your voice. Tell me about your day.”

This is the broadest and most invasive and most innocent form of invalidation, the belief that Modernity and its mass of knowledge has armed us to fix everything and everybody, that my sister strived mightily to believe that her menu of cures was superior to whatever cosmic force was yanking on my eye. And guess what, as soon as my eye began to twitch and the muscles and nerves around it began pulsating like little demons, the rain began to patter on the roof. My neurology has simply fallen prey to the incredibly dynamic changes in pressure in this portion of the Pacific Northwest. And, having relearned the meditative techniques that got me through this before, I have had the joy of emerging from days of continual agony into a state of mere pain, to be able to appreciate the sky that had over the past few days raped my brain and to write with more energy and clarity than sleep would have imparted. I understand why a vision quest is supposed to be miserable and have been lucky enough to have such experiences forced upon me.

I thought I was tough because I could fight 15 seconds after taking a 120 MPH stick stroke to the kidney, 30 seconds after being soccer-kicked in the balls so hard that I was airborne. Then I found out that I was a mere baby compared to my ancestors.

-1. So there is invalidation of you reality, not necessarily through malice, but simply through another person’s desire to preserve their own comforting delusions. Thus was my sister’s assertion that I did not have to bare the pain, that the emergency room had an answer, her way of trying to preserve a just and nurturing superstructure for our shared lives, an invalidation of reality, essentially her psychological defense mechanism against the very real horror which is human life.

-2. There is also the cultic invalidation of your experience or person or idea that serves to elevate the invalidator upon the ruin of your dignity or assertion as either the agent of your ostracism or as your shepherd as he inducts you into his cult.

Before I go onto more examples of invalidation and invalidator detection in ourselves and others—for you might have been conditioned by this sick society to invalidate yourself at every step—permit me to round out the general rogues gallery of invalidators:

-The collectivist denies that the individual can know what is best for himself.

-The individualist will deny that any tradition, stereotype or social norm has any purpose other than extending the malefic intent of the collective towards the individual.

-The compulsive invalidator will see every gift as stolen or regifted or having strings attached, anything to deflect the virtue of generosity from the giver.

-The thief, the pervert, the drug user, the alcoholic has a thirst to assign his vice to every other human and if he cannot, a thirst to bring those not sharing his vice into its gripes, to turn the tea drinker into a drunk.

-The priest, or preacher or missionary has a magnetic thirst to find some other cult’s truth and wrap it in the vestments of the unholy Lie.

-The news reporter, journalist, politician and lawyer are possessed of an undying thirst to dress the self-serving lie in the glory of truth.

The two follow up articles, Quashing Inquiry and Against Fortune will have some specific examples of invalidation techniques, which are both conscious and subconscious. Indeed, in dissident circles it is a foundational convention that there can be no truth without debate, that one must invalidate a rival assertion before one can tender an assertion in hopes of its validation. I suggest investigation as an alternative to invalidation.

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