Below you can read an elaborated-on version (2.1) of the poem that was unexpectedly born as one of my replies to the Kathy Broady’s post involving Portia Nelson’s poem An Autobiography in 5 Chapters.

To visit the poem’s birthplace” at the Kathy’s blog click here .

I wonder should I  title it  More then An Autobiography in 5 Chapters ... or it would be more accurate to call it  An Autobiography in More Then 5 Chapters“.  Either way, this is how it goes…

- – - (version 2.3 of the poem) – - -

-II. (or two steps ago)

(corresponding to Step 1 in the chart)

I walk down the street.
There is a hole in the sidewalk.
I am tripped up by somebody.
I don’t like it.
I tell them it is disgusting what they do.
They say: “Oh, come on, it’s nothing.
You didn’t fall in the hole, didn’t you?”.
“They are right”, I think,
“It could be worse”.
I continue walking as if nothing happened.

-I. (or one step ago)

(corresponding to Step 2 in the chart)

I walk down the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk.
I get pushed so much I almost fall in the hole.
I am getting angry with them, but I hear:
“Why do you want to be angry now?
You didn’t yell when you were tripped up,
didn’t you? It’s no worse than before and
you didn’t do anything about it before,
didn’t you? So be quiet and go your way.”
“I did nothing before”, I think to myself
“they are right.” So I continue walking down
the street as if nothing happened.

zero level (or here we go)

(corresponding to Step 3 in the chart)

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
This time I get pushed so much I do fall
in the hole.
I get scared.
I am afraid.
I climb out and want to tell other people
what happened. But will they listen?
If they do, they can help me,
but if they don’t…

I. Chapter

(corresponding to Step 4 in the chart)

…I can’t talk to anyone about it.
I am alone. Only me and they
who can push me and step on me,
anytime.
I can’t hide. I freeze.
They might be everywhere.
When I’m in a hole, they say,
“You can only allow it to happen.
You have already allowed it. So,
it’s your fault,
isn’t it?”
I can’t bear the thought of
blaming myself. Another part of me is born.
S/he picks up the blame imposed by abusers
and continues walking down the street.
As if nothing happened.

II. Chapter

(corresponding to Step 4 in the chart,  elaborating on it furtherly)

The self-blaming alter walks down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
The alter blames him/herself when
finding himself/herself anywhere near a hole.
However, the alter can’t bear the thought
of punishing the body for it.
Another part of me is born and s/he picks up
self-punishing behaviors
and continues walking down the street as if
nothing happened. To me. Or to the self-blaming

alter.

III. Chapter

(corresponding to Step 4 in the chart,  elaborating on it furtherly)

The self-punishing alter walks down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
The self-punishing alter gets “voluntarily”
near a hole in order to punish the body.
But the alter can not bear the thought of
being fatalistic about “their will being done”, anyway.
Another part of me is born and s/he picks
up the fatalistic behavior and walks
down the street as if nothing happened.
To me. Or to the self-blaming alter. Or to the self-
punishing alter.

IV. Chapter

(corresponding to Step 5 in the chart)

The fatalistic alter walks down the street.
There is a hole in the sidewalk.
The alter lets their will be done,
but can not bear the thought of showing positive spin
(gratitude to them for having kept the body alive and for other good side-effects).
Another part of me is born and s/he picks up the paradoxical behavior
and walks down the street as if nothing happened. To me.
Or to the self-blaming alter.  Or to the self-punishing alter.
Or to the fatalistic alter.

V. Chapter

(corresponding to Step 5 in the chart, elaborating on it furtherly))

The paradoxical (positive spin) alter walks down the street.
There is a hole in the sidewalk.
The alter stops by the hole and shows the
paradoxical gratefulness (positive spin),
but can not bear the thought of  showing proudness
of grandiose survivorship achievements.
Another part of me is born and s/he picks up the
proudness of grandiose survivorship and continues walking
down the street as if nothing happened. To me.
Or to the self-blaming alter. Or to the self-punishing
alter. Or to the fatalistics alter. Or to the paradoxical
alter.

VI. Chapter

(corresponding to Step 6 in the chart)

The proud survivor walks down the street.
There is a hole in the sidewalk.
The alter shows proudness of grandiose survivorship
to those around him/her, however can not bear the
thought of having a personal worth just like everybody
has in the first place.

- -

- -

- – - (end of the 2.3 version of the poem) – - -

I was not explicit enough by calling it (the poem) an illustration of the chart, so I will re-iterate here  each chapter corresponds to the steps shown in the chart and I am going to post the picture/chart again in order to show this correspondence.

Steps 4 and 5 from chart are being elaborated furtherly on in the above poem, so there is not a one-to-one correspondence between the two.

Chart

UPDATE 2009  If you wonder why the post has been categorized (and tagged) with “trans-generational trauma” category, as well, then click the following link  http://mybelovedalter.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/a-poem-illustrating-the-flow-chart/#comment-17 to read the comment below about the “trans-generational trauma”  and/or  “second-generation victimization”. UPDATE 2010 – On Youtube there is a video offering a psychotraumatological explanatory framework for literary criticism based on the flowchart. You can see the video by clicking on the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6BoSpsgLzWU

UPDATE 2012 – A request (approved) for the flowchart to be quoted in a dissertation by Jacob  M. Metro was received in the comment here http://mybelovedalter.wordpress.com/about/

February 9, 2012 at 3:10 am e

Hi Sam’s Alter:

I am a researcher studying the effects of the double-bind on worker productivity. While your poem and flowchart aren’t explicitly related to the double-bind, you indicate a relationship that I would like to work on.

Rather than take your knowledge and rephrase it without citation, I would like your permission to use the flow chart or a modification thereof  (with full citation) as part of my research.

The version I am looking at is: http://mybelovedalter.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/a-poem-illustrating-the-flow-chart/. Please let me know if I will be authorized to use your flow chart.

I don’t have any money with which to pay you royalties and this will be used only for inclusion in my dissertation. It will be disseminated within normal dissemination parameters for a dissertation (i.e. instructors, publishing, other cited individuals or groups).

I would be willing to share the results of my research with you once it is completed.

Sincerely,
Jacob

_______________________________________________________________________

About these ads