Unpacking Covid Trauma
Welcome to the Groaning Twenties
I keep wanting to move on from this whole covid fiasco. There’s so much more I want to write about. So much more I want to talk about in the podcast I recently launched. So much about good and evil, philosophy, the nature of reality, spirituality, psychology, boundaries with others, the medicine of healing, the inner workings of grief, shame, and trauma, the revelations of art, of visions and mystical states.
But my feet drag. My fingertips lay idle. I can’t quite move on to these other things yet—there is so much unresolved grief, so much unaddressed trauma left over from 2020 and 2021. These are not the Roaring Twenties of a hundred years ago. These are the Groaning Twenties. And I’m groaning my way through 2022. I don’t want to keep writing about covid. But I can’t move on to other things until I do. So I haven’t been writing much.
As time goes by, I’m aware that I’m wading through the aftershock of the numerous traumas of these past two years. It’s hard to recover—it’s hard to integrate. And I look around me at people everywhere going back to the numb routines of life as if the whole experience were merely a mirage or nightmare of the ephemera. As if it hadn’t happened. Externally, there’s only scant evidence of the madness we’ve just lived through: scattered people still wearing masks, those absurd plastic walls installed in front of cash registers, an occasional social distancing sticker lingering on the floor of a gas station, the handful of places still committed to mask and vaccine mandates, references to vaccination on dating profiles, empty shelves at the store, sky-high inflation, those damned QR code stickers…
But it’s the unseen wreckage that haunts me—the invisible violence to our relationships, to our trust, the betrayals, broken families, broken friendships, broken communities, and a scourge of illnesses, early deaths, heart inflammation, blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, neurological disorders, auto-immune conditions, and other forms of health catastrophes with names like “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.” Illnesses that cannot possibly be a byproduct of you-know-what—that thing that can never be named—that thing we must all collude on together to pretend never happens—the fabled, mystical, mythical, unreal, impossible, and never-present vaccine injury.
The traumas we’ve gone through as a result of this coordinated assault on the people of the world vary from person to person. Some of us experienced relatively little trauma. Some of us were traumatized right to the brink of our capacity—or beyond it—with suicide or overdose the result. Many experienced categories of trauma with significant similarity and overlap to that of others.
To unpack, sort through, integrate, clear, and heal from the trauma we’ve gone through, the trauma needs to be recognized and named. That’s the way trauma works. Trauma carries with it a message of collusion that says “You weren’t traumatized. It wasn’t that bad. You’re making a big deal over nothing. You should keep silent. There’s nothing to say. You only got what you deserved.”
When we refuse collusion with those messages, we reclaim our sense of our own boundaries, our own reality, and our loving commitment to ourselves, knowing we don’t deserve to be abused or gaslit. The simple act of listing and declaring the traumas we’ve been through can go a long way toward healing, especially if we can be witnessed doing so. Here are some of the traumas I’ve endured since March 2020:
- Experiencing intense panic and fear of covid for several months due to media propaganda, fear-mongering, and deliberate induction of hysteria by the public health authorities
- Living alone with no touch and almost no personal contact for months due to the madness of worldwide lockdowns
- The panic, fear, intense grief and sense of abandonment by others due to this
- The inability to date or access romantic or sexual companionship for several years due to hypervigilant covid mania, and state-media instructions to shun and banish the nonbelievers and heretics such as myself
- The probable destruction of my simple human dream of having a child and family of my own, due to the timing of this in my early forties—which may have been my last chance
- The experience of deep betrayal from most of the people in my life who turned their backs on me like a disposable piece of garbage for not believing in or following covid ideology
- The loss of almost every friend in my life, and weakened bonds of friendship with others—to the point that repair may never be possible
- The total loss of trust in the government
- The total loss of trust in my prior longstanding political affiliations
- The total loss of trust in the news and media
- The total loss of trust in society’s scientific, academic, and medical establishments
- The total loss of trust in public health
- The total loss of trust in doctors and hospitals
- The very real fear of being banished from society and losing my livelihood due to the coordinated attempts by governments and other authorities to impose worldwide systems of medical discrimination
- The paranoia of needing to keep my experience and beliefs secret in a society gone mad with persecutory zeal
- Complete alienation from the so-called “queer community” due to the overwhelming politicization of that community and its embrace of covid mania and discrimination
- Enduring the ongoing wasteland of prospects for dating, romance, and sexual companionship due to this, given that as a lesbian, queer women are the only people available to me as potential partners
- Being deplatformed from Medium for sharing my views through my articles about what has been going on
- Experiencing distance and fracturing in my familial relationships, as the only member of my family who rejected the prevailing covid ideology, wondering if closeness ever can or will be reestablished
- After building new community among free-thinkers with likeminded views on covid and medical freedom, losing my sense of belonging in that community as anti-transgender ideology became established as something of a doctrinal belief within these circles
- Further losing a sense of community in this movement as the lockdowns and mandates were lifted. The cohesion and solidarity of the community and relationships I had been building dissolved, having been born of necessity, and now lacking the threads to hold them together.
I am engaging in this process publicly for the purposes of my own healing. It is a declaration that I matter— that the harm that was done to me matters, and was profound. The time has come for me to pick up the pieces of a life that was shattered and fragmented by what happened—to try and figure out what’s left of me after all of this. Is there a future for me that still exists in the Groaning Twenties, and after? And if there is, how will I find it?
How do I recover from losing almost all my prior friendships, any sense of trust and belonging in the society at large, and the dissolution of my place in the alternative communities I tried to build and become a part of? How do I emerge from the empty, desolate trenches, shell-shocked from the fog of war, and wander alone back into a society I can no longer trust?
I don’t yet have answers to those questions. But I’m not just writing this for my own healing process. I know that others are out there, traumatized like I was. Many of them may not yet realize that they will need to unpack their covid trauma to find healing and rebuild their lives. Many may be aware that something feels wrong and unbalanced, even as they experience relief at the end of the mandates and lockdowns. I wish for the voices of all who were traumatized by this travesty of governance, propaganda, and mass formation to be heard.
Healing from trauma is a process of remembering. It’s in the forgetting of what happened that the trauma stays lodged in our bodies and unconscious minds, assaulting us with freezing spells, brain fog, and dissociation. So we seek to remember, to declare what happened, to bring it into the light of day, to insist on recognition. We insist that those who harmed us acknowledge and recognize what they have done. Even if they refuse to acknowledge this, the fact that we insist on it forms the basis of our own healing, of our love, commitment, devotion, and loyalty to ourselves.
I recently read through some entries from my private journal from April–July 2020 that addressed the experience of living through the initial lockdowns. These entries detailed the process by which my sense of the world collapsed as my worldview shifted and I came to understand the nature of the psychological abuse the people of the world were suffering through—most of them defending and supporting their own abuse—like victims of Stockholm Syndrome.
It was good to read through these entries for trauma processing, for the remembering process. Let us not forget how it was. Let us not forget how wrong it was. Let us not forget the harm that was done, and the harm that is still being done through censorship and deception—and the ongoing harm being done to peoples’ bodies all over the world as a result of this. These journal entries are only slightly edited, and the emotions in them are sometimes raw and unforgiving. There was no attempt here to write diplomatically as there is in my writings intended for public release. But it’s good not to hide the raw anger and scorn, if we can recognize it for what it is: an expression of the hurt and trauma that cries out for recognition.
In reading these entries, you will note that the political themes of my growing understanding are quite pronounced. This is important. As noted in my article Narrative Collapse and the Spell of Politics, the psychological domination of the masses has been achieved through political spells, and it is through these political spells that the masses can be mobilized and activated as agents of persecution, directed at proffered enemies. I had been deeply embroiled in the left-wing permutation of this political spell for almost twenty years, and it finally started to unravel in January, 2020 when I watched in shock and horror as Liz Warren colluded with CNN to assassinate Bernie Sanders’s character during the Iowa debates, and fall on her own sword in the process—delivering a death blow to the American Political Left, in service to her true masters.
The unraveling continued with growing speed in the months that followed and Sanders’s candidacy was systematically dismantled with laser-like precision by a Democratic Party that for years we had been led to believe was hapless and weak. But it wasn’t until late April, 2020, after about 6 weeks in lockdown, that I began to understand something was deeply wrong with the covid narrative and the whole socio-political narrative of the society I was living in:
Relendra’s Journal, April 25, 2020:
There are a number of significant truths I need to write down. A lot is changing for me internally in response to these terrible external realities. Let’s start big: My eyes have been opened to truths about the decline and rot of American society, culture, civilization—and in conjunction, globally. The events of the Democratic primary and the state of the nation in the wake of coronavirus has laid bare the hollow, rotted core of this society. There is zero leadership in our institutions, and I can see clearly how the disease of corporate Marketism has consumed the Democratic Party to its now vacant center. The American people have been eaten away into dust as well, after decades of psychological warfare. Truth and values have been utterly annihilated. Most people have been drawn into two competing camps of propaganda and lies in the service of venal, soulless, and cowardly corruption. People are fed steady diets of fear, moral hatred, and condemnation—and empty scapegoating and virtue signaling.
There is no will or interest among the powerful to admit the enormous gravity of our situation: an ecology on the brink of collapse, and a mechanized anti-life economic and technological system. With everything an absolute lie, there’s no one—nor anything, to trust. Spiritual movements have also retreated into denial, the insistence on producing miracles (usually of a selfish nature) through prayer or “manifestation,” or else paranoid hatreds are stoked against classes of others. Liberalism has descended into the vampire castle.
In terms of this virus, we are fed authoritative declarations regarding what’s supposed to be true, and indignant condemnations against those who follow competing authorities. Liberals are falling over themselves to promote and obey the most intrusive forms of surveillance and domination over human lives with sanctimonious denouncements of those who protest.
The longer this goes on, the clearer it is to me: this virus is with us to stay. Death is a fact of life. Risk is a necessity of life. If we are to adopt this remedy that’s been trumpeted as the only moral response—to do whatever is necessary to “save even one life,” there is no possibility of a human future. The only possibility is to foreclose on our human lives and live as pod people, fearful of each other forever, living entirely online, wearing masks at all times—and why not helmets too? Why take any chances? People have forgotten what life is. Do they know what they’re living for? Other than just to delay the day of death as long as possible?
I look at the energy of the moment. I’ve been studying and scouring for 3 years—4 years really, since before Trump was elected—to understand the nature of the insanity and dysfunction all around me. I’ve started to understand how to read the mood of the country and the energy of the powerful more intuitively, and create an integrative picture of what is happening.
What we’re seeing is the wholesale collapse of the empty premises we thought we were living under, combined with the collapse of the actual premises we’ve been living under, and the strengthening of the new order that has been blindly and foolishly built to replace them.
We thought (or many of us thought) we were living in a good society—one that cultivated knowledge to put to use for the betterment of life. The missteps along the way were just mistakes. We would add the lessons of those mistakes to our growing collected knowledge, and our world would continue to improve: more democracy, more humane treatment of each other, increased prosperity and creativity.
This was once perhaps true. European civilization was arrogant and blind to its own racist and sexist cruelty, and to its class cruelty, but its leaders could tell themselves they were marching toward Christian decency over time, increased technological advancements that would improve the world, a scientific mindset, and a humanist trajectory.
But in the 1960s, many of these illusions and hypocrisies were laid bare. In the wider culture, this led to an explosion of creative dynamism in the arts, in film and music—in many areas of life. But among the leadership, it led to a wholehearted embrace of a kind of psychopathic technocratism, measured on all angles by capital, the unit of power, the accumulation of which was its own justification.
At first gradually, and then all at once, the only justification needed for any action, or any statement or message, was its effect on capital accumulation. The corrosive effect of this, coupled with the devastating explosion in information technology, has demolished the bonds of trust, erased truth, shared values, and shared reality.
I’ve been putting lots of pieces together after having gathered the pieces for years, and I don’t want to spend the time needed to detail them. Briefly, they include the toxicity of online life, increased alienation, Wokeism, the psychopathic technocratic idolism of popular media, the seeming inept weakness of Democratic Party leaders, now revealed as complicit corruption, papered over with the ever-increasing desperateness of Wokeism and empty platitudes, and the loss of democracy, not only as a reality, but also as a collective value.
In seeing the precision, coordination, and devastation executed against the Sanders campaign by the corporate Democrats (as characterized by Obama and the Clintons), it suddenly becomes clear that the Democratic Party is not weak. It chooses to appear weak so as to collude with corporate, tech, and financialized takeovers. In the face of a true enemy (i.e. Sanders, a leader truly committed to the people) they are impressively competent and ruthless.
All of the pieces come together—the Epstein assassination, cover for the criminalities of the Bush administration and Wall Street grand theft, and the impotency in the face of Trump’s financial crimes. All of these people, all of Washington, are equally implicated in these crimes, and all of them are reciprocally protected.
It makes sense that Biden is the nominee—an utterly empty suit, a walking corpse who can barely tie his own shoe—someone no one believes in, no one is excited about, who stands for nothing. With four years to organize and come up with something to defeat Trump, all they could do was kneecap the one candidate who stood for something, who stood for the people, who was honest, incorruptible, and had an energized movement behind him, and they were just left with this old, corrupt, empty shell of nothing, who reflects exactly what the party has become.
Reading the energy and artistic movement behind this drama makes it almost impossible for me to envision Biden winning this election. Meanwhile, Trump reflects the decayed rot of the Republican Party: cruelly psychopathic, a pathological and malignant liar and narcissist, thoroughly and blatantly corrupt, and openly opposed to democracy, while encouraging xenophobia and prejudice of every kind.
Behind it all is the Machine, continuing to pull its levers, extracting away, devastating life where it exists, either in ecosystems, the torture of animals, or the extraction of the minds and hearts of human beings—the extraction and devouring of our relationships, our dreams, our values, our imaginations, our dignity, our humanity.
And in the face of this virus, we’re not allowed to meet it with courage, as strong humans undaunted by death and risk. Admirable human beings whose lives and hearts mean too much to them to relinquish just because they might have to die for them. No, we face it as cowering slaves, because most of us have already given up the better part of our humanity, and all we have left is our mean, petty lives.
Little by little over the past few years, I became aware of the terrible values of the so-called Left: the Wokeism, the shaming, the self-righteousness, and the ultimate slavery and obedience to the capitalist technocracy. Now, with the empty resistance movement to Trump laid bare for the con-job it became (or always was), I’m looking at these so-called allies falling over themselves to surrender everything good and vital about being human: our relationships, our freedoms, and our dignity. The assault on our conscience in the form of Wokeism fits into the travesty like a glove.
The emptiness prevalent in the spiritual or consciousness communities is also apparent: the in-group, out-group wielding of social and economic power, the emptiness of the rituals. I’m a woman without a country, without a people or place. And as I watch everything collapsing around me, I feel the premonition of the ongoing collapse. We are too late. What we see now is bound to continue, in various related forms, as the ecocide continues to grind away at the foundations of our being. The loss of hope is actually a blessing in some ways. It’s clarifying not to be living for a false promise only to be heartbroken, bit by bit. But one thing isn’t clear: What am I living for?
Relendra’s Journal, May 24, 2020:
This horrific dystopian fear and obedience machine grinds on. Every week, there are more and more people wearing masks. More places require them upon entry. There’s temperature taking at doorways, talk of security cameras that measure your temperature remotely, involuntary tracking apps installed on phones. And I absolutely, vehemently oppose this. But I keep my mouth shut. The liberal shame brigades are waiting to berate and exile anyone who deviates from the public health commandments.
Do they really think this virus can be extinguished this way? Or are they just champing at the bit to live this way forever—to display to the world how hypervigilant and safety-conscious they are, forever? It’s hard not to hate them. And so I remind myself that hating them will only hurt me. I don’t want to poison my sweet, dear, loving heart with hatred.
Relendra’s Journal, July 12, 2020:
I haven’t had the heart to write until now. My whole sense of reality and self in relation to the world has collapsed on itself since I last wrote. To sum up, you might say I’ve been red-pilled. Something broke finally for me in the wake of the George Floyd affair. Suddenly all the people shaming others for going outside or gathering with others began insisting that it’s our duty to gather in massive crowds and demand the dismantling of… not clear—the police? But also, I guess, just the demand that all white people confess their inherent racism, privilege and white fragility, and repent for the sin of their whiteness. Now, added to the censorship and deplatforming of any critique of these mad authoritarian lockdowns and virus fear-mongering by the press and government, the blacklisting and cancelling purges swept like wildfire.
The protests merged in and out of riots—shops and buildings looted, statues attacked and defaced, police stations and courthouses smashed and burned, and signs everywhere proclaiming that black lives matter, and white silence is violence, and no other end of self-righteous, condemnatory, pugilistic, absolutist (and if you’ll forgive the pun), black-and-white thinking. Dare I say it, the authoritarian anti-liberal, anti-democratic assaults on freedom of speech and conscience dealt a foundational blow to my alignment with the Left. And as a result, my distrust of the Left has finally rounded a corner to the point where I can’t help but view the Wokeist doctrine of anti-racism as affirmatively racist itself.
Meanwhile, the state ramps up its authoritarianism. The Portland mayor imposed a curfew when the riots first happened, further flexing the state muscle and control over the freedom and liberty of people. That night, I was unaware of the riots, but had attended a (forbidden by the state) party of Burners. I built a martyr figure from wood, using a nail gun, and sacrificed her to the fire, symbolically releasing the part in me which suppresses myself, my truth, and my power to those who dictate and lecture to me about how I’m supposed to live, what I’m supposed to believe, how I am bad and wrong if I don’t submit to their ideology, belief systems, values, morality, and rules of behavior. I let that part of me die in the fire. That’s what she wanted, after all—to die and be burned as a martyr. So I gave her the flames she desired, and I will retain my own life. I had no idea how prescient the themes of this martyrdom and slavery to the external prisons of thought would prove.
But here I am. I was growing increasingly rattled and simultaneously skeptical of the official narrative regarding covid. I noted the hypocrisy as the institutions declared as public health policy that racism was a public health hazard that overrules the previous declarations of lockdown and social distancing. This renders only two possibilities: Either these institutions don’t give a damn about our safety or public health outcomes, and are willing to encourage us to spread a deadly disease because—racism… or it was all bullshit to begin with.
This disease isn’t deadly enough to justify the lockdowns, the economic devastation, the livelihoods destroyed, and the human costs of isolation, induced paranoia, separation from our families and friends in the most fundamental and intrusive ways. Only now—when there’s a protest movement that demands even further authoritarian claims on personally held beliefs and speech, and seeks to divide us up and fear each other based on race—only to accommodate this movement will there be any allowances made regarding authoritarian lockdown measures.
And in the meantime, the mask campaign kept ramping up: “Masks for all,” it declared. Bill Gates started talking about mandatory vaccines, immunity passports—all the conditions are being staged for total control over our bodies, rights, and political/medical lives—permanently. At least permanently unless we wake up and refuse it. Because as I’ve noticed, authoritarianism only happens if the people go along with it—if they insist on it. Anything the state has tried to do during this nightmare hasn’t stuck unless the people went along with it.
Toward the end of June, Governor Brown decreed that all people in public indoor spaces must be masked. This is what broke my threshold. I just absolutely did not and do not consent or agree to this. To force every single person to mask their face with no due process, knowing this includes the vast, vast majority who are not infectious—this is an act of psychological dominance that I never thought could happen in America. What this does to our psyches: we become subs to their doms, like muzzled dogs, dehumanized, cowed, passive, obedient, servile.
I remember back to March and early April, when I was still terrified and credulous of what I was being told. They wouldn’t shut down the whole nation of Italy if this weren’t a terrifying and deadly plague. Such unprecedented measures seemed to be the best evidence that this was indeed a dire threat. I accessed my solidarity of “flatten the curve.” I thought for sure that we would have a temporary shutdown of gatherings and places like restaurants and gyms to arrest the spread, give the state needed time to build medical and testing capacity, and then we’d resume life after a month or so, maybe two, just for additional security and preparation.
Instead, Congress gave trillions of dollars to the richest people and businesses in the country by unanimous acclimation, and then started to change the story. It was no longer “flatten the curve.” Instead it was, “this goes on until there’s a vaccine.” Instead it was zero-tolerance for any number of cases, any number of deaths. Instead it was “social distancing.” No longer were we talking about avoiding exposure to large numbers of strangers—we were commanded to stay six feet away from any person who doesn’t live with us, whether family, friend, loved one, whatever—and parks and beaches and trails were shut down. We were shamed for even going outside.
All of this adds up to psychological abuse—gaslighting, lying, dominating, dehumanizing, shaming, demonizing, turning us against each other—terrorizing us. And for what? A statist might argue that this is a necessary means to the noble end of protecting us from this rampant disease, as they bombard us with death counts and case counts.
But that doesn’t hold up either. They don’t mention that the majority of people on the death rolls are actually above life expectancy—in their 80s. A select few others have preexisting health conditions. Overall, only a small percentage of the population is at any real risk. Why not allow them to sequester if they wish to, with state support so their needs are met, while the vast majority of healthy people encounter the virus and build immunity? One starts to learn more and more facts: that 40-50% of people never even get any symptoms at all. That asymptomatic transmission is rare. That antibody tests only capture 20-25% of true positives. That hospitals are instructed and monetarily incentivized to declare any person who has died with a positive covid test result to have died from covid, even if their actual cause of death had nothing to do with covid at all. Or to declare people who die while having any symptoms of the common cold to have died from covid if they have not been tested for it—again, regardless of the actual cause of death.
How much are the death figures inflated? How depressed are the case counts? The true death percentage of this is likely 0.1-0.2%, taking these factors into consideration. On the level of a bad flu. The Hong Kong Flu of 1968-1970 killed between 1-4 million people (one notes from the wide range that it’s very hard to be accurate with these kinds of numbers). There was no lockdown, no shutdowns, no mask mandates, no social distancing, no mandatory vaccines. This is called life. It ends in death. If you’re in your 80s, you’ve already lived a full life. We might shut down the entire world to reduce your chances of getting covid, and you might die of something else later that year.
So all of this—all of this—is forbidden to mention, to discuss. You will be shamed, canceled, deplatformed. And all this talk of mandatory vaccines brought the question of vaccines up. I realized I had been self-censoring on this subject. I hadn’t wanted to hear the arguments against vaccines because I didn’t want to be hated and shunned the way “anti-vaxxers” are. I didn’t want to consider the risks of radiation from 5G for the same reasons. Well, it’s too late now. I finally gave those arguments a fair hearing—and I was shocked to find them convincing.
And I remembered way back in September 2001, when I almost censored myself from pursuing my research into the JFK assassination—because I was afraid of what I might come to believe if I opened my mind to consider the alternative views on that crime. I remember how I decided it would not be patriotic to hide knowledge and reasoning from myself. If the government and media had colluded to cover-up Kennedy’s assassination, true patriotism meant looking into that, confident that the truth would hold up under scrutiny.
And so I looked into it—and all the lore came rushing in—about the assassinations, the CIA, black ops, international banking, media complicity, 911, all of it. When WMDs were pushed as the reason for the Iraq War, I knew it was a lie from the beginning. Once you’ve been exposed to these things, you can tell what’s a lie, what’s a cover-up, just due to the ways the issue is framed by the media—the ways logical fallacies are deployed, the way information is omitted, ignored. I saw it happen with Bush v. Gore, with electronic voting machines being pushed on us after that, with Ohio in 2004, Howard Dean’s defenestration, all the way up to now, with more bailouts, the demonization of Medicare for all, the way MSNBC and CNN turned Democrats into Biden voters like Manchurian Candidates, like they had just turned on a light switch that activated pre-arranged programming. The crushing of Sanders, joined by Liz Warren, who had the honor of twisting the first knife in his back.
And then this madness of the anti-racist Woke Maoism. I was noticing that Democrats were out-authoritarian-izing the Republicans. That if I lived in a Republican state, I would have more freedom. If I had Republican friends, I could be honest with them about my beliefs. I wouldn’t be smeared, canceled and banished by them as I would be by my Democrat friends.
All that conspiracy research I did years ago and stepped back from, I can’t deny it anymore. I can’t pretend it’s not real anymore. And I can’t make excuses for the Left anymore either. I used to believe that the Left was fundamentally about opposing concentrated power, about the free exchange of speech and ideas, and about supporting the rights of dignity for each person to define themselves and not be labeled and categorized, dehumanized as a race, an ethnicity, a sex, a gender, an orientation, a class, a privilege, an identity, a religion. That we would be treated equally under the law and by each other, claiming identities for ourselves if we wished, and respecting that in others—free people, unchained. And so I always made excuses for the Left’s failings, firmly believing it was ever so slowly moving in these directions, however lurching and halting the progress.
The change in my view has been abrupt and pervasive. Now seeing the Left through a critical lens, I can’t unsee it. It’s not that I’m now right-leaning, or conservative, or anything like that. I’m not. Instead, I’ve suddenly realized that my beliefs and values aren’t represented by either the Right or the Left. They might be found in pockets of each, in different combinations. I had projected my values and beliefs onto the Left, and back in the time of Bush Jr., they really did seem to fit. In those days the Left was pro-queer, pro-sex, anti-drug war, anti-war, (truly) anti-racist, anti-censorship, pro-housing, pro-education, pro-healthcare, pro-wealth redistribution, pro-environment. And the Right was on the opposite side of all of that. Much of that is still the case(ish?), but in particular, the Left has become racist. Yes I’ve said it. Racist. As well as pro-censorship, anti-free speech, anti-spiritual, pro-technocrat, and is hostile to enlightenment values and democratic ideals.
On the Left, liberal has become a dirty word—not like it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when it meant you had weird ideas, your heart was too soft, and you couldn’t get anything done. Now it’s a dirty word because it means you believe in free speech, the democratic process, civility of discourse, freedom of conscience, enumerated powers of government, and the rule of law.
I had been starting to agree that I wasn’t a liberal for a while because I thought the word liberal was becoming attached to neo-liberal free market technocratic corporate rule. I guess if it means that, then I’m definitely not a liberal. But if progressive or leftist means endorsing a racist, Maoist thought control and shaming, condemnation, blacklisting regime, I’m not that either. I don’t know what Left or liberal or progressive means anymore. I don’t know what Right or conservative means. I believe in the dignity of humans, in the dignity of freedom, of free thought, expression, and conscience. I believe in spiritual connection, in facing risk and death, in courage and compassion, in generosity of spirit, in kindness and the free exchange of ideas. I believe we need to evolve, not into cyborg tech-drones, but into interconnectedness, awareness, respect, and the healing processes of life.
And although I’ve noticed that some of the Left have properly critiqued the rash of canceling and blacklisting that’s going on, and some have even critiqued the toxic ideology of white fragility, they are largely missing the degree of ideological compromise in the doctrine of equity, and how that doctrine has opened the door to all of this, just as I missed it for so long. They are missing how the concept of equity underpins most Marxist thought, and as such, always presents a threat to human freedom and dignity if democratic liberal values aren’t held central. They miss the difference between economic redistribution as a liberal project and value, and class identification as identity politics and equity tyranny.
And most notably, they ignore the entire authoritarian covid state of tyranny that exists right now, of which the McCarthyite woke wars are only a symptom. They miss the only story really worth talking about right now—and in fact not only miss it, but collude with its propagation as if all of this makes sense—should not be questioned or opposed. They say things like “of course you should wear a mask or you’re an asshole.” There’s no resistance at all to this madness. No questioning of the proportionality of lockdown harms vs. risk.
And I can’t watch it anymore. They just dunk on Trump and Pelosi and their other punching bags, and talk about who’s awful, and advocate for policy changes, and hem and haw about free speech, trying to thread the needle, and all of this—as if our rights as citizens hadn’t just been erased in the name of public health, as if we can just wait and keep quiet until the elites decide to give our rights back to us, and as if anyone who questions or opposes any of this must be a right-wing deranged lunatic, or just an all-around bad person.
And so here I am. I stand adrift, not knowing which way to turn, what to do. Suddenly politically shipwrecked and alienated. And I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t participate in the dunking, the ridicule, the anti-Trump ranting that is contributing to keeping people blind, and increasing hate and division in this world. We must not become monsters through the fighting of monsters.
Will the red pill start coming to others? How long can they keep believing? How long can they keep going along? Will the contradictions finally unravel their world like it did mine? Of course I had years of preparation: psychedelics, psychology, personal development, world travel, philosophy, political history, conspiracy research, and mythology. And even still, I was able to maintain my belief in blue-pilled reality until now. I was able to see things through both blue and red pill lenses before. I’d be interested in the red pill lens, but part of me was still grounded in blue pill reality. I guess I was still counting on that to work out and prove true and reliable in the end, to keep my life grounded in its assumptions. It just seemed safer, more reasonable, more likely.
But that’s been shattered. This lockdown hysteria has so fundamentally harmed me, violated my boundaries, and lied to me with glaring and incredible contradictions, there’s simply no way for me to see this through a blue pill lens anymore, along with the other tears in the fabric I’ve mentioned: Sanders, Biden, CARES Act, BLM, White Fragility, Liz Warren, the Epstein saga, plus Facebook, Google, Bill Gates, vaccinations, 5G, the singularity—I can’t contain the contradictions through compartmentalization anymore. I just can’t. We are being massively fucked with and psychologically abused. Our systems aren’t broken. They’re working exactly the way they’re supposed to. And they are not our systems.
One more horrible trend of the current moment I reject with all my heart is using the name “Karen” to signify your intent to dehumanize and condemn any white woman who expresses beliefs you wish to negate as deplorable, or who behaves in a way you wish to similarly invalidate.
Not only do I really feel for anyone who’s actual name is Karen, this practice is also a primary example of the racism and sexist license the Wokeists grant themselves. It becomes the Karen’s race and sex that disqualifies her and dehumanizes her—and then we, the passive viewer or reader are informed of which beliefs or behaviors of the “Karen” are meant to be viewed as toxic manifestations of her whiteness and womanhood.
Simply put, it’s one more way to reduce someone to their demographics—and one more way to dehumanize and bully someone. One more avenue of toxicity. One more practice to stop.
Relendra’s Journal, July 13, 2020:
New dictatorial decree: Starting day after tomorrow, Governor Brown has commanded all Oregonians to wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of someone they don’t live with.
I can’t communicate the rage I feel. Week by week, little by little, they erase our freedoms and dignity—and the vast majority just goes along. No compunctions about living in a police state, no scrutiny of whether this virus is deadly or dangerous enough to justify erasing our dignity as free people.
It’s hard for me not to hate people. And I’m trying hard not to. I see red and I want to lash out. This fucking nonsense of masks—of “social distancing.” The imposition into the most fundamental aspects of our humanity. The brain-washing and psychological abuse and manipulation. It’s hard for me to access my compassion when my rights are being destroyed, my dignity is under assault. Especially due to my deep resentment at the smug authoritarian self-righteousness of those who would shame and condemn me for my values and views.
I’m not the one who won’t admit I could be wrong about the facts or the risk. The reason we’ve lost our freedoms is because the majority won’t admit they could be wrong. Therefore there’s no discussion, no debate, no knowledge, no democracy, no citizenship. Just subjects who submit to their rulers. But there again, my valuing of democracy and autonomy and questioning authority—especially when the authority is so flagrant and power-mad—my values are not shared by the majority.
The other thing I want to add is my annoyance and frustration at how the Right-leaning critics of the Left’s new authoritarianism almost invariably cite acceptance of transgender people and trans rights as a primary example of a horrible outcome wrought by Left-leaning worldviews. This is frustrating for many reasons. One is because the woke crusaders of the Left have made it easy for them to do this by being so extreme and dogmatic—giving the whole body of trans perspectives a bad name.
Also, those on the Left who insist gender is only a social construction—not just for themselves, but for everyone—are not making an argument that helps trans people, not even nonbinary people. Someone who truly experiences their gender as nonbinary will be helped if that experience is mirrored and affirmed as something real, not just a social construction they are choosing to deconstruct. Those who insist that gender is just a social construction insult and invalidate the experiences of both cis and trans people who experience their gender as something real and something valuable, not just as an idea, an expression, or a construct.
And so on one level, the Wokeists I’m already upset with have really contributed to and fed the flames of this anti-trans backlash. But that doesn’t let the conservatives off the hook. I want both groups to hear this message:
It’s infuriating to hear someone else insist that you don’t know who you are, but they do. You don’t know your own experience, but they do. Your spirituality is a delusion, but theirs is real. If you hate Wokeists telling you you don’t have a gender when you know you do, then don’t tell trans people their gender isn’t real either. If you’re into Jordan Peterson, Carl Jung, and Mythopoeticism, then get serious about understanding the spirituality and sacredness of gender. It is sacred and meaningful for cis, trans, and nonbinary souls. And likewise, offer the courtesy of believing those who claim to have no spirituality that they really don’t experience it, nor gender either.
And Wokeists, please heed the call and release your secular material arrogance. Do not condescend the spiritual. We need you to awaken to greater consciousness. Both sides need help to uncover the expansive mysteries of gender. This can be a passport to a bigger world of mystery, learning, and growth—to a deeper understanding of one’s own humanity, compassion, soul qualities, personal liberation, and respect for others. If you don’t want to experience these things, well that’s fine. You will be left alone in your beliefs as long as you leave others alone in theirs.
We will have to rebuild our humanity in the wake of this collapse of dignity and basic human values we’ve been going through. I recently experienced a vision of the muck and sickness of bigotry—how strong and thick this energy is right now. And it brought insight to me on why my trust in the Left was so utterly broken last month. It’s because I care deeply and passionately about healing from bigotry, about refusing to participate in it, and I experience a lot of anger—protective anger—when I witness a movement acting in the name of opposing bigotry while actually promoting it in a new form. In doing this while simultaneously ensuring that the old forms of bigotry are actually strengthened by the new movement’s actions and stance. The old forms will find vindication, convinced more than ever they were right all along.
And so I experience anger and rage, not only at the proliferation of the new bigotries, but at the lies and gaslighting behind it. Not only dignity and humanity are assaulted, but also truth and the expression of truth—which is the healing medicine needed. In meditation, I asked for a vision to bring me guidance around what to do with my anger, rage, and indignation in relation to others, the way large majorities and their leaders are violating boundaries and what one might identify as noble virtues of the human being: truth, courage, dignity, and respect.
I received a vision of a shadowy, but kind of holographic multi-colored translucent entity I came to identify as the Queen of the Night—a tall, regal, and dignified figure—confident, and very solid somehow, despite her non-physicality… Which is to say that between her purple and blue robes, her essence was composed of night itself, like a window into space and depth—without material substance, but very solid in her shape and boundaries—holding form beautifully still.
I was invited to partake of this form. Although I have longed for most of my life to be kind, gentle, cuddly, joyful, and playful—and to love and be loved in this innocent way of childlike friendship and trust—at this particular turn in my life, I’m called upon for my strength, and for my gifts with those very noble virtues I admire (and experience rage about, due to the assaults on them). There is a loneliness in holding this dignified form. But I’m recognizing that my leadership in this moment is going to flow from this central strength of discernment, boundaries, and confident independence of thought—upholding these values despite tremendous psychological pressure to submit to a slave morality and mentality.
My vision was to channel my anger into a dignity that can hold shape against the muck of boundary-pushing and boundary-violating abuse. To shine the light of clarity on its contours, powered by confidence in this vision. The challenge is in the loneliness and isolation, but I’ve had versions of this vision before. My proper role is going to be—has to be—Leader.
That is where my journal entry from two years ago ends. But the vision I wrote about then was not just a vision for me. It was and is a vision for all of us who see clearly past the bigotries against people of color and bigotries against white people. Bigotry against women and bigotry against men. Bigotry against trans people and gay people. Bigotry against any ethnicity or religion. Bigotry against the unvaccinated or against vaccine skeptics. Bigotry against Trump supporters or against believers in any creed whatever. We are called on to be leaders. To lead by example. By not going over. By renouncing all bigotry, all prejudice, all discrimination. To channel our anger into strength, solidity of spirit, and quiet dignity rather than the condemnation and persecution of hated others.
The traumas we’ve endured these past few years were initiatory rituals for our transformation. But for them to serve as such, they must be remembered and recognized as traumas—they cannot be forgotten or swept aside—under the rug, in the closet, ghosts in the attic. Sunlight is required to activate our transformation through traumatic growth. We are called upon to embody the strength and dignity of our leadership, in whatever form. This could mean leadership by example rather than by organizing others—by walking this earth as a presence—unconquered and indomitable.
This is differentiated from the former parts of us that were conquered. Let them be conquered. Let them collapse into surrender. That’s what the trauma was: the conquest of our misplaced trust. We put our trust in all the wrong places—not because we should have known better—but because our entire society and culture encouraged us and set us up to do so. We placed our trust in the wrong people—people lacking in integrity, or who exported the function of their integrity to others. We trusted the bonds of family and friendship, not realizing these concepts are mere words. The loyalty and commitment that lives in the heart of the individual gives these words their true meaning. And these words mean very little if an individual’s first loyalty is given to an ideology, to the state, or to systems of in-group social hierarchy and authority.
The parts of us that trusted thus were cruelly maimed and murdered through our traumatic awakening. We were identified with those parts, so when they were killed, we felt like we were dying. We loved those innocent, childlike, trusting parts of ourselves, so we grieve their deaths. But they had to die. The traumatic ritual initiation was required to create enough disruption and energy to loosen the bonds of identification with previous identity states. This painful and chaotic energy was needed to pierce the veil between the waking world and spirit world—to shepherd our departing identity formations across the threshold of souls.
The conscious energies that remain have seen a thing or two. The world will never be the same for us. We will never be the same. We cannot simply walk back into this ghost world as ghosts. We must walk as spirits. Let us not forget. Let us remember. Let us not fall into silence about what was done. Let us unpack our trauma and cry to the heavens in our sorrow and broken hearts. Let us be gentle with ourselves in our grieving. Let us not simply rush back into the contests of ambition, fighting for place, or the numb diversions of this ghost world.
Let us not forget.
Let us remember.
Let us lead.
Thank you so much for your writings, both for this piece and your older ones. They always resonate strongly with me, despite our different situations (I'm a straight male in my late 60s). I experienced many of the same things you did: rejection by friends, isolation, loneliness, touch starvation, ostracism, gaslighting. My prospects for finding a life partner are essentially nil now, due to age and the Covid Cult Divide. In my little town, my life is even more restricted than it was last year, due to new vaccine mandates for the local classical music concerts, which were my lifeblood (I even played in one of these concerts last year). My fear is that the apparent easing of mandates elsewhere is only temporary, and that we'll be barraged with new fear propaganda and restrictions this fall.
I'm trying to come to terms with this prospect, and striving to make my life as good as it can be under the circumstances. I'm lucky to have a tiny group of supportive friends. But I am still feeling a confusing mix of anger and grief, and it seems to be getting worse, not better.
On my bad days, I just want to retreat with my piano to a cabin somewhere deep in the woods of Vermont, and withdraw from the society that doesn't want me any more.
Dear Relendra, you are much appreciated for sharing your perceptions that help the rest of us better understand the confusion of other humans. As humans, we are all flawed and easily succumb to actions that can hurt ourselves, others or the environment around us. We need to take care of ourselves first before we can assist others. But ironically it is in assisting others that we also renew ourselves. We know ourselves best and know when boundaries are needed between ourselves and the world so that we can rest There is no need for guilt to rule us. Just do our best and be satisfied at the end of each day that we are fine in our efforts or we are fine in just being. There is a purpose for both. And we can rest with a peaceful heart, content that we are enough. Thank you so much again for all you have given to the world to allow those who read your words to find renewed strength and peace in the challenges that fall across our own paths as well. You are a light and an inspiration to seek out others who also shine light into the damp, foul corners which then dries out and pushes back darkness.