The Work on Violence

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  1. I am new to this work. And I have much gratitude to Katie for bringing this work forward. Several years ago I began having panic attacks and they would be accompanied by intrusive violent thoughts (images). Being a woman very much identified by her beliefs of her personal gentleness and kindness, I, in an instant (after the first thought), began questioning who I was. The blinding fear that these images gave (and even to this day – give) me can not be described. It is Hell on Earth. I understand why war is fought, I understand why we are hateful to each other, I understand why at all costs we project it outside of ourselves …. how could it not be so if we unconsciously carry fears – like the ones I carry? I have thankfully never acted violently (as culturally defined). I have acted in ways that have harmed others (like being angry, shouty, pushy at my children for not taking care of their things), being angry at my Mother and her religion for perceived past wrongs (which I do not recognize as “wrongs” now) and myself (for having these images floating around in my head); I am beginning see these seemingly harmless harms are far from harmless.
    It is interesting to me that I am the first one to comment on this subject. In so many ways I was terrified just to open this section and read what others have posted. I am so afraid to hear or see things that trigger my fears, which are ultimately due to the war within my mind. I feel this war within my brain, quite literally. I know that it is quite common for people to have similar symptoms with their anxiety, but its like we don’t want to face it. I want to face it. I want to know myself. I don’t want thoughts in my head that cause me suffering. I want to be joy. I want to be compassion. I want to be kindness. How do I take this to inquiry?

    1. Dear A Pretty MerPixie and others who read this blog,

      Reading your words I feel that I may understand a little of what you are going through, and I am really grateful for you sharing this. I would also like to ask other people who read this blog for advice on this issue.

      I also used to have panic illness for years. Then, I managed to overcome and was quite well for seven years. One and a half month ago all of a sudden I started to experience very negative thoughts appearing in my mind feeling that I have no control over them at all, which caused me great anxiety. First, I did not understand what was happening to me. It took me several weeks when I dared to brose the internet and read about it. Then, I realised that I am not the only person in the world who has these experiences. I talked about them honestly with some people who are very close to me and that helped. I also tried some methods to become more patient and peaceful towards myself to be able to tackle that inner war that I discovered within myself. They became much less intense and seem to be disappearing in the last one week. However, I am still not so well and afraid of falling back.

      I am also new to this work and would be very grateful for any advice on how to use this method to be able handle these kinds of problems. I understand how to use it when I am angry or frustrated about certain things. But I am not quite sure what to do when I am afraid of my own thoughts, when I am afraid of fear itself. In my understanding the key to this method is to gain an ability to step out of thoughts and enter into a different mental state. When I was really suffering from my thoughts, there was an occasion when they became more silent and for a very short time I felt peace and relief. Then for a single second I felt that if I lived from that state everything would be so easy. Then thoughts came back and suffering too. That short moment helped me a lot. I felt that I have not lost myself completely yet, and there is hope. Since then I am trying to get closer to that state. I pay much more attention to the stream of my thinking, and try not to let them take me too far from myself. My main problem is fear. I am afraid of everything. I am afraid of good things and bad things. I am afraid of my mental states, of loosing myself, of loosing control and many other things. I heard that we can choose if we want to suffer or not. I am trying, but I do not really feel that I have the ability to choose.

      Is it possible to ask someone for help in practising this method? I am not sure if I am ready to do this alone. I would be grateful for any advice.

      Thank you,

  2. Hello,
    You are both not alone. I read this thinking I was going to read The Work on Violence, hoping it would steer me in slightly the right direction thinking of course nobody else would have the thoughts and feel the way I do. I Know my thoughts and feelings come from experiencing life in a very violent house, I didn’t realise how violent until I started to remember in my body and experience the sensations and feelings rather than like a thought memory. Hijack is the word when you are totally paralised by it all.
    I also want to know myself ,my real feeling self after years of coping and not feeling, coping by cutting off from feeling after feeling until your ‘self” is so far underneath the thinking and non feeling self you’ve created that you’ve forgotten you had a self that didn’t rely on being kept in check and was once free flowing and spontaneous.
    I wonder what The Work is or if there is a specific Work on trauma specifically interrelational trauma like childhood abuse, dysfunctional neglectful families of origin etc
    All the best to you both, all the very best in going back to who you are

  3. I am so f’n tired of remembering my father (the Prick!) beating me when I was ten years old because I got a grade below a “c” on my 4th grade report card. I am sooo sick and tired of myself being bothered by it! What a fucking waste of life! THAT ASSHOLE!

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