Monday, April 18, 2016

The Red Pill Is Not Easy To Swallow

Red Pill awareness isn't a gradual learning experience, it's a total paradigm shift.

I was reminded of this when I read David French’s article on Donald Trump’s ‘Counterfeit masculinity'. David, who’s writing I respect, likens Trump to the PUA movement, and I can see the connection. So can the PUA guys who have in a certain respect claimed him as one of their own. But I think David is seeing things from a different angle than I am, and to explain why, I need to tell you a little more of my personal experience in choking down the red pill than I’m completely comfortable with. None the less, I’ll give it a whack.

I was raised by an abusive alcoholic, and though all my siblings suffered some ill effect from this, in my youth at least, it looked very much like I would be the most effected by it. I was an emotional mess in a thousand ways, and that persisted until early adulthood. But I was also very smart. Way far out on the right side of the bell curve. And when I finally matured a bit and got away from my dad, I began to look inward. And though it took years, that introspection eventually led to recovery. Over the fullness of time I’d say I conquered 99% of my inner demons, and was eventually able to achieve many of my life goals.

But there was a problem in that. My self-induced recovery made me arrogant. I survived something that many people assumed I would not. But in surviving those decades of trauma, I came to believe in my own emotional invincibility. I believed that having endured him, I could endure anything. This was what led me to what can be reasonably argued, was the greatest mistake of my life.

In my 30’s I married a beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful and considerate woman. Soon after our marriage, she became pregnant, and I was over the moon with delight. But about 2 months into her pregnancy (after stopping her medication) I discovered that she also had a quite serious mental illness. I want to be clear here. This does not make her a bad person - she isn’t. She is a generous hearted woman struggling with a now quite severe brain bio-chemistry problem. But back before her pregnancy, her medication was able to hide the symptoms so effectively that I couldn’t tell she had any problem at all.

Men, as you probably know, define themselves greatly by the roles they fill for others. And being a ‘good father’ was vitally important to me, since I had suffered so much under my own. His father had been an alcoholic as well, so I saw myself ending a generations old ‘family tradition' of sorts, and dedicated myself to the job. And in my arrogance, I imagined I could handle anything that life threw at me including a little 'crazy'. To a great extent I could too. The hoarding, the food issues, the social isolation from our friends and my family, the arrests, the medication side effects (that once caused her to drive into oncoming traffic and sometimes left her asleep 20 hours a day)… I was able to cope with it all.

It didn’t really matter to me how difficult my life had become, because I needed that role of 'good father'. My stress over it can be found in hundreds of past blog posts over the years, since I often used this forum to kind of ‘talk out’ what I was going through. And as her problem over the years became more severe and my life got more difficult, I said what I think men like me have always said when their life gets harder… I’ll just work harder at it! I thought that if I wouldn’t admit defeat, then no defeat would be forthcoming. But I was wrong.

When you live with someone with a mental illness, your world inevitably gets twisted around and bent in order to accommodate that mental illness. In the moment you see it as ‘picking your battles’. It's usually small things after all, not marriage ending issues. But for someone with a mental illness EVERY battle, no matter how tiny and ridiculous, seems like an existential issue. There is no give and take, because they can’t accommodate it. And eventually, your world becomes one tiny issue right beside a million other tiny issues. That was our life. A million little crazy idiosyncrasies. But taken together they added up.

That was all fine for me. I was 'able to handle anything' after all. And had that been all there was, I'd still be married and living in New Jersey. But eventually it became clear that my wife’s mental illness was also having a dramatic negative effect on my daughter. And when that happened, I realized that no, I couldn't handle anything because it wasn't just me who was handling it.

I won’t go into those specifics. But it suffices to say that I came to the conclusion that if I continued to stay in that environment where the priorities of our home had been bent and twisted to accommodate my wife’s issues, I would inevitably be doing my daughter more harm than good. I decided that it was better to have 1 divorced parent who interacted with the world in a normal way, than it would to have both of them together, where the world they lived in had an increasingly small connection to reality. So after much pain and reflection, I moved out and began divorce proceedings.

Family court was an experience. It is, in essence, a system specifically designed in every way to punish men. I got the best lawyer I could, and raised the subject of obtaining primary custody of my daughter with him. His words were the start of my Red Pill instruction. His direct quote (as near as I can remember) was this:
“No man will ever get primary custody of a teenage daughter in New Jersey unless he can demonstrate in court that the mother is incompetent. Since she’s been medically diagnosed, you have a better chance at that than most. But it will probably cost about 200K, will take years, and even in the best circumstances, your chances are no better than about 50%.”

In a venue that was anything close to fair, I don’t think there would have even been a debate. If my rights were as adequately protected as my ex-wife’s and there weren’t specific biases against men deeply embedded in the system, I would have been granted primary custody as a matter of course. I was a devoted father, who defined a big part of himself by the experience. I wasn’t sleeping with my secretary, gambling away my daughter’s college fund, drinking or doing any drugs. I was a high achieving altar boy of a man whose only goal was to give his daughter the tools she needs for a happy and successful life, and to minimize the damage to her self-image, being inflicted on her by her mother’s serious medical condition.

But it doesn’t work that way. Instead I was offered an even more difficult choice. You see, I mean all the things I say about my ex-wife. She is not a monster. She feels horribly guilty about the effect her illness is having on our daughter, in fact, her guilt is even the cause of some of it. But for reasons closely tied to it, she can’t see far enough around her illness to mitigate the effect it's having on our daughter.

But she is none the less, a generous hearted woman with a serious medical problem. And if I had gone to the trouble of having her declared incompetent, it would have shattered who she thought she was. Combine that with the solitude that would come for her with both her daughter and I out of the house, and I couldn’t be certain she wouldn’t have taken her own life. So the question for me was, did I want to save my daughter from her mother’s influence so badly, that I was not only willing to pay 200K for a 50% chance of removing it, but also have a hand in killing her to do it as well?

Inevitably I chose no. I let her keep primary custody, accepted secondary shared custody, and moved into New York City so that I would be both close to work and create a big lifestyle change for my daughter compared to what she was experiencing at home. In New York, she would have lots of opportunities for seeing the world differently, and maybe she would get a little of what New York had given me when I moved there. Maybe she would get that same sense of perspective about herself out in the deep pond that I had.

Now I see her as often as I can, and when she needs it, she has a place where she can get away from her mentally ill mother, and all the misery that brings to her life.

Then came the Red Pill.

I didn’t reenter the dating world right away after my divorce. Instead I focused on work and getting my own life in order. Spending nearly 20 years with a person with a mental illness can do real damage to your self-worth, and here I was all that much older than I had been the last time I was single. But I still knew I had some advantages. In spite of my six figure alimony I still retain a good six figure living. I still have assets (albeit much less than I did) and I am still tall, still thin, and still very youthful looking and handsome for my age. All I needed was some advice on getting back out there. So I did what I always do in that circumstance, I read.

Years ago “The Derb” had pointed me at Heartiste on a separate topic, and that led me to Rollo Tomassi, Roosh and eventually, the rest of the Manosphere. When I read "The Rational Male" I was immediately struck by it's natural fit into my personal experiences with women.

So when I started dating again, I took the tactics of Red Pill thinking and applied them to good effect (the beautiful 21 year old who lied and told me she was 29 explicitly so I would date her was a more interesting one, and there were several others). and though it salved my damaged ego and brought me back from the post divorce abyss, the PUA goals always seemed hollow and self-indulgent to me.

In a word, the goals of the PUA movement seemed very immature. It wasn’t that I couldn’t appreciate them, or that I was somehow still stuck in Blue Pill mode. I very much was not. Red Pill thinking was actually very natural for me. It’s just that as a man in middle age, I didn’t have that same all-encompassing desire for nubile young bodies that I did in my 20’s. The girls I was meeting and dating would to the PUA world look like a banquet. All of them were above an 8, several were heart stopping beautiful 9.x’s and none was within 15 years of my own age. And while they were great for reminding me where in the social hierarchy my own assessment fell, their immaturity, shallowness, and utter self-involvement left me flat.

Apart from that, I was already what most PUA's would call ‘a natural alpha’, while most PUA's are guys that come from the middle of the pack with regard to their natural desirability. I had none of their resentment at being treated badly by women, (because I never had been) and none of their general social angst. I had notched my bedpost all I ever needed to, decades ago. and was well past the point where that get's boring. At this point I had nothing to prove to anyone.

But after reading their stories and hearing their complaints, I did finally realize how difficult coping with women is for some men, and how easy I’ve always had it. It made me deeply sympathetic to these poor guys who really want nothing except the chance to prove themselves in a way that’s natural to them, and to be judged by something close to ‘male’ standards. So while I’m not all that interested in embracing the PUA goal of a different girl every night, I did once. I very much understood where they're coming from. So although I may not want to be them, I’m not at all interested in condemning them for it either.

This brings me back to David French’s piece about Trump. Personally I think it’s a shame that the piece has to be about Trump because I think it’s revealing about David. And there are so few effective speakers for the Red Pill that I’d be very interested in his take on it. He’s an evangelical Christian after all, so he already has a framework for understanding male and female roles as being different. He’s exhibited courage, and achievement, and has many traits that would describe him as a natural leader. I’d bet that if I met him, I’d like him. But I don’t believe he is Red Pill. And I think if he saw the Red Pill the way I do, it would actually go down much more smoothly for him than it does as a side issue of the Trump campaign. And the reason is that is that I think he shows many natural Alpha characteristics. But the PUA’s mistake him at least as much as he mistakes them.

In a world absent Feminism, the PUA goal of sleeping with lots of beautiful women starts to look less Alpha and more narcissistic. The real Alpha’s are the men who build, create, and protect. Henry II may have gotten a lot of poon, but that is hardly what defined him. And there is far more to being a man than getting in bed with girls. The PUA's know this of course. they talk about it often. But it isn't the kind of thing that grabs headlines in the thoroughly Feminist world.

The problem with the world under Feminism is that though masculinity has many virtues, feminism is only interested on those that involve self sacrifice on the part of the man. All the other virtues of manhood are thought of as either 'toxic' or useless, so they reject them. The PUA’s react to that rejection of what they aspire to rationally by doing exactly the same thing. they call them 'beta' or useless. But those are the masculine virtues around which an evangelical Christian man like David has built his life. He takes them seriously. So the PUA’s insult him, and he insults them, when they are really all on the same side.

I think most PUA’s will come around on that. Even Roosh is showing signs of maturity personally, even if he still has a product to sell others. But there is a legitimate question on whether a guy like David French will ever come around on them. The Red Pill is a bitter one. And even for a man who would by all observation, still be at the top of the social hierarchy if Feminism were ever rejected, it still doesn’t go down easy at all. Red Pill truths are hard truths. And few men will seek them out without cause. I know this from personal experience. And I only took the Red Pill because it felt to me like I had no choice.

This is a very strange time where politics, economics and western culture all seem to be standing on the brink of an upheaval. And I’m convinced that the next president will have much more opportunity to do damage than to effect repair, and it may be in their power to bring it all down on our heads. It has a Russian Roulette kind of feel to me where the person with the pistol might as quickly point the gun at someone else as themselves - maybe intentionally, but maybe just by mistake.

So when we who would rather preserve some portion of Western civilization are trying to figure out who is an ally and who is an enemy, I think we’d all do well to try to remember that.


Muzzlethemuz said...

Thank you for sharing. That clears up a lot for me & what had happened to your marriage. Ditto on everything. You've got your fingers on the pulse of our times & The Derb shows up on your blog to boot.

MikeCLT said...

Great post. I sometimes visit the PUA websites. I think they have valuable insights on male and female psychology. However, I am turned off by their nihilism. They bemoan the collapse of Western civilization but scoff at men who marry, have children and raise families. I also reject their unthinking racism.

I think you are right about David French. His animosity to the PUAs is counter productive. We need to stick together where we have common ground such as opposing radical feminism.