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1. The Injury

This book has a highly ambitious goal: to understand what the world and people ARE and how the whole «system» works. How can one find out about something like this?

To discover new things – about oneself, the world or whatever – one has to change the perspective, see from a new angle, a new position.

It is easy if you stand in a room and look at something. Then it's just a matter of going around the object and observing it from all angles, taking samples and examining it scientifically. You can also zoom out and try to understand the thing from the perspective of the surroundings and the whole situation.

But how should one proceed if the object in question is oneself? Your own existence? How can you find out who and what you, yourself, are by looking at yourself from within yourself? And the world ... how can one understand what it is as a whole when we are inside it too?

Einstein said that the fish is probably the last to discover the ocean.

We must somehow manage to see ourselves (the fish) and the universe we live in (the ocean) «from the outside», from a place that is something other than you and me and the universe.

Moreover, we have another challenge: It takes courage to ask questions about our own and the world's existence and true nature. Who dares such a thing when you personally, your experience of yourself, is part of this nature? Isn't that dangerous? Don't we risk messing up our lives and, in the worst case, losing ourselves?

Isn't life stressful enough if we don't also begin to doubt the very foundation we stand on? Why do such a thing at all?

Most people will not approach such questions. Not really. Fear stops us. The fear of going «crazy». The fear of losing those around us when they see that we are no longer the same. Few ordinary people would subject themselves or others to such a thing voluntarily.

Then there are some of us who have to, are regularly forced into this landscape. The circumstances of life placed us on the outside of both ourselves and the world.

We often have trauma or another form of difference that means we don't believe in ourselves or our surroundings – because we fail to be like the majority.

The «normal» go in groups; we go alone. We observe. We see something different from what most people see.

I'm the kind of person who doesn't belong in the pack. My perspective is different and has been all my life. It has become a theory – about what people and the world are and how it all works. Nothing less.

It sounds wildly improbable and presumptuous, doesn't it? Read the book and judge for yourself.

This first chapter tells about how I became who I am, the childhood trauma that is the cause of the insights and how it manifests itself. When you understand this, you can gradually also understand the philosophical and scientific things that come later – because you know the perspective from which the insights come.

You will get to read a bit about me, but it's really about you. By telling about my position, you may also want to discover your own; that you are who you are for a reason – that you think the way you do about the world, the universe, and society for a reason.

You can claim that everything you know and do is well-founded in rationality, facts, reason, scientific knowledge, etc. You say your reality is «true»; you see things as they actually are, you say. Everyone else sees it that way, too, you say.

You are a fish in an aquarium.

The point of this book is to open your perspective so much that you «find yourself» and discover the fundamental connection between you and the universe. It is the opposite of what you think. Literally.

What a journey you are about to embark on!

But we have to start somewhere, and for you to understand this perspective of mine, i.e., how I view the world and people, I must first explain it naturally enough. Then you shall know what I have seen – from my position outside the people and the world you believe in, but I do not.

All journeys start with a first step. Let's take it. Now!
In all my sixty years, I have had problems with relationships with other people. I both draw people to me and push them away – at the same time.

It has been and is very demanding.

I know this contradictory dynamic inside out; I just don't understand why it is so.

After many years, an explanation appeared that made the pieces fall into place. It happened on November 22, 2021, i.e. only a few months ago when writing this.

My youngest daughter sent me a video that opened my eyes.

I learned that I have a mental injury.

The insights in this book come from this damage, which occurred before I had become self-aware, i.e. before I was approximately three years old.

I did not become quite like other people because of what happened back then, but no one understood, myself included.

During the fall of 2021, I gradually became aware that as a child, I had two «attachment disruptions», as is the term in psychology.

She, who was to become my mother, barely had good enough grades to get into medical school in Oslo, so she travelled to Kiel in northern Germany to study there, only 21 years old. We are at the very end of the 1950s.

While studying, she met my father. They got married, ended their medical studies and travelled to Oslo to establish a family there. It must be remembered that World War II was only fifteen years away, and conditions in Germany were difficult. After a short time, I was on my way.

It became difficult in Oslo also.

The new parents did not fit together at all.

My mother quickly realised that she was about to be alone with me and needed a way to feed herself and the baby. Consequently, she travelled to Nesna in Nordland, near the Arctic circle, in early October 1961 to take a two-year teacher education. It was the nearest college available that late in the fall.

When I was three months old, my mother left me.

In the meantime, I was with my grandmother in Oslo, who was a widow. My German father was also nearby in the beginning, busy with work and building a small house for the family just outside the city. He lived in a dormitory by himself.

In the first period, my primary relationship was with my mother, as for most children. But only three months after I was born in June 1961, she was «taken from me» when she travelled up north.

That was an attachment disruption.

After two years, my mother returned, fully trained as a teacher. She got her first job in Askim, an hour's drive from Oslo, a small town. Thus, the second relationship breakdown occurs.

This time my grandmother disappeared. As a two-year-old, I lost my primary caregiver once again.

It can be compared to being adopted away twice in a row, even before the child has discovered itself.

In addition, we had no relatives or friends in Askim. My mother had to work, and there was no daycare offer, so I was left all day to a young lady who lived across the hall and had a small child herself.

Those who were to take care of me in my young life came and went continuously.

You could say that the situation returned to normal when I was back with my mother after two years. That is the story the family has told themselves in hindsight; it was a turbulent period at first, but it was normalised.

Shouldn't that be okay?

No.

This switching between caregivers resulted in an injury. What the child learned, unconsciously, was that mom could disappear. The lesson was reinforced when Grandma vanished in the same way. The perception that my mother could not be trusted was further strengthened by the fact that she was absent for half the day, and I was handed over to a new stranger.

And there was no one else there for me.

I was a little child. I could not understand what was going on. I learned things about the people around me in a direct way. Important people just disappeared. I could not trust any of them.

I had to manage independently, and I learned this before I learned about «me».

On top of this comes the fact that there was a divorce, and my father returned to Germany. To the extent that he was a caregiver for me initially, he also disappeared.

When I was three years old, my mother and I moved to Lyngseidet way up in Northern Norway, with seven hundred inhabitants, where we also had no family. Everything was new again.

This time I was, insecure as I must have been, sent to the «kindergarten», i.e. an outdoor area with an old warehouse building where we could have our food and keep warm in the harsh climate. We were about twenty children left to a single woman struggling to ensure the kids did not go into the creek or swamp below.

One day, they discovered that there was also sewage in the stream, so some of us got sick, and the kids had to be kept away from the area.

I remember thinking this was not a problem for me because I was never with the herd that explored the area, anyway. I already understood – as a three-year-old – that I was a loner outside the community.

Another day, three or four helicopters from the military arrived on their annual trip to shoot down the overhang of snow from the extremely dangerous mountain not far away. They landed outside the kindergarten, and everyone ran out to see.

I, on the other hand, sat terrified in my kindergarten teacher's lap.

I can still see her gaze in my mind. She was a wise lady, and she held on to me while she studied with wonder this kid who undoubtedly had a problem. It's her wondering, I remember.

In those early years, I learned that people and surroundings disappear and are untrustworthy, not even or especially those closest to me.

I had to explain the disappearances on my own because I was unaware of anything else. What I learned formed the foundation of my personality. People and surroundings can not be trusted.

I only have me.

It was internalised, automated.

I react painfully to all interactions with people, involuntarily, automatically and without knowing why. It's frustrating, to say the least.

So what happens next with a child who is like that?

The child seems to be doing well on its own.

It develops its strategies for security. But it can not rest in the arms of the adults. It does not dare to bind itself emotionally because if the adult disappears, it hurts too much.

So the emotions are suppressed.

Instead, vigilance is increased accordingly. When no one else guarantees safety, the child must take in the world and find out for himself. The child must be on his own. Everything is observed and studied – gaze, sounds, hints, moods, dangers.

Everything is captured and analysed.

In parallel with increased alertness – hypersensitivity, an excessive ability to analyse and see connections also develops – to secure oneself since no one else does.

I have experienced being alone in the world regarding security, and I have compensated by developing both strong vigilance, deep intuition – and considerable analytical skills.

I have compensated for the lack of emotional security and have created my own by taking in the whole world in an intense, always alert way.

The intuitive was also strongly developed because the outer had to be kept together with the inner, and I did not allow myself to use the emotions as a guide, as most people do to find out if something is «right for me».

Only a few people have experienced precisely this combination of events. There are lots of people who have attachment injuries, but almost always in other ways.

My case is, in reality, rare.

What is most similar, as I said, is adoption. I have, in a way, been adopted away twice and, in addition, changed living environment several times because we also moved to Oslo for two years when I was six and seven and then to another small place up north for one, and back again to Lyngseidet – all before I was nine years old.

That's how my first years were.

There is a lot to say about this, but the important thing for me now is that the damage is recognised and understood. It took me sixty years to realise that this unfortunate start in life has completely dominated my view of the world until now.

So in November 2021, my youngest daughter sent me a video clip with a Seattle psychologist analysing a conversation between an upcoming couple. They have problems.

The man appears as a notorious liar in a strangely banal way, for most of his lies are obvious to everyone. He can not help but lie. He reacts automatically based on an inner perception, an unconscious injury.

The psychologist knows that the man was adopted. The injury, he believes, must be due to attachment disruption, i.e. that he unconsciously compensates for lack of security.

So the man chooses to lie. That is his strategy. It's not particularly smart, but he can not help it because that was how he «secured himself» when he was little.

Seattle psychologist Dr Kirk Honda hit the nail on the head. He uses strong words about the incident in the man's childhood, i.e. calls it a «massive attachment disruption» and shows what automaticity this creates in a child.

I'm not in the habit of lying, but I recognise what he's saying. He is right.

The diagnosis is precise: Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, CPTSD.

Here is the video clip: Married at First Sight #27 - Therapist Reacts. The central stretch starts around 10'40”, but it is wise to watch from the beginning.

And here is a small excerpt from what the psychologist says:
When you're ten years old and have an attachment disruption, you know, it's sad and it hurts and you can have long lasting damage. But when you have an attachment disruption at the age of one or the age of two, this neurologically changes you because you learn in a very real way that people cannot be depended on.

No matter how much you try to convince yourself that people can be depended on, your body does not believe it to be true. You believe deep down in the depth of your personality that you can not trust other people. They will leave you or they will hurt you or you're worthless, because that's another thing that kids tragically will conclude if they've been carded around like that; I'm not loveable, I'm worthless.

Another thing that happens is that because they learn that they can not depend on other people, they kind of really pull away from other human beings, even though behind that defense is a great need to connect but they will really kind of recede from other people. When you pull back from people chronically from the age one to eighteen, you don't really develop a sense of other people in your heart. You have a hard time understanding other people and you have a hard time feeling for other people.

...

If you're blank with other people, ... you know, they'll be fine kids, but they're not really interactive with other people ... there is actually nothing in the DSM that describes this ... when you learn you got to pull back, and this is neurological, it has nothing to do with your conscious mind, you don't have empathy for other people. Not that you're incapable of empathy, you are capable of empathy, but you've learned to pull back because other people can not be depended on.
So this was the first time I got an explanation for something I have always known, that I am different in many ways – with significant negative consequences and a lot of inner pain.

So this is my injury, as everyone else I know has their injuries.

I have thought that I myself was responsible for all my thoughts and all my behaviour. Now I have suddenly become «explainable», and it is experienced as a relief, as being incorporated into the human.

What have been the consequences so far?

Let me give some examples.

I'm always on the outside.

When you suppress your emotions, you do not live completely. I can hardly remember that I have ever dared to let go, be unreservedly happy, genuinely sad, or embrace love fully.

I dare not let go of control because I know no one will hold me, ever. I do not trust anyone because no one can be trusted.

I have experienced this over and over again because I observe and analyse other people more intensely than most, to be sure. Then you quickly see that we all first and foremost look after our own interests.

Everyone knows that everyone is like that – really. The difference is that I see this «truth» in people all the time. The happier and more welcoming people are, the more the warning lights flash.

Nothing in the outside world can now change what I learned as an infant. I became a watchful, intelligent, insensitive guy who has no confidence in anyone but who, at the same time, longs for love and security that has never been confirmed.

It's sad.

The damage from childhood has affected all my relationships, friendships, my marriage, parenting and working life.

I have never belonged to any groups. Well, maybe a little, for a while, on the outside. But not for real. I have hardly any friends and do not cultivate friendships.

Instead, I walk freely between groups of people and different environments.

I have a lot to contribute; I am more observant than most and can give lengthy analysis and explanations on most things. I'm «useful». I contribute with insights and plans. Plan B, C, D ... There is always a safety mechanism.

I keep what I promise because I know I can deliver. I have always taken care of all the security in my own life, so contributing to others comes easily. I'm exaggerating a bit now, but it's to clarify.

With such qualities, I gain access and trust. I get assignments.

Because I was agile and willing to learn, I was, of course, chosen by the teacher to play the lead role in the first tiny play in the class of the primary school. It was painful. I was on display for everyone and could not handle the eyes that fell on me.

I was elected as an independent political representative for my high school for the annual meeting of NGS, the high school students' national organisation. Again, it was because I was considered sharp, logical, and not looking to advance the interests of any particular group.

It was unheard of. People are not usually chosen just for «skills»; it was, after all, about politics and interests.

These were two small, random examples.

I have initiated everything possible.

I have contributed centrally wherever innovation is required or when the situation is complex.

I am an eternal entrepreneur with several «successes», relatively speaking. I'm central in the beginning. In the creative phase. I thrive when something is still unknown or unresolved.

Then it crashes.

After the initial phase, the relationships, the collaboration and the development continue. At work, in the project, with potential friends.

I withdraw. I don't trust that it will last. I know nothing about safe relationships. I have never learned about emotions because it has been dangerous.

I have a disability when it comes to everything interpersonal.

I pull away. I look at everything from a mental distance, observe and analyse everything human, but I do not participate. I am in two places at the same time. Effectively, clearly, constructively present – but at the same time; evasive, contemplative, insensitive, analytical at a distance.

I am the one people see in front of them, but at the same time in a meta-position, outside.

Nothing scares people more.

People who are anything but what they seem are like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The clown's mask and the scary, real person behind. Food for horror.

People are incredibly sensitive to differences. Of course, that's how we avert dangers and enter into alliances. We feel when something is not right. It's an intuitive reaction, and it usually remains uncommented. When something feels insecure, you do not go towards it; you withdraw.

That's how I experience being with other people; first intense creativity, discoveries, development, usefulness, hope for a good relationship – and then a nascent uncertainty, lack of bond, and distance.

In the end, I pull myself out completely.

My God, so many things I have ended in my life!

People and environments I have lost. Because I can not. Because I am torn to shreds by the need for closeness, enthusiasm, to go entirely into something – and this eternal, automatic need to secure myself from being abandoned, again.

Then I pull away and isolate myself. My prophecy is fulfilled. I'm actually left alone, abandoned again – as a consequence of my own behaviour.

In a way, I leave myself, oppose myself, go against my own needs, and destroy my opportunities, because I have relationship damage that is impossible to repair.

The psychology is pretty straightforward; injuries like these are lifelong and practically impossible to heal because the situation is too complex, woven into everything, and amplified repeatedly.

I go into myself.

I spend almost all my time there.

I have been sitting alone in my home office for years, cycling for several hours every day – alone, ten thousand kilometres every year for the last twelve years.

I prefer to do everything alone, from making dinner, shopping, writing reports, programming, and vacationing – to going to parties. It's the easiest way. I can observe and analyse freely without having to clash with the incomprehensible needs of others.

Lonely?

Yes and no.

I feel an indescribable, unspeakable, wordless, formless longing for unconditional love. I know I can not trust it, even if it is right in front of me, no matter what I do. It hurts.

Lonely? No, because there is hardly a human being who is more self-sufficient than me. I was always alone. I have developed my strategies, and they fill me completely. I'm not afraid of the depths of my heart. On the contrary, I have been in the deep every minute of my life, and there I find the security that keeps me going.

Lonely? No, because I'm also a master of curiosity. Not because I am childish, but because everything I take in is thoroughly analysed to maintain control and security.

Lonely? No, because loneliness is an emotion, and emotions I don't allow.

But, then again, love. The need for cohesion. The desperation to be a stranger among men. It trumps everything and can not be displaced or analysed away.

The pain is there, and it is unbearable in the long run.

In April 2018, I could do no more.

I could no longer walk around like two people in one.

I stopped, broke down, and was unable to do anything. I drowned in grief, a melancholy. Everything external became insignificant, untrue, and useless.

I could no longer keep my problem away, at the same time as I understood very little of what it was all about. My authentic self, my soul behind the damaged facade, took over. The ego gave up, resigned.

Then something strange happened.

Or not really, because it is well known that when you leave the ego, the role you play in front of others, something else emerges from behind.

The path to insight, awakening, goes through the pain – through transcending the pain, one often says. Diving into it will be my words. Go into it, feel it, swim in it, let go and fall.

I fell because I had no options.

I seriously rediscovered my intuition.

I discovered a higher level of consciousness.

I discovered myself in a new way – because I was an expert on myself already, more than most people. But so far, I was also blind in trying to keep a dysfunctional ego going.

The short version is that I started to «know» more than ever.

I always «knew» something about that which is behind and above because I was always so alert, of necessity.

The result of my collapse in 2018 was a divorce after thirty years of marriage. I've left most of what I did before. Instead, I immersed myself in philosophy, psychology and science, intuition, religions, the insights of people in earlier times and elsewhere, and phenomena on the fringes of the «rational».

I've always taken in these things.

I have searched, and I have found. The insight that has taken up residence in me is startling, it must be allowed to say.

Yes, it's my insight, my awakening, my injury. But none of this is private because I am a human being like everyone else. These are the exact mechanisms that apply to all of us. True knowledge is true for all.

Do I hear that you are sceptical? Do you think this is some imaginary nonsense?

Where are the facts, the documentation, the science?

Relax.

I, too, am a doubter, a sceptic, an analyst, a rationalist who demands logical conclusions, common sense, verifiable experiments, strict interpretations, etc.

One does not exclude the other.

So much so that I have discovered along the way that science does not have answers to everything.

There are gaps in our knowledge, for example, about the origin of life and the universe.

We also face other huge gaps, such as the challenge of explaining everything abstract and subjective – things connected first and foremost to our consciousness and thinking.