Monthly Archives: January 2013
There was a time when I was looking forward to just having to focus on my own feelings…and not others. Allowing others control and reactions to their own feelings seemed loving and much better than what I had been doing as a codependent personality…
Mastering paying attention to my own feelings and dealing with those, however…Wow, that is a challenge. I can see how it must get easier. But the habit of being afraid of my own feelings, of fleeing from them, of masking them because of what others might think or say, or how they say my feelings affect them makes focusing on my feelings like a trip into a war zone…
I think exhaustion and exasperation is the only thing that brings me back to try again, after giving up and just suffering my bad habits of denial. Today I am exhausted again, and feeling like I am jumping from floating ice chunk to floating ice chunk as I encounter all of the feelings I have, and try to get away from them…There does not seem to be any solid land for me to jump onto.
If I stop ‘reacting’ to my own experience of my day, I will have no choice but to just face those feelings. Stand, steady myself, balance, on the issue that is screaming at me. Only when I listen to myself, look my feelings straight in the face, don’t avert my gaze, will I be able to trust myself, will I be able to do something about what I am feeling.
This really is a bigger war with myself than with anyone. Because there is no one else to take care of me now – I am 40 – no one else to teach me how to be a healthy person with myself…I have no choice. I really would like to be a peaceful, happy, pleasant person. And this is the only way. Be a good person to myself.
Fear, resentment, anger, frustration…you are ok here, because you have a reason to be here. You don’t have to stay forever though. I want you to be on your way eventually. And that is why I will sit and talk with you for a while. Sit and talk until we have nothing further to talk about and we can hug and say goodbye.
I never feel only one thing. I am tired and exhausted, because I feel a dozen things at the same time all the time. Half of those feeling are because of fear. So, the feelings I am feeling are often antagonizing each other, goading each other, threatening each other, braving each other…If I feel, say, amused, at a particular moment, that feeling is immediately followed or accompanied by another feeling out of fear of the reaction I will get for feeling amused. So, I will judge myself and then feel, on top of amused, trepidation, self-doubt, annoyance, exasperation, anger…
I am happy to be able to articulate this. <Gratitude>
But I am also perplexed and bewildered…. How do I gear this all down?
Taking care of myself, ‘re-parenting’, is I think one of the ways, if not THE way.
Re-parenting is, some would say, “going back to the stage in which the adult was wronged and satisfying or making peace with the inner child hidden inside by giving the response and fulfilling the needs that were required at that time by self counseling or therapy”
This is definitely useful for me. I would like to write down examples of this… But what I think will help me very much is (re)parenting myself in the present. Or ‘taking care of myself’ in the present. (btw, I think that ‘taking care of myself’ is a much more loaded phrase and idea than it ever has been for me…)
I am discovering, in my case anyway, that re-parenting has subtleties… It requires acceptance of my past-that I wasn’t taken care of but also that I was still worthy of being cared for despite that and that I am worthy of being cared for now. Oh, and acceptance of my present-that I need taking care of and that I am the best person for that job. A lot of self-loathing and flagulation have to be given up in order to even hear my own thoughts and feelings, to notice my own pain and needs… One does learn, if you weren’t cared for, to live without it and that wanting it or being cared for are scary and have bad consequences…
I am only JUST beginning to give my needs the attention they have always craved, and only JUST settling with the idea that I can respond to and fulfill them. I am 40 years old. And I will learn from now, a self-value that I shockingly acted like I had but never did…
I am so proud of such a small and silly moment this past weekend where I didn’t let myself eat too late so that I could hopefully avoid bad dreams. I wish that the propensity to notice and listen and respond to myself was so automatic that I could be responding to my needs all the time.
Unfortunately, the healing doesn’t happen in a straight line, in a logical order, or in a way that I can even describe as I am going through it. That is why we find such pleasure in stories, accounts, reflections… Because looking back is the only vantage point from which to see that it makes sense exactly how it played out.
I pray that my connection in this world, this Power of Life that I call my higher power, continues to provide me with a stable center as I swing and flap and waver in the winds of emotional turmoil and change.
Take good care KS.
So, I went to my therapist yesterday (sounds like a beginning of a joke, right?), and she said “you must have had a lot of resources to get where you are even though you had so little emotional and other support.” I smiled…trying to pinpoint my resources in my mind as she paused. And I shook my head, kind of in circle like one does when we kind of agree but don’t know if we agree. I got even closer to laughing out loud and wasnt sure why. After, I realized…I was laughing because one can do a lot with Denial.
Denial – my resource for life. I wish it would go away.
Today, and for the last however many days I have been missing my Ex. A lot. But the frustrating thing is that I am codependent and so I don’t really know if I am missing him or just going through withdrawal. Or how much of either of those things I am feeling.
I had a weird feeling Sunday…before and after I went to the AA meeting…like he was close. I was almost afraid to go to the meeting at the (very) off-chance that he would be there. I went though, and when I was there, I felt like he was close (though I’m sure he wasn’t there).
And what do you know, the following morning – 7:30am – he texted me.
I miss him so much, and am ashamed of it. So I try to intellectualize it and tell myself I am just sick, like any addict. So, I don’t think I’m letting myself feel the feelings. But I miss him so much my whole body hurts. I know it is not a ‘sound’ missing. But I wish he would do or say or be what I need. I wish he would show up at my door, or anywhere looking for me, or call with the loving voice…just be there, somewhere…
Even as I say these things, I am denying there validity, truth, in my mind, which makes the feelings hurt much more. I am hurting myself by putting myself with someone who can not care for me, AND denying my own feelings of missing them. No matter what kind of feeling they are…I deny.
Well, right now, I just want to put it out there, that I miss him with the power of a military jet plane, with that many G’s, and that many miles an hour, and that many horse power. I could get 40lbs of muscle in an instant on the kind of power with which I am missing him.
For whatever purpose it serves, I am going to try and let myself feel….
Finally, a real re-parenting moment.
Really, I am kind of impetuous…But I try to be discrete about it and I’m as good at it as an alcoholic. Tonight I felt like eating popcorn with butter and cinnamon sugar before bed. But I’ve been having popcorn before bed lately and I’ve been having hurrrndously bad dreams and waking up with excruciating salt hangovers. I’m loving the popcorn, but am so busy and need so much concentration each day on my work that I realistically can’t do the popcorn thing at night like that. But I could taste it as I imagined the snack… Mmmmm… But somehow caring for myself took over. A real ‘reparenting’ moment that I am super relieved about. Silly, but huge, i feel… The proess of recognizing the moment… i thought: If I was two people and I was trying to take care of myself I would give myself cinnamon popcorn at work during the day so that I could burn it off before bed and not feel so shitty in the morning and so tired and anxious from bad dreams. So that’s what I told myself. And my self felt good to be ‘taken care of’ :-).
This evening I went to an AA meeting. My intuition or my higher power told me last night that I would go.
It worked out.
Through my eyes, there is some serious miracle happening in AA meetings. And I needed to feel it today.
The miracle is humility. The promise of humility.
I think I feel closest to my higher power when I am on or near the ocean. At least that’d where I always experienced it when I was young because I grew up near the ocean.
And the power comes to me in the form of an understanding of how small I am in this world. How absolutely essential but entirely insignificant my ‘self’, my ego, really is. I experience that comfort of understanding my place in the world when I listen to people speak in AA meetings. As I sit in a room full of people putting themselves at the mercy of the power of the force that has brought them into that room. Usually when I go to AA (I am not an alcoholic, I am in CODA 12-step program), I am crying or at least close to losing it most of the meeting…Overwhelmed by people’s ability to let go…and sad at how silly I am for trying to take control of things that are not my business nor even in my realm of ability…
I am thankful for this, and thankful for the chance to live today and to end my day with that kind of comfort and with my higher power’s Grace.
These days I am not only chipping away at my anger, fear and resentment, but as I am doing that I am discovering exactly how big and hard that rock actually is. It is discouraging, depressing and sad. But what keeps me chipping is the act that I (will) feel profusely more depressed, discouraged and sad if I don’t. It is like trying to move even two inches between a rock and a hard place. You/I realize that you/I am in that small painful place between past pain and the pain I have to face as I move forward and the bigger steps/moves you try to make the more confined you feel. It’s like a torture chamber or one of those choke collars for dogs; the more you try to rush ahead, the tighter the collar gets, even if you’re trying to live AHEAD!
That teeny time space between the past and the future that I live every day only grows a little bigger when I look ‘inside’, work ‘inside’ me… When I am able to manage my life in a bigger space, I am given a bigger space to work with… I have been tugging and pulling ahead for so long that I really am exhausted.
Another thing that keeps me looking inside even though it is so painful is the knowledge that I am doing it in a world with do many other people who are also trying to be happy. Truly happy. It’s nice to know that there is such a thing. I was losing hope when so many people were telling me there was nothing else…
Thank you, brave and true soul-seeking people.
I am very thankful for:
– walking in the snow in the park and warm hands and feet while doing it
– fresh air
– food fetish
– a working car
– working body
– time for change
– possibility for relaxation
– people I don’t even know looking for less pain and more happiness
– people putting themselves and their feelings and experiences out here so that they are not alone and no one else is
– homemade rice bowls with miso tahini sauce and grilled tofu and veggies
– another day
– thoughts outside all of my old scared learned patterns
I went to school with a healthy lunch I packed for myself. More food than I could eat, and everything that I like.
I taught my class giving enough responsibility to the class for their own learning, so that I wouldn’t feel like a failure for things that are not my fault.
I left school in time to get home before dark so that I would be happier.
I didn’t force my self to do work when no needed to rest.
I went to a meeting feeling pretty crappy. Felt crappy most of the way through the meeting, but my spirit was lifted up by the totality of the hearts, spirits and words of those who came tonight.
Rather than hurrying home on the subway to stress about work, I walked half way home in the fresh air, stretching my legs… 🙂
When I got home I enjoyed the atmosphere of my little place which I paid someone else to clean today…and I read a book for 2 and a half hours!! Started and almost finished it!! I can’t believe I did something so leisurely. It is a ‘being nice to yourself’ book but a different kind…a story. I was ‘in’ it until I was too tired to keep my eyes open… 1 chapter left I think…!
Learning today about Reparenting oneself(myself):
– Caring about my experience of violence and violation.
‘Caring’ means…empathizing with myself, pausing to feel my feelings, embracing myself(however possible), protecting myself from things that trigger that fear and violation, paying attention to myself enough to stop me from reliving it, stop me from doing things or being with places or people that cause me to relive the same kind of pain, fear, anger… I have lived it enough.
(Re)parenting oneself is anticipating things and preparing to treat oneself well, like a parent must anticipate and prepare for their child’s hunger, changings, fatigue, fear. I live with myself anticipating and acting on what I know of myself, to take myself through a happy and safe life today and every day. I teach myself how to take care of myself and how to protect myself from danger, hurt, and pain.
– a woman who was a girl who was intimidate by her father and mother
– a woman who carries around a lot of fear and anger and resentment
– a woman who remembers the best and the worst of being a girl
– a woman who as a girl learned to forget herself
– a woman who wants to grow into being a woman
– a woman who was a girl
– a woman who was molested as a girl
– a woman who was forgotten as a girl
– a woman who survived being a girl
– a woman who is not yet free
– a woman who was used as a girl
– a woman who was left alone as a girl
– a woman who learned some things too fast
– a woman who missed out on feeling carefree as a girl
– a woman who can’t get the voices of others out of her head
– a woman who acts as though she is a girl when she is not, she is a woman
– a woman who still feels the helplessness of a girl
– a woman who is afraid of little things
– a woman who plays old patterns over and over
– a woman who is scared to live because she is scared of her own power
– a woman who learned that being herself hurt people.
– a woman who negotiated too much as a girl
– a woman who has denied too much
I want to be a woman, a whole woman…
Because I will recognize it.
I am blind now, but I will see.
As I clear out the clutter that I have gathered.
The clutter with which I have blocked my view.
My view of what I thought I should be so afraid of.
Afraid of how things really are.
And who I really am.