Monthly Archives: March 2013

Cut Back on the Punishment

Gratitude to my therapist today. Only good things come from putting oneself in the way of help.

I arrived in her office today and a bunch of rich and intense things streamed out of my mouth about how I continue to make decisions that keep me in a continued state of discomfort, fear, anxiety… I cannot seem to say ‘no’ (or ‘yes’ depending on the case) for one simple reason: ME. I can’t yet seem to gear into caring for my own feelings enough…

So, I went on and on about how difficult it is to make the right decisions and then about how I loath and punish myself on top of that.

She eventually stopped me and said that all I seem to do is work. ‘Work’. Work on work, work on school, work on home and work on me. I really am not treating my life and my recovery as though it is a process. I am not having any patience with myself at all… And I have such high standards, and in so many words, no allowance for my own humanity; emotion and learning and feeling processes, growing, realizing, changing neural pathways. I am a real militant gal towards my own self.

It was more emotional for me to hear her say it than it has been for me to ‘know’ those things.

So, I felt some peace given the permission, so-to-speak, to let myself be human. And I felt myself back down a bit. I felt some compassion for a few moments and I think in those moments I also prayed for the compassion to stay with me.

Gratitude for others lending me their attitudes of compassion…

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Prayer

Please help me to get through today.

help me not to crash

help me to love myself for even 1 minute today

help me to care for myself; feed myself, stretch my body, listen to the fears or fatigue or other bodily or emotional needs and give to them. and help me to do nothing if that is what will keep me safe or healthy or less insane

Thank you for helping me get through every day until now. And

Please help me to get through today.

What I Really Feel

I have generally been either afraid or ashamed to admit what I really feel about anything, and my actions, decisions, rationalizing as well…I have come to realize. The pattern of denial and ‘stuffing’ has been so entrenched that I am only just now, after 9 months (today, yay!) of coda, gradually realizing exactly what I feel. Or at least being able to articulate it or describe it or notice it and put words to my thoughts as I’m feeling it…

This is a bit of a step 4 exercise, or a confessional, or whatever other colloquial word there might be for this. I don’t know if I am doing this the right way but I must ‘dump’ about the last 24 hours because my head has felt like it was going to explode into a tense bloody explosion. So, here’goes. I am 40 and I am only just learning to be honest with myself.

Last night I heard from my ex. I was resolved in my head that if I did hear from him that I was going to ignore the message or the call. Partly because I was pissed off but also because I am really wanting, no matter how inept I am at it, to create more distance for myself. To protect myself, to give myself space and safety and peace of mind.

But of course my patterns or habits took me over. I ended up responding to a call and then wanting to close things off but he was being evasive and controlling and I couldn’t help myself but get irritated and try not to BE controlled so I went to try and assert my own control (am I a winner or what…?! Silly, silly girl). I went to his house with the sole intention of telling him that I am sick of him depending on me and trusting me and taking that for granted and to stop contacting me until it can go both ways. But he didn’t listen, which just frustrated me but he calmly said ‘come in and sit down and let’s just watch this tv show… ‘ I was absolutely incensed but am a complete spineless slug and I went in and we sat and didn’t say almost anything after that.

I felt like a complete idiot,because he did’t listen to me, and because i caved because he just acted like he didn’t want to argue and he was afraid I really meant what I was saying and so he decided to be nice. I wish that niceness was there all the time. So I caved. (That is a kind word compared to the selfloathing I have felt for myself in the last 24 hours).

So, before I would have in my mind and heart blamed and blamed and blamed him but these days I am doing something much more excruciating. I am trying to sit with my own feelings, recognize my own patterns, hear the voices in my head and uncover all of this – be accountable for own actions and see the moments where I disregard my own feelings and intuition… I am a total newbie at this and know that It probably sounds and looks like I don’t know what I’m doing but this is my best try for now…

I watched myself get pissed off and drive down to his place and wasn’t able to stop myself. I watched myself, assert control that was useless… I watched myself put on a show, all trying to control him while I was blaming him for being controlling. He was certainly a prick, but I had no brain on my shoulders or presence of mind, and I took the option of staying there because my loneliness is virtually unbearable these days. I isolate and I am not comfortable just with myself yet.the old mean mother and father voices follow me around all day especially when I want to take some quiet time and do nothing. That’s when they are the loudest. That loneliness drives me to do the consolation thing…and take G as an alternative. The pain of loneliness is that bad…

So I stay there, I barely sleep all night, I am feeling pissed off and resentful but I narcissistically like the fact that he is being patient and kind and making an effort to be sensitive to my anger… I feel like I want to get the hell out of there. I feel like I just want to stand up and walk out without saying a word because I am so exploding with frustration in my chest. But I lay there, as though I am made of a 1400lb piece of lead. And I blame it on him in my head. I think, I am going to give you another chance, I’m going to sacrifice my rest and my work and my time and my sense of peace and you better make it all worth it in the morning. So,I tell myself this, that I am giving him a chance to be the man I know he can be. He annoys me as he sleeps, as he snores because he can sleep, and I lay there livid, and awake. I tell myself I will get up in the morning and go. And I tell myself, if I waste my day with him he better make it worth it. And we laze all morning, and I have a splitting headache and try to sleep but can’t. And I blame it on him. And I go over things in my mind that just anger me. And I go over the ways in which I have embarrassed myself. And the ways in which I have and continue to do myself injustices. And I blame him. And I still don’t get up and go home to work, even though I am shooting myself in the foot. And he makes me breakfast and I think to myself that he is sucking up. So I discount his effort in my mind,but I praise him out loud. And blame him for me not going home yet because he made me eat breakfast there. And I think I’ll try and make this work for a few minutes. And I sit with him for breakfast. And I wait for him to say something mean. And he doesn’t. And we laze some more, and I do some work with my phone, and I still don’t go home. And the sun is out and it’s beautiful outside and I notice that I am going to miss the day because I cant ask him to go for a walk with me. Because he almost always says no, with some irritation. So I blame him for my not getting outside today. For a moment. Then I move on from that before I say something out loud. Then he decides what we’ll eat for dinner… And I stay. I am ashamed. I am helpless.
I am powerless over my codependence. I cannot manage my own life. I am really starting to understand why help is indispensable…

Just before we eat dinner, no, almost as we’ve finished making dinner, he starts a long story about not telling his ex and kids that I am there… Well, it wasn’t a long story, per se, it was a…passive aggressive ‘request’ that I not be offended that he was going to keep under wraps that we’re talking again. Even just writing these words makes my inside want to explode like pure sodium does when it hits water…BANG. I am listening to him, with the most humongous ability I have to pretend that he is making any sane sense whatsoever…which I have done for as long as I can remember. He is literally, but every so manipulatingly asking ME to absorb the consequences of HIS (OMIGOSH I wish I could think of descriptives that depict the gargantuan nature of his denial, deception…OMIGOD I can’t even portray it anywhere near doing it justice…) actions.

The most recent situation that he is talking about – him being ‘mad’ at me, looks like this. His ex took his kids over to his place to eat one evening (much bigger situation surrounding this but I have to abbreviate for now). When they got there he left to go out to pick up some food. (He lost his license for a DUI 4 years ago and hasn’t bothered to get it back yet, so he was walking.) Weird that his kids come to visit after 2 weeks and the first thing he does is think of an excuse to go out and have a drink. It takes him an hour to get back and by the time he got back his ex was annoyed at him disappearing for an hour and an argument ensued. Meanwhile, in response to his ex asking where he was and being annoyed at waiting around while he disappeared, G says in front of the kids something about dying, or that they were going to kill him with what they were saying that night (because he is an emotionally volatile and cruel alcoholic…) so his ex called ME! She said, “now i have to stay here because the kids think he is going to kill himself tonight’, S can you come down here and deal with this!?” Oh…my…Ggggggg! And my first reaction was that the kids must be terrified that G said that, and beside themselves because their mother is freaking out, and also worried about what their father is going to do because it doesn’t take him long to get fired up and aggressive. She asked me what I should do and I said if you think he is going to do something to himself then call the police. And G freaked out having heard me say that. He loses it about the police, period. He has anxiety, paranoia, everything… Bottom line is that she loses her mind, and he loses his mind, and I get ALL of the flack for telling her to call the police if she thinks its that bad. G ends up telling his ex she’s not getting any money from him any more, etc., etc…. and she vents to me about how crazy G is getting. So I don’t talk to G for days, for my own sake, while he takes all of his frustration about that night on me, blames the whole thing on me. After a few days he and his ex end up ignoring the whole thing ever happened and she is over there two weekends later staying over night when he has the kids because, G says, “she was sick and alone, and I got MMA on tv and she likes to watch GSP.” Meanwhile I get 2 or 3 texts from him over a 3 week period saying “Hope you have a good day”…

I want to pull my head off and throw it into a canyon, because I am otherwise so inept, so stupid, so brain dead to be even talking to him or any of these people…

And here we are making dinner the other night. And he says in so many words how bad it looks on him that we keep on getting back together and breaking up, and getting back together and breaking up, and how foolish he feels when he has to answer people’s question “How are you and S?”. How he feels he has no choice but to answer these people’s questions (he thinks, or uses the excuse that, he is accountable to his drinking friends about his relationship with ‘the love of his life’) and it is best that we manage our relationship (the way he suggests) until we are back on solid ground and he can look like less of a loser for continuing to getback together with me. He is worried about what his drunk friends, gang mother, and fucked up ex think of him about getting back with me, but not worried about what they think about his drinking, his actions, his words, his volatility, his unpredictability, his abuse… And obviously, certainly not worried about how I feel or what I think…

Anyway, we had gotten through pretty much an entire day of him being calm and nice, and then after 1 beer, yes, just one, he tells me how often he feels we should see each other and that I am the love of his life, but his ex has “1-up on me” because they have kids. So when he gets pissed off at her he HAS to talk to her, but if he’s pissed off at me there is nothing that says that he HAS to talk to me.

I feel like I am throwing up an organ when I talk/write about this. I feel so corrupt, so rotten, so irretrievable…so absolutely beyond recognition IN-SANE

It is eating me from the inside out like a 300lb eel with fangs…

Why do I know how crazy this is, and still give it an iota of a second in my mind, in my life? I think I literally tell myself that he is going to crash, he is going to see it, he is going to come out the other side absolutely flabbergasted at his own behavior and thought processes… Because I am. And he will, if not in life, in death. But I forget the timeline. It could take forever. I don’t seem to have any sense of time with him. 20 years could feel like 1. Just like 4 years has felt like 4 weeks.

I am laying here staring the insanity straight in the face and only going through the motions of my own life, not knowing if I am going to have an emotional or physical crash today, not choosing once and for all one or the other. I think I am so fearful (of the loneliness that I imagine will come with being ‘independent’, autonomous, on my own, not hearing his convoluted professions of love for me?) that I torture myself with it every day. The obsession is absolutely excruciating. Because it takes everything out of me when I obsess about the situation. And all over again, it takes everything out of me when I shame myself for obsessing about the situation.

I feel shame for being afraid of being alone. I feel shame because being alone with myself should not feel so bad. I feel shame because I have so abandoned myself that as I sit in a room with myself, I might as well be stone cold, helpless, a shell of a human being, staring down at my needy self with a stone gaze, because I am depleted, 100%. And I don’t believe myself when I try to be nice to myself or take care of myself, or express love for myself.

It is hardly believable that my fear of being alone with myself is more powerful than my fear of staying around the insanity of G and his people and his life and his choices and his mind and…

But I go for the bone that G tosses me. Why do I go for the little tiny, puny, miniscule bone that he throws out to me (‘you are the love of my life’, ‘I love you from the bottom of my heart’, ‘I miss you every time you’re gone’) in the midst of his complete inability to have a loyal, healthy, honest, functional relationship with me?? Why?? My heart and my body will not answer that question!! And I need an answer to the question!! Why do I give in to these compulsions; denying my need for a complete disengagement from the insanity, sucking up the abuse over and over and over. Why won’t I stop?

I am writing this because I need to see it. I am writing it because it is real. I am writing this because I need to trigger my common sense, self-love, sanity… Where are you?!?!?!

I Would like my Everyday to model after meetings.

I listen to others.
I try to feel.
And those things don’t seem to hinder each other.

I

So Tired, So Awake

It’s been a few nights now that I’ve been albsolutely exhausted but lay in bed until late late not being able to fall asleep. I attempt, every once in a while to identify the feeling that is giving me such tension in my head and my chest. One way to describe is that startling feeling that I’ve gotten hearing a screen door slam. But the feeling doesn’t last an instant, like the slam, it lasts hours. And it’s a terrified feeling. As though whoever walked through the door is scary for some reason. Easy. To guess who it might be. ( mom or dad/john).

But the feeling comes when I hear from my ex. And I can’t often shake it if I’m alone.

I wish I could stare the feeling down, and figuratively walk past…Like staring down and then not engaging a stranger who you know is nothing but trouble. That is difficult. I want to run away from it, or suppress and pretend my strength smothers the fear like a fire. But it’s still there, buried,literally packed, stuffed tight into my gut until my guard is down the next time.

The tensionis unbearable, so I don’t know how I’m bearing it…

Grateful Today

I am so unbelievably thankful for my healthy body I can hardly contain myself. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

I am also unbelievably thankful for all of the professional opportunities I have had in the last 15 years. I hope I can make good of those gifts.

I am also UNBELIEVABLY thankful for the kind thoughts of others that regularly reach me in the form of gestures, suggestions, requests for my presence, compliments…Unbelievably thankful.

Thank you, THANK YOU!!!

Be Good to Shantelle

I must say to myself: Good day, Girl! I have had a low couple of weeks. I know it’s just been surviving my own psychological punishment for the mistakes (and not even real mistakes) that I make every day.

Today I made an effort to not listen to the controlling punishing voices I emulate from my childhood. I tried to do things that didn’t make me feel like I had a vice around my chest. And I put the least enjoyable tasks on a timer and allowed myself to stop when the timer was done.

And then I went to a meeting and had a super time learning about control, and my control (step 3)… Learning that first and foremost I have been controlling myself. And that I have been doing that not because I am a bad person but because I needed to control almost everything about me to survive when I was younger. All of a sudden I realized that I shouldn’t be thinking first and foremost about controlling others, let alone self-flagellating constantly about that. I first and foremost will pay attention to my controlling myself and stop doing that… Because I have no one to be scared of any more. I am 40. My dad lives far away. My mom lives far away. My abusive exes are not near. I am smart and kind and have lots of heavy-duty fitness training under my belt 😉 haha…

No, seriously though, no one has any jurisdiction on my own actions any more; if I sniff to loud, if I scowl,if I don’t want to finish my breakfast, if I sneak Easter chocolates out of a drawer, if I am too quiet (I was always too quiet,never too loud)… Those are all ‘me’ things and no one else has any say about how I act or what I do or say, or even how I look like I feel. No one can scare me into looking or feelin or acting the way they prefer. HAHAHAHA!!!!
Yay.

And then as I start to adjust this way…evolve…shift…learn how wonderful life might be without being so afraid of how anyone will react to me, everything about me, all the time, it won’t make any sense for me to react in a controlling way to anyone else. Why would I want to make anyone feel anywhere close to as intimidated and disorientingly self conscious as I learned to feel?!
No, never.

Thank God for the rest of us.

More Gratitude

Thank you for
– self-preservation
– shared world
– ginger tea (home-made)
– good memories
– hope
– the idea ‘live in the solution’
– the smell of good coffee
– chances, of any kind
– others’ true happiness

Stop Scaring Myself!

When you wake up in the morning you don’t have to scare me about getting up. The day will not feel like death because G hasn’t called. There is not a black hole I will fall into as I attack the endless slough of teaching and thesis work I have on my plate. I will not make mistakes every step I take today. People won’t be angry with me everywhere. My mother is in Arabia so she can’t show up at my door and insert herself into my life. I will give myself plenty of good treatment today: yoga, essentrics, meditation, insightful readings, delicious and healthy food. I will smile at a couple of things, enjoy moments, offer a kind gesture or two, try to find ways to stay relaxed all day. I will keep on working on changing my life so that none of it feels scary anymore.

Staying Emotionally Sober

AA is a great guide, even for me. I am not an alcoholic. I am addicted to codependent relationships, I am addicted to ‘being there’ for people despite how much I lose in the process. I am addicted to the idea that my presence, my actions, my feelings are enough to save someone else, that if I care enough they will make better decisions, care about me more, be happier, take care of themselves, feel no more pain or burden…

All of that to me is like the biggest and most evil self-indulgence, like the biggest chocolate sundae…the smoothest and richest cheesecake…

When I am in that frame of mind, which is a lot of the time, I have little balance and orientation in my day. Like today, for instance, I had planned to go to the office first thing because I wanted to start the day off with some good writing time on my thesis, but I did everything but that – I cooked, I cleaned, I sorted, organized – all because I am waiting for my ex to do what I want him to do… Make the change and call me to tell me he has and that we can finally plan a future together…

This waiting for someone to do something really plays havoc with my life. I do so little of what I need to to take care of myself and my life…but I am terrified to take my eye of that other person or those other people for long enough to think about those things and then do something about them.

That is why I feel I really need I go to a meeting tonight… Every time I act on my codependent thoughts I cannot say that I am emotionally sober. Emotional sobriety feels so barren and lonely and awkward and boring and selfish, but at moments also like I can breathe, like my chest is not in a vice.