Monthly Archives: August 2014
Last Tuesday in Group (been going for 8 months now to Group Therapy), someone shared their thoughts with me (and the others there) on my sharing and their reaction to or experience of it, and how they think I share… The clear messages for me were that, 1) i share terribly carefully, clearly, articulately – they understand and often can take something away from what I say, but 2) at the end of my shares people often don’t know what to say, and 3) he sometimes loses interest while i’m sharing and his mind wanders because I seem to share things from my head but not from my heart…”There is no hook”
Essentially I heard kind of what I already knew… That I am dry. That I am empty. That there is nothing interesting in here…That I am void of feeling. That I have been putting on a show and no one sees what it is really about. I feel foolish. I feel silly. I feel like a ruse. I have been working so hard to share and nothing comes of it, because the effort I am making to put myself out there is harnessed with the effort I am making to keep myself safe…my feelings safe… I am trying to be vulnerable and not vulnerable at exactly the same time…
The other thing that came up in that meeting is, for a couple of people, how the people in the meeting are not ‘gel-ing’. That we haven’t got to a real point of everyone really organically getting their shit ‘out there’ and others organically responding and interacting. There is a lot of cautiousness in the group. And there is a lot of timid-ness and fear masquerading as ‘politeness’…from my perspective… One person said that the sharing is so stunted partly because when people start to ‘monologue’ the whole point of the meeting is lost. The ‘monologuing’ I feel was (mostly) implying my shares…
I resented that. Partly because…well, at least I share in the meeting… People complaining about the dynamic being off…the same people who don’t bother to make the dynamic something else, are so…irritating… People blaming other people for their experience of something…Grrr.
And that is coming from the mind of a woman who goes to these meetings and tries as hard as she can so that she can self-examine and learn how to make changes to be more at peace with herself and others… I put myself out there, in the best way I know how…and others want to use words like ‘monologuing’ to describe other people’s shares when they don’t share anything about themselves… They only share things about other people. I want to say “cowards!”… But when I hear myself think it I see the resentment and anger that is obviously being lit up from deeper places inside me.
I work so hard and I don’t even know how to do what I am there to do…
I am trying to share things about myself so that people will know how I feel. So that people will give their honest impression of me, the events in my life, and my reaction to them… I am the only person who has the guts…awareness to really put myself out there and I am the one who gets ‘talked about’…
I responded to much of what was being said with an honest effort to not take responsibility for things that are not mine in the meeting…like other people’s choices to share or not share. But I tried to defend myself and share a trace of my reaction at the same time.
I knew that I was sharing and trying to share in a way that didn’t feel too vulnerable. And that, in itself, got me backlash or responses that poked at my vulnerability. But mostly, the experience of leaving the meeting having had my emotionless shares held up close to my face, had me scrambling to think of something I could do, a place I could go, or a person I could talk to so that I could find some feelings and share them like a human being. And also looking for the reason why I was…to me…putting on this charade of ‘sharing’ when I actually was trying to keep control of everything I say and how I say it…
Today, in my counseling appointment…the connections came…
The messages I have gotten in my early life:
– other people’s anger or pain is because of you, especially if they take it out on you
– your feelings and true experiences of things cause other people pain
– I am always only a moment away from being seriously hurt.
– my hurt is to be covered up
– I can not look at a needle go into me at the doctor’s office, or look at my limb with a broken bone, or look at my own torn flesh when I need stitches because…they are only proof of how easily I can be hurt, how close I am to being alone, how painful it is for people to demean, or minimize, or deny that I have been hurt.
No one who has hurt me has suffered recourse. Not even by my mother. Not my father.
My feelings are simply like bait on a fishing line that is going to catch a shark that is going to not just jump up and ingest my rod, but it is going to ingest me with it… Dangling my feelings is like dangling a bloody piece of meat over shark-infested waters.
I feel that scared of my feelings. That scared of sharing them, showing them, being them.
When I look back on today….I want it to have been happy. I want to feel like my self filled this day. I want to look back on the things I did to take care of myself and take care of things. I want not to cry for myself and for how I was helpless.
My ego wants things to just ‘go back the way they were’ — having the good things about G here… But that ego is just looking for things that show the ‘potential’ for happiness. My ego just wants to see things in my day that show the ‘reasons why G should be nice to me…’ ‘reasons why things will get better’. My ego wants to fight for what ‘could’ be. My ego wants something incomplete that is dependent on someone else’s efforts.
Even though my ego is bored and having a temper tantrum…I know that doing the most ‘boring’ things to ‘take care of things’ in my life are going to get me back to stable ground. It is a humbling experience to choose to take care of things at home. Clearing away the rubble I always find more to clear away…and after these years of self examination I can now recognize the rubble under the rubble. Before I could only see the surface.
I did not want to ask myself this question today…What do I want my day to be…Because my ego thinks that my day can not be good. Without G. If G is not here I have failed to ‘make’ that. I have failed to be the pillars that holds it all up. Doing the dishes and writing my dissertation do not seem like really extravagant, impactful plans. Making sure G knows that I love him by compromising my basic life, I was taught, is a much more ‘heroic’ plan.
But here, after 5 years of doing that, I have nothing more than (still) a (partner) who is always at the brink of destruction. No home. No children. No joint commitment to health and happiness.
It feels counter-intuitive, the thought that getting up and doing the dishes is the right thing to do in this moment — putting away the camping stuff that has been waiting for me for a week. Finishing Chapter 4. What are those going to do for my relationship?
I didn’t know that I was supposed to ask: “What is this relationship going to do for me?”
And now I really have to stand back. And look at my own relationship with me and with the world around me and ask, “What kind of relationship do I want here?” Over all of the haunted voices in my head I need to ask myself, “What is going to make a relationship that I want with me and the world today?” “What is going to bring calm, clarity, sober emotion, assuredness, sincerity, genuineness, free movement…?”
Stop being so melodramatic
You are scared of where you are. You want to be in a better place. A feeling of emotional lack of control is perfectly understandable. You are aware of how far you are from being in a contented place. You are feeling the urgency to find your way back to your path.
Things are different now. I have been thinking this for days, if not a couple of weeks…
Today I got up, did yoga, had breakfast, did some work (while I procrastinated with some knitting and watching a couple of things). Then I went out to meet someone who has asked me to be their sponsor. We had a 2-hour conversation. Then I came home and felt like I needed to hibernate, even though I really need to work on Chapter 4 of my Thesis.
Ended up watching tv – movies and tv shows all evening.
But I don’t feel the desperation inside that I did before.
I left G at the campsite on Monday.
It got messy again and I decided to pack up and go. He got mean and intimidating. I got just a little mean back. And then I left.
AGain, no assertive conclusion on my part. Only the act of leaving. Not saying goodbye. Not answering his calls.
I feel like I am doing the right thing and making huge mistakes at exactly the same time. Before I just felt mainly fear. Fear of him hating me. Fear of him not making any effort to get me back. Now I feel the fear that I will not make it through my own doubt and regret.
Now I can itemize the reasons, so many more reasons why being alone here at my apartment is so much better.
He was feeling sick on the weekend. He wanted to cuddle and he wanted a head rub. And he wanted comfort from me. The last time I was sick he said he was “coming home to ‘take care of me'”. He didn’t take care of me when he got home. The time before that was New Years. I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. He dropped in after a few beer to do some kind of duty of looking in on me. Then he took off and didn’t come back. Instead he went to a neighbor’s party and go drunk.
We are really different to each other.
He is doing anew job right now. Managing the job. Paying other people. And he is terrible at organizing and paying money out. And keeping track of his own. I make him a spreadsheet and talk to him about the things he can do to keep track of all of the money, the time, and the job tasks etc.
I am writing a thesis. He criticizes my education, making fun of me so that he doesn’t look bad. He tells me I shouldn’t be working so much when I am at the office every day for long days (when the work takes me away from time with him).
I make sure he doesn’t have to worry about things that I can take of for myself, like my own money and my own home things, my car, etc. He tells me all the time that he owes money, that his internet is being cut off. That his ex is pissed up because he doesn’t give her money. He says how is roommate doesn’t give him money for the rent. He loses jobs 3 times in a row and blames other people. He gets stopped by the cops. He gets his car impounded. He has to go to court for the violations.
I used to think I had to empathize with him about all of this, and more. Now I think I can listen, if I feel like it. I have always thought that the other person’s problems were my problems.
Now, I am learning away from that. I have my own problems. And none of them get my attention or action when I am preoccupying myself with someone else’s.
I am learning that taking care of myself is the first most important thing. Nothing gets done, nothing happens, unless I take care of myself first.
I am laying in my own apartment, not seething emotionally about how he “should be” doing so many things. I am laying here waiting for my courage and self interest to kick back in again, after leaving him at the campsite.
I am allowed to breathe.
Chapter 2 is about a shift. A shift from fear and loss to…bravery, patience, open-mindedness, faith in my ability to care, starting over.