What Comes Out
I am waiting around a lot lately. Which is not unusual for me.
I have long waited around for things to react to, for things to change, for people to show up or ask something of me. For a reason, to do, to feel, to think, to act…
Noticing how I am waiting a lot lately, however, is an important piece of change for me, however. I have come to be more conscious of the fact that in order for things to happen for me, in order to feel better, to experience what I am meant to and required to experience in life as a whole person, I must be the impetus. The impetus for my ‘living’ can’t be all of these mysterious and not so mysterious things, events, people that I am waiting for…
Almost 3 years ago I started this blog, because I knew I had to become visible…to the world and to myself. I knew I had to show myself and the world (or whoever might come across this blog) that I am here.
Being visible has long been probably the most scary thing in my life. But I began the blog and after a few months my writing at school got better. I began to feel more ‘colorful’ inside, or something like that. I started to feel that I had proof that I was alive, that I had feelings, that I had a perspective, and experiences…that they were true for me, that other people shared them, that I had legs to stand on and I could stand on them.
For the past couple of days I have wanted to write about last week. I went home for a week (a 2-hour plane ride to the east coast), and I realized at some point in the latter half of that week that I was feeling some things, that I had things to describe and talk about and process. I have been struggling not to bury them, I think. So, I’m writing now.
I haven’t been home in over a year (15 months now) and so I was kind of glad for the opportunity. Although the reason to go was that my father was going into the hospital for a minor (but sensitive) surgery and needed someone to be there with him for a few days during healing, etc. My brother lives near him but he was going to be out of town, so I immediately said I would go. It was going to be a 3-day trip, but turned into a week because the surgery ended up being delayed for 3 days.
So, I arrived home and ended up having free time to spend with my father while we waited to see when his surgery would be rescheduled for.
I don’t generally feel relaxed or at peace with my Dad. He is not a gentle man inside. And I have discovered over these past few years (thanks to my experience in CODA) that he is quite codependent. As I kid I experienced traumatic moments of physical punishment, general fear and a lot of intimidation from him. I am not in a ‘childish’ place with that so much at this point. But I have learned that I don’t feel at ease with him and that I can accept that about myself.
We had 3 days of kind of doing things together (including 2 days of sailing for a few hours) before he actually had his surgery. The first day was pretty ok. He is a pro sailor, and I am a good sailor but still quite an amateur. But these couple of days were our first sailing together. The first was fine because he was getting to know what I knew and we were getting familiar with each other on the boat. The second day was less comfortable because be began to be a little condescending, and controlling.
One of the issues that comes up when I go home is, like everyone, I try to see everyone I can for a good amount of time while I am there. My father, for some strange reason, gets codependent…laying subtle guilt trips about me spending time with my brother and his family for days at a time. During this visit I felt the least responsible for anyone’s insecurities that I have ever felt, but the sense was there. I handled things well, but I still got tired out. I got tired of my dad’s moods, tired of being patient and calm for more than one person. Even though I was exercising discretion as well as self-empowerment in good ways, I became tired out. When my dad went in for his surgery I was there waiting with him for 5 hrs before they called him in. He was antsy and impatient and yucky to sit with at some moments. And then I went to eat and do a couple of other things for a couple of hrs during the procedure and then came back and picked him up. For the next 2 days, with a catheter in, he decided to yard work, etc, instead of asking me to do it. And I found myself having to ‘detach’ and realise that I was not there to do things so that he wouldn’t have to do them. I was there to pick him up off the floor when he stubbornly did them anyway. That was terribly tiring. Soon I became physically sick — with flu-like symptoms. I conducted myself as though he was a grown many and could make his own decisions, which I was not responsible for. And I did what I felt like.
On the last day home I went to see my brother and his daughters for a little while and was aware of the things that I could not contribute to my nieces lives because I live to far away at this time. The trip was really one of the most clear experiences of having been able to both be visible and feel good about not making myself into something that was not needed for my family members. It was the strangest experience, probably because my difficulties manifested themselves in slightly different ways than they have in the past.
Since I have been doing The Presence Process (by Michael Brown) I have found myself much less disoriented and fragile while staying closer to myself. I have felt detachment and the benefits of detachment in ways that I never have. I have felt that when I do not act in old patterns I am still ‘here’. And I have experienced people reflecting back at me things about who I am that I have never experienced before. It is only the beginning…but it is true that most time less is certainly more. Simply ‘being there’ is not less than ‘doing lots’. I don’t have to make myself known or visible by affirming everyone else’s anxieties, meeting all of their needs (my unhealthy perceptions of them or theirs). Meeting my needs and staying content, staying calm, staying present means that I am still present in the world. It means that I am still doing a lot. It means that I am living and seen, and felt, and wanted. It is just a surprise to me how I am seen and felt and wanted when I exist in such different ways than I ever have.
New things about life come out. Come out of the energy that is created when I do me. And only me…
Posted on October 3, 2015, in 12-step, Addiction, Adult Children, Alanon, codependence, emotional abuse, emotional sobriety, Inner child, Meditation, physical abuse, recovery, Relationship, withdrawal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.