Monthly Archives: April 2016
I am at the point in my life (my life with less drama) where I can begin to make my days my own. It is quite uncomfortable still, because I have a long history of being reactive and working my life around others. But the plain truth of it is, I am more free and able right now to create my own routine and have the freedom to keep up my routine without guilt or huge catastrophe.
Coming into one’s own routine is a real exercise though. I have been trying for ages to come to a clear realization of what I do every day that is really me, that I personally find really necessary, both the work and the play… I think that is why I began, a little while ago, keeping track of what I was doing day to day (filling in my calendar as I went, instead of only filling in my calendar and trying to stay strictly to that that ‘regimen’). I deserve to acknowledge what my activities are, haphazard or not, and pick out what my genuine needs are desires are and make sure I have those in there somewhere throughout each week so that I don’t feel like I am pushing myself too hard for too long with work, and depriving myself serially of ‘fun’.
Taking a close look at those calendar-documented days though has been super hard to do. Not wanting to really face (my perceptions of) how…disorganized, or unskilled I am at conducting my life. Once I began really dealing with my relationships and codependence issues I became also self-conscious of how inundated my life is with those feelings, thoughts, habits, actions that ooze codependence, indecision, fear, reactiveness, exasperation, victimhood, resentment, procrastination. Those things are written all over my days, weeks, months, years… Not easy to sift through.
But if I do sift through them, I find a desire to make my time my own. To break through a barrier of feeling like I am always running from time like it is a tidal wave coming up from behind, or running to finish dozens of things so that I can catch up to a moment in my life where I am supposed to be.
In my mornings I need to wak up to something nice. (This is the little poster I put beside my bed yesterday.)
In the mornings I also need to settle into my own headspace by exercising, coming into my body somehow. As a result of my childhood and of being in relationships with unsettled people and addicts my reaction to waking is usually a traumatic one. My mind races almost immediately…Maybe trying to escape something, maybe trying to anticipate something, maybe, regretting something from the day before…I don’t know. But it is not relaxing to wake up.
So, lately I have allowed myself to cater to that awareness that getting into my body with exercise is going to reduce the anxiety that is triggered through that morning mental rollercoaster ride.
Even after less than 10 minutes of yoga or stretches or walking it is like I can feel my ‘feet fall gently back to the ground’ and I get some traction for my day. Even just a little feels good.
Ideally I “Om” for 3 minutes at 8am (at the same time as some friends who also do the same wherever they are). And ideally I do a 15 minute meditation. I have had a difficult time sticking to these lately because I pressure myself mentally “You have already taken the time to be happy and exercise! How much more time do you need for yourself..!?” That is the voice of my mother, the disregard of my father, the neediness of some of my addict exes that I am still, for some reason, kind of jarred by.
Then eating is my next big, most amazing thing. I have really established an entitlement to regular breakfasts and good ones. My favorite things. Berries. Most often I have my smoothie (1/2 banana, raspberries & blueberries or strawberries or cranberries, or any berries…hehe…and peanut butter and ground flax, and sometimes greens, and maybe a date or two, and almond milk or coconut milk or cashew milk). This has gotten me through many hours of intense morning yoga training. I may or may not go onto the bigger breakfast right away, but I usually need, not long after, a bigger bite – oatmeal, or eggs, or pancakes, or granola…
Then after that comes the most challenging part of my day. If I don’t have ‘something’ scheduled, like an appointment or a class or something like that, I risk experiencing the fear of my own work.
I often have lots of errands to run, lots of admin things to do (planning and advertising yoga, etc.) and I definitely have lots of home chores to do), and I end up putting off the most me-centred, long-term productive activities until ‘later’. It is one of those things that I ‘cannot control’. Investing the time and thought in things that are going to lift me up, make me money, make me seen are the most terrifying activities.
That may be one of the reasons I began to document my days in my calendar in the first place…because I felt like I was so busy doing things all day but I always found that the most crucial things (publishing a paper, finishing a chapter, etc.) were the things that got the least of my time. And I experience so much shame.
So, making a routine of my own…I guess I have gotten somewhere. And I must say that I am further along with working on writing or planning a class when I am terrified of it. I think the thing that is key is making a routine of the things that I need to do, to eat, to feel so that I can do what I am supposed to do. One can not do the work they need to sustain themselves, do what we need to do to serve others in the world, share our knowledge and our talents without feeling good in our minds and our bodies…
So I am on the right track. Gosh, glad to be writing this. Breaking down barriers. Thank you.
What if I really believe it? What if the information that contradicts that doesn’t convince me of that? When I think of something that is an indication that “My Dad loves me enough” I get a sick feeling in my stomach…like a gut feeling that ‘that is not right’ ‘that is dangerous’ ‘ someone is trying to trick me into something. As I started to get closer to that feeling I started to feel more vulnerable. What is that feeling? What is it about? It is old and young. It is visceral, and…upset ness. It is upsetness. Feelings that never got the floor. That were swept und rugs, many of them. That were so neglected it is like they never existed.
When I listened to Laura’s story about her Dad and her belief that he doesn’t love her, I wanted to support her. When she said should couldn’t believe that he loves her enough, I wanted to say, that’s ok. You don’t have to believe it. And you don’t have to believe that he loves you enough for YOU. You only are asked to believe that he loves you ‘enough’… Enough for him. Enough for someone else. Enough for ‘someone’. Not enough for you.
This morning, after a few days of recuperation from seeing G…I talked to my therapist. Such a preposterous event. Seeing G. Forgetting things that I should not forget.
My therapist and I talked about some great questions… about love, about how I feel about love. Great thoughts about my feelings, about the question of whether I can act on my feelings. About feeling like a failure, feeling like a carer, feeling used, feeling vulnerable.
One big thing… One of the reasons I feel so empty, love-wise, is because for so long I have been in relationships with people and had to ask over, and over, and OVER…”CAN YOU JUST BE NICE TO ME!?!?!?!?” That question reverberates through every cell in my body. I wonder why, if they love me, they are so incredibly mean.
And I thought I always had to show them, on THEIR terms, that I loved them. As a consequence, I am out of practice loving in my own way. Loving ME in my own way, loving others in my own way.
Contentment in a relationship has always been a mirage. My mother always said, “as soon as I ____ we will do ______.” “As soon as so-and-so does _____ we will have ____.” As soon as I _____ I will have time to have fun with you.” Part of my duty, I learned, was to love her and give her everything that I had in the meantime, so that she would know that she was being a good mom. This goes the same for my most recent ex-partner.
The reason I feel so bare, like I have nothing, is that I have not given myself any more than that, or paid attention to what more I have given myself.
I have been working in relationships, not to be loved, but to be not hurt. That whole story of my childhood has been about being neglected, about being told to wait for love, and in the meantime being criticized for every way that I have tried to show love for someone else. In living that way I have felt hurt, constantly.
This is what it feels like try to not be hurt. Not to try to be loved…
At this point in this entry, if feels like it sounds very discombobulated. Working through complex feelings and events is…discombobulation.
The bottom line is that I have been working so hard to NOT be loved. I have been working so hard in relationships to not be hurt. I have been working so hard to not be unwanted. I have been working so hard to not be punished, to not be singled out for being difficult, burdensome… That is all even worse that spending one’s life ‘working to be loved’! The way to not be hurt is to not be around hurtful people. The way to not be hurt is to remember that I want me. I need me. And the way to not feel inconvenient or burdensome to others is to not be around people that find me to be ‘in the way’ of something else they have going on.
don’t get into relationships where people do not appreciate your feelings, good and bad.
don’t get into relationships where you can not do what you want or need to do when you want or need to do it
don’t get into relationships where the first thing you think about is what that person needs you to do or feel like, or look like you feel like, or what they need you to say in order to feel better about themselves.
Appreciate my feelings.
Do what I want and what I need as soon as possible whenever I want.
Think about the first thing I need me to feel, or look like, or say to myself to remind myself how necessary and powerful I am in my own life.
My Time Persona
- I am a Time Fugitive – I try to hide from time
- I need to take ownership of my time and of what I need to do during my time…
I feel the pressure, in my head, in my heart area.
In Time I feel
- like I am a burden
- worry about AND put pressure on myself to outshine another
– it is spiritual energy…in motion.
What kind of energy is money to me?
– something that is scary and awarded to people who are innately deserving.
and I am not one of those people, for some reason…
“I am the Sun of God”
Was watching the first episode of The Truth About Cancer and hearing about the documented proof that there is a conspiracy to limit access to or knowledge about life-saving Cancer treatments (i.e. non-toxic) to cancer patients and one very lucid and very clued in Doctor said,
“If you do the “standard of care” and you give chemo and people die it’s ok. If you don’t do the “standard of care” and people live, that’s not ok! It’s ‘politically incorrect’!”
Not following the “standard of care” in the medical community (people living through cancer without toxic drug treatments) is more ‘unethical’ in the context of the medical industry than people dying of cancer. Doctors get fired…!
Tonight my yoga student told me he was not coming back to the yoga class I’m starting on Saturdays because the other guy that was there essentially irritated him. And he decided to stick in that he felt like the ‘third wheel’.
I think I saw that coming.
I’m pretty good at muting myself, always have been. And I’m also getting better at muting myself somewhat with people I sense are volatile. I don’t mute myself so much with the new student that irritates my old one because inknow he has a stronger sense of self and boundaries. So I can be more open and at ease. I know he’s not going to read things in wjere they don’t belong.
And my original student has been doing classes with me for a few months now and thinks he knows me, and has probably taken some ownership of me in his mind somewhat. I also have been preparing myself for that. As codependents we can really go places in our minds without any awareness.
So, the point of this post is, feelings?
I was taken aback by the irritation and frustration this guy expressed and telling me that I ‘gave the other student all of the attention.” I felt violated I think. Abused somewhat – someone implying that my social rapport with someone else was somehow bad because it made his and mine seem unimportant.
That’s a Manipulative. Inappropriate thing to say.
Feelings: offended, and the feelings I said above. Today I learned that feelings are, like knowledge, entirely important reasons to protect and advocate for myself.
So I’ve discovered some of the feelings. The appropriate actions are: to not argue with my student, to think about whether I want to have that student around and/or do that class anymore. Distancing myself may be a good idea…
They say that many if not all of us who can describe our selves as codependent and or addicts have problems with authority figures…
Today I discovered a new angle to my fear of people who have some aspect of my life in their hands.
I have never been a ‘difficult’ child per se. Or a difficult employee or student… I have been self sabotaging, however, I discovered, for the reason that I don’t believe that the person who has control over my time or my outcomes really cares. And if they claim they care and then do something that shows that they don’t, then it’s like my inner sirens go off. Because someone who has control of me and says they care but don’t, or hurt me are dangerous to me. Because of them no one will believe me, that I did not get what I need from them, because they are both my ‘boss’ AND claim to care. And I am in the trap of having to be obedient and grateful until I live out the duration of my role in that situation and move on. I have myself feeling so incredibly unsafe.
And the other juicy little tidbit is this one that my therapist really helped with. I’ve been having to advocate for myself left, right and center this week and I told her it feels like I have road burn. From tryin to advocate for myself! That’s how it feels to me to protect myself…other people’s shit feels like concrete rubbing agains my soft skin when I get too close to them.
And she asked, what is it that made you be able to fight for yourself, Shantelle? And I said, “knowledge”, sound knowledge, and extensive personal experience. It is strong enough that I know I am right.
And she said maybe you can think of your feelings as sound and strong enough to make you advocate for yourself too?
And it was like she opened up a drawer in my ‘self’ and in my personal toolbox that wasnt there before. She was like a fairy godmother that made a drawer appear :-). Hot damn…. So, I’m gonna try to take that places!
Here’s to undying efforts at self-searching and help seeking….phewf!
What does “choose love” mean when you’re feelin like someone else is compromising you, and when you feel like you are unloveable?
It feels, when I am really emotional, like someone is just being annoying and telling me something to distract me from my focus of trying to make things sustainable for myself.
As I start to “wake up” though…I see that I could choose to give myself the consideration and sensitivity that I am not receiving from elsewhere.
In the case of my living situation where my rental agreement says no smoking anywhere in my house and my downstairs neighbor’s does not, I need to do something to get myself out of the situation, so that I do not suffer the consequences of that discrepancy.
No on a save me but me.
I have to express what I am really experiencing right now…I have built back up what feels like a scary minefield of a day-to-day life again and I don’t know how I can stop making it feel bigger and scarier and more hopeless! I know that all of the fear and panic I am feeling is not ‘true’ per se… But help…I don’t know how to feel different at this moment 😦
I feel guilty and stupid and irresponsible and even like I am maliciously betraying or something…like I am being dishonest…And I know I shouldn’t believe all of those feelings, but I can’t pinpoint their cause.
These things are issues that are magnifying or exacerbating, or causing these feelings…I think.
I am so far behind where I wanted to be in preparing a syllabus for a course I am teaching in May-June. I know it’s my Outer child having a complete melt-down and rebelling, but I am feeling like I absolutely hate making up this course. Before I was praying for it, because I am so broke I may be heading towards bankruptcy… But in the moments where I am not feeling excited or creative about it it feels like something that someone is forcing me to do. It feels like it is so painful. It is this major two-minded experience that is driving me crazy, exhausting me, scaring me, taking me away from mindful peace and objectivity, and concentration.
And in the past few days I had to tell my landlord that my downstairs neighbor is smoking in their flat (we have a no-smoking clause on our rental agreement). And I am absolutely TERRIFIED of confrontation. I feel powerless, unsafe, indefensible…even though saying something was the totally right thing to to. I wrote a kind and tactful message to the neighbor telling them that cigarette smoke makes me ill, and that our rental agreement says “not smoking in apartment, on patio or elsewhere in or near the house.” and his response was…”I’m sorry…we won’t smoke in the house. But as for the patio, I don’t know what to tell you, we are smokers…” etc., etc. That sentence made me panic…feel unsafe, like I can’t save myself from something no matter what I do. I did not get into any back and forth with them, I simply called the landlord as soon as I read that message. And she was shocked about the smoking, clearly 100% concerned and supportive, and adamant that she had no problem having the difficult conversation with them. And that it was by no means acceptable, period for them to be smoking in or around the house. I sent her the communications I had with the neighbor. And I have been waiting for 3-4 days now for her to call me and tell me how things went, and it was only last night that she texted and said she spoke to them and that she had to figure a few things out and then call me this evening to discuss. My fear of being in or around this situation is so absolutely overwhelming that all I read in her message what that it was unresolved and that there was something “we”, the landlord and I, had to discuss… I wonder what on earth she and I have to ‘discuss’… I hate being around this shit. What is wrong with people… Smoking and being a twit affects other people, ya know! And it is not those other people’s fault for being affected. It’s your fault for doing things that are only good for an addiction, not good for you or for you and anybody else.
And finally, I feel like I am totally neglecting my self on a more personal level. I feel so lonely 3 weeks after having finished an intensive yoga teacher training… I feel a gulf between me and other people. I have given my ex the time of day, as a result. And after spending time with him 2 or 3 times he asked me yesterday if he could use my car for work today…
I almost felt sick. Well, I did feel sick.
Same shit, different year.
And the guilt flows. When I said no (I swiftly thought up and excuse/lie) I could feel his voice change. Like I was ‘taking something away’ from him. I felt so absolutely livid. And I think what I did was, rather than become decisive about the fact that I want space back between he and I, I spent lots and lots of time blaming myself for actually giving him the time of day again.
Just call me the Self-Punisher.
Give me a scenario and I’ll punish myself for it…
Making Lies True…is excruciatingly painful.
True: I feel unsafe when I know I can not stop someone from doing or saying things that I know will harm me somehow.
Lie: I can not protect myself from people.
Question: In these moments of fear and panic and self-punishment, what will empower me…?? Help.
So…I’m talking with one of my sponsors today. We’re talking about me making amends to myself and I’m telling her how the little me inside (Little Shantelle) is so quiet and doesn’t want to really talk to me or come out of her hiding place until I’ve gotten my shit together…etc. And my sponsor says…”Is she kind of a brat?!”…with a ‘smart’ or bossy tone. And I just about lost my shit.
I have felt for the long time that I have had to hold my ground with this sponsor, keep subtly reminding her who I am and what my vulnerabilities are so that she will eventually not try to ‘know’ everything about me before she actually knows me. And I was right… To keep my guard up. It has been a good lesson. Calling my inner self a brat, considering everything we have talked about is actually unbelievable. And the biggest gift from it all?
I, all of sudden, was as pissed off and protective of a part of myself as I have been of my little brother, of my ex’s kids, of other people, of kids in general. I laughed kind of, on the phone instead of losing it… I felt like I didn’t say something when I shouldn’t have, but I also felt that it was not worth it to explain something to somebody who would not necessarily be ready to simply be sensitive to my reaction.
I was putting my energy into thinking of every possible reason to defend my Little self. Even though I myself have been impatient and dismissive, and not as sensitive to her as I have needed to be, I have at least come to an understand that I was and am not a brat. I said to my sponsor (trying not to scoff) that “my Inner Shantelle is NOT a ‘brat’ nor has she ever been a ‘brat’!”. Hiding is not misbehaving, and she is not misbehaving because she is hiding!! My Dad treated me like that. He bullied and intimidated and looked down on me when I protected myself and hid or kept my distance when I didn’t trust him, or something or someone…Refusing to come out is NOT being a brat! What the fuck!! When a kid cowers, they don’t deserve to be chastised, or criticized, or called names. Kids do not have many resources. And they do not have a lot of understanding of their resources! They are using what they can the only way they can! If there is an issue with them it is because there is an issue with YOU!
Wow – it is so fucking angering to have my scared Inner self be put in a position where she could be punished for something…AGAIN. The freaks me the hell out. And here I am finally being my own hero. Fuck off people. Do NOT fuck around with my feelings. And do not compromise me for having feelings, for being feeling, and for staying away from YOU because you think there is something wrong with my feelings.
Scared, traumatized kids are not being “bad”. They just don’t yet know how to live in a world in a way that they don’t have to be scared of getting hurt. And my Little S is perfectly fine just as she is. She knows the deal, she’s been through shit hundreds of times and no one has really looked out for her wellbeing. She knows she has been alone. and She knows the safest place is in her quiet little hiding place. And she will know exactly when to come and whether she will give you the time of day when she does. She is the smartest one of the two of us.
So Fuck Off.