Category Archives: 12-step
Respond to my needs
Appreciate what I have to give, what I do give, my thought…
Accept my softiness as not weak
Want to give to build on something
Not judge my differences, things about me that are not easy to understand
I keep on trying to process everything.
And after writing a nice long journal/blog entry, the crying still wants to come.
It doesn’t com though.
Because I don’t let it feel worthy.
I don’t let it its reasons be enough. They are.
– i feel sad
– I feel
i screwed up
i found out
i didn’t understand
i did and didn’t do
Right now I am virtually convinced that I can not get out from under this rock.
When someone I have been intimate with doesn’t communicate in what I feel is a relatively…normal way…I can get pre-occupied with that.
This past two weeks, this past week, last night and this morning, the stress of planning to help with a birth, getting teaching prep done, grading and recording test marks for 330 students, putting out their marks when such a large amount of students failed, keeping up communication about yoga classes, teaching yoga classes, and getting busy with an interesting guy have all tired me out. I do a lot more thinking and self-deprecating than most people and feel down.
And then the less that guy communicates with me, the less I can think. The less I can relax. The less I can feel good about whatever it is I bring to the table. Like he is dissing what I bring to the table by not acknowledging with communication…
And last night and this morning my face began to tingle. And my chest and torso and belly all become their own little monsters. Each with its own sensation. Each living in me like I am just a container. They are all feelings. All feelings that I find overwhelming and I put them off. I put off turning to them directly and hearing what they have to say. So, I never find out how to resolve them. How to respond. I even misunderstand that I am supposed to do something to make them go away…when I think that all I am supposed to do most times is let them play out.
If I could do that…
Then I wouldn’t feel this terrified, paralyzing fear of being left… Maybe I have always had that feeling. Since I was in the womb. Since my mother left me at my aunt’s as a first-born. Since my mom left my at my other aunt’s so she could go be a single woman for days or weeks at a time. Maybe I have always felt that. Felt that that feeling of being left was going to come around again.
Laying in bed this morning I was so overwhelmed with the need to cry or freak out, or write more texts to the dude to ignore the presumption that I was being put off. And I was aware enough to ask myself about when I felt this feeling before…like way before.
It is the terrified feeling of being really alone. Like when I knew my mother was leaving me in completely alone. Like anything could happen to me and it didn’t even enter her mind. So it was essentially like I did not exist as such. She could put me out of sight and out of mind. I felt completely and utterly outside of myself with fear because i could disappear so easily and my feeling of being in that position was entirely traumatic…death traumatic… Because if no one sees you and no one feels you or what you are going through, there is no one to respond or save you or anything.
So this feeling I am re-experiencing, at 44 years of age, is not rational. And I could see that as I lay in bed mulling things over and contemplating how to live out my day with a feeling of physical hurt in my belly. The feeling is debilitating, like I don’t want to stand up and walk with that feeling. I don’t want to move because I will feel it more. And then I’m telling myself, well, I have no choice but to get up and accomplish a bunch of things today. Complete tasks and planning and work that will eliminate some of the things that have been making the stress feel even heavier.
And it occurred to me that this feeling that I am helplessly alone and destined to be hurt until death…that is what my day will look like… is only a result of the fact that I am not paying attention to being a big, grown-up adult. That I am not paying attention to the fact that someone else leaving me or not communicating with me no longer leaves me in the same position it did 40-ish years ago. For some reason the feelings of vulnerability to death and nothingness re-occur. Because I have not faced them square enough in the face? The reality of my situation does not lessen the panic and vulnerability I feel. But the thought occurred to me that listing even just considering some of the ways that my circumstances now differ from my circumstances then…
Then I was entirely dependent on my mother to take care of my needs, and her being nowhere to be found was horrifying –
Now I am not dependent entirely on anyone to take care of my needs (eat, sleep, contact, attention)…
Then I did not know what I was being left into when my mother left me or even thought about leaving me -I had no power to change where I was or whom I was with or to make a situation more comfortable or safe for myself
and now I usually know where I am. If I don’t feel like I do it is because I left my awareness as I was getting deeper into ideas about the relationship and losing my sense of place… I can adjust anything around me or move myself or change how I am responding at any time.
Then I had to be afraid to be engulfed in providing for someone else’s expectations.
Now I am free from catering to someone else’s expectations of how I will act, how I will feel. Now, I act and feel freely.
*I refuse to believe the lie that my lovableness and well being rely on the behavior of others.
*I believe that my lovableness and well being are always, all the time, everyplace, and for everyone around me the most true things.
I had the feeling last week, that I wanted to do the consulting work I was assigned to. I realized that at moments I was having fun doing the research. Perhaps, I thought, the anxiety is coming from getting to a place where I like it, where I am good at it, and I feel good at it. Perhaps I am worried about being happy because someone else who isn’t always wants a piece. It was bad, around Jessie, to enjoy things. To be just plain happy. I couldn’t have fun, silly reckless abandon fun, integrate joyfully into the world, because she felt she couldn’t. And she had me and kept me and it would be so terribly unfair if I was giddy…before she was.
It’s time to get raucous. Why has that word come to me 3 times in the last 24 hours? Raucous. It will seem that way to you. But that is because we don’t often look or listen or feel and also ask about the origins of what is being shown to us.
All I want to say and express is raucous to some (harsh, strident, grating, rowdy, disorderly…a little out of control). But there is pure sense beyond it. What is that sense I wonder…? I really don’t care if you can’t figure that out. If you can’t you can sit with the raucousness. If you actually wonder what sense if makes for me to get all raucous, you’re welcome to ask.
The truth about me — I have not expressed, reacted in my life. Early on I was scared away from doing so. I experienced terror as a result of showing my experience, showing my emotional reaction. I was scared away from having a perfectly natural…not just human response…but a response specific to me, specific to my make-up. Being alone and death were the threats that taught me to hide it all.
The gates would inevitably open though. And they are about to burst. Just writing these words is giving me nausea. I want to keep on typing words around it all. I want to keep on writing words all the way up to the gates…so close that I am tasting the ages old doors and the crap on them with my eyeballs. Part of me, even now, tells me I can be safe if I just-don’t-say it.
I am afraid to not ever be able to take back what I say when I say it. I am absolutely paralyzed by fear when I think of the punishment that could chase me when I say the words, when I show the anger the dissatisfaction.
Why would I be afraid that I won’t be able to take it back?
Because when you say what you really think in front of people who think you owe them, people how have built up such a city of avoidance between them and their own gates…they will punish you forever, because they think punishing YOU will get rid of THEIR pain.
Well, this is something that has occurred to me more than once as I found my gates again. As I found my way back.
But you know what? I thought that there was truth to the fact that I need to be punished for staving off danger. For revealing my boundaries. For showing someone I want them to stop hurting me. I thought something trumped that.
And again, you know what?
Fuck It. And Fuck You. And Fuck those people. And Fuck It All. I honestly don’t care if I sound disobedient, entitled, pissed off, disagreeable, defiant… (because I don’t need to care anymore) about how someone else is going to label it. How someone else is going to hurt me. They can’t fucking do it anymore. I don’t have to give any moments of thought to how selfish, violating, pricks deal with their own shit as a result of encountering mine. I have taken all of the responsibility in the world, including everybody else’s, for others’ reactions to me, for feelings others would have because of what I do or say or feel or let out, and even what I DIDNT do. And everyone can absolutely kiss my fucking ass. I mean all those who would blame me for ruining their day for doing nothing but expressing how I feel. Acting on how I feel. Being exactly who I am when I feel a certain way. Your uncooth shit is all yours. Go eat it, paint with it, shit on it, publish it, cry it out loud, I don’t give a fuck. Because whatever you do, whatever narrow-minded shit you decide to throw at me will bounce right back to you, Bigger, and Messier.
You know what I really think? – now that you know what to do with your shite reactions … I think that using a kid to make your life look worthy of something is a fucking asshole thing to do. I think that living your life with a kid as though the kid is a pet or a doll or a piece of baggage… an almost inanimate object is an asshole thing to do! I think that making your kid feel like shit because their feelings or reactions or bodily processes got in the way of your pathetic plans for your day or your life is an entirely fuckhead asshole thing to do. I think that intimidating your kid as a way to teach them how to ‘behave’ is a fucking numbskulled, asshole, manipulative,entirely abusive and cruel thing to do. I think that getting caught up in your own pissiness and fears and unfinished business enough to threaten your kid’s life (by cutting off their airway or using your adult strength to bruise and traumatize your kid’s little body) is one of the most insanely psychopathic and FuckHead, murderous, illegal, axe-worthy things that you could ever do in this universe. It’s like shooting a gun into the world when you are blind, deaf, and dumb. I think you are a complete cruel asshole fuckhead prick moron coward, shit-for-cells person. I think you are a complete fuckhead if you do all of these things and more and then completely lack the fucking microscopic shred of humanity that it takes to apologize with any dignity and honesty for doing those things, specifically those things (!), when you do decide that you think that maybe you might be able to kind of maybe apologize for “some things” you did. Oh, YOu “did some things you weren’t proud of”, eh!? I don’t give two or two thousand fucks for those pansy-ass coward words of bullshit. Want to learn what an apology is? No, it doesn’t sound like you do you Fucking Asshole.
I think that your bullshit formula of “moving on and forgetting the past” is a complete fucking cop-out…not only for the person you fucked with, but for you too. If you are too much of a fucking coward to even deal with your own shit with yourself, well you can go fuck yourself. I have no time, energy, or even favorable excretions for that. Show some fucking humanity and at least get in touch with the smallest inkling of a desire to clear your own self of the feelings that made you be such a fucked up, self-absorbed, terrorizing, abusive prickshithead in the first place. You know, you keep on spreading that shit around, even if you have it deeply buried in the bottom of the ‘secrets’ drawer in your mind, your memory, your emotional monsterass chest… And when I feel it, from you, our time will be completely limited, probably most often non-existent. Because there are billions of other molecules of air I can breath in billions of other places for billions of other seconds…and there, I will not have to be near that lying, sliminess you like to pretend that you are entitled to carry around because you are bigger or stronger than me.
And you know what? This is what hurt looks like, sounds like, when you pass it around. Especially when you pass it around to people like your kids who unwittingly accept it from you because they thought that the whole purpose of you, the whole purpose of that behavior was to take care of them, and teach them, and protect them, and affirm them. And you manipulate the situation by serving them shit, fear, a sense of self-worthlessness on a plate instead of honesty and self-reflection and tender caring, and tenderness allround.Fuck you, Fuckheads. Fuck – You.
Who the fuck teaches their own flesh and blood that love feels like Torture…
I Fucking dare you to do it again.
I don’t know if the world needs angry women. But I DO know that the world needs to accept anger. Not accept anger with violence. Just accept anger. I have had such an impossible time accepting my anger…Doing everything around it, despite it, but it…thinking that if I fix everything else that is will go away. But it’s still here. Nice and strong. I have no choice but to be in it. I have no choice but to face exactly what is and has been triggering and causing it for decades. No matter how much my inner reaction wants to tell me how wrong I am for feeling angry about those things. I have no choice but to be honest about what makes me angry. I have no choice but to make decisions to change things so that I do not encounter things that make me angry… I have no choice but to face the lies I tell myself about things that make me angry. Double strategy: look at the misunderstandings I have, AND look at the true experiences I have… The truths about me.
That all involves allowing myself my anger – being angry, and unmasking it…
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.
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.
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!