I struggle with “I am worthy of asking for help”
I struggle with “I am loved enough”
I struggle with “I can have the ability to do - the power - the authority even”
Am I enough?
I want to promote myself
I want to set boundaries - and not to back down
I want to accept all of me.
Yet, that includes my struggles and tears, and body pain.
My forest has dark shadows.
My parents make bizarre statements, “But I thought your headaches would be gone by now.” And I feel as if I have failed. So I start to explain the process of migraines and how treatments work. And the difference between the cervical spine issue. I’ve been stuck in a perpetual defense for long enough.
Next time I talk to them, I want to hear the words and not react. I don’t want to answer or explain. It’s about paying attention to my emotions. My parent’s words are not important. I have to separate the two. This is how I heal.
Turn on a light.
By naming the emotion I can plot its place on my map. Label the bastard. Nail it. When it becomes recognizable then I can see it clearly. Read The Jungle of My Emotions to understand more.
More to read –
We want to come back to the group, remember the warmth and laughter, but some of us never belonged. We didn’t know the feeling of loving arms nor the joy of being welcomed. The lack of love bleeds into our present life, making it difficult to find peace, to accept everyone around us.
We see our life as a struggle. It’s all we know. Hardship is proof that we matter. But we tire of the game.
A Little Old & A Little New
It has taken me years to learn, to heal. I have gone to therapy and read books. Each has been a step for recovery. You don’t see why you need help except that your life isn’t working. There is pain. Then, amazingly your vision clears as you learn.
I believe in learning. If you can be brave, you can heal. Only you can decide your best practices.
Do you read? Maybe you listen to audiobooks? That’s my current speed. I also like podcasts, and I watch movies based on books and short stories.
I haven’t decided yet if short stories are trending or if it’s my imagination. Recently short has been more doable for me. Making a long-term commitment to a movie or a book makes me edgy. Although if I start watching something I like, sometimes I don’t want to quit.
#Trauma in the #emotional house
Society feels fractured, and it’s easy to point out the flaws. This is a painful time. People go to work and do the daily grind, showing up in offices, construction sites, hospitals, and grocery stores. They are hard-working, rushed, busy, and tired. Still, they find a way to keep going. Life, with no break, has no meaning. It can become pointless. It’s ADHD with an extra burst of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Throw in Narcissistic and Abusive, and then we will have a full house. We have trauma. We need to learn a new way of living.
We can learn how to live a decent life. It’s a skill. Keep in touch with health. Getting back into nature and remembering to be kind are the most important ones for me. What are yours?Tweet
These are a few things which help me
- Go outside or open a window.
- Make a furry friend.
- Read a story, short or long, real or true. Read for pleasure.
- Help someone else, furry or human. Be kind.
- Don’t forget yourself. Buy some candy or flowers—for yourself. Like ruts in the road, your care for yourself sets the standard for others’ treatment of you.
I enjoy a podcast called The One You Feed. I’ve included it below. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read it.
In this episode, Eric and George discuss his book, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain.
In his introduction, Saunders writes, "We're going to enter seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world, made for a specific purpose that our time maybe doesn't fully endorse but that these writers accepted implicitly as the aim of art--namely, to ask the big questions, questions like, How are we supposed to be living down here?
What were we put here to accomplish?
What should we value?
What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it?"
My parents didn’t realize the importance of teaching me, a daughter, to care for myself. They taught me to be kind, thoughtful, and take care of others. My parents and I came from separate sources. It seemed to me as if we were as different as salt water and fresh water.
As society changed for my parent’s generation, they were still swimming in their saltwater tank. From the viewpoint of my culture, saltwater can kill you. Structure. Rules. Binding contracts.
I’ve learned to celebrate discovering my needs, all of them–for comfort, happiness, and safety. It started when I was feeling abandoned. I needed to GIVE and GATHER for myself–not wait and allow resentment to build when another doesn’t come through for me. Being polite wasn’t helpful anymore.
Caring for yourself
Once I was hanging out with a guy at his friend’s house, (boring) which was to be a short visit. After an hour, I NEEDED to eat. I took some initiative and told him I’d be back in a few minutes. I was going to grab a bite to eat (tacos.) It upset him, surprising him a little, but my needs were dire. Blood sugar issues are more important than a man’s ego. Quite honestly, I realize now that I was having a panic attack. But this taco moment is when I realized I had power.
Keep your power. Reclaim any scraps you find along the way–any.
Every breath I take has been taken before Every note’s been sung……… Who can I sing them all again for? Baba, Baba Baba…. Please don’t give up - please don’t lose that sound So many people fought to gain that ground Please don’t give up – please don’t hide your voice So many people did not have that choice. - Bellow/Unzip The Horizon, lyrics from a song released on April 7, 2018, Moira Smiley
The dragon is old and always hungry—needy. Ages ago, alongside her teeth, her mouth fused splinters, blades, knives, and other strange objects—things your mom warned you. Her claws and teeth are now deep in my neck, and my muscles seize in response. I’m recovering from a recent Posterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion.
Pain is an annoying Dragon
Some moments I cry—weep like a baby. One morning, I was fixing my hair and make-up. While I was doing the mascara, my neck muscle knotted and seized. The pain was so intense that I went into the bedroom to sit. The tears flowed and flowed. After a few minutes, my body finally calmed, and I went to repair my makeup.
I wish I had a picture to show you how my face looked after that. It was a mess with black smeared eyeliner and mascara. I had hilarious raccoon eyes—a complete do-over on the makeup.
I chose to have a second surgery. I am no victim. My spine will heal stronger, straighter. I like this. I know this dragon isn’t going to hold me, keep me on my knees, beat me down forever.
One thing I know, I win if I keep strong.
Ideas excite me, wake me. I feel the novelty bubble up like soapy suds flooding out of the washing machine. I know joy. At that exact moment, there’s a lie hiding among the zeal of promise. If you scratch away the top layer, you’ll find the untruth—everything would be perfect if I tried harder.
I expect by finishing my tasks, I will feel at peace, and I will enjoy my life, knowing I have things in place. But life doesn’t cycle in that manner. There’s always something that breaks and issues to solve. There’s another needling, prickly urge. And I scratch.
I’ve often griped about my mom not sitting still. She would get up and down to get things, all in the name of taking care of her family. It was as if she had Mexican jumping beans in her veins. She annoyed me by continually asking if we wanted something else to eat or drink. Do we need a napkin to wipe our not yet dirty faces? As the perfect hostess, she didn’t want to leave anything undone.
Mom called it, “Fretting.” I’ve heard it said as, “Worrying the bone.” At the age of 55, I not only understand, but I have the diagnosis—Attention Deficit Disorder along with anxiety.
I want to do so many things. Travel. Take pictures of places I’ve seen. Buy a rug. Clean the closet. Paint the bedroom. Redecorate. Change something.
Hypervigilance, OCD, and Anxiety- someone save me from me.
I want to write a short story about the dream I had last night. Edit my other stories. Work on a new article that came to me while I was showering. Update blog pages. And I want—more.
Today, I am stressed. I’m having surgery again. In my head, I think if I get everything prepared, all will be fine. No mistakes. I now laugh at my arrogance. I’m not in charge. Fear makes me cling to control. Anxiety isn’t shut off like a water tap, so my brain gives me soap bubbles of new ideas. At least in my doing, I’m distracted from my pain.
- Read this-> Make Peace With Your Life
- And more-> Not Owned
- From The Mighty.com (website helpful for PTSD) Habits of People Who Are Hypervigilant
If you relate to any of these things and are needing help, please ask. Talk to a doctor or a counselor. I have a great psychiatrist who works with me. I’ve studied my issues for years. My education is in childhood development, so I understand the importance of the developing mind. Trauma and PTSD are real. Abuse of any type can scar a person and even change their personality from upbeat and positive into a frightened, self-loathing person. There’s counseling available, even online. Heal the pain. Namaste. You are worth it.
I hurt for years. It was bad. The pain enveloped me, which made it impossible for my senses to find clear guidance. I don’t want to go through it again, nor anyone else. For the love of God, let it stop with me. The rolling tide of generational abuse doesn’t need to continue. People pleasing, bowing to bullies, and narcissistic abuse should not be normal everyday life. But it was my life.
I never knew what it meant to be “Present.”
Working with therapists on emotional healing and emotional literacy to recognize my pain has helped me see more panorama.
A child recites her alphabet. She sounds out the letters, combining them, and struggling to form words. When the connection happens inside the child’s mind, it resembles magic, but it’s not. With enough stimulation and fuel, one begins creating words. They will comprehend. Looking back at the alphabet, I don’t grasp why reciting the ABC’s helped me become a proficient reader. I know that it works, and I know that I practiced until I learned. It’s training in the most basic form.
I couldn’t understand the purpose of therapy even though I knew it would be helpful.Tweet
Becoming a healthy person takes a process. Some of the stuff I have in me may never completely heal, and I need to live with the limitations of who I am. Overall, I have made significant progress. So can you. Commit to doing the work and learn how to live.
I live now. If I become angry because a coworker says a thing, I’m offended now. I have worked on my emotional literacy and I can respond to the anger itself.
You need tools
What is Emotional Literacy? It’s the ability to identify the feelings you are experiencing. Most people are shallow in noticing our feelings. Feeling scared is different than me knowing I’m terrified and panicked. Name your emotion.
#Trauma: I evaluate the emotion. Is my flashback from an older, emotionally charged time? My childhood was angry. (This is part of the emotional literacy.)
#Emotion: If it is new and not something with a deep root, I handle it differently. Current emotions deserve a valid response also. We have rights as humans and must care about ourselves.
Excerpt from The Jungle of My Emotions – “This rage is my jungle. I should know my way through it by now, but I don’t. A therapist will tell you to name the emotions. Instead of rage, get down to the baser emotions. Fear. Insecurity. Feeling utterly alone and vulnerable. When I was negotiating, I was taking it personally. She was attacking me and saying I was wrong. Backed into a corner, I felt powerless. So, I defended my territory.”
When I am with you, I seem useless.
With all of my caring
Straining to be my best,
yet, you criticized, scrutinized, and rejected.
I wonder about your parents.
Were you abused? Was your life this hell?
I’ve bowed and pampered you
as I did my own mother.
I fell for her schemes.
But now, I must learn a new way.
Amusing you is impossible.
Impossible, impossible, utterly impossible.
It’s the dog with Mother Hubbard,
Always looking into a cupboard.
I will not give myself to exhaustion,
I’ll not lead a bone-weary trek to the grave.
Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com
Space, we call it a thing. Star Trek started its program with the words, Space, the final frontier. Conquerors of times before claimed lands, they planted homes and flags saying this area belonged to them, and they now owned it.
Disclaimer: this article was written pre-COVID-19
Personal space isn’t so easily defined. Do you run and hug a new coworker? Is a handshake necessary? When talking with someone do you leave a two feet distance? What about crowded places, are you in their space? Every culture has their own comfort level. And within each culture there are variations. Children and parents can hug and snuggle without discomfort, but you wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and act the same way. Not unless you wanted to be punched. For etiquette read- >Don’t Stand Too Close.
Some days boundaries are natural. Put up a fence. Close the door. Hide in a closet. I can do these things. The one thing I have trouble with is an emotional cut-off. How do you close the door without hurting people? Clearing your emotional space is as important as cleaning your room. Sometimes they go hand in hand.
Emotional and Mental
If you were raised by controlling parents, emotional and personal space is probably an issue for you. I didn’t have the right to my own religion. Barely had the right to my choice of clothing. There was no arguing about politics or doctrine. In my state this is normal. Strict parenting meant good wholesome children. Spare the rod and spoil the child.
But when a child has no right to privacy, or they are threatened for having an opinion that is different, a line is crossed. I call foul. Emotional space is every bit as important as physical. Don’t let anyone take your life – space.
There’s a lot of information about boundaries. Here are a few links.
The above blog post was originally posted in the winter of 2017, but became corrupted. Reinstated today, October 11, 2020.