Serious business taking things apart. Iíve been working on facing the thing I fear most which is my mind. Iíve been seeing a therapist for a couple months now. I have some goals and things I want to learn.
First was figuring out what the hell was going on. Well thats pretty simple once I looked at all the evidence. I needed to relive my emotional memories. Challenge not to fall apart while this happens.
New ideas this week. First, there is nothing wrong with feeling. Its a human part of all of us. Second, when youíre someone like me who can shut off my emotions at the drop of a hat, when you begin to feel again-it opens a dam.
So dealing with an ever gushing flow of feelings means emotions; which brings tears and sadness. Its draining. Makes you feel completely out of control too. I could be watching a show and see something completely unrelated, then lose it. Its not a great feeling to have no control over when the feelings decide to come out. But its not a bad thing. Period.
When you close off yourself for so long, there is a balance. Which means Iím okay with being a little gushy for now. Not all the time though. At the same time I donít want close or shut down the emotions like I did in the past. Thats the problem. I live in a world of extremes emotionally. Its either feel nothing or feel everything. There is no balance- yet.
Its interesting though, what I understand is the emotions tied with childhood trauma can be rage. I donít rage, my rage is always translated into depression. I figure its because when I was little, I internalized everything as way to survive. I could shut off and black out what I couldnít handle. Granted I donít black out anything now, which is a good thing. Most times I can internalize whats going on. Is that a good thing though? When you put things inside you that donít belong, such as rage, sadness and hurt feelings -they can make you sick. Other times taking in things and putting them deep down inside means beating yourself up and taking out the hurt and pain on yourself. The problem is that I donít have to survive like I did when I was child, its time to learn new ways to deal.
Lately as in the past few years, I havenít been so good at it. Which means feelings leaking out here and there as I try to maintain. I hate that. Since most of the time it means people around me have to deal with my anger or unpleasantness. Its not like I can explain, ďHey, Iíve got trauma deep down inside, its taking everything to keep it there. I have too much on my plate to deal with right now and Iím barely able to maintain my usual self. Sorry Iím such a jerk.Ē I doubt most people I know or work with would get that. Part of it too, is associating feeling or being emotional with weakness; or due to my ingrained internalization that it would mean over exposure to people I may not know or trust.
Thats a big part of the adoption thing for me too. Trust, commitment and feeling safe. I have avoided dealing with my emotional memories for a long time. I think its because sub-consciously I have no stability or structure in my life. For the past five years or more, my life has been chaos. Iíve been on and off homeless; living out of a car, or have a place to stay with no clue for how long this time. I realize my mind will only unleash the memories I need to get through when I am safe, stable and feel okay enough physically. Thats the lesson learned from my perceived mental breakdown when I was 19. My mind knew it was a safe time to trigger the memories coming back. Iíve reached that goal for the time, being able to create for myself a safe place, a home to rest my weary heart at.
The other side is commitment. I hate committing to anything. Cell phone contracts, leases, loans, anything that means I have to commit. Its scary to me. Nevermind relationships, and building new ones with people. That was always a big challenge. See the root of that is the adoption thing. How can you commit to anything, when the people that were supposed to be there, werenít. They left, abandoned, and abused you. It means that later on I donít trust people easily, and I wouldnít commit to them because that meant be vulnerable to being hurt by them. I built a layer of protection around myself and let few people in. I couldnít let them see me and love them truly.
Iíve worked really hard to get over those adoption/abused kid feelings around trust, commitment and love. It wasnít easy. The people that helped me were my friends. They didnít let me give up on them and I love them. They see the good, bad and ugly about me and still are my friends. Past relationships helped build trust and heal the deep feelings I had ingrained about love. Things didnít work out in these relationships but they taught me a wealth and helped me heal. I still love those to this day that were there in the ugly times. They saved my life, my perspective and my ability to trust.
Having someone to reflect on things helped me realize that yep, Iím good at avoiding things. But at least Iíve grown enough to consciously put in place what I need to handle bringing the past back. Thats something. Being able to be open about myself with someone I donít really know is so empowering.
How to deal with the dam breaking. Ugh. Iím not a really touchy, feely kinda person in the first place. Iím just not sure how to walk around, get work done and be somewhat normal without losing it aka standing there crying or feeling deeply sad. Sometimes I just feel sad. There is nothing that sets it off. I just find myself crying. Donít get me wrong its good since I think this sadness is based on loss, grief and letting go. Its my first step. Just right now its overwhelming, and makes me feel exhausted like Iíll never get enough rest or sleep.
So hereís what Iím going to try, I have little to no structure in my life. Like I said, before Iím a person of extremes. So hopefully I can do this and not over do it. Ha. Create structure in my life daily. Build order into my life. Create and carve out space to just deal full-on. Other time to work, be human and enjoy life.
Structure can be good and bad. But I need something or someway to manage the emotions so they too donít control me or make me feel like Iíve lost it. I can see why people donít want to face their hurt feelings. Its hard. It means being vulnerable. It means opening a dam when its easier not too. But thats the point, its no longer easy to keep the dam closed. I canít. I wonít. Keeping the dam closed has destroyed the happy person I once was, it has put strains on friendships and relationships. In someways its helped tear down my self-esteem, since my lashing out, hurting people around me was just a part of the cycle I tried so hard to maintain so I didnít have to look at myself.
Structure is about building self-esteem too. Rebuilding hope. Rebuilding good. I am working on letting go of guilt, trying to stop the beating up of myself. One of the things I do in the morning is have coffee. Even if Iím running around trying to get out the door. I make time to have my java. Its this time in the morning, I usually go over a mental list of all the things I need to get done in my day. Lately though, Iíd go through the list and then make myself feel bad about every single thing, then I would promptly get nothing done. Which would make me feel worse. I am trapped by myself guilt. Its the most annoying thing.
So part of my morning is giving myself breathing room. To say to myself, ďIts a new day.Ē Its something so small but that directly changes and challenges the cycle of guilt and beating up myself. Moving on through the day, it means stopping when the self guilt feelings come back; to challenge them directly. I know I must sound like those daily affirmation calendars. I need that though, from myself. I need to know Iím good enough, its okay to fail, or not being everything to everyone. I need that right now.
Creating space for work and other tasks through-out the day is another part. I want to be able to function without feeling dredged down by my emotional memories. So that I can still do good work. Its easier than it sounds. Since the work is heavy sometimes, painful other times. Everything is interconnected.
Last task is to create space for beauty in my life. I miss creating. I miss reading, learning, painting, exploring and challenging myself to do things. Like skydiving. Its something Iíve always wanted to do but still havenít yet. Mainly due to being broke but its still on the list. Iím working on it though. Taking time to enjoy creating again. I slowly have images growing in the back of my mind that one day hopefully will come to life. I have words that need writing. Songs that need singing. I canít wait till I can dance again, its true what they say, those jingle dresses can heal you. Without seeing it I have a whole arsenal of weapons to fight back with.
Water is powerful. It can flow and ebb. It can crush and destroy. It can purify and heal. Thats why I look at my emotions like the water. They will heal me, if I let them. If I donít they will crush me, they keep me in a place of anger, depression and lashing out. Who wants that?
Its springtime soon, and the thundernation is coming back. Iím excited for their return, I donít feel lonely when they come back. Its strange because they are one of my great fears but I love them with all their power to cleanse, to take away negativity. I look forward to when they come back so I can give away the sadness, the anger, the depression. I can cry in the rain and no one sees. I can hide in them, yet still be alive and feel their power around me-keeping me safe from harm.
The water has the power to heal just by itself and thats what I need to be like is the water. Flowing and healing through my veins. Then one day I wonít be sad. I wonít feel anger. Depression wonít come back to tie me down cause the water will be there as a great formidable force. Makes so much more sense why everyone fights for the water. We all need it to survive. And its funny since maybe the water is fighting for us. I wonder if the water asks, ďWhy wonít you let me help you?Ē Maybe the water knows what weíve been through and wants to help. How humbling is that.