Contradictions

Not for the first time, I was told that I contradict myself a lot. I do, and I don’t. I am trying to figure it out. I know I say things that do seem to be direct opposites. Often, how I feel is one thing, how I want to act is another.

My feelings and my values rarely start in alignment. My feelings start in my past. They respond to the entirety of my experience. They are also excruciatingly intense and often fleeting. My thoughts take longer to form. I have to get past the feelings first. Once my body has calmed, then I can figure out what I feel.

Values work differently for me. They are a part of my best self. They are the quiet voices when I am still. They are often the exact opposite of my experiences. This is the point where conflict exists. How I want to move through the world, that is what my values are based on. My past doesn’t always align with that desire. In the midst of big feelings, values can be hard for me to reach.

Another reason, that I can think of right now, for this contradictory nature of mine is just a crappy working memory. What part of a thing am I thinking about at that moment? Do I remember something else later that changes how I feel? Or do I forget something else that changes how I feel? I wonder about this part a lot. How much is distorted in my brain by a memory that can’t be trusted so often?

Trust is a tricky thing for me. Between abuse, and illnesses I can’t trust myself. I can’t trust my feelings, my ability to act out of my values instead of my pain, my body, or my memory. I guess I am not surprised I contradict myself. It feels like more of a surprise when I am consistent.

The problem is trying to figure out how to be more consistent in what I am voicing to the people in my life and my internal world. I am not sure how to do this though. I will try to answer less when my feelings are big. I will try to make sure I am in alignment with my values. The issue is, I am already trying. I am trying and failing. I am hurting people I love. I am hurting myself. There has to be a thing I am missing. Perhaps, tomorrow is another chance to try again or maybe I can figure out the thing I am just not getting.

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If I could do anything

If I could do anything I would apologize. I would ease all the hurt I have caused. Friendships, partners, roommates, spouses, and so many that I can no longer reach.

I would heal the wounds my ignorance and chaos left behind. I would apologize for the times my fear controlled me and everyone around me. I would apologize for the pain and make it all go away.

I can’t though. I have when I felt it would be welcome. Well, I have apologized, but I can’t make the pain go away. I can’t remove the effects I had on people. Maybe I can help with healing but I can never undo the wounds.

I will never be able to fix what I have done but I am trying to learn. I will always try to make amends where I can. I will try to not make the same mistakes again. That said, the more I learn about who I am the more I realize how I have hurt people. The thing is, I can’t fix or prevent what I don’t know about. I still have to find my way through and hope that I am doing less harm and learning enough.

I’m sorry

I’m sorry I haven’t kept my word

I’m sorry I was wrong

I’m sorry I was right

I’m sorry I predicted your resentment

I’m sorry I couldn’t prevent it anyway

I’m sorry I thought balance was possible

I’m sorry you didn’t understand

I’m sorry I couldn’t make you understand

I’m sorry I exist

I’m sorry I’m sick

I’m sorry

Wasted spoons

I had something click in my head today. The lessening of my depression symptoms is having a lot of things pop up. It has become obvious that my subconscious has been stewing away on stuff but is just now able to make use of the information it has been collecting. One of the things I have been struggling with has been my reaction to people cancelling plans.

Most of the people in my life have some kind of physical and/or mental health issue. Often more than one. Being a spoonie myself, I truly believe that they really should cancel if it is going to have a negative impact on them. So, why was I getting upset and hurt at some times? Just as important, why was I not getting upset at other times?

As I was driving to pick up my son from an event, Google failed to notify me of a step that I needed to take when driving. I was SO angry. I now had to go to the next exit and loop back. I was doing what it said and now I had to spend extra time and energy for something I shouldn’t have had to do. *Light bulb*

I was getting upset when I had spent energy preparing to see that person. I have had such low energy between the physical issues, medication side effects, and depression, that every tiny erg was precious. I spent energy that I didn’t have to do….nothing. This doesn’t seem unreasonable given my circumstances, but it was a change from my ‘normal’ response.

This lead me to wondering what was different the times I didn’t get upset. When driving back to pick up my son Google maps, once again, failed to properly notify me of the needed exit. This time I expected it and was able to correct with no extra effort. I wasn’t angry at Google this time. Oh! This was the difference, when people cancelled before I spent extra energy, I was able to access my compassion and was glad they were taking care of themselves.

I don’t know if this will continue (changes in beliefs about what I deserve are changing some things but it is too soon to tell what is about that and what is about my depression), but at least I know what is happening. This gives me a chance to proactively warn people and for me to monitor my reactions. Time will tell what happens next.

Something is changing

Something is changing inside of me. Still fighting the battle with depression, but it has eased up a bit. There is just enough space for me to see that there have been some fundamental shifts in how I view what I deserve.

There are going to be some changes that I am going to be implementing because of this. Even though it is scaryp and hard I am doing some of this today. The ones that aren’t going to require ongoing discussion or negotiation are first. I am scared. This will radically alter my relationship with one person. It has the potential to affect another relationship as well. I have decided that even if both people walk out of my life, the cost I am paying now is higher.

These changes in my perspective will also end up impacting other relationships, one I am not stressed about. It would be more prevention of issues. The second will survive the changes but I am more concerned, mostly because I know that this will be the first of many small changes. This relationship has survived bigger shifts, but I never know how that partner will respond to new requests that contradict previous agreements.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter. I have to make the changes. I can’t feel like I deserve to be treated well, and not follow up. That would be a self betrayal. Some prices are too high. Today, I confirmed that the prices I am paying for my current path are just too high. I have to make room in my life for the things I need.

Drowning

Drowning in life that doesn’t exist

Drowning in needs that can’t be real

Drowning in hope that becomes vapor

Drowning in nothingness

I don’t know what is happening

I don’t know why I am so stuck

I don’t know how to live, empty

I don’t know how I can feel everything

Drowning in the beauty of submission

Drowning in the beauty of rebellion

Drowning in the twisted sunlight

Drowning in the twisted night

I don’t know how to do the necessary

I don’t know how to do the joyful

I don’t know how to balance each moment

I don’t know how to cope with overwhelming pain

Drowning in the need to move on

Drowning in the memories

Drowning in the future

Drowning in the past

I don’t know how to let go

I don’t know how to hold on

I don’t know how to help

I don’t know how to give more

Drowning in my place in this world

Drowning in my own mind

Drowning in the torn moments

Drowning in the desire

I don’t know how to be what they want

I don’t know what I want

I don’t know how to be me

I don’t know how to be her

Drowning in fear

Drowning in hope

Drowning in tomorrow

Drowning in today

I don’t know…

Hypno 18 ‘I deserve good things’

A quick note about the hypnosis numbers, yes there are missing sessions. The last three have been too complex and personal for me to be able to write up.

I found myself curled up in a comfy chair on a deck. Soft warm blanket wrapped around me and the sun shining on my face. It was lovely and peaceful. I spent some time just soaking up this feeling before we called in a guide. He was a completely average white guy about my age. He told me his name was Michael, “no not that one, or that other one either.” I didn’t like some dude showing up as my guide but I knew there was a reason.

I asked him what message he had for me, “You deserve good things”. I must have showed how perplexed and almost insulted I was. He rephrased, “You are entitled to good things”. I liked this even less. I asked what he meant by that. “Your discomfort IS the point.” I wanted to snarl at him about privilege, instead I took a deep breath and soaked up the feeling around me.

“Your head knows you deserve good things but you don’t really believe it. You believe that you can earn good things. You also believe that you deserve the bad things that happen. You don’t. Your wires are crossed. You don’t have to worry about everything. Assume you deserve good things and you are entitled to be treated well.”

I was so uncomfortable. My body felt cold and hard. The fact that this was upsetting me also told me that there was something to his words. I petted the blanket. I let my body relax and warm up. I took some deep breaths. “What do I need to do?”

“Put reminders everywhere. Every place you normally rest your eyes needs to have a reminder of this. Move your reminder board out of your bedroom, put it where you see it all the time. Don’t work at this or struggle with it, but every time you go to the dark places, gently remind yourself, you deserve good things.”

He told me that I needed to remember my oak tree. The oak has come to mean safety, security, and connection. I was told that when the time comes I need to look for an acorn. When asked what it symbolized he told me the question was “irrelevant”. It was just a smaller reminder of stuff I already know. I also called him a jerk after he wouldn’t explain anything deeper about the crossed wires. His response, “So what?” I already knew why I think these things. I know why and how long and everything else, I just need to retrain my brain pathways.

Once the conversation was done we looked for any place in the body that was connected to this false belief. There was a cold hard shell around my heart. Armor down my back. I spent a lot of time drawing warm light down. I am not quite ready to give up the protection of these shells, even if they are keeping me from connection. Even if they are letting me keep part of myself back. But we could make them warmer, slightly more malleable.

*********

An interesting thing from after the session, my back between my shoulder blades actually loosened up in ways that haven’t happened in years without a massage.

Second guessing

Every moment of every day I second guess everything I think, everything I do, and everything I feel. This sounds like hyperbole as I write it, but it isn’t. I wonder if this is why trust is so hard for me. How can you not second guess everyone else when you have to do it constantly for yourself?

I have had people argue with me about my need to second guess myself. They tell me that I don’t have to always evaluate everything I feel. You know who doesn’t tell me that? My therapists. It got more common for them to agree with me once we realized medication to control my mental health wasn’t possible. There isn’t another method to check my impulses towards self destruction. I used to rely on sources outside myself. Partners, faith, friends, and so many other things. They are all flawed though and none of them allowed me to be fully authentic.

Is it truly authentic to question every thing at every moment? Is what I chose to act on really me? Or are the impulses really me? I hope it is the former. The latter tells me that I don’t deserve good things because the impulses want me to break so much in my life. It is so exhausting to keep them in check though. I spend more of my energy just evaluating than doing.

Part of me wants to know what would happen if I didn’t check myself for a while. Would I ask for what I want? Would I run from what I need? What would I do with all the energy that goes into second guessing? More of me is terrified at the idea. More of me is convinced that I would drive everyone away.

I recently put an intention out into the world to let go of my beliefs about myself that are limiting me from becoming my best self. This was a planned thing on a planned day. In the weeks just prior to this day I found some hard and dark beliefs about myself. Part of me believes that I will always be loved less. Part of me believes that I will always have to fight my own mind. Part of me believes that no matter how hard I fight I will still end up alone with the monsters in my past, in my head.

I am second guessing if I should confront those things. If I should let go of these beliefs. I am terrified of how I could be hurt if I let them go. That fear starts a chain reaction in my head. One that past experience has taught me leads to me burning my life to the ground. It also tells me, that part of me that evaluates every detail, that the fear is the best indicator that I need to challenge those things.

But what if…But what if…But what if….

Around and around it goes in my head. The only carousel ride I can’t enjoy. I lose hours to trying to see each nuance and detail. To weigh and measure it against my values and my trauma. Around and around it goes until I am exhausted and crying. Begging to get off the ride that can never end. Around and around it goes, second guessing each second guess.

You ask why I can’t stop? You wonder if there is another way? Why do I persist when it is so painful and soul consuming? It is simple, my brain lies to me all the time. It tells me that I am only my trauma. It tells me that I am only my deficiencies. There is no logic to that, because so many amazing people love me. The sheer volume says they can’t all be wrong. A part of me really is starting to believe it too.

Before I started second guessing I hurt a lot of people. I still do, occasionally. I don’t always come to the correct conclusion. I just hurt so many fewer people than I used to. Sometimes I can even help. So, around and around I go until the tears blur my vision and I take a leap of faith off this carousel.

At least until the next thought, feeling, or decision

Listening to new voices

The last post was about seeing some internalized messages of love. It was about acknowledging that they existed and are flawed. I found more of those messages this week. Twisted jealous and possessive things. Things that are not part of my values, but exist inside of me anyway.

Fear and panic got the better of me and they spilled everywhere. Twisting my week into something I could not have expected. They are still rooted in a fear that I am not enough. There has been a new voice inside me recently. This voice declares that I am good enough, flawed as I am, I am good. This voice is new and I am unused to listening to her. The old voices are so much more familiar. I understand them. I also don’t want to live there anymore.

Last year I started a thing on the anniversary of my mom’s death. I put out into the universe (and my subconscious) that I was ready to let go of anything that wasn’t moving me forward in my life. The ripples are still being felt. Tidal waves of consequences that have left me gasping for air more than once this last year. This week I got reminded that act isn’t the last step, but the first.

This year I am going to put out there that I want to let go of the beliefs I have about myself that hold me back. The things rooted in pain and fear that keep me from being my best self. Trust me, that best self got drowned out this week. I am looking for her again though. I am learning to listen harder for her.

Star trek Discovery season one has a quote that has been haunting me today.

On the eve of battle, on a cold and windless night, an old general turned to a young soldier. ‘Tomorrow,’ said the master,’you will know Fear.’ The young soldier who had not yet experienced the agony of war looked at the general with quizzical eyes. ‘How will I know Fear if I do not know what it looks like?’ The general replied,’You will know Fear because it speaks very fast and it speaks very loud…’ ‘If that is how Fear acts, recognizing it is easy.’ But as the young soldier considered the general’s advice, she asked the question facing us now,’Once I know Fear, how do I defeat it?’

The only way to defeat fear is to tell it ‘No’. No, we will not take shortcuts on the path to righteousness. No, we will not break the rules that protect us from our basest instincts. No, we will not allow desperation to destroy moral authority.

These were said by Burnham. They have been haunting me for good reason. I broke my own rules because I was afraid. I let that fear speak out and trample my values. This happens because I am human. I am imperfect, and I am still growing. I just have to remember to recognize the voices of fear and tell them no. These things are not true, for I am good. I am enough. Enough, still leaves room for growth, but it accepts that there is goodness now. I am stronger than the voices of fear.

I will continue to work on hearing the new voice. The one that whispers “yes, you can”. Even if it is a whisper in the midst of a hurricane, the murmur of truth is worth finding. The truth is I am better than my fear. The truth is, I deserve good things. The truth is, I am already loved, just as I am. The truth is, I am good enough.

Suffering is not love

I know that suffering is not love seems pretty obvious to most people. I would have said that is obvious even 3 weeks ago. The problem is, it really hasn’t been what I believed. I often have a disconnect between what I know and what I feel, so this shouldn’t surprise me. It did. It shocked me to realize that I had linked the two.

I know how they became linked. I see how it grew in my subconscious. I can even see the false and toxic behavior that it leads me into at times. I can see it, I can see how it drove me to hurt people unintentionally. What I don’t know is how to fix it.

I am probably going to talk about this for a while. I expect to learn new things and see it from different perspectives as I untangle all of this. I am sure I will mess it up and back slide from time to time. I hope that seeing these things will help me make better choices going forward.

I wish I knew what the way forward looks like. I wish I could flip a switch and let this part of my toxic programming go. I know that it will be work. I know it will change me. I just have to have faith that I have learned enough to figure it out as I go.