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.

Internalized messages on love

I am pretty sure I accidentally exposed myself to soy yesterday. Ironically, not from anything I ate at an excellent Thanksgiving dinner. Nope, I am pretty sure I did this at home. I forgot that I hadn’t emptied the travel container of the hair gel I am now allergic to. When I was getting ready I grabbed the smaller container of hair gel (without thinking) for ease of use that day. By the time I got home that evening my feet were very swollen and flaring. Today, I am fighting the residual pain, and dealing with the emotional side effects.

As I have had some practice with these effects recently I was able to see what was happening pretty quickly. Knowing my brain is being hyjacked by hormones, and histame reaction, it allowed me to step back and observe the thoughts and emotions critically without repressing them. My big clue was that Madame Secertary was making me cry. Then when I started to observe these thoughts I noticed some interesting things.

Most of them was about the cleanliness of my home and what I ‘should’ be doing to make myself ‘pretty’ enough before going out this evening. This isn’t news to anyone that knows me. This is the primary issue that can make me toxic to live with. These are the messages that make me exacting, controlling, judgemental of anyone living with me. I know where they come from. I even know that most of them are not really what I believe or value. They do control a lot though.

I know I don’t truly believe those things because of my reaction to people who chose not to perform those things. I rarely ever care about someone else’s home anymore. I am not stressed by others messes and chaos. I only see someone who knows what is more important to them. Often it is spending time with people we care about (including ourselves I hope) or doing the things we have to do to survive. I see beauty in people being wholly authentic to who they are, especially when it defies gender norms. Yet, I have been unable to have compassion for myself in those areas.

Seeing how mean the words in my head were would make anyone assume (especially me) that they were coming from trauma and not look further. In the strictest since it is accurate because my messages of what love is are rooted in trauma. It just isn’t that simple though. Messages of fear got mixed up with messages of love for me. “If you love me you will try to conform”, “If you love me you will keep things perfect”, and “If you love me you will revolve around me”, became the definition of love in my subconscious personal script.

When home is your daily battleground, and only refuge from a world grown to exhausting to exist in, the messages get stronger here. When it is only me here there is no one to ‘let down’. There is no one to be embarrassed or ashamed of my appearance. No one except me. When I live with someone they get tangled up in it even when I try so hard not to let that happen. I hope that seeing how these things are tangled up in my messages of how I am supposed to show love to people (Thank goodness I can receive love in other ways) allows me to begin the process of deconstructing them.

I deserve to show myself love in ways that are not so judgemental of myself. I have hope, and maybe a bit of faith, that I can do this work. That I can learn to be kinder to myself. I also know that doing this work won’t just benefit me, it will benefit those around me as well. I can learn to be a better friend, a better partner, and a better self.

The primary wound

I believe that every person has a primary wound. This is usually the deepest one. This is also the place our internal stories always draw from. It is a core belief that we maintain about ourselves and that we have to fight hardest to even attempt to be healthy. For people who grew up healthy and happy this primary wound may not be a huge impact on their lives. For others it is the thing that controls everything they do, even if they are not aware of it.

I know what mine is. Mine is that I will never be enough to be loved. It has a close tie of I am too much of the wrong things to be loved. The interesting part is that I know I have been loved. Just not all of me. Never in the way I have needed to heal this wound. Right now, it doesn’t feel like this is a thing I will ever completely heal. It is certainly a thing that no one else can heal for me.

Things have come up recently that play into this old pain. There are stories I am attaching to things that have happened that this is coloring. I can see, for the first time, how this old scar is impacting how I perceive what is happening in my life.

I know that this is a sign of growth. I know my ability to perceive how this belief is impacting things means I am healing. Seeing this means that I am going to have to confront it directly. If I don’t I will be stealing any hope of future happiness and growth. I will be guaranteeing a festering resentment for the future. I can’t let myself do that.

That said, I am scared. I am so scared that I am going to deal with this, only to be rejected again. I am scared of reopening this place of my deepest vulnerability only to have myself be hurt once more. This fear doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. It is mine, it always will be mine.

Rogue and Stan Lee’s death

Stan Lee died today. He was 95 and had a good life. I can’t stop randomly crying. I didn’t know him, obviously. I am not even a huge comic book fan. Although, I adore comic book movies. So, you may be wondering why this has hit me so hard.

I am heartbroken because he created the fist character that I ever connected with. Rogue is still my favorite X-Men character. I remember understanding the pain of touching people and hurting them. Of desperately wanting connection but feeling like you could only hurt them, or be hurt by them. When Rogue touched someone she took a part of their energy. For mutants that meant their powers. It also meant some of their personality. She literally carried their pain as part of her own.

When Rogue was first introduced she was Magneto’s girlfriend. He was controlling and manipulative. I know what that can do to a person. She ended up absorbing Captain Marvel’s powers and some of who she was. It changed Rogue as she saw that it doesn’t always have to be pain and being made to be afraid of yourself.

I am grossly over simplifying a very complex character. That is the point, the reason why Stan Lee’s existence mattered to me. He made complex characters. He fought against racism and bigotry. He used stories to inspire generations. He made me see myself in a character for the first time. To be completely vulnerable, Rogue is still the only character that I see myself in.