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Anita – how do I find my joy again?

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  • #361033
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Brandy,

    I am sorry, I hadn’t seen your post before.  Thank you for your kind words of support.  It seems like a big step to imagine that I can visit that place of perfect peace any time I like, so thank you for making me aware of that.  I didn’t actually realise I was doing a mindfulness practise, to be honest, but I can see that now and it is very comforting to know I can build on that experience.  I just hope my visits to the trauma world decrease ever more and I spend increasing amounts of time in the peace world.

    Thank you for your confirmation of my best attitude towards my neighbour.  If I’d only listened to my intuition in the first place, I wouldn’t have got into that mess, but it’s certainly taught me the value of listening.

    Juanita

    #361042
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I am glad to read that you like the poem by Rilke.  I adore a lot of his work.  I never cease to find it amazing how much wisdom and depth of insight he manages to fit into very few words.  I realise in reading his poetry that he must have been a very accomplished philosophical thinker.  He had a pretty difficult life, certainly a very difficult childhood.

    I feel big tugs at my heart strings when I read of your loneliness in the past.  It makes me very sad that you lived unheard for a long time.  How terrible for you, it must have been a very desolate time for you and I am truly sorry, but therefore also very, very happy to know you have a good life now, which I believe from reading your posts.

    Do you know, I used to do the same thing too, talking to the stars and wishing on them.  I could only see a strip of sky from my bedroom window and I found their twinkling very comforting and always sang “When you wish upon a star” to myself.  The words filled me with hope:

    When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are
    Anything your heart desires will come to you
    If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme
    When you wish upon a star as dreamers do

    Fate is kind
    She brings to those to love
    The sweet fulfilment of their secret longing

    Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you through
    When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true     

    I clung on to the hope that my life would get better one day because of the words “makes no difference who you are”, so I thought, even I can have hope.  Maybe the hosts of angels were listening to both of us after all!

    The Rilke poem you quote about being too small is called “I am too alone in this world”, and he says

    I am too alone in this world, yet not alone enough to honour every passing hour.

    I am too unimportant in this world, yet not small enough to be able to appear to you as a mere object, dark and clever.

    It is of course true that he himself uses words, though in “I have a deep dread of the spoken word”, what he is actually referring to is how he sees the development of humanity (at least where he lived) towards a very mental, superficial nature, not connected to the real world in a sense of what I believe we would call mindfulness today.  So he is saying that people think they are so smart, yet they have no real contact with “life”, the life in all things, which he experiences as hearing a song emitted from all life.  How much further humanity has strayed since then, yet in some ways I feel there is a new awakening on a much wider scale, which gives me hope.

    I very much enjoy sharing about Rilke with you, but I must now go and fulfil a myriad household duties so I will have to delay writing about my piecing together of my puzzle until tomorrow.  My time is rather short, and exacerbated by the heatwave we are having, which makes me feel so tired (and not like having to do all those things!)

    Juanita

    #361048
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    As I read the wish upon a star song you posted I smiled, still do. It reminds me of the first time I visited Disneyland, it was 1985, magical. It saddens me to think of Disneyland having been closed because of the pandemic.

    I figured after I posted you last that I didn’t thoroughly, or deeply understand what “I have a deep dread of the spoken word” meant. I am trying to feel what he meant, reading what you added, I get a sense of a depth in-between words, depth of experience of life that cannot be captured by words, and that maybe in seeking words, people get trapped in the words, missing on the greatness that exists outside of words.

    Thank you for expressing empathy for my younger self, unheard and wishing upon the stars. It is so kind of you. Once again I feel appreciation for you, and gratitude for having the privilege of communicating with you.

    I hope the heat wave passes. Here it is warm, biggest problem  with the weather here are the small insects and bites. Till I read from you again, be good to you!

    anita

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by anita.
    #361052
    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Juanita,

    No need to apologize. You are very welcome, and a special thanks to Anita for looking out for us both. Wikipedia says “Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment.” While sitting in your garden that day you brought your attention from your distressing thoughts to your beautiful surroundings, which in turn calmed you and brought you peace. It’s amazing, isn’t it? The more you practice this the easier it gets. And try not to beat yourself up about not following your intuition with your neighbor. Your intentions were good so there’s nothing to worry about.

    Best of luck to you, Juanita! 🙂

    B

    #361294
    Juanita
    Participant

    Hi Brandy,

    thank you for your good wishes, I very much appreciate your kindness.

    Juanita

    #361304
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I hope you are well?   I still haven’t posted what I was intending to because I think I bit off a bit more than I can chew.

    I am still not feeling very well because of the heat, but also because I am trying to process all that I have become aware of recently, in addition to the realisations due to our recent communications.  I will try to explain …

    A few days ago I happened to notice your conversations with another participant, Cat, for the first time.  I noticed some familiar themes and ended up reading through all of your posts.  I was very saddened to read of the pain that both of you have gone through in your lives, I am very sorry you have been through such terrible times, yet I would also like to say that despite all the darkness you have experienced and survived, a radiant beauty emanates from the writings of each of you.  I was also very glad to read that Cat has been able to make such progress during your exchange.

    Obviously reading a lot of information has left me with a lot of information to digest, which isn’t usually a problem for me if it is just information, but there were many things which resonated with me, and also explained a lot for me.  In a lot of ways it was like being able to be more of an observer at a distance of what my own childhood and youth must have looked like to an observer.

    I think that is why I have been so sad in the last days and am having to cry now and let it all out.  I keep telling myself that I am making progress and have to see how far I have come, how much I have survived, but at the same time it is just so damn painful and sad to have already used up so many years of my life already, and to be still stuck at figuring out the basics!

    I want to read again through all the posts between you and Cat so that I can make notes and try to deepen my understanding.  I can see many similarities and it has also left me feeling quite stunned to have this experience of looking in on my own life, I think I’m needing a lot of energy just to process this.  I’m so exhausted, I’m literally dragging myself around to fulfil my duties.

    I am at once overcome with a sadness of such proportions, it feels as if I could never get to the end of all the tears I would have to cry.  And at the same time following Cat’s progress has given me such hope, because I have been looking for a long time for a help to find a way to combine continuing to heal with living an independent life.  So far I was too overwhelmed to be able to figure out the steps.  As ridiculous as that sounds, it has felt to me for a long time now just as you described in one post, a feeling of such confusion that you can’t even see/figure out what you need to do.  Sometimes I feel as if my brain is too foggy to figure out things, things that any normal adult does without thinking.  Things I used to do without thinking.

    One thing which is particularly noticeable for me is that Cat is able to describe her feelings and the emotional/mental situations very well.  I have had the feeling for a long time that many things which live within me are without words.  Reading Cat’s descriptions proved this to me, but also gives me words for my own similar experiences.  I have tried to explain this to various people of the years, including therapists, but no-one understood at all because they see me as expressing myself.  But I couldn’t express some things which were within me and needed to be expressed.

    I think you will probably be wondering, so I would just like to say that I don’t have symptoms of Borderline or manic depression.  I had the only depression of my adult life in the last 2 years but it was clearly linked to my marriage problems.  I am not sure if I’m explaining myself clearly, but the common issues I see reflected are to do with beginning to understand both the structure which I grew up in, and the way it affected my behaviour and choices.  I find both your posts so helpful, Cat’s because she gives that silently suffering part of me words – I don’t know if you can imagine how that feels after 50+ years to finally be able to verbalise your own feelings?  It is immense.  And your posts are so helpful because I begin to see a pattern, and I also hope I can thus make changes.

    I hope you are able to follow me.  I am a bit emotional right now.  The thing I was meaning to write about before is that I realised when I read your post of 7th July (11.06 am), I was a bit confused for a minute.  I wondered why you would say I should be discerning and self-disciplined, as I would normally have said I am both.  But I said to myself that you obviously intend to explain me something, so I reconsidered my situation, asking myself what you could mean.  Then I realised that I did not act in a discerning manner and was indeed impulsive.  I know that my basic character is usually not impulsive enough, so I wondered about this and then realised the following:

    I was very sad and depressed at the beginning of the year.  I knew I needed help so I looked for a therapist.  I think she helped me in some ways, but I also think she misunderstood some things about me.  It probably didn’t help that we had to do some sessions online and the connection was really bad.  However, before lockdown she had told me I had social anxiety and I believed her.  It wasn’t until I decided to get myself a book on CBT for social anxiety that I realised I definitely do not have it.  I think one of the reasons is because I described how I felt after the first visit I had to my neighbours, (of the weeds and witches issue) some time in the new year.  I came home feeling ill.  I do not feel well with people who are totally drunk in daytime (night time neither, but daytime is extreme to my mind).  I also do not feel well where the men and women are segregated and the only thing the women do is to gossip about every single person they know.  I am not this kind of person.  I also felt the woman I was sitting next to, to be very bitchy and unfriendly.  Altogether, I did not want to go back.

    However, when I described this to my therapist, she interpreted this as having social anxiety.  I interpret this as having social standards and I should have said so!  There is this theme of me not being able to speak things out sometimes.  This therapist never spent any time asking questions to get a general background understanding of my situation, so I think this haphazard approach was not helpful in my case.  I have nevertheless felt very guilty to tell her that I don’t want to continue and have delayed informing her of this.

    When I read your posts to Cat, I began to understand more deeply that my behaviour with many people in my life has been marked by this failure to understand that they are not the saviours which my inner child is seeking.  This is SO good to begin to get this clear, but also very exhausting.

    I realise now that my attitude towards my therapist was also that “she must know” and would be my saviour.  Therefore I started to try and force myself to have more contact with my neighbours and to be more open to relations with people more quickly (like the acquaintance re. the plants).  I see that this “order” of hers meant that I went straight ahead instead of having my usual filters in place.  I was confused as to why I should become friends with people who clearly had some very basic opposing values and could never feel really sincere with them, which makes me feel very uncomfortable.

    Before beginning posting on TinyBuddha I had already started to feel better by trying to go back to listening to my own common sense and what felt right, but that fear that I would be failing in human relationships was instilled in me by that therapist and has caused me to be careless.  Though I can also now understand that my childhood was the real prototype for this kind of behaviour anyway.

    I am very sad about my life, looking back.  Our recent sharing about lyrics and poetry felt so healing to me.  I started writing poetry when I was five years old and learned German by translating 18th and 19th century poetry.  I stopped for a long time because I had no-one to talk to.  I did meet a man when I had just turned twelve and we would speak about Sartre and Jung and all the things I was reading and thinking about, he offered me some intellectual exchange which my parents and school couldn’t.  However, it turned out that he was grooming me.  My parents sent me to him on holiday.  He was married but his wife had no idea.  I really liked her and was very conflicted not to be able to tell her.  He only touched me once and never dared do it again as I reacted defensively and told his brother-in-law.  But it ruined the pleasure of being able to share my thoughts and I have never found anyone else since.  Or perhaps not dared to look.  I just find that most people don’t want to look that deep.  Which is okay for them of course.  Just leaves me very lonely.

    Oh Anita, I have rambled on a bit here.  I am so glad that I can write to you, more than words can say, and I will close by saying that you may not believe in angels, but if you want to see one, look in the mirror.

    Juanita

     

    #361311
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    I just smiled as I read the way you closed your post, and realized that it being 12:47 pm, my time, this is my first smile of the day. What a beautiful sentence. I feel like printing it and having it taped to a real-life mirror. Thank you!

    Having read your recent post, it is clear to me that you need to rest, to take a break from all the thinking and learning. You are rushing and there is a saying: rushing is from the devil. It is especially not a good idea to rush during a heat wave!

    Please rest Juanita. Maybe you can take a break from reading the other thread and rest, focus on what you practically need to do every day, and nothing else. What do you think?

    anita

    #361326
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I am so glad you like what I said about looking in the mirror, please do print it out!  I sincerely mean it because I believe that your actions demonstrate the qualities we associate with angels, especially your patience, understanding, and above all being there.

    I have actually been taking a rest, thank you.  I have been physically resting all day and not engaging with those subjects.  I did a lot of gardening the past two days which was also tiring, but having read Cat’s thread, I suppose it is like having eaten too much at one meal and the digestion is troublesome.  I am hoping that I will feel better again in the morning.  I should be at least physically rested.  I also made myself my favourite comfort food today, “aloo paratha”, that is Indian pan bread, stuffed with a spicy potato mixture.  (I may have eaten a little too much of this too!!)

    I felt so much sadness this evening and normally I don’t tell anyone how I am feeling but it did me good to tell you.  I think that my last post is also representative of the issue I feel I need help with; I know I have still a lot to work through and become aware of, also make changes, but at the same time I need to tend to my garden because it does me so much good, also my other creative things, also my housework, also finally begin a new business … and then comes the question of how to manage all these different things.  I see that Cat managed despite some very difficult personal issues, so it must be possible, but the answer to this question seems like something just out of my reach.

    Could we talk about it in the next days perhaps?  I hope you know what I mean.  I read where Cat wrote that the thought of filling out a calendar with all the things she had to do made her feel powerless (to this effect, I can’t search for the precise quote now).  I have this feeling.  I used to be amazingly well organised, all my life really, super self-discipline even as a small child.  This problem arose with the depression.  I am a lot better already, consciously and consistently continuing to conquer all the stray areas of my life, and my garden, but I feel that I would benefit from some support in assessing priorities, and also receiving some confirmation that I am going the right way and will reach my goal of feeling peaceful and being financially independent again.  I guess I lost a lot of self-confidence because of my husband’s behaviour and my subsequent depression.  I haven’t ever had another problem with feeling foggy around him by the way.  Isn’t that wonderful?!  I so just needed to get clear on how to understand his character, and the therapist confused me a lot here too, but now it is actually quite easy for me to deal with him.  How things can change!

    I am too tired to take in any new information now anyway, but I would really appreciate being able to talk these things through with you in the next days because I know that precisely a plan of how to integrate change and yet build on stability in my everyday life responsibilities is what I have been seeking for some years now.  I don’t need instant results, I just need to know how to find that balance.  If you google “Linda Garland Mystical Sapphire greeting card” you will see the picture I have here which represents maintaining balance in my life to me (a lady in a blue dress with peacock feathers around her head).

    Juanita

     

     

    #361334
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    I hear you: “I am too tired to take in any new information now anyway”- I will therefore be back to your thread tomorrow morning, which will be in about 16 hours from now, and reply to you then best I can. Do rest, Juanita. I like you and I feel that I want the best for you.

    anita

    #361412
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:.

    Regarding the other thread you referred to, I made a mistake not long ago when communicating to one member: I made a reference to that member regarding two other members. It didn’t work out well and I made a mental note to not do that again, so I will not do that again. Regarding reading my posting history (more than five years of it), I want to note to you that I am not the same person I was when I started posting here daily, for hours per day. I learned a lot and I keep learning, and it is the process of learning that you can see in my posting history here, not the output of a final product.

    You are welcome to post on anyone’s thread, addressing the original poster. Unfortunately, many don’t respond, so prepare for that possibility, if you do post in older threads. Here, we can discuss of course, any topic that you read about in other threads, without mentioning names of members or titles of threads.

    “Sometimes I feel as if my brain is too foggy to figure out things… I have tried to explain this to various people of the years, including therapists, but no-one understood at all.. I couldn’t express some things which were within me and needed to be expressed… that suffering part of me.. to finally be able to verbalise your own feelings”- our feelings and thoughts, emotions (energy-in-motions) and words are connected in powerful ways, forming many thousands of neuropathways in our brain, physiological and chemical connections, energy and words. Because we are animals who use words and think a whole lot,  using words, healing has to include the expression of emotion via words: not words that we think and say mindlessly, but words that we say slowly, thoughtfully, intentionally.

    “This therapist never spent any time asking questions.. so I think this haphazard approach was not helpful”- reads like she threw the social anxiety diagnosis at you haphazardly. But you looked up to her as a savior and figured: I must make friends with the neighbors because I am the one with the problem (social anxiety). But the situation was not: neighbors are good people for me, and I am the one with the problem. The situation was: neighbors are not good people for me, so better stay away from them.

    “I began to understand more deeply that my behaviour with many people in my life has been marked by this failure to understand that they are not the saviours which my inner child is seeking”- I got in a lot of trouble when I availed myself to saviours who, of course, weren’t. I ended up being used, not saved.

    “I did meet a man when I had just turned twelve and we would speak about Sartre and Jung and all the things I was reading and thinking about.. However, it turned out that he was grooming me..  He only touched me once”- I know the experience of being wanted for the body and not for the mind and heart, the experience of my mind and heart debased, humiliated,  as a man proceeded to seek his sexual desires using my body.

    “it ruined the pleasure of being able to share my thoughts and I have never found anyone else since.. most people don’t want to look that deep.. Just  leaves me very lonely”- this has been my experience as well. This is why I am so intent to repeat to members what they express in these forums, at length, so that they can see that someone is looking that deep into their thoughts, feelings and life experiences, so that maybe, just maybe,  reading my replies, they will not feel so very lonely.

    “I keep telling myself that I am making progress and have to see how far I have come, how much I survived, but at the same time it’s just so damn painful and sad to have already used up so many years of my life already, and to be still stuck at figuring out the basics.. I feel that I would benefit from some support in assessing priorities, and also receiving some confirmation that I am going the right way and will reach my goal of feeling peaceful and being financially independent again… a plan of how to integrate change and yet build on stability in my everyday life responsibilities is what I have been seeking for some years now. I don’t need instant results, I just need to k now how to find that balance”-

    – here is what I suggest that you consider (and it may not fit with what you refer to as your spiritual beliefs, therefore it is for you to choose to consider or not):

    1. There is no final destination in life other than death. There is no heaven that follows hell. There is no “happily ever after”. There is never a completion of learning about life, about our minds and hearts. There is always more to learn. You can do a good job at “figuring out the basics” of reality, but you will later see deeper levels to reality, and more to learn about those basics. I know that I am on the right track of learning when the new learning does not contradict the old, but adds to the old.

    If you watch The Never Ending Story, 1984, filmed in Germany and is available, I believe, in an English and German soundtrack, it is a movie that for me symbolizes a journey in life, such as we’ve been talking about. In one of the scenes, the hero, the child warrior, is looking into a mirror that shows one’s true self, and the narrator says that most people get scared and run away. Fast forward, at the end of the movie, the land of Fantasia is saved (the objective of the journey) and life in Fantasia returns to be as fantastic as it was before it was in danger of being completely destroyed. Over the years, I discovered that it was a very bad ending to the movie, setting unrealistic expectations, because for one, there is no ending to one’s journey of learning and healing. And second, when one is progressed along the way, there is no return of a happily-ever-after experience of (sometime in) childhood.

    2. “it’s just so damn painful and sad to have already used up so many years of my life already, and to be still stuck at figuring out the basics”- it is a pain that every human who lives long enough experiences. The most accomplished people in the world end up dead, just like anyone else. They end up with impressive Wikipedia entries, that is all. All of us lose our time and lives. Consider an attitude change: from being “still stuck at figuring up the basics” to setting yourself free to figure out more and more about the basics, no final destination, but an ongoing journey of learning and healing.

    3. You wrote before how your mother/ other people envied you, considering you too intelligent, too creative, too big, as you put it- I think that even though this caused you distress, being envied, it also brought you comfort. I suggest the following attitude change: abandon perceiving yourself as too big, too.. anything. I suggest this because I believe that it will be part of your healing, that it will promote your healing.

    4. Do prioritize the practical things in your life as first priority, and don’t rush with the less prioritized objectives because… there is no final happily-ever-after destination, so .. no reason to rush.

    I hope that you are more rested this Saturday, Juanita, that you worked on your garden, did household chores and “other creative things”, and maybe gave more thought to the new business you are contemplating. I spent a few hours on this post, and glad to having done so. I mention this because I would like you to take your time reading this post, and read it when you are rested, so to not rush through it.

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by anita.
    #361416
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you so much for your efforts for me.  I have a question though, because you emphasised both the time you have taken, but also that I shouldn’t rush to respond.  Somewhere in here I am confused to know quite how to understand you because I don’t know if I feel an undercurrent of annoyance you haven’t expressed, or just my own embarrassment and some guilt at your investment of so much of your free time for me.  I am not sure if you are feeling that I generally/often do not read your posts carefully enough, so that you perhaps spend many hours with the feeling that I may only “fly over” your text?  Or am I just imagining all this?  Sorry if I’m just confused but I would appreciate feeling free of this confusion, thank you.

    Juanita

    #361417
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    You are welcome. I pointed to the fact that I spent time (a couple of hours, more precisely) on posting to you today not because I was annoyed, but because I was satisfied with how patient I felt while putting together the post for you, that I was able myself to not rush through the post. I requested that you too  not rush reading it, so that you can get more out of it than if you rushed. I didn’t think to myself that you rushed through posts before, not at all. What I was thinking was that yesterday you wrote that you were tired and overwhelmed, heat wave and all, so I wanted you to take your time and read my recent post when you are rested and calm.

    I am glad you asked me to clarify. I will do the same with you when I make assumptions I am not sure about.

    anita

    #361419
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you so much for answering my question and relieving my confusion.  I am glad to learn that you have a satisfied feeling, that is a wonderful state of being.  I would also hate for you to feel I didn’t honour your efforts for me, not to mention the time it takes you.  I know I must also learn to accept your gifts without feeling guilty.

    We are on the same wavelength about not rushing, I will explain when I respond to your post in detail.  What I am now realising is that I am pretty lousy at explaining my inner world, as I think I’ve explained or expressed something to you, but I later realise that I haven’t.  So this is also showing me the necessity of going slower.  I would just ask you to please be patient with me and definitely ask me if you are not sure of what I mean.

    Thank you so much, Anita.

    Juanita

    #361420
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    You are welcome and thank you for engaging with me. We are both fortunate to have each other’s honesty so to clear our confusion, whenever either one of us feels confused. That’s a privilege. Yes, I will be patient with you and I will ask you if I am not sure what you mean.

    anita

    #361840
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    You wrote: “I do actually literally still feel visceral fear of my mother when I think of her”-

    – this, to me, is the key sentence in what you shared in this 8 page thread.

    It saddens me that there is nothing I can do to help you, in regard to this visceral fear. I believe I know this fear well, it got into me too early, way before I could possibly protect myself from it. It scared the hell  out of me. I feel this fear every day in my muscles, as it still expresses itself in tics (Tourette Syndrome), it is called, and as it expressed itself in decades of OCD compulsions.

    Nothing in my life scared me anyway close to how much she scared me. Not wars, not this pandemic. What scared me throughout my life was my mother. My sister recently messaged me by email, she said: your mother is an old woman, she can’t hurt you anymore. My sister doesn’t understand that my mother is still hurting me (and that she is hurting her too).

    In the little girl’s mind and heart, her mother is Everything, her mother is all the gods in one. There is nothing the little girl desires more than to make her mother happy. When the mother turns against the little 100% adoring, 100% loving, 100% good intentioned girl- it is a lifetime devastation for the girl. It is… all the gods turning against one little girl.

    I am so very sad that I am not able to help you. The title  of your thread is “Anita- how do I find my joy again?”- the joy you had before she took it away, before she inserted that “visceral fear” into you?

    I have no way to make it that visceral fear go away for you. I am still working on it in my life.

    It is interesting to me, that nothing ever came close to the fear of my mother turning against me, including this pandemic. My fear has been all along the fear of my mother turning against me and pronouncing me a bad girl/ a bad human. It really is all the gods in unison pronouncing me bad.

    If you reply to this post, please say nothing unless it is 100% honest. If you cannot, better you don’t reply.

    anita

     

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