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Anita – how do I find my joy again?

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  • This topic has 141 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by anita.
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  • #361855
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you for sharing a part of your story with me, a very big part, as I understand.

    I haven’t posted again because I’m just so exhausted all the time, it takes all my energy just to do the basics at present. The problem is that we are having humid weather, I can cope very well with dry heat, but humid heat just leaves me like a wilted lettuce!!  (the kind that are so far gone, you can’t revive them!)

    I have naturally nevertheless been thinking and observing concerning your post of 11 July, but I cannot go into detail at present because I am just taking a little break now for my second breakfast before a man comes to fix the watering system in the garden.  That should at least ease my workload somewhat.  So far I had no irrigation system at all and it’s been taking me a couple of hours daily just to keep my plants alive due to the continuous heatwave.  Needless to say, I am not looking forward to August.

    I just wanted to at least respond briefly, as I have no idea when I will be up to producing a comprehensive post again.  I am usually best in the morning but these days I’m not having a “best” time at any time of the day!

    What I would like to know is if it would be okay for me to include some of my thoughts regarding your own situation in my reply?  I feel it is a little difficult not to, given the details you have shared, however I don’t want you to feel I am expressing my views or thoughts uninvited.  Especially as I have some perhaps alternative perspectives and tbh I am a little hesitant as I don’t want to upset the delicate balance you have to find in your life, due to the myriad issues you are suffering from.  I really respect and admire how you have nevertheless managed in your life and I would not wish to adversely affect you in any way.

    Regarding speaking my truth, as much as I am consciously aware of my truth, I try to say it as it is.  So please believe me when I say that there is no need for you to feel sad and believe you cannot help me.  I am very happy about our communications, truly.  I will go into detail as soon as I am able.

    Sending you a virtual hug for being such an amazing survivor!

    Juanita

     

     

    #361877
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    You are kind to thank me for sharing a part of my story with you. I was very emotional when I typed and sent you my most recent post. I connected to your words from June 6: “I do actually literally still feel fear of my mother when I think of her. I was wondering about trying some Somatic Experiencing or something along those lines to finally get my  body calm”-I connected to fear getting stuck in the body. In your June 20 post, you wrote  more about your mother’s violence and your sister’s fear of her: “only violence- plenty of that- continuous verbal attacks.. my furious mother chasing after me around the garden with a knife when I was quite small 5-6-7”,  “my sister (maybe 4 at most) cowering and terrified, hardly able to keep standing, utterly desperate, extremely confused”.

    Fear is a very powerful emotion, and the most difficult part of healing is being able to see reality as it is when under the influence of fear, so to speak. Because of fear, we make-believe, rationalize reality away, employ convenient thinking of all kinds, and remain confused and conflicted.

    “What I would like to know is if it would be okay for me to include some of my thoughts regarding your own situation in my reply? .. I don’t want you to feel I am expressing my views or thoughts uninvited.. I am a little hesitant as I don’t want to upset the delicate balance you have”-

    – I very much appreciate your sensitivity. It is indeed a delicate balance. As I stated, fear is a very powerful emotion. Guilt (emotions+ core beliefs/thoughts) is also very powerful. There is a whole lot I had to do to overcome fear and guilt, and to keep overcoming these. Fear and guilt are like embers, and I am afraid that they will be re-ignited. So thank you for asking me before offering your thoughts about my situation. My answer therefore is: it will not be okay for me that you share your thoughts regarding my situation.

    I want to reciprocate your offer to me and suggest that at any time you share X, Y and Z and you don’t want my thoughts about any of the items, please let me know and I will respect your assertion.

    Regarding my last line to you in yesterday’s post: “If you reply to this post, please say nothing unless it is 100% honest. If you cannot, better you don’t reply”- I apologize for these two sentences, they was based on a misunderstanding on my part. I will not elaborate on that misunderstanding because I resolved it in my mind today. (It was a misunderstanding that I was responsible for, not you).

    As to the rest of your recent post: I know how difficult the combination of heat and humidity is, I suffered a lot from it growing up and was “so exhausted all the time” myself, just like you. A (dry/ not sweaty) virtual hug back to you!

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by anita.
    #361898
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I wish I weren’t so tired.  I’m afraid I’m only going to respond to a part of your post again.  I would love to write some more but I think a half response is better than none.

    I am so sorry that you were triggered.  I can understand that happening.  I know how difficult it is to be with such emotional and physical states.  I had the sense this might have been the case.

    I do believe that “The Body Keeps the Score” so I can also understand you thinking about Somatic Experiencing.  I have tried it and a ton of different body treatments over about 25 years and had good and bad experiences.  It can bring faster results than talk therapy but I found it to be very dependent upon the person giving it – their skill and your rapport/sense of safety with them.   And of course, it stirs up old feelings, so for me it was often 1 or 2 hours for the therapy and days to weeks for the “calming down” period.  I got fed up of that drama cycle it in the end.  This was just my experience though.

    I personally find simply facials or foot massages to be really relaxing and calming without stirring up any issues anywhere, but what also came to mind is something which helped me to regain a sense of trust within and how to find peace in my body, which is called “Yin Yoga”.  It is a very, very gentle way of saying “hello” and building trust to your body.  It is very beneficial generally too, science is beginning to realise that this kind of exercise gives lasting health, so you wouldn’t be wasting your time, and it isn’t very dynamic, so you don’t have to be super fit.  You can do it at home once you’ve learned the basics.  It’s not like normal yoga, it’s a deep inner strength which you build in a most gentle manner.  It also helps regulate emotional states without actually having to deal with them.  It’s due to holding the poses for a longer time, which clears the mind.

    I used to arrive at class with all my fears and dramas and my teacher always used to say, “Juanita, just get down on the floor!”  I started with only one exercise, the Butterfly.  You close your pelvis with fear and stress, and this exercise allows you to open as much as you are willing.

    I hope this may be of interest to you, dear Anita.  You deserve to live in a relaxed body free of fear and pain.

    Juanita

     

     

    #361899
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    Thank you for posting even though you are as tired as you are. I agree that slow paced yoga/holding postures for a long time is very helpful. I do a few Warrior 1 and warrior 2, as well as other stretches daily or every other day. I used to attend yoga classes for a couple of years, four days per week, a couple of hours per day or longer, as well as additional physical exercises. But I moved far away from the city;  living in the woods affords me the long walks and physical work on the property, out in nature.

    You are very understanding and I do appreciate you very much. I was in a “physical and emotional state” last night when I posted to you. It was very meaningful to me and I learned from it, although I don’t want to disturb you again, or interrupt the down time that you need.

    Take all the down time that you need, and again, a virtual take-it-easy hug to you!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by anita.
    #362437
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I hope you have recovered well from revisiting your trauma?  I am glad that you know yoga and feel the benefit from it.  Writing to you reminded me that it is time I took up my own practise again!

    I want you to know that writing to you and receiving your posts isn’t a disturbance to me at all, but rather one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had with another human being!  I too am learning very much from our communications and am immensely grateful for this.

    I wish I could say I have been having a good rest in the meantime, in fact I am just writing to let you know that I am really having a hard time to keep my head above water at present.  I am still ill from the heat, and this has now progressed to problems with my stomach and nausea, added to which I have now got my old dog (17) very ill.  I think it is vestibular syndrome, which she had two years ago and I cured with homeopathy and supplements, but I think she has it again.  She can hardly get up, stand or walk, and is too heavy for me to be picking her up for eating and toilet, so now I have back and kidney pains from the strain …

    Ever since my cat became ill in early June I feel I am no longer making the progress that I need to be doing physically towards my independence, I feel I’m just constantly fixing illnesses and trying to survive each day until I can get into bed again.  I will be so glad when it gets cooler and hopefully we are all well again then.  My little cat is also still not really well, her fur has barely grown back since she was operated on and they had sadly shorn her very badly, so it looks quite awful.  At least she is finally back to eating normally again and beginning to put on weight, but she weighs barely 5 pounds even so.

    Every day I hope to be able to sit down and write about my thoughts and feelings, but I’m so physically challenged at the moment, I just haven’t managed so far.  Cross your fingers that I’ll be in a better place soon.

    I very much appreciate your virtual hug and especially reminding me to go slow and take it easy.  That advice has been a great help and feels like having a friend around who is taking care of me.  Thank you!

    Juanita

    #362460
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    I am fine, thank you. Thank you for being kind when you feel  okay and when you don’t. I am sorry to read that you are still ill from the heat, having problems with your stomach and nausea, and pain in your back and kidney from lifting your dog who is very ill.

    I read (vcahospitals. com/ know your pet/ vestibular disease in dogs) that vestibular syndrome, common in older dogs, is “a sudden, non-progressive disturbance of balance” due so something going wrong with the vestibular system that involves parts of the brain, middle and inner ear. Causes include middle or inner ear infections, tumors, and hypothyroidism. Treatment is directed at the underlying cause, if one can be identified: antibiotics if there is a middle or inner ear infection, and to make the dog more comfortable- sedatives and drugs to combat nausea or motion sickness. It reads that the symptoms are often most severe during the first 24 to 48 hours, and many pets begin to improve within 72 hours- I hope this is the case with your dog, if vestibular syndrome is what she suffers from.

    Maybe you can use a moving dolly to lift your dog? Also, when lifting anything heavy, bend your knees and keep your back straight as you lower yourself slowly to the ground. Always keep your knees bent throughout the lift. I hope your cat continues to gain weight and that her fur will grow back nicely.

    I am crossing my fingers, like you asked (I just did), hoping you’ll be in a better place soon, friend!

    anita

    #362872
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I have often been thinking of you although I haven’t posted and I am glad to hear that you are well recovered.  Thank you for crossing your fingers for me, I’m sure it helped.  But what definitely has made a big difference is to read the word “friend”.  Thank you so much for that, Anita.  It is a long time since I really dared to believe and trust that someone would genuinely be my friend.  I trust you and I thank you for naming me as your friend, it is a very comforting feeling for me, and I hope to be of comfort to you too, if I am able.

    I have been making progress with combating the humid heat, thank goodness.  It has taken a lot of time and energy to research and learn a lot of new things, but I have started to see positive results by using specific foods and herbs as “medicine”.  The approach I have taken is to build on the knowledge I already had of Traditional Chinese Medicine, because I also have had good results before with this.  The strange thing is that whilst researching to resolve physical symptoms, I found some very key information regarding my mental/emotional problems.  I hadn’t expected that.  I found some very old texts which include the mental/spirit aspect of a person, not just the physical body, and I recognised in an instant where my problems lie.  Those old Masters certainly knew their stuff.

    I am a little shocked, because although it is good to realise where you are going wrong, it is a lot to swallow.  I have felt very lost the last day or so after this realisation.  In a way it is also a further step towards getting clearer within myself which began through our communication, especially your help in aiding me to see my parents and husband more realistically.  That is good but painful.  Though as Khalil Gibran says, “your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding”.  I should get back to reading him daily again, he was such a wise man and his words nourish my soul.  Do you know his works?

    My pain now is that I have understood how much I have suppressed painful feelings and experiences.  I have touched on the edge of that pain and drawn back again in fear.  Like standing with the edge of your toes already hanging over an abyss.  It feels to me like that pain would kill me if I allow myself to really feel it.  But at the same time I realise that my life stopped 18 years ago.  The clock has stood still since then.

    I am shocked to realise how much of my life I have lost and I understand that I must somehow break through this suppression in order for my life to still grow and develop.  In a way I am relieved because I wondered for some time now what ever could be wrong with me, why I have no real passion and enthusiasm for living my life the way I used to.  Sometimes a little flame temporarily appears, but I realise now that I have actually spent the past 18 years in a functional depression.

    I know I’m not telling you what occurred back then.  I am not sure if I can bring myself to write about it.  I am also expecting my husband at any moment as he took the dog to the vet alone today, but I needed to reach out to you, dear Anita.  What a blessing that you are there.  Because of you I am learning to be more confident again, but also realising how lost I have been to my own self.

    Juanita

    #362893
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    You are welcome, friend. It is very meaningful to me that you trust me. Trust is a precious, precious quality that I don’t want to undo, or to not be worthy of it.

    I am glad you are finding ways to  combat the humid heat and that you “found some very key information regarding (your) mental/ emotional problems” in very old texts.

    You mentioned Khalil Gibran- what I remember most about his work, what stuck to my mind many years ago, when I was very young, was this fascinating thing that he wrote: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you”.

    “Sometimes a little flame temporarily appears, but I realise now that I have actually spent the past 18 years in functional depression. I know I’m not telling you what occurred back then. I am not sure if I can bring myself to write about it”-

    – you don’t have to. You can tell me what you want to tell me, when you do. You wrote that you are expecting your dog back from the vet, I wonder what the vet said about your dog’s condition.

    anita

    #362922
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    it is very meaningful to me too, to have found you, to have gained your friendship.  I have to think of the sweet Fox in “The Little Prince”, who explains so beautifully to the little Prince how to build trust and friendships.  In the past I gave my heart away too easily, I realise now.  I had no idea that not everyone would treasure and honour my gift of friendship.  I thought that being a loyal and trustworthy person would automatically ensure good friendships, but having lost virtually all my friends along the way, I now know this is not so.  You are helping me to dare to trust again, and I am very grateful to you for this encouraging experience.  Equally importantly, you are helping me to realise how poorly I cared for myself in the past and that I deserve to be respected and treated well and fairly – and this starts with how I treat myself and what I believe I deserve.

    It is interesting that you should mention that precise quote from Khalil Gibran, because I always think of it when I think of you!  I wonder what that means – is this more than a coincidence?  I like it very much.  I do actually believe what he says, that we are not from our parents at all.  This was a big argument I always had with my mother even when I was quite small still, long before I found Gibran.  But although I had intellectually and perhaps even spiritually understood on a deeper level, that I am a free soul, not a human creation, at the same time I failed to notice the chains which my mother bound me with, or maybe even I bound myself to her, due to my desperate desire to receive love and acknowledgement from her.  I didn’t realise until our exchanges now (you and I), just how much I must have suppressed or denied, or I don’t know what, but that I totally lost my awareness of those chains.  I see now that the intellectual and spiritual level gave me a belief in my freedom, yet I have remained factually bound and gagged.  Or imprisoned in the cage we have spoken of, to take another metaphor.

    Regarding my poor old dog, I am not happy with tonight’s results at the vet.  They are good people but not qualified to treat this situation, I feel.  I am still not sure what is wrong with my dog.  It was a different vet this evening (same practise), and he thinks it is a mechanical problem, possibly with a trapped nerve.  So maybe my other dog jumped on the old one, or she slipped, or a combination of various things.  The vet just gave her some heavy duty medicine again, but this is no real solution as her back legs and spine are clearly out of place, which I initially attributed to being twisted by the vestibular syndrome as it looks very similar.  Having spoken with my husband now, we have decided to take her to a clinic where they specialise in physiotherapy for dogs, but also offer acupuncture and other holistic treatments.  She is too old for surgery, so maybe this will be a solution.

    I am glad that my husband and I are able to deal with situations with our pets so well.  I am very sad that my old dog is suffering though and I always feel a bit guilty, as if no-one should ever suffer when I am there, which is of course quite unrealistic and I realise now this is part of my childhood legacy and I am trying to be kinder to myself and recognise how much I have been actively doing for my pets.

    The ever closer reality of losing my old dog also brings to awareness that the last vestiges of my old life will then have disappeared, as I chose her in the early years of our relationship.  I feel some fear at that thought.  I hope my dawning realisations will lead me to discover a new life that I am enthusiastic about.

    Thank you for being understanding and leaving me that space open regarding how I am able to communicate about what happened, if at all.  It still feels very raw right now and I am just letting it all settle again and hope to then know how I can best deal with it.

    At the moment I am a little dazed still to realise that I have been living like in a time machine where time has stood still for 18 years.  That realisation is still sinking in.  I can feel that it is true.  I am also becoming ever clearer about the kind of treatment that I deserve and should expect from other people.  You have helped me to see the unacceptable cruelty of my parents, but also of my husband.

    This new awareness leaves me equally shocked at the awful behaviour I have tolerated from supposed friends, family and lovers over my lifetime.  The recent situation with my neighbours (the witches and weeds folks) brought to my attention how “naturally” I accepted a man being a pest and harassing me, totally overstepping my boundaries by always trying to turn the conversation to sex when we were alone, and being generally importunate.  And I thought I had to tolerate this for the sake of friendship and peace with my neighbours!

    The irony was not lost on me that I bent over backwards, let myself be pushed around and used for “entertainment”, yet in the end I was made to blame.  So, recognising I have nothing to lose, I have decided to speak my mind from now on, to not oblige myself to accept or tolerate any kind of behaviour which is not acceptable to me in truth, for the sake of “peace” – because it wasn’t giving me any peace anyway and just lead to another fiasco.

    I believe that the new understanding which is blossoming within me of my rights in connection with other people will lead me to meet other kinds of people than so far.  In looking back, I realise how much suffering I would have avoided, had I just followed what was right for me.  I see that the needy child within believed in other strategies, but they clearly do not work any longer.

    It is very late now and I have to go to sleep.  I often think of you when I see the big constellation above my front gate each evening, it is called “The Plough” or “Big Dipper”.  I marvel then that somewhere far away you are seeing these same stars.  When you see them twinkle at you, they are waving hello from me.

    Juanita

    #362925
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    “When you see them twinkle at you, they are waving hello from me”- beautiful, just beautiful, I don’t often spontaneously smile, so when I do, I notice, and I am smiling now.

    I read your post, but I will take my time answering because you should be asleep by now, or soon, and I will be more focused Tuesday morning. I will be back to your thread in about 15 hours from now.

    anita

    #362975
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    “You are helping me to dare to trust again”- according to the psychoanalyst Erik Erikson (Wikipedia, “Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development”), the development of basic trust is the first stage of the  psychosocial development of a human being. “The child’s number one needs are to feel safe, comforted, and well cared for. If the child learns that her primary caregiver/s are consistent sources of food, comfort, and affection, the child learns to trust. If the caregivers are neglectful.. or abusive, the child learns to distrust-  that the world is an undependable, unpredictable, and dangerous”. (Even if the parent/s are consistent in their care of the child, but they talk a lot about how dangerous the world is- that’s enough to scare a child into mistrust of the world and anxiety results).

    Fast forward, here I am communicating with you, and trust is the most important element in relationships, including between you and I. But as adults, we may need to redefine what trust is, because it is not the same in every way as it is for a child.

    “I always think of (that precise quote from Khalil Gibran) when I think of you! .. is this more than a coincidence?”- mothers are crucial in our early development, so no wonder that an excellent quote about mothers speaks to the two of us.

    “maybe even I bound myself to (mother), due to my desperate desire to receive love”- in the beginning of life a child is naturally and thoroughly bound to her mother, so freedom is a matter of separating from her. Many adults don’t accomplish this mental separation, and therefore are chained, “imprisoned in the cage”.

    “I have decided to speak my mind from now on, to not .. accept or tolerate any kind of behaviour .. for the sake of ‘peace’- because it wasn’t giving me peace anyway.. I see that the needy child within believed in other strategies”- by strategies I think that you include the strategy of tolerating/ not resisting a little abuse so to prevent bigger abuse, as in, metaphorically: if I don’t resist this person slapping me on the face, she/he will be satisfied and may not break my bones (?)

    anita

    #362995
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I want to say “dearest Anita”, because I am so moved!  Your response is so in sync with where I am (internally) now, I find it quite astonishing, and I am especially grateful to be able to feel such companionship on my otherwise lonely inner journey.

    I am beginning to understand my own true inner geography as being almost like uncharted territory, some places I have never even visited.  Since “meeting” you, I am beginning to realise and accept that some of my dreams (when asleep) are actually more real and informative about my past and my childhood than the superficial, conceptualised person I believed to be my self, this invented self to please others.  I am not assuming anything about myself now, I am just observing, trying to be open and learn.  I know I used to think I felt safe and self-confident in the world, but I think this was the invented self, at least to some degree.  That invented self logically only came into being because of lack of trust due to painful and inconsistent nurturing, so it is good that you speak to me about this.  I must learn to become aware of my (so far) unconscious beliefs about people and the world.  I don’t want to be a string-puppet playing someone else’s role any more.

    When you say that as adults, we need to redefine trust, do you mean that a child (in an optimal situation) feels unlimited trust to its caregivers, whilst as adults we need to consider awarding differing degrees of trust, also on differing levels, depending upon the individuals concerned?  That would make sense to me.  Is that what you mean?

    Regarding mothers and freedom, I actually always imagine that a good mother doesn’t need escaping from, because she should have recognised early on that it is her job to help you trust your own wings and learn to fly and be free to live your life, the way birds do.  It brings to mind something from my childhood: I bought myself a poster when I was about 8 or 9, it was of a beautiful sunset with a sole bird in flight, silhouetted against the sunset colours, with the text, “No ladder needs the bird, but skies”.  I understood it to mean that you already have the wings and the opportunities, and that freedom is there for the taking.

    Actually, I have had a lot of opportunity to observe birds again recently.  I had been thinking of how much I miss seeing swifts and swallows, as there seem to be a lot less in recent years, and to my surprise a family of swallows has turned up in my garden!  It seems my garden is a perfect “flight practise” area for the young ones.  It makes me so happy as I love their gurgling chirps, the sound makes me feel so safe and comforted for some reason.  They come and sit on the fence in front of my kitchen window in the morning and then spend a couple of hours doing flight training around the garden, about 7 birds.  I can hear the little ones squawking excitedly about doing dives, so cute!

    I believe people are wrong to assume that animals do not feel or have any sense, because I think birds are such excellent parents, so dedicated, so consistent and patient, their actions plainly speak volumes.  Well, to me anyway.  Many humans can’t hold a candle to a parent bird’s qualities for even one day with their own children.

    How amazing to read your last paragraph in particular, you are so spot on regarding my inner process right now.  I think realising about my mother/parents and achieving more mental separation is beginning to happen and I realise too that it couldn’t take place as long as I was denying a lot of things, suppressing feeling my pain, etc.

    Just right now, both with regard to my parents, but also to others (husband, past friends and partners), it is as if a roller blind keeps rising just a little and I get to see a glimpse of the extent of the pain I have put myself through with these supposed “friends/family” during my lifetime.  It is precisely as you said, that I failed to resist the “little abuse”, although some things were not little, but the feeling within me was of having to go along with them, that was the motor.  It is extremely painful to see these things and quite shocking and exhausting.  I feel I have been violated for much of my life.  It is a very ugly face of humanity, accompanied by the same kind of incomprehension I feel when I see pictures of Auschwitz or such places.

    I sometimes have tried to dare and feel the old pain I mentioned.  It feels like a searing pain that threatens my senses, as if my heart had been torn from my chest and I cannot breathe.  I know I must move forward now though, for my own survival, so I have taken some concrete steps.  I have mixed myself a bottle of Bach Flower Remedies which I had at home, and ordered some that were missing (for letting go of the past).  I also had the impulse to seek a therapist locally to be physically with me when I revisit my painful memories.  It feels like I could not possibly survive it alone.  But I also feel that I need a witness to hear my story (as I’ve never spoken it aloud to anyone) and to witness me choosing to move on.   However … I got stuck on exactly the question of “who is a safe person”.  I had a spontaneous vision of what I felt I should do, but then I started to fear that I would be judged, rejected, not honoured, etc.  I fear opening up and then being disappointed, which feels so threatening when just daring to face the old pain feels like facing certain death.  I have decided to take some time out and see how I feel after sleeping on it.

    When I touch on the old pain, I feel an anger arising in me – dear God! – it is alarming to say the least.  Anger towards those who caused my injuries.  Anger at the impotence I have to endure at never being able to change the past, and at my own impotence which lead to becoming a victim.  For a person who is a pacifist and usually very seldom angry, this feels like nursing a nuclear bomb.  It also makes me a little afraid of how I may react if I seek out a therapist and open the lid on my pain.

    What comes to mind when you read this, Anita?  I know I have to take this journey.  I am trying to keep calm and give myself time, yet I need to get past this because I cannot keep living in limbo with my life on hold, so I have to act.

    Juanita

     

    #363002
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    Dearest Juanita, “I am not assuming anything about myself now, I am just observing, trying to be open and learn”- my therapist at the time referred to this attitude as a “beginner’s mind”, it is a Buddhist term.

    “I don’t want to be a string-puppet playing someone else’s role any more”- who you truly are is a creator, not a reactor. The role or roles in life are reactions to the circumstances we were born into. We can create who you are now by making choices based on evolved awareness, an option available only to aware humans.

    What I meant by redefining trust as adults is similar to what you explained. Children see adults as gods/ seeing adults on an elevated pedestal, so they trust adults to be all-capable, all knowing, all loving. As adults we should see other adults as less than all those things. For example, you trust me, but you don’t trust that everything I write to you is 100% exact and correct (I do make mistakes, sometimes I am not focused, and at times I am plain wrong and need to understand better). You don’t trust, I hope, that I will feel and express empathy for you at all times, or that I will respond to every single sentence you post.  On the other hand, you can trust that I will respect you at all times, that I will tell you the truth as I see it, at all  times, and that I will reply to you every time you post.

    Birds, yes. I once, long ago, dreamed that I was flying in the open sky, the dream was so vivid that for a long time I wasn’t able to believe that it didn’t really happen. To this day, right now, it seems too real to have been a dream.

    “I feel I have been violated for much of my life. It is a very ugly face of humanity, accompanied by the same kind of incomprehension I feel when I see pictures of Auschwitz”- I used to refer to my childhood experience, in my mind, as “my private holocaust”.

    Regarding finding and opening up to a therapist- open up to her (or him) just a bit and observe her reaction to that bit. Proceed only if you are satisfied with her reaction.

    Your anger “feels like nursing a nuclear bomb”.. anger and other emotions feel overwhelming and dangerous when they are too intense. A capable therapist should guide you through what is called emotional regulation skills, mindful guided meditations and other mindful practices,  so that over time, you can endure painful and disturbing emotions without being afraid that these emotions will lead to death or insanity.

    anita

     

    #363036
    Juanita
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you so much for your very helpful response, I will reply in depth tomorrow as I’m very tired now.

    There is something I would like to say though, because in my head I have a carousel of thoughts going round and round after reading that your childhood was your “private holocaust”.  It is so stunning to me to read this (stunned as in being knocked senseless).  I am deeply, deeply saddened to read this and it seems to me that there is nothing I can say which could in any way begin to meet you in your childhood experience.  In fact it almost feels like anything I could say might be in danger of trivialising what your experience has been.

    I just hope that you have since met wonderful people who have warmly and tenderly held you and hugged you, and held your hand, and rocked you gently.  And I hope there are people like that in your life now, people who care for you with their actions, who honour you and give you a feeling of safety and home.

    Heartfelt hugs,

    Juanita

    #363037
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Juanita:

    You are welcome and thank you for your empathy and your much appreciated sensitivity, and thank you for your good wishes for me. Unfortunately, private holocausts are not rare, there are children living their own private holocausts I type these words. And there are plenty of adults suffering.

    I hope you rest well, good night to you.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by anita.
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