Home→Forums→Emotional Mastery→Bereft,lost, confused, angry
- This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 1 month ago by Lindsay.
February 16, 2014 at 8:16 am #51091zayParticipant
I currently find myself in territory that I have never been in before and I feel bereft, lost, confused and sometimes angry as a result.
About 18 mths ago with the support of a dear friend I began to address through talking and eventually therapy abuse I had suffered as a child and the consequences of that abuse as an adult. It was damn difficult and even heart breaking at the time, making me hit the bottle pretty heavily, although it had always been a crutch to that darker side of my life. The only positive that I had to the deconstruction of my perverse self-value system was that I fell in love with said ‘dear friend’ and they confessed their love for me. – However as you can imagine life could never be that ordered for me to run off into the sun set and settle down. My ‘dear friend’ is married and had no intention of leaving their better half, nor did they want an affair, but neither did they want to stop my love for them or their love for me?
I found myself in a heady and destructive cycle that resulted in a break-down, a continuation to date of antidepressants and a dangerous dependence on alcohol.
I’m not sure where along the line I stepped off the roller-coaster and realised the relationship with my ‘dear friend’ had to either change or stop. That alcohol wasn’t the answer. And that the deconstruction of my self-value system was complete, in retrospect the one fed into the other until I find myself here today.
I feel both like an artist with a blank canvass, pallet and brush in hand and not a clue what to paint, staring into the abyss of nothingness. I also feel like the canvass, completely blank, the potential to be a work of art, but consisting at present of zero.
I no longer rely on alcohol to numb the world, and I’ve lost relationships and routines associated with alcohol as a result. My distorted value system has mostly been broken down and I am no longer feeding myself negative values of my failure and my deserving of that failure, life is now processed at face value, I just don’t have a clue what my new values are? I’m not sure if my friendship has ended and were just flogging a dead horse, my feelings haven’t changed, just my tolerance of how much quality I should get out of a relationship of the heart.
I know I am in a transition but I’m finding it very difficult having nothing familiar to hold onto or a mind frame in which to anchor me to the positives I have achieved or who the new me is?February 16, 2014 at 9:02 am #51093MattParticipant
Sometimes when we’ve been spending a lot of time in the “big picture”, settling and uprooting our old dysfunctional patterns, we come to the blank canvas. Its scary, because we see that its blank, and we hold the brush. What to paint! Don’t want to paint a picture like we had before, so how do we trust ourselves to paint something more beautiful?
The solution is accepting the blank canvas as blank, and painting small strokes. Do you like yogurt? Do you like Mozart? Do you like buns or boobs? Do you like sunrises or sunsets? Both? All? Little things, little strokes. Don’t try to paint a vast image, a grandios image. Paint small, dear friend, that’s where the self knowing grows. The big picture very naturally knits together from the little pieces, the little knowings.
Also, consider doing some meditation, specifically metta meditation. Metta is the feeling of warm friendship that arises in the chest, and is deeply nourishing to our bodies. The “friend” perhaps glows with that warmth, and so you direct lots of attention in that direction. That’s not an available path, though, so growing that light inside yourself is a much better option. This happens in therapy sometimes too, where the client falls in love with the role of the therapist, because they are such a breath of fresh air, an open heart. They think they’re in love with the person, but its really the role. Doing metta meditation will help you become more self sufficient, feeling OK where you are here and now. Said differently, as you learn to grow your light internally, you won’t feel the need to find it in others (and the feeling of confused loss when its unrequited/unavailable). Consider “Sharon Salzburg guided metta meditation” on YouTube if interested.
MattFebruary 16, 2014 at 10:40 am #51096zayParticipant
Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my post. I have spent a life time of speed painting my life, my goals, my present and my future! I welcome any assistance that will allow this entire new journey to be considerate and meaningful.
I warmly appreciate your support.
ZayFebruary 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm #51108MattParticipant
Often when we try to speed through our canvas, we’re not actually speeding forward, we’re busy trying to run away. So we run and run and run, then crash. Then fall behind… oh, more proof we’re ugly/bad/incapable/dumb/whatever. Then run run run and crash. Etc. Whew! No wonder we get exhausted!
Consider that perhaps self nurturance is the way to slow down, relax, unwind, settle. Then its easier to see our canvas, paint it intentionally (instead of reactive). Metta would be a great place to start, or taking a bath, going on a walk, lending a hand… whatever helps your mind settle, body come to rest. Consider you both deserve and are capable of finding joy, but in order to have the space to grow it, you have to make the space. Then, it blossoms gently over time as we tend our little seed…give it space, light, water. Namaste.
MattFebruary 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm #51112LindsayParticipant
Congrats on the blank canvas! Scary, yes. But also very exciting. I agree with Matt, take your time painting it.
When I found myself as a blank canvas (very thankful for that, by the way), one question that my therapist asked me was really helpful. What values do I want my future family to have? What do I want my children to value and KNOW in their hearts? Now, as a side note, I am not married and I have no kids. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have kids, but it helped me think about values in a different way. Because these are values and beliefs that I want to internalize and radiate outward towards everyone. Years later, I still add to this list of values of what I want to radiate and what I would want my (hypothetical) future daughter and son to hold true.
I would want my daughter to know that she is hardwired for struggle, but worthy of love and belonging (thank you Brene Brown). I want her (or him) to know that her worth as a person is not dependent on whether she has a boyfriend, or is wearing the right jeans, or is attending the “right” college. I want her to strive for greatness, but not be striving for perfection (which is fear based). I want her to be athletic, not in a varsity kind of way, but rather she is strong and appreciates her body and the gift of movement. I want him to know that vulnerable is good and boundaries are necessary. I want them to accept that life brings all emotions, that emotions are not bad even if they are uncomfortable. Even the uncomfortable emotions (and often especially those) are wonderful teachers and the seeds of compassion.
I could go on and on. But ultimately, by asking myself, what great things I would want for my kids, who are innocent and a blank canvas, I also figured out what values *I* wanted to embrace. Maybe that will help you figure out what to embrace for yourself?
Good luck! You’ve done a great job coming this far!