August 2, 2019 at 10:09 pm #306349
You asked about when I decided to quite my training for marathons and bike rides. I just got tired of doing it. I stopped enjoying the training and the physical toll it took on me. I wanted time to do other things.
You also ask what are some of things that make me truly happy with that feeling of “Wow.” I am still working to allow that in me. I perceive or judge myself by having a damped down sense of excitement and joy. My emotional range is not as wide as I would like. I don’t get really angry or really happy. When I feel pain, I now want to really feel it and sit with it to notice and be with it, to fully get into it. I do so partly because I want to feel the opposite as well, i.e. to really feel happiness and joy for unless I feel deeply with either emotion then I cannot really feel well.
I pay attention when I cry. I like when I cry for I believe that taps what is important and deep for me. I cry when I talk about my children. I pay attention when I laugh as well.
Insofar as activities that bring me that “Wow” feeling, I love dancing to live music with wild abandon with others who are enjoying themselves as well. I know that whatever I do, it is the company I keep that makes the activity fun and enjoyable. I can do something really great but without someone to share the experience with, it does not shine as bright for me.
Thanks for asking. This is something that I have been working on for years and been very conscious about getting more of.
MarkAugust 3, 2019 at 7:50 am #306359
In my first of two posts to you today, I will quote you from all your posts on this thread. When I do so, I retype your words, that helps me absorb them. In my second post to you, I will comment on these words.
“I have gone through many years of my life feeling in a hazy, eyes-filled-with-tears state off and on… sometimes I do notice if I am not in the right frame of mind.. I don’t know what to say, and my eye contact is quick, sporadic, all over the room to avoid making steady contact with the other person because for some reason I feel unconfident or weird or just… off. It is horrible. Other times.. I can make eye contact, be funny, animated and social. I have had bouts with what I guess is depression… Last year I moved 2,500 miles away with my fiancé, away from our families. I miss them dearly. I continue sometimes to spend some nights in a stupefied crying haze where I wonder how it is possible to cry so hard and not die or something. But then I wipe my tears away and go to sleep or get on with my life.. I was also pretty miserable when I was living with them… Sometimes I scream at the top of my lungs in the car and in the apartment because I am just so frustrated and exasperated. Then I get over it. Sometimes I spend my time after work and some of my weekends being pretty sedentary… exhausted and unmotivated… I don’t make friends easily.. I feel so drained from constant talking and sensory overload… I feel stuck and so tired all the time… on the outside I am usually such a bubbly, smiley person.. pretty chill and friendly usually. So I’m not sure if it is normal for someone my age (early 30s female) to lay in bed so much and just relax on the computer or read, try to listen to meditation videos, shut my eyes… I feel odd being sedentary so much… I don’t allow myself to open up too deeply. It is all kept light and superficial… I am ashamed a lot of the times of my manners, I am afraid of people seeing me eat sometimes, I feel like I eat weird combinations of food. Sometimes, I eat in secrecy in the bathroom… I wish I would allow myself the pleasure of eating nicely… I wish I could just let things in my life flow with ease and gentleness… Sometimes I think I get so tired of having a routine… while I feel the desire to break out of routine, there are certain things in it that I cling to… I am an only child, and my parents never judged me or gave me a hard time about my food preferences. If anything, they wanted me to be happy… I remember I have always eaten weird… my mom would make me a whole box of Mrs. T’s perogies or two packages of ramen noodles.. I was chubby at times. I would also get made fun of for my weight in school from time to time… I recently gone off my latest anti-depression medication. For years I have gone on & off anti-depressants (mostly NOT being on them), because I always felt that they never really worked well… So sometimes I wonder if I am not really depressed; that I just need to sit with.. pent-up emotions that have left knots in my psyche and need to be untangled… I think our brains probably have stored.. every experience we have lived through and how each of them made us feel.. we need to actively try to recall these past memories, even though we think we may have long forgotten them, and to analyze what happened, how we felt, and how we can move past these memories to try and stop repeating these patterns indefinitely in our present lives…I don’t think I have the ‘mom gene’ in me. I have no friends… feeling like a shell of myself, a dried out prune version of the vivacious, beautiful soul I know is deep within me… I just need to learn how to better harness that divine power within me, within al of us.. access this eternal, unending power.. I am not sure why I have felt like such an outcast weirdo most of my life. My parents really did give me a great childhood and always tried hard to provide me with such nice memories, things to look forward to, and a warm & cozy home. wasn’t allowed to watch much tv or video games. I always was encouraged to play outside with my friends or by myself.. I am an only child.. Sometimes if my parents grounded me, I was obviously left to my own devices to try and attempt to resolve on my own what happened, what I did wrong, and how to cope with the sadness I felt for being punished. I never had any siblings to run to for solace, comfort, and companionship. I feel like it has always been my own fault for feeling so lonely and miserable… I was never satisfied with my job or.. my relationship with my current boyfriend at the time… I have tended to stay in uncomfortable jobs and relationships for far too long… Am I too apprehensive to get out of my comfort zone?… I was generally grounded.. I was a happy child for the most part unless I was grounded or hitting a low point for some other reason or another… I talked back to my parents (so common, I know).. but I was obviously grounded for that. It was clearly stated because my mom would always announce (not my dad) that I was grounded and she would say something to this effect: ‘Go to your room, we don’t want to see you for the rest of the day. Go and think about what you’ve done, no going out to play with friends etc.’
This grounding would usually last about a week.
It was depressing honestly. I was lonely. I didn’t have/ wasn’t allowed to have a tv in my room, no video games, no pets, no siblings. I felt so alone.. I usually had a great imagination and toys to play with, but it still left me with some damagingly lonely times… following the ending of a grounding, things would resume back to normal, but I still harbored feelings of animosity towards my parents for ‘making’ me feel badly, for punishing me, for banishing me to my room, where I couldn’t play with my friends. It was a perceived total loss of control and the inability to get it back until they said so. I hated it.. I felt powerless and hopeless. Felt like my life was bleak and over with even though I was very little. I felt like I was hopelessly in despair and had nothing to look forward to during these times of what felt like exile. While I had myself, my mind, my toys, space to play and let my mind wander.. it felt so narrow and suffocating.. It was all just that.. toys and inanimate objects. The one thing that wasn’t was always my mind. That’s the one thing I wish I could have utilized in more positive ways.. to leverage my mindset out of such bleak outlook, to shift it to a golden, abundant world of excitement and possibilities, to find the humor in the situation somehow… shifting the mindset to positive thinking, and keeping it there. To not complain”.
anitaAugust 3, 2019 at 9:43 am #306367
You wrote about the time you were grounded, usually a week per grounding, meaning you stayed all day in your room with your toys. No interactions with parents or friends, pets or any person. No tv, no computer games, only you and toys: “The one thing I wish I could have utilized in more positive ways” was your mind, that is, your brain. You wrote that you wish that as a child, you were able to “leverage (your) mindset out of such a bleak outlook, to shift it to a golden, abundant world of excitement and possibilities, to find the humor in the situation somehow”-
You have very unrealistic and impossible to achieve retroactive expectations of the child and teenager that you were when grounded. As a child, your brain automatically, instinctively did all that it could to survive your imprisonment. The misery you suffered while imprisoned was a result of the best your brain was capable of doing, and it is the best any brain of any child is or would be capable of doing.
Your imprisonment was a terribly bleak experience, how can you not have “a bleak outlook”?
Your brain imagined wonderful things best it could, but in the eternity of imprisonment, of isolation, imagination can only go this far.
For the purpose of moving on from your childhood experience of imprisonment, you have to understand that indeed you were imprisoned, that indeed reality was bleak and that none of it was your doing. You were a victim of severe abuse.
“My parents really did give me a great childhood and always tried hard to provide me with such nice memories, things to look forward to, and a warm & cozy home”-
A warm and cozy home, a great childhood, nice memories, things to look forward to- a child remembers and focuses best she can on the positives and forgets best she can the negatives. Even when the negatives are horrendous, the brain still forgets that best it can and remember the warm, cozy, great, nice. As I wrote to you above, your brain automatically did its best to .. make the best out of your childhood experience by forgetting the bad, remembering and focusing on the good.
Unless and until we see our past as-it-really was, unless we see it as bad as it was, we keep reliving the bad parts. The bad parts of our childhood need to be seen, need to be acknowledged. They will not go away until we fully see what was really our experience then, what really happened.
Let’s look at what really happened, let’s look at what your experience was as a child, being imprisoned for about a week per imprisonment:
1) You were sedentary, limited to one room, no playground where to run and play, no children to play with, no.. pool to swim in, a soccer field to play soccer and so on. There was no walking from a living room to the kitchen. There was only that one room, four walls closing in on you. You must have spent a lot of time in bed, lying down, sometimes sitting. Fast forward, you are reliving your sedentary imprisoned experience: “Sometimes I spend my time after work and some of my weekends being pretty sedentary… I’m not sure if it is normal for someone my age (early 30s female) to lay in bed so much and just relax… I feel odd being sedentary so much”.
2) You cried hard, and a lot. But not all the times, as it is impossible. You cried a lot and then stopped crying, played with toys, cried again, then fell asleep and then cried again. Fast forward, as an adult: “I continue sometimes to spend some nights in a stupefied crying haze where I wonder how it is possible to cry so hard and not die or something. But then I wipe my tears away and go to sleep or get on with my life”.
3) Frustrated and exasperated, you screamed at times at the top of your lungs, not all the time, because it is not possible to scream non stop. You screamed, then lay in bed, or on the floor, or carpet. Fast forward: “Sometimes I scream at the top of my lungs in the car and in the apartment because I am just so frustrated and exasperated. Then I get over it”.
4) You missed your parents a lot. You didn’t want to be away from them. Fast forward: “Last year I moved 2,500 miles away.. from our families. I miss them dearly”- you missed them as a child while in their home, while they imprisoned you in their own home, and you miss them now.
5) You were very, very sad. Fast forward: “I have had bouts with what I guess is depression”.
6) When imprisoned, you experienced a sensory underload, that is, no tv, no computer games, no friends, just you and inanimate toys. When your mother freed you from a weekly imprisonment, you suffered a sensory overload- you were out of the one room and into a big home, with people, a tv and outside life. Fast forward: “I feel so drained from constant talking and sensory overload”.
7) Imprisoned, experiencing a sensory underload, and feeling such intense misery, feeding times were the highlight of the day, your rare opportunity to experience pleasure. But the sensory input of smell and taste and the feel of the texture of food were overwhelming, creating the sensory overload experience. This sensory overload experience of eating meant you ate in a rushed way, like a hungry wolf in the wild, perhaps. Feeling very excited, too excited to slow down and practice table manners. Fast forward: “I am ashamed a lot of the times of my manners, I am afraid of people seeing me eat sometimes..Sometimes, I eat in secrecy in the bathroom… I wish I would allow myself the pleasure of eating nicely”.
8) A young animal separated from its parent automatically, instinctively experiences great fear, the fear of death. Because in nature, a young without its mother is likely to die. The fear motivates the animal to cry out for help so that the parent will return, and to otherwise look for and reunite with the parent.
You were separated from your parents. You instinctively experienced fear. You cried and screamed and made noise, but no one came for you, to rescue you. The fear therefore stayed and became anxiety. Fear became an ongoing experience. Sometimes, your brain took breaks from that very distressing emotion, daydreaming and imagining and playing with toys, but fear was there all along and you felt it again and again. This ongoing state of anxiety is very tiring, draining, exhausting, the brain feels hazy, foggy, it is difficult to focus and it feels weird. The person is exhausted and is motivated to rest, to avoid any stressful activities and relax instead. Fast forward: “I have gone through many years of my life feeling in a hazy.. state off and on… sometimes I do notice if I am not in the right frame of mind… I don’t know what to say, and my eye contact is quick, sporadic, all over the room to avoid making steady contact with the other person.. I feel stuck and so tired all the time”.
Imprisoned each time for about a week, you experienced the following: “I felt powerless and hopeless. Felt like my life was bleak and over with even though I was very little. I felt like I was hopelessly in despair and had nothing to look forward to”- the combination of fear for a long time that looks like eternity, crying for help and rescue repeatedly but not being helped or rescued, brings about this despair that you felt then. It is this despair that you keep experiencing.
People who are anxious don’t tend to open up to people, form and maintain intimate relationships: “I don’t make friends easily…I don’t allow myself to open up too deeply. It is all kept light and superficial”. People who are anxious also tend to “stay in uncomfortable jobs and relationships for far too long”.
9) When your mother set you free following about a week of imprisonment, you felt very happy and you tried very hard to not be imprisoned again, but no matter how hard you tried, it happened yet again and you never felt safe again. Maybe your mother expected you to act happy, to not complain and if she did, you tried your hardest to act happy. Fast forward: “on the outside I am usually such a bubbly, smiley person… pretty chill and friendly usually”. And indeed in your own thread, you’ve been very friendly and engaging with members who replied to you.
10) Children take responsibility, blaming themselves for the abuse they receive, you did that when you were abused, imprisoned, that is, and you still do: “I feel like it has always been my own fault for feeling so lonely and miserable… I am not sur why I have felt like such an outcast weirdo most of my life”.
anitaAugust 3, 2019 at 1:08 pm #306393
I love your descriptions of the elegance of nature – really touching and yes, the patterns nature provides us with are indeed very beautiful. I have a favorite tree in my local park that I wrote a poem about – I often stand under it and sometimes do some gentle exercises there. I love the energy that you get from walking through forests and from moving water. I love the expanse of seas, mountains and the sky. I often sit on my garden bench during a warm evening and look up at the stars. I love the changing colors of autumn. I love a beautiful sunset.
As for cooking, I like fairly simple meals that can be cooked in the same pot – casseroles, risottos, pasta dishes. If I dine out, I prefer to select something that I probably wouldn’t cook at home for myself because of the unusual ingredients – best left to the experts.
Like you, I grew up being a little on the chubby side and then when I started dating, I dieted reasonably sensibly but weighed all my food and for a lot of my adult life weighed myself before getting dressed every day. I think this was more for my own approval and wanting to feel good within myself than any external reason. Diet and exercise became my way of life.
You asked me what I truly enjoy and I am not too sure how to answer that in the present tense. I became a healer over 20 years ago (firstly a spiritual healer and later a Reiki Master) and I’ve read all kinds of books on healing – this has been a real passion of mine. It’s amazing that I am able to take someone’s pain away just by using my hands on and around their body or sending my thoughts out yet, at the same time, it’s really frustrating that so many people are so sceptical/disbelieving. I also find it quite insulting that people who know me reasonably well think I would waste my time on something that doesn’t work.
I agree with you that our brains manage to store an incredible amount of information but I’m also of the mind that if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it. I think our own minds/lives will throw up the things we need to address, the things we most need to deal with at any given moment in time. The challenge is in finding the first time we felt a certain way, every other time is just a reminder of that earlier time – it just pushes that button.
You are young, you write beautifully, you have a wonderful fiance. You have no friends at the moment – this can change. You are not feeling particularly maternal yet – this can change. You feel like an empty shell – this can change.
Your final sentences are telling me that you will come through this – you will be able to harness your beautiful, vivacious, divine soul with all its unending, eternal wisdom, power and love.
PeggyAugust 3, 2019 at 6:15 pm #306441
Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed breakdown of each of those points. It is refreshing to receive wisdom from a fresh pair of eyes and ears from someone who is wise, patient, kind, willing to listen intently. Can you provide me with advice to move past these childhood hurts? I will be seeing a psychiatrist in a few months. But I do believe TB is a truly great place to also receive very useful and applicable wisdom, and I thank you for all the wisdom you have provided me thus far. It really shifted my perspective into different angles than I had previously looked to delve into regarding my past. I didn’t realize it was so bad, even though of course we sometimes forget how much hurt and sadness we’ve endured in life.August 3, 2019 at 6:20 pm #306443
Dear Peggy, thank you for your beautiful words. Life is such a journey, isn’t it! It is interesting to see and think about all the different choices we have available to us at all times. It is interesting to think about how many different paths we can go down based on those choices, too. Most of which are really quite simple, I’d say. Of course there are hard choices, no doubt. But the simple ones can also make way for a series of choice after choice, etc, which leads us in a direction all its own, which could have looked totally different had we made one or two different choices earlier in the road. Your healing work sounds wonderful and so therapeutic. I think a lot of people need healing work like that. To be cleansed and helped in that way. A lot of times we all reach for the advil, tylenol, xanax, whatever it is, and that is just so…. toxic and western in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I am no stranger to reaching for advil when I have a headache, or taking medicine.. but I do have an appreciation for ancient wisdom and healing practices that I wish our culture would embrace more than it does.August 3, 2019 at 6:24 pm #306445
Thank you for replying to me. I like how you worded the following:
“You also ask what are some of things that make me truly happy with that feeling of “Wow.” I am still working to allow that in me. I perceive or judge myself by having a damped down sense of excitement and joy. My emotional range is not as wide as I would like. I don’t get really angry or really happy. When I feel pain, I now want to really feel it and sit with it to notice and be with it, to fully get into it. I do so partly because I want to feel the opposite as well, i.e. to really feel happiness and joy for unless I feel deeply with either emotion then I cannot really feel well.
I pay attention when I cry. I like when I cry for I believe that taps what is important and deep for me. I cry when I talk about my children. I pay attention when I laugh as well.
Insofar as activities that bring me that “Wow” feeling, I love dancing to live music with wild abandon with others who are enjoying themselves as well. I know that whatever I do, it is the company I keep that makes the activity fun and enjoyable. I can do something really great but without someone to share the experience with, it does not shine as bright for me.”
That insight you provided talking about deep emotions was really interesting to me. It reminded me of yin and yang and its principle of light and dark, opposites, and how to truly appreciate something, you need to be aware and intimate with its polar opposite.. otherwise you cannot have a true, deep appreciation as there is nothing starkly opposite to compare it to, and it is not unique.
I too feel the same about how I prefer to share experiences and make memories with others. I wish I could more deeply enjoy traveling and truly enjoying food,nature walks, etc.. on my own, but I usually get stuck in the mindset that the experience will always be made better, more enriched, if it were to be shared with someone else (significant other).
August 3, 2019 at 9:33 pm #306473
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by K.
You are very welcome. I will be back to your thread in about 9 hours from now.
anitaAugust 4, 2019 at 2:29 am #306485
Thank you for your kindness.
We all make choices hundreds of times every day. What to eat, what to wear, what time to get up, who to see, who to phone, which room to clean and so on. There is little point in regretting our choices – we don’t know what would have happened if we had made a different choice. Ultimately, the path we go down through our choices is a path of learning. Always. The more difficult the path, the more opportunity there is to learn. Following the ‘path of least resistance’ is going with the flow, flowing with life. Air flows through us, water flows through us, fire flows through us, earth flows through us. “Air my body, fire my spirit, earth my body, water my blood.” I sometimes use this as a way of bringing me back into balance, chanting it to myself when I’m out walking.
With regard to anger, this arises when someone is behaving in a way that we don’t expect them to. You are already expressing this when you shout, scream and cry. I think your answer lies in forgiving those around you that have hurt you. If you do sit with your anger, sit with forgiveness as well. I can’t stress strongly enough that this is for your benefit. Sustained anger is very damaging to your health.
You wrote to Mark that you cry when you talk about your children yet in an earlier post you said you have no children. Also, are you distant from your fiance?
PeggyAugust 4, 2019 at 8:01 am #306507
You asked me: “Can you provide me with advice to move past these childhood hurts?”-
My advice then:
1. Be patient, I figure it will take you (I am guessing) good five yeas of hard work to do that with progress all along the way, though not in a linear way, meaning you will feel better and worse along the way.
2. I think that you are in contact with your parents, used to live with them not long ago (?), may do so again, definitely visit with them: if they still invalidate your experience, if they never acknowledged it was wrong of them to imprison you, if they did not ask for your forgiveness and offered to make amends, such as offering to pay for quality psychotherapy for you, for a period of over a year, about two sessions per week- then your contact with them will interfere with your healing. Every time you spend time with them, you keep your “Feeling off” in place.
3. I don’t know the nature of your relationship with your boyfriend, if it is a healthy relationship, you can use it in your healing process. If it is not that healthy, healing the relationship will be part of your individual healing.
Let me know what you think of my advice so far, if you will, and we can go from there.
anitaAugust 5, 2019 at 9:49 am #306655
Hi Peggy, I love how you said the following: “There is little point in regretting our choices – we don’t know what would have happened if we had made a different choice. Ultimately, the path we go down through our choices is a path of learning. Always. The more difficult the path, the more opportunity there is to learn. Following the ‘path of least resistance’ is going with the flow, flowing with life. Air flows through us, water flows through us, fire flows through us, earth flows through us. “Air my body, fire my spirit, earth my body, water my blood.” I sometimes use this as a way of bringing me back into balance, chanting it to myself when I’m out walking.”
However, in regards to You wrote to Mark that you cry when you talk about your children yet in an earlier post you said you have no children. Also, are you distant from your fiancé?” I am not sure I said I cry when I talk about my children, since I don’t have children… I’m not sure about that, so I am not sure how to answer it accordingly. Also, my fiancé and I have a loving relationship. He is a wonderful man.
I hope that clears some things up, and thank you again for your wisdom!August 5, 2019 at 11:47 am #306705
I get it about the experience is richer when shared with someone you care about. I realize that is true for me. Ideally it would be with a significant other but to have a close friend or my children would be good as well. All my real joys come down to having them shared with someone. It is not the activity or the surroundings that make it special but the person I am with.
MarkAugust 6, 2019 at 11:35 am #306895
When I said are you distant from your partner, I meant were you living apart. I wasn’t questioning your relationship with him. I am sorry if that came over in the wrong way. I also typed “air my body” instead of “air my breath”. So, it should have read “Air my breath, fire my spirit, earth my body, water my blood”.
In its deeper sense, it is a way of connecting with the Universe and recognizing that we are all an integral part of the whole and that the divine nature of man/woman is that we are all spirits living within a body which needs air, water, fire and earth to survive.