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  • #352146
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    You mentioned shame and a “more welcoming of a home” within you. Reminds me of John Bradshaw and his books: “Healing the Shame that Binds you”, and his book “Homecoming: Reclaiming and Healing Your Inner Child”. Here are a few quotes from these books:

    “Toxically shamed people… live in a guarded, secretive and defensive way. They try to be more than human (perfect and controlling) or less than human (losing interest in life or stagnated in some addictive behavior)”.

    “To feel shame is  to feel exposed in a diminished way. When you’re an object to yourself, you turn your eyes inward, watching and scrutinizing every minute detail of behavior. This internal critical observation is excruciating”.

    “It’s like.. a flower feeling ashamed for blossoming”, “The very characteristics of childhood I am describing- wonder, dependency, curiosity, optimism- are crucial to the growth and flowering of human life”.

    anita

    #352148
    anita
    Participant

    (double post)

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #353254
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I have downloaded the ebook version of this book. Is it okay if I try to contextualize and apply what I am learning from this book here? I don’t know why but it feels vulnerable to actively read this book. I wonder how to create space for this during my day. Perhaps at the end of the day activity so my mind can work on it as I sleep.

    I am really worried about the world honestly. I am tempted to try to plant vegetables or something to grow my own food so I can put less stress on the food supply. I haven’t successfully grown anything before but now is the time to learn. I don’t know how accurate this is but with the combination of the virus and economic shut down. and weird weather: it has been hard on growing food. The only solution I can think of is to try to grow as much food as I can.

    #353358
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    “Is it okay if I try to contextualize and apply what I am learning from this book here?”- regarding Bradshaw’s books: yes, as long as it helps you. There are lots of pages though in his books, so keep each post at a reasonable length so it’s not too difficult for me to read and reply.

    “it feels vulnerable to actively read this book”- I didn’t suggest that you will read these books, and it’s fine with me if you don’t. I quoted from the books just in case you may find some of his writing helpful. But please don’t do anything that will add stress to your day!

    “The only solution I can think of is to try to grow as much food as I can”- in huge parts of the world, the problem is still overeating, not a shortage of food, and what often fuels overeating is stress, which we had plenty of before the pandemic, as you know.

    So calm yourself down repeatedly during the day and before going to bed. Recently I came across a website called headspace. com which includes meditations and mindful exercises for relaxation and better sleep. Maybe that would be a better project than reading books and even growing food, at this point.

    anita

    #355432
    anita
    Participant

    I am wondering how you are, Zeeza. Hope you are okay.

    anita

    #356006
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I am okay and I hope you are well?

    I have been trying to practice patience and bring myself to a state of peace. I have been working overtime so it is nice to have work as a focus. I tend to feel like time is going by so fast that I can’t keep up with it.

    I have lavender and dark purple hair dye (my coworker gave me the hair dye) and I have been debating changing my hair for fun. Last weekend I brought my dog to the beach since the ban on parks was lifted. I have a cute video of my dog happily running around and the ocean smelled magical.

    I stopped taking the gabapentin awhile ago, I didn’t refill the prescription. I feel like it did help bring a state of calm but it slowed me down compared to what I am use to. I have been eating more regularly and keeping my home comfortable.

    I wished my mom a happy mother’s day. It was the only time I spoke with her since. She said thank you and that she wanted me to be the first to know that she is opening a business to sell masks. I told her the world definitely needs masks and I feel honored to know. I also tried to gently add in that a back up plan or perhaps keeping her job part time so that she has a safety net. She did not take lightly to this idea and we haven’t spoken again since. I figured out how to video chat my grandma and she took me on a digital walk with her so that was nice.

    I have been trying to journal more and it has become easier to have a routine and more energy for the routine since I am eating more and taking vitamins. My leg was hurting me very badly and I was worried my varicose veins were getting worse. So I have been trying to be more mindful of my body. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow that I scheduled months ago to follow up with the gabapentin.

    throughout the day I try to actively release tension in my body so that a sense of calm removes all the tension in my stomach and my upper body is released. Trying my best to improve my posture and send my body the message that I am okay.

    I planted potatoes, snap peas, and beans. Hopefully they will sprout 🙂

    #356016
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    Good to read from you, good to read time goes by fast for you and that you are taking better care of yourself. Potatoes, snap peas and beans- excellent. What about summer squash, aka zucchini- they are very easy to grow and they grow so large!

    * You mentioned gabapentin. Wikipedia lists the most common side effects to include dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, gait abnormality, speech changes and abnormalities in eye movements, peripheral edema (swelling of extremities) and tremors. In Dec 2019, the FDA warned about serious breathing issues for those taking gabapentin when used with CNS depressants or those with lung problems.

    I am fine, about to take a walk soon, the sun just came out. Problem in this time of year is that there are lots of insects and without noticing how it happened I have ten hard insect bites on my leg, so have to spray insect repellent every time I am outside.

    anita

    #357007
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    The plants have sprouted! The onions are the only ones that haven’t sprouted yet. Zucchini is a great idea but I don’t know if I have a pot big enough for zucchini. My doctor agreed that not taking gabapentin would be good and recommended powerbowls for easy ready to go meals. I followed her advice and ate more frequently this week and overall felt like I was able to maintain a level of calm more easily.

    I started making art again and it felt so peaceful to be in the flow. My organization and attempt to maintain a self care routine was not maintained throughout the week. I worked 3 10 hour days at work and felt immense pressure because our usual leads/managers were out and I felt under qualified to take their place. The week started out with resilient optimism to a coworker telling me on my last workweek day that “Maybe you can redeem yourself” (last week I forgot to add supplemental agar to make micro plates) and when he said that to me I just clocked out and took a break because it felt like an insult. It felt like I am aways trying to redeem myself but never able to fix all my mistakes. When I went back into work he said it was a joke he didn’t mean anything by it and I said I know you are like a bro, you have “bro” humor. Thankfully the rest of the day went smooth after that.

    To compensate for working longer hours I tried going to bed earlier but I didn’t eat dinner. I had monday off so I binged watch a tv show and slept 12 hours. Yesterday I tried asking myself what direction I would like to go down and tried to think of tasks I could do to maintain self care and calmness. What worked and what didn’t work.

    Another factor that may have thrown off my self care routine was being blown off by the man we have previously discussed a ZAP policy with. He was too drunk to come over after we had planned. He called me a bunch of times while I was at work thinking he was excited to see me. To find out he was trying to let me down in a soft way. He said that his work was stressful. When he did visit he did my dishes and took out my trash but I just felt so emotionally exhausted with him. How many times has he blown me off because he was drunk? and I just didn’t want to fight and the night he blew me off I made art instead. So I don’t understand why it affected me so. Maybe because my dad use to do the same thing. And now whenever my dad calls me past a certain hour I don’t answer the phone because I know I won’t be able to understand what he is saying at all.

    The drawing I made was Bear the Awkward. I don’t know in retrospect I think I was trying to draw what it feels like to support oneself when stepping out of the comfort zone.

    I hope the bugs are leaving your legs alone! When I lived in the woods growing up as a kid I use to take a bath with Skin So Soft and it seemed to deter mosquitos. It was a trick my aunt taught me.

    Best

    Zeeza

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Zeeza.
    #357016
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    A co worker told you “Maybe you can redeem yourself”, as in make up for forgetting to add supplemental agar to micro plates, how strange, to use the verb redeem in this context. The origin of the verb to redeem is in the bible, for example in Isaiah 44:22 (I googled this) it says: “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to  me, for I have redeemed you”.

    Ephesians 1:7: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of  our trespasses“, and Colossians 1:14: “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins“-

    You forgetting to add agar to micro plates is not a sin or an offense or a trespass that requires redemption, for crying out loud!!!

    Look how his comment made you feel: “It felt like I am always trying to redeem myself but never able to fix all my mistakes”-

    Mistakes are not Sins; they don’t require Redemption! Instead, be gentle and kind to yourself for having made a mistake, and make a mental note to not repeat that mistake in the future.

    Regarding the guy, we already figured he must never visit you when drinking or when he is under the influence of alcohol, so good thing he didn’t show up at yourself drunk. I wonder how much more drinking is taking place during this pandemic…

    Skin So Soft, I will look into it, thank you.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by anita.
    #357398
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I hope you are safe and well away from any riots? Work let us go early because some nearby areas could be potential targets.

    So far everything seems to be safe here.

    The feeling of needing to redeem myself; I tried my best to be gentle with myself and took actions to help me feel positive like showing up to work early and sweeping the whole lab. Being gentle when I make mistakes.

     

    Venting warning

    The guy and I have been good about not interacting when he is intoxicated. Except for last night. 8 minutes into the phone conversation I discovered he was drunk and tried to politely end the conversation 3 times before hanging up. He didn’t understand me and it was pointless to try to communicate I became angry and said please leave me alone for the night. He then messages me about something random to me, about how if we ever have a place together no one I had ever been with would be welcomed and how he dislikes anyone I have ever been with. I said yes I understand this, we have talked about this before. HE doesn’t like me having contact with anyone I have ever been with. At first I was like some are friends of years and that was so long ago and is with someone else. Anyways we had already talked about this before and I felt bad so I don’t talk to anyone I have ever been with. What I don’t understand is why did the topic of having a place together and rules of guests became a 20 messages.

    I muted his messages and went to bed early. He tried calling me in the morning and I didn’t answer. He messages me that “I was just trying to tell you how I feel and there is nothing wrong with that.” I responded with saying we have discussed this before and I don’t appreciate you berating me after I have told you I understand and repeating this” He said he doesn’t remember that conversation so I say just scroll up in our chat. I said  something that maybe wasn’t that nice, I said that since we are repeating ourselves, I will not marry an alcoholic. I just want to tell you how I feel”

    and he took this words and told me he doesn’t want to be with me because I smoke weed and that he will always be an alcoholic drunk or not.  That I always get angry and disappointed in him easily like always. Thanks have a nice day and then sent me a selfie of him smiling. I said please don’t turn this on me you have been trying to have the same conversation over and over and I am angry and want to be left alone. Then he starts sending me all these sweet messages and that I didn’t do anything wrong and that he is so lucky to have me and that he is in the wrong and can’t wait fur us to be happy together again.

    end vent

    I am emotionally drained. It breaks my heart because when he doesn’t drink he is kind and we are happy. I am wish I had more power to help the world during these riots. My heart hurts. I know this dynamic is toxic. I just wish it didn’t feel so scary to try to leave him. I don’t know why it does and it hurts when there is hope during the good times.

     

    #357399
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    I read some of your post but need to read it when I feel more awake, tomorrow morning. Don’t pressure yourself to end the relationship with him, you don’t have to end it- it is your choice and you’ll figure out what to do when you are rested yourself. I’ll be back to your thread in 11 or 12 hours.

    anita

    #357429
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    No  riots where I live, outside the city limits of a small town USA. But the riots elsewhere compounded with the pandemic has an end of the world feeling to it. Do keep yourself as safe as possible. Good to read that you are doing your best to be gentle with yourself, especially when making mistakes, and feel positive otherwise.

    Let me see what happened Sunday night in your life. If I understand correctly, eight minutes into the phone call with him you discovered that he was drunk. You tried to end the call but he didn’t accommodate, so you got angry, and said: please leave me alone for the night, and you hung up. He then sent you about 20 messages about you and him living together and how the two of you should have rules regarding who gets to visit your future home, and how he doesn’t want you to have any contact with any person you were intimate with in the past. You muted his messages and went to bed. In the morning he messaged you: “I was just trying to tell you how I feel and there is nothing wrong with that”. At one point you told him that you won’t marry an alcoholic and he said that he doesn’t want to be with you because you smoke weed, and “that he will always be an alcoholic drunk or not”, and that you “always get angry and disappointed in him easily like always.”. Next, he told you “Thanks have a nice day” and sent you a selfie of him smiling. And later he sent you “all these sweet messages”, that he is so lucky t have you and “that he is in the wrong and can’t wait for us to be happy together again”.

    As a result of this exchange, you felt “emotionally drained. It breaks my heart because when he doesn’t drink he is kind and we are happy.. I know this dynamic is toxic. I just wish it didn’t feel so scary to try to leave him. I don’t know why it does and it hurts when there is hope during the good times”.

    My input: at times you feel good with him so you want more of that good feeling. It’s like feeling very good eating cheesecake (I think of cheesecake because of the story of the Seattle woman who looted the Cheese Factory there a couple of days ago). So you feel really good eating cheesecake. Naturally, after some time of having eaten it, you want to feel that good again and so, you want to eat another slice. Naturally we are motivated to experience more of a good feeling that we had before.

    Every once in a while in this love affair with cheese cake, you take in a bite and it tastes like crap! This is what happened Sun night/ Monday morning- a crappy experience.

    But time does its thing and the crappy taste dissipates and is almost forgotten but the memory of the good feeling is not forgotten, so you want more cheese cake. It looks to me like the cheese cake is quite confident of its appeal to you, confident that you will never stop desiring that cheesecake experience.

    anita

    #357448
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your response. Yes I am wondering if this is a strong pivotal point in history where we can implement positive change somehow. I wish a modern Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr. would appear. Maybe the internet is a version of this change. Everything can be documented and people can reach out for help. It is difficult because there is another layer of how does one determine what is valid information or not. I listen to music on youtube and all the Ads are references to the pandemic and I don’t understand why ads are tying that together. To me it feels not genuine.

    I often reflect on the idea that we have previously discussed; the difference between what feels like love but isn’t versus valid love.

    I asked him if he felt sober to talk and he said yes and we discussed on the phone how drinking doesn’t help have productive conversations and important topics should happen in person not text. He asked to come over this evening and then stay to go to a dental appt and come back. I feel like he might need a ride. At first I was like I have things I do need to finish and projects I want to start and sometimes I have a hard time focusing on these things when you are here. Anyways I also asked him if he knew when he would go from drinking slowly to super fast and he says it just happens. I was asking to see if there was something that was triggering it. I asked him if he saw himself drinking every day for the rest of his life? He said no. I said I worry because if you are intoxicated and get hooked on a thought-loop that is negative, Like you thinking of people I have been with before you. That doesn’t sound healthy for you and I worry about other negative things that might loop. He agreed that he didn’t enjoy going through that.

    I like this metaphor of a cheesecake. The cheesecake I enjoy is flavored with someone to talk to and be silly with, share ideas and perspectives, enjoy meals together, tell each other about the day we had, play video games together, he helped me learn how to longboard so we could go longboarding, last summer we went fishing, we were thinking of figuring out how to plant tomatoes.

    I don’t know how to help him and I don’t want to act like I know how to. All I know is this rule of not being in contact when he isn’t sober has been key to good flavor of cheese cake. I sometimes get very angry at him and I just need to be left alone. I feel like if he doesn’t leave me alone I become more aggressive. I also never know at what point in time he will recover.

    These discussions are the same arguments we have. He talks about how he doesn’t like other people I have been with, and I am upset about him blowing me off because he was drunk, or saying mean things and then forgetting the next day.

    I have been distracting myself with this app called mindly. You can make a mind map with different ideas and I have been making ones for art ideas so it is all kind of organized in one place. I also have been utilizing my planner to implement routines. It feels like a reward when I can scratch off a task with a colored highlighter and genuinely be able to check in with the moment instead of being lost in thought ruminating, I can focus enough to move through the motions of the day.

     

    #357455
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    You are welcome. “I wonder if this is a strong pivotal point in history where we can implement positive change somehow”- I hope it is, I hope the change would be that we humans make it a priority to not harm others, that we see to  it in our daily interactions with people that we treat everyone respectfully. Not just in extreme contexts such as shown in the horrifying video where one human (a white police officer, Derek Chauvin) treats another human (an unarmed and subdued black man, George Floyd) as inferior-enough to kill with a visible attitude of callous disregard. But in casual, every day contexts: as we shop in the supermarket, for example, looking at people we pass by in the in the eye, with a smile, showing them with  just these two simple ways that we value them.

    We should ask ourselves individually, if we tend to think less of people for the way they look: skin color, facial features, height, weight, physical mannerism such as the way they walk, the way they laugh, etc., or do we think less of people in menial jobs vs academic jobs, and so forth, and correct our thinking and attitude, increase our tolerance to differences,  and treat every person with equal respect.

    “I often reflect on.. the difference between what feels like love but isn’t versus valid love.. The cheesecake I enjoy is flavored with someone I talk to and be silly with, share ideas and perspectives, enjoy meals together..”.

    – “this rule of not being in contact when he isn’t sober has been key to good flavor of cheese cake”- keep that rule.

    – “I sometimes get very angry at him and I just need to be left alone.. if he doesn’t leave me alone I become more aggressive”- he has to leave you alone every time you tell him that you need to be left alone. This is another rule to make and to adhere to.

    – “He talks about how he doesn’t like other people I have  been with”- did  I understand correctly, that you are no longer in contact with people you’ve been with, and if so, why is he still talking about a problem that no longer exists for him?

    Enjoy your mindly app and post again anytime you have something to express.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by anita.
    #357462
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

     

    how wonderful if we had equal respect shown in eye contact in a smile throughout life. I hope this change does grow as a ripple effect of positive energy.

    Before the pandemic lockdown occurred I had planned a big friend group meet up at my house and one person who is a part of this friend group is an ex from 2013. We were together for a month but remained close friends. That was cancelled and he had discussed how he felt uncomfortable about this and that it makes it so he doesn’t want to meet my friends. It would be socially awkward for me to invite my friend group except him since we have all been friends together for years.
    so I have not been in contact with anyone I have been with except for this friend who is a part of a group friendship. When I have talked with him it is in our group chat. Maybe this is the source of his anxiety.

    I don’t know what made this come up into his mind again. When we were in the phone we were discussing how to be closer and he didn’t understand what I was saying so I got frustrated and said please leave me be we can talk about this later.

    I’m trying my best to be open minded and patient. I would be nervous to if he was talking to an ex. Which is why I haven’t talked to any of my guy friends who have told me they had crushes on me in the past. I have never been intimate with these guy friends but it felt inappropriate to have them as friends.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Zeeza.
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