December 19, 2019 at 9:30 am #328569
Because I was in that habit for decades, the habit of zoning out, spacing out, my mind disappearing into fantasy or “to nowhere in particular”, and I pretty much broke this habit recently, in the last few years, I will be glad to share with you how I did it. Maybe you can do it too.
First, what I mean by this decades old habit: I remember that I crossed a street(I was in my twenties) and I noticed that a bus, or some other big vehicle, drove fast right ahead of me, I guess I could have been killed. I didn’t notice the bus or any other traffic. I don’t think that I checked before crossing the street (I figure that if I checked, I would have seen the bus). I was spaced out, somewhere else, and when the bus flew by right ahead of me, feeling so close and loud, I didn’t feel fear. Instead, I was puzzled, still not there, on the street- still somewhere else.
In my teens, I had a movie in my mind in the morning, the setting, the characters, the plot. For the rest of the day I was in that movie, it was playing in my head.
I heard people say that I am spaced out early on in life, teens, if not before: “your head is in the clouds!”
Sometimes I was walking in the neighborhood where I grew up, and I forgot how to get back home, couldn’t recognize where I was.
A few years ago, in my home now, it was hot indoors, summer time, day after day, and yet it didn’t occur to me that I could open a window. It just didn’t cross my mind.
I was relaxed in fantasy, lying down, doing nothing. But doing practical things, like washing dishes and other physical work was very uncomfortable, very stressful. So I avoided doing anything except lying on the bed, fantasizing to music. In my adulthood, I fantasized less and less, but still doing practical, physical work was distressing and doing nothing was relaxing.
Again and again, things happened to me. I didn’t make anything happen. I found myself in situations. I used to think to myself like a leaf being carried by the wind, or a ship in a stormy sea, the waves taking me wherever they did.
–I will stop here. Let me know what of what I shared you can relate to and what you cannot relate to, and we’ll take it from there.
December 19, 2019 at 10:54 am #328585
- This reply was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by anita.
Your experiences reasonate a lot, I’d also say yours may have been even more serious. But it resonates. My mind makes a mess out of things, it plays funny things to me. It’s like I have a hard time understanding or grasping patterns or logics I see in my environments, or stuff and conversations around me. I do manage to do some practical things but I am in autopilot mode a lot, my mind works on repetition and autopilot, manages to figure out or resolve stuff before I understand exactly what pattern or logic I used. Sometimes I have to tell myself what I’m doing exactly and where I am, not that I don’t know but to be really aware of what im doing (es: going for a walk and checking some books after sitting down for some minutes and feeling too restless). My mind does messes and chaos out of reality, but I almost always land on my feet if you know what I mean.December 19, 2019 at 1:41 pm #328641
I agree, my experience was more serious than yours. I figure then, that if I significantly improved my more serious condition, so can you!
Here is how you do it: Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a huge movement in modern psychotherapy. There is a lot of literature about it, online and in bookstores and in libraries. There are even magazines with this title, Mindfulness. It is about is going about your day focusing on your body and on the here-and-now. It is like taking the elevator down from the over-thinking brain( which often gets lost), and taking that elevator down to the body.
The brain over-thinks and we get lost. But the body doesn’t think, so if we focus on it, we find ourselves, no longer lost. There are exercises on how to develop mindfulness.
Are you familiar with the term? If not, I suggest you read about it some and get back to me after you do.
December 23, 2019 at 11:38 am #329133
- This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
Hi Anita, yes I have some knowledge over mindfulness and I try to meditate at least 5 mins every night (unless I’m particular not in mood) however these days have been really intense for me and I exactly don’t why. I couldn’t even give myself the motivation to lost or write something here. I don’t know what’s happening to myself, I try to make sense of how I feel and why I’m in pain internally and can’t give myself a proper answer. I guess it’s just another of my self loathing/life loathing moments, that are really intense and leave me in shock. Being with others or my peers is getting too hard again, I feel in chains among people who laugh and have fun and in my mind I wish I could set them all on fire (sorry the language, but I can’t no longer sugar-coat what I feel or think) I feel nauseous and dissociate. My eyes feel blank. I even get suicidal thoughts. It’s just too random and extreme for me to make sense of it, I see someone I like romantically neglecting me, I see myself disappearing in life and it triggers me. Sorry if nothing of this makes sense, I can’t give it a senseDecember 23, 2019 at 11:49 am #329139
Don’t worry about making sense or not, and no need to sugar-coat what you feel or think. Personally, I prefer that you do not sugar coat what you think and feel.
I feel bad about you feeling so bad. Because I know too well, how it feels to feel bad, for so long. I know how it feels to suffer, as you do. As I imagined just now, a non-suffering Gaia- it made me smile, it felt good. How I wish this was the case, soon enough, that you will no longer suffer.
A few days ago, after I wrote to you the last post, it occurred to me to ask you something. Thing is I don’t want to trouble you by asking this, so answer if you can. You wrote that your mother was/ is overbearing, dramatic and so forth. But what did/ does she actually say to you?
If you can, will you type a paragraph or two of what she says, paraphrased if you don’t remember her words exactly, typing away in the first person: “I…” as if you are her, saying what she said/ says to you.
I am asking this today, even though you feel badly, is because there is something I am missing, and if I find out what it is, maybe I will be able to help you a bit.
anitaDecember 23, 2019 at 12:06 pm #329141
December 23, 2019 at 12:40 pm #329143
- I remember as a child we were alone driving in car and out of the blue I asked her if I was different from others. This started a very heavy, long discussion in which she expressed concern for this question of mine (I can’t recall what she said, I can only remember she kept on this topic til we got home and I got to bed and I can recall her in the end asking what is that I needed, “maybe a more present, stay-in home mom?” I can also only remember that in my opinion I asked a very innocent simple answer but that she kept on dwelling on this half of the day)
- When I was 12 I was just minding my business in afternoon til she called upon me and started sharing that she always saw me as “sad and lonely” that I only had “1 friend” and stuff like this. I remember not taking it very lightly cause it made me feel shitty with myself and uncomfortable. I already intuitively felt like she projects sadness and loneliness and negativity everywhere and on everyone btw
- One evening me and my sister started to argue/fight pretty roughly and she kicked in by slapping us both and causing both of us to go to sleep crying. The next morning I was very enraged with her but she was the first talking saying “thanks for making me spend the nicest/happiest Easter evening of my life” sarcastically
- She yelling that she was “going to wake in 1/2 hours” those few times I get home pretty late in summer! Crying like something tragic and serious happened while to me it just wasn’t that big deal
- I also recall her being dramatic in general not only with me. Feeling sick physically but lamenting it without properly medicating, doing tragic facial expressions, crying whenever we cried, expressing through facial expressions and moaning how exhausted she was from work, duties, poor health, etc etc
I will refer to just the first example you gave, for now. I will retell it in my words, and you can let me know if I understood correctly, and if I didn’t, correct me, please.
You and her were in a car, she was driving, you were quite relaxed, feeling comfortable, so you didn’t overthink what you said to her, you spontaneously asked her: am I different from others my own age? You were wondering that and you asked her, maybe she could give you an answer. A question asked innocently, it spontaneously occurred to you and you expressed into words, the thoughts that occurred to you.
Her response was something like this: why are you asking? Am I a bad mother, is that what you are saying, maybe I work too much, maybe I don’t spend enough time with you… oh my god!!! What have I done??? Maybe I created a crazy, troubled daughter because I didn’t do a good job as a mother, oh!!! What is wrong with my daughter? Tell me, tell me, tell me (!) What is wrong with you???
And she kept interrogating you for a long, long time.
So a thought occurred to you, you made the .. mistake of putting it into words for your mother, and the result- a disaster.
What you learned from this disaster is that
1) A thought can be dangerous (maybe I am different from others)
2) Saying a thought out loud can be dangerous.
3) Something is very, very wrong with me.
And maybe, 4) Something is wrong with my mother.
Did I understand correctly?
anitaDecember 23, 2019 at 12:53 pm #329147
Am I a bad mother, is that what you are saying, maybe I work too much, maybe I don’t spend enough time with you… oh my god!!! What have I done??? Maybe I created a crazy, troubled daughter because I didn’t do a good job as a mother, oh!!! What is wrong with my daughter? Tell me, tell me, tell me (!) What is wrong with you???
I guess it’s something like that but I am only certain about the tone: grave, corny, serious, very emotionally charged, maybe dark
December 23, 2019 at 1:13 pm #329151
- This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Gaia.
I know that I need more time to think about this. I need what I call a fresh-brain to think more, a fresh brain is a morning brain, and Tuesday morning is in about 17 hours from now.
I think that the cringing feeling you mentioned before, and the bad feeling otherwise, appearing as if from nowhere, for no particular reason, is the same feelings, the same cringiness that you experienced throughout your childhood, with your mother, in those instances like the ride in the car with her.
It is nothing abnormal or unusual: our brain operates this way, its the nature of our brain that when we experience something very unpleasant as children, and we experience it again and again through the years of our childhood–
— we keep re-experiencing it as adults, the same emotional experience.
The fact that I am typing this to you right now and that you will be reading it a few moments from now, is not going to change this operation of the brain, you will still be re-experiencing that same cringiness and other unpleasant emotions. The only difference that can be made today is a bit more understanding. If you understand better how your (and anyone’s) brain works, part of the unpleasantness of it all can be gone. Do you know what I mean?
(I will still be on and off the computer today, and you are welcome to add anything you want to add. But the majority of my thinking and responding to you will be tomorrow morning, my time).
anitaDecember 23, 2019 at 1:51 pm #329161
One more thing: can you tell me more what you mean by her “tone; grave, corny, serious, very emotionally charged, maybe dark”- it is hard to explain, I am sure, because I can’t see her face or hear her voice during those times, but I hope you can try to explain it to me best you can.
anitaDecember 24, 2019 at 2:38 am #329233
Well, I mean she would use a tragic, grave and emotionally charged tone, I really don’t know how to explainDecember 24, 2019 at 6:59 am #329263
Dear Gaia, post #1:
In this post there will be quotes of what you shared. In the second post, I will be using all these quotes to form my current understanding.
Threads: “Feeling like something is wrong with me”, July 2016, “My suffering doesn’t make sense”, March 2018 thread, “Why can’t I be normal”, May 2018 thread, “My extreme feelings kill me”, September 2019 thread. In the previous threads you shared that you are volatile, that you are “Always monlogue with yourself about my life about my life”, that you feel okay sometimes but suddenly you become “hyper aware that there’s something really wrong or weird about myself.. I get panic, annoyance. One moment I’m ok and the other I feel and think something’s off”.
You started your current thread with: “I feel like I can never find peace or happiness in my life. And I highly suspect my mind and feelings play a big part in this, I can be utterly enraged, shamed and revengeful over nothing”. Later: “my inner world overwhelmed by violent thoughts and emotions… most often I can’t help but feel taken by intense overwhelming uncomfortableness, cringiness, discomfort. Sometimes it’s very very strong, even if it’s small talk or things like that… I had a very difficult time validating some of my pain because I didn’t feel like I was.. mistreated enough. It’s like I never truly belonged fully to a certain identity or center.. because I didn’t feel like I could define myself, who I am and what happens to me, or what’s wrong with me”.
About your mother, you wrote: “I dread spending time alone with her, I just have this irrational repulsive feeling at the idea she might try to do deep conversations and inquire about me… I also low key resent her for making me less carefree… I don’t like to feel like some kind of nutcase or internally dark or f*** up… she go to act like a psychologist trying to make deep heavy sessions out of people… I’m already pretty heavy myself and I’d like lighter, positive interactions about life and things”.
Yesterday, Dec 23, you wrote: “these days have been really intense for me and I exactly don’t why… I don’t know what’s happening to myself, I try to make sense of how I feel and why I’m in pain internally and can’t give myself a proper answer… It’s just too random and extreme for me to make sense of it… Sorry if nothing of this makes sense, I can’t give it sense”.
About your mother you wrote yesterday: “I remember as a child we were alone driving in car and out of the blue I asked her if I was different from others. This started a very heavy, long discussion in which she .. kept on this topic til we got home and I got to bed and I can recall her in the end asking what is that I needed, ‘maybe a more present, stay-in home mom?’ I can also only remember that in my opinion I asked a very innocent simple question but that she kept on dwelling on this half the day”.
You wrote that you remember one summer night you came home late from a party and her reaction was: “Crying like something tragic and serious happened while to me it just wasn’t that big deal”. You wrote more about her physical expressions, facial and tone of voice: “doing tragic facial expressions, crying.. moaning.. about (her) tone: grave, corny, serious, very emotionally charged, maybe dark.. a tragic, grave and emotionally charged tone”.
anitaDecember 24, 2019 at 7:56 am #329279
Dear Gaia, post #2:
There was nothing wrong with the girl that you were. Sitting in the car with your mother that day, you asked her a question, out of the blue, spontaneously, a question that probably all teenagers have in their mind from time to time: am I different from other people?
What older child/ teenager doesn’t ask this question? I doubt there is a single one. I am emphasizing here the fact that probably every teenager asks this question. It is not out of the ordinary to ask this question. Instead, it is very ordinary to ask this question.
The way your mother responded to your ordinary question was as if your question was very wrong, abnormal, extreme, and unusual. Your brain registered “her tragic, grave and emotionally charged” tone of voice and facial expressions, her “internally dark.. heavy” thoughts she expressed to you for hours that day, all based on one ordinary question.
Now, let’s rewind a bit: you asked a question: am I different from others. This question is a thought. What your mother taught you that day was that a thought can be tragic, grave, emotionally charged, that is, powerful, scary, internally dark and very heavy.
This is the lesson that she taught you that day (the short paragraph right above), but not only on that particular day, but before and after, on many occasions, different times, different situations.
The result: you are currently afraid of your own thoughts. Too many thoughts that spontaneously occur in your brain can cause that same devastation that you experienced with her.
Just like the question you asked her was normal but she taught you that it was very wrong and abnormal—> many of your ordinary thoughts feel to you as if they were abnormal. The result is that you feel “like something is wrong with me” and “Why can’t I be normal“.
And because you believe that your ordinary thoughts are extreme, your feelings are truly extreme, “My extreme feelings kill me”.
Sometimes you feel okay, but too soon, a thought pops up in your brain (as ordinarily happens to everyone) and you are back to feeling “that there’s something really wrong or weird about myself… I feel and think something’s off”. As a result, you panic and get angry.
“I can utterly enraged, shamed and revengeful over nothing”- correct: nothing really happens a whole lot of the time, except for thoughts.
You experience ordinary thoughts, “even if it’s small talk or things like that”, as overwhelming, intense, uncomfortable, “very very strong”.
And then, your intense suffering over your ordinary thoughts bring about angry, revengeful thoughts, thoughts that are ordinary for people who are angry, and you think these thoughts are further proof that you are indeed abnormal.
The first sentence of this thread is: “I feel like I can never find peace or happiness in my life. And I highly suspect my mind and feelings play a big part of this”- very insightful. But you can find peace and happiness when you form a new relationship with your thoughts. When you perceive your thoughts as they truly are: not powerful, not dangerous, not catastrophic.
As is, you live in an “internally dark or f*** up” mental world. Your thoughts are like monsters who torture you. But they are not monsters, you only see them that way. When you see your thoughts as… just thoughts, powerless mental events, you will no longer live with monsters. Then there will be some peace and quiet in that internal world of yours.
For a child, her mother is her mirror. You had ordinary thoughts but your mirror showed you abnormal, powerful, dangerous thoughts. That summer night when you got home late and she was “Crying like something tragic and serious happened”, what really happened in reality was that you came home late. What the mirror showed you was that something tragic happened. Same with your thoughts. What really happens when you think is .. nothing. But your mirror showed you that something tragic happens when you think.
A new relationship with your thoughts– how about this being your new year resolution. Your hope for that peaceful, light hearted life is in this resolution. It will not be easy, but in the context of this thread, I will help you best I can, if you want it.
anitaDecember 29, 2019 at 4:13 am #330033
The bad relationship with thoughts is true and something I’m consciously working to make healthier as you suggested, but my real issue are emotions. Powerful, intense, sickening and secret waves of destructive, fiery emotions I can’t do nothing with. I’m keeping in touch with some dudes lately, and it’s so hard for me to understand or grasp myself, I wouldn’t even bother to try and let someone else understand myself. I’m not really even into these dudes but I guess I can’t go on not keeping in touch with absolutely no one, but yeah it makes me mad that I don’t get the chance to connect with people I would be really enthusiast with and I’m constantly presented with people that are just meh to me, and then I kiss them and I wish they were someone else, and they think I like them too cause I looked enthusiast and passionate while kissing but actually I was just pretending they were someone else. Why would I do that, you’d ask, why can’t you give them a chance, I don’t know, I can’t know everything about myself and why I think the way I think or why I feel the way I feel, I really don’t know, it’s just that I am really drawn by some people in the sense I’d always ywant their physical affection and care while everyone else physical touch is just repulsive to me for no reasonDecember 29, 2019 at 7:24 am #330049
You wrote that you are “keeping in touch with some dudes lately”, that you are “not really even into these dudes”, “people that are just meh” to you. You “then kiss them and wish they were someone else”, but because you “look enthusiastic and passionate while kissing” them, they think that you are those things, enthusiastic and passionate, but truth is you are “just pretending they were someone else”.
“Why would I do that… I don’t know…I am really drawn by some people .. always want their physical affection.. while everyone else physical touch is just repulsive to me for no reason”-
– but there is a reason, you just don’t know it yet. What I figure is the following: there was a person in your life that you loved very, very much, you still do. It is your mother. You loved her deeply as a child and for years. Sometime along the way, she behaved in certain ways that repulsed you. You used that word in one of your posts, to describe how you feel when she tries to have a conversation with you. So, there is this person you love so much and you are repulsed by her, same person. This creates a conflict. I am very familiar with this conflict because what I just wrote to you in this paragraph is true in my life as well.
What this kind of conflict does is it makes you be “drawn by some people” and repulsed by them, at the same time. It is a replay of the same dynamic that you had in your younger days with your mother. (You may not remember now how much you loved her early on, but you did love her very much). This particular conflict brings about behaviors that puzzle us, make us feel we are some freaks of nature, but if we understand the conflict and how it originated, we can see that we are not freaks of nature after all.
Let me know if this is making sense to you.