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This topic contains 1,633 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Cali Chica 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #279497

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Good morning. Happy Sunday morning. I love this time, it is usually myself- awake before anyone. Whether it is now as a married woman or younger as a child, or in college or high school etc. I would be up and productive and enjoying some alone time on Sunday. Did I know this back then. Did I observe this similarly. No. I did not perhaps even enjoy this quiet time before the world was awake – Perhaps or even likely felt fearful and pushed myself into a task to not face that amount of solitude. Being awake and sitting with myself and taking it in. Versus jumping into tasks and not checking in with me.

    I bring this up because it goes exactly with our recent conversation.  After reading your Last post I thought a lot about how much truly a person has to be trained, self-disciplines, aware, wise, and so many other characteristics to be able to sit with distress and pain without passing it on to others. It did occur to me that there are some people who are so “notable” or seemingly leaders, or well accomplished, etc., yet they have not mastered the skill at all, and never will. Some of which could be that they have gotten away their whole life on mis-treating others and projecting their insecurities or distress.  Also Another of which could be that there is really no space for this in many peoples lives, these sort of conversations just never come up, people come and go and just act how they please without ever stopping and thinking how do I really seem, how do I come off to others, am I being my best self? I could name a handful of people in my own life that have likely never had this conversation for even 1/10 of a second. That’s okay. Let them live their own life. My focus is inward on mine.

    I used to think that I of all people would be the worst at sitting with discomfort. The reason being, like I have noted on earlier, I always surrounded myself with others, I was immediately on the phone to discuss something that was going on, I didn’t seek solitude, I always felt that if I had some time why not spend it with others— time is better shared. Experiences are better shared.

    This goes back to what we discussed this week about filling things to the max, filling time to the max, feeling suitcases to the max. It also goes back to the conversation about the angel versus devil.  Without distinct memory, I can recall overall times during which I would wake up feeling quite fatigued, and wanting to instantly cancel the plan that was pending. But of course SCC never did. Fearful that of course if I did that, what would I do? Spend that hour alone? And also not wanting to disappoint the other.  Of course this fear was not blatant, I did not actually sit there and feel that overwhelmingly lonely or guilty, but it was habit to be social, and it was not habit to sit with myself. Nope it was not habit to sit with myself, this habit is only being developed now, in this current time.

    And that is OK because it is a beautiful thing to watch develop. Sitting with ones self. It is not lonely. It is alone. And alone can be beautiful.

    I saw A quote on the tiny Buddha website today, I do like to read these. I do not believe that all quotes are as ground shaking as the internet and social media tries to make them be, as we can relate to most of them on some level, but in order to truly understand that we all have a different view – and that is fine. In fact that is what makes them interesting because if you go around a table everyone has a different interpretation.

    This is it  “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

    I read this a few times, the first time I read it quite literally, it made sense, of course people sparkle and shine when there is good in life, and of course when there is not good in their life 1their true self will come out. That your true friends are revealed when you are not in the best place, who sticks around. And character shines through when we are faced with tragedy.

    I have read a lot about this, many of us have, and seen it in her own life. But when I read this quote again and again I thought about how it has so much to do with my holding on to people, or holding onto versions of people. Versions.

    I realize of course that with my mother it is a whole other story, holding onto a parent or making excuses for a parent is innate and primal, children want to think the best about their own parent. But I will talk about this overall, not just pertaining to my mother. So when it came to my mother, I wanted to only see the version of her when the sun was shining out, but when darkness came through her true character or according to the quote “true beauty” did show itself  time an again. Surprisingly it may seem that it was unpredictable, it would seem that it was out of character. But if you look back, this WAS her character. All of the times during the sun being out was not a profound reflection of her soul and heart and intentions. That was the easy times -those were the good times. And no, not everyone acts so terribly when they are faced with something that is difficult. No not everyone crumbles in the face of darkness. And this is what I have learned, people have choices, and not everyone turns into a monster. And therefore, we cannot excuse the monster. If true beauty really does show itself in times of darkness, then watch it, and observe it. If it happens time and again, that is the “beauty” of that person. I have made a lot of excuses for peopleBased on this principle, seeing them as they are when the sun was out, and using that as a guide to think of them as a person overall. The sunny person let’s say. To a point this is human nature, or a good approach to humanity I shall say -to want to think the best of people. If we only charged a person based on how they reacted in there most terrible situation we not may not be truly fair. For ourselves or others.

    BUT When it comes with our conversations, we are not talking about humanity or simple human nature. We are talking about specific situations, we are talking about how my brain or the brain of many people like me is wired in a way that sees things very specifically at times, perhaps not congruent with reality. So if I take this quote to think about other people in my life, not nearly as monumental as my mother, friends like N, and so many others, I think once again similarly. Wanting to see them as they are when the sun was out. But they’re true beauty did show when it was darkness, and once again it was not unpredictable. I can’t really say all these people all acted OUT of character when tough times hit them, because indeed that is their character.  The darkness showed their face. Having a bad fight or screaming at someone may be out of character. But time and time again, acting selfish, self-centered, rude, etc. every time something is not going your way – well that’s not out of character. This begins to define you. This  in fact is the mirror of the other person. look into that mirror and see that person clearly. And then you have your answer.

    there’s nothing to be confused about. Just like the mirror for ourselves. There is a mirror we can see others too. No need to make excuses. They are showing their face to you.

     

     

    #279501

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    Good morning. I very much like early morning solitude myself.

    The Darkness in people, it doesn’t happen strictly when unfavorable or bad external circumstances take place. In most darkness people, darkness takes place every day, multiple times per day, year after year, for decades. The light is off.

    There is light in every person, from birth, a child born to love and be loved. In darkness people, this child is almost always locked, imprisoned. Sometimes, when they feel really good, something good happened, is about to happen, or…  nothing happens, you see a glimpse of that imprisoned child, the light in them is temporarily on-

    – but not for long, not long enough for a darkness person to look around, to see what is there to see, the imprisoned child within them or the children they brought into the world.

    Being in the dark for too long, many reject light, angry when it is shining in their direction.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #279511

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    being in the dark too long many reject light. Makes total sense. I’ve seen this even in small ways. A person who is consistently angry to see others rise up and find happiness while he stays in the dark. No concept that those people may have light and his is off. In fact rejecting the light if it is attempted to be shined on him.

    I see in my mother that child was imprisoned. And yes once in a while you’ll see a glimpse, a small glimpse of true light – childlike. Yet the baseline state is darkness. The light is off.

    I think about this in my current life, holding on to what doesn’t serve me.

    So – last night my sister came over. It was about an hour – and I observed a lot. So much. And it was interesting. In my next post I will write to you about this.

    #279523

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita, my sister sent me a text yesterday that she was getting dinner with a friend near my apartment. She asked if I was available and if so she would stop by. My husband and I are about to sit down and go through our wedding pictures, a task that we have put off for over a year now. So plan is we are going to sit down and finally tackling, go through thousands of pictures and pick about 100. On Saturday night.
    <div>I thought – in the past, if she came over during the task like this I would go away from what I need to do with myself and my husband and then focus on her. That will not happen today. So if she wants to come over great, but we are doing this task, she can  sit here or help us. But this is the goal of the night.</div>
    <div>So I said to her OK that’s fine, we are going through wedding pictures so come on over whenever.</div>
    <div>She comes over, she brings her dog, our dogs play and that is nice but of course rowdy, there’s definitely some commotion, and I decide that we have to get back on track to go through these pictures, having two dogs and a small apartment and all of us, the focus was lost of course for a few minutes. So we get back on track, we start having fun and joking around about many of the pictures. Halfway through the experience she starts telling us a little bit about her work and her new neighborhood. All good things, some of the new people she has met. She then started talking about how she think she wants to get another dog because her dog is very lonely.</div>
    <div>So here: Naturally and instinctively I think about how it’s probably not a good idea, given that she just moved here and still balancing a new job, finances, new place city etc. But I don’t say that, I say OK Interesting, let’s talk about it later now gottA get back to the pictures.</div>
    <div>Done: we continue with that, going through the pictures, the dogs start causing some ruckus in the other room, so I let her know that it’s too loud and they may have to be let out, and that she should go make sure they’re OK. In the past I would’ve gotten up myself and then gotten annoyed that I can’t just finish this task at hand, and then my husband may have gotten annoyed our one task we needed to do was disrupted since my sister was over. Etc.</div>
    <div>but I realize, she is sitting here and able to help equally, not my responsibility to do everything. I’m sitting here focused on the task. So she handles that. She gets up and manages the dogs. Simple.
    <div>So we continued, and around 10 PM we finally finished going through all the pictures. It was a sigh of relief, we then thought to step out to get a snack. It’s nyc on a Saturday so 10 pm is lively and lots of places to eat. At that time she mentioned that she was going to head back to her apartment. The old me might’ve said – oh don’t go, why don’t you eat something with us first. But I don’t say that, it was getting late my husband and I were tired and cranky from all of the hours in front of the screen looking at the pictures, what we needed was some relaxing downtime and a good meal. That’s it. Simple. So yes It was best that she went home and that we all got some rest. Good for all. Nice evening overall.
    <div></div>
    <div>The end.</div>
    </div>
    </div>

    #279525

    anita
    Participant

    (just got your recent message, will read)

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #279529

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    All good. One comment/ question: after your sister texted about coming over and before you texted her back that it is okay, did you ask your husband if it was okay with him, asking him how he feels about it?

    anita

    #279531

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    This is the narrative. The observation is the following. I will get annoyed if I get side tracked. My husband will. When all week we set ourselves up to a task – and it became disrupted.

    If I believered her coming over would in fact disrupt it, then she had no business coming over. But I didn’t believe that. I knew it would be okay.

    When she did arrive there could have been a few situations that got us side tracked. Her talk about a new dog and going on about that. I nipped it. I helped redirect and focus a few times. It was my task so I stuck to it. If I got distracted by her whims. Well then that’s on me too. I held strong as an adult. Didn’t turn into a silly child like I usually would have. Sitting there joking and talking about dogs while my husband sat there waiting for us to get back on track – or simply getting annoyed. Nope. A foolish child does that.

    I felt good having control. Over my own self. And situation. See the goal here was not to help her or change her or anything about her. It was just some time spent together. We were doing something important while she was over. And I did not let her take away. I did not jump into her life. I was not burdened by a need to help. And I was not guilty. She cane and she left. In between I directed her. We were focusing on something and if there was a big distraction (dogs creating ruckus in the other room) I let her handle it. I didn’t handle it myself and then feel resentful and snap and then feel guilty. A vicious cycle. Nope. I also didn’t feel annoyed that she doesn’t have the foresight to get up and do something like that when she sees others are trying to focus. No she’s focused on having fun. Well that’s fine.  It I said go do this. She did. All was well.

    Lastly – when she state she was heading home. It was ok. Normal. Late and everyone’s tired. That’s it. More is not better. She did not need to stay longer it would benefit no one. The evening was fine and it was now over. More is not better. Honor what is needed and honor space and rest.

    #279533

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    To Answer your last question. Yes I did ask him, we discussed it, I even thought about it myself thoroughly and systematically . I thought about whether her presence would disrupt our evening in anyway at all. I also thought about whether her presence would disrupt our important task at hand.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  Cali Chica.
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  Cali Chica.
    #279539

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    Excellent evening, excellent mindful observations, actions and reactions on your part!

    anita

    #279543

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you!

    now none of this is to say this will be a frequent ocurrence. As even in the small time together I notice her energy does affect both myself and husband. Sure I was able to reroute it and recircuit back to task. But this does not mean that it is healthy on a regular basis.

    Yet I am glad I was able to have this interaction and successfully be able to observe and interact!

    my growth recently has mostly a lot to do with space from my sister. And I will protect this space.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  Cali Chica.
    #279549

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    “I noticed her energy does affect both myself and husband”- what energy last night was it and how did it affect you and your husband?

    anita

     

    #279679

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    When I last posted, my husband and I were discussing exactly that – her energy.  The way in which I wrote it, I did not mean to sound that her energy is necessarily toxic and destructive.  However, I am glad that my husband and I spoke about it.

    So on his end (and mine after seeing what he means and then looking back observing it), and it is tough to explain/articulate – it goes like this:

    So imagine if you lived in NYC too, you’re my sister or close friend.  You are going to be having dinner near my apartment, so you send me a text and say, hello I’ll be there, if you are around I will come by after – with my dog.  I reply okay, we will be home in an hour, and going to be finally going through wedding pictures, but come over when you are done.

    Normal – pretty much saying, yes we are home, but busy with a task we are going to  do (since she’s family it is of course not awkward for her to be over while we do this, as she was intimately involved in the wedding itself) – my husband and I discuss about her coming over, he is cool and calm about it, and jokes that perhaps she can even help during this “dreaded task.”

    She comes over with her dog.  Her dog is small and hyper, and so when he and my dog play they have a great time, but it is a ton of ruckus and commotion, running around a 1 bedroom apartment.  NO fault to the dogs, I am just objectively mentioning.  They also had not seen each other in a while over a month or so, so the pups were happy to meet and play.  My sister arrives and sits down, and we chat a little about our days and the dogs etc.  We continue to go through the pictures  (had started about half an hour prior to her arrival)

    The dogs begin to get very loud and tumultuous so I mention that we should put them in the kitchen area with the gate up (small apartment) – she mentions “oh they haven’t seen each other in so long let them play.”

    A nice normal benign comment – but when my hsuband and I discussed yesterday, we both talked about how – once again, she is off track from what our goal is (as husband and wife we are sitting down doing an important task) her focus is not “oh i came over but they are doing something important” it is ‘oh let the dogs have fun.”

    so I say, yes they’re having fun, but we can’t focus right now, so let’s put them in the kitchen area.  So we do.

    Then about 20 mins later, once again a ruckus, so I feel perhaps one of them has to go to the bathroom, or something.  So I mention it.  She says, oh they’re fine.

    So again, not noticing, okay my sister and her husband (a team that is older than me, and I am at their house, while they are doing something) – are trying to focus – what can I do to help out? No that is not there.

    So like I mentioned before, instead of getting up myself and investigating (yes it is a few steps away) I repeat, “no looks liek they’re getting rowdy, go check make sure all is okay.” So she does, slowly….

    That’s the point.  If I was at someone’s place, friend, sister, etc – and they (that person and ESPECIALLY if their spouse was there too) were trying to focus on something – I would try my best to make sure my presence and that of my dog and I does not disrupt what they are trying to do.  It would be something that I would think of (I like to think) or be aware of.  Not this way.

    So then lastly, after we go through some more, she begins talking about how her “dog is lonely” and she has already looked up a Thai rescue dog that she thinks she wants to get.

    From the outside this sounds slightly absurd.  Just moved a month ago, finally settling in I’m sure, starting first adult job, with first adult salary, learning to be financially and otherwise independent.  This sounds very much like my mom, lofty convos and thoughts, not necessarily focused on reality or practicality.

    Anyway – I cut her off.  I don’t mention all the above, I simply said oh interesting, yeah I am not sure – but let’s talk about it another time, we need to get through the rest of these it’s getting late.

    So all in all, while I type this, and after discussing with my husband.  I notice a trend, her not aware that it isn’t about her, she doesn’t barge in with her dog to have a party – she’s coming over – it should occur to her that when I stated that I wanted to finally do this task – respect it – does that make sense.

    So it is true we had a good evening, and it is true that I observed and was mindful, and as you said “excellent” on my end.

    But when my husband and I spoke, he also mentioned that her energy is quite “erratic.” He is not like you and I, in that he describes behavior/psychology/etc and speaks in a descriptive way – as it is not his habit.  But what he meant is something along the lines of “she tries hard to cover up” that she’s not lonely.  She goes on and on about things, even when not the appropriate context.  And even when we are in the middle of doing something important, another person may pick up on cues or have awareness -she lacks it. He also in the past has mentioned how I “change” around her and he does not like that.

    This is true, and we spoke extensively last month about how I do.  And how I go into help mode.  And how I also turn into silly young girl jokey Cali Chica almost like an entertainer to her.  This I did not do this time around, but of course it is not perfect.  He mentioned how he thinks I handled the whole situation well, but he noticed how being around her does affect me.  As her presence is not relaxing and calming, or “helpful” its more like she shows up and I have to regulate, and find a way for us to stay on task.

    all in all though, I was not “severely” affected by her.  Although I did sense some relief when she left. As I said it was late, time to go, evening was fine.  More is not better. And phew task complete, and hangout with her successful on my end.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  Cali Chica.
    #279695

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    Your husband said that her energy is quite ‘erratic'”, delivering a point that she “tries hard to cover up”. And you wrote that “she goes on and on about things, even when not the appropriate context”, that she doesn’t “pick up cues or have awareness- she lacks it”.

    In the past you went into “help mode” around her, turned “into silly young jokey Cali Chica almost like an entertainer to her”. You wrote: “her presence is not relaxing and calming”, that you were “not ‘severely’ affected by her”, but sensed some relief when she left.

    My input: lots of people are disturbed in NYC (and elsewhere) and yet functional, sometimes for many years. I hope your sister remains functional as she is now. I hope she is functional for years to come. But she may not be and you have to prepare for that.

    She has been disturbed for most of her life, since a very young age. She managed to go to school, graduate and now, be employed in NYC, great accomplishments. But this may crumble at any time. Because she is significantly disturbed, very anxious, lots of voices in her head, unable yet, as far as I know, to have a single healthy love relationship with a man. She lived across the country from her parents, failed to thrive away from them, went back to living with them and now she lives close to them and has been helped in practical ways by you and your husband, maybe by her parents as well.

    This is the preparation I suggest on our part: if and when she breaks and  becomes dysfunctional (it may happen at any time), let her parents do the practical help. Do not pay her rent again, do not finance her, let her parents do that. If she has nowhere to live, let her move back to her parents.

    The reason I am suggesting this is that she is nowhere in the process of resolving her relationships with her parents, she didn’t start that process, so it not like you will be helping her resolve those early relationships by helping her so that she  doesn’t contact her parents. She is and will be in contact with them nonetheless.

    So let her parents help her, let them provide a place for her to live. Focus your time, your energy, your money (yours and your husband’s, being a team), on your life, not hers. Don’t make it so that two medical doctors living in NYC, both employed, will end up living dysfunctional lives yourselves.

    There is no benefit for three people living dysfunctional lives (you, your husband, your sister), save the two  of you. There really is nothing you can do for her, and it is so very unwise to try once again in any way. I think it is a matter of time before she is in crisis. Prepare for it with your husband.

    anita

     

    #279697

    Cali Chica
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Excellent and incredible advice.  Thank you so very much.

    Here are some points that stood out to me:

    • unable yet, as far as I know, to have a single healthy love relationship with a man. She lived across the country from her parents, failed to thrive away from them, went back to living with them and now she lives close to them and has been helped in practical ways by you and your husband, maybe by her parents as well.
      • yes, my husband and I also discussed this.  that she does not realize that dating her may not be as “easy going” as she thinks.  she thinks herself a fun “chill” person but in reality, it would be hard for a functional sane man to want to date someone like her.  (I do not say this in a malicious way, it is objective – as I too once acted more like her, and found myself with dysfunctional dating patterns)
      • and yes, my parents and my husband and I have been the helpers, the once to provide support and stability, she lacks this in her own self.
    • Focus your time, your energy, your money (yours and your husband’s, being a team), on your life, not hers.
      • yes, just months ago I would have thought this statement to be selfish.  from myself, or from you, or from anyone. or moreover, thought it to be IMPOSSIBLE. this is hardly the case – where I exert my resources, physicial and emotional, is entirely up to me.  Whether or not I am burdened by guilt to help or not, is entirely up to me. Often not seeing reality (seeing her and her situation for what it is) will be harmful for me, like attempting to help someone into a task they have no business in performing, now, or perhaps never.
    • There is no benefit for three people living dysfunctional lives
      • yes and yes.
      • if I go down, and my husband goes down – who does it help?
        • does it help her, no? in fact everyone fails.  so the goal is to preserve ourselves, not sink with the other.
    • There really is nothing you can do for her, and it is so very unwise to try once again in any way.
      • yes, I agree it IS only a matter of time before she is in crisis.  When she made the erratic comment about getting another dog, some rescue from Asia (which would be a challenge for any dog owner) – I saw it CLEAR AND BOLD
        • I thought to myself: dysfunction, delusion, lofty thinking, not down to reality
          • My husband mentioned the dog comment yesterday, I remember now, and he said he doesn’t want to be involved in that and have to help. I said, nope.  First of all a terrible idea, second if that’s her idea, it’s on her.  If she thinks shes so responsible and mature to make those decisions, let her – but the consequences beginning to end are hers not ours.

    So yes, we must prepare for when she is in crisis. and YES, it is the responsibility of herself and my parents to dig her out.  She does lack respect not just awareness.  I say this because, someone who is not functional, and brings others down with her time and again- does not see the effects she has on someone else (especially if that person for all other purposes is sane) – this is like my mother.  simply put, she doesn’t see the havoc she wreaks on kind nice people (my husband).  she doesn’t see the havoc her erratic ways have on not just herself. she thinks herself responsible and mature, and that she can ‘handle it’

    well what has she handled so well on her own?

    yes, those accomplishments, but beyond – I recall her living in Arizona, and her mentioning how hard it was for someone to do what she did, move away on her own and succeed.  I thougth about how I uprooted the one free weekend I had to “move her in” flying 3000 miles and back in just 40 hours (remember the story – it was the one weekend my husband and I needed as downtime) and so much more.

    so NO, she leans on us, and she has zero awareness. and NO we will not be her saviors any longer.  we must prepare

    #279705

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cali Chica:

    Yes, you must prepare. No benefit in accommodating her delusions, her distorted thinking. Better stick to correct thinking, that which fits reality. Let’s say she is in a crisis tomorrow and you feel severely distressed, guilty and what not, take a moment and think of Reality, hold on to it, don’t let go. Have your loyalty be to reality, keep your focus on it.

    Flying to AZ to accommodate.. what? That AZ experience was  of no benefit to her.

    Paying her rent in NYC to accommodate .. two dogs running around an apt while she is at work, what is the use of doing that.

    Better prepare.

    anita

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