Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Anonymous People

I'm not sure if you've watched The Anonymous People yet- I have only seen half of it because I tend to fall asleep in the middle of every movie-but now it's on Netflix so I can watch it in parts if I need to. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Normal

For the first time in a long long time I'm up writing. I love getting up early- when did it turn into such a chore? It makes me puzzle over why, when I do nice things for myself that I love, that I talk myself out of them. Who's in charge up there anyway?

I had a one-on-one session with my therapist last week and she recommended a book to me. It's called Changing Course: Healing from Loss, Abandonment, and Fear by Claudia Black. Reading it is helping me understand who really is in charge up there, and why I choose the things I do.

I've felt so many things the past few weeks: sad, hurt, angry, healed, calm, confident, reassured. Life seems an awful lot like a roller coaster until I remember that oh, yeah, right. That's kind of what life is when you aren't numb most of the time. It reminds me of the theme song from The Dukes of Hazzard- the part about straightnin' the curves and flatnin' the hills. I want my curves curvy, my hills hilly- but I'm not used to it and it feels like I need a harness, a net, and maybe a break now and again.

Reading Changing Course is helping me understand how I react to things and feel the way I do. My childhood wasn't spent locked in a closet, but it wasn't really all that great either. I made and continue to make choices that protect me from pain and these choices keep me stuck. I do and say so many things a day, but where does that come from? Who am I really? Why do I react the way I do? I sometimes feel quite stuck at about twelve- a girl on the brink of womanhood hurting and confused and hiding as best I can.

My personality got kind of buried under all that self protection. It's been pretty cool and kind of odd to really think about my reactions instead of just blerbing through it like I normally do. In my therapy session we did something called somatic experiencing. It's an interesting way to create a safe place for myself and it makes total sense. My therapist told me a story about how, after a gazelle has a narrow miss with a lion, it goes and rests. It recovers, then goes back to the herd. But it doesn't go back all dramatic "Oh! Lord! Other gazelles! I just almost got killed!" After it calms down it rejoins the herd and life goes on. I tend to draw things out and make them last longer than they need to- giving loads of energy to the past and to mistakes instead of healing and living now.

Like this: In traffic if I make a mistake or someone else makes a mistake my whole drive can turn into a blame game. Blah blah turn signal, blah blah wrong lane, blah blah too slow, blah blah blahhhhhhhhh. I can spend half a day feeling embarrassed or high and mighty about something insignificant. I've been concentrating on letting that traffic stuff go. All that thought into a few second incident. Let it go.

That's the way I tend to deal with my mistakes: big or small, I really let 'em have it.  And it makes me feel better since I either get to feel superior or beat myself up. Which is kind of how I spend a lot of my time, which may explain why I feel kind of mad-ish and negative a lot. Which sucks. There isn't any middle ground- it's either waaaaayyyy up or waaaaayyyy down. That's the way I was raised.

After drinking for all those years to numb myself to all this personhood stuff little things like making conscious choices about my reactions seem so big! To be able to make a tiny traffic blunder and whoops it off. Something that small is changing my life. It's making me feel like the forty three year old woman I am, and not that scared little girl. I'm creating a safe place for myself within myself. It's a new normal for me to have some confidence in my place in the world.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Lord. Where have I been? Every morning I wake up and think, shit. I have a blog post to write. Then I think it again the next day, and then there's so much to say that I sort of got overwhelmed and just put it off for a better time, another day I'll be able to sit down, to concentrate for real. Then I can do it.

Ha ha ha. We all know how that kind of planning goes. But then! The children went to see their grandparents for Mother's Day. My husband is at work. I'm having a huge Saturday night vegetable roasting party and I'm the only one invited so I can do whatever I want. Which means I can cook and write and go to sleep when I get tired. Word.

I finally funked right on out of my funk. Something that helped was this rock my therapist gave me in group the other week. Here it is:

I was talking about how I can't get things to go the way I want or think they should and then we all nodded since I have "issues" with being a little...."controlling"? And then she gave me this rock, some slips of paper, and a rubber band. She said something like: "Write the things you're worried/trying to control on the slips of paper. Rubberband them to the rock. Carry it everywhere. When you're ready to let something go take it off of the rock until there's just the rock. Then maybe be able to let that go too."

I wrote my things: my mom. My dad. My weight. Money. Finding balance. Work frustration. Eating too much. I rubberbanded them to my rock and went to sleep with my rock next to me on the table by my bed.

I got up the next morning and went for a run: me and my rock and my worries. In my head I was bitching at myself for holding on to things, for being worried and not faith full. Chiding myself for not being able to do the rock thing right. Worrying about failing. In my in my head desperate voice I wailed to myself "But what if I fall???"

And then a voice, my own, but from way down deep inside of me said,

"What if I catch you?"

I sobbed in relief. Instant, overwhelming, blanketing full on full out relief.

I looked at the rock in wonder.

Then I remembered that I was in public, and running. And so I said a fervent prayer of thanks out loud straight up to the sky. Then I wiped my eyes and kept on going.

When I got back to the car I took the rubberband off of the rock and put the slips of paper in the door compartment of the car. I drove home with the rock in my lap.

I haven't really carried the rock around since. My parents and I have made a gentle peace with each other- kind of like we were all wearing tight coats and then someone suggested we unbutton them. It still feels weird, but more comfortable. I am still too thinking about my weight, but I'm running, and rolling around on the floor doing yoga. I'm not eating too much on purpose. I gave up money worries because it's May, or Saturday, or a bird chirped.

I'm reading this book. It's changing my life. It came along when I was ready. Ready, just like I was ready for the rock. Ready for my voice.

Ready, after all these years, to trust myself again.