Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 20 of My Recovery Marathon.

I could have titled this "The Woman Who Mistook Herself for a Bad Girl".

I've been mum these last few weeks.  Busy socializing, yes, and gardening, and bicycling.  Had I posted, I would have written about my "Grudges"  the first week, and life "Behind My Wall" the second week.  Probably, if I'd gotten my grudge off my chest here three weeks ago, I'd have created an enemy.  And needed to crouch behind my wall !

In any case, all unwritten posts led me here, ready to take the plunge and share.

To bring new readers up to speed, I'm growing up, finally.  Something to do with having free time.  I've been in SE (Somatic Experiencing) counselling since the first of the year, to heal from PTSD.  Not your ordinary super specific PTSD, but the diffuse Developmental PTSD.  That's what happens to kids when there are no adults (emotionally mature adults) in the house and the kids are left to bring themselves up.  Kidlet anarchy.  A colossal failure of parents to parent with love.  No, I'm not doing the blame game.  I'm doing the accountability thing.  Now, if the adult mixes drugs, alcohol, gambling, all the various 'adult' choices, you get parents who should have known better.  But, in the absence of those 'isms', you get parents that didn't know better.  My heart goes out to these parents who do love their kids, and I sure hope their kids open their hearts to these parents.  Who's perfect?  Hello?

So mine is the simple story of a little girl who made the mistake of believing that the two adults in charge of her care were actually adults, and that she was the bad person.  If that wasn't confusing enough, mix alcohol in, and the kid, who doesn't understand inebriation, is left scratching her head and hiding her heart.  Speaking of adults behaving badly, it's around in spades.  Would you take your kid to the political rallies where people bashing is the entertainment?

Ahhh. How familiar that scene is.  Memo to politicians:  Growing up emotionally is a worthy endeavor at any age.  Think of your next generation.

Which brings me to this week, week 20.  Made a huge step growing up.  I have discovered for certain, I have an utterly precious ability I can use in the real world.  Always had it, but thought it was faulty, because it wasn't telling me comforting things. Told me that I was faulty. I honestly did not know that a non-handicapped version of me existed until two days ago. 

I had to close my eyes to discover this.  In my SE counselor's office.  You might want to try this experiment yourself, this experiment she did with me.   Doesn't require a counselor.  To do so, make the room quiet.  Sit comfortably, feet on the floor, settling into your body, with no distracting thoughts.  This does take two people.  This first person must be kind hearted.  You qualify?  (yes)   Now, this first person is not you.  (Not that you're not kindhearted.)   This first person sends two messages outward, just with her intentions - no external clues.  The other person - you - is seated, eyes closed, left to identify the messages the first person is sending.

Lest you think this a parlor trick, like identifying which number she was thinking of, it is not.  This is an exercise in sensing emotional resonance with another person.  You are using your own 'feeling' sensibility in the absence of any other clues. 

This counselor has two messages, for 30 seconds each.  One message is going to be actually no feeling message at all.  She would be thinking - of her shopping list, her schedule, whatever, and not feeling anything toward the other person.  She would not even be looking at you.  The other message is a feeling message - one of regard, pure loving regard reaching out.  She would be looking directly at the recipient, with her full attention. 

As the recipient in this experiment, I was to tell which message was which.

The experiment commenced.  First message...

I couldn't help myself.  "I FEEL IT!!!"  I blurted out as this surge entered my heart.  It felt like this sonic boom of love entering my heart.  It kept entering, entering, reverberating to my extremities.  Then it circled round and round in yummy waves inside me.  All 30 seconds.

Pause.  Then the second 30 second message commenced.  Eyes closed.  Seated comfortably, not thinking, just sensing...

Nothing.  I cocked my head.  Nothing.  It was a familiar nothing.  This sensing and feeling -  nothing.  I cocked my head again, searching.   Nothing.  So familiar.  It was the same nothingness I experienced every day - reaching out to my mother, my father.  Nothing.  No feeling from them.  Just...thoughts.  Rules.  Routine. Hoops to jump over.  More rules if you broke the first rules or couldn't jump high enough.

I opened my eyes. With absolutely no clues but my felt sense,  I'd read my counsellor's intentions correctly.  Hah!  No handicap here! 

"This [first message] is what babies feel from their Moms who love them".

Uhhhh.  I felt this message between my husband and me. 

I CAN read someone's intentions!  That is, IF my wall between me and you is down and I'm actually listening with my heart.  Of course, why would anyone need to build a wall in the first place if all messages were love messages.  But we don't live in a perfect world, and that's O.K.  One can use one's sensing abilities and play nicely with others.  So, to myself, I say:  Please!  Embrace the grudge.  Everyone has them.  Lower the wall.  Just in case a lovely heartfelt message is on its way in :-)

Have you ever felt someone's eyes on you, then turned to see that someone is looking at you?


  1. Ah-hh. My Dear Friend! As you say, "No grudges held." they didn't know what the hell they were doing either! Most likely had miserable childhoods too. How could they parent decently if they weren't parented decently? I'm sorry you felt unloved, unacknowledged, alone, but so glad you are growing now!!! At least you are finding it sooner than I did. LOL. Never too late! BTW--I think you are a lovely, smart and very intuitive women!!!

    1. Yes, I have had the sense that someone was looking at and turned to see they were. My reaction is just to always smile and keep moving along.

    2. Hello, my friend. hmm. A grudge unexpressed is a grudge held and not let go, and not forgiven. Just think of mine, plus all the grudges I've triggered in others! My family needs a grudge airing party - for us to write them down, read them, and throw these grudges into a fire. Underneath it all, maybe way way down, we're all lovely, smart, intuitive people. Argh! A grudge just slipped out.

      Thank you for your compliment. Trying to use my smarts LOL

  2. I, too, am glad you are finally at a point in life where you feel loved and free to be happy and open. Better later than not at all.

    I don't understand why grudges have to be expressed in order for someone to let go of them. Do you have to express them to the person you held them against or can just airing them with someone like a counselor do? Since you want to have a grudge airing party I'm guessing you have need the confrontations for some reason? What is the goal? To me, it would be like a guy confessing to having an affair. He feels better but his wife feels worse.

  3. Ha! I do feel loved. Free to be open? That's around the corner LOL

    Re airing grudges...Best I can tell, it would depend on whether the grudge'r' wants to build a bridge of honesty to the grudge'e'. I WAS the wife whose husband came clean, and while it broke my heart and trust, it also led to our marriage's growth. We both wanted honesty above all. What's intimacy without honesty? So, the fruit of hanging in there despite hurt feelings and grudges, was that a deeper, forgiving love grew around our mistakes and flaws. Eventually we could joke that we knew JUST how far we could trust each other.

    I don't HAVE to tell the grudge'e', especially if I want distance. I do need to validate the grudge. I find when I do, it reveals itself to be like a toddler's temper, needing to cry and be heard to blow over.

    I definitely wouldn't want to share a grudge with someone who would feed its temper.... ugly!!

  4. Very interesting! I can see how an affair revealed could lead to meaningful change if both parties want that to happen and work hard at changing what was wrong in the marriage. Bill and Hillary Clinton come to mind. They spent over a year in marriage counseling. (Would you love to have been a fly on that wall.)

    I can only think of two people I held a grudge against and both were friends of my husbands who avoided him after his stroke. I let go of both grudges but it took me over five years.

    1. Grudges aren't anything we ask for, that's for sure. It takes the time it takes to let go. I'm happy for you!

  5. I am in awe of how wonderful this process is. And in awe of how brave you are for taking the time and doing the (scary) work to get to Week 20. WOW! I don't think I could do it.

    1. Me? If you'd hit a brick wall, what would you do? Throw a hissy fit, or ask for help? Hah! You're not the hissy fit type. Look at you, off in Hawaii!

  6. This piece brought tears to my eyes, Flo. I'm so glad you have found the right counselor to reach those parts of yourself that needed the deep understanding and love. I finally was introduced to Inner Family System by my therapist. That worked very well for me. The Somatic Counseling just seems so special and helpful Bravo, for taking the steps to 'grow up.'

    1. Thank you oodles for reaching out to me, and thank you oodles for your Bravo! The Inner Family System. Sounds interesting!

      When you reached inward, did your life turn out for the better? Is this when you found your voice and began creating?

  7. I'm not familiar with SE counseling. What an interesting post. I know what you mean when you write about reading the intentions of others. I suppose we all have that ability, but some are probably more in tune with it. I imagine, if we work at it, we can hone it.

    There was alcoholism in my family, too. It's a real crusher for children, and it takes years to overcome the effects... if ever, but we certainly can improve our situation, can't we? As for the grudge thing, I've had them, of course, but I find that when the situation and person who caused the situation are no longer in my life, I tend to let it go rather quickly, and it doesn't continue to cause pain. The difficult thing is if you have to or want to continue a relationship with the person for one reason or another. That's requires more work.

    1. Hi Bella, Thanks for visiting and for your helpful comment. Yes, we can certainly improve our situation, thank goodness.

      It's about time I posted again LOL

  8. Oops! I forgot to say thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.