I feel like maybe I should apologize for posting too much…no, I’m not going to do that.
The weekend has been kind of rough. I’m trying to process whatever it was that happened in therapy Friday. Not really knowing what the problem is, or rather was, is not helping matters much. Friday night I went to my 12 step group. It was OK, though almost no one I knew was there. It’s a little tough when most of the people are there for the first time. I didn’t feel I could share a lot, but I talked a bit about anger at work, and then a bit about meditation and how it helps me. There’s almost always something good that happens in a meeting. I don’t know what it is, but I usually feel better no matter how ‘good’ or awkward the meeting itself is.
In order to do anything this weekend, I have to shut down the trauma feelings that are swirling around. I’m pretty good at doing that, ‘switching out’ so to speak, but the cost is high it seems. The 12 step meeting is kind of a middle ground – I have to pull myself together to get there and act normal, but I can kind of sit and feel things there as well. Maybe sometime I’ll also talk about what I’m actually going through, a bit. People do talk about all kinds of things there.
Yesterday I went for a longish walk in the park, partly along a wooded trail that I had to myself. It was very peaceful, with an end of summerish feeling to it. There were orange butterflies, a change from the cream coloured ones flying around in the summer. I sat in the cafe and ate an oat square and read my trashy mystery novel.
Once home, I lay down and spent the next four hours trying to feel. Once they’re stirred up in therapy, those feelings are just waiting to come back, so I let them. It felt really crummy. But in a way also dreamlike and unreal. I just kept remembering scenes from when I was a teenager in suburb ville. Nothing sinister either…just ordinary things, but they come back as if I’m actually there. For whatever reason, there are really sad feelings attached to those memories.
I remember that yes, I was very unhappy as a teenager. I kind of think I had given up trying for ‘normal’ by that point. I no longer tried to have friends, or look good, or anything really. I went through the motions of going to school…like a lot of kids did. Sometimes I skipped classes. Mostly I wouldn’t talk to anyone all day at high school. Yes, that was severe loneliness.
I think it would have been important to dress in attractive clothes, or at least the kind of clothes the other kids wore. I just didn’t pay any attention to how I looked, as I figured I was so ugly it didn’t make any difference anyway. People will judge you by your clothes I think. Especially teenagers. That would have been something basic that could have been fixed.
Is that the feeling – loneliness? It doesn’t feel like loneliness, but I can’t figure out what it is. There are some body memories mixed in also. I suppose from when I was younger. The story above about me as a teenager is what I totally do remember. When I’m trying to feel these emotions, I don’t think about that stuff at all. I don’t understand it, but it seems to be what I need to do. Allow the badness to be there without knowing what it is.
I’m stuck in these memories at the moment. Saturday after spending four hours doing nothing but allowing this stuff to come up, I did feel better. A little weepy, but clear headed and able to cook dinner. Today I’m not so lucky. I went out first thing for breakfast at a friend’s. Then I had to do some urgent chores. Then I felt dissociated, so I went back to trying to allow those feelings, but this time I’m just stuck in them. I suppose shutting them down in order to cope makes it more difficult to find them again. Which believe me, would be fine with me, except then I’m dissociated.
It may sound odd to be trying to feel bad on purpose. On a daily level, why not stay in the more normal coping mode? And big picture – this all happened a long time ago…why stir it up?
The reason I keep trying to feel it is that now that it’s close to the surface, it’s likely to break through when I’m busy doing other things, like at work, when I really cannot cope with it. And I figure if I can just feel it, it will move through and leave me in peace. Feelings do that. Another thing that happens if I do not feel it, is that I end up dissociated, if that’s the right word. I feel blank and empty and unable to think. I’d rather feel, even though it feels bad.
The big picture reason for stirring this stuff up – my life is not going well, I mess up most relationships, I suffer from anxiety and depression, and I’m somewhat fragmented. Those symptoms are often the ways I cope with the feelings I can’t feel. Hmm…does that make sense? Plus, I don’t know my own story, and my mind is not making sense because I don’t know my own story. I’m believing some lies I was told….I don’t know the truth. Life goes better on truth.