Suppose someone you can’t escape – someone who shares your children, has power over your finances, is inside your head and heart – pokes you in the arm. Not so hard that you run, or scream, or even cry. Hard enough that you snap your head around to see what happened, and meet eyes that are filled with a little challenge, a little humor, a lot of entitlement.
You think it is odd, maybe irritating, but you feel like a fool making a big issue or fight over something so small. Maybe you say, “hey, that wasn’t nice…I don’t like that!” Suppose that someone pokes you again. Still not too hard, but hard enough. Daring you to do something. Knowing you know the consequences. And again. And again. And again.
You have a bruise now, and although he isn’t poking any harder than before, somehow it hurts more. You try to stay out of range. No good. Again. Again. Again. Again. Your arm is raging tender. He raises his hand in an innocent gesture, and you flinch. What’s the big deal? He didn’t even do anything! Oversensitive, aren’t you? Again, again, again. You are tense, edgy, try to keep your distance, but you really can’t, because he follows you or ambushes you – and you do, after all, still share children and house, and bed. There is no point in asking him or telling him to stop. If he knows you don’t like it, he will poke you again just because it’s fun. If you ignore it, he will poke you again just because he wants to. He pokes you again. It hurts like hell. You are furious, chronically. You explode, and act like a maniac. You tell someone…’He pokes me in the arm….I can’t stand it anymore!” They look at you incredulously, and say “Are you crazy? It’s a poke in the arm! Tell him to stop – move away. What’s the big deal? ”
There just aren’t enough words to explain.
If you leave, get away: How long does it take to stop flinching when people, especially men, gesture with a raised finger? For the arm to heal. For the humiliation of “voluntarily submitting” to such stupidity long-term to subside? To feel confident that you can tell a “poker” from a “gesturer.” To be able to respond effectively if you encounter “pokers” on the job? How do you learn to trust your own judgment again, about people, your ability to make good choices? How do you learn to relax and just be? It doesn’t usually just HAPPEN, but requires awareness and work to recover. Invisible as it may be, the effects are huge. And long-lasting. At the cellular level (a later post). Spiritually. Emotionally. Psychologically.
A good blogger friend has suggested that I include more positive input, about my present life and recovery. My answer was that I am not very recovered…am, in fact, really messed up. He said maybe I am farther along than I think I am and that maybe my process may be helpful to others also. Such a dear person.
So here goes: I might as well be a surfer, because I ride big waves. One day, or part of one day, I am up and feel like earth mother with warmth, insight and the power to cope…and beyond coping to flourish, and to help others to do so also. The sun shines, I absorb color and beauty and nuance. Another day, or the rest of a day, I can feel that nothing means anything, that I am not meeting the basic requirement of justifying my existence enough to eat and poop another day – truly that my loved ones would be better off without me and I would be so relieved to just be out of the emotional agony I feel. The sky is grey, the blinds are closed, and I am curled in a ball trying to meditate my way to taking my finger off the button.
I am UTTERLY exhausted by making decisions (past and present) that I feel so ill-equipped to make, devoid of guidance from God/the universe and unable to decide for myself. I am in an absolute, back against the wall, deer in the headlights stare, white panic stall – when in reality, I have a world of options, health and abilities. Some days I see the options, though I may not be able to act on them. Other days, all choices seem like death. I am loved. I am safe. I have a loving, patient husband. But I have feelings and reactions that are deeper than fact and more powerful than I can handle at times. People who don’t know me well think I am Holly Happy – funny, smart, positive…if a little intense. I have a strong desire to NOT be toxic and spread the negative energy to them.
So this is what I can, and should always, do:
1) Eat well – for me that is gluten, dairy, sugar, and food-sensitivity free. Frequent snacks containing protein (keeps blood sugar more even – which helps adrenal function – which helps with not producing so much doggone cortisol, stress hormone) – raw tree nuts are a primary food group. All of this reduces inflammation, which is related to depression, disease, pain (emotional and physical) – EVERYTHING.
2) Minimize multi-tasking and simplify as much as possible.
3) Journal – rapid writing, prayer, and gratitude journals. The rapid writing is best – though a little weird how my handwriting changes. Sometimes it is like I get all the emotion and static onto the paper and I feel more relaxed and clear. Other times, I read over what I wrote weeks before, and think “Wow, that was a really good point. I’ll have to remember that!” So I write it down again!
4) As much quiet as I can find – turn off the TV (ahhhhhhhh).
5) Establish a peaceful ritual at bedtime, disconnect from media by 8 pm, and cultivate sweet sleep.
6) Meditation/Affirmations – Be as still as I can be inside – REST. I carry handwritten cards with affirmations that give me a gut sensation of release or relax, regardless of what they actually say. For example, oddly, one that calms the most is “I relax, and am complete.” Go figure.
7) I blog, and read blogs, and absorb the information and ideas that give me the same gut “ring true” or “release/relax” sensation as the affirmations, and that provide hope as I see abundant people who have been here and worse, and are now there and better!
8) Carefully avoid the controlling and intense energy that comes from too much dialogue with intense people – especially religious, loud, simplistically opinionated but vocal people. I wrote about not playing the game… I also need to not play with that energy.
9) Occasionally, out loud, I play the kind parent to myself. “Diane…it’s OK. It’s going to be OK. You’re going to be well. It will all get decided. The future is good. Relax. I love you. You are OK. You are capable. All is as it should be.”
10) Think, read, ponder POSITIVE. Go over the ideas, words so many times that I can remember them and make them a part of me. Until I can “jump the track” of my old way of thinking, and live in the new.
11) I’m really tired of trying to find someone to help me, but I am looking for a trauma counselor for something a little deeper, if warranted. I’ve done the drugs deal, and am hoping not to go there again.
So there it is, at year’s end. Above you see eleven New Year’s resolutions or re-resolutions. I can do this! You can do this, whatever it is for you! (Earth Mother mode – LOL). Really…we can!
Hoots, shouts, wahoos, and leaps of joy for the beauty, kindness and joy we are going to find in 2013.
Happy New Year!!!