Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have


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Feeling of Disbelief

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A family member (relative through marriage) died over the weekend. At first this was the upsetting news that left me feeling sad; that was until I read the obituary later and learned he had remarried and never mentioned it. So not only did I find out he died-but also he had gotten married and never told anyone besides his closest family. It just feels so surreal. I didn’t expect for him to die so soon despite being ill and I certainly never dreamt he would have gone and remarried. There’s nothing wrong with him remarrying. That is not the issue. What I am having trouble with is why he would keep that information from his extended family.

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Image credit: Pixabay

Isn’t getting married (even if it’s a second time around) good news worth sharing? Did he think we’d be upset since his first wife (our blood relative) only died not quite two years ago? We kept in touch but we hadn’t visited since the same year his first wife died close to two years ago. Anyhow, I know it isn’t earth shattering he got remarried and never told us but finding out the same day I learnt he died has been a shocker. It kind of feels like a betrayal-I know it is not-but that doesn’t stop the thought from entering my mind that he obviously didn’t think enough of anyone outside his closest relations to share the news.

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Image credit: Pixabay

 

So I feel hurt. I think he should have told us. It sucks learning about something through a person’s obituary. I feel discombobulated. We weren’t terribly close, I suppose when it comes down to it, but he felt we were family enough to know about how ill he was, so why not him meeting someone and remarrying? This is all fresh news for me so I am still processing it but maybe it will be less painful in the days to come. I’m not sure if I ought to attend his funeral or not given we aren’t blood relations nor close friends. It might be awkward to have to meet his wife and I don’t want to cause conflict or tension for his family that was around him regularly (especially since we never were introduced to them).

 

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Image credit: Pixabay

You know, I kind of feel angry now that I’ve had time to digest the news. It’s like suddenly I have to change the narrative of the relationship; okay, so I think it’s actually more that I am being forced to confront the fact we weren’t as close as I tried to tell myself. I was aware of the parameters of the relationship and it being lacking but still… When someone dies it forces you to confront the stuff you tried (I tried) to push down and not think about. Now that I am facing the redefinition of our relationship I feel all the emotions associated with the five stages of grief circulating through me.

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Image credit: pixabay

He was my last connection to the relative I was blood related to. The fact he remarried p*sses me off because it ruins the way I viewed the couple and I kind of feel cheated. Yes, it’s immature but the blood relation (his first wife) and him were my godparents. So even though they never acted in that capacity I am annoyed and hurt. Perhaps he wanted to avoid dealing with people (including myself) who would be conflicted over his choice to remarry. I sort of wish he had told me while he was living though because then I would not be dealing with shock over him dying AND remarrying.

Okay, I guess I am through for now. This writing has helped me in a cathartic way. That’s why I like writing when I am super upset because it acts as a catharsis so long as I am totally honest with myself.

Thank you for reading.

©Natalya Lyubov, 2017.


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Final Writing Exercise (Day 4)

Day 4 of my writing exercise was Tuesday but I didn’t get around to updating on here how it went. I saw my counsellor on Tuesday and told her I’d finished 3/4 of it but needed to still do the final day. Surprisingly I am one of the few who completed it or tried to anyway. Lots of her patients find excuses not to do it and she thought it was positive I managed to recognise why I procrastinated doing it and still managed to tackle it. It was a productive session so I am pleased that I made the effort to do as much as I could. I completed the final exercise when I got home. To my surprise I found myself expressing gratitude for the people I’d met who made a positive difference in my life. Initially I thought I might have some resentment to get out of me but I didn’t. Gratitude can help give an experience in your life that redeeming quality previously overlooked.

Have you experienced something emotionally painful that later filled you with gratitude?

 


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Forgiveness

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

The Blogging for Peace topic this month is ‘forgiveness‘ so I’m going to write about how I forgave my mom and what it did for me. The Bloggers 4 Peace badge is on the right hand side if you want to click on it to be a part of this new development.

I never thought I could forgive my mother for the abuse she’d inflicted on me when I was a child. The very idea of forgiveness used to upset me and make me irritated, if not defensive. I did try to embrace the concept at various times but they never took hold for me. Instead I’d just get more angry. How does one forgive someone when they won’t acknowledge their wrong doing and the hurtful impact it had on you? This is something I wrestled with for years. People I heard or read about forgiving people who’d done terrible things to them always baffled me. How did they manage to find it in their heart to let go of the anger, hurt and pain their abuser caused?

Well, as some of you know my mother died four years ago, that is when I started healing. The forgiveness though took longer. It wasn’t until she’d been dead for two years I could even imagine forgiving her in any imaginable way. So I meditated on my anger, hurt and sadness until I found compassion for MYSELF. Once I’d found compassion for myself I started to notice less anger inside of me. The indescribable feelings of rage toward my mother slowly started diminishing over the next year or so. Then there came a point when I noticed I didn’t feel anger or resentment toward my mother for what she’d done to me when I was a child. Nothing had changed from my past but in other ways everything had changed. My mother was dead and I had managed to develop a very real sense of compassion for both myself and my mother.

Forgiveness lesson from flowers

Forgiveness lesson from flowers (Photo credit: juliejordanscott)

Not having my mother around anymore gave me perspective and freedom to take an objective view of my mother’s actions, including the severe abuses she’d suffered as a child herself for which she never got treatment for. I saw my mother as a child and imagined-then felt the fear she must have felt experiencing the abuse she experienced. None of this diminished my own abuse or suffering in any way but I felt empathy for my mother. She was a child once and didn’t deserve to be abused anymore than myself or another child. When I was able to actually put myself in my mother’s shoes I found it difficult to retain my anger and resentment I’d felt toward her. How could I HATE a person who had suffered so greatly that she developed severe dissociative symptoms, including widespread amnesia for events and things she did and said?

I fully understand how people will perhaps wonder why I forgave her and maybe think I let her off the ‘hook’ for her actions. But that isn’t what I did. I have not erased the memories of abuse I endured but I have learned to adjust my perspective. I’ve re-framed the narrative of abuse I had constructed around my mother and my suffering to include her own suffering along side mine. We both suffered. She had the theoretical ability to get treatment but in reality her ability to go through therapy would have been disrupted to a large extent by her pervasive amnesia around events in her life; as well as a widespread sense of mistrust toward authority figures. I had a large dose of mistrust toward authority figures also but managed to persevere with therapy for years until I felt a degree of relief.

We can’t compare ourselves to other people though. I’ve learned it does nobody any favours when we compare our experiences contending that because we were able to do xyz, thus so and so should also be able to do xyz. But we are all different and have so many variables between us that it’s unfair to say someone is less than us if they couldn’t do something we managed to do. We will never know 100% of what someone else’s life has been like so what gives us the right to think we can judge another person? Perhaps we can judge the behaviour but NOT the person themselves. That is not fair.

By holding onto the anger after we’ve been wronged by someone we are allowing them to continue wronging us. We’re giving up our personal power by holding onto our resentment over whatever someone did that hurt us. Maybe they will never apologize or think what they did was harmful. That means the onus is on us to release ourselves from the pain. No, we aren’t excusing the behaviour when forgiving or letting go of our less positive emotions toward someone. We’re simply allowing a space to emerge where we can view the situation with greater clarity. We can stop hanging onto everything negative connected to the action(s) of the abuser/wrong doer. When we let go of unwanted emotions we are giving ourselves a gift. The gift is emotional freedom. A great weight is lifted from our shoulders and we get to feel lighter from the inside out when we totally release ourselves from resentment, hurt, anger and sadness.

Mother-Teresa-collage

Mother-Teresa-collage (Photo credit: @Peta_de_Aztlan)

I felt that I had forgiven my mother last year, yet on the anniversary of her death in October I felt anger, and feelings of heaviness. It seems forgiveness hadn’t taken place totally. So I experienced a period of darkness for a month or two. Then I emerged feeling greater awareness and empathy for my mother. These feelings signaled to me I’d released myself totally from resentment. Prior to her anniversary I’d felt I had already forgiven her. I felt lighter and didn’t feel constantly angry when I thought about her. But I still held onto some rather natural and understandable anger considering the situation. This unsettled me but I explored the feelings and did my best to offer myself compassion for not being a Saint! It eventually worked as I gave up the need to be Mother Teresa and embraced my flaws. Three months into the new year I can honestly say I don’t feel resentful or angry toward my mother for her actions toward me. I think I needed to face the fact my mother wasn’t capable of being the mother I wanted her to be. She couldn’t even be close to it but I recognized she had strengths and qualities that were admirable. She wasn’t pure evil. Nobody is PURELY evil. Even dictators, fascists, and war lords have redeeming attributes if we overlook their immensely disturbing behaviours. My mother was never a dictator or fascist so she already had something positive going for her there!

There is much to be gained in the process of forgiveness. It is a process much like grief is. We are grieving a loss of sorts too when we accept we are unlikely to ever receive an apology for what was done to us. But if we can remind ourselves that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily have to involve letting the person who hurt us know we forgive them then it is not as bad. After all, who wants to tell someone they forgive them if the person doesn’t even care to acknowledge they hurt you somehow?

The only necessary step to forgiveness, in my opinion, is allowing yourself to be free. You don’t need to forget what was done to you either. I believe the phrase ‘forgive and forget’ is not terribly helpful in cases where you’ve been badly hurt by someone and they don’t apologize for it. Rather, what I see as forgiveness is letting go of negative emotions that keep you connected to the abuser/wrong doer. Having compassion for yourself and realizing you did everything you could at the time to avoid the mistreatment or abuse is helpful; or perhaps you need to forgive yourself if you feel you didn’t do everything you could have at the time. Again, have compassion for yourself. Once you find that deep well within yourself of compassion directed toward YOURSELF first and foremost, extending it to whomever hurt you will come much easier to you.

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forgiveness (Photo credit: cheerfulmonk)

As with anything new to us forgiving will likely take time and not be accomplished tidily or quickly, that’s okay. Just continue being kind to yourself. Continue showing yourself the love and kindness you would your best friend or a small child or cherished furry companion when they’ve ‘messed up’. Forgiving is as much about us as it is the other person (s). We did not ask to be abused or hurt but we can choose to release ourselves from any lingering feelings of resentment, malice, or pain. Our abuse happened in the past-or if it’s still present in your life make every effort to remove yourself from the situation to the best of your ability, then let it stay there in the past. Forgiveness is not easy when it involves major traumas, heck sometimes it’s hard to forgive little things if we aren’t overly charitable! Nonetheless, it’s totally possible and does your mind a world of good. You’ll feel so much better once you have fully moved forward from the suffering. It will allow you to have more energy for more important areas of your life too once you aren’t consumed by your negative emotions.

Be gentle with yourself when you attempt forgiving someone for a past hurt. If you haven’t been able to get the response from them you hoped for it is your job to move on. Don’t allow someone to keep hurting you when you are away from the situation. Show yourself the loving kindness (compassion) you deserve and release yourself from the pain. Forgiveness is for you, as you are the one living with the hurt, the abuser likely feels nothing. Take your power back. Compassion grows the more we practice giving it to ourselves and others. Water the seeds of compassion and watch them grow.

©Natalya & Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2013.


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Why Sex Abuse Continues: Focus on Female Perpetrators(Potential Trigger-Read With Care)

It occurred to me today, as I sat looking over a book on female sex offenders, that we may be ignoring a large reason for sexual crimes happening. The book gave accounts from those who had suffered from sexual abuse at the hands of mothers, grandmothers, sisters, babysitters and other females. These aren’t your usual suspects when you hear about a sex crime in the news. Females are largely ignored or downplayed for their role in sexual crimes and abuse towards children. Males have tended to get all the attention and women have been ‘let off the hook’ due to the belief women don’t harm children. Furthermore, there is the belief that women are not supposed to want sex, let alone be aggressive and hurt children sexually. So we’ve let many females go ‘Scott free’ because nobody has been willing to face the ugly reality of one’s mother or sister, etc. being capable of sexually abusing a child.

Why do I care so much about this issue? Well for one thing my mother committed ‘moderate’ sexual abuse against me all through my childhood beginning by 2 or perhaps earlier. I will spare you the details of what she did to me and how I endured it. What I will tell you is we have gone long enough as a Society(in Western culture) believing women can do no harm when clearly that’s not the case. The news is only just beginning to scratch the surface with their coverage of women committing sex crimes against children. For years nobody touched the subject. It was too taboo to even think about, let alone utter out loud.

When you hear about sexual crimes, such as rape and child molestation, people assume the perpetrator to be male and for the male to be disgusting. But what do you think when you hear a grandmother or babysitter has been sexually abusing a child? Is there equal disgust and revulsion as there ought to be? or is there the thought that since it was a female offender it couldn’t have been too horrible? Well let me demystify any illusions lingering on the subject. When your mother, sister, grandmother, babysitter, or any other female, sexually abuses a child-male or female-damage is done. That damage is long lasting and creates confusion for the victims. We are taught to think what has happened to us is either ‘normal’ or not a big deal. Guess what? It IS a big deal! Especially considering most sex crimes against children done by female relatives are carried out over long periods of time. Even if the event happened ‘only’ once that’s enough to cause distress and life long trauma for the child.

People think if the victim is a male child that it is not as serious because boys ‘want it’, thus it’s just early training. Bull Sh*t! Grandma raping her young grandson isn’t training him for future sexual encounters, at least not any of a healthy variety. Likewise, mom fondling her daughter or getting her to perform sex acts on her isn’t okay either. We have to stop sugar coating reality and making victims feel like they are crazy for feeling bad or damaged. You’d feel bad, crazy and damaged too if you were made to believe horrible things done to you were nothing or insignificant. What I want you to understand is when we downplay/minimize these awful crimes against children we are creating generations of misery to follow. Sound like an exaggeration? Well not if you consider most people who sexually abuse others have been sexually abused themselves.

What if we told every child sexually abused by a female they were harmed in a serious way and needed help? Wouldn’t that lead to a more positive chain of events? Little Johnny doesn’t grow up to hate women and rape them and little Suzy doesn’t grow up sexually abusing her child(ren). We think if someone has been abused they would surely want to avoid perpetuating the cycle of abuse on the next generation; however, when it comes to trauma many children repress the memories. Some dissociate or use fantasy to cope. As adults the abused children ‘forget’ what was done to them fully and feel compelled to do bad things to their own children. Not in every circumstance mind you, I am aware there are those who seek treatment or therapy and avoid harming their own children, but many more avoid therapy believing they’ll be okay without it. Or maybe they couldn’t handle therapy because someone heard their story and minimized it so they went away believing they were making mountains out of mole hills. If that is the standard response from those who are supposed to be helping the victims how can we expect them *not* to abuse? If you don’t acknowledge something as harmful you can’t treat it as something to be abstained from. It gives the false impression that the damage isn’t real, or at least not significant enough to be concerned about.

I titled this post as I did because I believe you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. You can only treat something once you’ve identified it as a problem. Until then you keep believing what happened was minor or you somehow deserved it. If you, as a child, were brave enough to tell someone about what happened to you and all you got was ‘poo pooed’ what is there left for you? Repression if a single incident, or dissociation and fantasy if more frequent. My mother was sexually abused by her father and other male family members yet her mother did nothing. I believe my mother repressed certain traumas and dissociated heavily due to the abuse. When she had my sister and I we were subjected to various forms of sexual abuse. I got the more physical side of it, whereas my sister was used as a trusted confidante concerning sexual matters from age 5 on. I can’t say my sister got off lightly because she didn’t and we both had to endure a lot of similar secondary sexual abuse in the form of listening to my mother’s sexual experiences. We were children once but I don’t recall having much of a childhood.

So why do sexual assaults happen? If you want my opinion/theory it has to do with revenge. Unconsciously sexual abuse  victims learn to silence their hurt and anger through any means they can. Drugs, alcohol, prostitution, becoming a pedophile, and committing rape. You learn you are not worthy of love and care so you end up self destructive and/or becoming an offender yourself. Men who rape women aren’t simply sick or demented, in many cases they were sexually abused by a female when they were a helpless child with no opportunity for justice. The anger and hurt build to the point where women are representative of the original female perpetrator. Rape becomes an escape valve for the pent up emotions never allowed to be acknowledged or taken seriously. Women, on the other hand, end up sexually assaulting or raping children if they’ve never dealt with their feelings. Again, not EVERY woman sexually abused will rape or abuse a child, but there will be a significant number who do because the same was done to them.

We can’t afford to continue making female sexual perpetrators a taboo subject. It was once taboo to talk about males sexually abusing children yet we all accept it as fact now. The same needs to happen with female sex offenders committing sex crimes against children. If we keep burying our heads in the sand the abuse will continue. But if enough of us stand up and shout “STOP” maybe we can face an uncomfortable reality. Maybe if enough of us are brave and willing to challenge cultural stereotypes of women as incapable of harming children sexually we can begin the healing. Those of us who have endured sexual abuse at the hands of our mother, sister, babysitter, or whomever, deserve to see justice. We have suffered enough and it’s about time females were held legally accountable for their crimes against innocent children. I support women’s rights and am a woman myself but I was also sexually abused by my mother. For that reason I can’t stay silent and pretend nothing happened. Abuse is abuse no matter what the gender of the perpetrator. Trauma doesn’t discriminate based on gender either, meaning if your abuser was a woman you are still going to have emotional scars. Please take my message seriously and educate others if you have the will to do so. It’s not your job but I feel it’s mine to get on my soapbox and tell you about female sexual perpetrators. Isn’t it time we used some of that equality for the sexes in the justice system?

©Reflectionsonlifethusfar, 2012.

 


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Irked About Being Phoned For Surveys(Unpaid)

A Cisco 7960G IP telephone

A Cisco 7960G IP telephone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the past week I’ve been getting multiple calls from a company trying to get me to complete a survey(for no money) for them over the phone. It drives me crazy when I am hounded and am left unclear messages about the intent of the call. Finally I phoned back the company and managed to say in my most polite/courteous tone I could muster, that I don’t like doing surveys and unless it’s mandatory I don’t want to participate. I’m a little afraid my anger was getting the better of me and my tone likely wasn’t as polite as it could have been but did I mention I hate surveys? Well I hate telephone surveys, not ones you can take on the internet or even in person, but on the phone it just raises my ire. I’m sure it wasn’t very nice of me since this is a governmental company that was phoning me but government schmoervent, in true introvert fashion I despise having my time stolen from me by things I dislike. My people pleasing self almost caved and did the survey that would have taken half an hour or more of my time, but my P.O.’d self wasn’t having it! So here I am venting my frustration on WP instead! Most likely the poor guy that was trying to get me to take the survey was disappointed and I feel a little sorry about that. If only I could say “no” without feeling a truck load of guilt for it 😦 I may have caused trouble for the fellow trying to give the survey. This is my over developed sense of responsibility kicking in. Instantly, the moment I was talking to the guy, I wanted to participate so I could be ‘pleasant’! Grrr He sounded like he wasn’t ‘broken’ by my ‘rejection’ but I feel sort of guilty still. It’s not like I did anything wrong really, I just wasn’t being my usual agreeable, compliant self. For that reason alone I felt massive guilt and regretted being ‘difficult’. Well I am not feeling angry anymore, just second thoughts over my non compliance.

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Changes Are Coming…and some venting!

Personal Transformation

Do you ever feel like things are changing, either subtly or not so subtly, including yourself? This is how I feel right now. I’ve been cleaning and clearing out old stuff I don’t need anymore and noticing what I DO need. Purging one’s space can be quite enlightening as you discover things hidden under clutter. It’s sort of a discovery at both the literal and figurative level and it’s not always pleasant. Sometimes the feelings stirred up are not welcome ones yet they are there. I pull back from trying to control life and let it tell me what I need now. Yes, a little weird to some, but I trust my inner voice of wisdom(intuition)to guide me in the right direction. When ignored I tend to make poor decisions so I’m ignoring my rational, logical brain and going with what ‘feels right’. Why must every decision I make be based on logic? or seem well thought out? I have lived much of my life trying to explain every decision made to people as though they deserved an explanation. Now I am listening to what I want for myself and doing my best not to compromise needlessly. Of course I may have to make an undesirable decision if I really have to, barring that though, I am prepared to stand up for who I am unapologetic about it. It feels much better than trying to fit inside someone else’s idea of ‘normal’.

As some of you may know my mother’s 4th anniversary of her death passed on the 23rd. Amazingly my dad didn’t notice! He doesn’t normally pay attention to the calendar dates anyway but it did surprise me he didn’t notice, or at least never mentioned anything. We’ve been continuing to clear out excess items together and invariably my dad will make a comment about ‘what a good mother my mom was’ when seeing something of her’s. It’s something I used to listen to and want to scream over as it was not accurate. My mother was NOT a good mother most of the time. She was a good mother a little of the time but that doesn’t excuse all those times she was not. So when dad says “you had a good mother” I really bite my tongue if he only says it once and doesn’t start extolling all of her virtues only he was able to see. Otherwise, I’m to the point where I am more direct and ask him to change the topic. Luckily my dad hates conflict so usually changes the topic but it’s annoying since he knows my feelings toward her. I may have compassion for my mother and have forgiven her but I haven’t forgotten what sort of treatment I got from her. I can’t listen to someone say what a wonderful mother my mom was when they were not the one living with her. How can people say someone was a good parent if they never watched them or experienced the parenting? It just makes me annoyed. I don’t appreciate people saying good things about somebody simply because they’re uncomfortable saying negative things as the person is dead. Who came up with the rule you can’t talk ill of the dead anyhow? I have no trouble saying my two cents worth about dead people, positive or negative! Alright, sorry for ranting. Sometimes it just irks me and I need to vent!

I’ll try to be more positive in my next post! lol

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Mom’s 4th Anniversary (Death)

So today is four years since my mom died and I’m feeling reasonably good considering the date. I think most of October was difficult emotionally for me so maybe I can cope a little better today. It’s been a real roller coaster ride of emotions over the past four years; inevitably, mom’s anniversary brings up material, sometimes good but mainly sad. Incidentally sadness is a salient feeling for me as I face some realizations, whilst anger bubbles up, with hurt at the other end. Really, I don’t know how I made it this far but I guess I’m stronger than I think, at least emotionally. Mind you I still deal with PTSD symptoms so emotional strength doesn’t prevent suffering.

In case you’re new to my blog or haven’t read past posts, I had an abusive mother. She dissociated a lot and had mental illnesses so often didn’t recall things, or if she did she discounted my feelings. This isn’t surprising as she endured significant abuse as a child from both parents so I don’t blame her. But I did feel a lot of anger this month. Normally I am not angry often but most of October anger was my predominant feeling. Then I had my aura read by a wonderful woman, Jennifer Flint (The Aura Reader http://theaurareader.com), and I discovered some things about myself and life. Consequently, I was able to examine what was happening for me this past month in a new context with my new knowledge. If you want a scarily accurate reading of your aura, Jennifer Flint is the person to see! She charges a reasonable amount for the service she gives. She can do your reading over the internet if you provide a current picture of yourself.

Now, I’ve gotten off track! LOL I wanted to say that I feel much better this year than I did last year on this date. For one thing my mom’s mother and sister never phoned to meet for a family gathering, unlike last year when we got together at a restaurant, where I listened to all the positive stuff about my mother and I tried suppressing my anger. My maternal grandmother and aunt never say negative stuff about my mom and I get the sense they don’t want to hear negative things about her; thus I end up suppressing all my anger and feeling like I am being choked. So I am grateful this year wasn’t a repeat of last!

Even my dad has been doing better, especially concerning parting with some of my mom’s things. I think his progress with his grief has helped me because I used to absorb his feelings and become depressed. I guess I still absorb his feelings to some extent but feel less like I take on all of his emotions. You could pathologize this and call it a personality disorder symptom, or do a nice narrative reinterpretation of it and call it extreme empathy. Otherwise known as an empath. It’s not really important though if you call it a symptom or gift. I am strange enough to be okay with either interpretation! Okay, I am not really all that strange but sometimes I feel like I am because I don’t do what everyone else does.

There’s still some anger lingering in me regarding my mom’s treatment of me growing up. I guess I can’t just wave a wand and make it disappear. That would be nice though! I don’t enjoy being angry but it’s honest anyway. Better than bottling it up like I used to and pretend it’s not there. Dealing with my emotions in an honest manner continues to be a challenge for me but I’m making progress so I feel proud of myself. Undoubtedly, dealing with my feelings will be my Achilles heel all my life but at least my awareness of them continues to increase. The best I can do is to keep working away on myself.

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Phone Phobia

Darth Gimp Cordless Phone

Darth Gimp Cordless Phone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a rather ridiculous fear of ringing phones, okay not fear more like rage, so every time a phone rings I want to smash it against the wall-or next closest hard surface. This all began when I was ‘on call’ as a casual for a company where I took care of people with disabilities. Because I was also in university at the time I never wanted to be part time or full time, thus I stayed casual which meant I could be phoned anytime of day to cover a shift. There were no benefits and no promised amount of hours per week or anything. It was just a flat pay except for when covering on Christmas or New Year’s. I hated how I was treated as though I should be willing to work 24/7 and not be entitled to any perks the part time and full time workers got. After a year or so it got to me but I stayed for another two years until completely burnt out. I needed the pay cheque to be able to afford my tuition.

Eventually the stress got the better of me and I quit. It was the best feeling quitting my job because I had come to hate it so much. By the time I quit I was an anxious, depressed mess and needed serious help. Each time the phone rang I had the idea it was ‘them’ trying to get me to cover a shift. I dreaded every phone call. Thank goodness we had caller ID but it was so stressful! In addition to hating ringing telephones due to my loathsome job, I also hated it because of a message saved in the voice mail on our phone. My dad wanted to save the message because it reminded him of the person that had died; the only problem there was I had a negative relationship with the person who left the message and it was not even a happy message. Every two weeks the voice mail would come up for renewal so you could save it or delete it. I wanted to delete it so badly but knew my dad appreciated it so left it on the phone for two+ years! After awhile I just avoided answering the phone and left it to my dad since the ‘calls’ were usually for him anyhow.

Finally it came to be a generalized anger towards all ringing telephones! Even mobile phones on public transit annoy me despite the ringtone usually being music. Just recounting this story here has left me feeling tense. The tension in my shoulders right now and my low back is not coincidence! Clearly the anger remains. I know it’s irrational because the message has been deleted on our home phone that was troubling me and I’ve been away from work since 2010! So rationally and logically speaking, I should not have this anger-but I do. How do I desensitize myself to ringing telephones?

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


PTSD Symptom Flare Ups :(

Reading too many blogs about childhood abuse has made my PTSD symptoms flare up. I feel the hypervigilance I used to years ago when I wasn’t managing my symptoms well. Intrusive thoughts and memories come back that I’d like to push away. There’s too much I want to forget about but can’t. Why can’t I just let it go? It’s been YEARS but triggers set me back. I should have known better than to immerse myself in the reading of troubling content. I was ‘testing’ myself though. To see if I could tolerate the pain of others and not be swept up into it. Clearly I’m not able to deal with my PTSD through ‘immersion”. It’s too much too close and I’m becoming numb again. Is the only solution to never read or look at content related to the original trauma? I’d like to crawl into a hole and stay in the dark until the feelings subside. Yet I know numbing myself and avoidance can’t be good for me either. Certainly I don’t want to only be able to feel anger or irritability. Jumping at things that startle me and startling more easily has also returned. How long before I can get back to feeling a bit of calmness? Does this s*it never end? I’m tired of feeling these emotions.

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.