Reflections on Life Thus Far

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


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Confused and Uncertain

question-1301144Since being sick in December and unable to be around people/out in public (so as not to infect anyone) for nearly a month I’m finding it hard to know what I’m doing. The forced confinement made me unhappy since I couldn’t enjoy the holidays like I normally can. Not that the holidays are always happy for me but at least being allowed out improves mood. Me, I was too bothered by how I looked to even go out on my patio for fresh air. Stupid adult chicken pox. But now that I can go out again my mood and mental state hasn’t exactly recovered totally.

confusion-311388The main problem is being unfocused and uncertain about what to do with myself. I haven’t really been enjoying the designing I have been doing for a few print on demand companies on the internet. Technically I still design for them but it’s compensated only by a royalty and requires more marketing ability than I possess to make a living off it. So I feel unsatisfied by my daily occupation. I want to make a difference in the world and feel like I am positively contributing. As of now I feel pretty useless and doubting of myself. Perhaps I can volunteer?…

 

Maybe all of these thoughts would not have surfaced if it weren’t for the discussion I’d had in late November with an aunt of mine and my dad. I posted about it a couple of posts back. Anyway it was the suggestion I contact a lawyer for my dad (since I have nothing pressing to do with my time apparently) regarding some money he felt was owed him. He thinks he was supposed to receive money but hasn’t because his family cheated him out of it.

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As far as I know he couldn’t have been in the will since it’s been well over a year since his sister died and he wasn’t contacted. But he holds firm in his bitterness and resentment toward a couple family members he thinks ruined his chance at financial freedom. The bitterness he holds is scary and I feel concerned for him. One, I don’t know that there was ever any money or not ‘owed’ to him; secondly, I am worried he’ll be bitter and resentful for the rest of his life and unable to get past any of this.

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He’s heavily focused on the past and what went wrong, including when he was a child. This includes hanging onto resentment over what his younger brother did and got away with. Basically he’s upset he shouldered the responsibility in the family in terms of chores and expectations; while his younger brother and older sister weren’t made to do much (from his perspective). He grew up in the 1950s and 60s.

deciding-1364439What all this has to do with me is I was asked to take on this concern of my dad’s (that is a lot bigger and deeper than my aunt likely knows) and to solve it for him with a lawyer. I don’t want to get involved because I think he’s delusional and has problems sorting reality out from his imagination. If I went to a lawyer what on earth would I have to make any sort of ‘case’ for him? None of the stuff he told me about was anything I was present to verify and I am used to having to explain to him what was actually said versus what he ‘heard’. Oh, and that is just with respect to television shows or when we’re discussing less weighty issues than legal matters. So it’s hard for me to take what he says at ‘face value’ because I know how often he mishears words and throws in his own substitution when confused by conversations.

 

You might think he has dementia but I am fairly certain it’s just his neurological issues he’s had for his whole life. Apparently he had quite a bit of his brain damaged from medical complications as a child living far from hospitals and doctors (plus no proper transportation to remedy the problem).

tarot-1775322I’m considering alternative methods for helping my dad. For instance, I thought perhaps a psychic with mediumship abilities could contact his sister and ask her if she actually did promise him money at some point or other and if it was included in her will or not. Yes, it sounds like my judgement might be questionable here but I am open minded and figure a ‘direct connection’ to his sister could clear up his (probably) mistaken ideas.

 

What to do? I wish I knew the right answer to all these concerns plaguing my mind. Notfuture-1126760 just with my dad but what I may do with my life. I’m scared that my life is slipping by and I’m not making the most of it. But I remain uncertain about what ‘it’ is I am meant to do. Ah, heck! Maybe I should be the one with the question for the psychic about my own life but I still need help with my dad’s situation too. Oh well, I suppose I will just have to meditate and hope the answer(s) come to me at the time I need them.

©Natalya Lyubov, 2017.

 

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This One Is Worth Watching!

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Made me cry but good tears at the end 🙂


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Changes

Discouraged. That pretty much sums up how I have been feeling lately. I think I am overwhelmed because I have been going through my possessions trying to become more minimalist; but in the process I have felt a mixture of emotions. Most recently, I parted with a garbage bag full of treasured books destined for charity and in doing so I wanted to pull some out and ‘save’ them…but I resisted. It feels like a loss to me because I love books and they’ve been my ‘significant other’ since I have never let real people close to me. So in parting with so many books I felt attachment to I went through a series of grief related feelings. Maybe not all of the grief related feelings/stages but definitely some anyway.

When you use books to satisfy your need for relationships giving away a large quantity of them feels horrendous. It’s not like I hoard books but I definitely value my books more than a person ought to. They aren’t historic relics suited to an archives department either so I don’t have any objective reason to view them so fondly. Perhaps it’s the fact I parted with books that had served as valuable references and comfort when I needed them; now I’m forced to either let go of anything I can’t remember or trust I will be able to call upon my brain to give me the knowledge when I need it. That’s scary given I dissociated for so much of my life to avoid pain. What if I can’t remember everything I read in the books I gave away?! Now I must trust myself to survive and have greater acceptance of my innate fallibility which also makes me face the fact I am imperfect. You see all these things connect to my sense of lovability and self-worth and that is terrifying territory. There’s little comfort in what I’m experiencing.

I want to crawl under my bed covers and not have to face the world. Maybe I am depressed but more than likely I am afraid of the fact I have nothing solid to stand on. All of my worldly identifiers are gone and I’m struggling to not concoct a new identity for myself knowing such a thing would be a production of my ego anyway. Part of the reason I fear social interaction is I’m afraid someone will ask me about myself and I don’t have any tidy, pat answers on tap to reduce my discomfort and the other person’s. The other reason for my social anxiety is I simply have trouble easily relating to everyone. Maybe most people don’t easily relate to others either and just hide it better than I do. Or maybe it’s a problem of ‘how’ I relate. I can relate at a human level but not at the social/surface level. After all, I don’t have a paid job, sports don’t interest me and I don’t have a husband or kids. So right there I am starting off from a disadvantaged position. Then again maybe I just overthink these things and should try to ‘relax’ more! Ha, if it were that easy I’d have done it by now. In some ways I have learned to relax about it a little bit but other times I get triggered by things like giving away some of my precious books. Who knew parting with a garbage bag full of my books would trigger me? Certainly, if I’d known it, I might have chosen to part with fewer books to ease the discomfort. The way I have done it feels like I just had a Band-Aid ripped from a tender sore spot. I suppose I shall have to go easy on myself. Trying to bulldoze my way through the pain won’t help me any if past experiences are anything to go on.

On a more positive note I did manage to dust my computer desk and tidy up my messy cords from my electronic devices. Well that’s it for now. Tomorrow I see my counsellor.

©Natalya, 2014. Reflections On Life Thus Far®


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Writing Exercise (Day 2)

My counsellor gave me some exercises to encourage writing with emotional awareness. Often I get stuck in my head and miss opportunities to connect with my inner experience. So I have finished day 2 of 4 of my writing exercise and feel content with how it went. I wasn’t expecting it to take the turn it did but I’m pleased I thought of it and allowed myself to include it in the entry. Day 1 I settled on discussing being constantly infantilised by my mother throughout my childhood and teen years; today I continued discussing that a bit more but got into my issues with fear around men. Mom taught me when I was a child that pretty well all men were potential sexual predators so I never had boyfriends. She also talked about sex like it was something scary and repulsive so I avoided all intimate contact. Fortunately I am introverted and enjoy my own company but I felt like it would have been nice to enjoy a relationship instead of living like a nun. I didn’t expect for this issue to come up today in my second day of writing so I wonder how day 3 will go now! FYI-I am not afraid of most men now and have changed my views around sex in a positive/healthier manner thanks to therapy.

©Natalya, 2014.

 


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The Invisible Client | After Psychotherapy

The Invisible Client | After Psychotherapy.

This is a very good post on how adult children of narcissistic parents grow up without a sense of self so wish to be invisible. I used to want to disappear and have nobody notice me because as a child my narcissistic mother only cared about herself. So I learnt to ‘hide’ when I wanted to be left alone. The author of this post is a psychotherapist in practice.


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The Courage to Change

Change is hard for everyone no matter who you are. Some handle change better than others but that’s not my

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, from The Wond...

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz first edition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

point. My point is everyone has some degree of trouble accepting/adjusting to change in their life, however that manifests itself. If any of you reading have experienced trauma or abuse in your life you know that moving past the pain is a huge effort. To not stay stuck in the memories and negative beliefs from our past can really challenge the best of us. Some of us get trapped in self limiting ‘stories’ about who we are as people identity wise. Our pain becomes our identity to the degree we can’t see any other way of being in the world apart from ‘damaged’ (or insert your word of choice you use to describe yourself negatively).

What we must do is not let our present slip through our fingers as we find ourselves in safer contexts but stuck in the past. This is at the heart of dissociation. It doesn’t matter if you have a diagnosis of DID, PTSD, BPD, or whatever, it only matters that you are wasting precious moments in the here and now thinking of your haunted memories. I realize the memories aren’t always in our control until we’ve learnt techniques to manage them from our therapist but assuming you know enough now to manage unpleasant/scary memories, isn’t it better we employ all of our strength to stay present in the present?

I am aware of the enormity of the challenge for some people to change and realize everyone needs to go at their own pace, so to speak, so I’m not going to lecture. When I was attempting to stop dissociating on a constant basis in 2010 I found it frightening at times. But ultimately, once I’d achieved some mastery over myself the reward was how liberated I felt. It was rocky at first and I stumbled, fell, swore and then got back up again. My eating disorder decided to return for a bit of fun just so I could delay progress by being engrossed in calorie counting and weigh ins; yet my spirit prevailed and I kicked my ED to the curb. I struggled to regain myself (literally and figuratively) after being beaten down by my food restrictions, weight loss and my self-esteem bottoming out. I wasn’t going to stay in the trap my ED had set for me. Sure it snared me but I wedged free.

Thanks to my compassionate and patient psychologist, I made it back to the land of the living. She could have dropped me but kept me on as her patient even after I’d stopped being a registered student (she worked in the university’s counselling services) and saw me ’til I stabilized. I owe her a debt of gratitude for not abandoning me when she had no reason to keep seeing me (we were well past the 8-10 session allotment they allowed students). Some therapists really are gems. I wasn’t paying her so she was seeing me on a purely altruistic basis. With her there to support me I was able to finally quit my constant mood shifts and stay in my body for longer periods of time. The anxiety lessened and my desire for escaping was replaced by a desire for staying present. Thank you to my psychologist and mindfulness meditation! I highly recommend it(the meditation) by the way.

Cowardly Lion's Courage Medal

Cowardly Lion’s Courage Medal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These days I could use some courage! I don’t have a therapist and am trying to deal with figuring out which direction to go in my life. Now that I’m actually in my body long enough to have consistent thoughts I find myself struggling to hear my own voice above society’s. I never used to give a crap about what other people thought but now I am conflicted. Pleasing everyone isn’t possible so why do I feel like I should have to do so? Why am I torn between what I want to do and what I think is least likely to receive doubt and criticism?

At one time I just followed my own will but now I think I’m turning it over to others. I’m worried what people will think of me. It doesn’t sit well with me that I might be considered too idealistic or ‘dreamy’ just because my dreams don’t fit into a box. I’m 30 for pity’s sake! Surely, I can ignore other people’s opinions. I’ve spent my entire life trying to be perfect though. Perfectionism doesn’t let go easily. Its grasp on me is far less now than it used to be but it hasn’t eliminated perfectionist associated thoughts completely. This is what I need the courage to change for! Telling my perfectionist mind to go f**k itself!

I started off this post thinking I’d expound on all my ‘worldly wisdom’ and ended up bemoaning my own struggles. Irony, I loathe you. Oh well now you have a bit of my advice mixed up with my own need for it! 😛

Related link: My other blog I wrote a post on:

http://findinghealthafterillness.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/the-transcendent-child-tales-of-triumph-over-the-past-lillian-b-rubin/

 © 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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I’ve Been Thinking….(uh-oh!)

Alright, I’ve been thinking about my introversion and anxiety in social situations lately. Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill imagining more that could go wrong than is likely. I tend to worry about embarrassing myself but I am discovering this may be a complete waste of my time. After all, few people really notice me as much as I do so if I quit stressing over what others might be thinking of me I’ll likely be able to go out and do more things. Currently I spend a lot of time sitting at home in front of my computer. Mostly I feel content, occasionally I am lonely but this is infrequent. I kind of wish I had a furry companion but without a job I can’t take care of an animal properly so that’s on hold for now.

If I leave the comfort and safety of my online world there are benefits. I just need to convince myself they’re

Pondering the meaning of life, for sure.

Pondering the meaning of life, for sure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

greater than sitting in front of my computer all day. Tomorrow I have to see my employment counsellor and I’m concerned of what she’ll think about how I’ve been spending my time. She wanted me to go check out a particular temp agency to see if they’d do testing assessing my computer competency because I’d mentioned I didn’t feel confident in my abilities for work. I didn’t go. So now I am worried she’ll be disappointed in me. I guess I will remind myself I am not five years old and she’s not the school principal or something! LOL If she is disappointed so be it.

I was too nervous to go because I let my anxiety get the better of me imagining how I’d be seen by the people running the agency. I worried they’d think I was stupid or inept. The thought of being evaluated or assessed on my computer skills terrified me. All of the sudden I was thinking they’d find out I was seriously not cut out for anything and I should just go live on disability for the rest of my life! I know, right? Mega catastrophizing going on. This is why I sit at home most days.

Fear rules my world when it comes to employment. My mother had to quit working due to disability when she was around my age and I constantly worry I’ll end up like her. She never worked again after quitting at 29 or 30. She worked at home raising my sister and I for awhile until that was too much for her and she just let us fend for ourselves. So I imagine each year that passes with me being unemployed (it’s been 2.5) that I’m heading towards a life mirroring my mother’s sans the kids and husband. I don’t want kids but wouldn’t mind a husband; however I need to get a job! Ugh 😦 My mother had no income besides what my dad gave her. I can’t live like that.

What am I to do? I do have a confidence building workshop coming up next week that’s three three hour sessions. I REALLY hope I can be more confident after going because I am seriously getting fed up with myself. Yes, I know I have to show more compassion to myself. That is a problem I have but I’m working on it. Seriously.

Related article: http://myjourneytorecoveryafterstroke.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/feeling-some-stress-today/

Thanks for reading.

© 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.