Sunday, April 11, 2010
I occasionally have dreams where I’m acting on stage, but I don’t know what my lines are, or I’ve forgotten. Is this just toxic shame manifesting in my dreams?
FOSTERING A NEW CAT
I have a new cat. I’m trying out being a cat foster parent.
I fear abandonment to her. Maybe that’s why I want to be a cat foster parent… so I know not to get attached.
Both cats seemed to like jumping onto my bed and sleeping there. They’re so cute. Each walked around and happened to step between my legs. I felt fear when they were close to my body down there, even if it was only for a second. Fear, paralysis, discomfort. Body memory? How do I dig deeper and figure this out? I think I might bump up therapy appointments to once a week.
Projection? I get disgusted when I see guys walking by with no shirt, or feel uncomfortable if women are wearing revealing clothing.
Tomboy, growing up—did I disown my sexuality and femininity? How can I get it back in a safe way?
I feel so stressed about my job. Half the time, I worry about losing it; the other half, I am so sick of being there and stressed about not being able to find a better job situation. I’m not sure how to de-stress from work. I try exercise, swing dancing, eating, petting the new cat, taking walks, but all these things just seem like distractions… which they are, I suppose. They’re not solutions. I try hard to fill my head with positive self-talk.
I’m torn between wishing to leave this company, and terrified of being fired because then I might not be able to afford my apartment and then I’d have to live with roommates. I never get along with any roommates. I need alone-time and I get sick of being around others for extended periods of time—especially coworkers. I hate the feeling of being forced to be around people that I don’t like or don’t get along with well.
I’m trying to learn lessons through work and remember to be humble, in my own mind. I’m sick of being there, but I still see no exit. Sick of working for idiot bosses who aren’t progressive and don’t look for better ways of doing things and who are only mediocre at what they do. I wish I had a mentor figure in my field. At this point, I don’t even want to stay in the damn profession because people seem to view it as art that is subjective—whether or not it is a “good design” is left up to opinion. But in college, I was taught that it’s not opinion. Blech… I could go on, but I’m sick of arguing about design. So sick of everything. I even wonder still if I’ll ever be happy again. It feels like the life is sucked out of me. A soul-draining job, just like the Soul-draining [paternal family name] Family.
How do I stop being in these situations? Or how do I handle soul-draining people?
I feel like I have a billion questions and no one to help me answer. I wish I had a life-mentor figure. I feel so alone, and surrounded by sharks.
I must take back control over my life. Work—this company—is not responsible for my happiness. I am. (But I’ll tell ya what, it sure makes happiness a lot easier if I have a job I like. But—I’ve never had a job I liked. I always have problems with the people. But now that I’ve been learning and healing so much, maybe I’ll be stronger to not be triggered back to childhood traumas so much.)
I fear my new cat abandoning me somehow, or not liking me. I fear getting attached to her and then being hurt. I fear utterly sucking at being a cat parent and therefore completely ruining her life. “Commitment phobia?”
“It’s not the trauma we suffer in childhood that makes us emotionally ill, but the inability to express the trauma.” —Alice Miller
So… shit happens. Shit always happens. It’s life. The thing that makes the difference is how we handle the shit. One way could lead to suicide (literally or figuratively), another way could lead to peace and freedom of expression.
We need to discharge our feelings. We need time to do it, and support from others.
What is “support” and how do I know who can give it, and if it’s healthy or not?
I feel like I have no one to talk to, about deep, personal issues, no one to trust.
I feel like each week, I go through this cycle: Monday, I put poison slowly into my system by going to work at the company. Friday evening, I begin a detox and slowly begin to regain my soul and sense of self again. I feel great on the weekends. I feel cleansed. Then Monday morning, I start the poisoning process all over again. This company, to me, is the poison and I want it gone now. But how else will I pay for food and rent? I fear I’ll always hate my job. I’m sick of this field of work. I might as well stay at this company, then, you know? That is the conclusion—that this company, this Layer of Hell, is the best option I have, right now.
FINDING OUR CALLING AND DESTINY
from page 282 of Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw.
- “Who are the people who make me feel most alive when I’m with them?”
This question is difficult for me, since I have no mutually-intimate relationships. I might have to dig into the past. Oh, wait. My piano teacher helps bring life into me. I value her encouragement. One coworker, maybe; I like to talk to her. She and I seem to have intelligent conversations. See? Look! There are people, if I look deeply. A second coworker might be a good example, too; I enjoy letting my guard down when we have lunch together. Usually at the company, I am extremely guarded.
- “What is it that I love to do, that when I’m doing it I feel energy and vitality?”
- Caring for plants and animals
- having fun on the piano and bringing music to life
- engaging in casual (and maybe leads to deeper) conversation with new people. Not like therapy, but on equal ground, where we’re sharing our life experiences with one another
- dancing (swing, mixed with silly improv moves)
- “What is my heart’s desire in life?”
To help others, somehow? Gardening? Not landscaping, not mowing lawns, but somehow caring for gardens? I don’t know. This question seems difficult to answer. It seems like the only jobs I like doing are the volunteer jobs that don’t pay money, like caring for animals.
- “What does it feel like when my heart is passionate and on fire?”
??? I suppose it would feel amazing? Right now, I feel exactly the opposite of “passionate and on fire,” sitting here, in my office. The life has been drained so much that I don’t really recall what it’s like to feel like my heart is passionate and on fire. I’d feel sad, reading that statement I just wrote, but I think I’m numb. Just… blah. Nothing seems to excite me anymore.
- “Where do I feel most at home?”
At home, safe in my apartment, where there are no people. Or at least that’s as close to a “home” feeling that I’ve felt in at least 15-20 years.
Are these questions supposed to help me? I just feel more lost and confused and ashamed that I don’t know what the fuck to do with my life. It seems that others have figured it out by the time they are my age. “Late bloomer” indeed.
So I need to find things that bring me “vitality, passion, spontaneity and full aliveness.” I have those things in hobbies. It would be nice to figure out a way to have a job in one of those. At least if I was doing a job that I feel passionate about, then it wouldn’t suck so much to have a shitty boss. Then again, I thought I did have passion for design. It’s sucked away through the [company name]–Hell.