Gaslighting, Again

This actually starts with me being caught by a scam.  It involved an email from a woman I know slightly here at Kendal.  It involved a request to buy 3 $100 iTunes for her grandson.  I said I really couldn’t do it and hoped she could find someone else.  When the reply was “I need you to do this for me,” I thought she was really desperate.  I wondered that she couldn’t find anyone else – she didn’t actually say that.  I don’t know her well enough to know whether this was characteristic of her or not.  I liked her and thought she was a good person, but we never did more than say hi in the hall.  I was surprised that she was so insistent, but excused her because she was clearly too desperate to be “nice.”  But I am not familiar with the realm of iTunes gift cards, so I asked for more information.  My computer person was helping me, and she said we could order them online and found the site.  So I sent “Anne” the link.  But she said she couldn’t do it.  Again it crossed my mind that she could send me email, how come she couldn’t get online.  But I didn’t pay attention.  So I went out and got the gift cards, I had to ask a friend to come with me for moral support — it was that hard for me to do.  (This is the sort of thing that no one understands if they aren’t also dealing with PTSD.)  I bought them, but the instructions to scratch them and photograph them and send them to her in an email were really beyond my capacity.  I don’t have an iPhone, can’t take pictures with my camera and send them right out, I would have to photograph them and then download them to my computer.  Again it felt like too much to ask, and again I let wanting to help override my feelings.  Fortunately I met her in the hall (again a sense of shock, isn’t she supposed to be in Vermont?  Why can’t she get the internet if she’s right here) and said “I got your cards, I can give them to you.”  She was horrified. “It’s a scam,” she said, and she was clearly upset about it.    The oddest thing was I felt great relief at hearing that it was a scam.  She said she would pay me back.  We both hoped that since I hadn’t scratched the card that I could return them.

Journal for Saturday, August 10

Yesterday was a really horrible day.  I don’t know what happened — well, I do know the sequence of events — but I don’t understand.  I finally thought to ask myself “What does that feel like in your body?”

First the events:  Registered the car just fine — I still need to mail the registration to Eleanor, I would have done that yesterday if I hadn’t been blasted.  Then I went to West Lebanon Feed & Supply and got a harness for Mocha.  I hope it will work.  Then I went to Price Chopper.  I didn’t expect to have any trouble.  But they wouldn’t refund my money.  She pointed to a thing on the receipt that said “all sales final.”  She said I could call iTunes.  I burst into tears, left the store in tears, drove back home in tears.  I was very careful driving home.

I parked the car.  I put on my sunglasses so people couldn’t see my eyes.  Got back to my room all right.

Made a 3rd cup of tea, and then did a small puzzle “Fishes” because I couldn’t write and I didn’t want to deal with the computer.  I think I had to be non-verbal for a while.  The puzzle was perfect.

I can’t even remember when I first started noticing what my body felt like.  I think it was in the car coming home.

— I just realized.  This all happened during the hour when I should have been talking to Erica, but she’s gone for 3 weeks. —

What I was feeling was the same kind of unpleasant skin prickles that happen on my skin when I’m hot, except that they were inside my skin, and there was nothing else.  I felt like a bag of empty skin.  Then I started to feel like I had been hit in the face by a fierce blast of wind, and stopped dead.  It didn’t push me anywhere, it just stopped me dead.  I think of the “deer in the headlights” metaphor.

Actually it’s not a metaphor, it’s one stage in trauma: arrest, and then freeze.

Went to Kilowatt Park with Dulany & Toby. I told her I had been upset by the scam.  She was very understanding and kind.  She said of the scam “I would be very angry at myself.”  I realized that that was easily possible for me, but it didn’t feel right.

I realize now that I was “stopped dead.”  I was stopped in that moment, stopped in my life, and only the thinnest wraith could go on.

When I saw Anne in the hall and found out it was a scam I felt relief.  I felt relief because my sense of Anne as a good kind person was not wrong.  But then when I couldn’t undo what I had done, I got blasted.  Now I see that what the scammers had accomplished was to make me distrust my judgement of what kind of person Anne was.  If I had trusted my judgement of what kind of person Anne was, I would have seen through the scam right away.  I did not see the little red flags that went up at various places.

My failure to trust my judgement, and pay attention to the red flags, is part of a process called “gaslighting,” where a person is made to doubt their sanity, their own perceptions.  As a victim of my mother’s “mis-representation” of me, I am very vulnerable to doubting myself.

O God I feel so much better. Thank You, Inner Teacher.

It was when I “couldn’t undo it,” that the freeze — collapse? — hit. That makes me think of mother, where no apology was acceptable, there was no way to make amends.

My body didn’t collapse, but my psyche did. That’s why I felt so oddly weak the rest of the day. It wasn’t dizzy, it wasn’t hypoglycemia, it wasn’t light-headedness, I was able to walk. Yes, I think I wasn’t present in my body, though I didn’t experience being somewhere else, like floating overhead.

I think I am actually dissociated more than I realize.  Because I don’t experientially leave my body, I don’t realize I am out of my body, I just feel weak and incapacitated.

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Dark Night of the Soul, Again

Saturday, August 3
3rd cup of tea.  When I went out to walk Mocha, my legs felt very weak.  I decided I needed grounding, so tried to feel my legs and my feet contacting the earth.  Mocha went down the Yellow Brick Road, so I walked outside the campus, out Rte 10 and back through Rivercrest.  My mind felt very strange, like I was in some other dimension.  No words, lots of “felt senses,” I think once before I described them as “blobs.”  Visual and tactile things.  I’ve been reading Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum, and she describes interactions between people that carry a lot of hidden material, sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit.  Knowings, and lies, and objects, and stories interwoven.  Unexpected understandings.  I am slightly uncomfortable in this place, lost, “out of control” — although controlling things seems much less important than understanding the flow that’s going on.  Because that’s what it feels like — I’m being carried down a turbulent river in a little boat.  I have a paddle, so I can shift the boat, to stay in the central flow.  No way is that “in control.”  Something about being able to trust what I do in the moment, even if it looks “wrong” or has no result.  I understand that I am undergoing some huge shift in who I am and the shape of my life.  It makes sense that there would be times of confusion and lostness, and that it might take a long time.  I wish I had a traditional shaman to help me.

I’m attempting to describe the feeling hoping it would help me make sense of what I have been experiencing.  It didn’t.

The link gives a number of readers’ impressions of The Painted Drum, which really helped me understand why I was both moved and confused by it.  I had to stop reading because I got so triggered, I don’t know if it was by the book, or by a lot of other things.

Tuesday, August 6
3rd cup of tea.  I am dying to my old life, and I have no idea what the new one will be like.  Somewhere between finishing the second cup and starting this one, it occurred to me that the “dark night of the soul” involves the stripping away of all you are attached to.  So then it comes that “god” is doing this to me.  Then I feel a presence, oddly a masculine presence, also oddly it is very close outside me and inside as well.  “Because I love you so much,” says the masculine voice, and I feel such a sense of kindness and love toward me.  I feel myself both giving and receiving this intensely kind love.

Dr. May, a psychiatrist, says:  “… my experience is that people often experience depression and the dark night at the same time.  To say the least, the dark night can be depressing.  Even if most of the experience feels liberating, it still involves loss, and loss involves grief, and grief may at least temporarily become depression.  Conversely, a primary clinical depression can become part of a dark-night experience, just as any other illness can.” Dark Night of the Soul, p156

Talk with Erica:
Grieving the old life that’s dying
Grieving the life that never got to happen
Need community to help me grieve

Wednesday, August 7
One of the things I told Erica was that this collapse showed me how much I’m up against, how really damaged I am. I tend to trivialize it. I think because I’m white, and rich, and well-educated. I’ve got all that going for me, how can I complain. So I trivialize my difficulties, and blame myself for being lazy and incompetent.

Actually I think I may disappear my difficulties, just as my parents did.  See “Colonial Dames.”  Not only do others fail to see my pain, but I also fail to see it.

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The Pain/Grief Underneath

Pulled out of that dead place quickly, Thank You!

First thing that helped was telling my friend Elizabeth.  She made sympathetic noises and told me she loved me, always much more helpful than making suggestions for how to get out.  Then she pointed out that I talked about a problem with my house that had to be fixed, and that the house is a big unfinished piece of business, and would be weighing on me.  It’s also painful because I loved my house, and can’t bear to go there any more, it hurts too much.  I was able to tell two other friends that I wasn’t doing well, and got kind responses.  Being able to tell people instead of saying “I’m OK” is a help.  Having to hide it just increases the sense of being all alone and helpless.

This morning I drove down to Keene to see my therapist.  The CD playing was Magpie, Living Planet, which is all about how we are destroying the earth.  Listening to it, I felt the terrible pain that I’ve felt before, knowing it’s for the Earth, willing to feel it because it’s true, and out of love, and all I can do.  When I let myself just feel the pain, not try to make it go away, not make myself wrong, just feeling it, I understand how it’s possible to offer the pain as prayer.  I also understood, because it’s a really terrible pain, that my funk yesterday was an effort not to feel the pain.  In some way that’s worse, it doesn’t hurt the way the pain does, but the pain, being mostly grief with a little anger, is alive in a way the denial of the pain is not.

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Another Sojourn in the Pit

Journal for Thursday, August 1

3rd cup of tea:  It was beautiful outside when I walked Mocha, cool, sunny, sparkling.  But I could not experience it.  This mood doesn’t have the weight of depression, it’s more a sense of why bother? why bother to cook and eat?  Well, I have to do that to walk the dog, and I do care about the dog, even though I’m almost ready to say I don’t give a damn about anything else.  But that’s not true.  I do care about elephants, I do care about people who are refugees from violence, who have nothing to eat, I do care that the oceans are clogged and strangled with plastic…  I care about all of it, but I can’t do anything about it.  I feel totally helpless, and worthless, a miserable blot on the beauty of the earth.  But then I think that I’m not the only blot.  True, but it’s also true that I have no excuse.  I’m safe here, have food, shelter, am well taken care of, not targeted by Trump and his SS.  But I see that the system that grinds down those who they’ve declared dispensable, has also ground me down.

I’m reading “God So Loved the World” and I just got to the Crucifixion, to the cry of “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me!”  Yes, that’s where I am now.  Forsaken by God.  Rejected by God.  Useless.  Nothing to give.

“God So Loved the World” is the life of Jesus, told by Elizabeth Goudge.

I read through the bits of my blog, where I say I am a shaman, and my work in the underworld is valuable to the whole, and I wonder who she’s talking about.  Not me.

Am I sitting here feeling sorry for myself?  No, it’s more a kind of hopeless anger — no use being angry at her, she’s not worth the energy.  It’s not like she could make something of herself if I gave her a kick.  I can’t find any compassion for her.  She thought she was so great.  What an asshole.

“Asshole” is not a word I use.  Not sure which part of me is using it.  I guess it’s the part of me that refuses to do something someone suggests to me that will help me, that sounds like a good suggestion, and inside I feel the closing down and backing up, so I say “No,” feeling like a bad person.  No.  I’m tired of the struggle.

An attempt to do something practical.  Deal with the mail, pay bills.  I open a Calendar from the African Wildlife people, there’s a picture of elephants on the front, I throw away the request for money and I start to cry.  It’s not that I don’t have the money, they will keep me here even after I run out of money, but it feels wrong to take advantage of their generosity and spend more than I absolutely have to.  O gosh I feel so trapped.

I sent a good sized check a while back, to help train people and dogs to track and stop poachers.  I love elephants, I consider them intelligent and caring, and better “people” than human people.  Some of this I learned from Deena Metzger.

As a result of revisiting my reverence for Elephant People, I signed up for a monthly gift to the African Wildlife Foundation.  I feel a little better, but I have tears in my eyes.

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3rd Cup of Tea

This 3rd cup writing illustrates another principle I use in my life:  I take a lot of things that happen as signs from the universe or spirit or whoever.  For example, if I’m thinking something particular and a bird lands on my feeder pole, I take it as support for what I’m thinking.  Certainly synchronicities are messages from the universe.  And something like this odd serendipitous meander through blog posts, leading from one to the next to a great reminder of something I need to know.

Tuesday, July 30     3rd cup of tea:

I sent a friend on facebook a birthday message, went down her page and found a post about Yitzhak Perlman, that I liked very much.  So I sent her the link to my blog post.  A post next to the Perlman one led me on to “The Core of Trauma” and “The Collapse Phase.”  A reminder that when I feel like this, utterly discouraged and blank of brain = neo-cortex offline, this is the core of trauma.  I have been triggered by god knows what, possibly the collective trauma set off by Trump’s concentration camps, border wall, support of white supremacists, etc.  I was also led to a post about Hope, Sharif Abdullah quoting Rubem Alves — our view of reality is much too narrow, we forget about imagination and vision and commitment, and the invisible forces that are just as real as the shit we see on the news.  Maybe even more real.

“The core of trauma” reminds me that being discouraged and “blank of brain” is not my fault.  So easy for me to make things my fault, and expect myself to get over them by beating on myself.

Part of the actual quote: “It is the suspicion that reality is more complex than realism wants us to believe; that the frontiers of the possible are not determined by the limits of the actual…”

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About 3rd Cup of Tea Writing

My usual morning routine is to make a cup of tea, write while drinking it, make a second and do the same.  Then I usually have a smoothie with fiber in it, feed the dog, get dressed, make my own breakfast, and walk the dog.  When I come back from walking the dog, if I don’t have to rush onward, I can have a 3rd cup of tea.  I just recently started writing while drinking the third cup of tea, and was delighted by the result.  So I’ve continued to do it.

The first one was on May 31, and posted on June 1.  In the same post is something I wrote, clearly while drinking my third cup of tea because I left a space in my journal, but not labeled as such.  The inspiration came from something Richard Rohr said in the meditation for May 29: “I learned that if the quiet space, the questions themselves, and blank pages had not been put in front of me, I may never have known what was lying within me.”  He learned this from doing an Intensive Journal workshop with Ira Progoff.  In the same post I said “I thought I would try writing to get in touch with a deeper part of me.”

I never explained what the process was, just quoted some of them.  Obviously, I got the idea from what Richard Rohr said, and I also knew that a certain kind of writing, often from a prompt, and with a very open mind, would lead to things that were new.  Sometimes, while drinking my third cup of tea, I wrote a few words about something that was happening right then, and nothing more came.

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Trying to Figure out WHY I Got So Terrified

Excerpts from my journal trying to understand about the terrified feeling, what triggered it, why it seemed different from how it has happened before.  The last time I felt that kind of terror was when I flew to California for the Francis Weller workshop.

Tuesday, July 16

The cloud cover is thin, so the sun is watery when it’s out. It would be nice to sit on the porch, but I feel too fragile. I’ve begun to notice how much my behavior is restricted by the need to feel safe. That wasn’t true for a big part of my life. I wonder when it started? Possibly 1984 and the diagnosis of systemic yeast. Maybe it’s only since I started paying attention to inner signals. I’m reminded of the boundary exercise I did with Dave, where I let him right through my boundary and wouldn’t have noticed it if he hadn’t pointed it out.

Systemic yeast requires a very strict diet.  I remember that I couldn’t drink black tea or herb teas.  One tea that was “safe” was Kukicha Twig Tea.  I wasn’t supposed to eat dairy food, so I used soy milk.  For a long time Kukicha and soy felt safe to me.  I actually forgot to take any on that trip to see my siblings, and was upset when I realized it.

The boundary exercise was with Dave Berger, an S.E. practitioner.  He asked me to stop him when I wanted to and started walking toward me.  When he was about 18″ away, I held up my hand.  He said “It should have been back there,” and indicated a place about 3 feet further away.  As soon as he moved his hand, I remembered that I had felt something when he was there, but I hadn’t paid attention to it, and would have totally forgotten it if he hadn’t pointed it out.

So tired. or bleak. or something. Brain is flat.

Talk with Erica:
tell Erica about seeing motive of needing to be safe
experiencing exhaustion —> despair in B.P.
Now that I’ve slept, I don’t feel physically exhausted but I do feel    mentally exhausted.
Too scared to go out on porch this morning.
Now I’m becoming aware of something I wouldn’t have
Parts that were feeling scared weren’t listened to
either override it or become suicidal

That explains why my brain is refusing to work. Visit to B.P. was major OVERWHELM! and I’m shut down. How to reconnect with myself.

Wednesday, July 19

Raining. Thank God for Erica. She was a big help yesterday. Now I see that when my brain is blank and blunt, I’m in a state of hypo-arousal, I’ve been triggered by overwhelm, or by something inside that I’m not ready to face.

What was the problem with the visit to my siblings? Too quick, no time to settle in and reconnect. They all talk fast and loud. Mocha’s diarrhea exhausted me. I needed to have soul conversations, I needed to find out, as we are nearing the ending of our lives, what have those lives meant?

3rd cup of tea

If I’m too tired to make a decision, maybe that means I’m too tired to do anything. Can I sit here doing nothing? Just sit here? I feel a pull toward playing Solitaire and resist it. Typing journal doesn’t appeal. Maybe take the puzzle apart. I did manage to wash the dishes while my tea was brewing.

I could try 20 minutes of housekeeping and 20 minutes of sitting here doing literally nothing. I haven’t even unpacked my suitcase yet. I haven’t looked at the stuff that came from HUE. I would have to try things on. The discouraged part of me says trying things on is too uncomfortable.

It’s July 25 and I still haven’t unpacked or opened the package from HUE.

Something I can do with a whole heart? Often doing a blog post is whole-hearted.

The antidote to exhaustion is not rest, but doing something with a whole heart.

Thursday, July 18

So tired. I don’t know what to do about Dance Camp. It starts on Saturday and I can’t imagine being ready for it. I’m still finding it hard to get practical things done. I did manage to pay a bunch of bills yesterday (good for me!) and get them in the mail.

Yesterday my email stopped working.

Yesterday I was feeling so bad that I got out the Sweet Chestnut — “when you are overwhelmed with anguish and can see no way out.” I wonder if they would let me stop eating now, or if I have to have some serious disability.

Stopping eating is Plan B for dying.

Haven’t seen Dulany, she’s got her son & 2 granddaughters visiting. I won’t be talking to Erica on Friday, so I’m feeling a little bereft. Maybe that’s the problem.

I really do feel abandoned. Not having email working is a big deal.

I am realizing that I am terrified. It took me a while to feel it. But now it’s clearly “blind terror.”

Friday, July 19

Feeling a little better this morning. I saw Meredith last night. I was walking Mocha and she drove by in a car. I was able to tell her that I was scared. I think that helped a lot.

Erica said: Parts that were feeling scared weren’t listened to
I would either override it or become suicidal

I’m actually sitting out on the porch. It’s cool and clear. I could do without the roar of the fan. But I don’t feel too scared to sit out here. so something has shifted.

Sandy Pariseau came at 10:00. I don’t know if I knew I was scared when she was here — yes I think I must have. I think I even told her. I managed to fix the email by shutting down the computer and starting it again (good for me!) With her help I ordered another Canon printer just like the one I have.

Sandy comes to help me with computer stuff.  In trying to decide which printer to get, I decided on the Canon which is just like the one I have that stopped working.  Sandy said that wouldn’t have been her choice, but she supported me in making the right choice for me.

3rd cup of tea:

It’s interesting that it took me so long before I could feel that I was terrified. All I had was the blank blunt blind feeling, also feeling out of control. Maybe the first clue was not feeling safe to sit on my porch. I think of how I didn’t know I was frightened until Dr. Asher named it. I didn’t expect to be afraid, I have reasonably good relationships with all my siblings. So the fear didn’t make sense, so I didn’t feel it. Maybe Mocha picked up on it. Erica said something about when we all got together, especially in a family house, we all tended to regress. I think that house was where I first felt “that twilight feeling,” of my life fading into darkness, taking care of other people’s jobs, doing nothing of my own. Tho I have good memories of the porch, creating games for my siblings, that was also where the Colonial Dames happened.

Saturday, July 20

I’m feeling really lost. Really worried about how I’ll get to dance camp, how I’ll be at Pat’s, whether I can function at all. I’m feeling really abandoned by Dulany, which isn’t fair, because she’s just very sick, can’t seem to stop vomiting. I feel like I did a bad job of relating to my siblings and dealing with Mocha at B.P. I feel like I’m always scrambling to catch up with my life. It’s a lot like the car that drove away with me in my dreams when I was a child.

I see that the problem has something to do with following someone else’s rules. There’s a way in which the bureaucracy of government is a bit like dysfunctional parents. The rules are always changing, and the punishment is unimaginable. What am I afraid of? That if I fail to do something I’m supposed to do — what will happen?

Sandy said to remind myself that we had ordered a printer, and we had got the gmail working. I think I did finally relax a little — I didn’t relax right away — but a lot of the fear is still with me, and it’s the fear that cripples my mind.

I’m also feeling abandoned by the Spirit realm.

Reading through this, I can see much more clearly why I got so triggered into a baby state. I can also see that what brought me out of it were several things: one was simply telling people I was afraid and having them offer a hug, or sympathy & validation, instead of making me wrong.  Another was working on blog posts.  Yet another was actually being able to accomplish some things, like getting the email working.

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Two Whole Weeks of Terror, February 1971

from my journal.  entries are undated.  A lot of this is in a post from January 2016

how calmly does the olive branch
observe the sky begin to blanch
without a cry, without a prayer
with no betrayal of despair… 

This poem is from a Tennessee Williams play: Night of the Iguana

wow. two whole weeks of terror — standing at the edge of the Abyss and looking down.  utter lack of meaning — that is hell — that is the sin against the holy ghost  (the vulgar devil under michael’s foot)  seeing myself weak, shabby, ineffectual, a typical ‘old maid’  (but not a maid!)  a pitiable creature, without even a job to redeem her.  I even came to a final cold place where suicide seemed the only alternative to terror  (a betrayal of despair, though)  and my fantasies were of how to get the sleeping pills, not how I would be rescued.  walking through a long dark tunnel — no sign of light ahead, no memory of light or warmth behind  (the cold, the cold is so appalling)  and I keep walking because the pain is so great and worse when i stop.  praying the plane will crash.  ogod.  wishing i could still believe in god.  praying to apollo and knowing it won’t work because i don’t believe — I have plunged into weaving as an antidote. 

I have achieved limbo — no hope yet, but suicide no longer a reality — have decided to stick with despair.

Tell my sister Jo if she comes home someday and finds me dead it is because the pain became too great.  a mercy-killing?  I would gladly trade my crippled mind for a crippled body if I could have a sound mind with it.  (my god what guilt is that supposed to expiate)

bad day today — confusion
what i so desperately need is a place to rest my mind.

i think i will go back to collecting sleeping pills
the pain is so great and the rewards are so small
what is the point of endurance?
‘i am a rock, i am an island’
to be like the rock and endure…my life is only a flash in the life of the rock after all.
‘nobody ever loved me and nobody ever will’
i feel so paranoid and ugly and lost, and i know that i do it in my own mind, but i can’t change it.  could there be a worse hell?
stumbling across the frozen waste, the sun glints off a piece of ice, fresh and cold here and i have left the company of thirteen far behind.

“sleeping pills”  I actually didn’t have any way to get them.

‘Nobody ever loved me and nobody ever will’  is a belief that I wrote and thought many times.

another night of the iguana to be faced & feared through
i am afraid to go to sleep.
yea though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death
what do i do wrong?  why has no one ever loved me — why do they all leave so quickly?  am i too involved or too cold?  i don’t know!  i don’t know!  i must be an incredibly awful person that no one has ever loved me.
yeah, even david.  two screws and he’s done.

“am i too involved or too cold?”  Erica was able to explain this by telling me that I had in inaccurate mirror in my mother.

whatever im going through is so strange.  first the terror and now the numbness and confusion.  i can’t seem to bring my mind to bear on anything.  it chatters on and on, i can’t even find a place of silence to rest it, and yet i can’t make it work for me either.  can’t make it focus and grasp and follow one current of thought out to its conclusion.  a strange blankness — not the emptiness of silence for which i would be grateful, but the blankness of immovable conflict.  

i keep going through the same sets of images.  what can be done to break the ice jam and get things flowing again?

life in one hand, death in the other;  black stone and white pills.  all i want to do is sleep forever, but i am afraid if i take the pills all ill do is sleep for a few days and wake up miserable.  when i was in the hospital there was a boy who took 100 valium and all it did was tranquillize him, it didn’t kill him.  im afraid if i take the mellaril ill just wake up again and nobody will know or care what happened.
theyll all just say im stupid and silly.
im so tired, so tired and cold.
just a warm place to fall asleep

It’s a good thing I didn’t know that too much mellaril can be fatal.  I had saved some from when I was hospitalized in California.

the fear is back — the numbing deadly terror.  how long can this go on.  i feel so horribly isolated — no one i can run to and held and comforted.
people = mirages, all snatched away,
   help! help! help!
so cold.  to wait through the night
        with no betrayal of despair

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Today’s 3rd Cup of Tea

Maybe the feeling of abandonment was more intense because Dulany has become a good friend.  Erica pointed out that my relationship with Eleanor is problematic because she triggered the big sister’s need to take care of younger siblings, and she needs so much help, way beyond what any one person could do.  Possibly my need to help and my inability to help were both triggered by her fall and broken collarbone.

I was also reminded of Deborah’s experience — when she had healed enough to find the world rational, obeying the laws of physics, then Yr became the crazy world.  Now, how does that apply to what I’ve just gone through?  Maybe something about Adult Jenny feeling safer, allowed Infant Jenny to take over my psyche in a bigger way than she has before.  Or maybe it was a kind of mix of terror and observing terror.  Makes me think of the two weeks of terror when I went “home” in — I think it was February of ’71 — I had no witness at all, nobody I could tell, I didn’t even write about it.  Then I think of the 4th July 1986, when I wrote every detail compulsively.  I think it was a couple of years before I rewrote it as a monologue and was able to see the dynamic that was operating.  The writing required a witness, but the witness needed material to look at.  Just feelings, with no more context, don’t give any information.

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Saturday, July 20

Dear Guides & Guardian Spirits, I am having a very hard time.  Please help me.

Dear Jenny, your fear has been triggered and you are very much in a baby state.  You are feeling pretty completely helpless.  The visit with your siblings didn’t help because your old feelings of being an inadequate parent to your younger siblings got triggered.  The whole pattern of being expected to do something you really can’t do, and being given no help and support, has been triggered.  You are feeling totally helpless, that you can’t do what you are being expected to do, and that something unimaginably terrible will happen to you if you don’t do it.  This was your fear as a baby and as a growing child.  The only area in which you felt competent was the realm of intellect.  It didn’t help that your visit to your siblings was preceded by the visit with Barbara and Roger, which was overwhelming because everything was new — now I’m running out of ink and that kicks up the fear that I will have to get to Staples —  Dear Jenny, everything is too hard for you at the moment.  You are also feeling abandoned by both Erica and Dulany, the weather is very hot which is hard for you to deal with, and the whole problem of getting to dance camp is being too much right now because you are so badly triggered.  It would help if you could tell people that you are triggered and too scared to function, but it is very likely they wouldn’t understand.  Another problem is that you are on the third floor at Pat’s, that means a lot of stairs and your knee is giving you trouble.  You are badly triggered and you are dealing with a lot.  We love you very much and wish that we could just materialize as helpful people to help you get through this.  Maybe the best thing would be to just go ahead and cancel dance camp.  — I feel a tremendous amount of relief   Dear dear Jenny, there is so much love around you right now.  We wish that you could feel it, but you are too badly triggered.  We are all around you anyway, we won’t leave you.  Go back to the words of Eben Alexander:  “You are loved, totally and completely.  There is nothing you can do wrong.”

Thank You.

Barbara and Roger are new friends.

Erica couldn’t talk with me on Friday.  When she told me that, several weeks ago, I was feeling fine and thought it wouldn’t matter.

Dulany was sick.  But a baby doesn’t understand that Mom is sick, she just knows that no one is there.

I did cancel going to Dance Camp.  It helped a little, but the fear is not about going to camp.  It’s about being able to handle the logistics.

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