Resistance to Feeling My Pain

Saturday, January 14

Woke up early feeling scared.  Not terror — this is ordinary scared.  In fact I’m starting to wonder if how I’ve been feeling the last couple of days isn’t how I used to feel all the time.

Erica told me yesterday about a poor little traumatized puppy who froze when people came near, felt like a stone.  I think I must have been stiff when she sat there with her arm around me.  She said I’m doing well, asking for what I need, noticing things I might not have noticed before.  I don’t know what she means.  I feel like such a failure.

Right now I can feel resistance in my body, though I don’t know what I’m resisting.  I am trying to find compassion for myself, I think that would help a lot.  But I can feel my anger at myself — for being caught in a baby state, for being unable to “shape up” and act like an adult.

I try to step back and find compassion for myself, but all I find is “shame and blame.”  What’s the matter with you?  Why are you telling everyone that you’re “caught in a baby state”?  Asking for help, bothering people.  You think you were so hard done by.  You should be grateful for what you have for god’s sake.  Stop feeling sorry for yourself.  The angry one turns her back and walks away.  I see myself, very young, curled up on the floor and trying to stop crying.  I remember a time when I actually hit myself to make myself stop crying.  I feel my heart soften toward this abandoned child.  I think about the frozen puppy and I just wince away.  I don’t want to think about it.  I have such a hard time when animals are being hurt.  I wonder if I turn away from feeling how much Little Jenny is hurting?  I wonder if this is what I’m resisting?  Or if the resistance I was feeling earlier is resistance to feeling my own pain because it’s too painful?  I think of those waves of intense pain when I pull myself into a crouch, and what I’m really doing is stopping feeling the pain.  I feel the beginnings of compassion for the woman whose pain is so intolerable, for that little girl on the floor trying to stop crying.  I think that pain is so bad that I can only let myself feel it when I’m with Erica.  What’s in the pain?  Grief for never having known what it felt like to be loved, anger at being treated that way, fear of being punished if she speaks.  O yes I can feel compassion for her caught in this tangle of emotions, not daring to speak out about what she is feeling.  Also feeling ashamed that I don’t have the energy to dress up appropriately for this weekend.We are doing our fundraiser for Standing Rock.  I think of wearing black and red, then remember that my black pants are too tight.

O gosh I feel so much sadness for that poor little girl and for the adult woman too, feeling so much pain.

Afterthoughts: The times when I hit myself to make myself stop crying were when I was between 6th grade and 10th grade.  I had stopped doing it when I started writing a journal.  The waves of intense pain pull me into a crouch as a way to express it, the movement of my body is NOT a way to stop feeling.

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