“…and it is trying desperately to flower…”

Written in Davis, California, at the time of my breakdown and hospitalization.

   This poor tree is hanging at the edge of the abyss — its roots have no soil and are trying to press into crevices in the rock, a powerful wind blows its shape all stunted; and it knows that it could create soil if it really wanted to — out of blood and sweat and tears and rotted hate — and it knows that it is the source of the wind…
And it is trying desperately to flower.

The pain of reading this again is seeing myself take responsibility for my pain.  I could “create soil if I really wanted to…”  What a totally crazy-making belief.  I did NOT have the power to create soil by myself.  Repeat NOT.  Crazy-making because if I believe that I am holding on to my misery, I “should” be able to make it go away.  But no matter how hard I try I can’t make it go away.  But then I must really want it, otherwise I could make it go away, right?

I thought I had written a blog post about this, but all I could find was this one:  Choices & Dysfunctional Beliefs.  It’s not quite the same phrasing.


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In the Middle of a Huge Transformation

I haven’t done a blog post in a long time.  My life has been overwhelming, I am beginning to realize that I am going through an unbelievably HUGE transition.  Not just from “regular life” to “a place for old people,” but from a life lived in the distorted space caused by PTSD to a life lived where I have enough support to begin to be approaching the kind of life that we were designed to live.  This is still very disorienting, and even my response to still not having found “kindred spirits” is different from the past.  Instead of thinking “I’ll never find anyone like me,” I’m thinking “There are people here that I will feel comfortable with, it’s just going to take a while to find them.”

I think that I still have layers of ancient exhaustion coming up to be processed.  This is from having pushed myself my whole life “to prove that I deserve to live.”   The cost of trauma is this: when someone goes through a complete flight or fight scenario — e.g. running away from a tiger and escaping — they have to rest for days to recover.  I’ve been told that a man who had retired from a job he loved took two years before he felt rested.  So it makes sense.

About three weeks ago I sprained my ankle.  It meant that I had to miss the conference that was going on at Neskaya, but it also meant that I had to rest.  I was immobilized.  I had the impression that there was another whole layer of exhaustion that I wasn’t aware of.

This is what I wrote this morning:

Very, very tired.  And a little dazed.  I can see that I’ve been pushing myself.  In fact I could feel it this morning, sorting mail I brought from Franconia.  Pressure to deal with address change.  The postmistress was very firm (with an edge) that I had to get a new mailbox within 30 days.  So I’ll go online and change my address.  Another task.  I wrote another long list of tasks.  It takes up more lines than there are on the big white pad.

Yesterday I forgot about things like ordering from Vitacost.  I’m out of GABA.  I did do a laundry but had to leave things in the dryer because I forgot that I had Erica at noon.  I did go to meditation, but spent the rest of the day reading Jacqueline Winspear — In This Grave Hour.  I just got locked right in.  It made me late to dinner, and I ate and came back and finished it.  Being a little horrified at myself, I looked at my behavior and realized that I got sucked into reading because I was too tired to do anything else.

“In your heart, in your soul, did you find peace there.”

Second cup of tea.  I still feel a little dazed.  I look at the beautiful fragile pale azalea flowers that have bloomed in spite of being cut off from their roots.  Instead of admiring their spunk, I’m in pain that their lives have been so blighted.  I was re-reading Brené Brown’s chapter on Hope and Spirituality and was saddened to see       — thinking of a piece I once wrote describing myself as a tree clinging to a cliff — “and it is still trying to flower” —      the extent to which I don’t believe in myself, how easily I get hijacked into saying “I can’t do it.”  I realize there’s an element of blame — “It’s my fault, I’m not persistent enough…”  — instead of seeing that my ability to persist was crushed very early  — “Why did you even try?” — and then I see that despite many setbacks I never gave up.  Now I’m here, and I’m still trying/working to find the nourishment I need.  I think of Mother, felled by the stroke, and never really trying again.  Content to spend her days in a hospital bed, food brought to her, watching TV.

There’s a bird on my feeder pole.  On my list is “vacuum out the cobwebs in the feeder, fill with seed, hang outside — move pole?”

Jacqueline Winspear is a writer of murder mysteries and thrillers about Maisie Dobbs who was a nurse in the First World War.  In This Grave Hour is about the beginning of WWII.

Reading is my “drug of choice,” and I am aware of it as a “mindless practice.”  Usually I use it consciously as a break from my day, usually I read something I’ve read before, and it’s easy to stop at a natural break.  So I rarely get caught by it as completely as I did here.

The book by Brené Brown is called The Gifts of Imperfection.   The chapter I’m referring to is called “Cultivating a Resilient Spirit.”

“In your heart, in your soul…” is a line from Loreena McKennitt’s song Full Circle.  When I find a song in my mind, I pay attention, looking for the message.  Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes not.

“Why did you even try?” was something my father said to me when I asked for help.  He said “If you didn’t know how to do it, why did you even try?”  I remember thinking to myself “Whatever happened to ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’?” and thinking his words hadn’t affected me.  But a father’s voice is very powerful when you are a child.

The reason there are several items on the To Do List entry is that almost everything I had to do involved several steps, and I wanted to be able to check off when I had only done one.

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50th Anniversary of Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King jr.

My journal entry for April 4, 1968

I don’t know where to start.  It seemed as though the volcano was going to blow last night.  I wanted to smash a window or something — perhaps because of Dr. King’s death?  Where is a quiet place…

What — what — pieces coming out in fits & starts — like pieces of vomit flying in all directions because I can’t channel myself toward a toilet — and vomit the whole mess & get rid of it so it doesn’t have to sit around in there — rotting & multiplying.

What’s in the vomit, the rumbling magma of the volcano — can i look ? easily — long years of lonely, of being different, of being intelligent and sensitive, yet having no reassurance from outside that any of these things were valuable.  [(fred loves me)     NO HE DOESN’T]  My parents always saying “Don’t think you’re so great”, never encouraging or praising, my father always focussing on tiny details as the basis for criticism so I think if i can clear up all the bad tiny details i’ll be alright and this keeps me so uptight the whole self is bound in fetters and cannot grow or be easy and free.  And then i clear up detail after detail — i no longer look at my bad skin or my big ears, but my self image is of the ugly adolescent — now i see details in my behavior that point out my selfishness, my closed-in-ness, my clumsiness and blindness — do i know how to care for another human being?      The convoluted wanderings of the dungeons of the castle i live (?) in — or defend vociferously.  Who’s down there? what ghosts wander?  My drunken mother bearing her heavy cross while the rest of us do the real work. and a dark and guilty ghost stalks after her, whispering to me, you could have done something you could still do something…

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Extraordinary Ease with my Life…. Really?

Excerpts from journal written during the week at the end of February:

Sunday: Woke up not sure where I was.  I think from a very intense dream.  Feeling very lost.

Monday:   Had that strange isolated feeling when I woke up.  It feels like I woke up in a strange hotel, not a familiar room.  I wasn’t able to get up for a while.

Tuesday:   Spent most of the day reading Coming Home.  I’m almost done.  Only took Mocha out twice.

Wednesday:     I forgot to take this notebook.  Erica said I was looking and sounding much more relaxed.  I had trouble getting how I was feeling and finding words for it.  With Erica’s help I began to see that I have stopped pushing myself in some major way.  Possibly from spending a whole week letting myself rest so I wouldn’t get sicker.  It’s possible that I have majorly let go of the belief that I have to prove that I deserve to live.

I have noticed myself enjoying little things.  One was the night I watched 3 YouTube favorites — trailer for Dakota 38, We Are the World, Matt dancing 2012 — and felt very nourished.  Another is being able to enjoy very ordinary dinner table conversation.

As I was telling this to Erica, she kept smiling with delight.  She said something about how my emotional state was being able to vary in the middle instead of being all on or all off.    This is called “self-regulation.”  It’s normal nervous system function, instead of being triggered by trauma.

Yes, I do seem to have arrived at some extraordinary ease with my life.  What’s tricky is that it feels so unfamiliar.

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Spasm of Self-hate

This is an example of how I work through something in my journal.  It took several days and then some of the realizations only happened while I was typing it up a month later.  These are in italics.

February 7

Big snowstorm predicted for today.  This is when I miss my stove.  A day to curl up by the fire with a good long book.

I look at the Book of Joy on my side table.  The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.  It’s about how to find joy in a painful difficult world.  I started to read it and then couldn’t keep going.  I think it’s because I don’t believe I will ever find joy.  Not because I’m too wounded, but because I refuse to do what it takes.  I’m too stubborn.  Nothing ever works for me.  Damn.  Added later: I see now it’s an old old belief:  “Nothing ever works for me.”

Erica said something about being grateful for the pain because it shows me what is really important to me.  Be grateful for the loneliness because it lets me know how important connection is to me.  Sometimes that’s comforting — yes, that’s what I want!  Sometimes it’s painful — I don’t see how I can make it happen.

O dear.  I read the next chapter in “Joy.”  It said joy happens when you are doing good for others.  When you radiate joy.  This happens when I’m teaching dance, when I’m teaching astronomy.  But only then.  I’m really not able or willing to be helpful to F, or S.  It see that I’m very judgmental, along the lines of “attractive” and “unattractive,” and I want the attractive people to like me and I’m not really interested in spending time with the unattractive.  I’m not willing to go be with people who are lonely.  It makes me think of Mother taking me to visit the Rogers sisters.  They had been my grandparents’ servants.  And how it felt like — this is how my life will end.  In a crowded room smelling of urine.

I’m seeing myself as a rather nasty person right now.

I’m really going through a spasm of self-hate.  I see myself as really useless in the larger scheme of things because I don’t have enough relationship skills.  I’m unhappy because I don’t do anything for other people.

Comment while typing up:  Once again I’m judging myself by my mother’s values — no, not her values because she didn’t live up to them.  She used them to manipulate me, and possibly herself.  Or maybe it’s that the way she did “good to others” was like her driving for the Red Cross.  She was a high status woman helping a lower status person.  I am seeing that my wish to share my excitement about astronomy and dance is a contribution to the world.  I think of the story of someone getting to heaven, and God tells him he wasn’t supposed to be like Moses, he was supposed to be himself.  I’m not good at helping people I don’t find “attractive” and part of that is personality, not just looks.  God designed me to teach astronomy and circle dance, so that’s my cosmic job.

February 8

Such an odd day.  I think I finally felt/thought something like “I’m just going to quit trying.”  After that things were much easier.  I stopped worrying about hating myself.  I stopped being so impatient.  I let myself just sit and read.

February 9

Good talk with Elizabeth.  I told her about the Book of Joy and being “too self-involved.”  She reminded me that the Dalai Lama is the one who didn’t understand what “low self-esteem” meant.  We had a really interesting talk about “selfish” and “unselfish.” and how they were really useless concepts.

Actually, calling someone “selfish” is often a manipulative ploy to get them to do what you want.  I think about the story of Eknath Easwaran, whose grandmother and mother greeted him when he came home from school, and wanted to know every detail of his day.  When you are given that much attention, you are able to grow a good strong base from which it’s easy to give to others.

There’s another paragraph I want to copy.  Something about research suggests that unhappy people are too self-involved to have attention for others.  (p 62)  I don’t think this is true for me.  Could I say that I am unhappy?  all the time?  I do feel that my day is often a struggle just to get through the day.  I don’t get much satisfaction from doing something I “have to do.”  It’s just work.  I see that I’ve stopped writing “good for me!” after things I do accomplish.  Maybe that’s part of the problem.  I never learned to feel satisfaction from getting something done.  My motivation was too often to avoid getting yelled at.  I never got praised for doing something, but if I didn’t do it I was made wrong.  So that’s what I learned to do to myself.  To have impossible expectations and then be angry at myself when I couldn’t achieve them.

Talk with Erica:

The sentence from Tutu needs something added:  When we feel disconnected from that community, then we are unhappy.  Experience of disconnection is painful
My feeling of not being happy is to my credit
I can feel and see the lack of connection
My unhappiness is a sign of disconnection, not self-centeredness.
Jenny is suffering from the culture of disconnection
it’s a disease, not who Jenny is

February 10

Erica just turned the whole world upside down and inside out.  It’s not that I’m unhappy because I’m too self-involved.  I’m unhappy because I suffer from the disconnection that is “normal” in our culture.

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Struggle between Old Ways and New

Wednesday, February 21

Feeling really sick.  Sore throat and very tired.  It felt OK to lie in bed this morning.  It may be that Erica saying I’m beyond the end of my resources gave me permission to collapse.

Session with Erica was painful and difficult.  My old way of doing things, failing to take care of myself etc., is really fighting back against the new way that I’m trying to learn.  I realize that I’ve been hating myself — not in the active sense where it feels like hate.  But in the passive way of taking care of myself so I can keep going, instead of really letting myself rest.  It’s a tightness around my heart, anger that I can’t do this better.  Just knowing is not good enough, I have to change my behavior.  I have to change myself and the old ways are so easy, automatic, feel “right.”  A battle to the death?  No.  I feel a wave of compassion for that Jenny who is having such a hard time.  She’s a good person, and she wants what’s best for everyone, and her dysfunctional behaviors were learned in a hard school.  Those behaviors really only hurt her, not anyone else.

Meditation with the group was good.  I tried to meditate by myself in the morning, but my mind was leaping all over the place.  I kept worrying about the practical stuff.  I also did a lot of puzzles.  That works the best at quieting my mind.  Actually, I realize, I am in the present when I’m working with color and shape.  Erica said something about “little tiny practices many times a day.”  My practice is really to be in the present, and I do do that many times a day.

Reading the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, I see that I actually do many of the things they talk about.  “Sympathetic joy.” Active anger in support of justice.  Refusing to hurt someone who has hurt me.  Though I think that’s as much about my default of freeze as it is about conscious choice.

“Sympathetic joy” is being able to feel good about someone else’s happiness.  I have been offered a lot of that lately, people who are so happy for me, that I have found the right place.  I’m always surprised.  I expect the sort of put down I always got from mother.

“Refusing to hurt someone who has hurt me.”  I notice how quickly I make it be my instinct, not my choice.  Instinct may aid my choice by giving me a pause, but I knew I never wanted to hurt anyone because I had already been hurt so much.  I always sided with the underdog.  My fantasies were never of revenge, but about having them see me as a valuable person, or having them understand how bad they hurt me.

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Journal entry for Wednesday, March 7:

I was happy yesterday and the day before.  Reasonless happiness.  I’m not sure when I even noticed it.  I told Erica about it and she said “What’s that like?”  I had trouble finding words.  Lightness, buoyancy.  She asked about the energy, thinking “effervescent.”  But it wasn’t like that.  The energy didn’t vibrate, it was deep and calm, solid.  “Maybe it’s contentment” I said.  Erica said “It sounds like joy.”  Joy.  I remember feeling this way one evening driving back from Writers for Recovery.  And that long ago Christmas Eve Carol Service.  Not something I’ve felt very much in my life.  I think what started it was finally getting the paint color right.  I love it.  Erica was right.  Being “held in beauty” is very important to me.  It’s not a luxury to feel guilty about (“spent good money”) it’s something nourishing and supportive.  It’s a necessity.  In a world where humans have created so much ugliness, beauty must be fought for and paid for.

Getting the right color of the paint in my apartment here at Kendal has been a long process.  What I wanted was a very pale peach, a color I know from how Neskaya was painted.  My first choice, trying to get it from those tiny little samples, was awful.  It was too dark and too cold.  The idea of repainting it brought up childhood conditioning.  “What do you mean, you want it changed.  You chose it and you have to live with it.”  Combined with the old injunction that I couldn’t ask for anything that caused inconvenience to someone else.  Fortunately, my inner scientist said I’m not causing “inconvenience” to ask that it be changed.  No one responded to my request as though it were unreasonable. Then I realized that I wasn’t asking them to do it for free, I would be the one paying for it. More ancient conditioning: I can’t waste “good money” on something that unimportant.  “Good money” was my mother’s phrase, as though money were more important than what I wanted or needed.  My scientist said “What’s the point of money if you don’t use it to buy things that really make you happy, things that feed your soul?”  I asked for just the living room to be repainted.  Actually the darker pink is fine in the bathroom and bedroom.  But the second choice, while better, was still not exactly right.  Another struggle with my old conditioning.  Rodney, the painter, was happy to collaborate.  We chose some possible colors and he came and painted a large part of one wall.  He came back again and again, trying different colors.  Finally I chose one, and he actually used up the sample painting several large spaces, that were easy to reach, on three walls.  This was to give me another chance to be sure it was right.  When the whole room was done, it was much lighter, and the color had warmth.  It lifted my heart.  It was worth it.

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The Difference Between Empathy and Compassion

Notes from my talk with Erica on March 9:

Difference between compassion and empathy
Empathy [feel what the person feels] —> empathy fatigue: feel tired and guilty
Compassion —> holding space for their story
witness—> lets them know their experience is valuable
I am not responsible for taking care of their pain
thank you [response of witnesses to grief writing]
also lets them know you value them
Compassionate act confers dignity

Difference between Compassion and Empathy

When you feel empathy, you feel what the person feels.  You tend to feel sorry for them and want to help them, or think that you ought to help them.  A lot of this can wear you out.  You start feeling tired and guilty.

When you feel compassion, you also feel what the person feels, but there’s more distance, you are more of a witness.  You hold space for their story, which lets them know that their experience is valuable.

I think of the work I did in the grief workshop and in Writers for Recovery.  We wrote in response to a prompt:   “I remember…”   “I wish someone would ask me…”  The prompts would generate stories, which we might have been uncomfortable reading aloud, except that we knew that everyone in the group shared the same basic experience.  So when we listen to someone reading their story, we know exactly what that feels like.  We don’t feel like we are supposed to make it all right for them.  Mostly we don’t even know how to make it all right for ourselves.  But our friendly listening confers dignity on them.  Often it does help.  To have someone listen to your awful experience without judgement is often the start of healing.

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Learning Social Skills

I wrote this in my journal at the end of December.  It’s barely edited, and so somewhat clumsy.  But it’s a good example of how I work with my issues through journal work.

I had dinner with Carolyn, and she invited me back with her.  I spent some time in her room talking after dinner.  She talked about a sister-in-law who didn’t have any social skills, so I asked her for more information.  Because I wasn’t taught any social skills and I spent a lot of my life feeling defective.  I’m wondering how and when I began to learn them.  I think of Eleanor, my friend who was horribly traumatized in her childhood, and wonder how she learned her amazing social skills.  She’s not only very good, but very honest, and uses Non-Violent Communication naturally.  Such a different response to trauma and abuse from mine.  I know she learned some of her skills from TV — she watched some family show to learn how to raise her younger siblings.  She ended up losing herself in trying to take care of others, I ended up isolating.

I think of how hard Eleanor works on her difficult friendships with a number of people.  She’s very good when she meets people — but that’s her front personality — and she has one for jollying along her parents, but I think that costs her way too much, so she avoids contact with people generally.  I found it almost impossible to communicate with my parents, I did not understand them at all.  I remember that NVC came just too late to use it with Mother.

When and how did I start to learn social skills?  I guess it started with Bettie’s criticisms.  “You’re not interested in people because you don’t ask questions.”  “You don’t have to lose your temper.”  — I remember using that one on Daddy.  I don’t actually remember losing my temper at all, at least in terms of attacking other people.  I must have stopped that one pretty easily.  “You don’t take a course because you are good at it.”  I remember working on myself in workshops and in therapy, but it was all about trying to fix myself, not about how to do relationship.  There was co-counseling, but that was also more about fixing myself than learning about others.  Though I did learn how to listen.

Because of Bettie’s criticism, I saw myself as defective and tried to learn to ask questions.  I continued to find it difficult and made myself wrong for not being good at it, until I wrote about the Fourth of July weekend.  As I cast it into a monologue, I saw that when I asked mother a question, she would make me wrong for asking.  I also saw that taking a course in something I was good at was an effort to protect myself from making mistakes.  I was terrified of making a mistake.

I did learn some things from Dana.  The distinction between caring about someone and doing what they wanted.  I remember how helpless I was when he began to stonewall me.  I also remember that I discovered my natural friendliness once I was on anti-depressant medication.

The issue of caring about people being the same as doing what they wanted.  I asked Dana to plant some daffodil bulbs for me because I felt too sick.  When he said he couldn’t do it, I said “You don’t care about me.”  His response was “I do care about you, but I can’t do the daffodils right now.”  Looking back at it, I saw that Mother couldn’t make that distinction, so that’s where I learned it.  I still struggle with this one.

One serious difficulty had to do with having no idea how I came across to other people.  Was I too loud or too quiet?  Actually I still don’t really know.  Though I think probably my intensity — and my intelligence as well — were too much for some people but attractive to others.  It wasn’t about me at all!  I’m just seeing this.

Here is an understanding that came while I was writing.

I remember when I went to Biddeford Pool for Aunt Betty’s memorial service, how I consciously made sure I got to talk to everyone I wanted to talk to, how I was able to escape from conversations I didn’t want to get stuck in.  I remember Josephine expressing admiration for how well I “worked the room.”

O yes I remember consciously working on relationships when I got divorced and knew I would need friends.  I worked on relationships with K and J.  But they both did/said things that hit my wounds.  Later, while struggling with Bella’s death, my S.E. therapist Caryn said I needed to ask for help.  I consciously set up relationships with five friends, and asked if they were willing to listen to me talk about my pain.  Gradually those relationships ceased to satisfy.  I remember consciously pursuing Barbara when she was also doing the hospice training.  And working on my relationship with Eve when we connected again.

I see that I actually have been working on my relationship skills for a long time, and I have in fact gotten very good at it.  There was a very painful incident (when I was a debutante, which I hated) when someone had given a dinner party for me.  When everyone was served, I waited for someone else to start eating.  That was the only way I knew it was OK.  So we all sat there not eating.  Finally one of the adults came up to me and said “You are the hostess, you must start eating.”  I felt hideously embarrassed, and only many years later, after I learned about Children of Alcoholics, did I realize that my parents had failed to teach me me any social skills at all.

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Typing up from a month ago, I came to this:

I woke up feeling a little bleak. just a little.  It’s as though I’m asking “What am I doing here?”  “What is my life about?”  And the answer is a complete blank.  But there are answers, they just aren’t immediate.  I’m here at Kendal so I can have enough support so that I can live a life that’s more than just a struggle to get through the day.  My life is about the practice of being in the present, the practice of looking for truth.  It’s also about creating sacred space, creating space for particular celebrations, teaching the celebration of diversity and enacting it, doing my best to awaken people to the depth and magic and beauty of the amazing universe we live in.  And also doing my best to explain and describe the pain people live with, domestic violence, PTSD, so that they can develop compassion for others.  Another part of what my life is about is to learn to appreciate my body and its wisdom, and to take care of it properly.

I was glad to see that I phrased it in terms of what I really do, not in terms of what is visible to other people.  Teaching about child abuse is something I’ve done since Journey Into Courage.  “Creating sacred space” is not something I do openly, and not something I’ve been able to claim for myself, so it was encouraging to find it appearing on the page.

I’ve been angry with myself for not adjusting to life here:  I should have got it done faster, what’s the matter with me that I’m having trouble with a lot of details, I came here for a better life and I’m not finding it, maybe I can’t do it…

Wrote this on Friday after my phone session with Erica

The conversation with Erica helped me see that the reason I’m having such a hard time adjusting to Kendal, getting myself to where I feel settled, is not because there’s something wrong with me that I can’t do it faster.  I really envy Pat that she seems to be comfortable already.  I know they moved sometime last summer.  What’s making it far more difficult for me to even keep going on the practical things, is that having the support of a group and meals is making it possible for me to get in touch with very deep, very early conditioning.  The work I am doing, unconsciously, in processing this very deep material, is making it very hard for me to do more than the simplest things on the practical surface.  But I’m not able to give myself credit for the inner work I’m doing because it’s below the level of consciousness.  There’s the exhaustion, which I find so hard to validate, because I don’t experience myself as working hard on something.  But a big chunk of my consciousness is engaged in it.

Today I even feel depressed, for the first time in a long time.  I’m discouraged and exhausted.  Carolyn was reading from the beginning of a book that she thinks is very well written.  It’s called “Nutshell.”  The story is told by a fetus, and it is trapped, helpless, and knows that there’s trouble between its parents.  It’s beautifully written, but that just makes it more immediate.  I can see that I was triggered by it.  Then I called Eleanor to ask how she is doing, and she had a long saga about what B is doing wrong, not taking care of the house.  I could feel my heart go into “shocked heart” where it feels frozen and electrified at the same time.  It felt awful, and it was after I hung up the phone that I really started to feel depressed.  I could tell how my energy was completely gone for any of the practical things I have to get done.  I remember the last time this happened, Eleanor was over-reacting, and what B had done was not as bad or as impossible to fix as she had made it sound.  So I’ve managed to pull out of the triggered fear, but I still feel pretty helpless.

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