Needing to be Heard

This was originally posted in March 2012

(journal entry from June 2004)
A really bad night.  Dogs barking, didn’t call cops.  My heart just ached.  I tried to bring compassion to it without success.  It’s slap in my face how little control I have.  I can’t even stop my own dog from barking, nor can I make her drink – a worry pain in my heart.  I feel isolated and disconnected, far from spirit and from human contact.

Feeling pretty wretched.  Not wanting to live — this is just too hard.  My heart aches and feels stony at the same time.  I think “There’s no reason to go on” then I remember Bella and Lynelle.  They would be very unhappy if I died.  Probably this is something that I’m going through…
Thinking about the trouble with Paula, I see that I’m not satisfied by calling the police.  What I need is for someone to hear what a hard time I’m having. To care enough to help me, and to take action to protect me.  I see that Paula’s diatribe was just like Mom: invalidating my pain, telling me it’s not OK to ask to have my needs met if it’s inconvenient for her, making me wrong for having a hard time with her actions — or inactions, or failure to take responsibility — that hurt me.

Heart heavy — all of me feels heavy, dragged down, weak, without substance or energy.  Feeling slightly sick to my stomach.  Now the scared hopeless feeling comes in, a sort of vibration at the corners of my jaw.  And now the cold down the front of my body, I was feeling that last night and now heat, so I feel hot AND cold and sick and weak.

I hear the planes and remind myself that I suffered from that noise for 14 years, and now it doesn’t bother me.

Comment from 2012:
Paula was my neighbor in 2004.  She let her dog run all the time, and it would bark at all hours.  Sometimes when it was barking at 3AM, I would call, and have trouble waking her up.  She would say nice things, and call the dog in, but then it would happen again, and again, and again.  Finally she got so tired of me calling, that she called my number and left a long message about how she had lived here for 18 years and nobody ever complained  (nobody lived next door to her until we built Neskaya) and I must have a thing about dogs, and how awful I was…   I deleted the message. But it knocked me into a very painful space.  I did call the cops at one time – the man I talked to was very helpful – there is in fact a leash law and a noise ordinance, both of which I could have made use of.  But I never did.  I couldn’t believe that it was OK to protect myself that way, and I couldn’t call the Police while I was so upset.  It’s also true that I had terrible insomnia, related to PTSD (I sleep well now, thanks to medication) and that I was extremely sensitive to noises, also a symptom of PTSD.

Comment from today:
What I notice now was my need for someone to HEAR my pain, and to do something about it.  This is Little Jenny, whose mother never listened to her and reflected back her experience, who taught her that it was not OK to protect herself — I guess by ignoring my need to be protected, since I can’t remember her ever saying anything.  Except the time I complained that classmates were teasing me, and she said “Ignore them.”  I didn’t know what the word meant.
I am astounded that in typing this up I typed “rejected” instead of “reflected,” exactly what mother did.

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