Common Dream Theme + Privacy Problems with My Father

 

I have a lot of dreams that involve going into a bathroom then not having any privacy. Either a bunch of toilets are in one big area/room or there are no doors on the stalls.

In one recent dream, just as I went into a stall, the door changed into a shower curtain and the upper part of the stall became the rod for the shower curtain, while the metal walls that made up the stall, disappeared.

In these dreams there’s always a line of people at the door and they are streaming in, or there are groups of people inside the bathroom itself. Or if there weren’t a bunch of people inside the bathroom already, as soon as I go to use a toilet, they suddenly appear, taking away any privacy I had.

I see the lack of privacy. But I’m updating this on 10/27/16
It was originally written on 9/30/15.

I spoke to a therapist about this recurring theme and he mentioned that it pertains to the potty training period in childhood. But how that fits I have not been able to figure that out. And the therapist didn’t elaborate leaving me to think he wasn’t clear either. I think he needed to know more about me before being able to interpret this running theme in dreams for me.

But in looking it up and not really feeling satisfied with what I found, the thought of feeling vulnerable and exposed came to mind.  These dreams started long before I started blogging though, so even if it does pertain to a feeling of vulnerability and exposure by blogging, it’s more than just that.

I would have to remember what was going on in my waking life first I guess, before figuring out what I felt vulnerable about when having this sort of dream.

There could also be more to it, but I’m not coming up with anything at the moment. However, this did bring up some lack of privacy issues I had in my family home with my father.  See below:

Knock before entering

As a teen, my father would just open my bedroom door without knocking. The older I got the more frustrated I got about this.

When he’d barge in, I’d ask him to stop and to please knock from now on.

More than once he responded with, “It’s my house, I can walk into any room I want.”

Other times when my timing was right and I would catch him at a time he was thinking more reasonably, he’d agree. But when the opportunity presented itself he’d knock, not wait for a response and just open the door.

When that happened I asked again and specified that he also wait for an answer. Just writing about this now feels crazy making. It helps me see what an entitled POS this man could be. I felt tormented when it came to the things he felt the need to control. I mean who needs to explain to a grown ass man that when you want him to knock that he should also wait for a fucking response to be sure it’s OK to enter.

God forbid he allow his teen age daughter some privacy. That would mean relinquishing some control. I get so angry at him even now for that teenage girl.

Trapped was how I felt in that household. I could never put a word to it before. And it explains a lot of why my relationships failed on my side.  The feeling of being trapped results in wanting to escape and this manifested in pushing people away. But with my father it resulted in me continually trying to get his permission and approval. And to get him to hear and understand me.

The door to the bedroom I had in my adolescence (we lived in a few different houses) had a lock on it but I wasn’t allowed to lock it. When I did lock it and he tried to walk in, he’d bellow from the other side, “OPEN THIS DOOR.”

When I did he’d seethe, “Don’t ever lock this door again.”

Periodically I’d lock it anyway.

When I asked “Why not?” He replied, “Because it’s the type of lock that if anything happened to you on the other side of the door while it was locked, I wouldn’t be able to get to you.”

Even as a teen I knew this was bullshit. And he used that made up reason each time he found it locked when I’d have the guts to rebel, which wasn’t too often because I was afraid of his reaction.

It was one of those little button locks that sat underneath and to the right of the door knob. These can’t be unlocked from the outside and there is no key. However, the door was a hollow core door. My father, who was more than 6 feet tall, in his early 40s and of average build, would have had no problem whatsoever breaking down that door, if it was ever even necessary.

The man had serious boundary issues along with those control issues.

Reviewing an Old Journal: Rediscovering the Manipulation of My Sister and My Mother

I finished my ‘to do’ list yesterday, except one thing. I wrote that I wanted to get through an entire notebook (journal) yesterday and that didn’t happen. It was the last thing I did from that list and it wasn’t until about 8:00 pm that I started.  But what I did do was to get through a section of a three subject notebook. I don’t have much doubt that’s contributing to my feelings of depression this morning also.

I didn’t find anything pertaining to the time of my father’s terminal illness. I didn’t think I would though because that particular journal dates back to 2009. It was on top of the pile though so I figured I’d start there to minimize the overwhelm.

It’s alarming to see the same basic themes running through me and my life back then as today. I struggled with authenticity just like I still do today. I struggled with depression, as I have since I was 18 but probably long before in reality. I struggled with communicating with my family and being treated with respect.

One particular thing that stood out was my sister’s treatment of me.

I took her dog in a couple times while she and her family went on vacation. Both times she promised to pay me for it. Both times she broke that promise. The second time I did it I was still angry about the first time. But instead of speaking up I kept silent.

I know there’s people would probably say, “It’s your sister, you should do it for free.”

Well I would disagree in our situation. Besides that, she’s the one who insisted on compensating me. She’s the one who initiated the topic of paying me. Whether it was all planned to manipulate me into taking her giant Rottweiler into our small house, I don’t know. But it was her husband who dropped off the dog with her young son. Pretty much assuring I wouldn’t bring up the subject of payment. Then when they got back, the husband picked the dog up again.

Later when I spoke to sister on the phone she told me ‘We’re going to do something for you. We just don’t know what yet.”

It breaks my heart that my sister could treat me this way. I’m also angry. I had actually forgotten about that until I read it last night. I want to go back in time so much and tell her how shitty that all was and that if she can’t come through on something, don’t fuckin’ promise it. It’s not even the not getting money that hurts and disappoints me. It’s the fact that she thinks and feels so little of me that I’m not worth much but to lie to and manipulate.

Makes me even more confident in my staying away from her and cutting her out of my life.

I’d also written some about my parents and their neglect and abuse from childhood. In fact one incident effected me so much that I wrote about it twice.

Between last night and this morning, I got into a small battle in my mind about writing about all this. And then I realized, one of the big reasons that adult children hesitate to write and sometimes never write about it is because we still want to protect them.

The other big reason we hesitate to write about what happened is because of shame.  Our own shame and the fear of being judged for what they did to us. Somewhere along the way, society has brainwashed many of us into believing that if we got abused, or hurt in any way we must have deserved it.

Last night I kept thinking about how I still want to believe my father loved me. I think he believed he loved me. But I don’t think he really knew how to love. Abuse can be confusing because I wasn’t abused continually every moment of every day. My father and I had some fun times together too.

When I was younger, I believed my mother was the good parent, the nice one, the patient one. The one who didn’t yell. (My father didn’t yell either, he bellowed.) My mother was the one who let us do things that my father didn’t. We didn’t have to walk on eggshells when he wasn’t home. She was less drama and I could be a kid for the most part.

But there was neglect too. I did have friends and spent quite a bit of time playing with them, but when I was in the house with no friends, I played alone a lot.

When I was 9, one of my small pets died because my mother hadn’t been keeping an eye on my sister who was 3.

I went to school without homework being finished when I was just in first grade. And was abused by the teacher for it.  I went without a Winter coat one year in high school. And where I’m from, a Winter coat is a necessary item. I compensated with a sweat jacket underneath a jean jacket. And then there’s the enabling of the abuse my father inflicted most of the time.

I list those things above because I do see most of them as a mom’s responsibility for the most part. But it’s really both parents who were responsible for these things. I don’t hold my father too responsible for the death of my small pet because he was at work. My mother was home. She was just downstairs, while my sister was upstairs.  The homework was an issue because my father was abusive when he “helped” me. Simply avoiding him wasn’t always possible when I was six.

In the end, while my father was dying, my mother teamed up with my sister to triangulate and manipulate me. She had me believing she validated and understood me during one particular conversation between the two of us, then threw a dig in as well as excused an incident of my brother raging at me as “just an emotional reaction.”

In my opinion I waited too long to sever ties with these people.

I’m also questioning this healing capability of journaling. I posted a video where Dan Mackler talks about it here.

I’ve journaled…a lot. Not recently, but I used to. So why am I not healed?

One reason I think is because I allowed my family to still be a part of my life for so long. I allowed them to treat me like a dumpster and a doormat and I allowed them to manipulate me. But in my defense, I really didn’t know what exactly was going on. I can’t even be sure that if I had been so aware in my 20s, 30s and even part of my 40s that I would have severed ties.

I knew something was wrong. I’ve known since at least from my early 20s that there was dysfunction in my family. I know now it was a lot more than dysfunctional. It was toxic. But each time I attempted to confront something or resolve something, I walked away feeling like it was me who was the problem. Because, if only I could let go of the past.

Even when later I would feel the anger again. Or the confusion or sadness or depression. I would at times feel so astonished and perplexed after a confrontation or an attempt at discussion because I would walk away from it feeling beat up.

Life and the Absence of Writing Progress

Geez. I haven’t posted in three days so I thought I’d better do that, if only for my own peace of mind because progress in writing isn’t going all that well. I have intentions and plans but no results as of yet.

Probably fear and my old/new friend “Scattered”, but a lot of it is being the irresponsible kid. “I don’t wanna.”  I’m not one to say, “Just get over it.” But that is one thing I do gotta get over. Being an adult I really do need to bite the bullet as they say and ‘just do it.’ Am I allowed to use Nike’s slogan?

So anyway, as I said, no progress in gathering notes. I feel like I’m trying to achieve some sort of momentum or traction. Like I have some invisible ducks to put in a row before I actually start to write or even gather my notes. The notes need to be gathered, though, that’s a definite.

Right now I’m listening to a not so far off jack hammer in action and I’m thinking, “There’s something I won’t miss.”

Not that I hear jack hammers everyday, but lately there is a lot of road construction around here. I think it’s the electric company laying new stuff under the streets. My town has been full of closed roads this summer and most of those roads are narrow, neighborhood and what you’d call back roads. The roads I use, so I can stay off the main ones.

In fact before I started writing, I walked into the room where my computer is and my kitty in a rare occurrence sleeping in the windowsill. And I could smell diesel. My first thought: “I won’t miss that.”

We are close to a fairly main road that is used for coming out of the city as well as coming off of a highway a few miles up from us.

I remember as a kid how I’d feel sick to my stomach when one of my parents stopped for gas. The smell made my stomach gurgle, as it did during the morning ride to school and later to work when we/I got stuck riding/driving behind something that used diesel fuel.

Luckily, even though I sometimes smell it in the mornings, it’s not as bad as being behind a vehicle that is expelling the waste of diesel out of the tailpipes. Closing the windows helps, but it sucks to have to do that on nice days like today. It’s overcast, but the temp. is perfect. I love the fall.

But that jack hammer is going to probably give me a headache. So…

As I’m writing it’s occurred to me to write a list of…well two lists. Since we’re moving, I want to do a list of what I’ll miss and then a list of what I won’t miss. I’ll do that in post form here. I think it will do me good too.

Other Progress

In the way of writing and blogging, I quickly went through some things I’ve written in the past, other than the things pertaining to abuse. I have a few different niches and I’m looking at this as a way to organize. That way it isn’t so overwhelming. The progress is a list of each topic/niche and a summary. I also have photos I’d like to post as well, maybe do something like a Wordless Wednesday blog with the pictures of my cat and the other cats around here. That’s a subject to make me laugh and smile, something I really need more right now to balance out this sadness and grief.

My back is feeling much better, in fact the pain is gone completely. So it must have been muscle and not my ribs. Thankfully.

I did some floor exercises on Saturday, mostly ones I learned in PT for a herniated disc. Despite the  heart palps, I need to find a way to exercise in this way because the herniation still causes some pain, especially if I sit for long periods of time. I’m surprised it wasn’t effected more after lifting that heavy bin.

No cardio but I still got heart palps that night. Also, I notice they start at night, which brings me to my sleeping pattern progress. It’s not going so well.

The other thing I’m questioning as far as the heart palps and I think I mentioned it in the last post about this, is the concentrated dietary oils. I in fact had a salad with a dressing made with olive and sesame oils on Saturday as well, and I actually felt the palps starting shortly after I ate that salad.

My eating habits as far as the food itself goes is pretty good. No junk and no take out.  It appears though that I’m going to have to really observe my reactions (not something new) to different foods even though they may be deemed healthy by the masses. They may not be right for me. I’m struggling with the timing of the meals though because I’m not getting up according to circadian rhythm. And that’s because I’m not going to bed according to it either.  This frustrates me but I also know this is a choice on my part.

This isn’t my own progress but Mr. B got a lot done in the garage this weekend. I think he got some momentum going by Sunday (yesterday) and we’ve now got some pretty interesting things sitting in our living room.  The plan is for him to be out there on the weekends up until the weekend before Halloween to go through everything (or as much as he can) out there and decide what he wants to sell, clean it up and bring it around front and into the living room. That way, we’re not hauling everything around the night before and the morning of our yard sale.

Right now we’ve got a nice pile going in a corner of our living room of some pretty interesting stuff. We needed to move a floor lamp and a chair into the dining room for more room.

One other thing that I got was the refinishing of a black board frame I’ve had since the 70s. I used it to draw on and play school with it. It had a couple rock band names written on the frame in magic marker. I sanded the whole frame down and then painted it with a stain that had a glossy finish ‘built into’ it.

It’s getting listed on craigslist before attempting to sell it in the yard sale. I have a couple other big things for craigslist as well.

I have a ‘To Do’ list to get through today of a few items. I had a checklist of three yesterday and did them all. So pat on the back from me to me. 🙂

As for my writing and doing all the other things I want to do, I think one part of the solution is to stop spending so much time reading, and get myself writing, posting, taking pics, organizing, packing, etc.

And work on that circadian thing.

And just to add, I’m not against reading. I love reading. I have learned a lot from reading. I am learning a lot from reading. I’m not going to completely stop reading. But I spend whole days reading sometimes and that’s what I’m talking about when I say I need to stop reading so much.

Update: Friday, June 2, 2017

Quoting part of the above post:
“As I’m writing it’s occurred to me to write a list of…well two lists. Since we’re moving, I want to do a list of what I’ll miss and then a list of what I won’t miss. I’ll do that in post form here. I think it will do me good too.”

I never did this. I really want to stop announcing things I want, intend or plan to do because I then don’t. Not that I’ll do it if I don’t announce it but at least I won’t be making empty promises to myself or others. It’s not like I’m thinking people are reading and holding me to everything I say or even remembering. It’s something that is important to me though, for self improvement purposes.

About the black board: It sold at the yard sale. I got some interest in it on CL but that prospect fell through. Tbh: I wish I’d kept it, especially after refinishing the frame. That thing was no joke either. Heavy and great quality.

Reading through this again, I see how little progress I’ve made in the last couple years and it’s depressing. I never followed through on getting any book together or finished with sorting through all posts.

It’s basically the story of my life. I plan and I plan to plan and then never implement the plan. Time to stop talking about what I’m going to do and just do it…or not.

I want mention though that I did sort through posts yesterday and pulled out the ones pertaining to the guy I had an affair with from 2009 until 2012. A lot of emotions there and some cringe worthy stuff. I feel so pathetic about some of the shit I wrote and expressed. My intention was to purge them onto their own blog but that remains to be seen at this point. If I do that, comments will be disabled.

 

Progress Report, Daily Details + Link and Video for Childhood Trauma

I did nothing toward the logistic progress of any book yesterday.

I have some things listed on eBay and something sold so I packaged that up.  That task seems to still take me longer than I’d like. But I was more efficient about it than I’d been in the past. Maybe breaking it up into chunks was helpful for me. PTSD can really do a number on focus and organizing.

I made sure to not get too anxious about doing it right away. Just because an order comes in doesn’t mean you can’t eat first if you’re hungry. So that’s what I did. In between I got some laundry going too, since I had to go to the basement to get the big box of bubble wrap anyway.

During the actual bubble wrapping and boxing the items, I listened to a video on Self healing trauma. I’ll link it below. The guy has a website too so I’ll link that as well.

My meals were on the healthy side: A smoothie for breakfast; a salad with chicken and the ranch dressing I made yesterday from cashews, for lunch; and poached eggs with cheese and rice for dinner.  The cheese isn’t the best choice but eggs with cheese is just so tasty.

I had also done some reading in the morning, so my breakfast didn’t happen until about noon. And I spent too much time on Facebook during the whole of yesterday.

I got out for that bike ride, just as I’d planned but don’t think it’s a good idea to include that in my exercise plan anymore for now.  I do need to get outside more though, so I’m thinking along the lines of walking on flatter ground for short distances. Soon it will be getting darker much earlier so I will need to get that in earlier, perhaps before eating dinner would be ideal.

I had some really bad and scary heart palpitations last night that started after dinner and got worse as the night went on. So by the time I went to bed, things inside my chest were quite uncomfortable and alarming.  This isn’t completely new and I’d experienced them before after some somewhat high intensity cardio. High intensity for me means pushing up a few hills on my bike.

Given past eating habits, fairly recent weight gain and my continual depression and grieving process, this isn’t so surprising. I said the palps aren’t new, but they are new in the bigger picture since I’ve only been experiencing heart palps for the last couple (if that) years.  They are mostly mild, when I have them but I’ve experienced more intense ones, one other time before last night.

At first I thought they were coming from having eaten the salad dressing which contains some olive oil and sesame oil. In the past with careful observation, I’ve noticed the palpitations have started immediately after consuming concentrated oils, such as the two mentioned. But then I realized, although the oil may have contributed, it was the bike ride that was the real culprit.

I took a few supplements that I’ve heard and read from some naturopath doctors that are good support for the heart. One I included was niacin and I believe that opened up my blood vessels enough to get the palpitations to stop and regulate my heart again.

I hadn’t taken niacin for quite some time and the last time I did, it hadn’t had such an intense effect. But last night it only took one capsule and within ten minutes (if that) my skin felt like it was kinda burning. Not generally a pleasant feeling. But feeling that, made it feel like it was working for me all over. The skin on my face particularly was pulsating, my sinuses were swelled up and I had to breathe from my mouth, but my heart had calmed down so I in turn did also.

Please note this DISCLAIMER: That I said I BELIEVE the niacin helped. I am not a doctor and I don’t KNOW for sure if this helped. Do not take this as medical advice. Do not take this as a claim for a cure. Whether it stopped my palps for the moment or not, it certainly did not cure the problem. Such an issue as heart palpitations calls for seeing a doctor.

Click here to check out the website I referred to above. The website is called Wild Truth written and run by Daniel Mackler.

The video I watched yesterday also with Daniel Mackler:

Sorting Thoughts and Emails from My Father + Some Daily Detail

A muscle pain in my back really knocked me out yesterday. Luckily I have a friend who is a massage therapist and she was able to see me yesterday. It helped a lot but I was depressed and completely dysphoric afterward.

I thought about things I’d like to do and things that need to be done and was interested only in going back to bed. But then I did get some writing done by hand first thing in the morning. I was drawn to it to the point of need. A good part of that need was worry of losing what I’d wanted to say.

The mornings, as soon as I wake up is generally the time that my brain starts working in a writing way. I don’t always take advantage of it, but I need to start.

Most of what I’d written though is something I’ve written before, either by hand or keyboard. So that tells me that writing doesn’t release the pain the issue causes all by itself.

And just writing that, I start to feel tired again, I want to give up, throw my arms up and say, “You know, forget it. There must be something more productive to do.”

I’m finding it difficult to get my thoughts organized enough right now to produce an Open Office file that I could just simply upload to Kindle.

Do I really need a table of contents? And if I do can I insert it later? Because I have no idea what it will be if I have one at all after writing. I guess given what I want to publish, would constitute chapters. That would make sense and therefore a table of contents. But just the writing of it alone, and then combining that with the need to put the conscious effort of having to make it Kindle compatible is making me anxious as hell. And again I procrastinate.

But I remind myself I did do something yesterday towards it. In fact what I wrote by pen was much more descriptive and emotional than what I wrote by keyboard a couple days ago. And even if I did write the same ‘scene’ before, there will be something different about the way I wrote it yesterday morning.

And since I had an appointment to see my friend in the morning, I was up by 6:15 am yesterday.

Just to recap progress, I have gathered emails between my father and me and printed them out. I also drew out a calendar of the last and first two months of that year to see the timing of emails. I noticed that there were chunks of silence between emails when he didn’t need something from me.

I also went through other documents, I’d written via keyboard and sorted those into their own folder as well.

Other things to be done:
I want to go through some other emails that I exchanged with a friend who helped me immensely understand the abuse and how emotional abuse and family scapegoating works. I’ll be printing the ones out that pertain to that topic around what was going on at that time: First few months of 2013.

I also have some stuff I wrote by hand in journals that I want to sort through. Hopefully they can also contribute to organizing my thoughts and write something that really illustrates what happened and serves to heal the wounds it created. I’d like to figure out how to give it some background too. I was treated like a doormat and a dumpster for those few months, but the factors that allowed for such an environment didn’t happen overnight or exist in a vacuum. And it wasn’t the first time I was treated like that, it was just the first I was becoming awake and aware to it.

Other Stuff

Exercise: Yesterday was another day of no exercise. But given my back muscle pain that did feel better yesterday was still an issue. When I turned over on the massage table yesterday, I felt the pain shoot through my mid back around to my chest.

It’s a lot better today, but it’s still sore. I’m planning to take my bike out later in the day, before it gets dark. But that remains to be seen. That shouldn’t entail too much back use or even much arm use. It’s really just to get out for fresh air more so than for the purpose of exercise. There’s some little roads I can ride on to enjoy nature and take it easy.

Food: For breakfast (yesterday) I had rice and poached eggs.  The eggs are good that way if you don’t want to eat bread. Later I caved for potato chips. I know much of it was being depressed and looking for comfort. I made a ranch dip from cashews to go with it. That dip is really a dressing recipe and I’d planned to make it anyway to eat on salads with the chicken I made. Thinking that will be my (better) choice today.

That being said and done though, I didn’t eat as many chips as I normally would. I didn’t feel fulfilled or satisfied by them and I stopped eating them before the bowl I’d poured some into was empty. So back in the bag they went. They wouldn’t be here at all if not for my roommate though. Not that I blame him for my weakness. I just wanted to make clear I didn’t buy them.

Sleep: Despite my exhaustion last night I still didn’t go to bed til about midnight. And since I didn’t really have dinner, my stomach was growling. Luckily I can sleep on empty and I didn’t go give in to the hunger. It was too late at night.

This morning I woke around 8 and stayed up. Read a little. I took two other books out of the library besides the writing book I mention in this post. And again, I picked another winner. It’s nothing to do with writing though.

For breakfast (this morning) which wasn’t until about 10 or so I had a banana/peanut butter smoothie, made also with some cashew milk I made myself.

I also talked a little to Mr. B. (my roomie) about selling some stuff and getting out to the garage to sort through the stuff this weekend. He’s a pack rat, but he’s agreeable and knows this shit has to get done. At first I suggested listing on Craigslist and then thought better of it. I think a yard sale, despite having to have it in October will be better. We’ll get rid of stuff in one fell swoop and won’t have to arrange meetings with individual humans to buy things.

And since I no longer care about the cleanliness of the house, because my focus is on what’s needed for us to move,  we are going to start this weekend to bring the stuff around from garage to living room. We live in a small house and the stuff will take up a good portion of the living room. But to hell with dragging it around from the garage the morning of or even the night before. Preparing a bit at a time will relieve some stress.

Depending on what happens at this one, we may have another one the month before we move. Famous last words though.

Update Friday, 6/2/17
I wish I’d written the name of the book I’d mentioned above.
We didn’t have a garage sale the month before we moved. Garage/Yard sales are exhausting.
KIndle ebooks: There’s a project that went onto a back burner. It looks like I wasn’t too clear on why I was gathering emails. Looks like it was for an ebook. I still want to do that, but when/if it happens, it will more likely be for the blog and for insight.

Dark Truth Between the Lines

dark_forestI went through the emails exchanged between my father and me back in 2012 and 2013. I think I know why I forget certain things now. It was difficult to read what I wrote as well as some of the things he wrote. But more disturbing is what’s between the lines really.

Some emails were about getting his furniture and other belongings out of his apartment because he was moving in with a woman and wouldn’t have room for the stuff where he was going. We kept going back and forth about working out a time to do it. Our schedules conflicted. In fact I noticed some contradiction in a couple of his emails as well.

He kept saying he’d arrange to be there when I could get there. He’d even bring his girlfriend down to the apartment if necessary. But later insisted on the fact of being up there on the weekends and couldn’t meet me on any weekends.

But yet he was anxious to get the place cleaned out because he had a dead line and wasn’t renewing his lease. It disturbs me to not have seen this before. He wanted what he wanted but didn’t want to compromise.

I remember one weeknight going there to pick up some books and he mentioned a couple of things each sibling would be taking. When he saw the look of disappointment on my face, he offered something to me, as if it was a consolation prize. In fact the chair he pointed to was broken.

In later emails I could read how distressed and almost competitive I became. Greedy even. And I wanted to avoid conflict with my siblings that I thought for sure would ensue.

As I read I felt sick.

Reading between the lines, it wasn’t about the furniture or any of the stuff.

In the mix of the emails there was one from me to him pouring my heart out about how I felt. About the role in the family I played and how I could see it. How hurt I was that everyone was in denial and that the disbursement of these things should be discussed among ourselves with everyone there.

I had felt like it had been turned into a competition. And whether it was deliberate or not, I don’t know. (I didn’t say that part.)

I’ve thought more about it at different times and I wonder if my siblings felt ripped off because I got dibs at certain things when we were younger because I was the oldest.

He dismissed a lot of what I said in that email and professed his love. The important stuff went unacknowledged again.

I didn’t want furniture. What I wanted was for him to hear me. For him to understand me and for him to talk to me. I also wanted my siblings to take me into consideration as well. One thing that really bothered me was a queen size bed that my sister took for her ten year old son to have, when at the time, I was in desperate need of a bed. She hadn’t known that, but no one else was asked. It was just decided and I had no say.

I realized after I’d finished going through the emails that I spent my life, up until his last days trying to get him to hear me…to listen to me about what was wrong, toxic and dysfunctional. Not every single minute but there were times I remember now and can see how it was too hard for him to deal with.

I did the same with the rest of my family too. It was stressful and painful to be involved so closely with my family as my father was dying, knowing that anything I said meant nothing and wasn’t taken into consideration. My feelings were minimized, my sister took jabs at me, my father bitched about my siblings to me, my mother and sister triangulated against me.

I was their dumpster and punching bag.

I would come out of that situation with even deeper C-PTSD than I’d already been suffering from.

As I read those emails, it hurt to see that I was trying to force so much. Trying to force people into loving me. Into understanding. Into wanting to change and even heal our family and deal with the issues and face them so we could resolve them.

I’m sad that I didn’t just accept earlier that it’s not who they are or who they want to be, so that I didn’t waste so much time thinking that I could somehow get them to see, because even those in denial are aware somewhere, even deep inside, of the truth.

Dysphoria and Shoes Dropping: A Connection

too-happy-charlie-brown
Googles definition of dys·pho·ri·a
disˈfôrēə/

noun

Psychiatry
noun: dysphoria
  1. a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life.

What sucks about dysphoria is that there is no real enjoyment to life. Nothing that really gets me up and at ’em.

The times I’ve felt that way were when I was anticipating getting together with friends, going on a date or I had a job where my crush worked too.

I don’t remember getting excited all on my own or inventing my own reason to be excited from within.

In my last post I talked about wanting to create some excitement for myself by getting into the storage bin with all my old clothes that no longer fit. And it was fun to check them all out and I even felt an underlying determination that I will fit into them again. But excitement? Not really.

It’s sad. I used to think it was depression, that depression was the name of what I had. But then I started seeing a therapist again after an excruciating break up and I was told I probably have PTSD. The break up contributed, but the trauma runs a lot deeper. I grew up with an emotionally abusive father and my mother enabled it and she was emotionally apathetic and neglectful.

Now that I spend a lot of time alone and don’t have much of a social life, I’m sure that has much to do with the dysphoria. I like talking to others. I like to learn about other people. Of course I like people who listen as well and those who can help me create a balanced conversation. It doesn’t even have to be one where we agree. In fact disagreements can be fun and interesting, as long as everyone stays civil and there’s no name calling.

Thing is most of my friends are drinkers. So for the time being while I know I’d be weak and would probably “do as the Romans do,” I feel the need to stay away.

Another reason for the dysphoria, I believe, is that I’m now conditioned to believe that any excitement that I feel will be spoiled. Have you ever been in the middle of screaming with delight over some really great news or some great trip you’re planning, only to be told your dog just died or something equally devastating?

Or how about this?

You’re a little kid, sitting at the table with your family having dinner and you start laughing at something. Something really funny someone just said or maybe a funny face one of your siblings just made. Then suddenly, in the midst of your joy, your father bellows in a loud, sudden and deep voice, “SIT UP STRAIGHT AND EAT YOUR DINNER!”

You are startled. Suddenly the food in your mouth no longer tastes very good and you feel shamed. You can barely chew and the thought of helping it out with a gulp of milk (as the only choice of liquid) makes your stomach heave a little.

This happens often and your mother does nothing to put an end to it. She might say something like a long drawn out, “HuUuUUuUn!” But in reality she has no power and he doesn’t take her too seriously, because he continues this and similar behavior every time he feels the need to control any situation. There seems to be such a thing as having too much fun.

It’s become an expectation now that joy will be turned to sorrow or excitement to shame.

It’s conditioning.

I miss joy and excitement. But have I ever really truly experienced it in the first place?

The Shoe Kinda Dropped

This morning I woke at around 7:15 and got up to pee. I’d gone to bed late so I knew getting up at 6 wasn’t going to happen.

I went back to lay down for another 45 minutes but ended up not going back to sleep and when I got up 15 minutes before my alarm, I decided to use that time to meditate.

Not a whole lot of meditating got done since my mind was everywhere. But then I learned recently that you’re not really supposed to silent your mind, but I did catch myself a time or two and said, “Stop.” It’s good to catch yourself and focus on your breath even if you know your mind won’t be blank.

When I got up from my attempt at meditating, I noticed I had what felt like a sore muscle pain. In fact I still have it and it’s gotten progressively worse throughout the day. There was a point in the day that I thought it might be a broken rib but I didn’t do anything that would’ve made that happen. So I was puzzled.

It’s difficult to get good breaths but I can manage and it’s not too excruciating as long as I’m not sitting a certain way. The pain radiates from just under my left shoulder blade to my side along the rib cage there and then around front to my chest. I can only feel it in my chest while sitting up in bed, like right now. But today I was sitting at my desk and it didn’t radiate that far.

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what I’d done. I couldn’t remember lifting anything heavy and thought maybe I did something in my sleep. But eventually I remembered. On Saturday, I lifted a bin that had a lot of photographs in it. I lifted it off an even bigger bin that had a bunch of clothes in it that I haven’t been able to wear in a long time. I felt the need to build up some excitement for bringing my weight down. In fact I was excited to look at all my cute stuff.

So I remember when I lifted the smaller but heavy bin off the larger bin, I pivoted in such a way that when I did it I knew it was not the right way to have done that. But I wasn’t effected immediately and I didn’t hurt yesterday either. But wow, today has been bad and I’m now exhausted and very uncomfortable to say the least. I have no idea how I’m going to sleep.

Needless to say, my progress in writing was really slow today. I’m sure the pain has something to do with it. But I also found myself feeling stuck. I wasn’t feeling the emotion I needed to be off and running that I needed when I sat down to write. I started a couple different times, trying to start in the right place, to make it sound right, compelling, true, good.

It wasn’t working and I could feel the struggle. I was so frustrated.

I was trying to think of specific dates relating to the end of my father’s life. I really need to tell that story. It’s the last thing that sent me further into a downward spiral and I’ve never completely grieved, even though I cried at his funeral. There’s so much more to it than that. That’s for sure.

In trying to piece together some dates, I remembered some correspondence between my father and me. After finding the emails I needed for that specific information, I continued reading. I found an email I’d forgotten about writing and contained things I’d forgotten feeling at that time  The tears flowed and I thought, “There! That’s what I’ve wanted. To feel, to cry.”

But the tears were a mix of emotions including the frustration at my struggle today.

I also remembered later, that I have journal entries that tell the story and letters to family members that were never sent and never meant to be. Those will help me write my story.

The pain on my left side felt like the shoe dropping. Esoterically speaking, it’s my understanding that the left side pertains to your past.

I’m going to attempt to find a therapist for this process. But I’m not going to let any difficulty in finding one stop me from proceeding however. The distraction of this nasty pain might though.

My subconscious seems to be stopping me mentally, emotionally and physically.

I’m anxious that I didn’t get much done. But I felt a lot more than I have in a long time and I made some discoveries that hadn’t registered for me before, which contributed to the heavy emotion.

I’m still working on the Tag Line for the blog as well as a display name. Not sure what I want to call myself yet. The blog is called Sleeping Tiger, but it’s not the name I want to use for myself. I figure it will come to me some morning upon awakening. You just can’t rush these things. I will also eventually write an “About” page to explain why I chose Sleeping Tiger. It’s clear within myself why but I’m not so sure it will translate in words right now.

Overall I feel frustrated, overwhelmed, aggravated, anxious. I want to get to it while at the same time I want to avoid it. I want to avoid everything about it. The hard work, the emotions, the logistics of piecing it all back together, making myself vulnerable and putting myself out there. And then even looking back at the behavior of my family. Not just their behavior but my own. Talk about cringe-worthy and shame.