Too Much Empathy?

Here’s one possible answer for my question from this post.

She starts talking about bullies and being bullied at about 8 minutes in.

You could argue that it’s denying, ignoring or being callous. And in certain situations it probably is. But I like the idea of ‘getting up and doing something about it’, at least as much as you can, as opposed to trying nothing, continuing to be angry without using the anger to propel forward in life.

But I can tell you what I’ve been doing isn’t working when it comes to having compassion and empathy for certain people.  I think that my compassion, sympathy and empathy got me further abused in life at times.

There are things I disagree with from what she’s saying though.  I do think that some therapists do have empathy. I’ve read about them from other bloggers right here on WP. She also states in the video that therapists offer solutions. And that’s also not always true. I’ve had therapists stare at me blankly. I’ve had therapists ask further questions, perhaps to help me with my own solutions.

Updating this on 7/23/17, it seems that I have finally been offered solutions from a DBT therapist. And since I’ll be starting the group portion of this therapy in a few days, I expect that being taught certain skills will empower me to do something about what I don’t like about my life. So in that aspect, I do think it’s more beneficial to attack the problem and be proactive in solving things, rather than continue to cry about it.

That being said however, I do think that there is benefit to holding space to listen, acknowledge the other person’s pain and give the validation that the person may have never received. Validation is quite healing.

Especially when it comes to children, I feel that a parent needs to take the time to physically get down to the level of the child, listen, acknowledge, validate, hug the child and THEN say, “Let’s go fix it.”

She also mentions distraction as a solution. In my opinion I think that can be helpful. But it’s not a permanent solution.

Dudes Be Too Pushy

pushy dudeTonight I got a private message (PM) on Facebook from a guy I vaguely know. We’ll call him Aggressive Guy #1 (AG!1) for this post.

We have some mutual friends from a sport we both have played in the past at the same place. We have connected a little on Facebook, PMing back and forth a bit talking about getting together. We exchanged phone numbers and immediately he started texting me.

The first text was to let me know that if I wanted to reach him, to text him because he’s not on Facebook much. There were a couple more and none of them were questions and didn’t indicate needing to be answered so I read them and left them.

I was also a bit annoyed that he would send three texts in a row so quickly after exchanging numbers.

Eager much?

I gave it a week or so and called AG1 on a weekend day…one of the last nice days before it got really cold. He’d suggested during our messaging on FB a walk around a particular trail in the area, that I’ve been wanting to walk around (he didn’t know this) but have been a little afraid to walk alone. When he mentioned it I thought, not only would it be fun, but now I could walk the trail, get to know someone new and feel safe.

So that was what I had in mind when I called him.
It turns out he was in the middle of a painting job with a deadline and he’d be working all weekend. He seemed a bit surprised and let me know he’d tried to get in touch but I wasn’t receptive.

Receptive is my word to paraphrase the idea he had gotten across to me. I forget exactly what he said. But it was said in this sort of reprimanding and condescending way, “Well, I tried to reach you but you wouldn’t answer” and “If only you’d been available when I texted and called you…”

Maybe I’m reading WAY more into that but it’s what came to mind as he spoke. He could only be referring to those three texts he shot off almost immediately after I gave him my number. “Is he serious?” I thought.

Unexpectedly, he called back within the hour, leaving a message and explained himself, “I had my hands full, I just couldn’t talk right then. If you get this within the hour give me a call back.”   The explanation sounded like he was talking to someone who’d gotten upset with him when he couldn’t talk. And I’d been completely understanding and quite frankly rather indifferent.

We haven’t spoken since and he’s not on FB too much but I saw a post that he’d started some class. Obviously this would make him even more busy. But really I didn’t think much of it and I moved on. Not dating wise, just that I didn’t give him much more thought.

Then tonight, maybe about an hour ago, I’d made a comment under a mutual friend’s post that he’d made a comment under. And moments later I see I have a PM.  It was AG1.

He wrote, “In class, call me at around 9:45.”

My first thought was that I’m not gonna feel like talking to anyone at that time. But I really don’t want to talk to him at all. I’ve lost what little interest that had been there in the first place.

I wrote back, “I’ll be in bed…sleeping.”

And then I signed off.

His communication seemed too pushy to me. It would’ve been nicer to say, “Hey, I get out of class at 9:45 can I call you?”  I still would’ve said no, but I may have suggested an alternative day and time if he’d been less aggressive.

Aggressive Guy number 2. (AG2)

AG2, before he got aggressive, and I got into a comment exchange about rock bands and other music on one of his posts., I know him from high school and we were in the same graduating class. He apparently got excited that I was able to finish lyrics to songs and all that and after having a fun time with that he pretty much ruined it for me by posting on my wall..

“We MUST get together.”

Whatever happened to asking?

Not that that would’ve changed my answer. I’m not interested. At the risk of being offensive, I’d like to add…this approach is much different coming from a gay dude or another woman.

Emotional Paralysis and Feeling Lost

ImLostBack in 2011/2012 a toxic relationship I was involved in ended. And it ended with a text. It was one of the most shocking experiences of my life. The months to follow carried some of the most excruciating emotional pain I’d ever felt even though I’d done a lot of pushing away and pulling him back in myself during the relationship, or more appropriately ‘the entanglement.’ Without getting into all the complicated details, I will just say he was unavailable in every way imaginable.

I found that picture, posted above, when the break up was fairly new. I was in such excruciating emotional pain that all I wanted to do was write. And I did. I wrote a lot of letters to him that I never sent. I wrote things that I struggled with to try to work them out. I even started a blog. Then I took it down and started another one.

I continued to do that…start one blog after another, taking them down as I went. For one thing I kept feeling too vulnerable. I wanted to share but was afraid to.

I was afraid of what people would think or say when they read it. Anyone. Any person I didn’t know. And as much as I struggled I could not get past that.

Then as I read and researched more about narcissism and getting hurt by a narcissist, I got more confused. I read things by bloggers who said it was a good idea to write about the experience. I even at one point felt coerced by someone who also suffered from extreme trauma. I had felt uncomfortable and hurt by this. I’d been coerced by others before and it was a trigger for me when this woman did it.

She thought it would do me good. Famous words of those who like to coerce. But although it bothered me I said nothing, fearing she’d get defensive and angry herself. When I finally said something after feeling coerced again and I found out that my prediction was exactly right. And it became another unresolved issue for me, even though I apologized.

I also read things by others who said that writing about it all is not a good idea. It keeps the wounds open and it does more emotional damage.

So in listening to others, I don’t even know what it is I feel and think is right for me.

Just to give another example where I have trouble with this: When it comes to figuring out what I should be eating for my body and health issues, I’ve been listening to others. Questioning myself.

It’s resulted in a lot of paralysis, procrastination, overwhelm and chasing my tail. Most of my days since the break up back in 2011/2012 I have spent wasting. I haven’t made any plans for any sort of future.  Just kind of floating through life, feeling like I’ve reverted back to my early teens emotionally and depending on someone else to keep a roof over my head. A very dangerous place to be at my age.

A year after the break up, my father became terminally ill and I got entangled with my family. They manipulated, triangulated and scapegoated me. Another topic I’d been wanting to cover. But again, I’ve been confused as to whether I want to or not. Whether it’s a good idea. Not to mention my own fear of what will the people I’m writing about think, say or do? Including the ex.

I seem to always have been and still am so worried about other people’s reactions. If I write something my brother doesn’t like, will I pay the price with him coming over and raging in my face? It’s not likely he’d find it because I doubt he’s roaming around on WP dot com. I blocked him on FB long ago and besides,  I don’t and wouldn’t share this stuff on FB.  That I’m settled on.

It feels like there’s a need to share my story while at the same time I can see how it could possibly keep one down. That’s not to judge what helps anyone else. I’m merely working out my own feelings here.  See? Right there, I’m worried that someone will think I’m referring to everyone. Sheesh! I can’t seem to win with myself.

I’ve hidden myself for so long from others, that it’s resulted in being hidden from myself, in self defense of repercussions of being who I really am.

So, it’s a scary thing to reach 50 and realize that you’ve held yourself back from expressing your truth because of what someone else or a group of someone elses might do. In fact it’s been going on so long I don’t even know my own truth in the moment in some instances. Shame is certainly a factor too.

I’ve reached a point once again where I’m not happy with this blog. You know when you mess up on paper, you just tear the page out, throw it away and start over? That’s what I want to do here.

In fact I did it before with another blog before starting this one, other than the ones I referred to above. I had written a bunch of posts on another blog with another user name and for quite some time I hadn’t been feeling comfortable with the user name and started thinking about wanting to use Sleeping Tiger.  I continually felt apprehensive about posting at the old one and posts became sporadic.

I’m beginning to feel that way again here. I started another blog too under this user name, but doing that has made me feel even more disorganized.

I think I do want to tell my story…at least some of it. But I also want to write about other things. And that’s another area where I get overwhelmed and scattered.

Do I really want to talk about my pet sitting experience on the same blog where I write about how my father’s abuse has effected my life?  Well yeah I kinda do but they don’t really go together, so…

And what if I can spin off the pet stuff into a business later? Then how good of an idea would it have been to keep the topics together? UUuUUUGgggggHHHHHhhhhh!!!

This is what I’m dealing with. And then I do nothing.

I really need to sort this out for myself because I would really love to blog. However, like I mentioned I’m feeling unsettled with this name now.

Originally I liked it obviously. I have a little box for my dowsing pendulum with a mama and baby tiger on the lid. The mama tiger is sleeping and the baby tiger is wide awake. It looks to me that the baby wants to get into some mischief while big mama sleeps.

That image is also a metaphoric symbol, personally speaking, how my mother is asleep and that I (her daughter) am awake to how toxic the whole dynamic of the family is.

Before I started this blog, I would look at that box and think, “Sleeping Tiger. That would be a good name for a blog.”

So finally I started this blog.

But I can identify with both tigers, even though I’m not a mom. I have spent most of my life asleep in pretty much every capacity of life, especially having difficulty coming out of denial of how bad it actually was. Although I knew there was something amiss, when I spoke up it was minimized or there was a clear message, whether verbal or non, that it was me who needed to work it out within.

The baby tiger, signifies the painful awakening of being right all along.

Edit July 22, 2017: Since originally posting this, I have become much more settled. I have made a definite decision not to write about pet sitting stuff specifically, although I do share some things about my own cat. I expect to share other photos of nature as well. But this blog is mostly dedicated to my story.

I have finally stopped starting other blogs to write on the same topic and it is my intention to move those posts I wrote before for other blogs to this one. 

I am also no longer worried about any exes or my family finding this blog. It’s anonymous. No one I know irl knows me as Sleeping Tiger. But quite frankly, I’m not really concerned about it anyway.

I still struggle to get closure with my past. So that is what this blog is for, and I am in therapy as well to work through it and to learn new skills in relating and getting along in life. But I don’t feel the same level of torment I did when I wrote this post originally.