people who have been with me long enough will remember my run-in with my sister.she got upset when i suggested some ways she could help me while countering yet another suggestion for mindfulness. I have nothing against mindfulness, but i offered up other options that I thought would be more helpful and had been working to lift my mood. after brooding over it for a couple of weeks, i ran head-on to the thought of acceptance. almost immediately I got over the butt-headed response she gave.
a little while ago, i did a poll about if people feel emotions deeply. 6 answer definitely doesn’t qualify as statistically significant, but the results did not surprise me. 1 person experienced both pick-me-up emotions and bring-me-down emotions deeply, the other 5 people only experienced bring-me-down emotions deeply.
recently happenings have reaffirmed some ideas and made clear other ideas. i find to be part of the discovery process called life.
i’ve been talking about what happened with my sister for some two weeks now. some may say, “get over it.”, or “move on.” to which i say i haven’t reached a point where i can move on. and why not?
i feel emotions deeply. with what happened with my sister, others may feel mad or or upset; i feel infuriated. i mask it well from the years and years of living in the household in which i grew up. feelings were not allowed. not being allowed to feel emotions lead to them being stuffed or masked. that process also hinders the recovery process; it’s harder to recover from a elusive beast that keeps hiding. to top in off, the emotions are directed towards a member of my dysfunctional family. that makes it even harder to express emotions to her because of a familial patterns.
i often consider feeling deeply a blessing and a curse. here’s the curse. since i feel emotions so deeply, when i experience them, it creates a deep emotional chasm. the ravine that gets created has great depth and steep walls. the sheer nature of the chasm makes the travel out of it long and laborious. creating great struggles and strains along the way. sometimes it feels like scaling a tall peak where oxygen is rare, causing me to gasp for every breath i take. on the other hand, the recovery from a indentation created by a shallow emotional reaction can be exited effortlessly. the process can happen with little trial or tribulation, like a sunday stroll through the park.
in talking to my therapist the other day, i asked, “how do i recover from this a feeling like infuriation?” i felt more than a little bit disappointed when he answered, “i really don’t know since i only regularly recover from anger and seldom from deeper emotion like infuriation.” growl.
lacking an acceptable answer, my brain went to spinning; what does it take to recover from a deep emotional wound? my first thought went to what support could i use to recover? comfort came to mind. but, let’s face it, comforting is just another way to help someone be accepting of who they are and where they are. and anyone who a spent more than two weeks of reading my posts, i call this an acknowledgement. she shows her supportive head again
what does feeling acknowledged and supported really buy? how does it help? my mind spun again. in a moment of inspiration, it quickly dawned me. the real answer for recovery lay in acceptance.
the acknowledgement says, you find yourself inn a crappy place and that’s ok. and with that the process of acceptance starts. if you can’t at least notice the four ugly walls that surround you. how do you have a chance to make changes. the acknowledgement serves as a reminder of the ugly walls and hopefully creates enough strength for a further journey.
quickly, i realized the key to just about any recovery from emotional wounds can find its roots in acceptance. whether mad or infuriated, acceptance offers one way out.
as an example, i had a friend with whom i worked weekly on bettering our life. this went on for over ten years, doing activities like reading books and working through workbooks. we drifted. eventually, he decided he wasn’t getting out of it what he wanted. our weekly visits ended. i felt sad and disappointed. notice, those two emotions don’t qualify as deep, more shallow. sure, i struggled with the emotional wound of abandonment, feelings of being left alone. but, not being a deep wound, recovery happened relatively quickly.acceptance could easily be reached.
i am thankful for this discovery. the recognition of acceptance as one key to emotions recovery has already paid dividends. the energy surrounding the recent events with my sister has greatly dissipated. the trip out of the emotional chasm has seen significant progress.
life continues to school me. it has again shown me the beneficial nature of acknowledgments. being a student of life, i have also learned that one way to work on the healing of emotional wounds, no matter how deep, can be greatly aided through the process of acceptance. i feel overjoyed to add this tool to my emotional first aid kit. it’s not a cure all, there is still work to be done, but at least i can recognize one more tool to help me heal my emotional wounds.
as Mary and i drove home from her sister’s house for easter, i noted that I felt more comfortable with her family than my own. it’s not like i’m sleeping with any member of her family, well except for the person with whom i exchanged vows. 🙂
if a picture paints a thousand wordsthen why can’t i paint you?the words will never showthe you i’ve come to know…bread
if i could only write to youwhat word would choose to use?to express the pain i feelbeing so misconstruedme
” the mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive but finding something to live for.”fyodor dostoyensky
okay, don’t take this post as a despondent, driving off the cliff type of post. instead, think of it as someone in search of a real purpose.
depression has a tendency to hold me down by my throat and tell me i have no reason to live. as time goes on and the struggles waxes and wanes, at times, far to often, i find myself believing the trickster. i fall under his trance and begin to believe his lies.
or are we?
family(n) a group of people related to one another by blood or marriage; friends and family can provide support.
i wrote to my siblings on March 22, 2013 announcing my most recent swim in the mental disorder pool. the second part of the definition above troubles me. i’ll do a review of my family support structure since then.
oldest sister: I am probably closest to her. we are separated by ten years and one day. she always voices her appreciation for me not being born on her birthday. she had a long planned trip, years in the making, to the area. communication happened to coordinate that, not much more. in her visit, I never remember us talking about my situation. she calls for celebration days; birthdays, thanksgiving, christmas, but still months go between calls. we shared some truly excited interest on our last call. I told her about a book I am writing. she uses many of the ideas that I will develop in the book in her work. she looks forward to see what i develop.
oldest brother: I get a christmas (cash) gift card from him every year. I get a beautiful calendar he produces using photos he has taken throughout the year.
middle brother: he has contacted me twice _through_ my middle sister. the first time he wanted help picking out a new computer. the second time he had questions on how to install old programs on his new machine. i guess i meet the qualifications to answer the questions, but I didn’t even feel like the most qualified person in the family. more about him later.
middle sister: we had a tight relationship at one time. things fell apart when my dad died. she served as the conduit for the computer questions. one time in one of those calls she actually asked about how I was doing. beyond that, not much more has happened.
youngest sister: she lives in the area, also. so we had communication to coordinate my oldest sister’s visit. she suffers with depression, also. nothing like two siblings fighting wit depression trying to fight through isolation and make a call.
you would be right in saying I could have picked up the phone and made a call at anytime. maybe you’ve never dealt with a full blown case of isolation. for me, i always struggle with feeling worthy. depression makes that struggle all the harder. i reach a point where i don’t feel worthy to make calls to my friends or even my dysfunctional family members. isolation feels like living in a prison with no bars. even though no bars are present to hold me in, there doesn’t appear to be a way out. isolation sucks! it sucks the life right out of me.
I promised more about my middle brother. we have been on similar tracks for about the last year, me with depression and he with cancer. i try not to get resentful on the difference in treatment, but it keeps getting more and more difficult.
my middle sister has bedn his advocate. she sends out regular updates on how he is doing and the progress he is experiencing. she lines up transportation for him to his cancer treatments; his cancer makes it not possible to drive the eight hours to his cancer treatments.
the topper came this last week when i got an email request for his financial support. i won’t be participating; something about not having worked for two years and having to dip into retirement just to get by.
i guess I’m glad my brother still has a “family” and support. i hold nothing against him, personally. but, i an part of that family structure, too, i know because i continue to get the updates and request for support.
my question is where is my support from my family beyond the maybe two dozen or so phone calls i have received in the last two years? i can tell you, absent. I find that sad, real sad.