Saturday, July 30, 2011

Allowing Myself To Feel Negative Emotions

I was working on my computer today when something happened to upset me. I immediately tried to quash my feelings of distress, telling myself that I had no real reason to be upset, and to just ignore what I was feeling and get back to work. Then, miraculously, I realized how unfair I was being to myself.

I was feeling what I was feeling. It didn't matter if the reason that I was upset was a good reason to be upset or not. I was upset. And I had every right to be. No matter what the cause for the distress was.

Instead of continuing to berate myself, I told myself that I was allowed to feel upset, and I gave myself the time to accept my emotions and work through them, instead of just trying to deny that they existed.

And the pride that I felt for actually noticing that nasty little psychological habit of dis-allowing negative emotions, and nipping it in the bud, helped counteract some of the distress that I was feeling.

I guess all those years of therapy are finally paying off.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Lie And A Dream

My husband lied to me on Wednesday. It was a lie of omission, but it was a very important omission and a nasty little lie. He did it to manipulate me into doing something that he knew I would not want to do if I knew the truth.

I feel so betrayed. 

He's lied to me before about little things. Mainly things to protect his own feelings. (He obviously doesn't feel the same way about lies that I do.) And I've let him get away with it. Because they were little things, and I could tell he was lying, and I thought he could tell that I knew he was lying. I guess maybe he couldn't. And so he thought that lying to me this time wouldn't be a big deal.

He was wrong.

I was FURIOUS. So furious that I could barely speak. My body was shaking and my throat was so tight, I could barely breath. My eyes burned and watered and didn't want to focus properly. My heart beat so hard that every pulse hurt. My mind might have been able to rationalize what he had done, but my body knew that I had been betrayed and responded with a massive panic attack. It took hours for my physical symptoms to calm down.

I'd trusted him. I'd trusted him more than I have ever trusted anyone else in my life. I thought that he would always look out for me, the way that I look out for him. I used to feel so safe and protected with him.

Not anymore.

Lately, I haven't been feeling safe and protected at all. In fact, I've been feeling sort of neglected. And I told him so several weeks ago. I told him that I felt that he had given up on me. That because my problems hadn't magically gone away simply because I was now in a loving relationship, that he had simply given up on even trying to help me when I was in one of my funks. He apologized and insisted that he hadn't given up, that he simply didn't know what to do to help me.

I don't expect him to “help” me. At least not in terms of healing me. But he used to give me lots of emotional support and attention when things were bad, and even though that didn't heal me, it did make me feel better. Now, I feel like he just says the words he thinks he should say, but he doesn't really mean them. He's just going through the motions. It doesn't feel real, and it leaves me feeling even more hopeless.

And now, he has betrayed me. 

This is only the second time that we've really fought in the eight years that we've been together.  My husband is generally a good man and usually there is no need to fight. If we disagree about something, we simply talk it out.  If it looks like it's going to be a real problem, I usually just give in.  I don't like fighting.  It triggers my anxiety attacks.   But this time, I was not going to just give in.  It wasn't a simple disagreement.  He used a lie of omission to MANIPULATE me. He KNOWS how I feel about manipulation.  And he did it anyway.  To get something that HE wanted, without any regard to my feelings.

I feel so alone.

Last night I had a dream that Foxfire, I and some older man were part of a military excursion in a middle eastern country. The man was in a big truck, Foxfire was driving a truck and horse trailer and I followed behind them on a little motor scooter. As we were leaving the place we'd spent the night before, I told them that I needed to fill up my scooter because I was on empty. But they didn't hear me, and they didn't stop.

I rolled my scooter over to a makeshift little booth that had a gas pump and started to fill it up. Then I realized that my purse with my id and money were all in the truck with Foxfire. I apologized to the woman running the booth, and told her that I didn't have any money, that my companions had taken everything I had and left me behind with nothing. She kindly allowed me to finish filling up my scooter, saying that surely they would come back for me, and I could pay her then.

I waited and waited, and they never came back for me. However, a group of Australian men and women showed up and they paid for my gas and hung around with me, waiting for my people to return. When night came and still no one had come back for me, they allowed me to bunk with them in the large crowded room that they and a number of middle easterners were sharing for the night. As I lay on the floor, one of the men in the group, curled up next to me and held me, comforting me. I had been feeling horribly alone and deserted by my husband, and this complete stranger made me feel safe and secure.

And then, of course, the middle eastern army attacked the building, looking for the Americans who had been there earlier. All the middle easterners that had been sharing the room with us ran out a window and were mostly killed. The Australians and I hid under the bunks. The man who was holding me protecting me with his body.

The next morning, we looked out the window and saw that the little booth where the woman had been so kind to me had been completely destroyed. Probably because she had helped the enemy American. I felt horribly guilty that her business had been ruined because of me.

And then I woke up.

Not exactly a subtle dream. My sense of self has been taken from me. I feel empty, abandoned and alone and must depend upon the kindness of strangers for my well-being. However, anyone who helps me is put in danger and/or destroyed.