Jump to content






Photo

So much braver than I give me credit for

Posted by Qrious , in Brightness 23 April 2014 · 143 views

Last night, I handed to my T something he'd not asked for. The week before I had asked for everything I'd ever written to him back, stating quite clearly that it meant I didn't feel like I was leaving anything personal behind if I didn't go back. Not a good session, and not surprisingly, no homework was mooted.

But the very next day I found myself writing on one sheet of paper a list of everything I felt I needed to be in control of, from the physical - e.g. nausea - to mood - e.g. rage. On a second, I wrote a list of things with similar headings that I did not think I was succeeding in managing. No idea why, and frankly even bringing it up yesterday was hard, but as for leaving it with him... I think he guessed it was things like work, my personal space etc, not the urge to hurt myself. Hey ho.

I also countered his analysis of my avoidance behaviour. I know it's true that we see ourselves in others, but man, he comes alive when debating an idea - that feels a little dangerous to me, as it is where I live, as far from feeling and deep into thought as possible, and this is meant to be about the opposite, but I guess it's healthy to bond, too. Anyway, I pointed out that when I say I've numbed out in the face of my mother-in-law's suicidal ideation and my husband getting so depressed - as I had predicted he would - that he couldn't get up off the floor for an hour, it wasn't me avoiding.

Instead, it was something very different. I've spent a lot of time listening to people. My little cousin, talking to me about whether he was going to die when he was 15 and had cancer. My father when the docs didn't come up with a plan after his last (but one) heart attack. My father-in-law, when his wife suffered a spinal injury. My mother-in-law, when a month later she found herself still paralysed and a widow. Umpteen other people, with less acute problems.

And the way I deal with that is putting me in a box and being there for them. People need stillness and care. And if you're there for them, you get to see them relax, hear the tension melt from their voice, and get a lovely little smile in reward. It's not easy. You know fairly early on that this is going to hurt, so you put yourself aside, so that you don't flinch or shy from them and give them the time and space that they crave.

That's what I do anyway. My T proceeded to point out that he had years of training, a framework and a support system in order to manage doing a very similar thing. Though I don't think it is a similar thing - offering kindness and understanding to people you love is just love, and you get a million returns on it over time which a T won't, but anyway. I got a lovely, kind lecture on how I really needed to be kind to myself now that I'm back in a situation like this with my husband and his mum. Much more important, lots of helpful advice...

Anyway. Really long preamble to the actual point. I was walking back to the office this lunchtime, thinking about all the wonderful moments I had seen through choosing to be there for my loved ones in need, really there, to listen and aid. And it suddenly occurred to me that I'm a lot braver than I ever believed of myself. I don't back down. Okay, yes, I set up walls and limits because it is emotionally overwhelming, or it is for me, but regardless of the way I choose to narrow my focus, I do still take it on the chin for people close to me.

It might not be the biggest amount of bravery in the world, or the greatest feat of saintliness, but yes, sometimes I am nice, and sometimes I am brave. Nicer and braver than I've seen myself as for months now, anyway.

So there it is. I thought I'd share and cling to the good stuff as there's some horrid stuff on the horizon - from the still-lurking disquiet to my first attempt to mention stuff about my dad to my T. There might be yuk, but there is also (not nearly often enough, but there just the same) the bravery to be nice to others on occasion. And maybe that validation from my T but also from my husband, and people who have reached out to me in the past is a good start to fight the revulsion and rage that aren't letting go easily.

Hmmm.... V concerned about posting something I worry might be boastful, even while not thinking it's anything worth boasting about. Please be kind if you've read this far - I honestly do manage to beat myself up every minute of every other day in life!



:metoyou:

Special you.

:hug: if ok.
Thanks. Just logged back on to delete this, but the hug means a lot!
My T proceeded to point out that he had years of training, a framework and a support system in order to manage doing a very similar thing. Though I don't think it is a similar thing - offering kindness and understanding to people you love is just love.

 

 

I think you are so wrong. That you do it is truly a wonderful thing. Sure you love them. But even if that is the case most people can't do this. Because it is so hard. Most people do not want to expose themselves to something like that. They can't. And that includes some that want to but find it too difficult. 

I agree with Candu. Most people can't do this. I recognise a lot of what you say in my own behaviours. When I started with my T, she commented on what she called my 'rescuer' complex. What I've come to realise (and this may or may but resonate with you) is that if everyone to comes to me, knows that I am the reliable, strong listener who supports and never judges, then I don't have to think about myself at all. I get all the external validation I need from them.

Cue then needing help myself - and imagine my hurt and surprise when the friend I thought was closest to me- the one I have unfailingly supported through masses of crap for years- told me when I had my first breakdown two years ago that she couldn't cope with me and turned her back on me. So you are right Q- you ARE strong and brave. As am I. As are many survivors. Because one thing I notice on Pandy's, most of us are very giving and sharing and supportive. And we also appear to be learning to ask for help and validation when we realise we need it. And this is growth and healing. I think back to when you first pm'd me, and I can see the growth you have undergone. I am sure you could say the same for me.

We will always be here for you Q, as we know you will be here for us. Take gentle care my brave, kind friend. (((Big hugs)))
Photo
intrepidshe
Apr 23 2014 08:39 PM

It is healthy and wonderful to see your strengths and celebrate them. You give those strengths to the world by sharing them, which is in my opinion, what we are supposed to do with our gifts. I think certain things are meant to come through us and no so much be of us, if that makes sense.

 

So, in order to allow these gifts to come through you, you need to know you are able to do this, to be totally present for people.

 

That's an amazing gift to have!

 

Also, to quote Mand, "We will always be here for you Q, as we know you will be here for us."

Ooof the unexpected vulnerability in indulging in identifying out loud something good about yourself! But so much kindness in return - maybe this bravery thing is worth the effort...

.

It is healthy and wonderful to see your strengths and celebrate them. You give those strengths to the world by sharing them, which is in my opinion, what we are supposed to do with our gifts. I think certain things are meant to come through us and no so much be of us, if that makes sense."

Intrepid, I love this. I'm probably biased, because it's how I see the world too (or did before I went numb) but it's so beautifully put.

And Mand, shame on you! You can't agree with Candu's sweet comment (helpful, too, as I tend to judge other people for not being nicer, since I've never really appreciated till now that opening yourself like this is actually hard and a biggish ask) and then claim to only do likewise as a way of hiding from yourself and getting external validation. You have never been less than unfailingly generous here and I imagine in real life, so if I'm going to accept this as a good thing I do, you should too :P (although yep, I'm already using MIL's issues as something to hide behind - one of T's first questions was 'how are you going to stop what is happening with your MIL keeping you from your own goals of having your own family?', which felt unspeakably harsh for a while. You and he probs more perceptive than me!).

Maybe, since I'm homework free this week - why give homework to a girl who manages to find her own?! - I should make the effort to share this positive realisation. I always thought the purely negative thought log was weird and one-sided, and since seeing and acknowledging the good is making me a lot more anxious than this sounds then yes, it probably would be worth trying to see the rainbow for a bit.

Think I've just written a whole new entry as a comment. Thanks for the food for helpful thoughts, all!

Q

Ps. Don't you hate when the comments box swallows your paragraph spacings? Why does that happen?!
Lol- that spacing issue always happens on my phone. I have to post, then edit, then post again.

Your T has you sussed Hun. I chuckled when I read he'd asked you how you were going to use the MIL situation to avoid the having children issue. I stand by what I said! (Although thank you for your kind words. I like helping people. It's not that I'm massively altruistic, it just makes me feel good about myself. Means I am not being selfish.....oooo- I can hear my mothers voice in that. Something she said last weekend.......*sigh*. I love my mum but she REALLY does not like me seeing a T.....)

Keep up the positive good work, it's lovely to see :-)

(((Hugs)))

Mand
seeing and acknowledging the good is making me a lot more anxious than this sounds

 

 

I get that. My therapist has a hard time with me, giving me positive comments. What she sees good in me. When she says those things it triggers me emotionally.

 

(had to stop, dry my eyes, have a comfort cookie)

 

It's supposed to make you feel good. And it does a little but something else as well that is quite strong. I feel it but I don't know what it is exactly. Not a fun feeling.

seeing and acknowledging the good is making me a lot more anxious than this sounds

 
I get that. My therapist has a hard time with me, giving me positive comments. What she sees good in me. When she says those things it triggers me emotionally.
 
(had to stop, dry my eyes, have a comfort cookie)
 
It's supposed to make you feel good. And it does a little but something else as well that is quite strong. I feel it but I don't know what it is exactly. Not a fun feeling.


Nope, not good at all. It's so uncomfortable :( BUT it's probably worth getting used to. We can't be worth so little that we don't even deserve a compliment?
Photo
FlashedForward
Apr 24 2014 08:30 PM
Qrious, hi.

Thanks very much for posting this. It was nice to spend a little time with it.

It might not be the biggest amount of bravery in the world, or the greatest feat of saintliness ...


It's neither heroism nor saintliness that we need most of the time, yet miss, but the kind of human availability and presence you've described. I'm with Candu.

Best to you,

f/f

September 2014

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
141516 17 181920
21222324252627
282930    

Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. is not intended to be a substitute for professional assistance. All members and visitors are encouraged to establish a relationship with a trained counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist. Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. offers rape and sexual abuse survivor-to-survivor support only. Despite any qualifications staff or members possess, they are not engaged in a professional relationship with any other member. Survivors in crisis are urged to seek local help by contacting 911 or their local rape crisis center. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Service located here.