JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shock and Denial: Still Not Giving Myself Permission to Have a Hard Time

Yesterday, in the support group, someone said, "It seems like you're having a hard week." I replied, "No, this week isn't too bad." I realize now that I've been kind of in denial about it. It is like I've decided that things are going to get better and that I'll get a lot done. But, it isn't just for me to decide. Things are rough now; they just are - the call with my aunt, the conference with Dad about Namenda for Mom, the call with Mom's cousin pushing me to take on Dad, the way that *A* is treating me and the pressure from my advisor - yeah, this has been a rough week. And that's okay, right? I mean, it isn't what I want, but it is okay. I have to be more gentle with myself and re-evaluate my expectations.

Here's what I'm struggling with though - how to balance my limitations with moving forward with work and my thesis, with pushing myself to connect with others and doing things that I enjoy and having down time, with taking care of things for Mom and Grandma and taking care of myself, with opening myself up again to new people and protecting myself from getting hurt again, with asking for help from others without pushing others away with how rough things are and how needy I am.

I have been taking it pretty easy today trying to get over the migraine. I'm paying close attention to what I'm eating. I went to see my acupunturist. I'm making the poor dog wait to go for her walk until the sun goes down (well hopefully, she'll wait) (bright light = bad for migraine). I'm making plans to go visit friends coming up North even though it'll mean taking a weekend off right before I take another weekend off to go a wedding. I realize now too that my belief that my peers are working around the clock is false; everyone's got limitations.

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Blogger tafka PP said...

I am glad you're giving yourself permission.

(Gracious, stop me when I start to sound like the Life Coach from Starting Over!)

Seriously, you are under incredible stress in many directions and you need to keep being nice to yourself.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

No, you don't sound like the Life Coach from Start Over -but how do you even know about that show?

Thanks PP.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger Marj aka Thriver said...

Karma: I can so relate to what you're sayin' here. Jeesh! It's a lot for a brain to handle, isn't it? No wonder we get migraines! I'm sorry you're dealing with them. I also tend to get them around "that time of the month." I can't say I believe mine are strictly hormonal, tho.

Hey, I wanted to thank you for checking in on me while I was away doing trauma processing and during my recent down time. I'd say you're doing a better job than I am at your reaching out goal (I really have a tendency to isolate--still workin' on that one). I also appreciate the link. I'm gonna be gettin' one up to you soon. Sorry, I'm a bit slow. But, I love your blog and I want to direct others to it. I'm sure I'll get around to it after I post this next blog carnival I'm doing. Take care of that brain and head! ;)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gail Rae said...

I think tafka subtly, with her reference to commercial self-help strategies made an important point. I think what makes dilemmas like yours so internally hard is that, "outside" us, the popular psychological atmosphere is so incredibly soaked with the huge variety of commercial self-help strategies that, "inside", when we're in a hard quandry, we get ambiguous help from the "outside", which amounts to no help at all.
I'd say "trust yourself", but that sounds vaguely, menacingly commercial, as well, and I suspect there is a tome out there that explains why one shouldn't trust oneself, especially if one is experiencing PTSD.
How about this, though...when you're feeling stuck (which may be often, right now), stop for a minute and repeat your familiar name, whatever you call yourself from the inside out, over and over and over, as though it is a mantra. Pay attention to all that you visualize, randomly and about your self (closing your eyes might help, here), as you do this (you will visualize). Some of it will seem positive, some negative, some unconnected, some fearful, some hopeful, some disgusting, some pleasing...don't judge, just watch the "video". Stop it whenever you like. Let the awareness of your self-visualization settle itself into your conscious mind while you go about your day. Watch how events and your reactions to them connect with your visualizations; don't rigorously scour for connections, just watch; let them come on their own.
My guess is that, after a few days of this, you will "automatically" begin to take control of both the visualizations and the matchings. As you do, dilemmas will come into sharper focus and you'll begin to feel your way through them with confidence in your options; you might even come up with new, startling options.
Anyway, that's my contribution to the ambiguous field of "Self-Help Literature" -- and, it's free! (laughing, here)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Wow, I'm so honored by all of these comments. I tried the mantra thing, which I like. Honestly, I see people and cartoons freaking out - I think it represents everyone freaking out at me and dumping things on me.

Marj - thanks for the support.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 1:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Bailey Stewart said...

asking for help from others without pushing others away with how rough things are and how needy I am.

Oh that is so familiar.

The mantra thing is interesting. I do believe, though, that the "commercial self-help" has some grains of truth to them. Take the "listening to yourself" one - I believe that each and every one of us has two selves - the intellectual and the child. The intellectual knows what's right, what we have to do, how to handle things, etc. The child is that little voice inside that holds all of our fears, bad memories - it's the part of us that's been hurt and wounded. It really depends upon which "self" you listen to. You have to be careful and not fall for the childs "terror trap" and listen very carefully to the intellectual side - not only listen, but believe. I know this from personal experience. My therapist uesed to get on to me all of the time because I listened to the child and not the intellectual side. The child says I'm stupid, the intellectual says "hey, stupid doesn't make Dean's List or President's Scholar". I just haven't learned to believe the intellectual side. So what am I saying? Do listen to yourself. Listen to both sides, weigh the evidence, decide which part to believe, and then trust. And trust is the hardest part there is. I'm still struggling with trusting myself. It's a long and constant battle, but its not a hopeless one.

Thursday, October 26, 2006 5:06:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Bailey, it is so wonderful to see your reply. I've been worried about you. Are you still blogging?t

You're right that it is about learning to trust myself. Part of that I think is healing that child part - which the intellectual part doesn't necessarily understand. I've been really fighting on an intellectual level to try and shut that kid up. You've all given me a lot to think about.

Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:45:00 PM  

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