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.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

When Dependence Sneaks In

Jerry left for China yesterday bright and early. I hardly got to see him before he left because he was so busy getting ready, and I was stuck at home with a multi-day migraine. I still had the migraine when I woke up at 5:30am to take him to the airport, and he was running so late that we didn't even really get to talk, although he did give me a lovely kiss goodbye.

This has been a transition week - I finished Spring Quarter work and am moving on to prepare for the class that I'm teaching this summer (aka starting Monday - its the first class I've ever taught as the "professor"). Jerry's gone now for three weeks. I'm completely finished with all required coursework for my PhD. And I'm working on this book chapter with my research team that will be published with MY name on it. Its also a transition week because I'm at this critical point with my relationship with Jerry (and not because of anything about Jerry).

I knew that when Jerry left town that I would have time to focus on other relationships in my life that have been neglected and would have all of this time for myself. What I didn't realize was how sad and scared I would feel. And a lot of these feelings are more about me and my patterns then they are about Jerry.

I was raised with the notion that women can't do things on their own...because they're incapable, because the world is a dangerous place, and because its just bad to be alone. Augh all of these stupid ideas that logically mean nothing to me. But, here I am now without this man, and I feel it all. I had noticed my sister get this way when she was away from her boyfriend/husband and certainly noticed it with my mom. I always feared that I would lose my independence to a relationship, which is in part why I've always bailed out pretty early on.

I know that part of why I'm feeling this all know is due to how I've let things been over the last half year that I've been dating Jerry. I've not paid proper attention to my local friends or to building friendship relationships in the way that I should. For example, I spent last night with *A* who I haven't hung out much with since I've been dating Jerry. And tonight, I'm hanging out with my neighbors, which I think is only the second time that we've done this since I started dating Jerry. I just so easily put things aside in lieu of spending time with Jerry.

I realize now that even after Jerry comes back, I need to be careful to spend enough time with friends without Jerry. Its really hard - I don't have the kind of friendships here that I wish I had. And I've really been enjoying having this no muss no fuss, no need to make plans too far in advance guy to do things with. All of a sudden, I'm trying to schedule meetings with friends weeks in advance, and I get left with this little pang of fear of being alone.

I was reading last night in this book about the enneagram. I'm likely a six, which means that I'm someone who experiences a lot of fear in particular about trust, in part because of deep trauma. I'm always preparing for the worst case scenario or to get hurt....Now granted, I've become a lot better about these things over time, but I still see how these are somewhat my issues.

The Jewbu path at this point is to recognize the fear when it comes and to just sit with it. Instead of trying to cover it up or pretend like it doesn't exist, I need to just acknowledge the fear and why its here, and then let it pass. I feel sad and afraid because Jerry's gone and I've grown too dependent on him. So, I'll just sit with this feeling as well as take little steps to become more independent and connected with other people.

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Blogger I Survive! said...

I find that it is not easy to sit with fear and mistrust sometimes. It is easier to say chant or to count or do something more active, rather than just sit with it. Often times, I end up listening to Gil Fronsdal ( as I sit in meditation. It helps calm things first before I can even mediate. I think, as trauma survivors, it is not always easy to meditate. It helps me to listen... Hope it helps you as well.

Sunday, June 24, 2007 6:21:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

That's such a good point that it is difficult for trauma survivors to meditate. I thought it was just me! It does help me to have a group of people meditating around me, especially if I feel comfortable with them, because then I don't have to fear being alone. But, I've struggled to find a community (sangha/kehilah) here.

Sunday, June 24, 2007 6:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gail Rae said...

One of my long time best friends swears by ennealogy. I remember taking an involved test and being auto-evaluated, but I don't remember what I was. I do remember thinking it was accurate, though.
Anyway, now I think I see what's been getting in my way of seeing you and Jerry as a couple: You're sort of carrying on a relationship with the idea of being attached to someone, anyone, instead of with Jerry.
Common problem. Not easy. Good luck, Karma.

Monday, June 25, 2007 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Marj aka Thriver said...

Kudos for the awareness and thanks for the insights. Good luck today, Professor!

Monday, June 25, 2007 8:39:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Thanks to both of you for your comments and support. Gail, I do think that I am with Jerry because I want to be with HIM and because I enjoy being with someone. See my most recent post....

Monday, June 25, 2007 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger I Survive! said...

No karma, you are not the only one. Sometimes even with a group of people it is hard for me to meditate. Doing something that is more movement based helps me more often than just sitting and meditating.

That is perhaps why doing yoga (vinyasa style, in particular), helps. It keeps me in my body and my mind, by keeping me in my breath. It is hard for me to explain, but imagine sitting by a stream and listening to the gargling water, losing yourself to the sounds. That is the end effect I get, except I'm still aware of my body... rather more aware of my body than otherwise. But this awareness does not accompany the usual heightened reflexes or the automatic thoughts. Since as trauma survivors we hold quite a bit of somatic memories, I suspect movement related stuff somehow helps us process it, provided we are focusing on something other than just the movement -- like the breath.
It is as if I'm learning to associate the movement with my breath instead of my somatic memories... I do not know if it makes any sense... but for what it is worth, there is my 2 pennies worth. Now you owe me 2 pennies ;-) just kidding!

Have a good week now!

Monday, June 25, 2007 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Wow, that makes so much sense! I haven't been able to do yoga for about a year due to problems with my shoulder which are connected to the migraines. But, when I did go, I REALLY struggled to do any more passive forms of yoga - the more active flow forms where much easier to get into. Like you, I needed the movement to quiet my mind. I never saw the connection before though. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 8:17:00 AM  

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