Posted by: Nice Melons | June 16, 2008

My psyche – let me show you it.

Well, I’m writing again today about the screwed-up wiring in my brain.  Arrgh!

I am so freaking tired.  I feel so hyper-vigilant all the time that it is hard for me to relax.  I am so glad to be headed back to my regular yoga classes this week – that helps in a huge way.  HUGE!  I can actually sleep!

Being in fight-or-flight mode all the time is super-exhausting. I’ve calmed down a bit over the years as I’ve worked on my crap… but during times of extreme stress, illness, etc, it is very difficult to keep it from rearing its ugly head. There are many factors that have contributed to this over the years.  These are not excuses, or a sob story.  They’re not even full explanations.  To some folks, even acknowledging this stuff gives the stuff power over you.  Whatever.  I LIKE to figure things out and know what makes ’em tick… then I can understand and deal with it a lot better.  This is more about identifying the nasty gremlins of my psychological make-up so that I can kick ’em in the nuts.

So, let’s review, shall we?  Or at least let me ramble through the twisty passages of my effed-up brain.

Like a lot of folks, I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family.  Fortunately I had (and still have) my Mom.  She is super-cool.   If she hadn’t been there, I seriously doubt that I’d still be walking around.  I really struggle to function, and a lot of folks chalk it up to my “artistic” temperament.  Yeah, OK.  I have a hard time reconciling my current occupation of public policy wonk with my previous life as a professional musician (French horn).  It’s interesting, though, that a lot of the same things about working in government bother me about the music business.  But I digress…

There was so much verbal, physical, and emotional abuse in my house as a result of my Dad’s own dysfunctional upbringing combined with serious alcoholism.  Yeah, Melon Girl, get over it and die of something else, right?  Our parents do the best they can; they are simply passing on what they learned from their parents unless they make a cognizant effort to change that.  Change is pretty hard, especially when the crap is embedded early into the core of who you are.

Well… I have a half-brother (Dad’s previous marriage) but was raised as an only child.  I learned pretty early not to make any mistakes, ever.  Don’t do anything to cause discord, because I got enough of it just by, well, being there.  Walk on eggshells much?  Crap, it was more like walking on broken glass with bare feet.  Hell, let’s even jump up and down a bit.  Whee!  Ouch.

When I was about 18 months old, I also nearly drowned in our backyard pool.  My Dad, who had worked as a lifeguard, saved my life – I was not breathing nor did I have a heartbeat for some time.  During my darkest times, I wonder why he saved me.  I do know now that he loved me, he just really, really hurt the people he loved… big time. 

I have been so afraid of repeating this pattern in my life that I avoided relationships like the plague for YEARS.  Whenever I attempted them, I’d be at a loss what to do… and I attracted a lot of guys that were as dysfunctional as my Dad.  I finally did enough work on my stuff to realize that I deserved someone who treated me well and whammo, I attracted a few.  Holy crap!  Now what?

That’s about the time I realized that I am still seriously retarded when it comes to relationships.  I am so fearful of going back to that dark place where I got hurt repeatedly for loving someone.  I also didn’t want to cause anyone pain.  It should be pretty simple, right?  It’s about feeling good and making those you love feel that way too.  I want this.  It’s gotten a bit easier… but as you may imagine, it’s not been such a simple thing for me.  I’m not sure it will ever be simple.  Humans are complicated as hell for me even if they insist otherwise.  Basically, I do the best I can and try not to freak out too much.  That doesn’t always work.   I haven’t freaked out badly in about 15 years until a few nights ago.  Then it was meltdown time.  This happened in the past when I would get emotional information going in my head that, well, didn’t line up.  For example, someone would tell me that they were nuts about me but it wouldn’t translate physically… or someone who would physically show me that they liked me that would say things that I couldn’t reconcile with the physical behavior.  WTF?  Well, I told you I was re-re. 

So, at this point, I don’t know whether to sh*t or join the Elks

Actually, I think it’s just time to go and buy some more ice cream

 


Responses

  1. Yep, you are me..

    I’m scared.

    That last bit in the last full paragraph describes me perfectly, so I have an idea what’s going through your mind.

    Ice cream cures most everything for a few moments. If you eat it really fast, you can get an ice cream headache, and you forget most shit for a bit. It works for me.

    But, seriously, I avoid relationships at all cost. I don’t what the hell to do anymore with ’em.

  2. Hey kiddo —

    And you are a bit of me too. Hypervigilant? Check. Alcoholic father? Check. Confused about the whole relationship thing? Check.

    What has helped me? I think the years of therapy definitely made a good dent in reducing the damage. The other has been my Buddhist practice, primarily recognizing that teachings on emptiness – nothing truly exists in the way we believe it does. In other words, everything we think we know is wrong! I was pretty damn certain I was damaged goods, completely incapable of happiness. And I believed happiness came in this particular package. Wrong and wrong again. Perhaps some will say I have compromised my dreams, and have settled for low expectations. Maybe I have. But, for the most part, I’m pretty content these days. And while my “artistic” days were certainly dramatic and colorful, I can’t say I was particularly happy.

    As Buddha taught, the nature of this existance is suffering. So, shit is always going to happen. So, the key is how do we respond to it? Do we had another layer on top of it by suffering about our suffering? As a teacher once advised me when I was asking him about how to handle my depression: if you think of your depression (or any kind of manifest suffering) as a turbulent storm on the ocean, the smartest thing to do is simply relax and float and wait for it to pass. Instead we tend to start flailing about, or trying to swim as fast as we can away from the storm, and all we end up doing is getting ourselves in more trouble. Ya know?

    Anyway, my thoughts are with you. I hope I didn’t come across as preachy. Take care, my dear.

  3. more cat pictures

  4. I tried to post a pic of a kitty eatin’ ice cream. It no worky 😦

  5. Daners, Ali-ers, LB, et. al.

    I’m going to post a little later today or tomorrow to address some of this stuff I have brought to the surface. I spend a lot of time doing yoga for good reasons, you see. As long as I practice, I can keep things calm and my friends want to be around me.

    If I do not, well, all the crap resurfaces and I become a basket-case. It’s not pretty.


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