Feb. 7th, 2011

webcowgirl: (Tiger monkey)
Today was my third visit to my therapist. I thought maybe we should talk about the habit I have of cutting people out of my life. Usually I do this when I decide they are crazy or irrational, this frequently being triggered by my being (as I see it) unwarrantedly attacked by said person. I think this seems to happen more frequently for me than it does for other people, and per [livejournal.com profile] booklectic, I kind of think maybe when people verbally attack me it gets to me more than it does others. Or does it? Here's some examples:

1. Michelle D from college. Read me the riot act for not thanking her for cleaning my house after she'd house-sat for two weeks. Nearly 20 years later and never spoke to her again. (Was friended by her on Facebook this weekend. Ignored it.)
2. Aunt C. Jumped on my shit for asking my dad to stop drinking after he'd polished off a pitcher of beer at post-funeral dinner. Brother and husband stood by in silence. I told her (basically) to go fuck herself and that she had no right to address me that way. We have never spoken again (and it's now almost 10 years).

And other people.

There is also this theme of me being attacked by others and being not supported, like the time my dad yelled at me in a baseball stadium while my brother and husband sat there in silence (cue me having panic attack later) and again when my mother in law jumped on me for some misremembered slight she'd been holding on to for over a decade, again while my husband was in the room listening to her tell her twisted tales about me (cue panic attack again, how I managed to stay there and not go to a hotel to wait out the end of our stay I don't know).

The shrink asked me to go to the "safe place" (bedroom at Grandma's house) then go to a recent incident of my being yelled at for no reason I could understand and describe what I was seeing and how I felt there (which I did). One of the things that surprised him was that I wasn't feeling like my self-esteem was being cracked - but that I had a profound feeling of not being safe and wanting to get far away. I told him the self-esteem was only when friends shut ME out without explanation, because I figured there had to be a reason, and me being a worthless pile of shit (not what I said at the time) was clearly why.

He also focused on the fact that I had to defend myself and didn't have anyone to stand up for me. "Clearly, when you were a kid, there was no one there to stand up for you;" true, and for most of my adult life (before I got married anyway) I never expected anyone to defend me. And, well, when my sister said she'd come out and take care of me, that she "had my back" about two years ago, I about cried because it was the first time ever in my life I felt like someone really would look out for me. But I'm thinking all of these time when I was attacked and people that I thought were my friends stood by and let me take it may have had its toll on me. Certainly it's one of the things that rings deep within me for W; I know he'd absolutely jump in front and make sure I wasn't fighting someone, anyone, by myself.

So, inner feelings of worthlessness, lack of a sense of safety and place for defense leading me to defend myself as hard and as fast as I can, to quickly identify danger and distance myself from it as quickly as possible. We haven't defined all of my problems yet much less come up with any solutions yet but we certainly are seeing a lot of problems.

And with that it was off for a walk across the common and to my house. I'll be home tomorrow as I have an appointment at the doctor at 9:50 to see about getting a physio referral for my ankle. The ligament went wonky twice today (once after Pilates) and I just really don't need that much pain in my life.

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