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checking in - looking at feelings

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Stephanie71, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Stephanie71

    Stephanie71 Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone,

    It's been a while - still going through ups and downs along this path, but I thought instead of looking at anything physical in this moment I would write about and share my deepest feelings. I seem to keep doing the same thing over and over (form of insanity ;)) in that I focus focus focus on the physical symptoms, the what ifs, the wanting to see more doctors, get more diagnoses, more imaging, search the internet - so I thought I'd interrupt that, even if I'm "faking it till I make it" sort of thing.

    here is a list of feelings that erupted from me today during a writing session. Pretty intense. Let me know if anyone can relate.

    "It’s hard to articulate the fear that I live with and caring so much others think. There is an intense need for others to accept me and not be mad at me, and I think if I do everything super perfectly and make no mistakes this can be achieved. There is also intense fear that anything unexpected, out of the blue, that doesn’t go according to plan is my fault and that I am then in trouble and there will be big scary consequences. Definitely a sort of self-centered fear. That if I make any mistake along the path of life, there will be consequences and I will pay. And that people want me to pay. Cosmic betrayal trap door thinking. This strange sense that the world revolves around me in a sinister way. Like everyone is relying on me to hold it all together, and if I drop one thing, I will be punished and punished badly. Intense fear and anxiety that feels like death, like dread, like doom. It’s not even anxious, it’s deeper than that - intense sadness. Intense overwhelm and despair and depression. And then I think if I can just make myself look really perfect, this will make me feel perfect and defensible to the world and there won’t be any problems. So then I spend money on the “right” clothes and skin care because this is an attempt to make myself feel safe, when I just never feel safe. I just never feel safe. That fight or flight is so strong in me. It is suffocating.

    And this is what to work with.

    Never feeling safe.

    Intense people pleasing from a place of fear and needing to control. Intense rage at the fact that I do this and being so hard on myself for doing this.

    Hating obligation to anything, for fear I might deeply screw up - more fear.

    Intense rage that I feel more responsible for other’s feelings than my own and that their feelings are more important and significant than my own or somehow my fault or my responsibility to fix.

    Intense fear and paranoia that people secretly hate me or are extremely mad at me.

    Horrible intense guilt that I am doing everything wrong, that everyone knows it, and that I ought to be ashamed of myself.

    Intense inner judgment. Looking in the mirror and often thinking, I am ugly. I am ugly. Deeply painful.

    Intense fear around not having space, time alone, time to breathe and relax.

    Intense fear of reaching out - afraid I will be told my feelings are wrong or given advice that makes me feel crazy.

    Intense fear of screwing my life up by drinking again or “losing my mind” with not enough recovery.

    Intense desire to connect with others and to love and be loved and fear that my feelings are far too big, far too intense, far too overwhelming and there is no hope of connecting - so I shutdown and withdraw. I judge and hate as a defense.

    Intense fear of becoming unlovable.

    Deeply missing my father and desiring a strong connection that I am afraid just isn’t possible.

    Deep deep penetrating sadness for the suffering in my older brother and intense fear he will hurt himself.

    Fear I will push my husband away with my gigantic feelings - my very big heart. My oh so big heart.
    I become cynical, I think, because I am afraid of how much I love. How very deeply I love and feel. It terrifies me. I feel like a freak. And that it is a liability and a curse. And I don’t know what is true.

    A longing for and sadness about the past - especially the teenage years - for I feel I came so close to grasping something and then lost it so desperately at Boulder. Immense grief and sadness and shock and a sense of betrayal around all of this.

    A wish that I could be more vulnerable and let my guard down and stop people-pleasing and fall on my knees and beg for love - beg to be understood - beg to be seen - beg to be known.

    A deep desire to be understood and known - and I don’t, by anyone."
    These feelings are MASSIVE in me. But I don't think I articulate them much, and I am a very good pretender and very good at appearing competent and together. I feel like two people, or that the person having these emotions is some sort of "spirit" in me that needs to be exorcised.

    Anyone relate?

    perhaps such intensity of feelings would cause chronic pain....
    jennyc19, Sita, Katy Elise and 3 others like this.
  2. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle


    That's a list that many of us can probably relate to. I can only tell you what helped me with similar feelings.

    I had to accept that I have an "artist" heart. I see and feel more deeply than others in very specific ways, like an artist does.
    This does not make us wrong. We need to stop punishing ourselves for not being as cool and collected as others appear to be.
    Also, their appearance isn't necessarily the truth for them, either.

    I would say that of all of your list of fears, what you fear most is your tender heart and being vulnerable to emotional pain. That doesn't make you self-centered. Your heart isn't going to change. Start accepting that you feel more and channel it into feeling deeply about things outside of yourself.
    That's what you probably used to do, but found yourself being tortured by feeling too much about things you can't control.
    I get it. But, trust that the world and your husband and family NEED your "artist" heart.
    Give your heart a break! Accept it.
    Only then will the feelings be less extreme and cause less pain.

    best wishes.
    jennyc19, Sita, Durga and 5 others like this.
  3. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    I think I can relate. As I read your post, I had the sense that I feel many of these things, but not consciously. I’ve done lots of work digging into my feelings and emotions over the years and I think I have many of the same thoughts in my brain somewhere, which are helping perpetuate my chronic pain. I just don’t actively think these thoughts, but I feel like that’s part of my problem. It’s like they’re driving me from my subconscious. I actually feel pretty confident normally. But I still have this chronic pain. And what you describe feels very relatable.

    I like the response above. Keep writing and bringing the thoughts out into the open. Give them a voice and then let them go. Good luck!
    jennyc19, Sita, plum and 1 other person like this.
  4. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Peer Supporter

    I also can relate to your post a lot. I found a lot of understanding of these symptoms that are similar to yours in reading about CPTSD from Pete Walker's book Complex PTSD From Surviving to Thriving. Here is an article..life-impacting-symptoms-of-complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

    Who knows if this will resonate for you, but thought I'd share.
  5. Katy Elise

    Katy Elise New Member

    Wow. This is me EXACTLY. - I'm going through this so much right now and it's absolutely excruciating. I also believe it's C-PTSD. How is it going for you now @Stephanie71?
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think this is great!

    I would add that for each relationship (inner relationship with self, and outer relationship with other) and the feelings we have , there are veils to the pure feeling. These usually revolve around the specific conflicts we feel related to each feeling.

    For example, I lost a friend awhile ago, and I just want to send him my love. But what comes up is guilt that I was not that loving the last interaction I had. So I feel guilt, shame, fear of rejection, inner critic attack on myself that I am not loving enough, and don't deserve his love and forgiveness. These last items block my free flow of connection. They block my free expression, both inner and outer. They block or shade the pure feeling.

    I am more and more convinced that part of us is just pure feeling, and that this part of us, a whole dimension really, wants to be free, wants to "be itself."

    Your list Stephanie is so understandable, so familiar. And if I could have a wish for all of us, it is to allow and swim in feeling, without the blocks. To know we have a tender heart is a good start perhaps.

    This is a huge understanding toward your own healing. I hope you don't believe you have to fix all of this, these tender human feelings and conflicts. I hope instead you connect your insights to the symptoms, knowing this is an ancient pathway to pain. And the more you can enjoy less conflicted feelings, the less the pain needs to be there.


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