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Day 9: How I treat myself

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by cookieheals, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. cookieheals

    cookieheals Well known member

    I've been hard on myself lately but shouting back at the Inner Bully recently as well which is new- generally when I am by myself I am fine.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think yelling back is a great practice. It takes the aggression-toward-ourselves (as an attack by the Inner Bully) and turns our aggression outward, away from what we understand as our self. It is a protective and compassionate response. Healthy anger against elements which hurt us is always powerful! And it is a direct intervention here into the subtle, long-held dynamic most of us have, which is a sort of agreeing with the attack. It breaks this old dynamic, turns it on its head.
  3. cookieheals

    cookieheals Well known member

    Yeah. Thank you for this. I have a sister who struggles with mental difficulties- she seems otherwise quite normal, but sometimes can do the strangest things about 10% of the time that violate boundaries and appears to not follow basic instructions though she is 31. So it's like dealing with someone who is usually normal and then suddenly not, and sometimes I can get really angry at her, yelling sometimes- so that day she had woken me up and i had slept 3 hours two days in a row and she didn't need to wake me up but made the choice out of disregard of me (like I said it happens 10% of the time so it's hard to be like- oh okay, this is what I expect from her since it is so unreliable)

    So I yelled at her, and she apologized, but I was so mad at her it was scary for her, and for me. I mean, I had lost it. And after she left immediately I started crying because of a barrage of thoughts 'why are you such a bad sister,' 'what is wrong with you' 'how can you yell at her' 'why can't you handle your emotions' and I was listening to these thoughts like on a radio then I stopped and shouted into the space, 'Leave me alone! Okay, I won't always react perfectly, I won't always do things perfectly, it's life! Give me a break- I am not always a perfect human being!!' And that shut it up.

    Then my mother is another infuriating creature. She complains incessantly about everything. Everything. And is just a negative person. If you sit with her for ten minutes you can be sure to hear that someone specific died, or the news, or that she didn't sleep well- being around her is exhausting. And then she gets easily defensive and speaks in an attacking way, then denies it and maintains that it's me with the problem, and refuses family counselling. Right now we just got back from a trip and she acts like she wants everyone to be her maid, and actually fell sick, just a bout of stomach flu, but the way she acts it's like she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. And then speaking to her, is an infuriating experience. She takes maybe three times as long as me to understand something- I call it the downloader, and I'm pretty quick minded, and pretty fast, but she is so.damn. slow.

    My sister and my mum are both on a lot of psychiatric medication, are both overweight, and I went to boarding school fourteen years ago, then lived in India for two years, then the U.S, and so at this point I've lived almost a third of my life without them. I come back every couple of months for a month or two, but generally away.

    So when I yell at my mother, which I do, or my sister, I feel an incredible amount of anger and shame towards myself, with guilt. So I try to take breaks away from this house. But the other house is my uncle's house and my aunt over there also has anger problems and the maid that keeps the house also has anger problems. So in general, I do not feel like I am in an environment that is emotionally safe, or stable, and when I try to assert boundaries, and they are violated, I get so angry, and then after expressing the anger, the shame and sefl ctiticism and anger comes.

    "You are such a bad daughter."

    "You are such a bad sister"

    "What's wrong with you?"

    "What's wrong with you?" is the favourite question of the inner bully. And then I ask questions like,

    "What's wrong with me?"

    But I feel like a displaced member of my family, and honestly embarrassed to be related to them, and angry that they are my family. Between my father who was an alcoholic and died when I was 10, his horrible relationship with my mother that was not aggressive but sort of passive, like they just didn't talk much but also slept in different rooms and did not really - were not there for us emotionally, to the ways in which my artistic needs were put down and ignored, to my emotions being ignored and neglected and their only comment to me was' stop crying' because 'i cried to much'

    Only to become an adult and have a 31 year old sister that is sort of like a half child, half adult, even though she can act like an adult, she has just been habituated into a child- also by my mother, to having a mother, that is insufferable, rude, and irritating to say the least, and then also having not chosen a career path that at the moment is giving me the financial capablities to leave this place, which I would, in a heartbeat- and recovering from chronic pain while also dealing with other aspects of my work like applying for work, being in school,

    It's all a lot.

    So I get mad that I can't seem to react well to all of it.

    But then sometimes I get mad at the one that is telling me that I should react better to this. Most people would crumble if they had lived my life. Or maybe just develop TMS symptoms.

    Personally, my TMS symptoms strated this time round when I was going through a period of my life where I felt extremely helpless and hopeless- someone in my masters program was bullying me. A strange experience. To the degree that he shared a poem in class calling me a devil.

    But the sense of helplessness, especially reinforced by the career choices that are not enabling me to have consistent income, continues day in day out, and I would say at times when I start thinking, 'Okay, it's not worth it to be alive anymore' is when I start getting pain.

    Actually, if I didn't have pain, and fear and preoccupation around pain, I would probably not be on this planet anymore. Things have been very hard.

    And on top of things being hard, the demand to react perfectly to how hard things have been, that is too much. I can't have a hard life, And also react perfectly to it. It's too much to ask for,

    So I'm grateful I am at least starting to stand up for myself. I've done self compassion meditations before, introduced through Kristin Neff, and God and I are pretty close and He is quite kind to me, and when I do self compassion work, I cry, a lot. I cry, and cry, and cry, and trust that one day God will give me my own space to live, provide financially for me in a consistent way because I am engaged in work that is in His will and literally doing what He said, and I will be in a space emotionally whereby I feel like I can simply breathe, and breathe, and just keep breathing.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi cookieheals,

    I read your entry here with understanding. I get enraged, then I attack myself. You write in a nice way that ---in a sense, it can't be helped. That is the way we're built. But to take compassionate interventions with this dynamic, this is precious!

    I highly recommend Soul Without Shame, a book by Byron Brown, which discusses what you're doing at length.

  5. cookieheals

    cookieheals Well known member

    Thanks Andy; I actually read it a few years ago- but have picked up self compassion meditation again, which seems to be helping. I am grateful for the idea to be compassionate with my own dynamic with self. Since the voice in my head has beaten myself up over almost anything it can think of, I like that I can be compassionate with my fear, while continually helping my mind focus on the psychological.

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