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Day 34 Legalism

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Endless luke, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    Write about either a personality trait or current issue that is causing stress in your life.
    Although it’s been submerged this year I have a huge legalist tendency. This year has been different because I’m no longer in contact with my mother and so much of my legalist energy was tied up in convincing myself that I wasn’t crazy for resenting the way she treated me. I thought that tendency was simply a part of me so it’s been interesting to see it all but vanish (The only time it has resurged has been when my father has pressured me to resume the relationship with her).
    I used to have this inner dialog that I’d record in my head so that I’d no I wasn’t being vindictive for disliking what she was doing. I wanted to be sure that I was being fair to all parties, that I had considered any argument she might make, and that my judgement wasn’t based on the fact that I was the one being wronged. I had to do this internally because she was impossible to reason with and never backed down. The only victory I could have was internal- that I wasn’t a bad, ungrateful kid because I didn’t subscribe to her martyr act.
    Ultimately it was good to drop to the legalist trait and that came about by giving up on the idea that she would understand me- or more specifically that the hope she would understand me was worth the time and energy I put into it. This occurred by just looking at the time spent. I thought: I’m nearly forty, it hasn’t happened yet, let’s give up this quest. If one day she understands me that’s good but I’m not going to base a single part of my wholeness on whether it happens.
    My legalism wasn’t limited to dealing with my mother and would sometimes come out in my relationships particularly when I was feeling disrespected. Yet it was more limited and I would drop my feelings and legalism after I’d said my piece. Although learning to say my piece took me a long time.
    What comes to mind is that when I would meet people online to for dating. Sometimes I’d go on a few dates with a woman, they’d seem to go well, and then I’d invite her on another and she’d simply never reply. It seemed to me horribly unfair that she’d place the minute it would take to reply over the couple of days of waiting that it would take me to figure it out. This was especially biting because I felt that I had to keep putting myself out in the initial stages- paying for the date, picking places, etc.
    This happened to me many times and usually I wouldn’t say anything. Later on I sometimes wrote a final email saying that I thought it was rude. As I mentioned these emails helped me drop the thoughts from my consciousness.
    Later still I dropped almost all of the dating because the TMS was holding me back so much. I realized I couldn’t ignore how it was affecting how I perceived. That it must be evident in my posture, my controlled emotions, how cynical I was, etc. I decided to quit fighting something that wasn’t working out- similar to what happened with my mother.
    A friend recently wrote me a letter where she was quite insulting and I didn’t feel a need to defend myself. The defensive thoughts did run through my head but it was clear to me it wouldn’t do any good to express them. It’s not just that it would be futile (because I always recognized with my mother that the communication was futile) but that I didn’t need her support. If she felt about me the way she indicated then I was better off getting support from other places.
    I guess dropping my legalistic habit is good. I no longer try to protect myself with people- I have no real secrets. Yet I feel unmoored.

    What part of PPD do you think is frustrating or silly? Is there something about the theory you don’t accept?
    I’m not sure where to start with this question. It’s all frustrating- I still feel like I’m in the wilderness with no path out. I have done so many things that should help without getting substantial progress.
    I’m not even sure that feeling my emotions is helpful. I’ve felt sad for the past year without seeing much progress in my health. I suppose the theory would say it’s the unconscious emotions that are holding me back but I’ve also been seeing therapist and doing psychodrama.
    I can find no path forward.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Luke, don't discourage. It isn't easy to deal in relationships with some people, whether a mother or other close relatives or friends
    or those women you dated. I think everyone has their TMS aches and pains. Not only you and I but everyone.

    Maybe try not even thinking about what your unconscious emotions may be. Dr. Sarno says knowing what they are
    isn't really necessary. Your subconscious knows what they are. Just tell it you trust that it knows what your repressed emotions are
    and spend more time trying to enjoy each day. When I get stressed, from various causes including relationships, when I'm by myself
    I just laugh. Laughing is supposed to release pain killing endorphins to make us feel better. It works for me. Even a minute or two
    of laughing, when there is nothing funny, seems to chase away my blues and pain.

    You can find a path forward. Just don't be hard on yourself.

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