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Processing Goodism

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Anniemaude, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. Anniemaude

    Anniemaude New Member

    I have had CFS for over 5 years, done a lot of inner work for far longer than that, understand that the CFS is, for me, about fear - feeling unsafe, feeling I’ve tried everything (tried my best - LOL - at everything) and nothing works, have given up as it seems nothing I do has ever been enough. Recently started journaling again (great resistance as have journaled masses in the past and thought why oh why do I need to do more). But looking at the circumstances of my life there is clearly so much more being repressed, and living like this is not living life as it’s truly possible, so I started the journaling about not just understanding the feelings but really getting in touch with them.

    Yesterday, Christmas lunch with friends. The partner is in his 80s and has been in the dying process for some time. It’s actually amazing that he’s still alive. We’re in Britain, he’s American, was an actor, very forthright, very irritated by the British and in particular women, much anger. He’s done a lot of spirtual work but sometimes it really makes one wonder. We four older women and him sitting sharing our feelings. He, in his sharing, makes remarks about me. He’s angry with me, not specifically, but nasty jibes. Attacking how I am being - which is quiet and, according to him, not listening to him. Being paid attention to is a big deal for him. Six months ago I stayed with them as I was homeless due to the CFS and he didn’t like it, again was really unpleasant to me, and whilst I’ve known then a long time I decided I would no longer placate him with different ways of conversation but would simply answer if spoken to, be totally courteous, but no longer engage with him in my attempts to be a ‘good person’. I’m angry with him, internally, as he’s a shit to his partner and it triggers big memories of how my father was to my mother. But I keep quiet as he has a powerful rage about him and despite his frailty, a very, very loud voice. I’m frightened of him - not physically as he’s so frail, but emotionally and mentally, and of the physical effects the rage has on my system.

    I keep quiet and notice my fear. Notice my familiar way of dealing with it. Which is to be good and keep quiet, keep very still. To feel how unfairly I’m being treated as I’ve done nothing to evoke this reaction (apart from not pay him the attention he wants and probably/possibly be, or appear to be, passive aggressive to him in my attempts to not rock the boat).

    I notice also, almost with amusement, how he says about not having someone behave in certain ways to him while they’re in his house. That’s exactly how my father used to be - “this is my house and while you live in it you’ll do as you’re told”.

    My inner commentary is, “I can’t respond in any other way than just keeping quiet because... it would truly upset his partner, my friend, to have any confrontation, it IS his house (it’s actually hers, but he lives there, so it’s his home), he’s elderly and he’s dying - have respect, what is there I could say that is not confrontational or would open a truly uncomfortable conversation for all of us and make Christmas dinner awful, I’m feeling CFS symptoms and that depresses me, if I say anything I might actually cry, I want to run away and just leave but that’s creating unnecessary drama and also another friend brought me and I don’t have my own transport with me.... etc, etc”. A constant run of ‘I can’t because”. Basically, I can’t because I’m terrified and don’t yet have access to other options. So I sit quietly and endure until it’s passed. That’s familiarity. And it did pass, and he went up to bed again after a while and the four of us women had a reasonably nice time.

    I’m grateful to see the opportunity to process something here but I’m not really sure how.

    How else could I have responded? Not necessarily externally. Can I have a nervous system that is ok with someone who wants it all to be about him and is loud and aggressive about it (he does have alcohol issues as did my dad), and not go into physical melt down, and freeze response, when tempers are raised and particularly directed at me? Or can I release something so that those situations no longer arise in the same way to show me this?

    I’m now a 64 year old woman and not a 10 year old child who thought she had no other choices than to keep quiet and keep her head down. I want to stop this pattern and not need to have it reflected in my life circumstances any more. Do I just continue to feel that fear, comfort the terrified child, and not try to work out anything else? Is that how it dissolves? Or do I look for other ways of being with this kind of situation? I can and have all my life reframed these things, but that hasn’t changed either my feelings or the circumstances that arise - it just fuels my intellect to think it’s smart to understand. Is there another way?

    Ha! I realise that I’m editing this thread to make it perfect and cover everything... I’m stopping now, and it’s not perfect :)
    HattieNC and Ellen like this.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are in a tough spot. Standing up to the bully who is old and in bad health is hard. But you must stand up for yourself. Have you thought of apologizing to the guests and just walking out of the room. You don't have to explain a lot, but just saying that you are not feeling well and walking out would send a message. You are already half-way out of the abusive relationship because you fully understand dynamics of it. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you!
  3. Anniemaude

    Anniemaude New Member

    Thanks for replying TG957 - I really appreciate it.
    That might have been an option - which I did consider. But in that particular circumstance it felt more significant to recognise and acknowledge the fear I was experiencing, see it as very historic and an opportunity to examine and process that old feeling more deeply and honestly. The consequences of leaving the room, just in that particular instance, would have created extra drama, and perhaps distracted me from that present moment feeling that I’d always tried to bury, and pretend wasn’t as painful or scary as it was. So, I’ve just been acknowledging quite how scared I was in my childhood, and how much I used the freeze response all my life at times of fear and discomfort.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Nonreaction is not weakness but strength." Eckhart Tolle

    I think you have responded well to the situation. You are fully aware of your feelings and not repressing them. You understand the source of your feelings is early experiences in childhood.

    There is no need to express our thoughts and feelings to be free of TMS. Only to be aware of them and to understand their source. Whether or not to express our thoughts and feelings depends on the situation and the nature of the relationships involved. In the situation you describe, it seems wise to refrain from expressing your true thoughts and feelings.

    Your post shows much self-awareness. You are on the road to recovery. Just be patient and kind to yourself along the way.
    Anniemaude likes this.
  5. Anniemaude

    Anniemaude New Member

    Thank you so much Ellen. What you’ve said is really affirming and supportive. This can be a very lonely process
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am enjoying reading this thread. I appreciate your awareness Anniemaude, and the responses by Ellen and TG. We've all been there, and we'll be there again: aware of our reactions, and not sure how to either express them properly or "process" them properly. I agree with Ellen that it is your awareness which is the most powerful aspect to work with symptoms, and it can be depended on.

    I see you identify with being attacked, and being frozen and afraid. But whose rage is this? Is it all the man's rage, the "other's" rage? Finding a way to express your natural rage at being "cornered" by both him and your socialization (to not rock the boat), and your upbringing (I'm not safe to express rage), might be helpful. It could start with an unsent letter expressing your rage at him. Knowing/feeling/allowing your own rage may really help you when feeling frozen or weak, or fatigued. Our anger is a natural force for clear boundaries, including discernment of what's going on inside.
    Anniemaude likes this.
  7. Anniemaude

    Anniemaude New Member

    I really appreciate the support Andy B, Ellen and TG957, it makes a lot of difference knowing others have experienced similar and it is simply about noticing the feelings and accepting them, not resisting or condemning oneself for feeling like that - which has been my way. Overriding it all, pretending it doesn’t hurt as much as it does.
    I’ll continue with the daily journaling and noticing. Thanks again.
    TG957 likes this.

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