What I don’t know how to do

In preparation for my upcoming therapy appointment, I’ve been thinking about things I’d like to work on and, ultimately, improve.  A comment I made either on my blog or on someone else’s (who can keep track?) about how I don’t know how to be normal has got me thinking…what else can’t I do?

First, I don’t feel emotions like other people do.  I tend to either feel them too deeply or not at all.  And if I feel them too deeply and they become painful then Mr. McStuffins shows up and stuffs them all…well…someplace…I actually have no idea where it all gets stuffed.  Someday some well-meaning therapist is going to find the key to that “someplace” and things will likely get very, very messy.  I’d like to work on opening that someplace slowly rather than all at once.

I can’t drink Donald Duck Pineapple Orange Juice, look at an old-fashioned billboard, or a box of broken crayons without feeling…well…weird (in fact, just typing those words did it).  There’s a deeply buried memory associated with all of these things that brings up feelings that seem to be uncomfortable, but my psyche doesn’t let me really “see” what it is.  Usually we suppress things that are too painful to remember.  I hope this isn’t one of those times.  If it is?  Let’s approach that slowly as well okay?

I don’t like myself.  I try…but that damned voice in my head keeps repeating the shit that was put there long ago.  THIS is my biggest challenge – to get to the root of all of that and figure out how to stop the message.  But shit is messy yo.  And it stinks.  So I don’t expect this part to be easy but it’s got to happen because, at the end of the day, shit is also toxic if not handled properly.  However, if handled properly, it can be used to feed and nurture and make beautiful things grow. 

I don’t know how to let go.  Again I try…I really, really do.  So much that I had the words tattooed on my body.  All that did was give me a bad ass looking ankle, which is fine, but not exactly what I was going for if you know what I mean.  I need to learn how to keep the good stuff from a situation – you know, all the learning and positive spins – and let the hell go of all the bad stuff.  Just, you know, release that shit into the Universe to be dealt with accordingly.  Yeah…I’m gonna need to work on that.

I don’t know how to forgive.  Okay wait, let me clarify.  I have worked very hard to learn to forgive others and I’m doing a fantastic job and it feels amazing.  I love looking a people with love and understanding rather than anger and resentment.  Believe me when I say that it makes a big ass difference in my gut to not carry that shit around anymore.  Where I fail is when it comes to forgiving myself.  I’m not very good at that.  Down deep I don’t feel worthy of my own forgiveness and even I know that’s fucked up to the max. 

Speaking of “not worthy”, I don’t know how to effectively administer self-care.  Sure, I talk a really good game but when it comes execution?  I suck.  Big suck.  Mammoth suck.  I’m not even sure I really understand what the fuck it means to practice self-care!  I know what it’s not!  It’s not mani-pedis or chocolate or a new blouse.  Those things are nice but they’re temporary.  I may not know what it is exactly, but I know I need it and I know I need someone to take me by the hand and introduce me to it.

“Sherry, this is self-care.  It’s here to help you heal in a healthy and balanced way.  It’s good for you and should become part of your life.” (Said using tones like you’d use when talking to a frightened four-year old.)

“Self-care, this is Sherry.  Chick is all kinds of fucked up and needs you to slap her upside the head from time to time to get her attention.  But yo, she’s a quick study so it shouldn’t take her long to recognize you.” (Said in tones like you’d use talking to 50 Cent.)

The more I think about it, the more I think I should just email the link to my blog to my therapist so he can read and understand and save us both a hell of a lot of time and money.  Okay…save ME a lot of money.

But I don’t want to risk sending him screaming into the night.

Just kidding!

Sort of.



10 thoughts on “What I don’t know how to do

  1. Been there. I’ve had the realization that the only step remaining to find peace is part where I forgive myself. Any time I feel shame, I just need to look underneath and lurking below is the list of people to be forgiven. The ex-boyfriend who loved his porn more than our relationship? Check mark next to “Forgiven.” Me, for staying in that relationship twelve-and-a-half years longer than I should have? Oh look, the box is unchecked.

    Sharing here and with your therapist helps. This is not news to you, I know. But it is news to me:
    Good grief, Sherry, it wasn’t until I unloaded here on my blog about the shame from stealing from my mother’s purse over 40 years ago that a) others came forth and said, “been there, stole that” and b) I felt I was not alone, that I was not a freak, and that I could finally drop the shame.

    But what if no one came forward? What if all I heard were crickets chirping? I shudder to think.

    As for the self-care thing. The way I interpret the term is thus: do the things that need doing so that you can feel safe, healthy, and happy. You are correct – it is not the treats like mani-pedis nor the double scoop of Ben and Jerry’s. Actually, these two examples can cause self harm more than self care – especially if you are trying to eschew the pull toward trendy and fashionable or trying to diet.

    Instead, self care is doing the routine daily things that are easy to put off, or just plain irritating pain in the ass details – like paying the bills on time, taking the garbage to the curb, clearing the walk when it snows, going for a walk daily (note to self – how’s that working for you, Ms. Maggie?)

    Finally, before this turns into an epic three volume opus: try to treat yourself as carefully as you would treat a puppy during paper training. The pup will wander. The pup will make mistakes. Gently retrieve the pup and place her back on the paper so she can try again. She’ll get it. It just takes time.

  2. Well I lost my original comment that was naturally more eloquent, but I’ll try again. I think Maggie gave very good advice in her comment. For me, going to therapy even when it’s hard and even when I hate it and even when I feel like it’s not working has been crucial for me over the years. This has been somewhat off and on, but I went consistently for years. I went when I was broke, and I went when people told me that I needed to spend my money on other things. I’ve had different types of therapists over the past twenty years — five different ones total. Self-care as you mention is important, but I agree, finding what that is can be challenging. For me going to therapy is a big part of it sometimes. One thing I’ve learned is that sometimes (okay, lots of times) I need to go into my bedroom, shut the door and not have to take care of anyone but myself. It means stating out loud, “I am feeling very overwhelmed right now and I need some space.” As for what you said about linking your therapist to your blog, that might not be a bad idea. I’ve worked with several therapists who let and even encouraged me to write and send it to them before our sessions. I think the fact that you’re working on figuring it all out is huge. You deserve some peace and happiness and I’m cheering you on as you work towards it.

  3. Take it slow and be honest. Therapy is a great tool that aids in self knowledge…but only if you go in open minded and willing to listen. I have a bit of experience in the therapy area.

  4. I feel like I could have written this exact blog, word for word. I feel all this…daily. I hope this helps you, maybe if it does, I’ll venture to my own therapist. 🙂 xoxo

    1. I’ll keep you posted. I’m medicated right now but I’m sure my meds need adjusting too. Life is just too short to feel this way all the time! Don’t wait for me. Find yourself a psychiatrist who can prescribe meds and recommend a therapist. Please don’t feel this way one more day. It’s just not worth it! Life is waiting for you! (wow…that really sounded cliche’ didn’t it…) I’ll shut up now.


  5. Great and amazing comments so far and a brutally honest and heartfelt post, Sherry.

    I can only say that I still have times like that. I still have work to do. I, like you, are a work-in-progress. that’s what we are. We aren’t over there and we aren’t where we used to be, but we’re HERE. That’s about it for me. It took me a few years to get into self-forgiveness. It just happened one day…after I started making amends and forgiving others. Then it happened for me. Sitting on a park bench bawling my eyes out late at night after work. I felt cleansed in a way. But I still have to watch that I am not lashing myself with a wet noodle for the silly things.

    I really liked therapy. I probably still need it. Well, I DO still need it. lol. It’s work, and we have to be willing…but you’re a beautiful person, Sherry. We all have that in us. Just a matter of having someone or more show us the way, and let our spirit shine. Kick ego to the curb.

    Be kind to yourself.


    1. Dude! Did I mention I’m depressed? This made my cry (but don’t feel bad, pretty much everything does these last few months).

      Thank you for those beautiful words. I promise to keep them close to my heart and use them when I’m especially down.

      You rock.


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