Little Sherry

little me

This is my favorite picture of myself of all time.  Even as a child I loved it. I loved the smile and the happiness the picture conveyed.  It still makes me happy.

One of the suggestions from the therapist to help me deal with, well, everything we’ve tackled thus far, has been to nurture or parent “Little Sherry”.  To bring to mind myself as a child and speak to her in the way and manner that I would speak to my own children.  I’m not sure why this has not only proven to be effective but has also been successful in touching my heart which, as long time readers know, is not an easy thing to do.

It’s allowed me to begin to love and forgive myself without looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you Sherry.  You are kind and beautiful and gosh darn it, you deserve it,”  (That’s a very old Saturday Night Live bit…sorry.) which feels disingenuous and downright silly to me.  I’ve been able to embrace this exercise I guess because I’m dealing with a child and not a fully grown adult who shouldn’t need this kind of care (in my screwed up head anyway).   The only word that comes to mind for me is profound.

When I began, Little Sherry always came to me with her head bowed and her hands over her face in shame.  I didn’t fight it.  I pictured us, side by side on the porch steps of a beach cottage, staring out at the ocean early in the morning.  No words were exchanged.  We just sat, together, watching the waves.  Eventually she would drop her hands to her lap and occasionally let me hold her little hand.

Now and then I’m able to offer kind words like, “It’s okay.  You’re a wonderful little girl and you deserve all the kindness and love the world has to give.”  I’m not sure how much I believe it yet but I think I might be getting through to her.  Hopefully I’m not too far behind.

On thing is certain, every time we sit together I cry.  Not boo-hoo with snot and an ugly face, but tears in my eyes that sometimes slide down my cheeks.  There’s just a deep sense of sadness that overwhelms me.  In fact, it feels exactly the same as when my children are in pain from one of life’s bumps and I can no longer fix it with a Buzz Lightyear Band-Aid and a kiss.  I have to just be there for them, guide the a little, and hope the scars don’t run too deep.  Life on life’s terms.

She still won’t look me in the eye and I haven’t been able to hold her yet but I think we’re getting there.  Sometimes I think I’ve lost my fucking mind imagining all of this…until I sit down to do it or it just comes over me.  Then I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

Namaste

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There Are No Coincidences

Sometimes things just come together and leave you scratching your head and thinking, “Well fuck me naked!  That could never happen again in a million years!”

That happened to me this weekend.

As you are well aware, I’m trying to get my shit together this year in some old (nutrition and exercise) and new (therapy) ways.  That means there’s a lot of work to do in the inside as well as the outside.  In fact, the longer I’m into this navel gazing, the more I realize that if I don’t get the inside right the outside will never be right no matter what it looks like.

I know I know…DUH.

Anyway, I was getting ready to take the dogs on a long walk Sunday so I decided to find a podcast to listen to during our journey.  I wanted one by Brene’ Brown but it turns out Brene’ doesn’t do her own podcasts.  However, while looking I found this woman Koren Motekaitis who does a regular podcast called “How She Really Does It”.  I scrolled down the hundreds of recordings until my eyes landed on one that said “Weight Loss After Menopause”.  Well, well, well I thought…this is right up my alley.

I had no idea.

I swear to you this woman being interviewed could have been me.  Seems that Koren is a life coach who conducts a “circle” on weight loss from time to time (www.howshereallydoesit.com ) and this woman she was interviewing was part of one of her former circles.  Everything that came out of that woman’s mouth felt like my words.  From her struggles with typical “diets” (they don’t work) to her conclusion that she had to get in touch with why she ate her emotions (therapy) to her preferred form of movement (walking).  It was really kind of spooky.

As I listened to her discuss how she took off 30 pounds I realized that my gut has been right all along (pun intended).  If I can learn to listen to what my body wants and needs I can work toward recognizing and then making peace with the emotions and feelings that send me to the pantry in search of salt or sugar, and then maybe I can find my body’s natural weight and perhaps, along the way, make peace with food.

Huge run on sentence and even huge-er goal.

Of course all of the above assumes that I can cut through all the crap I tell myself on a regular basis and create a kinder and more compassionate dialog with myself.

That’s where the second half of my day kicks in…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m doing Brene’ Brown’s e-course that accompanies her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” (www.oprah.com/brenebrowncourse).  I’m on week three of six and its been extraordinary thus far.  This week did not disappoint.  I don’t want to give anything away in case you’re thinking of going through the course but suffice to say my biggest takeaway from week three was this…

“I will talk to myself the same way I talk to the people I love.” ~Brene’ Brown

Just another version of what one of my good friends once said to me when I was using my patented self-deprecating humor.

“Never say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend.” ~Sherry’s Friend Patricia

Hear that?

That’s the sound of the brick God threw landing upside my head.

“There are no coincidences.  Only Divine bricks chucked from above.” ~Sherry

Hear that?  No?

That’s the sound of quiet determination.

Namaste

Deja Vu All Over Again

What’s that feeling you get when you’re doing something hard and you want to give up but you know you shouldn’t but you also know that if you do it will be such a relief not to have to think about what you’re doing anymore?  (Follow all that?)

Well whatever it is – I got a bad case of it.

This happens to me every damn time I start something life changing and it gets hard.  It’s the precursor to relapse.  It’s the thing that bites me on the ass just as I’m about to make some real progress.  It goes something like this…

Me:  “OMG I just can’t do this anymore!  It’s too hard!  It’s not worth all of this work and effort.  I don’t have to do this.  I mean really, I’m FINE!  No problems here a little time away won’t cure.  No one will know if I give up.  It’s all up to me anyway.  I’m strong enough without having to go through all of this.”

Blah, blah, fucking blah.

It did it the 4,327 times I quit smoking.  Then one day I pushed through this phase (again and again) until I was over the hump and could see my way clear to a life without cigarettes.

I did it the three times I quit drinking (I mean seriously tried to quit).  Then one day I pushed through (with lots of tears and tantrums) until I was over the hump and could see my life as a sober person.

I do it EVERY DAMN TIME I start a “diet” or “fitness program” and I start moaning about how I’m depriving myself and what a good person I am and look at everything I do and so I deserve those 12 cookies in the pantry.  Yeah…how’s THAT working for ya?  At least now I think I’ve finally come to a healthier way of thinking because I’m not on any diet or prescribed fitness program – I’m just eating less and moving more.  Revolutionary I know but that’s how I roll.

Now I find myself in that same place about therapy.  I see “Joe” about every two weeks and every fucking time, about 2 days prior to the appointment, I get a case of whatever the heck this is.

Head:  “I don’t really need therapy.  I’ve very self-aware.  I’m wasting time and money on this.”

Heart:  “Really?  Is that why every time you tackle a difficult subject you go home and eat your weight in chocolate?”

Head:  “Shut up and go back to keeping me alive.  What do you know about it?  I’ve got gobs of books on the subject and I’ve tackled my addictions in one form or another so there’s nothing left to do.  I have a husband with whom I share everything and lots of people who love me.”

Heart:  “Is that so?  Then why does it still feel like work for you to avoid eating emotionally?  Why do you have a tendency to do things addictively?  Why do you have these manic phases in your life (however mild)?  And why in the world do you still clench your jaw so hard at night that your teeth actually hurt in the morning?”

Head:  “Well…um…”

Heart:  “And what about these two words….empty nesting?”

Head:  “Wait right there!  That’s hitting a little below the belt don’t you think?  I mean, what mother hasn’t grappled with empty nesting?  It’s hard!”

Heart:  “Okay – forget that for a moment.  Do me a favor.  Go get a recent picture of yourself.  How about the headshot you just had done for work by a professional.  When you look at that picture, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Is it a nice comment?  Do you like her yet?  And how do you feel about where your career is right now?”

Head:  *crickets*

Heart:  “Go to the appointment.”

Head:  “Okay…”

I realize it’s a natural tendency to shy away from things that are hard.  The vast majority of the time I just lower my bull-head and power through yelling, “When the going gets tough the tough get going!”  But when shit is gettin’ real like it is now and the work I’m doing is actually going to change who I am, well…

I guess I get scared.

And that’s when I want to back away.

The times I’ve given in and given up the immediate feeling of relief after making the decision is palpable.  I go and buy the cigarettes or wine or chocolate and commence the relapse.  But that feeling of relief soon sours and before I know it, I’m right back at the beginning – back at day one, square one, the starting gate.

Needless to say I’m not going to give up on this therapy thing.  Mainly because every other time I’ve felt this way and given in it left me feeling like shit.

And every other time I’ve felt this way and, eventually, succeeded it has changed my life in all kinds of amazing ways.

Well when I put it like that, it’s kind of no brainer don’t you think?

Namaste

Examining My Own Imperfections

You know…I had this whole post lined up (in my head of course) about what my boss’ comment did to me and how I was feeling about life and my lack of confidence and a bunch of other shit that just added up to a poor me party.  Then I started to get on my own nerves so I stopped thinking about it and moved the hell on.

I’m taking an online class that goes with Brene’ Brown’s book, “The Gift of Imperfection”.  It was recommended to me by Viv over at Grief Happens.  I’ve been trying to read that damn book since someone else (sorry, I can’t remember who) recommended it to me years ago but I keep getting bored and putting it down.  I’m certain that this class is just what I need to get me through the book and, more importantly, provide me with some retention and life tools.

Part of the work in Lesson 1 involved figuring out who in your life are your “go to” people.  In whom do you confide when the shit hits the fan and you’re left embarrassed and ashamed.  Just anybody can’t be on this list.  It has to be someone who will call you on your bullshit (in a compassionate way) and just be there for you…no judgment…just love and connection.  Brene’ says that if you have one or two people like this in your life you are very lucky.

As I sat and thought, I realized that my inability to trust has severely limited my connection to people.  I mean I knew this but I don’t think I really knew this.  It was like a lightening bolt struck me in the middle of the heart when, as I was working, I came to this conclusion.  If you had asked before the lesson, I would have said I had lots of people who love and care for me to put on the list…and that is true.  But this particular list calls for people you trust to hold your deepest, darkest secrets and still love you anyway.  So mine is short – but powerful.

  • My husband.
  • My stepdaughter.
  • My best friend.

These are the people I trust with my heart, my soul, my secrets and my shame.  They are my tribe.  My true north.

I also added my therapist to the list.  I think the reason therapists exist is a lack of these kinds of relationships in our lives.  I used to say that people didn’t need therapists if they had a best friend.  I was so wrong.  Not all besties can be on this list.  I have a lot of very close friends who didn’t make the cut.  Doesn’t mean they aren’t my friends and that we don’t love each other – it just means I don’t trust them to hold my heart in their hands and not break it…even just a little.

And finally I added this blog.  This blog has been and remains privy to everything that is me…warts and all.  It holds my secrets, my shame, my feelings, my life.  I couldn’t walk away now if I tried.  I need to write here like I need to breathe.

So guess what you guys?  This blogosphere made the cut too.  All of you readers who hold me up and push me forward and call me on my bullshit when required.  You are on my list for as long as you choose to read and comment.  No judgments – just unconditional support and love.

I guess that makes me very, very lucky.

Namaste

Befriending Myself

 

 

Thanks to all who commented, encouraged and kicked my ass on Friday.  I truly did not realize how negative I was being which is amazing to me since I’m always the most positive person in the room!  I’m the one that you want to punch in the throat because, no matter what, I can find the good in any situation.

Apparently except when it applies to me…then I go all bad ass on myself.

But I heard what you said and I’ve pulled myself up by my bootstraps and come up with a new plan for these next six weeks.

Food

Clearly I need to be accountable so I will continue to track my calories.  My Fitness Pal really works for me so I will continue to use it.  I will also pledge to track EVERYTHING I eat.  It seems that I sometimes “forget” to enter things and then stand back in wonderment when I haven’t lost any weight or when my pants feel snug.  Not acceptable.  If I bite it, lick it or drink it I will log it.  (I should put that shit on a t-shirt yo…nah…now that I read it again…oh never mind.)

My goal is to stay between 1200-1500 calories a day.  It really is plenty of food for me BUT, if I find I’m hungry I will ask myself, “Could I eat an apple?”  If the answer is no, then I know I’m not hungry.  If the answer is yes…well then I’ll eat a damn apple!  I’m not a big fan of fruit so the “apple test” is one that works for me.

Exercise

As Paige so beautifully pointed out in the comments on Friday, I love my treadmill.  I really, really do.  I’m going to get on it every day except Saturday and Sunday unless the weather is ugly.  Here’s how…

  • Increase my daily steps to 12,000 per day.  I’ve exceeded 10,000 a day for the last 6 weeks so it’s time to up the ante.
  • M-W-F:  Walk at 3.3 mph (I’m at about 3.2 mph walking now so taking it up a little is warranted – I may even play with the incline) for at least 60 minutes or until I hit 12,000 steps.
  • T-Th:  Run on the treadmill using my C25K app.  I’m starting it over now that I have new shoes and after the 30 minute run I’ll continue by walking until I’ve hit 60 minutes or 12,000 steps.
  • Saturday:  Run outside with my second c25K app and the dogs (adds a bit of drama to the run).  I’m not worried about speed as much as I am endurance.
  • Sunday:  Yoga.  I’ve not been very good about “hitting the mat” for a while now.  My subconscious knows it doesn’t burn calories so I tend to shy away.  In addition, I hate the way my body feels in certain poses.  However, yoga is vital to my sanity and well being, so I’m going to do it at least once a week.  If I know me, I’ll be craving it by week two and by week four I’ll have to get up early to do sun salutations before dawn.  Just typing that out loud makes my body relax.

Spirit

The negativity in me has to end.  Several years ago, I was having lunch with a very sweet friend.  She heard me saying something negative about myself and she stopped me and said, “It hurts me when I hear you say things like that.  You should never say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend.  ”

So I’m going to make an effort to be my own best friend for the next six weeks.  That means treating myself with kindness, compassion, forgiveness and love – something I’m not very good at but that I know is essential to the success of this journey to health that I’m on.

Oh, the scale?  Motherfucker is in the trash (metaphorically speaking – hubs wouldn’t let me toss it so I’m putting it in the garage where the men go to play).  It lies and makes me feel bad about myself and I am more than a number.  Period.

As I said to my friend today, this is too important to give up on.

And so…with every fiber of my being I say to you this evening…

Namaste

Cautiously Optimistic

crocus in light

As I walk this crazy path of discovery, I’m uncovering things about myself that, although I’ve always suspected them to be true, are now proving to be true.  It’s kind of like learning about a long-lost relative with whom you share personality traits or getting the results of your first Myers/Briggs Assessment.  You see it and then think, “Wow!  So that’s why I eat my peas with my knife,” or “Hmmm, that’s why the pillows on the couch need to be perfect.”  There’s comfort in numbers and an even greater comfort in knowing WHY.

I have always had a very difficult time letting people take care of me.  I brush off comforting hugs (yes, even from my husband and children) and say, “No, no really…I’m okay.”  I feel extremely uncomfortable when people reach out to me with compassion and concern.  My first response is ALWAYS, “No worries.  I’ve got it.  Don’t trouble yourself.”  When my father died I wrote the eulogy and watched, dry-eyed as my husband delivered it.  People saw me and began to cry and I comforted them.  The same happened when my mother died.  My children were devastated and I had to be there for them.  I pretended I didn’t need to grieve because we had such a difficult relationship but that was the biggest pile of bullshit ever slung.  Everyone needs to grieve – for what was or for what wasn’t – doesn’t matter.

The love and compassion flowing from the comments on this blog recently are overwhelming to me…and a little uncomfortable.  Each one I read touches my heart, some make me cry, some make me laugh but they all make me know I’m not alone…that I’m cared for.  While I’m reading them however, there’s an crazy desire to say, “NO, NO…it’s okay!  I’ll be FINE.  Don’t worry yourself about ME!”  Can you hear the unspoken truth here?  It’s saying…”Don’t worry about me…I don’t deserve your love and concern.  I’m not worth it.”

How fucked up is that?

Pretty fucked up indeed.  But like the tendency to perfection, I’m uncovering WHY all of these things exist and that part, while extremely uncomfortable, it really kind of exciting.  Why is it that I don’t feel I’m worthy of the love and kindness you people pour forth?  Why, after 32 years of a happy marriage, is it so hard to for me to believe that my husband loves me?  Why can’t I let anyone give me a hug when I’m crying or say “there, there”?  Why can I be there for everyone else in their time of need but not let anyone be there for me?  Kind of selfish don’t you think?

But now I’m starting to see some answers and it has me frightened and nervous and anxious and excited.  Just the thought that, after almost 54 years on this planet I could open my heart to love and compassion not only from others but from myself; that I could actually learn to love the person I am and not the person I think others want me to be; that I could actually let someone else TAKE CARE OF ME emotionally has my mind reeling and my heart cautiously optimistic.

It’s almost too much…but not quite.

Namaste

“Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.”  ~Dale Carnegie

Breaking Down Walls

walls around my heart

Yesterday went very well.  I’m not sure how much “progress” I made but “Joe” (we’ll call him that for the blog), says that’s okay.  The process is supposed to go at my pace and in my time.  I have some new homework and I’m good for another couple of weeks.  I’ll think and process and think and…did I say think?  Yeah think.

The thing that is absolutely blowing me away is the fact that something that happened almost 50 years ago still has such an impact on me and can reduce me to tears in a matter of seconds.  It’s really not about the abuse so much as it is that feeling of not being protected; of not being safe; of not being loved.

I have no memory of being held by either of my parents to feel comforted and safe.  The memories I have of being held are uncomfortable – like I just wanted to get away as soon as I was on someone’s lap.  Hugs and kisses were frequent (we’re Italian so…well it’s what we do) but I never remember them feeling the way they do when I hug and kiss my own children.  They were perfunctory.  Mechanical.

On the way home yesterday, I told the hubs that until my children were born, I had my heart walled off.  He came the closest of anyone to breaking down those walls but it wasn’t until the kids came along (nieces, nephews, steps and bios) that the wall was truly destroyed…but only for them.   They get that part of my heart that I believed would never see the light of day.  It exists purely to love and provide for them, unconditionally and always.

What I’m learning is that it’s time to open that place in my heart to myself as well.  It’s time to love myself unconditionally – the way I love my children.  But that’s not an easy thing.  The exercise of speaking to my little girl, of parenting her, reduces me to tears in a way that few things can.  It touches my soul and awakens a yearning that I didn’t even know existed.  It makes me profoundly sad.

I still feel a little weird about this – like I’m whining and complaining about shit that I should be over.  Like I’m self indulgent and overly dramatic.  But I let those feelings go because I know that if I’m every going to be truly free, I have to get through all of this and learn to love myself.

Thank you all for your kindness and support.  This blog is my way of processing not only  my recovery from alcoholism but from the rest of my life as well.  I’m honored that you read and take the time to comment.  You all rock and I am forever grateful.

Namaste

That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph: and that which make our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness. The only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve: which could not happen unless we had commence with error, ignorance, and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.      Albert Pike

Nom Nom Nom

I see my therapist again today.  I’m nervous.  Last time I left him with my letters to my abuser and my little girl self.  There were things in those letters that only one other person on the planet knows (the hubs) besides me.  My grown up self knows that the things I wrote about really aren’t that big of a deal.  My little girl self still carries the shame and humiliation of those things.  She still owns them.

She’s afraid and embarrassed to face her therapist today.  Fortunately my grown up self is up to the challenge and almost eager to move this process forward.

Over the last two weeks, while I haven’t done any actual homework, I’ve thought about this process on a daily basis.  I’ve asked myself, “What the fuck are you doing?” many times.  I’ve wondered, for the millionth time, if I’m making too much out of a series of events that happened over 40 years ago.  I’ve considered giving up and just stuffing it all back down and walking running away.  I’ve avoided writing letters to my mom and my grandmother because, in my grown up head, I’ve forgiven them.  I haven’t really checked in with my little girl self to see if she’s forgiven them…

That’s how I know I have to keep going.  If I’m going through all of this thought process and it feels this uncomfortable…then I must need to face this part of my life and work through it.  Accept it.  Surrender.

There are also some interesting things happening to me.  They are subtle, almost whispers, and if I’m not paying attention I might miss them.  But they’re there…and I’m noticing them.

For instance, I’ve always hated my name.  I don’t know why…just the way it is.  It’s not that common and, as I got older, the “e” sound at the end sounded too juvenile to me.  All of a sudden however, I love the sound of my name.  I noticed it the other day when someone called me by name and I was filled with – oh hell I don’t know – joy?  Whatever it was it felt good.

Then there’s my face.  Never liked that either.  Long story.  Now I’m not minding it so much.  I’m looking at myself with a little more kindness these days.  I’m actually thinking of myself with a little more kindness these days.  Maybe it’s the therapy or maybe it’s the bump in my meds or maybe both.  Whatever it is I hope it continues to improve.  It feels good.

Now on the not so good side of things.  I’ve noticed that for the last three or four days, every time I start thinking about this appointment I want to eat.  Not just eat a meal…I mean EAT…nom nom nom eat.  Comfort eat.  Junk food eat.  Chocolate eat.  No cravings for booze…just food.  Cheeseburgers and French fries and cake.  Shit I NEVER eat.  And chocolate – oh for the love of God who in the world decided that Valentine’s Day was a good time to tackle these issues – fucking chocolate EVERYWHERE!

For the first time however, I’m actually noticing that I’m turning to food for comfort.  I’m uncomfortable with what might happen in this appointment today and I’m looking for food to make me feel better about it and help me cope with the feelings I may have to face.  It’s an actual feeling in my stomach…one I’m mistaking for hunger but couldn’t be farther from it.  I’ve been wondering why I’ve been so hungry, why is it that all I want to do is eat and now I think I’ve figured it out.  So while this sucks because I don’t have a flipping clue what the hell I’m supposed to do about it (except maybe break out my old sober toolbox) and even though it’s uncomfortable, I feel good because it means I’m more mindful of my feelings and my reactions.

So for now I’m going to roll with all of this.  I’m going to keep going down this path and facing this with tenacity and grit but also for with love and kindness which is new for me.  Usually I find an obstacle, barrel through it head first and just obliterate it to smithereens never stopping to see what damage I’m doing to myself – just hell bent on getting through the problem and moving forward.

Um…so how’s that workin’ for ya?

Time to take a softer approach to my issues.  Maybe ride a cloud or two along the way to freedom peace of mind.

Namaste

Like Walking Into a Hurricane

 

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post
Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

I’m off to the therapist this afternoon.  I did some of my homework but had to stop after a while.  It was just getting to be a little too much.  The more I thought about it and wrote, the more confused I got about memories and what happened when and to whom.  I started feeling things about places and times that I can’t be sure are real.  I had to shake my head to clear the cobwebs and just walk away.

When I wrote my letters for my 4th step I felt cleansed after I finished.  It was cathartic.  I cried.  I raged.  I wrote.  But then, I was done and I truly, truly let it go.  I was hoping that this would be the same experience.

Not. Even. Close.

This is like walking through tar – all sticky and thick.  It feels much heavier and I want to give up about a hundred times an hour.  Shut that door and lock it for good.  Protect my heart.  It feels like I’m walking into a hurricane head on…and no matter how hard I push, something keeps pushing against me saying “Stay back!  Turn Around!  Danger!”.  I know it’s just my psyche trying to stuff shit down again but damn…I’m strong.

I know have to get through the hurricane in order to see the sun again and this feels like a big one.  One that levels shit and leave nothing but destruction in its path.  This motherfucker feels like Katrina.

For now the emotional part has been…well…meh.  Not intentionally.  I just haven’t had any really strong feelings about anything yet.  It’s like I’m muted.  Muffled.  Well except for anxiety and adrenaline.  Every time I “go there” my heart beats faster and I feel a little like I can’t breathe.  Like I’m in a crisis and I don’t have time to stop and deal with stupid emotions.  I have stuff to do and until it’s done I can’t stop to process feelings.  How on earth will anything get done if I do that?

Yeah…I know.

Part of the problem is that I have no idea what I’m doing here.  I’m a planner.  I’m a Project Manager for christ’s sake…it’s what I DO.  But there’s no plan for something like this.  No instruction manual.  No one to tell me if I’m doing it “right”…because there is no “right”.  It just IS and apparently I have to deal with it or I’ll just keep trading addictions out like they’re playing cards.

Namaste

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you to give you hope and a future.        ~Jeremiah 29:11

Blowing Off Homework

homework

When I was in school I always hated homework (let’s face it – I hated school too).  I thought the concept of learning all day long only to go home at night and do MORE learning was just over the top.  In my opinion, teachers were all a bunch of educational zealots taking out their own frustrations on their students.  I vowed that when I became a teacher, I would not give homework…EVER.

Well life got in the way and I never became a teacher in the traditional sense (I wanted to teach high school Literature) but I have been a corporate trainer for the last 15 years.  As such, I have to admit that I’ve given homework from time to time due to time and budget constraints.  Having helped all six kids with homework over the years, I know that’s the same reason our schools give it to our kids.

No matter, I still hate homework.

When I first began seeing my therapist, I told him that it was good to give me assignments because, once provided a task, I would most certainly see it through to completion.

Then I looked around to see who in the hell just said that.

I was so anxious to get to the root of my issues and finally deal with them that I’d do anything, including homework, if it meant that I would come out on the other side better for the experience.  After all, that’s the approach I took in college and it worked just fine.  It worked just fine in this case also…in the beginning anyway.  He gave me assignments – I did them – we discussed them – I felt better.  Simple stupid right?

That was then.  This is now.

Now I’m supposed to do homework that will, essentially, pick a fight with a demon I didn’t even realize was a demon until fairly recently.  My sexual abuse has been tossed aside in my brain for 40+ years as I continually told myself that it was “no big deal – quit whining and get over it already”.   Now I’m supposed to poke a big ugly “thing” that has the very real potential to break down the door to my psyche and I’m on the other side of that door with my fingers in my ears singing, “la la la la I can’t hear you”.

lalalala

Well now…that’s helpful.

I haven’t even attempted it.  I’ve been too “busy”.  It’s just not the right time.  I need to tread lightly.  Blah, blah, blah, blah…

Avoid much?

I’m supposed to find a quiet place and think about that time in my life and that little girl who was violated.  Then I’m supposed to DO something – write a letter to my mom (who did nothing) or my grandmother (who may have betrayed me) or my abuser; sketch some pictures of my feelings; let my little girl write to me about the experience.  Anything.  Anything that will get this party started.

But have I done anything beyond think about doing something?  Nope.  Nada.  Zilch.

Maybe it’s because every time I think about getting started my heart starts beating faster and I get all jittery.  My thoughts start coming at me 100 miles an hour and my mouth gets dry and my palms sweat.  Maybe it’s because every time I look at my journal my brain says, “Run away!  NOW!”  Or maybe I’m just chickenshit and need to put my big girl panties on and DEAL.

Maybe I need to just do something.

Well…I did write this post.  That’s something.  Right?

Namaste