Posts Tagged ‘Emotion’

Too Beat To Rant

May 15, 2014

I have put this in the Emotions Category, though I’m not sure I have that much energy to rant and race about dealing with Mom.  I went to see her 4 times in the last week – last Tuesday, Friday, Sunday with Eddie for Mother’s Day and yesterday.  She has a couple of meds for depression as well as to help her sleep at night.  As a result, she is  kind of sleepy a lot of the time.  When I read or bring my iPad, she tends to doze, sometimes goes to sleep.  I also notice there are times when I see her, she isn’t  willing to really have a hug.  Other times she is very glad to see me and enjoys a back rub.  Yesterday She looked at me and so I said “I am your daughter Elizabeth”.  She  then knew who I was and was happy to have me there.

It’s so hard sometimes to visit her – at times I would rather not go at all – but I never want her to think I have abandoned her.  I see this woman in the adult family home and she resembles my Mom, but she is so different.  The Mom I knew is barely there.  As this process has progressed, it seems as I grow stronger, she diminishes.  I can’t fathom what it is like for her inside, especially since every person is different.  I was at the caregivers support group on Monday and I am glad I have that to help me deal with this whole dementia thing.

I am in the process of writing 2 books simultaneously – based on the blog posts I have written about RA and dementia. Before I did any post on dementia, I had done some writing (ranting) about what was going on and how frustrated, angry and  upset I was about the situation.  I never published them on the blog and as I read them while working on the book, I was amazed at the energy and emotion I had then.  (There’s a good reason I didn’t publish them – no whinge zone).

Things are very different now.  I don’t really have the need to rant, but maybe I need to just pour out my emotions about the current situation and cry if necessary.  I don’t seem to have the energy  to be worked up any more, it is more a sadness than frustration.  Some of it may be that I have a lot of my own things – physical – that I need to clean out; I also have stuff in my head that is no longer valid and that also needs to be cleared out.

If you aren’t into woo woo, goofball and hocus pocus, you may want to quit reading.

I talked to an intuitive a couple of weeks ago about what is holding me back from selling the furniture.  She told me I have a lot of Spirits around.  She saw 2 older women baking bread, a little boy who took her and showed her the puppies and there are cats and all kinds of spirits.  She also saw my Dad – he is here waiting for mom to finish what she needs to do here.  He loves her so much – I remember many times he would say “Your mother is the most wonderful woman in the world”.  He is pleased with me and loves me – he wanted to know if it was all right that he is here.  I said “Absolutely, I’m delighted to have him here”!

She suggested I call Paul and Jude at Whispering Dragon to have them clear them out.  I had heard about them before and wondered if it would a good idea to have them come.  The next item on my list.

I wonder if part of the fatigue is bumping into all the spirits here along with RA and dealing with Mom.  I also know if I keep thinking and saying out loud about being tired, the Universe sends whatever I focus on.  Instead, I need to create more  positive thoughts and words to change to positive – I am the only one who can do it.  I like Louise Hay’s quote “It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed”.

 

 

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More Lessons From My Mom

January 29, 2012

I have mentioned in passing that my Mom has  macular degeneration and dementia ( I will not  give either one capital letters) and that it has been a very stressful situation for all of us.  My husband and I live with Mom  in the house where I grew up – childhood triggers all over the place.  The change has been gradual until the past few months, suddenly it seems to have speeded up and now it is hard for Mom to remember who I am.  I think I have come to terms with it, I feel so in the middle of it all that it is hard to be objective.  I also realized it is stirring up all  kinds of uncomfortable things as well, but I am now at a point where I can say “I’m not thrilled to deal with all this but let’s do it and clean it out”. It is uncomfortable, but then again, all the work with Ike Pono and Debye and her deep tissue massage have all been uncomfortable.  However, I am still here, I have survived all of it and it feels good to have things cleared out finally.  Yes, I know there is still a lot more to unearth, yet I am not as afraid to look it in the face as I was.

I have “kinda” known some things I learned growing up, it is only now that I see how it has operated in my adult life.  One of them is not asking for help – it is imposing on people.  I was talking to my older sister the other night and mentioned that – boy, does she know what I mean!  Her comment was”Ditch it girl!”.  I have had to ask for help because all of this has made me realize I am in over my head.  I haven’t felt I have a handle on what todo, where to go , etc.  I contacted the Alzheimer’s Association and they have given me a place to start.  I have been to a couple of support groups for caretakers, plan to go again next month and also to understand I have to take care of myself as well as Mom.  There are legal and financial ramifications, plus now I need to make sure there is someone with Mom all the time.  That way I can go out and do things for myself and my sanity, yet she isn’t left all alone when I do go.  My life has become narrower and narrower because of that.  But I do have to take care of myself and what’s left of my business – not sure how all of this will come together yet.

This not asking for help, doing it alone – we very seldom went to the doctor, Mom took care of us at home.  As I look back on my years of RA while we were moving around, I realize I was doing it on my own, not asking anyone for help except maybe the doc or the OT.  So I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it until I started volunteering at the Connecticut Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.  I met other people who understood, but a lot of what I did was  not about me but more about giving basic info on arthritis and what the Foundation offered.  Also, not talking about it because “other people really aren’t interested” as well as “you don’t tell other people your business” – now I know other people have dealt with the same thing or similar and they are there to support me.  I have gotten so much support from friends and business associates – last week I talked about it in my breakfast group and found myself breaking down.  I hadn’t planned on that happening, I just wanted to thank people for their support.  That just brought up another one – be stoic and don’t show emotion – we do have British ancestry so I come by the “stiff upper lip” honestly.

These days I have a very wobbly upper lip, I seem to be crying a lot.  Now I have always cried easily, I always thought it was a sign of weakness.  I cry when I am mad, when I am sad, when I am depressed, frustrated, fed up with pain – the list goes on and on.  Now when I talk about Mom and the things I am dealing with, I am a puddle so quickly ; I find when I am doing work with the massage, more puddles. I am wondering if that is just releasing and that stuffed down emotion and stuff that I didn’t feel qualified or eligible to express at the time.

We were also taught that when someone offers you something, you politely decline.  Never did understand that one.  I also found myself picking apart a compliment, as if I was worthy or deserving of a compliment.  It took a long time to be able to just say Thank You when someone told me how well I looked or how amazing something was that I had done.  I understand now that I am giving a gift in receiving a gift, whether it is a compliment or a physical object.  Sometimes it takes awhile for the message to finally get through and I know that I know it.

I know my parents did the best they could – they always made us feel loved and wanted, taught us integrity, honestly, gave us discipline and boundaries we could count on and they always did things as a family.  As I grew up and learned how other families operated – I just assumed everyone was like us – I began to appreciate and understand how blessed the three of us are.  It is a big job to raise a child and I knew I didn’t have the patience to do it – thank goodness I married a man who also didn’t want children.  My hat is off to people who do raise their children well.  So now I am a parent after all.

Thinking of a Title

January 8, 2012

It has been quite a rollercoaster lately, I am in waaaay over my head with a personal situation and I finally sought help from experts.  I could beat myself up and say I should have done it sooner, etc. – but I am not going to should all over myself or beat myself up.  It has helped to know others have knowledge and experience that can really help since I have no idea about it.  I have friends who have dealt with the same thing and have offered help and an ear to bend whenever I need it.  I am also going to go to a support group this coming week –  I have been ambivalent with RA support groups before but this is something that feels entirely different.  I will see what it is like and go from there.

As a result, I have drawn a blank on what to write about this week – a little surprising because I often have plenty to say.  One bright spot every week day is my Note From the Universe to encourage me, make me smile and give me great insights.  It also helps me put things into a better perspective.  This one came and made me laugh as well as help me put things in perspective:

Dwelling on the unimportant, stressing on the unintended, and freaking over the unknown, Lee, simply doesn’t work… and are a bit like lighting a match in a dark room to make sure no one accidentally sprinkled any gunpowder on your bicycle, kept under the stairs, near the back porch, in January.   Actually, some of that wasn’t really important, but hopefully it distracted from any stigma you may have attached to freaking over the unknown. 

You’re so adorable,
    The Universe

Why not just celebrate that you’re alive, Lee, every single day? After celebrating that you don’t need a bike to get email, in January.

This one came and just made me smile and feel so good!

What do blaring trumpets, cartwheeling angels, harping harpsichordists, and celestial hoedowns bring to mind?
The Pearly Gates? Welcome “Home” parties? Heaven gone wild?
Actually, Lee, they play for every earthly sunrise and all of the moments of each day and night that follow.

Duck!! 
    The Universe

Phew… you were nearly accidentally side-kicked by an exuberant admirer returning from a hoedown, Lee, who simply adores you.

And then comes ones like this, that are so encouraging when I am rather down on myself for not accomplishing much.  It makes me realize how much I discount what I do, can do and have done.  In my mind I know that so often I am the most effective when I am just being me – God works through me so much better when I show up and get out of the way!  When I “know that I know” deep in my heart that I am doing exactly what I am meant to do, that I don’t have to be famous or wealthy or have a lot of hoopla to live my purpose, then I can cease and desist.  I feel I am in the process now, but old habits die hard.  Thank you ego for your concern and protection, I choose the positive.

If you were able to look back at your most brilliant successes, stunning comebacks, amazing catches, and smokin’ ideas, Lee, and you were to find that virtually all of them seemed to materialize out of thin air, when you least expected them, and that they had exceeded even your greatest expectations at the time, how excited would you be about the new year and whatever else I’ve got up my sleeve? 

Hubba, hubba – 
    The Universe

If I’ve ever helped you before, Lee, don’t you think I can do it again… and again… and again… ad infinitum? Actually, it ought to be even easier next time, with your new saunter.

I know there is a gift in this situation but at the moment it isn’t necessarily clear to me – it may not be until it is all over and I have had a chance to absorb and process it all.  I know there are lessons I can learn and that too is very hard to see. ( NOTE TO SELF:  Ekhart Tolle talks about being in the moment, in the NOW – well, isn’t Mom a great  example of living in the moment?  Yes, it can be frustrating but it also is an advantage because she doesn’t remember my impatient, bitchy moments.)  I have too much emotion in the situation and the person, so it is harder to detach, take out the emotion and be more objective.  I have learned I take on others emotions and that gets me into trouble – another habit of a lifetime to continue working on.  I have not had a massage for 2 weeks and I really miss it, I hope to go this coming week because it has been a way to clear out a lot of old stuck emotions and help me see things in a more objective way. Plus Debye and Monty are a big cheering section for me as well as helping me understand things better.  I have spent so much of my life “doing it on my own” – it’s part of my upbringing and then I carried it through my adult life.  I dealt with RA mostly by myself because I didn’t really have anyone I could talk to about it – seeing the doc and other patients was only once a month or so.  My husband traveled and I was alone a lot – it made me more independent – and the women my age either had kids or a job or both.  I had neither, plus they didn’t really understand  having a husband who traveled a lot.  I have often felt I march to a different drummer.

Hmmm, for having drawn a blank I have managed to fill the page.  Isn’t that often the way!  I just start and never know what will come or where it will arrive.

What Are Boundaries?

November 13, 2011

The past few months I have been working on understanding boundaries, how that looks and feels for me.  I have spent my life feeling as if I have no boundaries, that somehow I am not eligible or worthy enough to make them and enforce them.  It seems everyone else has them and quickly lets one know when one or more have been crossed.

I checked out Wikipedia and found this:

Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for him- or herself what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how he or she will respond when someone steps outside those limits.

‘Personal boundaries define you as an individual. They are statements of what you will or won’t do, what you like and don’t like…how close someone can get to you’.

There are four types –

  • Soft – A person with soft boundaries merges with other people’s boundaries. Someone with a soft boundary is easily manipulated (I looked that one up and found it most interesting!  Would make a good post for another time.)
  • Spongy – A person with spongy boundaries is like a combination of having soft and rigid boundaries. They permit less emotional contagion than soft boundaries but more than rigid. People with spongy boundaries are unsure of what to let in and what to keep out.
  • Rigid – A person with rigid boundaries is closed or walled off so nobody can get close to him/her either physically or emotionally. This is often the case if someone has been physically, emotionally, psychologically or sexually abused. Rigid boundaries can be selective which depend on time, place or circumstances and are usually based on a bad previous experience in a similar situation.
  • Flexible – This is the ideal. Similar to selective rigid boundaries but the person has more control. The person decides what to let in and what to keep out, is resistant to emotional contagion and manipulation and is difficult to exploit.
     HMMMM.  I can see I am in the soft category – not a pretty picture is it?  At this point I don’t think I am completely soft, maybe working toward spongey or just soft/spongey and working my way to flexible.  I would much rather skip rigid, reminds me too much of the recent occurrences of the term inflexible.  That is another story.
The more I think about it, I do have certain boundaries instilled by my parents – integrity, honesty, respect for other people and their property, doing what I say I will do, being on time (bad case of train fever) not deliberately hurting people (I know only too well how that feels!) and of course, always following the rules.  I was brought up to be a good girl – it has stood me in good stead a lot of times, but it has also has made it difficult to be creative and free.  Yet, I have also been creative in spite of it, usually I have to really work at letting go of “how it is supposed to be or look”.    I had no guidelines for writing my pain diary – what was I supposed to do?  Well, I found clip art figures of front, back, left side and right side and pasted those in for each day – then drew on them where it hurt.  Then I wrote out what the day was like and how I felt – not scientific, more narrative with personal comments.  I showed it to the doc after few weeks – looking for approval I had “done it right”.  It may not be scientific, it is certainly my journey and my feelings.
I just realized that not having boundaries works side by side with giving away my power.  If I don’t value myself, decide what I will or will not allow people to do and be so anxious for approval/validation as well as have everyone like me. it isn’t any wonder I don’t know boundaries.  I have begun to have much more confidence in myself – many people tell me I come across as very confident – which means I see myself as worthy of boundaries and respect.  I am working through the confusion to have a clearer picture of how boundaries feel  and how they look for me.  I have noticed often over the years that when I have a picture in my mind of something, it finally makes sense to me.  If I described that picture, it wouldn’t make sense to anyone else.   That picture brings up my “I know that I know” – others may call it an AHA moment, it’s simply when I finally “get it”.  I suspect there are some more pieces that need to be put into place, like putting a jigsaw puzzle together without a picture.  A challenge but definitely doable.
I may not have the complete answer yet, but I am definitely making good progress toward my goal.  let’s face it, I am a work in progress all around.

Is it just me?

May 4, 2010

This seems to be a real wagon train period, the trail has been full of potholes, the wheel broke and the trail isn’t very clear, only a couple of miles a day.  Now I promised I wouldn’t whinge and I won’t.  It is simply that I don’t have all the answers or have it made – I too have those times when it doesn’t seem there is any progress or difference and it can be discouraging.  I would love to have a good cry and get it all out, at the moment that isn’t an option.  But what I have learned is that writing it out often clears it all out and then I can feel the sun come out again.

There is a good chance that ego is creeping in to take over again – she is furious that I have finally begun to understand she is the false self, not the real me.  Eckert Tolle says that just by observing what is happening, ego begins to lose her power.  At  a low point, it can feel as if she is fully in control and I don’t have the energy to notice, much less work on finding the gratitude and positive aspects of my life at that moment.  There is another part where he writes about a woman who came to him and was so depressed and despondent, she poured out all her woes to him and he listened, free of judgement.  Then he told her something that has stuck in mind my and I have used it many times.  As I am writing this paragraph, that’s what I needed to remember very early this morning when I was uncomfortable and having trouble sleeping.

When the woman had come to the end of her story, he said: “At this moment, this is how you feel.  There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is how you feel.  Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept this is what you feel right now?”  The woman said she wouldn’t accept it.  He then told her: “I am not asking you to do anything.  All I am asking is that you find out whether it is possible for for you to allow those feelings to be there.  In other words, if you don’t mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness?”.  After a few minutes she realized that although she was still unhappy, there was a space around it.  It seemed to matter less.

I have remembered that and thought, can I just accept this is how I feel at the moment, without wanting it to be different?  It is a different way to see it and although I haven’t gotten to the point of accepting it wholeheartedly yet, I know I feel better shortly after that.  That’s what I forgot to do last night in my discomfort and feeling discouraged.  That definitely opened the door for ego to creep in and try to take over control again.  Sometimes it is only a matter of being willing to accept it – being willing makes a big difference.  Maybe later the trail will be more defined and the ruts and mud holes are gone for a bit.  Those mountains are bound to look closer soon.

Anger

March 11, 2010

Anger is a waste of energy, along with resentment, irritation, fear, hurt.  It is really Ego taking control, making me feel diminished and need to defend myself.  As Eckert Tolle write,  there is no diminishment, only a perception by the ego.  He  has a spiritual practice to consciously allow the diminishment of ego when it happens without attempting to restore it.

“I recommend experimenting  with this from time to time. – when some one  criticisezes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself – do nothing. Allow the self image  to remain diminished and become alert to what it  feels like deep inside you.  For a few seconds, it may feel uncomfortable, as if you shrink in size.  Then you may sense an inner spaciousness that feels intensely alive.    You haven’t been diminished at all.  In fact, you have expanded.  You may come to the amazing realization: When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute non-reaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize nothing real has been diminished, that through becoming “less”, you become more.”

I will admit I am still working on that – I know it in my head but not quite “know that I know” deep down.  What I finally do know is that getting angry is giving away my power to someone else and after spending years feeling powerless, I am determined to quit doing it.  Not an easy goal or intention, but definitely worth it.  I now know I have held that anger inside of me all these years, hugged it to me  as proof I am put upon and  a victim.  It is now lodged in my cellular level and a good part of it has contributed to the RA.  I have personalized it, when it is not really about me at all.

As I have explored and grown in changing my perceptions, my attitude and also learning about who I truly am – that’s a whole different subject – I am realizing that it is about the other person.  For some reason that person has to have the upper hand and only by diminishing me does that work for him/her.  It is my choice to let it affect me and make me feel diminished – then I give away my power.  I love the play on the Bible quote “Love your enemy – it will drive him nuts!”

I have a limited amount of energy with RA and it seems foolish to expend it on things like anger, hurt, resentment and fear.  Yes, easy words to say, but not so easy to  practice.  What helps is understanding better what is happening rather than just reacting.  I set an intention of just saying “Interesting” when someone criticizes or gets mad at me.  Someone suggested saying “Thank you for sharing”.  Whatever works for you to be non-reactive in that situation and experimenting with going within.  Because if I keep doing the same thing over and over, I hear Dr. Phil in my head saying “How’s that working for you?”.  Guess what, it isn’t working for me and never has.  The difference is that I am more aware of it.


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