Thursday, May 23, 2019

I'm Just Tired

I don't know about you, but

I'm tired of being nice. I'm tired of being thoughtful and of offering consideration toward others, without receiving the same in return. I'm tired of being responsible, and productive, but also of not being able to do enough. I'm tired of being strong, and of doing so much on my own. Of pulling up my boot straps while knowing it's because I have no other choice.

I'm tired of smiling, and putting on a brave face. I'm tired of having to work so hard at my peace. I'm tired of having to work so hard at my assertiveness, where for others it comes so naturally; and of believing they benefit with no hesitation from the universe.

I'm tired of people who don't operate honestly or by integrity, getting (seemingly) everything they want in life---and of believing they benefit with no hesitation from the universe---while the rest of us work so hard to get the things we gain and yet still find certain bits of life lacking.

I'm tired of the cheats and liars and sociopaths we encounter every day, who take advantage and claim more than they deserve, and also hurt people in the process.

I don't know about you, but

I'm just tired.

I'm burned out at work, and at home. Burned out carrying more than my own load; working hard when others don't. Burned out with customer service. Burned out with meal planning and prep, with dirty dishes and laundry, both dirty and clean, and pet care. With car maintenance and commuting. Burned out here at the end of the school year, though it's my teens wrapping up their spring academics, not me. Burned out over being single, and with the hope of eventually not being single anymore. Burned out by disappointment.

I'm in a pitiful mood. Going through a rough patch. I know that's what it is, and that it'll turn around, but can't fix it yet. No one else can fix it, I know that, too.

No one wants to listen to their upbeat friend who normally has her shit together whine and complain.

I don't even want to hear me whine and complain. But I write it here, my internet safe-space established years ago, where I used to share without a second guess. This is where I used to write about the human condition.

I don't know about you, but

today's human condition for me is pretty pitiful.

In five days I'll embark on a week-long vacation from my day job. Home time. Project time. A chance to retreat, disconnect and decompress more than for just one evening or a Sunday, to find my reset button, and reboot.

I know my rough patch will turn around. It always does, after the pitiful wears away.

Maybe this time next month I won't be so tired.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Torn

Torn between hope

"Always expect something wonderful to happen"

and self-preservation

"The only way to be happy is to stop expecting anything from other people"

in perpetuity.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

How Our "Selves" Help Us Heal from Abuse

I’ve been thinking about something since last weekend, and knew an essay was coming. Here it be.
What follows are my personal interpretations of a theory presented by Mark Ettensohn, Psy.D., in his book, Unmasking Narcissism: A Guide to Understanding the Narcissist in Your Life.
Dr. Ettensohn suggests the idea that we each have three selves. I feel strongly that understanding these selves is imperative to ALL of us for living a well-adjusted, enlightened life, as well to domestic abuse survivors for living a healed one. Stay with me...
First, and again, in my own words, is the conceptualized self. This is the day-to-day portion of our awareness, and it bogs us down in thought, which is often superficial, and in reaction. In definition. In labels. Example: I conceive -- have conceptualized -- that I’m a single mom. I’m a fatherless daughter. I’m a worker bee. I’m a victim. I drive an old car. I live in a tiny duplex. I am tired. I am sad. I am anxious and worry about my future. I am weak and unworthy... That’s my conceptualized self. It sees vulnerability and mistakes or problems. It focuses on the upsetting or the stressful, and lets the negative hold court.
But, “you are not your thoughts,” says Dr. Ettensohn.
Second comes our observing self. This self takes into inventory the entire picture. Bird’s-eye view of whole experience. Through this self I am more than the labels my brain assigns. I’m human---more than a mom or daughter or sister or friend, or on my own---and I am the human condition. I love. I feel. I understand. I’m not just a worker bee; I work for myself and for others. I am bigger than what I drive and where I live. I am a survivor, and one who looks and lives beyond having been a victim. I am strong because I have been weak, and alongside my ever-present vulnerabilities, because I’m worthy. There isn’t just negative in me, there is also positive. I am not good or bad, black and white, I am both, and neither is wrong nor right. This part of us is constant, offers Ettensohn, and is unaffected by our thoughts. Think about that for a moment.
How much more peace could we feel every day if we embraced that those passing thoughts do not affect our whole?
Lastly is self-as-context. This is where the two other selves co-exist. Our conceptualized self is important for daily operations, because it helps us make decisions and solve problems and move forward. But the awareness of our observing self is how we maintain a greater perspective. It’s how we understand that trees create a forest, to borrow from Ettensohn.
The point of this theory in the book is that narcissists can’t see beyond the conceptualized self. They cannot observe the whole, so they don’t reflect or grasp perspective, or an understanding of how their disordered behaviors affect others.
So, too, in reading these theories, I recognized that many survivors of domestic abuse (by a narcissist) become suspended in the conceptualized self. We get stuck in those labels we were conditioned to believe for years. We mistakenly, at times, think that is all there is.
But it’s important to understand there is more. We are more than those things we were taught. We are good. We are worthy. We are greater than loss. We are purpose, not just task. We are whole experience, beyond abuse.
Think about that for a moment, too. And then have a talk with your selves.
[I absolutely recommend reading this book for yourself if the topic strikes any interest or need for understanding.


Once again, my summary here may not reflect Dr. Ettensohn’s intention as presented in Unmasking Narcissism (pgs. 160-163).]