I’ll Be Happy When …

I’ll Be Happy When …

Happiness Is Not a Choice There are more clichés about being happy than the hairs on my head.  Most of them frustrate me.  Some of them even trigger me.  They may be well-intentioned, but the result of these “happiness” memes and quotes is to invalidate other emotions.  And by now, you know my deep commitment to unconditional emotional expression.  So when I read “happiness is a choice”, I typically end up screaming at the computer, “No.  It’s not!” Don’t get me wrong.  It is possible to stop our thoughts from fueling our emotions.  That is absolutely true.  But when a feeling comes up in the body (and it comes first contrary to popular opinion), we have a choice.  We can shove it back down and defend against it with a mask of happiness.  Or we can allow it to flow through like it wants, like it needs, like our inner child needs.  One choice denies healing.  One choice allows for healing. All that said, I am acutely aware of the self talk created by my feelings from my traumatic past.  Realistically, every single person in first world societies has this same self talk, with or without severe trauma.  It runs on a continuum.  And since my trauma was severe, my self talk is louder and more obvious.  You may have guessed what that self talk says.  “I’ll be happy when …” I’ll Be Happy When I Get a Break And there is nothing that fuels this self talk more than parenting.  I’ll be happy when the kids are sleeping.  I’ll be happy when they stop waking up at 6 AM...
Mean is Cool

Mean is Cool

Hi there.  It’s the inner defender here.  In reality, I am one of the inner defenders.  Some inner defenders don’t like me because my methods draw attention.  But I have learned through the years that some things work and some things don’t.  And honestly, hiding away or being super nice all the time does absolutely no good.  People keep coming around because they can sense weakness.  The best approach is to be mean.  And here are my reasons why. Being mean gains respect from the mean people.  I definitely know how to get nasty.  I have learned from the best.  And since Elisabeth would never allow this behavior, I just take over and handle it.  Since I am uncensored, I can beat almost any bully at their own game.  I can be louder and I can use more threatening language.  And they respect me.  When they respect me, they leave me alone.  Even in the case of my abusers, if I was mean to someone they didn’t like, it would almost be a bonding moment.  And let’s be real, being nice just gets us hurt.  People don’t respect nice people.  They see it as a sign of weakness.  Nice people don’t get treated nicely.  They get bullied.  It just doesn’t work.  That is why I have to shut down the younger inner children.  They are too damned nice to everyone. Being mean distracts people from the blame game. When someone is coming at me because they think I have done something wrong, there is nothing better than a nasty, mean explosion to distract them.  The nastier I sound, the...
Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies.  I love it for a few reasons. Bill Murray is a genius. Don’t argue this point with me.  I won’t be nice about it. I love the idea of living life like there is no tomorrow. While in several parts of this movie, he wasn’t authentic to impress the girl, he also uses this opportunity to do whatever he wants with no concern for what people will think of him.  I think it would be awesome to be real with no concern for the repercussions, even for one day.  And to be honest, on those cringe-worthy days when my parts take over, it would be nice if everyone else forgot about it (just like me). Most importantly, this movie is familiar. Before I found recovery, I didn’t get the sense that anything was different from one day to the next.  It was the same thing over and over again.  And nothing I did seemed to change that. But maybe, I didn’t want it to. For so many years, I was balancing the desperate need to live a fulfilling life with the desperate need to stay completely safe.  My inner child wanted to do amazing things, but my inner defender never wanted to stray from the norm.  It felt like I was trapped inside a life that wasn’t mine, but I couldn’t see a way out.  There were too many things stopping me.  And they were all on the inside. And once again, it all stemmed from my horrific childhood.  Of course, I have talked endlessly that the need for safety comes from trauma (and...
Bad Things Happen

Bad Things Happen

The Self Blame Last night, I was hit by a car in my dreams.  While many dreams can be symbolic, this had been a reality in my life.  I was hit by a car while running on a road when I was in 14 years old.  Of course, the jerk driving the car tried to make it my fault for being there in the first place.  Sound familiar?  My inner defender proceeded to take over and rip him to shreds.  (I’m a little proud of that one.) But in the dream, my inner parts began to express their theories about why I was hit by a car.  They decided I must have been going somewhere I should not have been going.  They concluded I must have been going somewhere with someone I should not have been with.  They were very clear I was at fault for the accident and it was their job to determine why.  Of course, the main reason for this evaluation was to ensure we didn’t do that particular thing again. In the dream, they looked like separate people (this happens in dreams) who were blaming me for the accident.  But instead of shrinking under the weight of the accusations, I stood up and explained why that wasn’t how it worked.  I told them that bad things happen sometimes.  They don’t happen because the person is bad.  It is a part of life.  Life has both bad and good.  Nobody escapes the bad.  Although some do seem to get an extra helping of the bad, we are not worse than others. And I explained karma.  There is something that is...