“You Are Too Intense.”

“You Are Too Intense.”

I have spent several months walking through my past with my inner rebel runner.  It hasn’t been easy.  We have felt so much futility, grief, shame and fear.  And countless memories have been shared.  All of these memories are different in their own way, but they have one very important message in common.  People suck.  Every memory has involved someone telling me how something is wrong with me, something is wrong with my plans and dreams, something is wrong with how I express myself and basically how I am just wrong.  My inner rebel runner believes that people are not worth my time because all they do is tell me what I need to change to meet their standards. On a cognitive level, I get what’s happening here.  I was attracting people with serious self-esteem issues.  They were projecting their need to perfect themselves on to me.  They wanted to change me the way they wanted to change themselves.  I know that I attract a different type of person in to my space now.  There are so many amazing people around me.  But my inner rebel is not convinced it is safe to connect on a deep level and I understand her hesitation.  I get it.  And we will change at her pace. But my most recent revelation was a particular phrase that hit me hard.  “You are too intense.”  It was something I heard mainly in intimate relationships, but sometimes in working relationships and friendships.  It was always men who said it.  I feel anger about it for a couple of reasons.  First, of course I was intense! ...
I’ve Got This

I’ve Got This

I’ve hit a creative wall.  This is not unusual.  I have times when my controller pushes through something with the mind because the mean kid or inner rebel has shut down my ability to do anything useful.  It hits me when I decide to create a new program or create something for a client or update my website.  But this is new tonight.  I usually don’t hit the creative wall with my blog.  I always seem to have something to say on the blog.  The topic comes to me and magically, the content pours onto the page from a place that is beyond my intellect.  It almost feels like cheating.  I hear from my fellow bloggers who struggle with creating enough content and I don’t want to tell them it isn’t a struggle for me. But it is a struggle tonight.  There is no topic tonight.  There is only the blank page.  So I did something I have never done.  I just started typing.  This isn’t something I do.  I have always been substantially enmeshed with my controller, which means everything has to have a plan.  Everything has to have a direction before I start.  “Go with the flow” is not something I say on the regular.  But tonight, out of desperation, I am giving it a try.  I am trusting in the universe to take me where I need to go.  That never lasts long, but we will see. It isn’t surprising that I am struggling at the moment.  It has been a tough week.  I have been processing my inner rebel and she is taking me down...
Expendable

Expendable

Over the past few years, I have come to understand I have lived an expendable life.  Before you lecture me, I want to be clear that I don’t believe my life has been for nothing.  I mean I have lived a life that was expendable to others.  The people in my childhood saw me as a commodity.  I was something to be used up and thrown away.  This was a literal interpretation of my experiences.  I was sold to others for the purpose of making money.  I was completely expendable, even to the very people who were supposed to love me unconditionally. This explains why I have spent my adult life trying to prove to others I was worth something.  I have always wanted people to believe I mattered.  And I have done almost anything to convince them of it. In relationships, I have worked hard to matter to the other person.  I have done whatever it took to keep them around.  I have worked hard to provide everything they could possibly need.  And it always ended the same way.  I got angry and exhausted, while the other person grew tired of using me up.  In the end, I became expendable once again. In my parenting, I have hovered over my children.  I had to make it clear that they needed me to protect them and care for them in every way.  I wanted them to know how much I cared for them and I wasn’t sure how else to show it.  Deep emotional connection wasn’t available to me, so I would take care of all their needs.  Unfortunately,...
Commit to You

Commit to You

During the past few weeks, I have experienced several instances of “social commitments gone wrong”.  Plans I made with others fell through (or almost did) and it wasn’t because of me.  And based on my reaction, I can sense that at least one inner part isn’t handling it well.  I have been unusually upset.  I can hear the angry rants bubbling up to the surface.  And of course to some extent, it’s valid.  People should honor their commitments.  But I also know this comes from my past experiences. I was not a priority in my family. I felt that in every way.  Nobody cared how I felt or what my experiences were.  If something more important came up (and almost everything was more important), it took the top spot.  It rarely mattered what I had going on.  I learned to fend for myself.  I learned that if something mattered to me, I better ensure it would happen on my own.  To this day, that belief affects my isolator part and it manifests as rigid independence. My childhood was chaos. Things were always changing.  My very dissociative parents would make plans and forget they made them.  Their addictive behaviors would send them in unhealthy directions at the drop of a hat.  And this kind of change was not the “flow with the universe” kind of change.  It was dangerous change that generally has some kind of new trauma associated with it. I didn’t feel worthy of friends. This message was reinforced everyday by abusers inside and outside my family.  I was sure that friends were only around for a short...
You Might Not See It But It’s There

You Might Not See It But It’s There

I have many clients who struggle with the possibility they can be loving, compassionate, grounded, patient and any other characteristic they need for recovery work.  They tell me they can’t possibly be this way because they have never been shown how to be that way.  Their parents didn’t behave that way, and they certainly haven’t felt any inkling of those characteristics since entering adulthood.  And I really get it.  When I started this journey, I felt the same way. How in the world was I going to parent my inner and outer children when nobody ever parented me?  How was I going to love myself (or anyone else) when nobody ever loved me?  How was I going to be compassionate with my inner parts when nobody ever gave me the benefit of the doubt?  How was I going to have patience after a lifetime of fear, of watching everything I ever loved be ripped from my grasp?  That wasn’t possible.  I was basically screwed.  Recovery would never work for me. But for some reason, I didn’t give up.  Those beliefs were strong, but I sensed there was something else.  It was a tiny something else, but it was still there.  For some reason, I had a semblance of understanding that I could learn these things.  I had an even smaller semblance of understanding that I already knew these things.  So I stuck with the idea that something better was possible. And as we do when we live in our heads, I spent an exorbitant amount of time researching things.  I thought I could teach myself how to be what...
Doing Nothing at All

Doing Nothing at All

I’m a control freak.  I am not talking about the kind of control freak that people secretly love because she will get everything done so they don’t have to.  I am talking about the kind of control freak people run from because they know there will be casualties.  I came by it honestly though.  My childhood was scary.  It was terrifying.  And I was absolutely convinced there was a way to control the fear-inducing abuse.  Since I was sure it was my fault, I had to be sure I could make it better.  I just had to try harder, control more things, get it done better, faster, more accurately.  If I did that, it would be okay. So as an adult, I became a hard-core control freak.  I controlled everything I could possibly control.  And I controlled everything I couldn’t control … or so I thought.  I was exhausted.  But honestly, I was doing a pretty good job of convincing myself I could pull it off.  People had learned to stay the hell out of my way.  And I had things in order. So don’t ask me why I decided to bring children in to my life.  I guess I thought they would just fall in line with my perfectly controlled life.  All the parents are laughing now.  I can actually hear you.  And lucky me.  I was not just blessed with two beautiful children.  I was blessed with one child with no interest in following a schedule.  And even more infuriating, I was blessed with another child who was prepared for battle.  It didn’t matter the subject.  It...