LTM: From the younger E

This was meant to be a letter from the younger E, to the E I am today. I wrote it after Imi Lo’s journal prompt in her book Emotional sensitivity and intensity. (I’d definitely recommend the book). Sometimes mixed up.

Dear E

Life is a journey that isn’t always going to be easy. You’re going to be taught that it’s not safe for you to express your feelings. Your mother doesn’t accept her own feelings. She can’t hold or accept yours. The only way for her to cope with her childrens life is to live in denial. Your teachers and school will feel threatened by your questions, especially when you correct them on their facts, or query what they’ve never themselves thought about. They will teach you that it’s not safe to think. Your life experiences will come to teach you that it’s not safe to be.

I’m here to tell you that it is safe. I’m here to tell you to embrace the curiosity that you lived with until you learnt to shut it down. I’m here to remind you about the constant connection to a source that you lived with. When you used to live with the constant awareness that every breath you took was a gift, where every breath was a renewal of life and connection to a source. I’m here to tell you to remember when you used to know that whatever was meant to be, would be, that you just had to believe and tune in, and your life would reflect that knowledge. People won’t and don’t understand. They will think you’re crazy and you’ll learn to turn off the connection. To believe that what you think and feel can’t possibly be true. For all the adults in your life tell you it isn’t so. And tell you that you’re lying.

You won’t be understood. When you express a physical (and emotional too) sensation people will think you’re overreacting. They won’t believe you when you’re in pain. You’ll retreat and shut down. You’ll think abnormal physical sensations are normal because you’ll have learnt to ignore what you know. You’ll learn to ignore everday physical sensations until they’re really noticable. Because being isn’t safe. Because people can’t handle your reality. Because they don’t understand it. Most the world don’t bruise from someone bumping into them. You will. The people who bump into you will care that you’re upset. They won’t apologise and will want you to apologise for getting upset. They’ll think you’re crazy.

Your boundaries won’t be respected. You won’t know you’re allowed to have boundaries because your mother has none. And when you try put boundaries in place she’ll scream at you, be hurt, and upset. When you question if her crossing boundaries are okay you’ll be told that you’re too sensitive and it’s your issue.

E, I’m here to remind you of beforehand. Before you internalised the messages that you’re guilty. Before your safety in the world was taken away. Before your safety and trust in yourself was taken away. You lived with curiosity. You lived with openness. You lived with intuition and understanding that all your friends trusted – everyone but you. Your future friends will always believe really strongly in your intuition and knowledge. They will rely on what you know. Believe them.

Life will teach you many things E. You can go back and teach yourself. Relearn. You can cone back to the innocence. To the safety. To the love.

You’re worth it E. You’re so worth it.

I believe in you. I know that you can do it. No matter what the world teaches you. You can override their messages. And embrace all you were today, as an adult.

Love you.

Always and forever.

E.

(The one thing that confuses me is how unsafe my world was, and is, when my childhood was a pretty normal childhood.)

MBSR (4) – Todays zoom class 3/8

Mindfulness attitudes – Beginner’s Mind or Curiosity, Patience, Non-judging, Non-striving, Kindness and Compassion towards ourselves and others, Trust, Acceptance or Allowing, Letting Go 

Today was a mixture.

At the beginning we were told that one of the participants of the group wouldn’t be coming back. I found that jarring and we weren’t given time to process that. Yes I know most people don’t need time. I found it jarring because, because she had said last week that as soon as she was present she was sad. I could relate to that. It’s not what this course is giving to me. I’m not overwhelmed by emotions being mindful. Being mindful, for me, means what I said in my last post – grounded and present. So although what she shared isn’t my reality, it could be. I’m destroying myself. She wasn’t. I’ve been destroying myself long before this course and if anything being mindful will stop it – it won’t, it’s not about that for me – but yeah. I found it jarring. And sad. That was the first sentence.

We then started off with a mindfulness of body and breath which I actually focused on quite a bit. Then we went into breakout rooms to discuss the last weeks experience with practice. Last week the breakout room was 3 of us. This week was 4, which was too much for me. No space to be. Or speak. Afterwards everyone shared their thoughts with the group. I didn’t. I had what to say. My thoughts were/are pretty much all I’ve written. That I’ve been tuning into my body awareness in space and time a lot. Being very physically aware of myself. Tuning into breathing. And mainly just where exactly I am. That includes the sounds around me – which they for some reason have never yet brought up. Not always. Not at all always. But more. More and more. Even if it’s just twice a day that is awesome.

I’ve been less distracted during the body scans. Well, sometimes. I think that doing the practices no matter how distracted I am throughout is practicing focusing. And being aware. Being aware if how distracted I am is great, too. And once I tried doing the body and breath twice in a row. What I had found was that it took until the end until I finally focused a bit. So I relistened, and was a lot more focused the second time around.

That took until ten past. I’m trying to remember what was next. I can’t actually remember.

We then did mindfulness movement which made me feel like I was going to sleep. I discovered that very minor movements actually hurt me. Was interesting to see. Especially because the same movement – lifting my arm to shoulder height – sometimes hurt and sometimes didn’t. I could lift my left arm higher than my right. I was trying to experiment with slightly different movements. Sometimes it hurt other times not, I couldn’t figure out what caused it to hurt though… I was trying to see what I was doing differently but couldn’t see. I wonder if ED has a part to play in how the movements hurt. I think just exacerbated for I’ve always been extremely sensitive. What I also found interesting was when we were bringing our index fingers together with our eyes closed. I missed. I was shocked I missed! Definitely didn’t expect that… it was putting me to sleep.

I thought of sharing my experience but the facilitators asked the people who shared about what they were saying. I wouldn’t handle the questions. So didn’t.

They were then talking about how feel the edge of the comfort zone, you can do that physically and emotionally. Stay with the edge or retreat intentionally. For me staying with the edge emotionally mostly means it won’t exist, but if I’d do it sometimes it does. Sometimes I can stay with that edge.

Had a break then.

After the break spoke about non striving. I don’t really agree. They were saying to accept your reality. But I think the point is that we weren’t really disagreeing. Just they were being a little extreme. Because sometimes you have to strive. And that’s not a contradiction to accepting where you’re at. For example in order for me to live the life I want to I have to accept where I’m at and I have to strive. If I don’t accept where I’m at I’m living in denial. If I don’t strive I’ll end up dead.

Then they showed an image of what not accepting and accepting and put a bridge and asked us how we’d bridge it. How do we get from the negative and judgement from where we are to the mindfulness and non judgement. For the first time I tried to share. Because it would just be giving a word. I said curiosity. I wasn’t heard. I tried again to say acceptance after a couple other suggestions but again wasn’t heard. And then they went and said you bridge it with curiosity. And I freaked out. And I stayed with the freaking out.

The last few minutes was a short breathing space practice – I wasn’t able to focus at all on it as was freaking out. What it is: sit in whatever position. Be aware of your body in the position you’re in. Focus on your breathing in your stomach. Maybe count breaths a few times to help focus. Focus on breathing in your body. Time into your body. Tune into the world.

Was still freaking. They gave the homework. And I journalled a tad. Wrote a really short letter to myself that you matter. And wrote that out to myself – you matter/exist/are important.

And that was today’s. 3 out of 8.

Journalling 103 (5) GP App and referrals

I saw my GP today. Last week wrote up with him a referral for the CMHT.

I asked him for a copy of the letter the therapist from primary care services sent to him. I called up primary care services for a copy and they told me my GP can give me a copy. Her letter was good. She was really clear about how to go further. She suggested HBTT (Home based treatment team).

I asked him about the referral. He told me he hadn’t sent any off. That he would, and he’d send it to both the CMHT (community mental health team) and HBTT along with her letter.

Reading her letter now I’m annoyed. It’s dated the 6th of July and she writes that she hopes that by the time she’s writing this letter he’s made an appointment with me and put a referral through to either CMHT or HBTT. And that if I ever want the primary goal to be to stop using – at this moment it is. I want to stop using. I’m not sure how long that will last, that I’m really ready and want to stop destroying my life – the DBT team will assess and would want either of the other services involved.

Why do I have to google it all and ask him to do the referrals? And I don’t know if anything will come of them. Her last couple paragraphs were really clear recommendations on where exactly to go from here. Her letter was, is, really good. Just nothing has been done with it until now…

I’m not sure if I should just scrap it and go privately. My problem with going privately is that I kinda want someone to be there all the time. I know I’m not going to cope when I stop taking cocodamol. And I want to stop. I’m finding it hard enough to eat as it is – this is even though I’ve been trying to eat more coz of using.

I wrote a list of what I need, what I want, and what needs to change in order to just be okay living life on life’s terms. Well, I didn’t write a list. I dialogue journalled. I’ll put it into a list as another post.

I’m tired…..

Edit. He said my blood results were all okay except fat something which is normal when haven’t been eating enough, and muscles. I think I may have a muscle issue as it is but I can’t know if they’re lower than they would be, so some day can check them again.

As I walked out I said to him that I can’t stop using until he’s done this because I can’t stop without having any support in place. (It’s just not possible).


Had a staff meeting today. Was freaking out for most of it. Not sure how it will be to be back at work next week. It could be really good for me. Or it could be a spectacular fail. I’m keeping an open mind to what’s possible.

I was trying to and want to make a plan. I don’t know if there’s any point trying to plan how to go forward, what I need or don’t need, if I don’t know whether anything will come of these referrals.

Dialogue with myself about Hope and Destruction

19th July 2020


E, who is running the show?
Life, I think.
What does ‘Life’ look like?
Not Life. Hope is.
What does ‘Hope’ look like?
Not like Destruction.
What does Destruction look like?
I can’t see because it is so all encompassing that it is everything so not possible to define it.
What does Hope want?
Love.
Can you give Hope Love?
No. I don’t know what Love is.
Is there anything you can give Hope?
No. I don’t like Hope.
Who do you like?
Destruction. Destruction is my friend. Destruction knows me. Hope doesn’t. I don’t know or like Hope.
But you’re letting Hope run the show?
Yeah. Others believe Hope is right. Others believe I should. I can always call Destruction back. And Hope doesn’t tell me I can’t use (cocodamol). Else Hope would be long gone.
What does Hope tell you?
I don’t want to listen to her.
Why not?
She scares me.
Hope scares you?
Yeah. It’ll get me hurt.
Hope will get you hurt?
She’s not going to stay. No one does.
What will happen if she goes?
Nothing. I’ll live with Nothing. And Destruction is always my friend.
So if you don’t like Hope you can always go back to Destruction?
Yes
That’s good. That’s really good. So you have Hope. And Destruction is there if you need him.
Yeah. He’s sad.
Why is he sad?
That I’ve abandoned him.
Have you?
No. But he wants to be my only friend.
Friends who don’t want you to have other friends aren’t healthy friends.
I know. But he is my only real friend..
Can you make other friends?
I don’t know. I’m not great at making friends.
I can be your friend.
You can’t. You don’t like me.
You think I don’t like you?
I know you don’t like me.
How do you know that?
You want me to be here. Obviously you hate me.
I want you to be here because I love you and love having you around.
That is selfish.
How’s it selfish?
Because you want what is best for you, and not what is good for me.
Hmm. True. Am I allowed to be selfish?
Yes. But that means you aren’t my friend. Friends aren’t selfish.
Can I be your friend a bit?
I don’t know. I don’t think so.
I want to be your friend. I love you. If you’re ever ready for me to be your friend I’m here. I will always love you.
That’s a lie.
What is?
All of it.
It’s true to me.
Whatever.
E, it’s okay. I’m sorry for hurting you.
You didn’t hurt me.
Can I talk to Hope?
Nope.
Why not?
You’ll tell Hope to stay.
How bad will it be if Hope stays?
Very. Destruction won’t always wait.
You can always go back to Destruction though.
I don’t know.
Will Destruction be your friend if you go back to him?
Yes.
So there you go.
You can talk to Destruction instead.
Do you want me to?
I don’t care what you do. I want you to go away.
You want me to go away?
You’re too reasonable. I don’t like you. You make me sound like a bratty teenager.
You don’t sound like a bratty teenager. You sound like a sad lost girl.
I’m not.
I didn’t say you were. I don’t think you’re bratty.
What do you think I am?
That doesn’t matter now E. It makes no difference. For I love you regardless.
Stop lying please.
I’m not lying. I’m owning my truth. I’m sorry it hurts you.
It doesn’t.
Okay.
Bye.
Bye E. You’re worth it.
I’m not.
I know you think that. I believe you are. Hope believes you are. Give us a chance.
Do I have a choice?
Always. You always have a choice. You always will have a choice. And you can always walk away into Destruction’s embrace. Destruction is there. He will always be there. As you said, he is your friend. He will always be your friend if you want. You may as well give others a chance too before you decide on a single friend to the exclusion of all else. I’m here E. Even when you don’t want me to be. I’m here.

When I first wrote this and wrote about it here, I was confused. Now, I appreciate the way I speak to myself. I’m kinda in awe in truth. And I’m touched by the truths I live regarding myself and friends.