Thursday, April 30, 2009

"So, how are we feeling today?..."

I've loved the same girl for eight years. No question. Her and her daughter. That's good.

But I just figured out HOW to love them all the time in the past few months. That's not as good. Would have been helpful for everyone if I'd have figured out my part sooner. Ideally, five or six years ago. 'Cause then we'd be grilling chicken tonight and going for a walk holding hands and actually talking about how great life is or some problem that needs attention and what we could do for each other and our family and friends and playing with the dog and being safe and living life.

Don't get me started...

So, I've been learning about feelings, one of the sharpest tips on the iceberg of self-imploding. When I first started months ago, the doctor guy asked me to name all the feeling words I knew.

"Good," he said.
"Mixed up."
"Not a feeling," he said.
"Ashamed. Disgusted."
"That's better."
"And scared. Afraid."
I sat there.
"What's another one?" I asked him.
"You tell me."
I hate when you ask them something and they won't answer.
"Happy. Upset."
"Happy is a feeling. Upset's not really a feeling. What is the feeling when you're upset?"
"Could be angry. Could be lonely. Could be ashamed."
"Could be hurt," he said.
"Could be very hurt," I said.

And on and on it went like that until I understood that I knew five feeling words, tops, despite the fact that I have an 'extensive vocabularly." At the time, not nearly extensive enough, not to maintain anything like an intimate relationship, which I wouldn't have known had it hit me in the heart, which it did. I did not know how to be a true friend with ANYbody, much less a woman who, I reasoned in my brain, would leave me. There's tons more to it of course, but that's one dart in the board for sure.

So as idiotic as this might sound, I've been practicing recognizing how I feel. Sounds stupid to a lot of people. To other people, they read that and tear up. "Been there," I can hear them thinking.

Got to become 'aware.' If you're not aware, no shot. It's all luck and sickness and robotic if you're not aware.

Today, I’m feeling a little angry, fairly sad, hurt for sure, a bit afraid, lonely but just barely and that comes and then goes when I ask for it to go, glad down deep, and that’s it.

So why doesn't a person want to look at feelings? That's a whole other ballgame we can get to sometime. Meanwhile, a person who's never learned how to recognize and process his feelings, or didn't think it proper to have feelings and definitely wrong to show feelings, will 'mask' the feelings with defenses. So, what are your defenses?

"Lying and being quiet," I said.
"That's a start," he said.
"Why would I do that?" I said.
"Didn't want people to know who you were."
"Ouch," I said.
"Just sick," he said. "Not stupid. You learned just about all of the wrong stuff. All the wrong stuff was modeled. What about drinking?"
"Tons. Defense?"
"Big one," he said. "Common one. Been there."
"Avoiding things. I avoided. I was afraid to argue."
"She'd hate me. Or leave. It felt like fault-finding."
"She can't love you all the way if you don't feel safe enough to argue."
"Don't know how."
"Right. We'll get there."
"I want to."
"You will. You used to be about 8 in your brain, you're in your 20s now. Getting healthy. Hang in there. Keep working."
"Hurts," I said.
"That's why people quit. Don't quit. Quit and it'll hurt more later. Sure thing."
"It's gotta stop."
"It can. And it will. We're getting there."

Defenses. Repress stuff. Denial. More repressed stuff.

"Ever thought about blogging?"
I told him not really, not about this.
"Might help somebody. You've got to get it down on paper."
Told him I had tons down on paper.
"Think about it," he said.
I told him I would.

I'd write more but we're about out of time.