Dirty_Harry

Aspects at War

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(Please don't freak out over the user name ... it just popped into my head when I had to pick one.  It's more in fun than anything else ... obnoxious sense of humor and all...)

My mission, should I decide to accept it (which I do), is to convey the basis for my question/issue in fewer words than Voltaire published across his very prolific life.

I grew up under the definitive Mommie Dearest.  She loved using the kids as whipping posts to vent her frustrations.  Physical beatings were severe and frequent.  I also had three older brothers who were either beating the crap out of me, or making sure I didn't exist in the same county as them, and two younger sisters who were spoiled princesses.  Long story short, the pattern I developed to cope with mom was to become timid, meek, pathetic, etc.  It didn't win me any brownie points, but it did have a profound effect on stopping her rage from hitting me in the face.  It was never completely effective but it did go a good way in reducing damages.  Its motto was “make sure nobody gets mad at me.”  This aspect of myself grew as time went on, eventually including making sure that I exist at the bottom rung of the social ladder, especially economically.  This was compounded by lifelong repeating experiences of having lots of people become extremely upset with me if I outshone them – something I was in the habit of doing. 

This now manifests as a massive conflict that just does not seem to be responding to the Completion Process in any way.  On one hand, I am on the clock for any number of reasons to get an income stream flowing.  Time is short and consequences for failure severe.  I have massive potential for doing this and even more motivation.  I am not a greenhorn; I am 55 and I’ve been through an awful lot.  However every single time I dive into my main project, everything hits the fan internally.  The other aspect then goes ballistic: you can’t do that!  That’ll make too much money!  Immediately, I’m attacked with anxiety, massive resistance to proceeding, etc.  It becomes an all-out war just to continue.  And if I back off, the other aspect goes crazy: you better get moving!  We don’t have time for sitting around!

So I have one aspect going bananas over not making money, and another one going ballistic over the concept of making it.  It’s all-out war and I am caught in the middle.  Neither one seems to be responding to the Completion Process in any way.

ANY thoughts, ideas, etc. would be most appreciated.  I’m just not sure how to handle a situation like this.  Both aspects APPEAR to be directly resisting all efforts at healing or reclamation. 

Thanks much.

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Hey @Dirty_Harry,

I just joined the forum and yours was the first message I read!

You explained what you're going through really well, which from my experience is hard to do sometimes. I can relate to a lot of what you said, and it sounds like one emotion you're dealing with is shame. "...The pattern I developed to cope with mom was to become timid, meek, pathetic, etc." It sounds like any desire you had or any natural way of being you had as a kid was unacceptable. It's sounds like no matter what you did, there was a chance you were going to get punished for it, which is why it probably feels really hard to receive anything good, like money as you mentioned. I think it makes perfect sense that you started shutting down, because you did it for your own survival at the time, and anyone in your shoes would have done the same thing.

I had total freedom up until age 8, and then moved in with my German immigrant grandparents because my parents divorced. Everything I did was wrong, according to them. Consequently, I also shut down emotionally and physically. When I was a teenager, I grew my hair in front of my face and just had a literally distorted vision. It felt appropriate, because it was like a blanket under which I could hide. I've felt alone, powerless, and right now, I go back and forth between a crazy 8, or so I've heard it called, of feeling powerless and then super angry and aggressive at what seems like a little thing. Getting angry feels more enlivening than depressed. But, it's hard to feel like you can be around people when a seemingly minor thing triggers you, and you just wish that the people around you would understand that it's not really about that minor thing, but about something bigger and deeper.

Some of the things that I've learned from Teal and that have helped me enormously, even though I feel like my life is still mostly controlled by triggers right now, are these. 

1. Become aware of the standards you set for yourself. If you're experiencing shame, it's likely that you set standards for yourself that don't serve you. You set these, because it's safer to police yourself that to have someone else do it for you. For me, I've felt terrified around people, even strangers I pass by on the sidewalk. Wtf? I've learned that one of my standards was, "I have to smile at and acknowledge everybody I pass by on the sidewalk." Holy crap. No wonder I feel terrified, because of this enormous pressure I put on myself every time I pass by someone. Knowing this relieves a ton of pressure.

2. Find your root belief. Take a situation that you're dealing with, like "I have to make sure no body gets mad at me." Then alternate between these two questions, depending on which one sounds appropriate at the time: (1) If that were 100% true, why would that be so bad and/or (2) what does that mean to me or mean about me? You'll know when you've reached the root belief depending on how it feels. I'll post an exercise I did for myself recently to find my own root belief:

The scenario I was dealing with was: "I'm afraid of people."

If that is 100% true, why is that so bad and/or what does that mean to me or mean about me?

Answer: People are scary

If that is 100% true, why is that so bad and/or what does that mean to me or mean about me?

Answer: People might hurt me

If that is 100% true, why is that so bad and/or what does that mean to me or mean about me?

Answer: I am in danger

I am in danger is the root belief I'm walking around with. Next, I'm trying to look for ways of how that's not true. By the way, the reason I didn't stop at "People might hurt me" as the root belief is because I went just a step further to "I am in danger", and felt throughout my body like "Oh yeah, whoa, that's the one."

I also understand where you're coming from in regards to money. Some things that have helped me are to start small and find ways to be resourceful/outside the box. See if you can make one little transaction where you earn maybe a couple bucks. And just get accustomed to feeling okay with that transaction so it's like, "Oh yeah, it's all good, I can receive some money!" I started doing this by selling a bunch of books I don't need anymore on Amazon. My standard has changed, and it's gotten easier and easier to receive more money.

Sincerely,

Derek

Edited by kadenz
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Derek (kadenz): thank you so much for taking the time to give such a thorough reply.  While all of it will be mulled over very seriously, one part in particular just jumped out at me: "it's safer to police yourself than to have someone else do it for you."  There's one I haven't even considered, and it's absolutely obsessive with me: I am Mr. Integrity.  "A perfect good boy."  ALWAYS early for everything.  Never keep people waiting.  I would die before I would steal.  You get the idea.  It is limitless in my life: I do no wrong.  I must behave as the perfect human being at all times.  And it's driven by shame.  Most of the wrath that was unleashed on me was unrelated to anything I did.  My mom used to tell us, all the time, that we were all accidents and none of us were planned on [meaning "wanted"].  We were a burden and a hindrance just for existing and no expense was spared in making sure we knew it.  Until now I never put my finger on just the right term (or concept) but "shame" is absolutely it.  No question.  I was shamed constantly, brutally, and aggressively, just because that's what she did.  It rarely meant I actually did anything wrong, but still I tried as hard as I could to "behave my way into her good graces."  That became obsessive and compulsive.  Even if somebody is coming up behind me while I'm driving, the first thing I do is panic, look at the speedometer, and make sure I'm not going too slow.  To keep somebody waiting is shameful and "I am better than that - I have to be, or else!"  


The money thing is more complex.  If I'm working a "real job," no problem.  In 2008 I was being paid $52.08 per hour as a contractor at Microsoft.  I never had an issue with it.  However back in the 90's (this is just one example) I went to a guy's house to fix his computer.  I charged him $30 and felt guilty over charging even that much.  In reality $150 would have been too low for what I did, and doing it as a house call.  It was all about shame: "I don't overcharge people!  Only bad boys do that!"  

What happens if I'm a bad boy?  That's what I have to "go in" and experience … but now I have a clear direction.  I just never conceptualized (observed?) the shame aspect, and that is clearly (and by a huge margin) the most dominating aspect of my life.  

You've triggered a clear direction to move forward in, when I had none.  I will most definitely follow up here (sooner rather than later) on where this ultimately led.  Thank you!!!

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Later that day ...

Doing this "retrieval session" ranked somewhere below breathing in difficulty.  I don't remember anything being more effortless.  I located my 5 year old self with no problem, ran the entire process on him, then, for good measure, I added another twist.  By the age of 5, emotionally and psychologically I was absolutely certifiable.  I began chasing girls at that age.  Obviously, looking for a REAL mom (of course I didn't know that was my motivation at the time).  Never actually got the girl; only got rejection after rejection, which sent me into deeper devastation and depression, each and every time, than most people ever experience in a hundred lifetimes.  So, after getting my "kid" washed up with healing water (and WOW was that water energized!!!), nestled securely and comfortably in the Safe Haven, and giving him copious amounts of healing embraces (which was even more effortless than the rest of the process), I decided to bring in the embodiment of my dream girl - a definition that didn't solidify until I was 14, but nonetheless, she has remained very much in my heart and soul ever since.  I have every last aspect of her clearly defined, down to her hair, general looks, even tone of voice.  I brought her into the Safe Haven to look after the healing process and be his lifelong companion.  She's well aware of what's happened to him, and that time will be required to effect all required healing.  There is no hurry.  It takes as long as it takes.  And I will be revisiting them both at least once daily just to ensure they're doing okay; if they need anything, they will have it.

When I finished, I made a run to our local grocery store.  A very gentle, but permeating, lightness, joy, and euphoria was just overcoming me, and it persists to this moment.  I had never been without this weight before.  Now it’s gone – at least that’s how it feels.  I cannot describe it.  Imagine walking cross country with a 150 pound weight on your back.  Then one day it’s suddenly gone and you don’t have to carry it anymore.  OMG.  How do you even begin to communicate that experience effectively?

What really remains to be seen, however, is the long-term effects of this.  Other sessions will follow, for other issues, as they become necessary, but for now, there is work to be done – all the resistance is gone and I’m now able to just dive in and move, move, move on my project.  This project I’m on is driven by passion and nothing but.  Now it’s no longer a task of swimming through quicksand upstream.  I know the long-term effects of this will be good … but how good?  Time will tell.

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