Monday, January 15, 2018

The inner struggle

Today I have some clarity on the inner struggle between my Parent and Child. The guilt is of course something that the Child is feeling because of the injunction "Don't Exist". As long as I was 'Pleasing Others and Being Perfect", I only had to deal with the feelings of sadness. The coping strategy of my sadness and perhaps my script decision involved around sadness, I've understood as 'suffering in silence'. The manifested behaviour has been that of passivity and passive aggression and internal harm that occasionally caused a bad stomach and a severe migraine. But now, when I am no longer functioning as if on autopilot in my driver behaviour, I have hit my injunction and my oh my, it is very painful.

There seems to be a difference in my consequential thoughts though. When I was little, and much into my adulthood, perhaps as recent as a few years ago even, I remember thoughts of getting rid of myself was prevalent every-time I hit my injunction. I would have wanted to magically just have my life ended. I remember indulging in thoughts of dying. However now, these thoughts have not occurred at all. I hear my Rebellious Child, speaking up ferociously to the Critical Parent about compelling facts that she (my internal Parent) ought to take into consideration.

This was however, initially coming to me as a fantasy conversation that I saw as an externalised faction. On paying closer attention and following my body language, I realised that it was my Child trying to get approval from my Parent. Longing for approval, to be told that I am a good girl and I am OK and accepted. And the Parent, well, I am not sure if that came in. What is coming up from me now is as I am processing this internal dialogue and as I externalise my inner world, I am feeling composed, settled, there is a smile on my face, I am not sure which ego state this is though. Certainly there is my Adult involved and watching and I seem to have received some internal Permission. I haven't quite been able to know and understand what that is. I am hearing 'It's OK being where you are'. I am glad to have this clarity. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Future past and presence.

Guilt ridden I sit nursing my migraine today;
the heaviness of them both at its seasonal high.
My mind and heart are at loggerheads today
torn between decisions and feelings that follow;
should I really stand up for myself or comply and wallow -
in mute resentment and passivity? I let go a deep sigh.

I know it is not going to be easy- this loving and respecting myself especially in turbulent times. It is going to be a journey. The loss of life as I know it that comes along with standing up for myself, is the one that is causing me grief, piercing through. So much so that I am almost tempted to give in and become a part of a current I clearly don't want to be in. The unfamiliarity, the uncertainty the wobbliness of my next landing step is frightening - it is dark and the terrain unknown. I know I would need to be kind to myself in this process more than ever before. Taking stock of the energy I seem to be having now to direct towards myself and the very apparent shift from the erstwhile rigidity in structuring my children to a more nurturing and compassionate one is very reassuring for me. I see me being softer and gentler with guiding and being with my children. I seem to have immersed myself in the joy of taking care of my needs and passionately going after them. I notice the energy to sustain the change is far higher than ever before. I have and will continue to take support from all the nurturing and accepting relationships around me and the people who have much before me, braved to be there for themselves through their books. Through them all I learn to live and speak my truth.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

I am a part of my motley family!

As I sat sipping on my coffee browsing through today's paper looking for nothing specific, something about Coping with intra-family dynamics caught my attention. I was reminded of my own struggle, growing up and still on, grappling around the motley crowd of a family that is mine.

Image borrowed from the same piece in The Hindu
When I was 20 I met an uncle after almost a year in a local grocery store and I smiled moving closer to him, perhaps in the hope of reliving the warmth of childhood when pat came his unexpected  response upon seeing me, "Why have you grown so dark"; quickly shredding through my memories like sheets of unwanted paper. My feet stopped, I froze in both movement and thought and wanted to just retreat into my protective inner shell. Was I supposed to look at this as care? Was I supposed to grow beyond those words and look at his statement as only love? I coudn't do so while feeling so small and weak, I just couldn't collect my brave thoughts, that seemed to have gone into hiding at that right
moment, deep inside my own sense of insufficiency. I excused myself and quickly walked away, promising to visit him soon.

Another time a well meaning cousin of a dear friend turned around to her in a family wedding, again meeting her for the first time in two years, saying with a smile, "you have gained weight". Sitting beside her half of me was angry with that cousin for misusing the relationship. The other half was sad to see how with just that one naive sentence, I saw a relationship crumble between their eyes leaving the recipient unsettled and struggling to fill her discomfort and anger with words that didn't mean a thing. They managed to have an exchange that that only brought out coldness. While on the outside they seemed to have had a meaningful social exchange to compensate for all that was lost in those two years, they were left with their own inner struggle.

I do feel sad when as a family, on the pretext of taking the liberty to connect closely, we end up saying things that are bordering on being intrusive and plain rude. Sending clear undercurrents of messages to the other party - stay away from me, or else... and outwardly complaining of how people are just not so nice these days and how they don't keep in touch anymore.

For a very long time I looked at this as a problem for me because of all the others in my family sans me. And for the longest time I could not figure out how to 'fix it' because I did not know then that the only 'fixing' I could ever do was on myself.

Encounters like these with older people got me asking myself a lot of questions; What kind of person do I want to be when I grow old - What are the decisions I am going to make about myself - How am I building myself now, so that I grow old into that person I desire to be. I was having a chat with my colleague about these questions once, when she wisely asked me why I wanted to wait until old-age to be someone I wanted to become. THAT for me was my inner DING. It made a lot of sense to me and left me with one question that would help me - What and who do I want to be now? I sat and penned down who I wanted to be. It was and still is a lot of work every time I consciously choose who I want to be in every in that moment.

This humbling task helped me empathize with the others who seemed to say the 'wrong things'. I understood that they perhaps had not yet made a conscious effort to know themselves and who they wanted to be and that they too were struggling in someway. If I felt irked by someone's behaviour, and couldn't look past it, it could very well mean at that point I did not feel potent enough and kind enough to love them in spite of their behaviour. So I would need to just keep working on being kind unconditionally and unapologetic-ally.  And while I worked on that I might choose to stay away from some of them whom I am unable to love. Well aware of the fact that I am not saying they are no good, but that I am not there yet!