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Dreaded Regression...


EQD

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Friday i left work, like any other friday but i couldnt get it out of my head. I've been doing so well, and actually i've been slipping and didnt know it or want to recognize it.

I wonder now if ENA is such a good idea. It solves problems yes, but some things are better left unknown. The thread i read confirmed what fears i was trying to rid myself of, and smashed my last bit of hope that i could protect myself.

To me love is something i know nothing about. Growing up i never saw what love was, my parents were divorced, my mom who i stayed with until i was 8 i think was an alcoholic who had many boyfriends and turbulent relationships.

My dad was an unemotional angry antisocial man who had very very few relationships (3 in 12 years), the ones he did have he ended or simply let go of, they never lasted very long either.. a few months.

You cannot tell a blind person what a bird looks like, you cannot tell someone who's never had ice cream what it tastes like in the middle of summer.. They dont know. I dont know what love feels like. I dont know how to feel it, or receive it, or if i am close to feeling it at all.

Because i dont know.

I dont know what commitment is, i've never seen it, or been around it.

I dont know what trust is, i've never had it.

I know words. I know their meanings, but emotions defy words. They defy meanings. They may evoke feelings, but they cannot give justice to them.

 

I can feel sadness, i can feel loss, and i can suffer. But happiness? Can i feel happiness with another human to the extent i can feel it with my horse?

How pathetic is this that i consider her a safe thing to love...

I can trust her, i can learn to trust her more. And this i find worthwhile.

She doesnt have hidden intentions, she tells me how she feels all the time with her ears and eyes and body. There is always an open line of communication, and she has no reason to decieve me. Eventhough i am not the best listener i can try, i can be compassionate and understanding, i can fufill her needs. I dont *get* people. I can't read them as easy.

And i find it very hard to trust them when i have never seen someone trust, i feel i cannot love them because i have never seen someone love. I have never seen someone commit. So i dont know that any of this is possible.

 

I dont learn by words, i learn by example and emotions. A horse is emotions, thats all they have, they dont think as much as we do, and to me thats calming because i think too much. I can rely on her.

I cant rely on people. My mind doesnt work out the knots like it does with a horse.

There was a time when riding scared me, but i was pushed to get back on after i had fallen off. I found the reward, my mind registered it and my love for horses you could say has been a commitment since that day well over 10 years ago.

Its not riding that i enjoy the most. Its the horse. Not alot of people who ride can understand that to a degree that i do. I know how to do this, i know how to love her and take care of her, i know how to read her, i can accept that she isnt perfect, i can deal with it and overcome it when she hurts me, when she throws me.... because as long as i am listening to her its never out of anger, or malice. Its an accident, she is scared or playful, and i can forgive.. i can understand. Because i have learned to understand. I know the reward..

 

But its just not so with people...

 

I broke down into tears friday after work. I let out as much as i could and i could understand why.. its so hard to trust people. And i have nothing to go by. I lamented my attitude towards this, i just wanted to catch him.. again i have slipped, faultered, and again i struggled with trust.

 

With horses you can lead with physical and the mental can follow. You can work in degrees until your heart stops pouding out of your chest, youre ultimate goal is to get your body to relax, and work it backwards. Backwards--the body objectively.. by way of the mind. Make your seat soften, get your hands light, and then you feel yourself go with the motion, and it no longer frightens you.

 

But what do you have for people? Its mind and emotions... And for me its so much harder... I dont know the rewards of such actions.

 

I keep trying to get back on but its infinately harder, you all know how bullheaded i can be, i cant push that part of me, with this you run into denial, and hidden fears and meanings. My own self can decieve me then how can i trust someone else?!

 

I frustrated and i am angry, and lost! My contempt for him has reached an all time high and i feel like an addict waiting for my therapy session, THIS doesnt happen with horses, all of this discomfort doesnt exist anymore with that. But here it is! Smacking me in the face and you try and tell me what ice cream tastes like, but i cant taste it, i never have! I've never even seen someone eat ice cream and you tell me to believe in it.

And thats the problem, I dont work well with what i cant see, feel, touch, manipulate and move.

 

Its so hard to FIGHT through all of this pain to get to something i know nothing about!!! Its so hard to fight through this pitiful loveless childhood of mine and learn all on my own how to surpass anything my own parents were incapable of doing. I cant say i am even ready! But i can try... and i am..

 

thats what makes regression so hard...

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You know love and hope still lives when a perfect stranger gets on here and sincerely says that what you say makes a difference and that we can see alot of you in your posts..and that we care about you eq.

Maybe its the knowledge of hope in this world that makes the biggest difference despite bad things...hope I make sense..tb

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Your horse feels safe, because she is reliable.

 

There are more reliable people than your parents; people who are loyal and dependable, and willing to stick with the commitments that they make.

Maybe your parents tried in their own way, but perhaps they'd learned from their parents how to be the way that they are.

 

It might hurt to have to see the contrasts between what you are familiar with, and how you think things should be, but this is the first step in making the

changes within yourself, so that you can escape the legacy of your parents.

 

You're going to have to make a commitment to teach yourself what they did not teach you.

You're going to need to be courageous and determined-- the same as when you fell off the horse, and forced yourself to work past the fear and get back in the saddle.

 

Just as different horses have different temperaments, so do people.

The more you learn about yourself, the better able you will be to trust your own judgements,

and the better able you will be to eventually find a trustworthy someone who you could really go places with.

 

You say:

"And thats the problem, I dont work well with what i cant see, feel, touch, manipulate and move. Its so hard to FIGHT through all of this pain to get to something i know nothing about!!!"

 

But you DO know something about love-- you know enough to be able to feel the absence of it.

Keep working at it, you're doing better than you think.

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I think we are born with love. We have love, and the people we trust to care for us don't always nurture that love and make it grow. Sometimes those people don't water it, don't tend to it, and even stomp on it and damage it beyond belief to the point we think we will never see it again.

 

Our little love is always with us. It's eternal. We are forever childlike and forever loving if we work hard enough to find it. Trust honestly doesn't reside in others, it resides solely in ourselves.

 

We are a complete package. We are a fully stocked store with all of the things in this world we need to live and flourish in the presence of others. The problem is that we usually lose track of the tools. We lose our trust, we lose our sense of inate love, and we don't know how to find them.

 

You can trust. It isn't your horse that is trustworthy, it is you that finds yourself able to trust her. There are humans as trustworthy as horses, but we ususally attach our baggage to them and they suddenly become the same loser backstabber we have always known.

 

You have to sit with yourself and find your love. You have to find your trust. They are in there. Think of it as a box of cereal with a toy in it. DIG. You will find it and it will be freakin sweet.

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Personally, my inability to trust is mostly my inability to trust myself. I feel if someone hurts me (cheats, lies, attacks me) then I am forced to see myself plainly. Alone, true, no longer hiding safely in my own shell.

 

How dare you pull me out of my shell, other person!! I am cozy here.

 

So I don't "trust" people as a form of keeping myself away from myself.

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i dont understand that iphigenia.

My problem i think is i just dont want to open myself up to be hurt. whatever it is i want to see coming, and by running down all the possibilities in that way i can defend myself. In my life i dont have alot of unknowns or curveballs. i am hyper aware to a fault. And that maintains my shell. It cant hurt me if i see it coming. If i see it coming i will think its coming.. even if its not.

I'm fine with being alone, i'm fine with being flawed. But i am in fear of being outsmarted, and in that way, hurt. i am against giving myself to someone, and i am against trust, because that means i have to stop keeping my eyes open so wide. and in that i lose control of the situation, and i find it very hard to do that as well.

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I guess my hurt is fear of myself and doesn't apply to you. So what is exactly is your hurt? Thinking completely logically, with no emotion, what is the worst that would happen if you were outsmarted?

 

if i get outsmarted i get hurt.

and i suppose theoretically speaking i would feel stupid or foolish for trusting and letting my guard down.

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When you are in therapy, you go thru a period where you feel like you are getting worse rather than better. This is because you are dragging the skeletons out of the closet in order to get rid of them. You can't get rid of them if you don't bring them to the surface and deal with them.

 

A better analogy might be cleaning out a really dusty closet. At first you are overwhelmed when you see how dirty it is and just say, i can't deal with that, i'll deal with it later and just walk away. Then one day you feel strong enough to tackle it, but you get in the middle of it, are covered in dust, miserable and thinking, why did i even try with this, look what a mess and i am covered with dust and sneezing and miserable.

 

But the answer is to just keep going, and you will eventually clean out that dusty closet, and you will feel clean and happy and have a wonderful new space to take advantage of.

 

So you can't get to the other side without going thru it. And when you're in the middle of it, you may lose a little hope, feel miserable, be confused, not understand why you are doing this, wonder if you can ever get thru it, or whether it was even worth it.

 

the point is that love and a good relationship really is worth it. And if you need to do some work in therapy to learn how to do it right and clean up your dysfunctional past, then that is the price you pay to get that really good thing.

 

You can and will survive the journey if set a goal to do it. why not set a goal to attend one year of therapy before giving up. that gives you enough time to get thru that middle stage where you're not sure why you're doing it or if you could make it.

 

Just because you don't have the skills to deal with things now, doesn't mean you won't in future. You can't expect to be a doctor without going thru school first, right? Same thing applies here. You need to go to 'school' to learn what a normal relationship feels like, and you don't learn that overnight. But it is worth the effort to come out of your shell and really live life to its fullest rather than avoiding all the things that scare you or you haven't dealt with before.

 

You gain confidence as you go along, it is not awarded to you in a big lump in the beginning of the journey. The confidence comes as a RESULT of the journey, and if you refuse to take the journey, you're stuck where you are living a limited life.

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and one thing i do notice, and this is not a criticism but an observation, is that you get very frustrated if you don't get immediate gratification or understanding or whatever your goal is. some goals in life can't be reached via instant awareness or satisfaction. they're a series of incremental steps, and all or nothing type thinking is your worst enemy there.

 

learn to tolerate some shades of gray. it's not the end of the world if something/someone is not perfect or if you make a mistake or whatever. learn to go with the flow a little rather than expecting everything to go according to plan. learn to discover, not dictate, in terms of learning not to just have a script in your head, and if things go off script, you panic. Life is a journey, and not always according to plan. Some of my best experiences have been when i've been suprrized or thrown off guard, then learn or benefit from that.

 

Maybe you should talk to your therapist about learning how to let go a little, how to go with the flow and not panic if you encounter something unexpected?? Every little unexpected thing you encounter is not a tragedy or the beginning of doom!

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i think its easiest explained that i'm a very very analyitical person... if it doesnt fit here nor there it upsets me.

another problem is the impatience of youth. Multiplied by the uncertainty i feel and then the fear of uncertainty... and that causes quite a bit of upset. because when things are in limbo it is grey, and i dont like grey because i cant be certain about grey.

alot of my life hinges on facts and certainty.

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but my point is that there ARE shades of grey... that is the accurate intepretation of the world, and if you are constantly trying to shove things into boxes when they don't fit there, you world will be full of anxiety.

 

even the best scientistists in the world recognize that the a 'fact' may be relative to how much information you have and whether you are intepreting it correctly in relation to other variables and reality.

 

so there is no fact you can be certain about, unless you are allknowing and know every fact in the universe.

 

what i'm saying is you need to learn to fight that impulse as it will cause you endless misery. life is uncertain, and you need to learn skills to deal with uncertainty and learn to accept shades of grey as being as acceptable as black and white.

 

that is what therapy is good for.

 

have you considered that you might have an anxiety disorder ro biochemical issue as well? have you been evaluated by a psychiatrist, or just a counselor?

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i guess the problem is i am too comfortable with mapping things out. its my only defense from being completely naive. but you almost need to be naive in order to be in a relationship and be in love... as far as i can tell...

because if not you end up like me.. and instead you are naive about life.. the one scenario that i think is least likely is the most positive one.

in that way i am a pessimist...

i trust that it will fail. and that is just living in backwards land.

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>>..so... thats why i predict all possible outcomes. the only thing i cant predict is how i react to them.

 

but that assumes you are all powerful and are able to predict all possible outcomes, which you can't, nobody can.

 

trying to predict all outcomes and control them is what is bringing you anxiety. how about perhaps learning to trust yourself enough to know that you don't have to predict all outcomes (or be all powerful), rather better to learn skills to deal with ambiguities and problems as they arise, rather than trying to control all outcomes.

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i know what you are saying BSBH.

and obviously if this way that i am now was working for me i wouldnt be having these problems.

sure it worked when i was single but relationships arent something i am very experienced at.

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>>you almost need to be naive in order to be in a relationship and be in love... as far as i can tell...

 

No you don't have to be naive at all. saying that assumes a pessimistic attitude, i.e., that a relationship is only good worthwhile if you are with a perfect person and nothing bad ever happens. but that is not the way life works...

 

the best relationships are when you see things with an open mind, see the good and the bad, and are then able to make good decisions about whether to continue with relationship or whether it is not giving you what you want and need. the less naive you are, the better you are at choosing a good partner because you've learned what is important to have, and what to let go and not worry about.

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have you considered that you might have an anxiety disorder ro biochemical issue as well? have you been evaluated by a psychiatrist, or just a counselor?

 

what kind of issue would that be?

 

i'm seeing a therapist. not the kind that gives you drugs.

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>>you almost need to be naive in order to be in a relationship and be in love... as far as i can tell...

 

No you don't have to be naive at all. saying that assumes a pessimistic attitude, i.e., that a relationship is only good worthwhile if you are with a perfect person and nothing bad ever happens. but that is not the way life works...

 

the best relationships are when you see things with an open mind, see the good and the bad, and are then able to make good decisions about whether to continue with relationship or whether it is not giving you what you want and need. the less naive you are, the better you are at choosing a good partner because you've learned what is important to have, and what to let go and not worry about.

 

i have no way to gauge that.

and my problem is blocking the bad out. so thats a rubix in itself.

of course this is a pessimistic attitude, i've been burned. Its going to take a great great deal of effort to override the past.

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i am very optimistic that if you don't let yourself shut down and quit trying, you'll find your way and be able to find love and happiness.

 

right now it is hard, but you have to go thru this to learn what you need to know to get to the good stuff, the ability to love and let go, but still keep your wits about you and protect yourself when necessary.

 

it's the difference between constantly walking around with a gun shooting at anything that moves because you're afraid, or knowing when you don't need to even wear the gun. And not giving up entirely and shooting yourself because you figure sooner or later someone else will shoot you.

 

The best path is one undertaken with due caution, but without fear clouding your emotions. Right now you're scared and jumping and shooting at every shadow, and you need to keep going to therapy long enough to learn how to be calm and confident in relationships.

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you've in the past been afraid you might have a bi-polar issue (and didn't you say it ran in your family)? biochemical issues can influence thinking and ramp up fear and anxiety...

 

my suggestion would be that if you have bi-polar illness in your family, consider talking to a psychiatrist to get evaluated to make sure you aren't suffering issues related to that. a counselor can help with adjustment issues, but if you are bi-polar or have an anxiety problem that is biochemically stimulated, you'll need medication for that.

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plenty go and are told they just have an 'adjustment reaction' (i.e., need to see a counselor but not take medication).

 

the pyschiatrist's job is to distinguish between trauma and non-biochemical issues and biochemical ones, and to do diagnoses and referrals when necessary.

 

if you have a parent who has a bi-polar illness, and you yourself have incidents with your mind racing, followed by depression and/or anxiety and paranoia, inability to focus on one thing for too long, then there's a good chance you might have some biochemical issues that might be greatly alleviated by medication.

 

the doctor can't make you take medication, that is your choice, but i wouldn't exclude it out of fear or prejudice.

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