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The Decompression Chamber


RainyCoast
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HOH, so good to hear about your son's text! About your other kids, I'd stay focused on the present. If they bring up the past, you can keep it simple and say "What can I do now?" or "Can you forgive me?" and keep yourself moving forward. I honestly think their abandonment issues are not entirely about you, but also about their father. They may have repressed the grieving or have delayed grief, who knows? Are they now around the age you were when it all happened? It could exacerbate it for them; again, who knows? If you HOH can imagine setting down the burden of the past, feel yourself put that weight down and move away from it, and just focus on love and the present moment, it may help you and eventually (hopefully) them. Hugs to you!

 

I was about to say something about you having gone through hell back when you were a young parent of young fatherless children…and then remembered your screen name. Maybe you should change it, to reflect that you no longer want to be in hell? I believe what we keep telling ourselves affects how we respond to our world; it colors our experience and affects our choices.

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Oh boy that is great news, i'm soooo happy to hear that!!!!!

 

I honestly think their abandonment issues are not entirely about you, but also about their father.
I agree. I had a similar experience growing up...my mother the only candidate to carry the burden...if we wanted me to not have problems...there was no way my mother alone could make up for what the entire extended family did, and my father's death. those times were though on everyone. people aren't equipped to handle extreme situations smoothly. it has to go wrong somewhere, for someone. I noticed in the last thread your therapist said your son tests you because you are the only one who will love him despite everything. i think this is possible. children-- and adults regressing to child states-- need containment. someone to hod their affect and their unbearable conflict for them. mother holds the conflict...says i love you nevertheless...i want to us to heal...i want us to be in touch...i want us in therapy...and we will be okay. that is returning his problem to him in a form that isn't unbearable.

 

i honestly don't see that you handled it so poorly. you improvised, because you had to. sometimes we have to accept three years of life will be spent on damage control, or just trying to prevent the worst. i don't have children, but i've spent a lot of time trying to just not sink. i hate to feel ashamed for it, although i do to an extent, and the beginning of disowning blame, shame and ineptness has been to say i worked with what i had, and i accepted responsibility, but i don't accept a scarlet letter. I think the thing you're most right about is the i can't always be blamed part. if you stand by that, you also take away the screen for their projections, and they have to accept they are their own masters now, and responsible for themselves. offering to heal together is great, it invites them to accept shades of gray: we made mistakes. we are fallible, we are hurt, we deserve to heal. it stops the mom is entirely at fault trend.

 

i'm just so happy he got in touch

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turns out a lot of people don't know what bay leaf is. there are tons of these twitter posts like "unacceptable. shame on you chipotle. i found an actual leaf from a tree in my food" and things like that. you think they can't be serious but trust me, they be serious.

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turns out a lot of people don't know what bay leaf is. there are tons of these twitter posts like "unacceptable. shame on you chipotle. i found an actual leaf from a tree in my food" and things like that. you think they can't be serious but trust me, they be serious.

 

Haha... oh people...

 

"Someone put these floating white cubes in my hot cocoa!"

 

How'd the dentist apt go??

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Warm thanks to you both It felt good to let some of that out. You both offered a lot to think about, a lot of wisdom, and a whole ton of caring.

 

My screen name was a joke, but I think there's a lot of merit to changing it anyway. I got a new haircut for the same reason.

 

Over the past year, I've been moving towards my future rather than being stuck in my past. I'm also moving towards living for me, how I want, rather than for everyone else. Metamorphosis. This is the focus of my therapy. It's a whole new approach and new methods. I think they are effective. I've been able to separate others' expectations of me from my own expectations of me with far more ease than ever before. There's no anger. Just a simple, "No. No, I don't want to go that way." I figure I'll get better with it the more I practice it.

 

I'm completely open to the kids still needing to talk about things now and again. It just can't be the focus any more.

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i read the update HOH, that is just wonderful. you guys will be alright.

 

oh, the dentist!! yea! it went okay, they fixed the two cavities. tomorrow i will go back and they will try to rebuild my tooth with something. the mass will take a few days to harden completely and then they will file it down and shape it nicely so that it looks like a tooth again. because the tooth split all the way to the gum, there is not much the material will hold on to at the top, it will mostly be held in place by the half of my tooth. hopefully that will suffice. in any case, better than losing the tooth. so far, insurance covers everything. it's the wisdom teeth that'll cost me an arm and a leg.

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so strange...last night i was making a mental to do list for today before falling asleep and somewhere around "fill in evaluation forms for february", or maybe it was "run the washer first thing in the morning", suddenly, so suddenly, the past intruded into my mind and completely overtook it, i saw and smelled the large walnut wardrobe closet at my grandparents' summerhouse, smelled and saw the peeling wallpaper, saw the madonna painting in the dark, heard the swoosh of stars shooting across the sky above the field, heard the breeze in the tall mulberry, the wasps buzzing in the shed, the hazel promised "another month of two and they'll be ripe. grandpa will save them for you", felt the rubble of the dirt road under my sneakers, and the cold from the tiles in the house, and the neighbour's ripe plums falling to the ground across the road,,,it was like a tarkovsky film, so vivid and pushed out every other thought i had and it must have continued into my dream because right before waking up i dreamed i was outside in their garden and something was missing, i looked down and saw a stump where the medlar tree used to be.

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it actually makes so much sense. my entire family history is condensed in that flashback and dream. losses were abrupt. people, home, life, was always severed so abruptly. i wasn't able or allowed to mourn. which is a subject of its own. derrida spoke about this. when you don't mourn, the lost object remains encapsulated inside oneself, but cut off from consciousness. one of the signs a person hasn't mourned is that the lost object never appears in their dreams. i have been working on my problem with mourning a lot this past year. with some success. recently, my father appeared in my dream. mum and i were at my grandparents' apartment. she announced that my father was coming to visit, and then left the room. i felt a surge of happiness, excitement, father was coming!!! then immediately, worry. i must suppress the excitement. i must act indifferent. maybe i shouldn't meet him at all. mother will flip out. she hates him. she sees it as a matter of loyalty, and i've been punished in the past for the slightest sign of missing my father. i was told we must be happy he is dead. then i rebelled inwardly. enough of this. enough. i'm thrilled to see him. i want to see him finally. let her flip. she can flip all she wants. i'll remain calm. i will meet him. and i will continue to treat her as lovingly as before. i need to show her i don't love her any less if i love him. at that moment, my father appeared before me, smiling. i saw my mother in the periphery, she seemed okay with it. i was so happy to see him. unbelievably happy. that was his first appearance in my dreams since he died. i have reclaimed my energy from the dead cathexis, i was a bit more myself, a bit more whole, we were separate, but belonged to one another still, and i could finally meet and greet him as a separate entity, he was outside myself, no longer a living dead abscess in some sealed tomb inside me. finally, he was someone who is free, and can come and say hello, i love you, and hear it said back.

 

before mother died, all these losses were abrupt and unmourned. home after home, family member after family member. i never had the option to say goodbye, to come to terms with the loss at my own pace, to gradually reclaim my energy. my energy was still there, in all these phantom limbs/branches of the medlar tree. then when she died that was final, i have no one left, my entire life before her death vanished, the summer house was sold a long time ago... the family tree cut down to a stump in the ground. unmourned. i didn't come to terms with having lost everything. a phantom tree. living dead phantom tree, we shared the circulatory system, all my energy, all my life sap went into the phantom tree, the phantom tree was alive with it, the peeling wallpaper alive with it, the hazelnuts ripening with it, thee juicy plums full of it, the wardrobe breathing with it, the shooting stars literally burning up with it,...all my life-force was keeping the dead tree not so dead. no wonder i have been depleted, slow, depressed, sucked down with the death drive, all my life elsewhere, trying to keep a tree alive where a stump remains.

 

funny thing about the medlar tree. we always visited the summer house in the summer, when school was off. the fruits don't ripen until later in the autumn. i always saw the small unripe fruits, but i never saw them ripe or tasted them.

i liked that tree, grandpa prompted a shelf upon it to hold one of those water containers with a plastic faucet, and put a bar of soap and towel next to it. we spent most of our time outdoors and he put it there so we didn't have to go back in the house every time we needed to wash our hands. my swing was on it's branch too when i was very little.

 

i get it now, why i am so slow. that is a lot of "life" to reclaim. it can't happen overnight. but i did reclaim the hardest part to reclaim, which was with dad. i'll reclaim the rest of it too.

Edited by RainyCoast
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we made the final trip to that country when i was in uni. she said she was having doubts about whether we should go see the summer house one last time before it's sold. didn't know whether she wanted to, and asked whether i did. i said i don't know either, i think i said goodbye to it a long time ago anyway. so we didn't go. i kinda lied though. i did want to see it, but i was afraid i couldn't stop myself from crying and crying, howling-crying probably, and i had to always hold that kind of stuff back with her. it would upset her. she probably wouldn't be angry with me, but it would hurt her, to see me hurt. and hurt me to see her mixed reaction, her hate and resentment for them, and the pain of loss regardless.

 

i gave myself a headache with this. that's resistance...i'm told.

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i was strangely drawn to this poem by Poe when i was about nine. my father was dead at the time already. i didn't know, but somehow sensed, i would lose the rest of them very early too.

 

 

....

Triumphant, o'er the crested palls,

Of her grand family funerals-

Some sepulchre, remote, alone,

Against whose portal she hath thrown,

In childhood, many an idle stone-

Some tomb from out whose sounding door

She ne'er shall force an echo more,

Thrilling to think, poor child of sin!

It was the dead who groaned within.

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so strange...last night i was making a mental to do list for today before falling asleep and somewhere around "fill in evaluation forms for february", or maybe it was "run the washer first thing in the morning", suddenly, so suddenly, the past intruded into my mind and completely overtook it, i saw and smelled the large walnut wardrobe closet at my grandparents' summerhouse, smelled and saw the peeling wallpaper, saw the madonna painting in the dark, heard the swoosh of stars shooting across the sky above the field, heard the breeze in the tall mulberry, the wasps buzzing in the shed, the hazel promised "another month of two and they'll be ripe. grandpa will save them for you", felt the rubble of the dirt road under my sneakers, and the cold from the tiles in the house, and the neighbour's ripe plums falling to the ground across the road,,,it was like a tarkovsky film, so vivid and pushed out every other thought i had and it must have continued into my dream because right before waking up i dreamed i was outside in their garden and something was missing, i looked down and saw a stump where the medlar tree used to be.

 

That is so cool.

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so strange...last night i was making a mental to do list for today before falling asleep and somewhere around "fill in evaluation forms for february", or maybe it was "run the washer first thing in the morning", suddenly, so suddenly, the past intruded into my mind and completely overtook it, i saw and smelled the large walnut wardrobe closet at my grandparents' summerhouse, smelled and saw the peeling wallpaper, saw the madonna painting in the dark, heard the swoosh of stars shooting across the sky above the field, heard the breeze in the tall mulberry, the wasps buzzing in the shed, the hazel promised "another month of two and they'll be ripe. grandpa will save them for you", felt the rubble of the dirt road under my sneakers, and the cold from the tiles in the house, and the neighbour's ripe plums falling to the ground across the road,,,it was like a tarkovsky film, so vivid and pushed out every other thought i had and it must have continued into my dream because right before waking up i dreamed i was outside in their garden and something was missing, i looked down and saw a stump where the medlar tree used to be.

 

That is so cool.

 

Edited to add: that whole series of posts was cool.

 

Also.....

 

turns out a lot of people don't know what bay leaf is. there are tons of these twitter posts like "unacceptable. shame on you chipotle. i found an actual leaf from a tree in my food" and things like that. you think they can't be serious but trust me, they be serious.

 

Hilarious.

 

Have you ever seen the Bic for Her reviews on amazon? Also hilarious.

 

 

 

There's a bunch of reviews like that on there. I think Three Wolf T-Shirt is another.

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okay, so the procedure for my wisdom teeth isn't any time soon. and as i was flossing this morning i was afraid to floss all the way back to the wisdom tooth because there's hardly any interdental space there, and i feared that as i force the floss in and out of there, the tooth will chip. i almost skipped it, but then stoopid me said "you have to floss Rainy", so i forced the stoopid floss in and outta there and the stoopid tooth chipped a little. not as much as the one last week, but a little.

 

the stuff nightmares are made of. staahp teeth, staahp, please.

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RC, I love your posts

 

Have you heard of cord cutting? I'm going to try it, my first visit is on 3/18. The premise is that we continue to have energy bonds with people in our past. Some are good, and some aren't good. It's a ritual of sorts where the "not helpful" cords are cut, giving you back your energy. Or something like that.

 

We could be sisters. I had those same abrupt losses and no ability to mourn or talk of the lost person ever again. In essence, they took away my voice, my emotions. I'm not angry with those who silenced me, because I know they did their best. I'm 52 years old, and finally ready to claim my own voice.

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So here's a voice, an angry voice. I hate my work environment. If there was a word stronger than hate, I'd use it.

 

I have to rewrite my resume, and I'm dragging my feet on it. Why? I dunno. I must love hating my work place. Gah! I've decided to bribe myself. I'll make an appointment for a massage as soon as I've wrapped up my resume. I've never had a massage.

 

Anyone else use self bribery?

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exactly, it's having one's voice taken away.

 

i had a tape for cord cutting, if that counts. i remember always feeling refreshed after it, and it helped my backpain somehow. but i think with my family, the problem ran deeper. my mother loved it though, used it for work, exes, anyone and everything she wanted to leave behind.

 

i have been at the "i'll spruce up my resume tonight" stage for like 8 months. never made definite moves to quit this job. so i figured i needed to stay at this job because something about it was obviously important to me. The thing for me has been that i love my job, but hate the dynamics. the job itself is awesome and all i could wish for and i would do it for the rest of my life without complaint. the dynamics though, while they caused me a ton of stress, i also knew they were great opportunities to outgrow some of my most stubborn fears and traits, learn boundaries, learn assertiveness, learn acceptance and forgiveness- but not to anyone's expense, and things like that. so i think i sabotaged my own attempts to move from this job because the secondary benefit was was very appealing as it had become very important to wrap this growth cycle up for myself.

 

i don't know if that helps you, but i do think your job isn't a coincidence. when i postpone things (i can be incredibly avoidant), there's always a reason why i subconsciously want to stay where i am. once i know what it is, i can decide whether it's a good reason, or an irrational one. i do bribe myself sometimes, i have a ton of other tricks also but none comes to mind at the moment. you've given me food for thought tough. i might want to make a list of things i do to hold myself back, and a list of things i do to kick myself forward. one thing that helps me is giving myself two weeks notice. i spend two weeks trying to get used to the idea of doing something that scares me, i get used to it mentally in small steps, whether it's surgery, visiting a place that used to trigger me, things like that. or i tell myself to spend five minutes and no more doing the task. so like, write the first paragraph of your resume lol. you'll probably end up writing all of it, and if not, you have two weeks to get it done- five minutes a day. i also use the plant a tree browser extension. it gives you 25 minutes to do whatever you needed to do, then you're off the hook again.

 

i've been feeling really energized since the medlar tree dream. and doing a whole spring cleaning of my habits and lifestyle and thoughts. i haven't felt truly motivated like this in a while, i think everything has been forced for years now. force myself to get up, force myself to cook, force myself to make a phonecall, force everything, blah.

 

yeah, spruce up your resume, go for interviews, make it a game. if a new job happens, great, if not, maybe it'll help you remember that you're flexible and in control.

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LOLOL, well, I can give you some advice I recently heard. It came from a lovely woman that I don't know very well, but I feel connected to her. She's pretty fabulous. She told me to spend 5 minutes a day doing that chore...5 minutes. Sound familiar? Yes, it's you. I'm talking about you, RC. 😀

 

Set your alarm clock or timer. (I added that part myself.)

 

I'm going to re-work my resume this weekend. I'm not willing to send this first draft to anyone, and my recruiter hasn't talked to me about it at all. A coworker just gave notice, and they've put over half of her job on me. I asked if it was temporary, that there is no way I can keep this pace up for very long. They said yes, but who knows. The biggest problem is that I have major high stress deadlines every day of the month, and it's been this way since last August. I'm wearing out, starting to make mistakes, too much mental exhaustion.

 

Add the recent high levels of hostility from senior management, and wow! It's all I can do to go to work some days. I'm living for the weekends, and it's now the weekend.

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that does sound like things are going downhill at your workplace. i get the vibe your management don't like to explain. it's just "here's the new normal, deal". my boss would explain herself but she'd tell us a liad of crock lol.

 

yes. five minutes. i need to do it in five minute intervals. ughhhhh.

 

adjusting to new antidepressant and i'm a hot mess. it's not bad but my routine and rhythm collapse from the slightest change. at least i can finally sleep though. and my head is...less crowded.

 

built up a few good habits though. need to keep this up.

 

if the scary dreams about teeth would just stop that would be great.

 

i am coming to appreciate weekends as downtime too. i used to see them as time to get more chores done. this time i watched reruns of the big bang theory and laughed like a hyiena ( is that how it's spelled).

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