Coping with change

What does change bring?
I took a computer to my tech guys today. They’re gone. The business was sold last year, so new name, new look. I knew that, but the techies were still there… so all good. Now my tech guys are gone. I remember the former owner installing new memory into a computer back in the early 90s for the price of a couple of packs of smokes. At that time he was working out of a storage shed next door to where the current business is. That’s how long my history with this particular business is. Now it’s over. New name, new look, new people. It’s not the same business anymore. I’ll give them a go, but it’s…

Yet one more change in my life. A small change, really only a tiny blip on the radar, but I’m not coping well with all the changes in my life right now. There needs to be something consistent that I can hold on to, doesn’t there? It feels like everything I’m used to is being taken away from me.

My son is no longer the boy he was. He’s rebelling against his old life. That’s good. I want to see him get out on his own and make his own decisions in life. But, it’s not his decisions that he’s making. He’s making the decisions that she suggests to him. I’d have no problems with that if the decisions were based on common sense and improving his life. Instead those decisions include abusing friends, former friends now, because she doesn’t like the way they treated her, or that they didn’t agree with her that I’m the worst waste of space to walk on this planet… that’s the type of decisions he’s making. The relationship will need to run its course. I accept that. I accept the changes in my son and his relationship with her. While he’s here I’m trying to spend extra time with him. He was fine with that. As I told him… once he’s back in Sydney I probably won’t get to talk to him much. She’s told him that I’m trying to stop him moving to Sydney, so now he doesn’t want to spend the time with me.

I miss my son.

I spoke about therapy on the 18th and how I needed to make sure she has the full picture, that I needed to let her know I’m not doing as well as I’d like her to think. I saw her last Wednesday and told her how I felt I’d been floundering and about the bad days I’d been having.

Result? Nothing. She reiterated that I have good common sense and lack confidence. That she finds me an interesting case… it doesn’t matter what life has thrown at me, how far I fall, I always pick myself up and keep going. Now I won’t be seeing her until after I move. She said that we can’t really move onto the next stages until I do move, so I need to keep working on the things I am working on now and if I feel I’m not coping to ring her in between.

Changes. I can’t control any of what is happening in my life. I know that. I’m still stepping forward into my life. It’s just I can’t help feeling abandoned again. I keep telling myself the only thing I can do is accept the changes and look for the opportunities in them. That doesn’t make it any less of a struggle.

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Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Change?

Some change?
It was an interesting conversation I had with my friend N about… we have all the tools and the knowledge, so why do we rebel against changing? Although I know I’ve let fear control many of the choices I’ve made, I do still rebel against change.

We’d been talking about how at this age it seems we’re following old patterns of behaviour and there are no obvious, outward signs of change. Obviously, there are changes there, but I look back at different times during my isolation and my attempts to come out. And here I am at 41 years of age… seemingly trying to come out again?!

It made me think of the movie What Dreams May Come, with Robin Williams. Very long and a definite tear-jerker. Anyway, consider how she was stuck in the nightmares of her own creation and had no awareness of anything else. Stuck. I can’t help thinking how it parallels with my life, with where I get stuck. Sure there are differences, as I know what’s out there. I’m aware. I’m not oblivious to the nightmare I make of my existence. Yet, I’m still stuck. At least that’s what it feels like.

I was 23 when I had my son, and 26 when we moved into my safe haven. Mentally and emotionally I’m still stuck back there somewhere. I haven’t integrated enough of my past experiences during that time to have a steady timeline to now. I would overload and the time now only exists in fragments. I haven’t grown into a woman of 41. Instead I find myself here in 2011 a woman of 41. I don’t feel 41.

In some ways, I’m trying to grow up, or maybe catch up is a better way to put it, but then I think… isn’t it nice to feel younger?

Is it any wonder I can’t get the number of drafts down when my mind carries off into tangents like this? Anyway, back to the way I rebel against changing. Nah, forget it for today 😛

Joking. Half- joking. My mind is looking for distractions, so only half-joking. I unloaded at 750 words today for the first time in a week. As I typed there I realised that I haven’t been saying my affirmations. I feel like I’ve been floundering this week, but it’s not all failure. It’s day 5 of… yeah, that. Not sure what that is? You’ll have to look back two days ago to find out. Although I fell today, I’ll call it a little blip on the road to health and be back on it tomorrow.

I’m lacking… to be honest I’m not really sure what I’m lacking. Commitment? No, I’m still posting here everyday, I’m still talking to friends, I’m not being silent, so I haven’t let all commitments go. I think it comes down to feeling overloaded, so in some ways I’m trying to backtrack, go back in time a little to find a place of quiet.

I’m rebelling. I’m taking control of my life and I’m rebelling against this change. And trying to make excuses to make it acceptable. Can’t things go back to what they were before? I don’t really mean that. Not really.I’m needing to accept so many changes in my life… overload. Plain and simple.

Pfft. See? I still went off on another tangent in there as well. LOL!

In the end what it comes down to, is whatever I may be feeling right now, there’s one big change for everyone to see… I’m not going silent. I might be having trouble stringing two coherent  thoughts together right now, but it’s not silently. I’m making you all put up with it!

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Image: Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Instafriend! Just add smoke and mirrors

Ilo and I at the apple farmT, from the Deafening post, was a year older than me and the youngest child of an apple growing family. I think I was still 13 when we met.

My first horse had been a drought foal and it was suggested sending her out to grass for a year or two, so she could catch up on the growth she’d missed as a youngster. Somewhere with good feed, the vet said. In other words… no drought!

We sent her to a friend of a friend in apple country. While Canberra and the surrounding areas floundered in drought, Batlow and surrounds thrived, grass to the knees and green in every direction you looked. It was a stunning sight to someone who grew up in Canberra, which would turn green for just a few months of the year.

Okay, thinking back on the Shh… posts, I was in my drinking spiral from 13 to 14. I was pretty screwed up. For the month before we delivered Ilo to the apple farm, my mother would tell me over and over… she’s a good girl from a good family, behave while you’re there. Blah, Blah, Blah. Don’t cause trouble. Blah. Really, the only thing of importance that registered was that I was going to Hate Her.

We walked down the long drive and out the gate with Ilo. Two sets of parents watched T and I walk away. We swapped maybe half a dozen words on that walk. I found her… sullen. Oh Great. This was going to be fun. My own sullenness mirrored hers.

I turned and looked back as we passed out the gate and with not a parent in sight pulled out a cigarette and lit it. Oh yes, I thought, that look of shock on the snotty girl’s face as I lit up was worth every cross word I’d be getting for the next 6 months.

Then she said… Can I have a drag?

My subsequent look of shock must have mirrored hers.

We stood there staring at each other for a long moment as it dawned on us what had just happened. We both burst out laughing and were talking over each other as we told each other almost the exact same story of the last month! She’s a good girl from a good family! Both sets of parents were hoping for the same miracle from this friendship.

21 draft salute!

Feeling challenged
Yep, there are 21 drafts sitting there for me to sift through. More if I actually split the three that are holding tanks for multiple posts. Take a few off as they’ll never see the publish button clicked. Subtract a couple more that I suspect won’t see the eyes of any reader besides me.

Whatever the actual number… there they sit and here I sit typing this.

I’ve attempted to draft sift for the last week, actually longer. I look at the list of recent posts and ALL of them were started fresh on the day they were posted, or changed beyond recognition from what was in a draft. The number of drafts went up during this time instead of down. Scheduling is random. Some have been scheduled 5 minutes before the schedule time. Some, like this one have been hours late.

I’m feeling overloaded. It seems like there is so much happening right now in my life, while at the same time my life appears at a standstill. And I’m left wondering what first? What next? What else? And as with everything in my life, it’s carried over to the blog. I keep starting fresh drafts.

Am I allowed to say… Enough! Can’t we just work on this other stuff first?

Will anyone listen if I do?

So this is a salute to some of the things in my life today, that don’t actually match up to those 21 drafts in any shape or form. Well, okay some of it is there, the rest will get there…

  1. My son is home (temporarily)
  2. He still plans on moving to Sydney
  3. He doesn’t want to see his friends while he’s here
  4. That saddens me
  5. The cats are total bed hogs! Who let the cats IN?
  6. Have I mentioned lately, or ever, how cute they are when they’re trying to be cute?
  7. And how that doesn’t get either of them the prize position on the bed?
  8. Finding a place within budget, that is pet friendly is looking impossible right now
  9. For some reason I’m barely drinking coffee, which I think is from…
  10. Day 3 of no smoking… shh, I didn’t mean to spill that. Both of these mean I’m…
  11. Yawning like mad before lunch! And surprisingly…
  12. Coping really well with it, no jitters and whatever I might have expected
  13. Therapy session on Wednesday will be the last until I’ve moved, although
  14. I can ring her if I need to
  15. That makes me want to cry for so many different reasons
  16. I actually meditated the other day! Finally.
  17. I’m dreaming and remembering my dreams. Yes, this time it’s sleep type dreams!
  18. They’re mostly happy dreams.
  19. I’m feeling more connected to the people in my life.
  20. Family excluded.
  21. Even my son is excluded from this, as
  22. Some things happened last week that left my trust… shaken.
  23. oops, already passed the magic number!
  24. I just walked out to the driveway to find a flat tyre.
  25. I really don’t feel like changing a tyre today.

Alright 21 was the magic number, so I can miss the rest and take a look at what I’ve avoided facing. The things I turn to when I’m so over thinking!

I’m feeling less connected with my son.

Hmm, wonder if he’ll help me change a tyre 😛

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Image: scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Insight junkie?

Take it easy!
Insight Junkies get high on that Ah-ha! moment when they unlock yet another mystery from deep within the murky depths of their own minds, then they beg to look for Just! One! More! The one typing this is sadly an Insight Junkie. Recovering! Definitely a recovering Insight Junkie!

And don’t give me the But, but the quest for understanding has to be good for us! routine. That routine can take a flying leap as far as I’m concerned and I’ve one thing to say… Shut up and Chill out!

Ahh, is that silence? Much better. Now that you’re listening…

As part of my healing I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand why I behave in certain ways. I’ve also spent as much time wondering how much knowing, or trying to know helps. Okay, I know it can help, but there are times I think it all gets in the way of being, which is kind of the point of my healing. Isn’t it? Just being?

Insight helps. Knowing why helped with the whole sleep battle thing I have, when I’m exhausted and won’t go to bed. Once I could see it as a behaviour I could change, then I could choose to behave differently. Understanding why let me decide on the best way to talk myself into going to bed. I now remind myself that connection is better than disconnection and all that jazz.

Most of my behaviours are the same. Until a new way of behaving becomes natural, I talk myself into change. The ol’ inner dialogue can go over and over the same issues day after day.

Anyone who does this daily knows it gets tiring. Going out and doing something, or daydreaming, or grabbing whatever little tool from the magic tool box is going to distract me, help me feel better and then I can start listening to myself again. But seriously, sometimes the last thing I feel like doing is… doing something. I get tired of always feeling like I have to Do something. As soon as I feel like that I ask… What am I avoiding?! Why?!

In the 80s I belonged to a therapy group for agoraphobics and as I’ve said before Canberra gets cold when it rains. Real. Cold. All of us in the group would say the same thing to ourselves on cold days when we didn’t want to go out… Avoidance. Yep, it’s a cold, rainy, Winter day in Canberra, so we must be avoiding going out for the usual fear, not because it’s Freezing Cold! I really do believe that the only people out walking their dogs and trying to smile on those days were agoraphobics. We felt we HAD to. We questioned our thoughts… Yuck! Look at the weather! Do we want to stay home because it’s warm or safe?

I remember the therapist saying to me once… it’s okay to curl up under the blankets on a cold and rainy day if that’s what you feel like doing. It doesn’t have to mean anything more than it’s cold and rainy and you want to stay warm and dry.

Anyway, I’ve derailed my train of thought here. All the questioning that I do in my search for answers, questioning my thoughts and feelings, even questioning my questions has given me a new problem…

The Insight Junkie suffering an overdose.

I finally ask… Who the hell am I? Behind all the behaviours… Who is hiding there?

Fine, I want to know who I am, I’m sure we all do that at times, then I begin to think about the really life-changing stuff…

Do I like chocolate ice cream because my parents were strawberry and vanilla people? I’ve always liked chocolate ice cream, but maybe I’d really love Vanilla? Or Coffee? Macadamia?

Believe me when I say, that’s not far off from being an over exaggeration. Which brings us back to telling my mind to…

Shut up and chill out!

Just be. So says the Insight Junkie.

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Image: Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking to the future

Dreams! That way!
For too long I’ve existed. As I said the other day I have trouble looking ahead. I wouldn’t. I stopped dreaming of what I want. Goals became almost non-existent. Wanting almost impossible. I’ve wanted lots of things during my life, but I’ve never really wanted those things. Hang in there, if you’re real lucky, that sentence will make sense by the end.

With self-esteem that was almost non-existent, admitting to wanting something good, working towards something wanted… it was a set-up for me to fail.

I want to be happy… I don’t deserve to be happy.

I want fun in my life… something always goes wrong.

I want love in my life… no one can love me.

I want… I don’t deserve.

Those words are the base of the internal messages that I face when I think of the future, the programming that I’m working on changing. Slowly, but surely, the messages are being rewritten. There are signs of success, like wanting to live near the water.

In the past I could say I want something, or would like something, but I never believed I deserved it, not really. If I couldn’t have what I want, then I would stop wanting it. Almost sounds like reverse psychology, but of course, that’s not how life works. Over time it became easier to stop wanting or admitting to wanting anything.

Last week I began a dream journal. Not for sleep type dreams, but those dreams of the future. You know, when you picture what you’d like in your life? I began one. It wasn’t easy to begin, to paste in the first pictures, to write the first words. It was like trying to swim during a blue-bottle inundation. You can’t help knowing you’re doing something risky and it doesn’t matter how careful you are, you never know when one is going to float past you leaving a fiery trail of pain with it.

I persisted. Each time I felt the first flash of pain, I would stop… letting go of past messages of pain and welcoming a new future. It was an empowering feeling, letting the words I wrote echo through the emptiness of my mind. Reaching moments in time when those past programs didn’t play as I wanted and desired for the future. As I welcomed a brighter future to my now.

This is new for me and I’d like more of that. Really.

I chose a journal instead of some kind of wall hanging, or poster, as that would be too difficult for me to have staring down at me. Besides feeling so very public. My ability to dream is too shaky to survive the stresses of what would feel like public viewing.

I’m meant to look through the journal daily, adding to it regularly. I haven’t looked at it in days as I’ve been struggling the last week or two. Even while I struggle I smile as I remember that feeling of empowerment.

I’m becoming very used to the duality of my feelings.

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Image: Kenneth Cratty / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Deafening, so many bikes

I find funny some of the memories that pop into my head at times. I was sitting outside on the balcony, in the cool breeze when I heard a biker down the road. Well, those things are so loud he could have been down near the highway for all I know. Anyways…

Two teenage girls stared out the window in shock as a stream of bikes slowly made their way towards the farm. As the first shock passed the elder girl pushed the younger towards the bedroom door… Hurry! I can’t see Tom’s car with them! We have to lock everything and turn off the lights. We have to hide! Tom said to hide if he wasn’t with them!

The younger girl went pale, even though understanding evaded her. She didn’t have to understand, she recognised panic and real fear in her friend.

The girls raced through the house, switching off lights, locking doors, closing and latching windows. Hearts pounding, they crouched down at the window facing the long drive and waited. They counted riders for a while and as the number of riders increased well into double digits their voices faded, leaving them with only one thought in their young minds… where’s Tom?

There it was. Finally. The dual lights of a car coming slowly up the drive… Tom was back. It would all be alright. Fear turned to relief in a blink of an eye. Even so, the elder girl didn’t get up and turn on the first light until she saw her brother step out of the car to greet his friends.

That’s a sound I thought I’d never forget, the sound of so many bikes turning up the drive. Deafening. So many bikes in the dark and two girls hiding in the house. I’d forgotten about that night, which happened while visiting a friend in apple country. At least now I understand why the roar of bikes has always sent my heart racing and  the thought… Hide! shouted in my mind.

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Image credit: © Juha Sompinmäki | Dreamstime.com