How Does Happy Feel

I’m working on my self. Not on my husband. I’m working on my ability to connect with myself. I am working on my ability to be happy.

What would it take for me to be happy?

I had a dream. I was lost in a neighborhood I knew so well. The streets were predictable, like a grid with numbers and letters. There was no way I could have gotten lost. Yet, a set of streets with an overpass sprung up in middle of the intersection, criss-crossing the avenue. I had no idea how to continue. I stopped a woman in the street to ask for directions. She was pushing a baby carriage. She told me how to get to my destination. I looked in the direction she was pointing to but I was sure that I would get lost. It just didn’t look right.

As part of my dream interpretation session with my therapist, he asked me to become the street. When I became the overpass – it was great. I hung out on top, watching the hullabaloo beneath me. Then he asked me to go down and become those new streets that came up and it was really very dizzying. When my therapist asked me to become that lady, I resisted and said it was impossible. She was happy! And I am not. He said that since she was in my dream, she really is a part of me so I can become her. I had to put on her body and her clothing and see what it felt like to be her.

This experience was a great eye-opener for me. I did not know that being in a happy body actually felt like a punishment! I managed to get into her from head to midriff. It hurt too much to even get down to her waist. Me and happiness seem not to be compatible.

And here I have been claiming to be on the path to happiness. And that is all I want in life?!?!? What in the world is going on?

When asked by my therapist to explain this, the answer I got from an inner voice was that if I indeed became “happy”, I would lose the chance to be around support people and I would have to be on my own. I am holding on to whatever dysfunction I can just in order to maintain my connections with the great people I am in touch with for support.

My therapist assured me that they will still be there for me even if I have nothing to complain about. He also said that I don’t have to create blocks for myself (like plunking down a set of streets where none existed before). There were enough challenges in daily living that would pop up in the course of my life, without my help.

It is not fun to find out such kinds of things about myself. But it is fun to know that there may be secret blocks to my full-capacity living. Once uncovered, I am free to move on and try on the rest of the body of happiness.

Admitting Powerfulness

In 12 step programs we admit to powerlessness but sometimes it is necessary to admit to being powerful. What do I mean?

I am a powerful human being. My actions and words have effects on others and the world. What I do is indeed important. Whether or not I believe that I am important is not important because at the end of the day, if I hurt or help someone – I get the credit or the blame. I must take responsibility.

Tonight I felt the impact of my powerfulness as I was once again reminded that I am real. I have a tendency to go “invisible” in social situations. I lose sight of myself – I feel that I don’t count, that no one will notice whether or not I attended a party, made the call or the visit. I very easily sign out of life thinking that it won’t make much of a difference.

Well, well – I was in for a surprise! I was the recipient of a cold shoulder and frozen eyes from the hostess of a wedding I attended. I did not think she would care either way whether or not I attended the entire party or whether or not I called her to congratulate her on the engagement. I had been wrapped up in my sorrows these past few months and did not want to come out of my bubble. I just wanted to come to part of the wedding and share her joy and dance with her. But she was not satisfied with that. Obviously, something about my behavior had bothered her and she made it known to me.

I actually didn’t know that I was in her picture. I had always felt invisible in her story but I guess that I am not. My feeling invisible does not make me invisible. It does not exonerate me from keeping up social duties and attending functions.

This is the second time I was hit with the impact of my powerfulness. It is good to get a reminder once in a while that I must be careful with my behavior. My therapist has been trying to tell me for a while now that I am more powerful than I think. I have to embrace my power, not be afraid of it and allow myself to shine in a way that increases joy and connection.


God, please open for me the door

show me what’s in store

heal for me my soul

pull me back into the whole

shine for me the light

so that I can learn

that it is not night

where my longing lies

it is in the brightness of the sun

the forgiving and giving

in the platitude of simplicity

that I am utterly

and solely

alive.

Note to Self ~ Self-Sabotage to the Rescue

Dear Sarah,

Aha!!! So it happened!! You were aware of change! And you were aware of the resistance to change. Because the change was for the better. And God Forbid if your life gets better. God Forbid if you become more independent, more HAPPY. OK, I’m being sarcastic. Sorry.

Let’s back up.

Dear Sarah,

I am happy. Do you know why? Because you have discovered a pattern and now that you see it, YOU CAN BLOCK IT!  You see that there is actually a choice: to take the easy path of the known or to try a new approach. Until now, there was no choice. You kept on falling into the same ruts each time because you didn’t know what was pushing you in there.

And here you have it very clearly defined: The Fear of Success pushing you, driving you, getting you down. YOU NOTICED IT! I am soooooooooo proud of you!

You know, I have heard so much about the Fear of Success and self-sabotage but honestly I didn’t know that it had anything to do with us. That was for entrepreneurs who need to work on believing that they are real and that their business idea can make it.  But for little old Sarah? Really?!

And here you have it. You were feeling so high, so ready and so grounded. You had a thought about what time management meant to you and how you can utilize time for your own advantage. You became unafraid of time. In that moment of relief and clarity, you had the meaning of time in your back pocket. Life would be great. No more shriveling up in the face of others’ demands or others’ schedules. No more unidentified flying objects coming at you from nowhere due to lack of time management. It all made sense. Boundaries and structure work hand in hand with time-keeping.

And then you were up all night. Couldn’t sleep. The next day was not a productive day. You felt blah and down. You easily could have fallen into the trap that your little fear devil was trying to lay. However, instead you didn’t get too bogged down either way. So today was not a great accomplishing day. Tomorrow will be better. The freedom you acquired from that great epiphany you had about time was not going anywhere. It is here to stay. You are not letting this back you up or put you to bed.

New opportunities have been presented to you in the past 24 hours – a yoga class at a friend’s house, a voice class…. Life is sending you messages. You can choose to move on and not get lost in the morass of self-sabotage. The negative feelings think they are serving  a purpose but in reality they are not helping you. They are just keeping things status quo.

It’s time for change. We are ready!

So excited!! Loving you so much,

Your Inner Loving Guide

 

Money Talk, Accusations and Boundaries

Time for a reality check!! I professed that I have changed. So let’s see how this impacted the money fights I had been having with my husband for years and years and years.

Here is a chance for me to take note of the old dysfunction and to be very clear about what is happening now. As they say, the beast has reared its ugly head. My husband just went on one of his his mini-fits of putting me down, saying he’s very hurt and globalizing my spending problems because I bought take-out tonight. He felt it was not in our budget.

The story is not important. Or is it?

On the one hand, I had always said that it’s not WHAT he is saying, it is HOW he is saying it. In other words, I felt that if he can express his reactions to my actions in an appropriate way, I would probably listen to what he is saying and either agree or disagree but I definitely would not shut down. When he lashes out instantly, as he did tonight, and berates me and goes on and on , as he is wont to do, I feel attacked and undressed. I will fight him tooth and nail, without even considering what the content of his discontent is. 

Wouldn’t you do the same? 

I had been so fed up with his accusations that I completely shut down from him emotionally. We still lived together under one roof, however there was no communication. Unless you count grunting. I wasn’t interested in hearing him vent – because it was always about “my wife”. Lovely. 

Now that we have been talking more, he may be feeling more comfortable to go back to his old ways. And tonight he struck gold by starting up with the old money script.

Here is the other hand. On the other hand, I can surmise that he is handicapped in the area of expressing himself effectively to a wife (a very specific handicap, or should we call it BPD ? ) and I can perhaps tune out all the static that comes along with the message. So that would translate to mean- don’t respond to the put-downs and only respond to his area of concern. 

Tonight I couldn’t do that. I was getting my food ready to put out and eat. I didn’t want this sick money script to ruin my appetite. Plus I was hungry. Plus I wasn’t sure that I agreed with his accusations.  There was a very good reason why I bought take-out tonight. 

Maybe I could have said  “I see that you are very concerned that we will use up our money on wasted things.” Or something like that. But, it was not a time for validation or psychology. He was in middle of eating and I was about to sit down with my food and this was all about me and my mistakes in life and my “never-ending” spending problems. 

I had to take quick action and make a decision about how the conversation would continue. This is the first time he started on this topic since our relationship has thawed over the last two months. Accepting his abuse would definitely  have taken away my appetite. I set a limit instead. I asked him, “Do you want me to sit at the same table as you?” I told him that if yes, then he would have to stop yelling at me. The BPD in him said “Does it sound like I am yelling? Is my voice raised?” 

I said no. You are not literally yelling.  You are putting me down.

One thing I need to work on if I am to stay in this marriage is to be clear and honest about my feelings. In the past I clamped down and stayed away. I shut down and felt anger, resentment and hatred. That is toxic. Now it is time to learn how to set boundaries. He sulked the rest of the meal and we sat at the same table.

I wonder if I can ask him to hold off with talking to me when he is feeling overwhelmed and angry at me. My husband has a problem- he cannot wait, he’s quite impulsive. When the smallest bit of food gets put down in front of him, he goes at it immediately without thinking that perhaps he should wait for me to sit down near him, or perhaps the rest of the food will come out and it would taste better to eat everything together. If he thinks of an idea he tries to take care of it right away. If he cannot, it causes him tremendous anxiety. He does not write things down for later. If he wants to complain to or correct or criticize someone who is not near him, he will just text him immediately – as soon as the thought crosses his mind. When I am not the culprit, it’s easy to say I can’t control him. It is his choice… However, here I am the subject of his impulsivity and I really need to think hard about how I will react.
I know that I cannot control him. I realized that after trial and error :-).  I can set boundaries related to me controlling me. “You want to talk to me like that – I cannot stay here . I will take myself away from you when you give me immediate preachings without regard to my feelings or to any background story on my end.”

Trial and error indeed. I’ll let you know how it goes!

My Story and My Questions ~ Part 1

I have been contemplating what my next topic for the blog will be. I haven’t yet mentioned past life regression here. Or karmic relationships. I haven’t talked that much about self-love, affirmations or mirror work. I haven’t really explained how I managed to change my perceptions and move the focus of my life story onto a new subject – Me.

I began writing the blog determined to figure this thing called BPD out! And I see more and more that it’s about finding out who I am.

My husband’s BPD is his story. It’s interesting to me that he himself is not aware of his own story. He lives it every moment and yet he is unaware that it has a name and that there is help for him. But still, it’s HIS story.

My story is that I am a separate person and I DON’T have BPD. So what DO I HAVE?

In other words, what is my story? 

I always knew that I did not want to live my life as a REACTOR to my husband or to others. I wanted to be the one who took positive action by my own volition. With my own set of wishes and preferences. Now that I have set down the BPD story and have given it back to its rightful owner, my DH (did I just call him a dear husband?) , I am free to pursue anything that makes me happy. I can stop wrapping myself in the blanket of his love which does not exist for me. I can stop pretending that I am happy when I am not. I can stop bewitching and begrudging everyone who is in a happy (looking) marriage. I can STOP trying so hard to understand what is HAPPENING TO ME. 

Now, that last sentence, I TAKE BACK. I take it back! I will never stop trying to understand what is happening to me because the more I understand, the better I can function. I believe that my reality is created based on some internal belief system. PLUS I believe in a Higher Power who will make right in the world no matter what. I believe in this thing called karma which is so hard to explain. I believe that if I talk about what is happening to me, if I share it here, if I read up on whatever interests me, if I work things out with a dedicated therapist, if I run my thoughts by close friends who support me, if I allow myself private time to just BE – with myself and with Higher Power – it will help me find inner peace.

I can never dull the ache and stop the persistent voice that says Why, Why, Why. I am a thinking, living human being with a soul that will never stop wanting to grow and to connect and to love. And most importantly, to UNDERSTAND!!!

As a child I was taught that asking too many questions is not a good thing. I picked up that it causes problems (mainly for adults who don’t want to answer me….) and it also shows a disrespect and an attitude of being a non-believer in the Creator’s inherent goodness. In other words, if I don’t happily accept (i.e. dumbly and numbly) everything that is happening to me or around me without asking questions, it implies that I don’t believe that everything that happens is for the good. FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!!? Who made that one up!? Fearful idiots. (Oy, excuse me. I’m getting angry now.)

That’s a misguided way of living which I will not sign up to. I must ask and I must seek answers. And guess what?! There are people out there who have answers. I don’t have to wait until I die and meet the ALL KNOWING G-d to know what I need to know to live a happy, functional life.

To be continued…..