Thank you oceanheart, dsnutt45 and BMama for your meaningful contributions:
It's ironic we can have so much compassion for others and so little for ourselves. If someone treated a friend of mine like I treat myself, I'd call that person abusive...
Being able to observe my feelings with a little bit of detachment has helped me recently. I have to watch and not dissociate, because that's taking it too far, but a little bit of distance is healthy, because then that wave of shame doesn't drown me, and I can tread water. Soon, I'll be able to swim, then jump on a board and surf the wave!
dunno what I mean really, except gaining mastery over the emotions that used to be like a tsunami...
I love your imagery oceanheart. We engage in "person abuse" with ourselves, that is a classic!
And thank you for sharing your concept of surfacing the waves of our emotions with some detachment (but not too much) and building up to bigger and bigger waves. Self-forgiveness is a process and your metaphor does a great job of expressing that.
I'm afraid of expressing my anger because 1) it's physically painful 2) I'm afraid it will escalate or I'll lose control 3) I might be wrong 4) I might be acting unfairly 5) I'm afraid I will like it too much (the feeling of being powerful and in control). Any suggestions besides bringing it up with my T today?
I think you've hit on a very common issue, not just for children of pwBPD but for most people. Anger is indeed frightening. It is a strong emotion and it has often been used against us to belittle and control us. But the problem is that anger is a natural human emotion and can be very appropriate at times. In fact, if we squelch our very appropriate anger, we end up squelching our other emotions too - even the good ones like love and appreciation.
Old habits die hard.
I guess it's that old, "Putting other's needs before your own" mentality that we grew up with.
It sounds like you have been doing some really deep work BMama. You are right old habits do die hard, that's why we need to celebrate your little victories. Good point also about this being the mentality that we grew up with. So these aren't just old habits, they are also childhood habits. Double hard to break.
Yesterday, I dropped my son off at preschool. I didn't have his permission slip for a trip tomorrow filled out or the money. His teacher said, "Did you get a form?" I automatically started assuming I did and I just forgot it or didn't see it in his papers on Friday. She said, "I have one here with his name on it, but it was still laying here so I crossed his name out assuming maybe there were two and he got his...I'm sorry." I didn't give her a second...I just automatically went to me messing it up. I even was like over apologetic and making sure that she knew I wasn't mad at her or anything. Man that is so annoying.
Wow! You should write up this story and post it in an obvious spot - the refrigerator, the bathroom mirror - along with the words - "See it's not always my fault! - Remember, remember, remember"
I have gone back to a mindfullness tool. Becuase so many of us have have buried our emotions and the focus of bpd being..they have hidden their emotions from such an early ages.
emotions = feeling.
The jest of it is not to run away from you feelings. Identify what you are feeling and the emotion behind it and allow yourself to feel..not replace it just feel. We grow up being told you should feel this or that, but to move on you have need to experience what you are feeling to move past it.
If you sit with your emotions and feelings you will find that they hold less power over you. The training is that emotions are fleeting...if you sit with them you will notice that you will not run away from your feelings and emotions because you realize that they will leave on their own. If you sit with fear...especially if you didn't allow yourself to feel it when you were a child..you will be able to recognize it when it is useful to identify true threats.
Do you need forgiveness. If you done something you regret...feel it...how does it feel..identify why you truly feel regret..what could you do different..by allowing yourself to feel regret..you are no longer running away from it...you can change it...you understand you did something unhealthy and have learned from it...it now becomes wise remorse.
When you start a something simple ask why you are doing it.. needs to? makes me feel better? something I want to do? fear of what someone might think? Identify the feeling and emotion behind what drives you...You might be surprised at something that you really want to do and and the positive emotions and feelings are suddenly place with a negative one will follow and that is the reason we don't follow through with our dreams.
Really beautiful and strong words about mindfulness dsnutt45. Great lessons! Thanks.
When I had extreme anger..I was real scared of the way I felt.. And I got stuck awhile on this, because I too grew up..Dad can show anger we couldn't. And actually I found out with me it was not the anger I was scared of...it was fear..fear of losing control.
More excellent words about this.