Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I need some help...

I guess this post is about acceptance except in this case it is not acceptance of a physical or a health problem it is acceptance of an emotional problem.  I wish I could have a counseling session with Deepak Chopra and learn to "Let it go!" or perhaps a consultation with Steven Covey so that I could more easily accept the shift of a problem from my circle of control to my circle of influence.

Please accept the following as undisputed facts.  There is a situation in which I have been wronged by someone but I am forced (this is not under debate) to rely on an intermediary to deal with the situation.  The intermediary is quite fair but is not without their own set of needs, wishes, and demands as regards this issue.  They are an intermediary not an advocate.  I think it would be reasonable to say that this intermediary is trying to finesse the situation so there is a minimal amount of damage done to any of the parties - but the damage has already been done to me.

I'm finding myself very frustrated, hurt and angry about some of the intermediary's choices, particularly by the fact that my issue and my agenda has been shelved, for the moment, while other issues are taking precedence.  I can see that this is a reasonable course of action but that doesn't stop my feelings of frustration and abandonment coming to the fore.  I know that my actions and reactions are causing damage.  So I have reached a place where my intellectual self knows that I need to control the only things that are within my sphere of control... these are of course, myself and my own actions and reactions.

So how can I divorce myself from the emotional response I am having?

I am responding to the original transgression in which I was a collateral casualty - this arouses fear, feelings of helplessness and also hopelessness... it triggers memories of other situations in which I was forced to be the passive recipient of abuse, it is perhaps triggering stress responses that were implanted in me 40 years ago.

I am also responding to the fact that the intermediary is not acting as my advocate.  They have, at times, advocated strongly on my behalf but they remain firmly in the role of intermediary and at the moment they are not focused on their advocacy of me, and I do intellectually understand, if not fully agree with, why it is being handled this way.  However, this is triggering feelings of abandonment, galloping insecurity, fears for the future, and a terrifying sense of my alone-ness in this world.  Again issues from my past- BIG issues.

So I'm hurting a lot and I have no means of changing the source of that hurt... I can't change my past... I can't change the events of this issue...  I can't change the way this issue is being handled...  I can ONLY change my response!

Listen everyone, I know this is something that could only be fully achieved through years of therapy but I can't afford to spend years or even months rolling around in this cesspool of semi-polished turds.  I need the Reader's Digest version and I need it NOW!

I need to accept that this has happened and release it...
I need to accept that the intermediary knows best and is doing their best for everyone...
I need to accept that my feelings about abuse and fears of being abandoned are actually unreasonably exaggerated by events from my past...
I need to accept that the best chance I have for making a decent future for all parties in this action is for me to become more relaxed and easy-going about the outcome and the process...
I need to accept that my current responses are damaging and that not causing further damage is actually my highest priority...

So help me please...  I don't know how to magically sweep my soul clean of all these twisted emotions...  I'm hoping that writing about it will help, sometimes it does...  I can't "get it off my chest" or anything like that to the other party but I can write as if it is for them to read.

Any ideas, thoughts and suggestions would be very gratefully received!


  1. this is a tough one. blogging it out is a good first step, I agree.

    I'm not sure there is a good way to do insta-therapy other than the way you already are- by countering your past with rational responses based in your adult intellect. If you take deep breaths and slowly try to think your way into a response that may give you enough time to distance yourself enough in the moment to not react in a way that isn't constructive to your relationships.

    does that make sense?

    We all have baggage, and we don't just instantly get rid of it in future situations. But we can try and slow down and think about the situation in light of the present and not the past and try to moderate our responses. Not easy, but really necessary so we aren't going around and around the same issues.

    The only other advice I have is to find a neutral friend to get it all out with- no holds barred. Often someone trusted and objective can be the greatest help in something like this, dear Displaced. You are gonna need this type of support, sounds like.

    Oh, I wish this were easier on you....


    1. Thanks Jazz... It does make sense and I do need to do it... Perhaps some version of the "count to ten before responding" practice might work. Thanks for all your support.

  2. People do things for reasons. If you can work out reasons for other people's actions, then things may sit more comfortably for you. You might not like what you work out, but at least you will some understanding.

    1. Thanks Andrew - good advice in most cases... trying to understand other people's motivation is always helpful.

  3. I struggle with this all the time. It's so easy to be blindsided by ones' instinctual reactions to past trauma in a current situation. I'm not sure I have much in the way of advice, though it does help me to try to remember to stop myself whenever that panicky, hopeless, helpless feeling starts to rise up and just say (out loud or just in my head) "I cannot control other people, I can only control my reactions to them" until I start to calm down a bit. But when I start getting down on myself for having those feelings at all, I try to turn a bit more compassionate, and I remind myself that I am not my feelings, and whatever unpleasant feelings I'm having are totally valid based on my perceptions and past experiences, but they are transient, not permanent, and if I can make it through the painful part of experiencing them, I will eventually feel better, or at least differently about the situation.

    None of this is easy, but self-awareness is (IMHO) the first and most important step. You're way ahead of the game here.

    1. Thank you Megan... You to are ahead of the game when it comes to awareness and compassion.

  4. Shifting Perspective
    Once there was a disciple of a Greek philosopher who was commanded by his Master for three years to give money to everyone who insulted him. When this period of trial was over, the Master said to him: Now you can go to Athens and learn wisdom. When the disciple was entering Athens he met a certain wise man who sat at the gate insulting everybody who came and went. He also insulted the disciple who immediately burst out laughing. Why do you laugh when I insult you? said the wise man. Because, said the disciple, for three years I have been paying for this kind of thing and now you give it to me for nothing. Enter the city, said the wise man, it is all yours.
    "If however in spite of your efforts you do not find any such positive angles or perspective to a person's act, then for the time being the best course of action may be to simply try to forget about it" Dalai lama
    Of cousre easier said than done!
    P.S. came here for some tea and sympathy (feeling physically shit - you know truck ran over me feeling) and low and behold didn't thinking about your concerns take me out of mine! THANX

    1. Cool parable! I'm glad that my dilemma distracted you from your pain even if it was briefly. Thank you.

  5. I read...and I want to want to say things...but I have to be out the door in a couple of minutes, so for now I'm just going to give you a big hug and tell you not to be so hard on yourself for *feeling* things...you're okay! :) Back later. - Sarah

    1. Thank you Sarah - I always love seeing your handle even if it is just to say "Back later"!

  6. Have been away and only just caught up with this post. Not sure how things have gone for you in the last five days since you wrote this but hope your 'insta therapy' is helping and that things are looking brighter for you now.
    Whatever happened in your past is in your past. You have a future with a wonderful partner, you are intelligent and loveable and capable and brilliant, so draw on that vision to get yourself through this.
    It's probably unfortunate that your intermediary knows you and has acted on your behalf before; to have this person be totally impartial in this matter must seem like a bit of a betrayal.
    Big hugs to you... hope the world is a bit brighter place for you by now.

    1. Hey mate - welcome back! Things have been looking up... I have not quite reached the state of "beatification" but I am definitely more accepting and calmer.