The thankful meme.

I’m thankful for irony, through irony I’ve discovered how much I love Hall and Oates and Kenny Loggins, two musical acts that I am thankful for.

I’m very thankful for personal growth. my list post here was months ago but I have grown as a person. My boyfriend and I saw a therapist once. He had a terrible attitude about it but I think it was very helpful. Through the doctor’s analysis she pointed out to us that he was taking on the critical parent role in our relationship. He also sees that I’m not a very strong person and that other people could easily take advantage of me, which is also true.

I saw her again by myself and she completely worked through something I’ve been trying to do on my own for years. I feel like it’s a huge step forward. We went back to my memory of my father hitting my mother and she explained to me that through the self-soothing and self-parenting of myself in that memory that I am tainting my memory and changing it. It isn’t just me as a little girl anymore, it’s me and my adult self. It’s finally working for me.

No Posting

I almost completely lost track of what I was doing here. The post few weeks have been busy. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my boyfriend’s parents, playing videogames, exercising, lots of good things. I’m trying to address my PCOS disorder so I cut out almost all carbohydrates from my diet. It was the first time I ever tried it so I was shocked when I didn’t have any energy to get out of bed. I’m trying to strike a balance now, I need to have energy but I don’t want to feed my PCOS. I get terrible cystic acne, the kind that will only go away if I’m on birth control.

The last thing I wrote about is the biggest irrational thought I have. It’s really an irrational fear. I’m afraid of telling people about my father. I feel like people on ask about family because it’s the polite thing to do. If somebody starts talking about their family then they ask about mine. It makes sense, it’s a part of human communication, equal amounts of personal disclosure is something that comes naturally to us. I’ve just been convinced that nobody wants to hear about my crummy childhood, they’re just asking to be polite. I kind of feel like it would be a jerk move to even tell people what an asshole my father is, it’s not something that people anticipate.

My fear is that I will make people uneasy.

Step Three, Part I

Step 3: You are now ready to make a plan of action to nurture your “inner child.” Develop a plan of action using the tools found in “Handling Irrational Beliefs,” “Self-Affirmation,” “Handling Guilt” and “Letting Go.”
Once your plan is completed, put it into action and take care of your “inner child.”

Great. Now I need to work through these things:

I won’t go through each one in a whole lot of detail but I will work it out. I went through some pretty rigorous counseling while I was in school, first it was addressing my anxiety, then my perfectionistic thinking. Then I did a support group and I realized how depressed I was. My anxiety was a mask for all of the depressed thoughts I was having, part of revealing my depression was through handling my irrational beliefs.

Step three is about making an plan of action. I have a feeling that my biggest irrational belief is that I have to be ultra-responsible because other people can’t be responsible and because if I don’t plan then things will get out of control. At first glance, I think this is the irrational belief that I need to fix.

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I found a great place to shop for my watch: Swatch and Beyond. I’m uninterested in anything but a Swatch, I want colorful plastic.

Am I alone on this one?

My father was there and my parents were married until after I left home, he existed in my life. I can honestly say that I had about two conversations from the time I was 13 or 14 until I moved out, that’s five or six years. Has that happened to anybody else?

Step Two, Part II

I’ve been feeling nostalgic but I’m very reserved about talking about it. I’m in touch with one of my cousins, he’s the son of one of my aunts who spoiled me to death whenever I visited. I want to tell him how much I loved visiting when I was little but I’m afraid of the questions he has about me. His brother asked me some of those questions about a year ago. He wanted to know why I don’t have a relationship with my father. I just don’t.

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Something else I need to tell my inner child is that she isn’t responsible. I think that’s underlying in my general attitude as a child, that I need to save my mother. Even though I know it’s illogical, even though I have a hard time admitting it, that’s why I feel so much anguish for her. I do a lot of work to divest myself of my family, to leave them where they are and not communicate with them, but I’m starting to realize that distancing myself from them is not the same as not taking responsibility for them. I’m not sure how to have a healthy relationship with them.

I don’t like to impose myself on other people or tell them what to do but I take things too personally and focus too much on other peoples’ actions. That is such a weird way of taking responsibility for others but it’s what I do. It’s like I am watching others to find out what the rules are and I feel cheated when things aren’t right. The truth is that other peoples’ actions have very little to do with me, their behavior is a reflection of who they are. It is so important to remember, in all of my relationships. Why does my boyfriend make so many snide remarks and exaggerate so much? Because that’s what he does, everything is ten feet tall for him. Really, if people have some weird perception of reality then that is their problem, I just have to dodge it.

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f. What irrational beliefs did your “inner child” have about life?

Reading about the feelings that children of alcoholics have has helped me figure out what the irrational beliefs are:

She has to do it all herself.
People don’t care about her or are too busy for her.
Standing up for herself would be too hard or useless.
Her feelings were wrong.
Her feelings were dangerous, they were too painful.
People didn’t want her love, her parents thought love was worthless. I remember this, I remember the strange looks on their faces when I expressed how much I loved them.
It’s was worthless to talk about problems, it wouldn’t accomplish anything.

g. How willing are you to deal with these irrational beliefs and replace them with realistic truths? It is important to deal with these now so your “inner child” can come out and finally enjoy life.

I need to reflect on what I have accomplished, I need to anticipate that people will like me and care about my wellbeing. My feelings matter.

I need to stop living in fear of bad feelings and actually walk through those feelings. I need to stop protecting others from the feelings I have and actually tell them how I feel.

h. What are some of the negative consequences of suppressing your “inner child”?

Not trusting people, not being able to open up to them about my feelings because I’ve been taught that nobody cares about those feelings. Feeling overwhelmed because I’m convinced that I’m the only responsible person around.

i. How open are you to enjoying the little things in life?

Yes, I’m working on the basics, exercising, eating fresh foods, reading novels. I’m working on noticing the nice things in everything.

j. What part does fun play in your life?

I have fun when I laugh with my friends. I have fun when I read and watch movies. I have fun when I cook.

Gosh, I really take things very seriously. All I think about is accomplishing things. I was so excited last week, I was anticipating Saturday so that I could run errands and get some things done. I had a list of things I needed to do and I couldn’t wait to do all of them. Ugh.

Step Two, Part I

Appreciative. I realize just how much I feel appreciation for the people in my life. My boyfriend and I both expressed our appreciation for each other and I feel it about a lot of things in my life.

Step Two is pretty long, I need to focus on each part. I will probably need to go through all of these steps twice but I’m still giving the first try some real effort.

a. How would you describe your “inner child”?

Mistrustful, reserved, afraid, serious.

b. When did your “inner child” go inside? What happened for your little child to climb inside of you?

Probably when I was four, when I saw that my father didn’t care about my mother or me, when I realized that my mother was okay with that.

c. How do you know when your “inner child” is active in you?

I don’t really know. I think it might be when I allow myself to experience my feelings.

d. What messages does your “inner child” still need to hear?

  • That it’s okay to have feelings and be carefree.
  • You are appreciated and loved.
  • You are safe.
  • You don’t need to worry

e. How willing are you to give these messages to your “inner child”?’ One way to do this is to develop self-affirmation statements that will nurture your “inner child” and lead to self-healing.

I need this badly. Some statements and questions I have:

  • What are you feeling?
  • It’s okay to feel that way
  • Do what you want
  • You don’t have to take it so seriously
  • I can take care of you
  • You don’t have to worry
  • You can do what you want
  • It’s okay to play
  • You can have whatever you want
  • Relax! It’s okay!
How long do I have to tell myself these things before I start believing them? I’ve told a couple of people about my realization that I take things too seriously and they’re like “NO WAY!”, very sarcastically.
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Yesterday I was thinking about the feelings I have for my mom. When I was a teenager people were always telling me about the things my mom did as if I had somehow been responsible. It was really infuriating and I would have to tell people that I didn’t have any control over it. I didn’t feel shame or guilt for how she behaved in those situations but there’s other things that my mother did that I still feel shame for. I want to get rid of the shame I have for her so I started thinking about the other feelings I have that are related. There’s a lot of anguish and sympathy. I know she doesn’t want to deal with her problems and she probably won’t ever do it her whole life. She wants to be happy but she isn’t able to do the work to put herself at peace with the past. It’s really upsetting.

Step One

Yesterday I had some positive interactions with people and I felt appreciated for the good feedback I got. There was compromizing and communicating and I felt connected and appreciated. I think that working out has already helped me get connected to everything.

I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time identifying all of the things that are wrong with me as a result of my miserable childhood. In the future I will probably spend even more time learning about how my youth went wrong and what that has to do with me as an adult. I think it’s time to move on and really get into the work of mending myself.

Step One is about visualizing myself as a child and remembering who I was. It is really hard for me to see myself as a child, I don’t remember much of it and the things I do remember are painful. I was really miserable. One way that I can remember is through photos but my parents didn’t take a lot of photos. I think they were afraid of reflecting on the past because their past was so painful. There are three photos that help me, I think my mother has two of them, the other one is mine. The first one was taken when I was about five and the other two were taken when I was around seven years old. The last time I saw the first one was probably five or ten years ago but it helped cement the memory.

In the first one I was at a big birthday party for a little girl who I didn’t know. I remember my thoughts that day were along the lines of “nobody would ever throw this kind of party for me” and “all of these people are so happy and they have so much stuff”. I’m not really sure why I was at that party. We had a friend of the family who would take me out to her house and Toys R’ Us and to visit with her family and to have fun. She was really sweet to me, her name was Maria and her mother only spoke Spanish. I didn’t see her after I was five or so, for some reason my mother ended her relationship with her. I think Maria disagreed with how my aunt was raising her sons who were sick. It was weird and I have no idea what the truth was. But yeah, these people who were not my parents took my photo at the party when the little girl was blowing out her candles.

In photo two I was at my birthday party and I was about to open a large gift. We were out of town visiting my mother’s family, I was at my aunt’s house with my sister and mother, my father wasn’t with us. My aunt invited all the kids she knew in her neighborhood to come to my party. I remember feeling like an outsider, of course. I don’t remember playing with them but I remember watching them from inside. I remember hoping that the gift I was about to open was a doll, imagine my surprise to find that it was a bike! When my mother took me to her sisters’ houses they always spoiled me rotten, I wish we had been closer to me, I think my life would be a lit different.

In the third photo I’m all dressed up for Halloween. I had been sick (I was always sick) but I was feeling well enough to go to my school’s Halloween carnival. It was a really awesome costume, my mom put a lot of effort into it. I was a scarecrow and I looked really cute, I even won a prize in the costume contest that year. My mother wasn’t with me the night of the carnival though, she had to work and my father took me. I remember not feeling safe whenever he was taking care of me, I knew he wasn’t very responsible and I knew I couldn’t trust him. I never got to tell anybody that when I was a kid.

I think that all of these photos were taken on days where there was a lot of happiness, but I remember my overall feelings for each of those days, they were very unsettled. It was like I knew that my parents were doing something wrong and that they didn’t really love me enough to do things right.

At school I know that I was obedient, I followed directions to the best of my ability. I learned how to read and write very quickly and I learned what was considered “right” when it involved poetry an writing, so my teachers were impressed with my ability. I think I did a good job of blending in amongst my peers but I feel like they kept their distance from me.

Some of it’s starting to come back to me. I remember that I loved ice cream sandwiches and swimming, I swam a whole lot in the summer. I loved going to the movies and playing card games. I loved Nickelodeon. I loved riding my bike to and from school. I loved walking to and from school. There were times when I felt joy.

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