… Thinking …
I have 12 unfinished draft posts. And I really should finish them off. Especially as some of them are about the treatment I was just in hospital for, TMS, and I personally wish there was more information available for when I was going through the treatment. But I am a notorious “un-finisher” (which I’m not even sure is an actual word … ) and I start something and don’t finish it. Obviously.
I feel stuck. I feel kind of … unsure? I’m not even sure what I’m unsure about. I’ve had some things happen lately, personal relationships I’m not going to go into detail about online, that have upset me. And I am trying to “just go with the flow” and “move forward” and just generally not focus on the bad parts.
But is anyone ever able to do that 100% of the time?
If so, then why are there so many therapists and psychiatrists and counsellors? Wouldn’t they be obsolete?
I have grown a lot in recent times. I have managed to get a (relative, sometimes I can’t :/) grasp of my anger and am able to step back and not react in as much of an aggressive way as I used to (again, I say “relatively”! I still have issues with it!). I have learnt not to overthink every single damn thing. That’s hard to do sometimes, NOT overthink, but I’m getting better at it. And over-analysing too, I’m getting better at recognising when I am getting too far in over my head about a few things.
I am not perfect. I never will be. I don’t want to be perfect. I don’t want to have zero faults, certainly I’d like if I could pick and choose what those faults are buuuuuut that’s not how it works. I like the fact I can make mistakes, and I am learning that it is OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES!!
I am going to discuss a recent argument I had. The person involved, while not named, will know that it is about the argument we had and I just hope she can understand that this is not an attack at her nor is it me trying to have my say and defend myself publicly what I’m saying and at least take it onboard. And also forgive me for bringing it up here, but it is distressing me.
It was suggested that I am “addicted to being (the) victim”. And that I let things that have happened in the past control my present day actions/choices/etc.
I wanted to address the second part, about past effecting present. Because, I don’t understand really what the first part (about being the victim) is about, I need more information.
Okay so I, like many many others, had some shit happen in their past. I had a terrible father. I had an abusive childhood, which has resulted in an adult who has PTSD and is emotionally under-developed (and more than okay about admitting it). Because my father’s “discipline” was varied and never predictable, it’s resulted in the adult me having (more than) some issues with consistency, and forever seeing the bad before even looking for the good in any situation. I am working on it.
Some people suggest that a person can choose how they feel, literally you can choose your feelings. No. Completely, no. You cannot choose how something makes you feel, you CAN choose how you react to those feelings. For example, there have been so many situations in the last year that normally would have resulted in me self harming. Because that was a long held reaction to my emotions, I had developed over 13yrs. I have not self harmed in over a year. That does not mean I have not been in situations and had times where the emotions and feelings I would normally hurt myself to deal with, weren’t there. The feelings, emotions and situations that would have normally resulted in hurting myself, have all been there. Those have not gone away. They are still alive and well. But, what has changed, is how I react to those feelings and emotions.
I have also been dealing with some of my trauma with my therapist. That is not fun.
I agree that your past should not define who you are as a person now. And there are many things that happen in our lives that we can hang on to and bristle and prickle over. And that’s fine, it’s okay to be mad or upset about bad things that happen. But you shouldn’t let them control your present life. Be mad, be angry, complain and groan. But then, when you are ready, let it go.
There are some things I will never be able to fully “let go” of, I will never fully “get over” them. And it’s not just me. Everyone has an old wound that won’t ever fully heal. And you should never let anyone force you to let, whatever is upsetting you, go before you are ready. Yes it might be annoying to your friends and loved ones to hear you go on about it, but chances are there will be something that each of them will also go on and on about until you want to rip your ears off and swallow them.
Just like dogs, when we train them to sit or go pee out in the yard and not the kitchen floor, the things we experience and go through in our lives will condition us to react a certain way to certain stimuli. Meaning that if you fell out of a tree from a height and hurt yourself, then it would be perfectly reasonable for you to have a fear of heights. Similarly other behaviours are conditioned in people by the experiences they endure as they grow up. Both positive and negative.
I’m not sure if any of this has made any sense to anyone but myself. But what I am trying to say is that we are all products of our pasts. Your past is part of what has made you who you are today. YES some of those things need to be let go and moved on from. But that takes time and hard work, to undo the way we have been conditioned to feel based on past experiences. How did you learn that a flame is hot? By being burnt. Instead of letting the burn become a horrific scar, learn from it.
I’m gonna quote Disney now….
“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” – Rafiki, The Lion King.
I used to run from my past. I ran as fast and as hard as I could. Sometimes I still get spooked and run. But I am getting better at staying put. Another quote, but from an Australian author and a book I’ve had since I was 12yo:
[About having problems and wanting to run away from them]
“And when you’d finished running you’d be thousands of miles away from people who love you and your problem would still be there except you’d have nobody to help you.” – “Looking for Alibrandi”, Melina Marchetta.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s okay to be upset about something. It’s okay to be upset about something that happened yesterday or 10yrs ago. What is not okay is letting your past control you. And I freely admit I have been guilty of letting my past control me. I am learning, slowly, how to let things go.
Just as it took time for me to learn certain things, it will take me time to unlearn them too. Not as much time, not 10yrs to learn and 10yrs to unlearn, it won’t take as long to unlearn because I have help. I have people who love me, I have doctors and other professional supports. I have more support to unlearn the things I was conditioned towards/against, which means my road to recovery (or just “getting over it”) will be smoother.
You are loved.