Behind the Cries for Attention – Alternate Reality Creation

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In my last blog, I looked at a memory where I was a small child yearning and longing for my father to come to me. I wanted ‘attention’, but did not ask for it. When he did not come, I, in that moment, planted the seeds of behaviour that lasted a lifetime: self-isolation, loneliness, sadness, not feeling good enough and low-self worth eventually led to manipulation, blame, failed relationships and a lot of anger at myself.

These seeds took root over time. This strategy of using blanket statements such as ‘wanting attention’, but not knowing why, and then pushing it down and not understanding it, created the behaviours listed above over the decades that followed. As it turns out, had I understood what it was I was actually desiring in that moment, I could have simply taken the steps to start living it for myself. Instead, I separated myself from it and created a self-definition over time, and an entire alternate reality play-out that was completely unnecessary. In this new reality I created,  I was the disempowered victim that could never be good enough. So, we’ll have a look now at how this happened:

What was behind the desire for ‘attention’, and was it even ‘attention’ that was wanted?

Upon further investigation of the memory, I saw an interesting thing. It was not so much that I wanted my father’s attention at all. When I looked over at him all those years ago while he was working hard in the alleyway, as I played with my trucks in the gravel, I was actually noticing a very cool expression he was living. He was exactly as I said: working hard. There was intent and dedication to get the job done. What he was doing looked important, needed, he was contributing to something, doing something that needed to get done for the betterment of the house, the group. He had purpose.

I then looked down at my trucks. I had really been enjoying my imaginary world where my trucks were pushing the gravel and loading/unloading it, making little piles here and holes there. But After I looked at my father, then back at my trucks – my imaginary world fell apart. I was all of a sudden looking at silly plastic trucks in the dirt. It wasn’t real, there was no point. What I was doing wasn’t important, needed, useful. In fact, if I were to call him over I would be stopping him from his important work to come over to me… for what? I was taking it easy and contributing nothing. And so, in my mind I created a false dilemma: Either you are important, needed, of value, with purpose, intent and dedication to something, or you are not. I left no room for an in-between, a learning process.

The consequences of this over time is that I learned to separate myself from words and expressions that I observed in others. Instead of seeing and realizing that what I observe in others I can actually integrate into myself. I instead, over time, decided that I needed those others in my life to fulfill that for me.

What I did show though, in that moment, is what was important to me, what I want from and of myself in this life, which is to be important, needed, useful, contributory, I want to have purpose, to support the group, I want commitment, intent, focus, dedication, a strong work ethic, and I want to push myself.

Instead, over time, I made myself unimportant through withdrawing, instead of needed I became needy, I began to see myself as useless and a burden on others and with nothing to contribute, I had the desire to be supported and taken care of, not committing too much to any one thing, losing focus, missing dedication and not pushing myself to be better.

I arrived at a point in my life where living this way was showing me that I am in fact amounting to nothing, and the future looked bleak. I could see more and more that there is a major misalignment between what I want for myself and my life, and what I am living. Thankfully, around that time,  I found a group of people online that were taking on just such points.

I found Desteni, and I learned about self-forgiveness, among many other tools of self-support. I turned my life around and began to integrate all of these words and qualities I had been living the polarity of. I walked and am still walking a process with it, where I went to extremes and became like a machine, completely overdoing it and burning myself out! So now I take all the lessons from the first memory, to how it played out in my life, to my mis-aligned correction, to the present moment where I realize balance, discernment, self-understanding and many more words that continue to support me in my quest back to myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, in the moment of looking at my father, in the act of ‘admiring’ the words he was living, immediately separate myself from these words, placing them outside of myself, unattainable, and diminish myself through judging myself as ‘not that’ (instead of ‘not that YET’).

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, upon admiring my father’s work, judge myself as unimportant, unable, without worth, value, importance, with nothing to contribute and having no purpose.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use my own self-judgment through comparison to make excuses, validations and justifications for why I can not move myself to develop myself into and as the words I observed within and as my father.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hold on to this initial judgement, and the self-limiting beliefs that I connected to it in order to diminish and sabotage my efforts throughout my life the develop myself as these words, overlooking the work I have done and the skills and qualities that I have integrated, simply because underneath it all is still the initial self-judgment and self-definition that I have no real value, worth, importance, am not good enough, and so do not ‘experience’ myself as having made anything of myself, which is nothing but further self-manipulation to not take self-responsibility, because I can still cling to the backdoor that: “I just really can’t do it – look, despite all my efforts, I am still nothing”, as if I am saying a big “fuck you” to the universe and so to myself, a self-righteous “I told you so”, instead of an unconditional letting-go and forgiveness of all these things that I have defined myself by.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to look to other people, to their skills and qualities, and to long for them, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that in doing so, I am separating myself from these qualities and from being able to develop these qualities into and as myself through a process of learning.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to avoid the learning and physical integration process of certain skills and qualities I desire by instead being drawn to people that have these qualities, and then bring them into my life in a try and attempt to fulfill what feels like ‘holes’ in myself that I was not tending to and filling for myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to abdicate my self-responsibility to fulfill myself (fill the holes), and instead look to others to apparently make me whole, for me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to compare myself to the people whose skills, abilities and qualities I am drawn to, and instead of taking the opportunity to properly learn from them, diminish myself to their polar opposite through comparison and self-judgment that “I am not that” – all to avoid the simple act of self-responsibility.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to diminish myself, creating self-limiting beliefs about myself, facilitating procrastination and resistance, creating anxiety, stress and anger at myself within myself, which pre-occupies my time and my mind, all in order to keep me busy in my mind instead of actually applying myself to be and become that which I really  want, which is to be and become the living words such as: important (to myself), needed (providing something of value as an expression of me), contributing, supporting myself and others in my life, defining and understanding my purpose, living with ‘intent’ (meaning, living intentionally, not to be misunderstood as ‘having intentions’, because we all know what those can do), commitment, and challenge/pushing myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, instead of practicing, applying and living words into and as myself as Who I Am as mind/being/body as an act of self-responsiblity, I instead participated in manipulation, thinking and believing that others could do this for me, feeling that others should  do this for me, that I cannot do this for myself and so I neeeeeeeed  others to be this and do this for me, and so participating in neediness and blame when and as they did not/could not/would not.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to manipulate others instead of taking responsibility for myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think, believe and perceive that I cannot take responsibility for myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think and believe and perceive that there are certain things I simply cannot do, and so I need others to do it for me, instead of seeing and realizing that I am blinding myself and disempowering myself from those things that would empower me most.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create an alternate reality where I am a helpless victim, everything is against me and life is just ‘too hard’, instead of seeing and realizing actual reality, instead of seeing and realizing myself make it through and in fact do well in many cases, but holding on to the self-limiting beliefs simply because ‘it might’ become too hard.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to teeter on the edge of standing up and falling, wondering why I simply cannot stand “no matter how hard I try”, not seeing that it is me, myself that is still holding open the backdoor for fear that everything I believe about myself may be true.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to long for others to ‘save me’/’fix me’/’make me whole’, to go into sadness and isolation when others do not to ‘save me’/’fix me’/’make me whole’, to take it personally that others cannot to ‘save me’/’fix me’/’make me whole’, and so finally blaming others for what they could not do, instead of stepping up to become my own saviour, fixer, fulfiller, placing myself as that importance in my life that I put the time and effort into understanding and so developing myself into what it is I truly want.

 

 

I Created This

I created this

 

In my previous few blog posts I described a negative self and life experience. One of isolation, abandonment, aloneness, sadness, inability to communicate, being closed off and essentially being ‘cut-off’ from the world and those close to me.  I looked at the internal and external factors that contributed to this reality, found solutions and mapped out a road to change.

One important factor that I will go into now is how one is able to create such a reality for self. This means, acknowledging the fact that I am not a victim, but a creator. If we are victims and believe ourselves to be victims, then we are powerless to change the situation. The victim mindset is an addictive one, and lulls one into a state of passivity and complacency.

This creates what feels like a ‘safe space’, where one is not responsible and so does not have to do much of anything to change Self or one’s reality. One must simply wait for external circumstances to change, and hope that they change for the better. If and when they don’t, bad internal and external habits can freely run, and blame, spite and manipulation can take root, eventually accumulating to a form of hatred and repulsion towards self and others. If you look at how these emotions can play out in one’s life, you see one thing: the creation and perpetuation of the very problem that caused them in the first place.

In digging down through the layers of my own personal experience, which is no doubt similar to many others, I can finally see the cause and reason of why I created this for and by myself. Not to blame or judge myself with this information, but to correct myself so that I do not continue it. I will take a memory I have been working with to use as an example here.

The memory takes place when I was two or three years old and I was playing in the alleyway behind my house. My father was busy working near by, and appeared to be very busy. In that moment, I had a longing experience, wanting my father to come to me and play, as I was feeling quite alone there in the alley, with him a distance away.

Instead of calling to my father to ask him to come over to me, or to express that I wanted some time with him, I instead just watched him and hoped that he would notice me, notice how I was feeling, and come over. When he did not, I took it personally, as if he did not want to come, or that it meant I was insignificant, or he did not care, or whatever other hurtful story I could tell myself in that moment. And this is where the manipulation tactics kicked in.

I was hurt, I wanted attention and I didn’t know how to communicate it or understand that this is what was going on. So I took the emotions, the sadness, the longing, the aloneness, and simply made them ‘louder’, so that people could see and realize: I am suffering, I need help. Over time. I made myself even more sad, I pulled away even more, now living out my emotions physically so that anyone could see. I became quieter in a try and attempt to communicate to “hey, look at me, I want and need attention right now”.

As I amplified the reactions in hopes they would be heard, I also went into them more, believed them more, made them more real for myself. When people still did not adequately notice, as these things can be imperceptible and an unexpected form of communication, I took it even more personally.

The logic being: now I am suffering more, I am more unhappy and miserable, and people still choose to ignore me. I must be very invisible, bad, unworthy, useless, unwanted etc etc… and the cycle repeats and becomes more integrated over time.

What is this cycle doing but creating self into one that self-isolates, does not speak up and voice self, puts up defensive walls due to the hurt, closes up more, pulls away, and at the same time, starts to judge self, bully self, punish self and verbally abuse self. Over the years, this becomes so convincing, that it is believed and perceived to be very very real. And because how this functions is not seen or understood, one feels as though one is the victim in this scenario, instead of seeing and realizing how one created it.

It was a manipulation tactic from the get-go. Much like a child whining, screaming, acting out – it is the same thing in a different expression. Like the polarity of the more recognizable cries for attention.

Now looking over the years as one grows from a child, to a teen then an adult – the same pattern, if not recognized and corrected, persists. It is the same pattern, but it morphs, grows and evolves over time along with the person, so now it looks like an adult problem, when in reality it is an un-dealt with, undefined and un-directed problem from childhood.

For me personally, the pattern emerged towards whoever I thought or believed was apparently responsible to make me feel better – parents, friends, relationship partners. In relationships, for example, I would think that now this person must make me happy through hearing, seeing and understanding me, giving me certain attention that makes me feel valued and worthy, accepted and loved, and all the things I had slowly given away over time.

These things were given away as the above-mentioned pattern was busy playing out and evolving – where I believed I had to go deeper into my suffering and misery in order to ‘make it louder’ to be noticed, seen and heard. Then of course the self-judgment, self-bullying, self-punishment and abusive self-talk that came through when I continued to not always be noticed in my misery. There is not always a saviour, and even when there is, it becomes tiring for them to constantly pull another out of their inner hell. It becomes a self-sacrifice for them.

I would of course balance this out with happy times and a positive self-presentation, cyclically descending into the self-misery point with and through the ups and downs of life and relationships. Like a constant accumulation and release, without realizing the layering and integration happening, where the manipulation slowly becomes Who You Are as one that is, for example, lost, isolated, unwanted, unworthy, and all the ways one can judge self and make self unhappy as a cry for attention from the outside world.

The real ugly part of this is the blame that takes place when and as the ‘outside world’ does not respond as is desired by the one manipulating/crying for help or attention. It is taken personally and so blame is then used, from here it can go into spite, ‘punishing’ others, aggressiveness, demanding, where unmet expectations and disappointment can break down others in the eyes of the manipulator. All very nasty stuff that is maybe not so nice to look at and see, but is the truth and reality of ourselves.

We all present nice and pretty pictures to the outside world, deceiving those around us, and most often also deceiving ourselves about who we really are inside ourselves. If you look at the world, society and how groups of people interact… look at relationships, conflict, abuse, and all of these things that are rampant in our societies – this in itself is revealing the real truth of people. It’s just that some can contain it more or express it differently in more subtle ways that go unnoticed, or that are so accepted now by people within themselves that they either don’t see it, see it as normal, or don’t question it due to thinking and believing that ‘this is just the way it is’. We can also get used to being treated poorly by others, with poor treatment becoming the ‘new normal’ over time.

But there is a silver lining here: if the patterns are defined, identified and understood, and one moves from victimhood to empowerment, then a change can be made. For me personally, what this looks like is me stopping creating my own inner misery when I feel like I need something from someone. Instead I can simply express it an ask. Unfortunately, I also have to face all the consequences as the self-judgments and essential self-abuse that I have imposed upon myself over time as cries for attention or reactions to my own self-talk and self-beliefs. But here again is the silver lining, where I tell myself I will stop all of this now, I will take back my responsibility to myself, and I will change.

Now is the process of developing one’s communication, one’s self-worth and value. This is where one has given self the opportunity to step up and learn how to honour and respect self, develop the integrity and trust within oneself that enables one to complete Self instead of thinking and believing this is required from an outside source.

This way, one can now enter into relationships as a Whole – not as a partial and incomplete person that needs another to complete self – but one that loves and values self so much that the cup spills over into the lives of others who share one’s reality.

The Yin of the Chin

Yin: (in Chinese philosophy) the passive female principle of the universe, characterized as female and sustaining and associated with earth, dark, and cold.

My chin has been breaking out and irritated for months now, and when I look back, I see it has been coming up for years. I looked to Chinese reflexology and philosophy to find what words the chin represents, and how I can correct Who and How I Am in relation to these words, with the written word as my script and blueprint for change.

The words I will be working with are: temperament, emotions, prudence, vigour and wisdom. I use the dictionary definition as a starting point because this is how we have collectively accepted and allowed ourselves to live these words, which is not always best for Self (or All). In this way, we can re-define the words in such a way that is best, as follows:

Temperament – a person’s nature, especially as it permanently affects their behavior.

It is interesting to note the limitation in the dictionary definition that we have all on some level accepted and allowed without challenge. The words ‘nature’ and ‘permanent’ for example, make it seem unchangeable, something to live and exist with and as forevermore. And it certainly feels that way, as we are born with a certain temperament, enter into the world as that, and then have that experience reflected to us throughout our lives because that is what we are ‘putting out there’ into the world, our relationships and environment.

For me personally, I have been, since I was a child, slow to warm up, stand-offish, quiet, aloof, shy and not feeling safe to share myself. It is as if I was born fearing my own internal experience, feeling as if I was a small and fragile seed inside an incredibly thick shell, locked inside, too terrified to look within and equally terrified to let it out.

Since as far back as I can remember – I would fear to express myself or ask for needs to be met, creating a very alone and withdrawn experience, like a seed full of potential, but not being given (giving to Self) the opportunity to sprout and greet Life, and so like a seed without water, nutrients and sunlight, slowly starving and dying.

This experience was not something caused by a trauma or event, it is and was simply ‘my temperament’ as a result of genetics, environment and who I am, and so what I had created through how I was living – believing this is the way it is and so it cannot change.

This was not only accepted by myself but also by those in my world, and so reinforced through actions and words over time. And over time this caused me to create relationships of perceived and real ‘lack’ and ‘wanting’, an isolated existence, and a sadness from the longing to share, connect, open up, reach out and break through, but not knowing how, and so turning in, closing down and hardening.

The fact that this was and is a negative and unpleasant experience pushes me to see that I always knew I was and wanted more than this for my Self and Life. The sadness and isolation indicating a knowing of something else, something more, and that this is not how it has to be. Also because in moments where I would feel ‘safe’ enough, meaning comfortable enough, connected enough to those around me, I would discover inside myself something entirely different and quite enjoyable, a delightful expressiveness that would at times surprise even me. 

However, it had mostly been contingent on the external environment, and not something cultivated from within that can stand no matter what. I personally have tried to ‘do it alone’, and this backfires every time because the point is connection, connecting, opening up, bringing Self out and letting others in. When this is done alone it is impossible to decipher if progress is being made or not. I will think I am making progress only to be triggered again into the point, and then with the inner affecting the outer and vice versa, the act of turning in, closing up and hardening turns one’s presence into something like a coldness and a closedness, perpetuating the isolation, loneliness and sadness once again.

And so I have been challenging myself: to open up more, to speak more, to express myself and my needs, to receive more, to offer more, to participate more, to include myself more, to understand more, to let go and ‘do me’ more, and to BREATHE more.

It may sound like a tall order to anyone that can relate to the particular nature/temperament I described above: not only breaking out of the shell, stepping forth from behind thick walls, but doing so boldly, and sometimes not into a nurturing and inviting garden, but into the scorched earth one had unintentionally created for Self through withdrawing and isolating. It is a slow and steady step by step process of identifying moments of opportunity and doing one’s best to act accordingly in those moments.

For example, in moments of sharing, wether in a group or one-on-one, I noticed I will say the minimal amount of words, or none at all. And then when the moment is over, there is a feeling of disappointment, feeling slightly ‘crushed’, like a lost opportunity. Now, instead of ‘turning in’ and withdrawin, I ‘TUNE in’ – tuning into myself, looking inside to see what is there, take what is there and formulate it into words, bring those words up from deep inside, into my throat, passing through my vocal chords and finally out of my mouth as words expressed and so participation and sharing me taking place – Hopefully with this process happening quickly enough that I don’t take too long and miss the moment completely! – It is a matter of practice.

Within this, a better definition for ‘temperament’ could be sounded as the ‘temper-I-meant’, meaning: the Temper (state of mind) I Meant (As a deliberate decision of what is best for Self and Others).  As you can see in the writing above, the state of mind I ‘meant’ (wanted/intended) to cultivate was connection/connecting, sharing, openness, expressing, breaking through, stepping forth, inviting in, asking for wants/needs to be met. However, the temperament manifested as the opposite: closed off, cold, distancing, isolating, unsharing, starving, longing, sadness, becoming angry and irritated over time. This is not what I meant/intended/wanted to create, but was done as a coping mechanism for not knowing how to crack the shell or take down the walls myself, mostly because I never questioned or challenged the fact that there can be another way.

Once one opens oneself up to this understanding – that one can be different and there is another way -, the rest can be walked accordingly. Like making the decision to plant a garden, once that decision is made, the next steps are just a matter of living it in application.

Next Word:

Emotion – a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

The ‘natural instinctive state of mind’ would be the outflows/emotions deriving from the temperament  described above, with ‘one’s circumstances’ being the set of circumstances one had actually created for oneself, with the mood and relationships also resulting from the temperament, and not some outer thing disconnected from and unaffected by who one has been and become within oneself.

This is another fatalistic and disempowering dictionary definition, using words such as “natural” and “instinctive”, as if this is simply the way one is and must be. The definition states that one’s internal emotional state is derived from outside sources, such as circumstances and relationships, as well as one’s mood, as if one has no choice in the matter of mood and what one participates in within oneself and one’s own mind that creates that mood, those circumstances and the relationships in the first place.

I was recently listening to an Alan Watts speech, in which he was describing his understanding of the many different facets of love, and different people’s abilities to express it. He was explaining that even if you are the most self-centered type of person that only loves on the level of lust or self-serving enjoyment, that you should not abandon that style of loving in order to try to be like those that are capable of exuding a selfless love in every moment as Who they are. He insists that you continue to love as you can, because even in this kind of love, there exists a love for Self and Other, and within that, one can actually be well on one’s way to expanding their abilities beyond the selfish to the acceptance of self as other, and so the development of a fuller and more inclusive love.

I use this as an example here because of the self-judgment that can take place when one that is not so expressive, such as myself, can tend to look to those that are very expressive, and then use that negative judgment to further perpetuate the negative emotional experience. What I got from Watts example was to take what you DO have and want to develop, and to fully embrace and cultivate that part of you. Otherwise, if we abandon through judgment those parts of us that are apparently not ‘up to par’- it would be like sitting in a stationary car, watching all the experienced drivers on the road in comparison and judgment, without ever actually putting the key in the ignition, stepping on the gas and trying, practicing, learning from the starting point of where we are actually, realistically at.

It is important here to define my understanding and living of ’emotions’- where I do not like to put too much stock in the energetic experiences that pass through my body, influencing my actions words… or lack of words. Emotion = e-motion, or ‘energetic motion’, which has zero impact on the outside world as it takes place only inside self, and can become quite a delusional and twisted version of reality in which self exists alone. Rather focus on the physical world and ground oneself there, where actions have outflows that are measurable and can be cross-referenced.

I’d rather look at the feelings and emotions that swirl around inside of me as un-expressed and misunderstood parts of me that I have not yet given a voice, words, definition and understanding. And so they are trapped inside of me like souls stuck in limbo, wreaking havoc in my life and world until I address their issues and settle them into as as a living , expressing part of me. I cannot accept them as real and valid when it is only sensations within me, because I have too many times acted on them, lived according to them, only to realize that I was completely wrong and off-base, actually blaming and spiting the world around me when all the while it was ME, parts of ME that needed attention, tending to, to be taken responsibility for, to be addressed and changed.

Here to redefine the word ’emotion’ to ‘expression in motion’ as described above as how this can be lived as a choice in every moment – where the process of expression comes first from daring to look at the sensations, understanding and defining them, and then bringing them through into the physical for speaking, application, grounding, cross-reference and feedback.

Next Word:

Prudence – the quality of being prudent; cautiousness (careful to avoid potential problems or dangers.)

This word ties into the previous words quite nicely, as it is this apparent ‘prudence’, or cautiousness and avoidance of ‘problems’ or ‘dangers’, where the identification ‘problems’ and ‘dangers’ are mis-allocated into a perception that expressing self is ‘unsafe’, ‘dangerous’ and problematic, where one will instead practice ‘prudence’, and not dare to share and express self.

I have found for myself that I have been overly prudent in sharing parts of me that are real and need to be expressed, and then reckless in other aspects of behaviour where the suppressions come out – in the past through drinking and acting out, and later on in reactions of all sorts towards events, things like my job or people in my world.

The simple act of flipping the application of this word, where the prudence is placed more on the way the suppression is handled, where there CAN be real dangers and problems caused in one’s world, real consequences  that can have a detrimental effect in one’s life when one acts recklessly in an outburst or as a result of an accumulation of suppressed emotions.  So to place a guard in front of one’s mouth and one’s actions in this context – in other words, to apply prudence – whereas when it comes to self-expression as a process of understanding and defining and then applying oneself in sharing and participating in one’s world – here there should be a recklessness in terms of throwing caution to the wind and speaking despite fears, because those fears are unfounded, because in fact, no one can hurt or harm Who We Really Are inside ourselves (except for by our own acceptance and allowance). And so in fact, there is no danger, no problems to be found, only lessons to be learned, trials and errors leading to eventual expansion and self-development.

To redefine this word I look to the origins of the word, found here: “Prudence (Latin: prudentia, contracted from providentia meaning “seeing ahead, sagacity”) is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason.”

To be prudent is to have the reasonable (common-sensical) foresight, the sagacity to be able to discern between what are the real threats and problems to be cautious about and avoid – such as real world, physical reality consequences and outflows- and what are ‘false-flags’ such as perceived or imagined feeling or emotional ‘dangers’ and ‘problems’ in the mind only. 

I will continue with the words ‘Vigour’ and ‘Wisdom’ in my next blog…

Defining the Problem

I think it is important to become so glaringly and impeccably familiar with the internal and external experiences that create and contribute to the outflow of obsessive compulsive and addictive behaviour, so that when one participates in such behaviour it is done in absolute awareness and so seen as a choice rather than a compulsion.

I say this because my experience over time with this disorder is one of confusion, feeling lost, alone, cornered, and also fearing the experience as it becomes quite overwhelming. This leaves one in a position of disempowerment, with the  experience of isolation, helplessness and desperation, which is actually eventually manifested for real in one’s environment over time.

One term I have been given which has  helped me to understand more is the term ‘physical mind’. If you look at emotions, feelings and reactions, notice that there is a process involved in accumulating such experiences over time where, if left unchecked, it will manifest into words and actions in physical reality eventually. Now imagine if these experiences, once created,  move straight to the physical stage. Like becoming so angry over time where you eventually end up screaming or hitting something, where you actually have quite a bit of leeway to stop the process before it accumulates into an out-of-control play-outs in your environment, versus the outburst being immediately here upon conception, and so more difficult to stop.

I use anger as an example because it is more extreme and so easier to see and identify with. But the same goes for any and all reactions, such as fears, judgments, insecurities, surprises, beliefs, thoughts etc… where it goes directly from conception to physical experience and then a ‘shutting it down’ through supression (So that one can function ‘normally’ in the world . Within this, because of the fact that such reactions are generally triggered by the external environment, such as by people or events, the belief is formed within oneself that this is being done ‘unto me’. With such intense internal experiences, simply waking up in the morning and living out one’s day begins to feel like an unsafe and scary thing to do, because the body l, as an internal experience, is taking quite the beating. From intense reactions, to what feels like a ‘violent’ suppression, and then the physical harm being done to the body by self and one tried to find relief. I will explain:

As a child, without any understanding, the world becomes a terrifying place, and the way I personally handled it was by ‘shutting down’ and shutting out the world, through sinking deeper and deeper into myself, and I very early learned how to immediately suppress.

Suppression is learned early on because you obviously can’t ‘act out’ all of the intense things you are experiencing. I remember learning how to suppress early in life because in observing my environment I saw nobody else acting out anything intense inside. So I also ‘acted normal’, pushing down the experiences into myself and holding them there. The daily experience was so overwhelming that I would be taken aback, not having any clue of how to handle it or direct it, so I would simply ‘swallow it’, push it down and pack it away inside myself.

What happens as one ages is that it becomes more difficult, more crowded inside, and so the energy has to find a way out. Now, this is not unique to people with a disorder. Everyone experiences this. The difference is the intensity, where it is experienced physically, and there is seemingly no ‘natural’ energy processing or management happening. This accumulated energy must be dealt with deliberately, ‘manually’, otherwise it sits in he body making the body feel like it wants to explode, and also coming out in physical ways such as rashes, growths and physical disorders and behaviours. And so, because it is physically manifested in the body, and eventually also presenting itself physically, one wants to then ‘get into’/’dig into’ the body to ‘get it out’.

It becomes a physical self-destruction as a seeking for relief, where the deliberate ‘energy management’ is morphed, twisted and tainted, where the popping of a pimple or the opening of the skin and removal of ‘foreign objects’ (both  real and imagined), becomes a very real-feeling yet symbolic act of relief, release, removal and purification – because the energy inside feels exceptionally dirty, and so the body, inside and out, feels dirty, tainted, polluted and filthy along with the pressure and overwhelm that needs to be removed.

So when you look at, feel, touch the body, the surface of it, so the skin – you connect the internal experience of suffocation, wanting to explode, pressure, filth, chaos, dirty-ness, disorder, pressure, holding back/holding in – all of it- all of it gets projected onto the body and so the skin as that which is visible of the body. The body becomes the problem, and the skin becomes the problem, and additionally, you/I become the problem, and so a solution is sought, but without any understanding, the solution is not a real solution, and becomes instead a coping mechanism, a procrastination, trying to ‘buy time’ and escape the experience and sensations, but in the end, the apparent ‘solution’ ends up contributing to the very problem one was seeking to solve.

Because we can only experience ourselves within ourselves, the assumption is made at a very young age that everybody feels the same. So, with an obsessive compulsive disorder, where the internal environment is in a state of shock, overwhelm, like a ‘ticking time bomb’, and one walks through the world like this, observing nobody else struggling with the same, one begins to believe that there is a very big problem with who and how one is.

At a young age, one does not have the vocabulary necessary to communicate one’s internal experience, and so as children we sit with it and when it becomes too much, we look for the most logical way out based on our very limited understanding – attack the body because the body feels like it is the problem, attack yourself as ‘Who You Are’ because your ‘self’ is bad/wrong/not working, and so ‘yourself’ is also ‘the problem’.

To be continued in the next blog…

The Labour of Self Birth

After having my eyes opened with regards to the Frankenstein creation I had become (found in my last blog ‘Un-Embracable Me’ https://dermatillomaniaforgiveness.com/2020/03/31/un-embracable-me/), I had to/have to go through somewhat of a death process, as that Frankenstein was a part of me I have been living as, and so deeply identify with. From here, where one does not actually die, one has to decide to either continue on the same path of self-diminishment, or to take a stand and become something new, something better.

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