Mindfulness

I haven’t written for awhile now. I’m stuck. Trying counselling, but don’t know if it’s helping. I cry a lot – at the mention of my father, future losses, failures I think I’ve had with my son and husband. I cry because I can’t go back in time to change what I said or did. I cry because I’m afraid of what I’ve lost or might lose.  It’s oppressive at times.

The counselor tells me to keep practicing mindfulness, and that some of the things I share with her indicate that I am being mindful at times. She reminds me that I can’t change the past or predict the future. Bemoaning and anxiety. I keep trying. It is SO hard though. Emotions run amuck. Sensations of the walls of the past and future close in around me, leaving little room for mindfulness. The pressure of the past and future engulf me, causing me to panic and forget where I’m at. I suppose that as I practice being mindful, I should get stronger and be able to push the walls back into place. At least that’s what I think my counselor would say if I shared my analogy with her. Is the goal then to push them back until the room they shape (my life) is as large as possible?

Cement walls closing in. I feel like I will drown.

Cement walls closing in. I feel like I will drown.

 

 

 

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As the weekend ends – feeling fragile

I think I’ve made it through my weekend pretty well. Very little disagreeing with my son. We both worked hard on it. But I am feeling fragile right now. I went to a concert today. Two concert pianists. As the first one started to play, I almost lost it and had a VERY hard time holding back the tears. My dad (who passed away this past May) played the piano. We had a grand piano in our living room the while I was growing up and as long as my parents had their house. It looked a lot like the one at the concert. The sound of the solitary piano filled me with grieving for my dad. I composed myself. The second pianist started playing and I was back in my grief again. Every time I thought of my dad, through the whole concert, I was choking back sobs. Afterwards, I tried to mention it to the friend I was with, because she is aware of how I can be emotionally, but couldn’t because the tears and grief immediately took over. It’s kept me on the edge all evening. Not of self injuring, just emotional frailty. I want to be held and able to cry. But that won’t happen. I talked to my brother on the phone for 45 minutes. How are you doing, he asked. I tried to say something about it, but felt myself slipping. Tears are streaming down my face as I type this now. I’ve dreamt of my dad a lot lately. And the experience of being with him as he died. Loss. Inside, I feel like a little girl whose dad is no longer there for her. Abandonment? I’m 51 years old now. You’d think I’m adult enough not to be this bothered by it, yet I am. I’ve asked my dad to come to me as a ghost if he can. I just don’t want him to be gone. He had a TON of his own issues to deal with, but I always knew he loved me.  

I miss you, Dad. I love you. 

An inkling of why I fight with my son so much

Another fight with my son today, although not a huge one. Now he’s off with a friend, husband’s gone for the afternoon, and I just had a drink. Doing yard work that I’d asked my son to do (and pay him for doing) that he just wasn’t getting around to doing – I got to thinking about our relationship.

I keep being told that I’m driving him away, when there is less than a year until he’s 18 and ready to head out on his own, instead of appreciating the time. Why? That question keeps plaguing me. I know that in the past I have not let people get close, or showed/told them my worst to see if it would be too much for them. Kind of pushing them away from me before they chose to leave (abandon) me because I was “too bad.” Is this what I’m doing with my son? Pushing him away because I know he’ll be leaving anyway?

I create my own Hell.

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Feeling Pretty Good – or am I deluding myself?

Hi everyone. I realize I haven’t posted in about a month. Nothing wrong, just busy with life and feeling better than I have in a very long time. Have I reached a state of some sort of balance? I sure hope so. I still don’t have a job, but the search continues. 

With my BPD seeming under control, I’ve begun examining my weight issues. I haven’t been thin for twenty years … I don’t seem to be able to “diet” so I started looking at emotional underpinnings of my weight. What might happen is I lost weight and was thin again? Scary thought!

I’ve always had a fear of abandonment – that my husband would decide that he no longer wanted to be with me, and then I would be ALONE. I was doing a writing assignment that asked what I might be afraid of if I lost the weight or what it might be protecting me from. I talked it through with a friend and had some realizations: 

When I was thin, men paid A LOT more attention to me. During a time when things weren’t very close between my husband and myself, this lead to a situation I’m not proud of and felt very guilty about. SHAME. Would that happen again? Would it bring about the abandonment that I fear so strongly? Would he not want to be with me? Or me him? God, I hope not! I love my husband deeply and sincerely. Either way, they are thoughts that are difficult to voice and even harder to try and answer. 

I also had an experience this past weekend that I didn’t like seeing … my full body in a mirror (as opposed to just my head and shoulders in the bathroom mirror.) I was at a yoga and meditation retreat on Sunday. An hour and a half of gentle yoga, 45 minutes of mindfulness meditation, lunch, repeat. As the day was ending, I saw myself in the mirror and was horrified at how huge I am, not just compared to the others in attendance either. My mind’s view of myself is so different, night and day. I should have been clued in by how much flexibility I’ve lost and how much harder some things are to do these days. But denial has been deep. I could barely hold back from breaking into tears at what I saw  – the truth. And the truth hurts. 

Even though my mental state is better than it has been in years, I have build up a, literally, huge wall around myself over the past twenty years – since treatment for bulimia and coming clean to my husband about myself. So now what do I do? I want my body to reflect the person I see in my mind’s eye, not a wallowing body of whatever I may be hiding or hiding from. But how? And who will support me in THIS journey? 

As I discussed the writing question, mentioned above, with my friend, she challenged me. She observed how analytical I get about myself. It’s an endless chatter in my head that I haven’t been able to stop. I can do words really well. I’ve mentioned that to more than one counselor. I know the things to say. It’s the doing that I have trouble with. 

Anyways, that’s where I’m at right now. Thanks for reading and helping me get back into my blog. 

I usually try to include a picture with each post. I don’t want to add another one of me though. This one is of an orchid rock rose growing in my garden. I think it’s beautiful. The petals are like tissue paper and only last a day. 

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Up a tree …

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Today, I did something I haven’t done in at least 20 years, if not 30 or so. I climbed a tree. I was an avid tree climber as a child. When I was a teen, I had a favorite tree I would climb to read books in. I loved being above the ground, possibly able to watch people and other happenings going on below me, whether of animals or people. I was having a period of detachment today.

Not really happy with how my day, or my son and husband’s responses to me, were going. In a spontaneous moment, I decided to walk the path down our hill and examine the trees and underbrush. I had wanted my husband to do this with me, but it didn’t seem to be happening. I’m frustrated about that, as we’ve lived here for over six months now and he has yet to walk beyond the back yard with me. So, I set off on my own. As I came to a cluster of trees, seen a bit off the path, growing haphazardly and leaning almost horizontal to the ground, I was drawn to them. Drawn back to my childhood and time spent alone on a branch with leaves all around me. I climbed up several before going back to one that suited my mood.

Once out on the limb, I laid down along it, hooking my feet back on the branch behind me. The sun was shining through the leaves so I stretched out and was able to pillow my hand under my head. Closing my eyes, I listened to all the sounds around me. Birds hopped around the undergrowth and leaves, creating a shuffling sound. Other animals; dogs, horses and other birds – as well as people, could be heard in the distance from different directions.

As I lay there, wanting to fall asleep connected to the tree, I wondered if my husband or son would come looking  for me. I hadn’t said a word about going anywhere. I just went. I wondered, if they did come, if they would see me stretched along the tree limb or if they would walk right by. But they didn’t come looking. Was I missed at all? That thought leads to a myriad of other thoughts of which I won’t pursue during this post. I enjoyed the peace and mindfulness of my time in the tree. It was restful.

Perhaps it’s good that no one looked for me. If they had found me, the tree would no longer be a special place. As it is, I feel that I can return there and no one will be the wiser. It felt good, as if I were nurturing myself – or at least the child within. I always liked those secret places and actions of mine when a child. It made me feel a bit wild, like an animal; a connection I’ve always felt solace in. While in the tree, I wasn’t a middle aged, fat woman with “issues.” It was just me. Something in me that will always be different, a bit ferral.

Loving Kindness Towards Oneself

I’d like to thank Jaen Wirefly for this post. Heartfelt thanks.

I’ve been posting about my weaning off of medications and how I’ve begun meditating. Jaen has offered a lot of support and encouraged me to watch some monk videos on YouTube ( http://www.youtube.com/user/BuddhistSocietyWA ) to help with stress. I subscribed to the page and scrolled through until I came upon one titled “Loving Kindness Towards Oneself.” As I began watching it, I started to cry, listening to the message.

Bhikkhuni Hasapanna talks about skillful ways to give loving kindness to oneself, in meditation and in practice, with many examples from her own life. Be an island, a refuge unto yourself. The teacher can only teach the way. Ultimately, we can only free ourselves.

For those of us with BPD, fear of abandonment is huge. We don’t want to be left by those we love. The lost child. This video helped me to understand that I need to unconditionally love myself. I am my priority. I want others to take care of me, to love me – because I don’t feel lovable and able to able to take care of myself. But I also know that I have the knowledge within me to go forward. I have the love already, because I know that I love others. I know how to take care of others, my family, my pets. For some reason I fear to depend on that love and knowledge for myself. When it comes down to it, I am all that I have every minute of the day from birth to death.

I’m tired of believing in and giving so much less to myself than I do to others. Maybe, just maybe, if I am kinder and more loving to myself I won’t be so upset and looking for it elsewhere in the world. Kind of sounds like the good witch Glenda’s advice to Dorothy at the end of the movie in “The Wizzard of Oz.”

I believe that as I continue with meditation I will find more of this. My body, my mind, my home, my island, my refuge. Peace.

Go Beyond Fear

Fear

Fear (Photo credit: Susi Watson)

As I was sitting at my laptop responding to comments and catching up on reading blogs, I happened to see my Shambhala cards and realized I hadn’t pulled one out in quite awhile. I had been posting a few of them months ago. They seemed relevant as points to ponder; for me at least. So, pausing in my blog readings, I picked up the box and pulled out the next card, #10 … Go beyond fear.

OK, my attention has been caught! I have been struggling, as I have been meditating over the last couple of days, because there is some kind of blockage that I know is caused by fear. That fear is on top of my always ongoing fear of abandonment, loss, and a whole slew of other bits and pieces that basically have made me afraid of truly enjoying life. Go beyond fear.

I turn the card over to read the commentary.

“When you examine your fear, if you look beneath the veneer of your nervousness, you find sadness.” OMG! This is me! How many times has my husband told me that he wishes I could be happy and that he doesn’t think I ever will be. “Nervousness is cranking up, vibrating all the time. When you slow down, when you relax with your fear, the sadness is calm and gentle. In the Shambhala tradition, discovering fearlessness comes from working with the softness of the human heart.” 

I am getting reading to do my meditation; the same one that I have struggled with for the past few days. My hope is that, after having read this card and reflecting on it, I will make more progress today. I have always thought that fear was at the base of my emotions. It is a new thought to think that the fear actually masks sadness. But it makes sense for what else would be the balance to happiness other than sadness? Yin and Yang.