I woke up around 2 this morning after an unsettling dream. The cat started purring just after I woke up, so I got up to check on him and to take some antacid before going back to bed. And then... Monkeys. I found myself rehearsing a conversation with my mother. “I don’t know what to do about [silent retreat]."
So I got up to take a sleeping pill and stretched my aching back with some basic Shiva Nata arm patterns before going back to bed.
As soon as I hit the pillow again, started crying. Out of nowhere.
I don’t know how to give myself compassion when I’m hurting like this. I do not know (yet?) how to sit with myself and say “It’s alright, sweetie. This is hard for you.”
I’m actually judging myself - it’s the “Who do you think you are?” monster, and he’s telling me that my problems are nothing, look at all of the people out there who have it worse off than I do. He’s telling me that I should stop crying and go to sleep because sleep is good for me, and I’ll feel better in the morning. And that somehow proves that it’s really NOT a problem, that I’m making mountains out of molehills, and my problems AREN’T original or unique or even especially bad. In short, he thinks I”m being a crybaby (ooooh! The Past!) and a wuss, and I should just buck up and carry on.
Eventually, I woke my husband up with my crying, and asked what was wrong. So I told him - or tried to, anyways. I felt very alone, afraid that I’m unloveable and afraid that no-one cares about my hurt and my pain. I’m afraid that my stressors and my pain are SO ORIGINAL that no-one understands or cares about them. I think that maybe I’m the only one with these problems and WHY ME? WHY am I the freak who gets the weird problems that no-one gets?
Yes, I'm actually simultaneously freaked out that my problems are completely original and no-one understands them AND that they're so typical that they barely deserve being called problems. Absolutely no reason why this should make sense.
And then, he rolled over and put his arms around me, and I thought “Oh, it’s ok then. I”m loved. I’m loveable.” and on that, the tears started again. I clearly have some issues with the idea of being loveable that need exploring. You know, when I've got the spelunking kit together and am ready to do some exploring.
Me to Me: It’s alright sweetie. Cry if you need to. I know, this is hard for you. You’ve had a couple of hard situations - anyone would find them hard, honestly - and there hasn’t been any room for you in them. Your job has been tough, and home has been hard - hey, you haven’t had a safe time/place coordinate where you could feel your own feelings in years! That’s really difficult for anyone to handle. And now you’ve lost your confidante, so you’re twice as along and struggling to cope with your feelings without any help.
The “Loveable Monster” (who is royal purple and VERY fuzzy) thinks that if I were REALLY loveable, I wouldn’t have to ask for the safe time/space coordinates I need, people would just know about them and give them to me. Therefore, he says, I’m not really loveable. QED.
And my response to the "Loveable Monster" is to remind him that everyone is loveable - that’s something I’ve known for over 10 years, dating back to the days when I had to remind myself that I was worth just as much floor space and elbow room as anyone else in subway stations during college. I told myself then that I’m worth every bit as much as anyone else in there; as people, we all had equal value, and I didn’t need to let myself be squished. Right now, by expecting other people to know what I need so that I don’t have to ask for it (and maybe be rejected! Scary!), I’m letting myself get run over by people who are waiting for me to ask.
Because you know what? I have the equivalent of 2 jobs, even if no-one recognizes that. And they are both stressful. And it sucks that it is this way. It just does. And it’s ok for me to think that it sucks, because it does suck and I don’t think anyone would contradict that. Maybe it doesn’t suck as bad as some situations, but it still sucks.
And it also sucks that I don’t have the support I’d like to have. When I’m sitting here and crying, I don’t have anyone I can talk to about it. And that sucks, too.
My sticking point is in believing that it’s OK for me to think that this sucks. Why? Because no-one else seems to believe it, so maybe it’s not true. Maybe it’s wrong of me to think this sucks when no-one else thinks it does. THAT is a much more comfortable thought than thinking that this sucks is. And there’s an element in that of thinking that no-one cares about me, if they don’t recognize that this sucks. That I’m just hung out to dry on my own. And that sucks, too. Even if it’s not true, the fact that I feel that way sucks.