Monday, February 16, 2015


 Something happened to me a couple of weeks ago.  Hmm, not sure if I can actually claim it happened TO me, perhaps something happened and it woke me up to  I can't actually claim this one event ( oh that conjures up images of a big top and pedant flags doesn't it?) changed everything but rather was an accumulation of all that has gone on before and my willingness to stay put as opposed to run, which is my usual M/O in these intense emotional situations.

First off let me say, I don't think I could ever live in a house without a bath tub, but as time goes on perhaps I should also no longer vacation in places that don't have one either!  The tub seems to be my sanctuary for tears.  Who knows, maybe I feel safe in there because it will hold a lot of them?

Anyway, I was upset by something.  The what really isn't important.  You see once again for me the loudest thing in my head was not what was affecting my heart.  Time and time again this happens so I am more aware of those situations now.  What did happen was this cripplingly feeling inside of me.  I just couldn't figure out WHY I had this gut wrenching feeling.  In the tub I sat, tears streaming down my face, yet no sounds escaping my lips.  In my head however, there were voices that wouldn't, well SHUT UP to be quite honest.  Words from others, echoing around over and over again.  To me it made no sense why they were all connected.  Like always there was a 'simple solution' I could come up with and connect the dots, and it was enough to placate me for a little while, but by the next morning, it didn't seem to fit again.

Insert a good sounding board, who really is so much more...but let's keep this light today.

Through hours of discussion I came to realize the gut wrenching feeling in my stomach, the one that returned in the morning, was fear.  As many of you who have been reading here since the beginning know, I am not new or adverse to examining what makes me tick, but this was something completely different yet again.  To have an emotional response take a physical form without a concrete breakdown was a first for me.  I am not going to lie, it threw me for a loop.

Perhaps I should back this up a bit.  Earlier in the week, my husband gave me a task.  During the day I was to spend an hour of reflection, with no distractions.  He mentioned this assignment during a reset.  In the morning he didn't mention it before work, nor did he call with further guidance.  I could have NOT done it as in my mind I thought he honestly forgot all about it, but that isn't what I signed up for.  So I wrote an hour in a journal Lillie gave me a year ago, almost to the day.  I was 'saving it' for something I just didn't know what!  Later in the night of my tub breakdown he came into our room to retrieve the journal, but as usual life got in the way and he had to abandon reading it.  He left it on our bed to go deal with 'the problem'.

 I was drawn back to the journal over and over again.  Abandoned. Yet I did not FEEL alone. Why did this lone journal on the bed draw out so many emotions in me?

Back to the sounding board and our conversation.  FEAR.  In my mind I was terrified because my feelings of dependency on my husband were growing too intensely.  My feelings for others were too.  I questioned my sanity.  I questioned how healthy this was becoming, but most of all I questioned why this made me so afraid.  Why I couldn't embrace what she described as being vulnerable.  Was this who I really was?  What if I am not who I thought I have been for all of this time?  What if I give myself, ALL of myself to him/ them and I become disappointed?  Will I be more guarded than ever if that happens?

Don't get me wrong here people, I have peeled back so many layers of myself over the past couple of years.  I have been in similar situations before, but this.  THIS intensity level I have never felt.

 To make a long story short my sounding board  said,

" Willie, Go kick the shit out of the wall because the last of its crumbling"

Go kick the shit out of the wall because the last of its crumbling

Go kick the shit out of the wall because the last of its crumbling

Go kick the shit out of the wall because the last of its crumbling

Go kick the shit out of the wall because the last of its crumbling

Go kick the shit out of the wall because the last of its crumbling

I cried.  Again.  When I read those words on my computer screen I cried.

I reread her words too many times to count.  They echoed in my head.  Eventually I printed them off and they  now sit on my bedside table.  I read those words with tears for 24 hours, until  the fear, I think diminished and relief washed over me.  Those were the tears I felt more comfortable with.  Tears of relief.  Perhaps I have 'done it' ?  Perhaps I have started to really open up.  My crippling fear could be that I don't have a  How is that for messed up?

What I did realize was I had to protect myself, but in a much different way this time.  Instead of protecting myself from hurt, I had to protect myself from negativity, from exterior 'noise' from all that could distract me from my little 'bubble'.  I had to strengthen my vulnerability.  I had to become comfortable in the new, perhaps thinner skin I was now wearing.  I had to find me in there without the outside world interfering.  I was afraid that anger, hurt, frustration for outside influences would seize my thoughts, and in turn my heart.

 Essentially I had to silence everything besides my inner voice.  She has had laryngitis for so long, I needed quiet to allow her to yell with just her tiny voice.  So I  went 'under'.  I limited my interactions, but this time not really out of fear.  This time out of strength.  I knew what I had to do, and that was breath oxygen into this fire.

I also knew I couldn't do it alone.  I stumbled upon something posted on face book.  ( hey I didn't go COMPLETELY under).  It was a recommendation for a 7 day online course.  I jokingly refer to it as Journey to the Centre of the Earth, as that is how I view my core, but it is actually called,

Daring You: A Seven Day Journey of Stepping Out of the Box and Into Your FREEDOM ( 

( this is the link to sign up)

Each day they send you a prompt to reflect on and journal about.  I will admit that sometimes things are 'right place, right time'  and this may not be the right time for everyone.  Some may find this extremely hokey.  For me it was the right time.  During this week of Journeying to the Centre of Willie I shed a lot of tears.  I can't claim they were all sadness.  They were just tears for whatever reason.  Release perhaps.  Some of the exercises when I first read them in my inbox I thought, " Meh this isn't me or won't take long"  but once I started to participate in it, boy did things flow out of me.  Realizations.  How I am my own worst enemy for one example. Which to a degree I always knew, but now I have a clearer vision of why.

Many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many..... things I have thought about in the past but this time it was different again.  I have likened this to the first few months of self awareness when I first started travelling down ttwd road, but much more intense.  Much less guarded, and much more self aware.

I feel like I have traveled a lifetime in the span of two weeks.  It has revealed parts of me I wasn't even sure existed.  It has revealed that I was afraid that I didn't think these parts of me did exist.  Every day I wrote in my journal, and by day 3 Barney started to read my words.  Initially I didn't even think about sharing, so my words were raw and honest.  I think I have continued with success to stay true to that even though I now know I am sharing.  I have began writing again.  A lot.  To my husband, my sounding boards, FOR MYSELF.

I started digging with a backhoe 2 years ago, and then a teaspoon, now I am using a tiny paint brush to brush away the debris.

Sure there are things that will probably require a pick in the future, but right now, in this quadrant  the paintbrush it what I need.  And you know what? It feels so incredibly right.  Not easy, but right.

Barney has been so wonderful just accepting things as I go along.  He has found words to permeate my thin shell.  He told me last week how proud he was of the way I am am thriving in my quest to find me.  He told me " You are no longer defensive with your emotions. You are just letting them come out "  I believe this is giving him a strength and conviction he hasn't experienced before either.  Our resets have been ..well bizarre.  And quite frequent!  HOLY man this husband of mine is um, convicted.  He is not letting me retreat into myself in the slightest.  Each reset (Maybe in this case reset isn't the right word.  I'll have to think on another one that fits) has produced a new response in me.  Responses that I have had to once again discuss because I wasn't clear on what they could mean ( insert here: sounding boards are not always sweet nor should they be...."you dumb _____"  comes you mind..just sayin' ).  Along the way he has encouraged my vulnerable self, by stating his appreciation of my giving myself to him wholly, to literally and figuratively lay myself naked in front of him, to trust him.  Sure he has said many things similar in the past, but now I hear them in an entirely different manner.

I have figured out that I do have a trust issue.  Yes I have known this from the start, but the trust issue it turns out isn't with other people.  It is with me.  I hear their words.  I hear their praises, I always have....but I don't let them sink into my being.  I don't trust that I am all they say.  I don't trust that they see me....but they do.  They almost always have.  I project my core out on a daily basis, I just don't trust that I do.  I just don't trust that they see.

I read something last night that I want to share, because this sums me up pretty well. I am trying now to find another way to continue searching and feeling comfortable with my discoveries. so any suggestions will be great! In my quest for more exercises, I came across this, and I think for the next little while I will ponder over it...
The easiest way to explain Gift Theory is by starting with the image of a target. Every ring inward toward the center moves us closer to our most authentic self. In the center of the target, where the bull's-eye is, lie our core gifts.

Core gifts are not the same as talents or skills. In fact, until we understand them, they often feel like shameful weaknesses, or as parts of ourselves too vulnerable to expose. Yet they are where our soul lives. They are like the bone marrow of our psyche, generating a living stream of impulses toward intimacy and authentic self-expression. But gifts aren't hall-passes to happiness. They get us into trouble again and again. We become most defensive-or most naïve-around them. They challenge us and the people we care about. They ask more of us than we want to give. And we can be devastated when we feel them betrayed or rejected.

Since the heat of our core is so hard to handle, we protect ourselves by moving further out from the center. Each ring outward represents a more airbrushed version of ourselves. Each makes us feel safer, puts us at less risk of embarrassment, failure, and rejection. Yet, each ring outward also moves us one step further from our soul, our authenticity, and our sense of meaning. As we get further away from our core gifts, we feel more and more isolated. When we get too far, we experience a terrible sense of emptiness.

So, most of us set up shop at a point where we are close enough to be warmed by our gifts, but far enough away that we do not get burned by their fire. We create safer versions of ourselves to enable us to get through our lives without having to face the existential risk of our core.

© 2011 Ken Page, LCSW. All Rights Reserved

That night in the tub, and the following morning the intensity I felt?  I believe it was as close to my core as I have been in a very long time, if ever.  The core IS hard to handle if that was the case.  As my girl friend explained to me, we can't be greedy and expect to live in our bubble all the time.  Sometimes it will deflate but we do have the power within us to re inflate it.  I have taken a step back from that centre, but not too far back.  I have not gone so far as to feel the emptiness I once did.  I can still feel the warmth,  Yes there is a fear inside of me still at times, but I recognize it for what it is. It is a good thing.  It isn't a fear that warns me like most fears.  It is a fear that motivates me to try harder.  To push myself, to see that my fear isn't is actually acceptance.