Friday, October 30, 2020

Fearless Friday - triggers

 Do you have triggers? Things that just set you off. They may be the tiniest thing, or something huge, but whatever it is, it just eats at you.

I have a fair few of the pesky tiny ones. Each time they come up, I've been trying to work out what's behind it, and see if I can face that and look at it in a different way. 

It's not something new. I've been doing it for years. I have no idea how it started or why I do it. I kind of figured everyone did it in their quest to become someone who wasn't constantly driven insane, or who didn't internally fight with themselves all the time, or to be a better person (or whatever the heck the motivation for it is). But I'm realising as I talk to people that it's not something everyone does. So, I thought I'd talk about it. And, you know, I'm having a trigger right at the moment, so what better time to flesh it out with a up-to-the-minute example.

Mr E has the day off today. This is unusual because he's been working ridiculous hours for about a year now. Because he hasn't been around much, I have this space to myself. Today, the TV is turned on as soon as we're up. I like silence. I'm working, he has the day off. He says he needs no help, so I begin work... in the first hour, he interrupted me no less than 8 times. Could I do this? Could I do that? I'm not up to interruptions. My day is working in silence at my own rhythm. I'm triggered by these things.

Then... while I'm not doing so well, he triggers me more.

Last weekend we picked up an outdoor setting. But footy grand finals and tax were a higher priority than putting it together. And I went to do it through the week but I thought, "No, we should do it together. He wanted to do it with me." Except, today, he's doing it. Right now. Even after I suggested we do it on the weekend together when I'm not working.

And I know he'll say he wanted to help me out by doing it. I know he thinks he's being sweet doing it himself so I don't have to interrupt my day.

But it pisses me off.

I considered him. I was waiting for him so we could do it together. I said this when I suggested doing it over the weekend, and it was ignored.

What are my triggers?

I like to be needed.

I hate being ignored.

I can see his rationale about caring, helping, etc etc. 

But from my point of view, he's excluding me, saying that I'm not needed (and probably couldn't do it anyway). And that's the baggage I carry. From where? I'm not entirely sure. I think there's an ancestral female thing about the patriarchy. I have a strong dose of that in me, and Mr E has a strong dose of the protector-male thing, so we often clash over those issues when they butt up. I didn't have brothers, so I was the one who helped with outdoor tasks, as the eldest, so it's not really a childhood thing. There is a "kit" thing from my mother that I carry - we (Mum and us kids) always built kits when Dad wasn't around because he had no patience for those things (same with moving furniture). I see it as something I 'should' do. I also like to be needed, to pull my weight, to have a clear role in a working group, and I think doing tasks together strengthens a relationship (although, many times it also highlights the differences, which may not be so comfortable. I like seeing differences and trying to work out how to each change to accommodate... this is not something many people enjoy, Mr E included). So there are a few things for me to unpack and deal with there. Looks like a busy day and weekend and maybe a while longer as I sort through all of that. But having identified it, written it, and thought about it, my fury and rage has simmered to just discomfort so I'm well on my way to dealing with my triggers.

And yes, I could walk out and start helping. I'm a little tempted to do that, but a few things are stopping me. 

1. He has his earbuds in and is listening to a podcast, so there'd be no casual conversation. 

2. His method of putting things together is so pedantic and structured, I would go insane. 

3. He's happy doing this himself, without my interruptions, chatter and suggestions.

4. I have to deal with my issues, not force myself where I'm not needed or wanted. It really makes no difference who puts the damn thing together, does it? If it turned up already made, I'd be perfectly happy. So, it's a 'me' issue. I need to deal with my shit. And what better way of dealing with it than to spill my guts for the world to see! ARGH! However, fearless and Friday.

Do you have triggers? How do you deal with them?

Friday, October 9, 2020

Fearless Friday - conforming

I'm tired as I write this, so I apologise if I ramble.

I've been travelling down some spiritual path exploring all manner of things and I find myself in Shamanism...pretty deeply exploring it. Why? Mostly because the 'nature' aspect of it calls to me. The connection with animals, nature, energy and spirit is something that feels deeply right for me. I also think it's because it's a rather personal journey, as in no prescribed path but something you work at yourself. That also feels right for me. Well, maybe there are prescribed paths but I haven't found them! 

I don't know if what I'm speaking about is shamanic in nature, or just bits I've picked up and lumped into this post, but I've found lately a deep sense of power within myself. At the same time, there's also a deep sense of wobbliness within me too. I want to try to explore that a little.

When I look at young kids, their sense of power within themselves is rather strong, especially if it's been allowed to develop. So young kids who dress themselves, wear whatever feels most comfortable for them regardless of colour, trends, where they're going or what they're doing, sometimes even without considering the weather. They have a power of creation. A power of self. And it's not yet tainted by expectation.

Somewhere along the way, that sense of self is changed to a sense of style. Kids begin to wear what's trending, what's suitable, what's required. It's exacerbated by uniforms that may be required at school or sport or other activities. The sense of self is lost, and you conform (to some degree or other).

This doesn't just occur with dress sense. It occurs in so many aspects of our life (or my life anyway).

I have places where I haven't really conformed at all, and places where I have. 

I have scars, some big and some small, from where my sense of self was ridiculed or squished into a box, or somehow made to feel lesser. 

Reflecting on this, I can see the damage seemingly innocuous comments made. Damage that still persists. A still raw wound that gets the scab knocked off if someone says something similar now. I'm plunged back to the little me and the hurt I felt when I realised how far away from 'normality' I was.

But I also see how often I can utter to a child similar words to what was said to me. Why am I perpetuating this hurt? Why am I continuing the pain that I'm suffering? Why can't I rejoice in uniqueness and individuality and encourage it?

I think we've become 'indoctrinated' (for want of a better word) to believe that we're assisting people by helping them fit into the 'norm'. In actually fact, I think we need to be encouraging youth to break from the norm.

In some ways, I think this is happening in each successive generation but I'm not sure it's a mindful decision or more a gut-instinct or kick-back approach.

I don't have kids, so I have the time and space when around them to observe, think, and cross correlate what I see with what I experienced. I also have some space to reflect and churn all these thoughts around to see how they fit (or don't fit).

So, today I'm wondering about how I can honour the power within myself. How can I comfort the little girl in me who is hurt by others' comments, criticisms, and expectations? How can I look at the wounds and allow them to properly heal and not just scab over in temporary healing that will be knocked open again? How can I regain my power and be a non-conformist who is still able to function in this society and the world?

I don't have answers but I needed to get the thoughts out of my head so I was free to explore them a bit deeper. Blogging tends to allow me to clear this path and work a bit further on an issue. So here's to more thoughts about non-conforming!

Also, while I'm thinking about this, I've been reading Women Who Run With Wolves by Dr Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs and in a chapter I just finished, she mentioned that often a sexual exploration/release is a way to open up further and develop more (she was talking about laughing and giggling at 'smutty' things and how women often giggle and release problems when they can be crude and honest)...as I read that, I wondered if that is what my erotic writing allowed. I did all that exploration of fetishes, etc  way back, and began writing all sorts of things on this blog that allowed me to open and explore further. I think it's quite wonderful that I allowed that part of me to extend and explore while I still struggled with the conforming and 'being proper' other part of myself. However, it is all me - the conforming and the non-conforming parts.