If It's Hysterical, It's Historical
Welcome to yesterday!
Thank you to all of you who reached out to see if I was ok. I am and I was. Just getting another opportunity to see myself, as I am, and have that not sit well. It is so hard to look at who you are, all of who you are. When you have this ego that is constantly, and convincingly, telling you things that are grossly incongruent.
How can I be great and awful at the same time?
How can I be lovely and grotesque at the same time?
What the actual fuck?
But my head tells me completely opposite things, often. Like daily. Like, sometimes, on the hour.
And I believe them all.
Or rather, I used to.
Today, I have a developing sense of this inner watcher person who is capable of watching me, considering my thoughts and feelings, and then culling out the stuff that is largely ego driven...which is mostly everything.
I also tend to like quippy sayings that help to pull me out of a negative thought spiral quickly, reorienting me to what is really true: that I am doing my best, even when that is not all that great.
Yesterday’s blog got a lot of responses. Mostly I think because I put it out there about how upset I was. And while I was and am still upset about the way this other person treated me, that person is NOT responsible for my emotional spiral and attendant “Fuck this, Fuck that” post of yesterday!
I am. I am responsible for that.
I have learned, the hard way perhaps, that when I have an emotional reaction, any emotional reaction, that is grossly out of proportion to what is happening right now, I am likely in a trauma response. Something is happening in real time that is emotionally taking me back to some other place in time where I was injured or harmed.
Welcome again to yesterday.
I know exactly why I was so upset yesterday. I know exactly where that strong and out of proportion reaction came from. And I know that it was not the only activator, I have had several recent activators of this old, historic issue which is why I was jangling off the hook Sunday and part of yesterday.
I was triggered.
Now, here is the growth...
I knew that I was triggered the entire time. I knew as it was happening on Sunday evening that I was triggered and that my emotional reaction was not in proportion with what was really happening. Now, that did help me to reign it in a bit, but not entirely. Because even with the self awareness that I was having the emotional breakdown I was having was strongly connected and tied to the past, that information was NOT enough to stop the emotional downturn. But it did help curtail it. It did help me not spiral all the way to the bottom. It did help me shut my mouth and just stay silent when I wanted to yell and scream and cry and throw things. (I never actually throw things...because that is just making a mess that I will later have to clean up and I hate that. It is also super inefficient...which I hate even more).
So I knew, and here it the major growth, that I was activated immediately. Like while I was having the first breakdown, I knew that my emotional state was not someone else’s fault. The other person and their conduct was just the catalyst. Not the cause. My emotional reaction was mine, the whole time. And while I was sad and upset and not happy at all, I was able to see as it was unfolding that I was behaving worse then the situation actually required. Now I was not able to just stop it immediately, but knowing that my reaction was out of proportion to the event did help me at least contain it a little bit. This containment, in the moment, made me seem probably even crazier because I was just lit the fuck up with this flood of emotions. Like I was yelling (no one was home but me) and I was crying. It wasn’t pretty. But only the dogs and cats were here to witness that...and likely maybe the neighbor heard or at least could hear my intermittent tantrum.
But I knew what I was doing the whole time. I knew that my reaction was out of proportion and while I couldn’t stop it in the moment, this knowledge that I was not having an event appropriate action, helped me to curtail and stop the emotional shitshow before it got too bad. Now this is not to say that I didn’t lose my shit, because that would be a lie. I was just able to reign it in before I caused a lot of collateral damage...
See, fucking growth opportunities sometimes actually translate into successful change in your life! YAY!
So today in the wake of my meltdown (I am calling it that because it matters little that only the pets witnessed the event, I know that I lost my shit) I can begin to unpack why this person’s conduct and treatment of me, caused me to lose it so badly. I mean I know exactly why but I can now spend some time looking at my part and then making a few adjustments. I am likely not going to change myself overnight but perhaps I can find a more appropriate way to deal with these feelings that really have like a million ties to my past, than they really do to my present. And it also feels super unfair to punish and inflict this shit onto someone who didn’t cause this response in me at all, like they weren’t even born yet!
But this is what we do. We bring the past up and out into the present of all of our relationships. We bring the historical to the daily events in our lives, often without even knowing that we are doing that.
I did that Sunday and part of yesterday. And today, I can see that it didn’t help me at all. And I want my emotional nature to help me, not cause me to spiral down a rabbit hole of time to a childhood issue that has been addressed, repeatedly, but now has let me know that it needs to be addressed again. Fuck, Shit, Damn. But, well, ok!
I see you childhood issue, and I am coming for you! HA!
I do not have to be a slave to the past versions of me, most especially when they rear their ugly heads in my life today. I can and will see what is going on, with my pithy emotional shortcuts, and see my reaction for what it really is...emotional fallout and response to a long unaddressed need of mine.
And that is news I can use, because I can address it. And even if I don’t do it perfectly, it is better than not doing it at all. I can see that I am the only one that can change this and I do this massive, life altering change, one emotional breakdown at a time.
Getting hysterical shows me where I am stuck. And that shows me the work I need to do. And today, I am super grateful that I see it, that I am willing to do the work and that I am not blaming the other person for my emotional dumpster fire. That was me, all me. And I did not enjoy it, not even a little bit. And that is also progress, because I used to love to have tantrums. Ask anyone who knew me in the 80s and 90s, I was forever throwing them and then blaming you. Grateful today that it is different, even if some of the behavior is the same, sometimes.
My past is always my greatest teacher, I am not sure why the first part of our lives has such great capacity to fuck us up for life, but I do know that it can and does. And I respect this. And I completely, 100% know that I will spend the second half of my life, getting over the first...