The Laundry Lists Part III

8.  We became addicted to excitement.  (The Laundry List).

We inhibit our fear by staying deadened and numb.  (The Other Laundry List).

I’m pretty sure that I was never addicted to excitement, but I remember realizing in college that I did feel numb.  The outgrowth of that was a novel idea–funny how that works as that is the novel I am working on now.  I’m pretty sure that I’m not numb any more, through working on that novel, it’s something I can explore further.

We avoid emotional intoxication and choose workable relationships instead of constant upset.  (The Flip Side of the Laundry List).

We uncover, acknowledge and express our childhood fears and withdraw from emotional intoxication.  (The Flip Side of the Other Laundry List).

I would say that these are both true, particularly the second one.  The first one may need a little work, but I have done a lot of work to get rid of the emotionally intoxicating relationships or at least to set boundaries in them to make them healthier.  It’s funny, a lot of the people I set boundaries with decided to walk away.  I can’t say I was too upset.  I mean, I was sad for maybe a day, and then I basically forgot about it.  It was a way to get rid of toxic people, and it ended up being their idea, so they didn’t fight me on it.  They got to be rid of me, and I got to be rid of drama.  I would say it was win-win, but I don’t think their is any winning in an unrecovered situation.

9.  We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.” (The Laundry List).

We hate people who “play” the victim and beg to be rescued.  (The Other Laundry List).

Hmm.  I do think that people should save themselves, and the best way that we can help them do that is to empower them.  I think a lot of people don’t like to take responsibility for themselves; they are just waiting for someone to save them, but I don’t think that is what they are are talking about here.  I don’t hate people who are in a situation they need to be rescued from, but I do believe that it’s not about saving them–it’s about giving them the resources they need to save themselves.

We are able to distinguish love from pity, and do not think “rescuing” people we “pity” is an act of love.  (The Flip Side of the Laundry List).

We have compassion for anyone who is trapped in the “drama triangle” and is desperately searching for a way out of insanity.  (The Flip Side of the Other Laundry List).

Hmm.  I like both of these–a lot actually.  Sometimes simple rescuing someone is the worst thing we can do for them, because what happens the next time they get into a situation where they need help?  They aren’t going to know how to save themselves.  I mean obviously, in life or death situations the person needs to be rescued, but otherwise…if we empower them to see that they can save themselves?  They can slowly learn that they can save themselves from other situations, too.  It’s okay to need help–but we shouldn’t be doing something for them that they can do for themselves.

10.  We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).  (The Laundry List).

Yep.  That was me.  I don’t even have to go any further than that.  It took me a long time to learn how to feel my feelings.  I am still learning how to express them, but I have come a long way since then.

We come out of denial about our traumatic childhoods and regain the ability to feel and express our emotions.  (The Flip Side of the Laundry List).

There are still some emotions that I can’t name.  Sometimes the trauma is just too great, the feelings too extreme, that the words just fail–but then there’s always music.  I don’t talk about it a lot, but I am a singer and flute player, in addition to writing my own music.  I don’t have a lot of time for those things given everything else I do, but I have certain go to songs that I sing when the pain just gets too great, and it really lessens it.  It helps a lot.  Right now I am also working on a musical (at the lyrics/revision stage), and some of the musical numbers are extremely intense.  It was a pretty intense weekend this past weekend working on it.

I’ve  worked pretty hard on those three items, and I’ve found concerning feelings that the best thing is to have coping skills.  For me, I write, I play solitaire on my computer, and when it gets too bad where I can’t even think straight, I sing, and it works for me.  Sleep also works–things aren’t nearly as bad in the morning as they are in the dead of night.  But anyway, I will leave you with that, and continue on with the list tomorrow.

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