Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Do we hide in our pain?
I think it may be, but filling this void with pain and suffering is certainly a dysfunctional way. It could also be a way of distracting ourselves from the real pain as well, one that is buried so deep. Perhaps just as an alcoholic or drug addict fills their emptiness with their substance of choice or to numb their deep-seated pain. It’s a way of coping. A dysfunctional way of coping. A learned way of coping without even knowing it is being used as a coping mechanism. Or, rather the lack of coping skills…
But, these conditioned reactions/coping mechanisms end up doing just the opposite of what you intended. So rather than filling a void, soothing your feelings, they end up increasing the feeling of emptiness and disconnecting you from your feelings and your soul.
However these coping mechanism, put in place likely a long time ago as a child as a way to keep you feeling safe in the situation/circumstance you were in, a role you played to fit into the family or society structures, are now just hindering your growth as an adult.
My obsessions and my addiction (which may be to pain) do this to me. I feel a painful emotion and instead of just coping with it in a healthy way (whatever that may be, I obviously do not know), I intensify it. I dissect it, analyze it and definitely the person who triggered it. I dive into my pain and stay. I realize when I feel a intense and painful emotion as a reaction to something,(which right away is usually a sign that it is something from the past) I make it more intense – maybe akin to a temper tantrum – and the intensity of it no longer really fits the situation, so then I intensify the situation to make it match this, thus intensifying the feeling more.
Does that make sense? I blow the situation out of proportion in my mind, make it mean sooo much more than, not only what it really meant, but than what it really meant to me. When I broke up with him, I wasn’t crying, when I heard the news (the last straw in a string of hurtful behaviours: his ex-wife sleeping over, who just lives down the street and has tons of friends of her own, so he can take care of her after cosmetic plastic surgery (can't imagine why I felt like a third party in our relationship)) I was not devastated, in fact I was just in waiting for something to prove to me AGAIN that my perceptions were correct (oh I wish I was wrong, perhaps why I held on and ignored that inner voice for so long) that they have an unhealthy attachment and likely a codependent relationship happening, thus this isn't the place for me or the place to have a healthy relationship. So it wasn't a HUGE shocker, because, as I said, I was just waiting to see what else was coming. But here I am enmeshed in these painful emotions 1.5 years later!!
It seems when my “rejection” button is triggered, I go into these ways of reacting and behaving. And because most of us do not recognize these automatic ways of being, I believe it’s real. It’s real that I am so pained, devastated, powerless and have been victimized because that is what this feeling is telling me. This feeling that I am actually feeding and that feeds the situation, morphing it into something barely recognizable now and then that just fuels and intensifies the feeling more, thus having me believe the situation was that painful …and round and round it goes. Are you dizzy yet? Certainly confused.
Just as an aside: Not that I think feelings are false at all, in fact it is more the stories that have been attached to the feelings that are a misperception. I note this because I grappled with this question. Aren’t feelings real? Can’t I trust my feelings? If not, then what can I trust? I believe feelings are our faithful guide, guiding us to inquire into what is going on and that is what will bring us to what our conditioned beliefs are and give us a glimpse of what thoughts we are telling ourselves.
So in order to heal this, I must first unravel this riddle of pain and confusion that I have created JUST to get back to the truth of the original experience: “the Break Up”, which, yes, was hurtful and disappointing BUT not all this other stuff, I’m sure. Then from there I need to heal the ORIGINAL wound and break the automatic, self-defeating patterns. Although I think I am going through that process at the same time as the unraveling.
Perhaps that’s why it is taking so long to do. Awareness, healing new and old wounds, breaking old patterns and transformation all at the same time.
Slowly coming out of hiding in the pain.