Living in Fear

Fear means many things to many people. I’m not talking here about phobias or anxiety or mental issues like paranoia.

Some fears are more abstract, like the fear of change or the fear of taking a risk.

For so long, I allowed myself to give in to those abstract fears.  The simple fact that taking risks meant chaos and a total lack of control kept me paralyzed.

I spoke to my therapist recently, about this very thing.  About a fear of the more intense, more passionate, more chaotic emotions. Her opinion is that my family has a tendency to hide in intellectualism (as I believe I have said before).  While, yes, there is a trend in that direction, I don’t think all of us do it to the same extent as others.

She does, however, have to interrupt me numerous times during our sessions to halt that tendency, because that habit is deeply ingrained in me.  Dealing with my issues means I need to connect with the emotions I’ve repressed and suppressed for so long.

I had been making the first baby steps in that direction before I left my ex, but it has really only been since I moved up here to Cumberland that I have actually made reasonable progress. Sadly, I think I’m making better progress simply because I don’t have daily – or worse, hourly – emergencies and fires to put out (figurative, whether real emergencies or simply perceived ones by a man with no concept of anything but immediate gratification).  And yes, if I had firmer boundaries with him, and had been able to say “no” to him, he might have learned that a long time ago.  But, if I’m going to be blunt, it wasn’t MY job to teach him that.  It was HIS job as a human adult to learn it, whether or not anyone else taught it to him.

My life really isn’t functionally different up here in many ways, other than not having the opportunity to have spontaneous social interactions. Finances are still tight as hell, although we as a family are trying to change that (as much as we possibly can – given some of the assorted issues going on, physically and mentally).  But, as I have stated before, my patience is coming back.  My willingness to have faith that things will change, that eventually the bad things will end, is coming back.  I no longer have that utter conviction that my life is absolute shit, and no matter what I do – I will be punished for it.

Because, by the end, that is exactly what it felt like.  That I would be immediately punished for  every single little drop of happiness I experienced. That I couldn’t have anything good in my life, because I didn’t somehow “deserve it.”

It’s huge, actually.  That my hope has returned.  I can do anything, endure anything, as long as I have a small glimmer of hope.  Oh, I still have times when I feel hopeless, but I can recognize them as part of the depression and anxiety cycles, and not allow them to completely overwhelm me.

As for the passionate, the intense emotions?  I’m learning to deal with chaos, with a lack of control, allowing things to happen without trying to micromanage them.

Categories: Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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