I was thinking how little I have in common with my family of origin. And then I realized HEY: for most of my life, we did actually have ONE thing in common. None of us had been taught or allowed to navigate or articulate our full
human emotional experiences.
Fortunately, the SKILLS, for honestly and safely connecting, can be intentionally cultivated and practiced as adults, if they are not modeled and learned in childhood. I learn them by studying and practicing the Twelve Steps and Traditions of my program. Unlearning has also been essential to my recovery.
In my family of origin empathy and compassion seem strictly reserved for animals and far away third world peoples. The many and marvelous philanthropic gestures, dedicated specifically to those struggling in far away lands or with four legs, cannot be denied. There is this disconcerting thing though, when people act friendly, social, and charitable and— at the same time are both cruel and harsh. The incongruity is formidable.
As the lone highly sensitive and deep feeler of feeeeeeelings, I was humiliated by my inability to hide or to manage better. I was incapable of feeling good (peace, joy, trust) while simultaneously distraught– and frequently called out for ruining everything, in this way. Why couldn’t I just suck it up, lighten up, move on, be positive? My failure to cope/comply was labeled as an ungrateful and negative attitude. I still fail to enjoy or relax in close proximity to any person(my whole family and later a husband) who judges and punishes me for feeling as I do. So odd how in this system, diminishing words and deeds go unpunished and unjudged but hard feelings honestly communicated, are regarded as treasonous efforts to upset others. What TF even is that? I really honest to god do not get it. My sister would always say this to me : You just don’t get it. No, I really do not, Jilan. My ex will totally validate my not gettingness of THIS.
I gag to recall in marriage, my husbandy person would want
intimacy sex, after days of actively not speaking to or looking at me and I was like: “EW, wtf, Sorry But I am wired in a way that I can literally not- feel abandoned, afraid, ashamed— AND horny all at once. How about you try kindness for foreplay? That shit is fire.” Eerily similar to my sister doing or saying the divisive and demeaning things and then arranging dinner together and retaliating at my prioritized interest in first resolving the thing.
I think I may finally almost get it, but I do not want or choose IT, for myself, my children, my non-essential relationships.Much Love,
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