jjer94

A Journey to Somewhere

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outdated nice guy.

I've been in free-fall lately, trying to pick up the pieces from an explosive epoch in my life. 

I tried again with that relationship, this time giving it my 100 percent (more on that in another post, most likely). She was too special to me not to pursue her again. I changed my priorities, my outlook, the ways I showed up — all the things that were problematic for her. I even did it out of my own desire to change rather than hers. 

But other things I did not change. I invited her back into my place when the foundation was still shoddy and the roof still had mold. My quick paint job couldn't cover up the deeper issues. I have to do a complete renovation, which means the construction crew has to come in, do intensive work, and kick her out for a while. The house will be closed until then. 

What I realized is that I have a lot of wounding around masculinity. I grew up in an environment and culture that made me view most masculine qualities as "bad" or "wrong," so I became a passive nice guy to compensate. I have very little issue with divine feminine stuff like self-love, nurturing myself, expressing my feelings, gratitude, accepting my feelings, and being adventurous and open. My issues are with initiative; focus; accountability; reliability; detachment; strength; providing for oneself and others; service; fostering emotional safety; and other divine masculine qualities. 

I've spent most of my life avoiding other men. The guy friends I had in elementary and middle school ostracized me, so I spent my high school and college years being friend-zoned by woman friends who I tried to impress. I was perpetually blue-balled and perpetually frustrated. I wanted to be different from the other "asshole" men I encountered, but I ended up exhibiting the very qualities I was trying to avoid. (They came out especially in my arrogant spiritual ego stage.)

I may be intrinsically more of a feminine man than masculine, but that doesn't mean that my masculine side is useless or can't be developed. This is not a shame thing for me anymore. This is just the future of my integration. I feel a pull more than ever to cultivate my masculine side — to find a better definition for myself about what it means to be a man and bring those shunned masculine aspects of myself into the light. 

So, to be a better partner in the future, to be a better man and to ultimately do better for myself in the name of self-love, I need to build that stronger foundation. For me right now, I think that means making guy friends, joining a men's group, and supporting myself financially. 

I can no longer be a messianic lone wolf who pretends that he doesn't need stuff. I need friendship with other men, money to survive, and an environment that fosters my healing.

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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group processing.

Speaking of men's groups... I'm almost done with Convergence IV Online this weekend. :o

While I'm guessing it's nowhere near as powerful as being in person, it's still exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for.

I'm realizing more and more that the kind of healing I seek is in the context of a group. I've been lone-wolfing my healing for the past five years or so, expecting that I can make the structural nervous system changes by myself. I've been doing psychedelics alone, meditation alone, contemplation alone, emotional processing alone, breathwork alone, everything alone. 

But I haven't been doing it alone. I've been doing it lonely. And I think that's ultimately disempowering in the long run. Solo work has gotten me this far, and I'm so grateful for this time of gathering all of the information, finding the techniques that work for me, and opening up to the work. But now, I think it's time to find group settings.

There's a saying that goes — humans are wounded in relationship, and humans heal in relationship. I've had a glimpse of that in my recent romantic relationship. Other humans are mirrors, and they trigger the same childhood "stuff" that we've been avoiding all these years. To be with other people who do this kind of work is infinitely more empowering than to be alone, because we can work through the triggers with them in a container of 100% responsibility and tribe. 

It's wounded, ostracized, lone wolf folk like me who are more susceptible to cults, conspiracy theories with themes of disempowerment, rebellious behavior, and quite frankly, following people like Leo who espouse "magic pills" for enlightenment or have the mindset of trying to "get there" with healing. We are so desperate to run away from ourselves and our bodies and run towards any semblance of connection, whether it be a cult group or a disembodied form of "God" through psychedelics.

This is not to discount Leo's amazing content. I just notice this pattern in me and a lot of the people on this forum. And while for most of us it's a phase, for some of us it can become dangerous. We can take the psychedelics too far and try to "get there" before our nervous systems are ready. This is where people can unintentionally become psychotic — because they can't ground or integrate the literally mind-blowing spiritual insights that come through altered states. 

That's why I'm slowing down now, focusing more on breathwork, stretching, and group processing. The gifts come to us through the journey, not in trying to get there. We can't embody the teachings of calculus if we only know algebra and not trigonometry. There's no shame in being where we're at, and there's no rush. Truly. The only rush is the one our traumatized nervous systems insist is real. 

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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The catch-22 from hell.

I snapped this week.

Three days of breathwork in a row, wailing like a fucking hyena, just me, somatic experiencing, and my music. It's been a party! Someone please bring the champagne. (Thank God for therapy.)

That knife feeling in the solar plexus is oozing as I write this. Like a scar that's been re-opened, except I have no bandage to stop the bleeding. Looks like I'll have to use my white shirt. Don't worry; I'll turn it into a tie-dye later.

I was about to say that I've never felt this hurt, this disrespected, this powerless in my life — but I have, based on the strength of the trigger.

This runs deep. The year after year of being told what to do without a say, bullied at school, bullied at home, saying "no" but not having that "no" be respected, having my needs completely undermined, my reality unseen, my significance completely unacknowledged except in video games... I can feel it. In my body. Like I'm there again.

There's a sense of rage and deep injustice. How could I take so much shit for so long, be gaslit, blamed, manipulated, guilt-tripped, steamrolled — and yet still give the benefit of the doubt? Still enable the energy vampires to suck my life energy? Still be the knight in shining armor? Still give so many chances? Still be so willing to apologize and take responsibility for my side of things in the hope that the perpetrators will finally own their shit?

There's no doubt that I contribute to the dynamic as the enabler and that I've done some pretty heinous things to other people. Gosh, I do some really nasty shit to other people sometimes — and it kills me, every time, because it's in my nature to be conscientious. 

But the moment I stick up for myself and my needs, all of the sudden I'm the bad guy.

Either I continue playing the nice guy role and be exhausted; or stop playing it, be willing to play the bad guy, and be steamrolled and shat on. The catch-22 from hell.

It's a miracle that I'm not hermitting it up in a cave in Bangladesh or some shit.

This year in general has been hellish with the pandemic and political craziness. I hope everyone here's doing all right.

 

Edited by jjer94

“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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Orphan with a family.

I wander through the aimless streets
looking for some sign
that the human race is not
some collective fear machine
and all I find
are methodically implanted cogs
within a hyper-vigilant nervous system.
 
I wander through relationships
looking for the ephemeral sparks
that point to an oasis
and all I find
are convincing mirages
within a deserted soul.

I wander through the land of self-help tropes
looking for some elusive enlightenment
that will ease the pain
and all I find
are angry talking heads
that tell me I'm not enough.

I wander through family outings
looking into the vacant stares 
of same blood
and all I find 
are reflections of the emptiness within. 

I am a husk without substance,
an orphan with a family —
speaking but not heard,
visible but not seen.
I have nobody,
and nobody has me.

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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Posted (edited)

2020: the empire strikes back year.

Welp, here we are in 2021. Another year; another benchmark to shame ourselves into buying a gym membership for a month. 

So 2020 was a shitstorm.

The pandemic really did a number on all of us, some more than others. And I don't want to sugarcoat by saying how great of a spiritual opportunity this was to let go of what doesn't serve us anymore and blahbity blahbity blah... Most of us aren't even at that point yet. I'd say most of us are at the point of saying "mercy."

I'm there, to be honest. This has been a year of deep psychological excavation; of coming up against huge financial, relational, and emotional hurdles; of testing how well I can fare when I have almost zero emotional resources — when it feels like the darkness won.

It's The Empire Strikes Back year.

It's not just COVID for me. I have a couple acquaintances who are into astrology, and they say that these next few years of my life (27-31) are "Saturn's return," which signifies a major transition into adulthood. Friends will be lost, moves will be made, and generally speaking, a major transformation is under way. I resonate with that because based on the events of this past year, it's already happening.

On the first day of 2020, I moved into the Artist's Den and tried living alone for a second time. The place had a back yard, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, a foyer, furnace heating, and other amenities that were luxurious to me. I could play guitar at three in the morning with no noise complaints, walk around butt naked, and have access to the kitchen whenever I wanted. 

But when my girlfriend at the time wasn't there, I was lonely as fuck. I realized through direct experience that no amount of luxury can compensate for nourishing human connections with wholesome people. 

Speaking of wholesome people, the dance with my ex was chaotic. We both had our stuff, projected onto each other, triggered each other constantly — yet we kept coming back to each other to try to do "the work" in a break-up/reunion cycle. She quarantined with me and my family after I canceled the lease on the Artist's Den in March, which resulted in the most turbulent, exciting, miserable, and amazing months of the year.

I give her a lot of credit for going through that with me. As tumultuous as it was sometimes, I learned so much about myself in that relationship. I also feel truly honored to have had a soul connection with such a lovely, wise, beautiful and kind human being. She touched my heart in ways I didn't anticipate.

The restaurants in my area were still open, so I did a lot of gigging in the summer, improving my chops a ton. 

Fall and winter has been in the parents' basement, caretaking a sobbing inner child with my inner strength. After the (presumably) final break-up last month, I had one session with my therapist before she found out that her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and had to cancel our future sessions. I haven't seen her since. In the midst of all of this, I've lost touch with several people who I used to call "friends."

So... a breakup, losing friends, a therapist leaving, being around a family that doesn't understand the grieving process, being shamed for being depressed and mopey... It's been rough. 

Outdated ways of relating to people have come to the surface to be released, with grief as unrelenting as a river current. Dreams about fame and success that I thought were my own were merely narcissistic childhood mirages. I've become so disillusioned with horse-whip self-help. I am so sick and tired of being picked on or called "selfish" for going after what genuinely feels safe and nourishing to me. And I'm starting to own and caretake my shadow — the lazy, passionate, exploratory, brash, horny asshole.

So while it is rough, it's not all bad. Through this hardship, I've learned about surrender and real self-love. Not just the question I posed last year — "What would someone who loves themselves do?" But a better question in my opinion: "What do I need in this moment to feel safe?" Because we can only make more empowered choices when we feel safe enough to do so. We can only change once we — all the parts of ourselves, including our shadow — feel safe, accepted, seen, heard, validated.

My new year's resolution is not to get bigger muscles, a better job, or one hour of daily meditation.

It's to commit to inner safety.

 

Edited by jjer94

“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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sexploitation.

Quote

“They say that when you meet someone and feel like it’s love at first sight, run in the other direction. All that’s happened is that your dysfunction has meshed with their dysfunction. Your wounded inner child has recognized their wounded inner child, both hoping to be healed by the same fire that burned them.”
“In fairy tales, love strikes like lightning. In real life, lightning burns. It can even kill you.”

Quote

“I am the king of ambivalence.
When I’m single, I want to be in a relationship. When I’m in a relationship, I miss being single. And worst of all, when the relationship ends and my captor-lover finally moves on, I regret everything and don’t know what I want anymore.
I’ve gone through this cycle enough times to realize that, at this rate, I’m going to grow old alone: no wife, no kids, no family. I’ll die and it will be weeks before the smell gets strong enough that someone finds me. And all the shit I spent my lifetime accumulating will be thrown in the trash so someone else can occupy the space I wasted. I’ll have left nothing behind, not even debt.”

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“We expect love to last forever. Yet as many as 50 percent of marriages and even more remarriages end in divorce. Among those who are married, only 38 percent actually describe themselves as happy in that state. And 90 percent of couples report a decrease in marital satisfaction after having their first child. Speaking of which, more than 3 percent of babies are not actually fathered by the male parent who thinks he did.”

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“If you’re interested in getting more out of this odyssey for yourself, notice the words and concepts that most excite or repel you. Each gut reaction tells a story. It is a story about who you are and what you believe. Because, all too often, the things that we’re the most resistant to are precisely what we need. And the things we’re most scared to let go of are exactly the ones we most need to relinquish.”

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“I’m speaking at a big tech company about my books. And right now, it seems so fucking unimportant, all this writing, all this time spent hunched over a glowing screen, all this convincing myself that any of it matters. People are what matter, not things.”

Quote

“I’m trying to get something out of this. I really am. But the accusations and diagnoses fly around so quickly that it’s hard to accept them just on faith. You come in as an alcoholic or a sex addict, and you leave as an alcoholic codependent sex addict love avoidant with PTSD, OCD, and ADD. We’re all suffering from low self-esteem, so I don’t see how making us into walking DSMs helps.”

Quote

“Trauma comes from any abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Think of it this way: Every time a child has a need and it’s not adequately met, that causes what we define as trauma.”
“Most people think of trauma as the result of a serious assault, disaster, or tragedy,” Lorraine continues. “But a small trauma, like a parent criticizing you day in and day out, can be just as damaging because it’s happening on a regular basis. Think of it this way: If one big-T Trauma is a ten on the scale and a little-t trauma is a one, then ten little traumas can be just as powerful as one big Trauma.”
“When children experience trauma, they tend to absorb the feelings of their abusers and store them in a compartment in their psyche that we call the shame core. It contains the beliefs I am worthless, I am unlovable, I don’t deserve. Any time you feel one down—or inferior—to someone or you feel one up—or superior—those are false beliefs generated by your shame core. Because, in reality, every person in the world has equal worth and value.”
“So the anger makes you feel better and one up. And when you use sex to restore power or feel better about yourself in a similar way, this is what’s known as eroticized rage.”

Quote

“Eighty-eight percent of sex addicts, she tells us, came from emotionally disengaged families. Seventy-seven percent came from rigid or strict families. And sixty-eight percent say their families were both distant and strict.”
“Being overcontrolled as a child sets you up to lie as an adult,” she concludes. “So the theory of sex addiction is that when you feel out of control or disempowered, you sneak around and act out sexually to reestablish control and regain your sense of self.”
“Mom wasn’t emotionally available, so you’re taking out your dick and using it to look for love. And sex is healing the anger at Mom for not being available.” She speaks quickly and confidently, as if my story is exactly what she knew it would be.
“So I fuck other women to get back at my mom?”
“And to have an emotionally safe way of getting the affection, acceptance, and comfort you never got from Mom.”

—Neil Strauss, The Truth

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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sexploitation, part 2.

Quote

“Intimacy is sharing your reality with someone else and knowing you’re safe, and them being able to share their reality with you and also be safe.”

Quote

“A lot of times, people in a family think it’s just one person who causes all the trouble,” Lorraine, the therapist who lectured us on trauma, is telling the assembly. “But a family is a system, and a sick person is the product of a sick system.”

Quote

“The avoidant is very good at seducing, in the sense that he has an uncanny ability to find out what his partner needs and give it to her. Because he was usually enmeshed, he gets his worth and value from taking care of needy people.”
“What happens in either case is that we choose partners who are at our age of emotional development and maturity, and whose issues are complementary to ours. Your wives may think they sent you here because you’re sick and they’re normal, but I’ve never worked with a couple where one of them had it all together and the other was a screw-up. They’ve got just as many issues as you do. Proof of this is the fact that they’re still with you.”

"...when a love avoidant and a love addict begin a relationship, a predictable pattern occurs: The avoidant gives and gives, sacrificing his own needs, but it’s never enough for the love addict. So the avoidant grows resentful and seeks an outlet outside of the relationship, but at the same time feels too guilty to stop taking care of the needy person.”
“By outlet, you mean an affair?” Adam interrupts.
“It can be,” Lorraine says. “But it can also be obsessive exercising or work or drugs or living on the edge or anything high-risk. He will also compartmentalize it because the secrecy helps kick that intensity up a notch. In the meantime, as the avoidant’s walls keep getting higher, the love addict uses denial to hold on to the fantasy and starts accepting unacceptable behavior.”

Quote

“Only when our love for someone exceeds our need for them do we have a shot at a genuine relationship together.”

Quote

“I used to think that intelligence came from books and knowledge and rational thought. But that’s not intelligence: It’s just information and interpretation. Real intelligence is when your mind and your heart connect. That’s when you see the truth so clearly and unmistakably that you don’t have to think about it. In fact, all thinking will do is lead you away from the truth and soon you’ll be back in your head, groping with a penlight in the dark again.”

Quote

“There’s one thing I’ve been striving for all my life: with sex, with writing, with surfing, with partying, with anything and everything. And that is to be free. It’s the one feeling I never had growing up.”

Quote

“As for marriage itself, historian Stephanie Coontz, the author of Marriage, a History, tells me that the tradition was never even supposed to be about intimacy. For the majority of its history, marriage was an economic and political institution, mostly about merging resources, forming alliances, or creating a bloodline for inheritance, she explains. Not until the late eighteenth century did people marry for love. And it took until the late twentieth century for marriage to start becoming an intimate partnership rather than a patriarchal institution.
Today, Coontz believes that the tradition is changing yet again. “People want to be monogamous or promiscuous, they want kids or they don’t want kids, they want this or they want that,” she says. “For centuries, they had to hide those preferences and take everything as a package deal. Now you don’t have to: It’s literally pick and choose. Cut and paste the kind of life you want. Family life and love relationships are essentially becoming a build-your-own model.”

Quote

“Loneliness is holding in a joke because you have no one to share it with.”

Quote

“Some people live in an endless on-and-off relationship with control. Either they’re trying to exert it over their lives—by getting obsessive about a diet, a belief system, a phobia, a hobby, a need for order, a twelve-step program—or they’re completely out of control, making a mess of their lives. And it sounds like Charles is on the verge of a mess. The shadow he’s been repressing has broken loose. And I can relate: So has mine. But as any good Jungian therapist will tell you, you’re not supposed to repress the shadow in the first place. That’s when bad things happen. The goal is to integrate it. And I hope that’s the path we’re both ultimately on.”

—From Neil Strauss, The Truth

 

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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sexploitation, part 3.

Quote

“That’s when I realize: This whole enterprise was doomed from the start. In my relationship with Ingrid, I felt trapped by her desires and needs. And so I absurdly deceived myself into thinking that somehow I’d feel more free in a house with additional women and additional needs. Polyamory—at least when I’m the fulcrum—is not the answer for a guy with enmeshment issues. Too many invisible nooses encircling me, tightening around me, choking me, killing my spirit.
Maybe I’m neither mono nor poly, but just solo.”

Quote

"I’ve seen love as a padded cell designed to take away my freedom. And that’s because my “long-suffering” mother used love to exert control over me, which she enforced with guilt. In my relationship with Ingrid, I think as I sit illuminated by the beams of six expectant eyes, I interpreted her love as control and resisted it. First through cheating, and when that got shut down, through resentment, fantasizing, and emotional distancing. My whole life, I’ve been fighting against love for my freedom.
No wonder I’ve never been married, engaged, or even had a love that didn’t wane after the initial infatuation period.”

Quote

"What if I quit too soon, just before finding someone as open as Nicole or Sage? What if I found a nonmonogamous version of Ingrid? What if there’s a stone I left unturned and it’s the right stone? And most terrifying of all, what if I return out of fear and failure but not love and commitment?
What if, what if, what if . . . It’s the ambivalent’s mating call.”

Quote

"That’s when he saw that he hadn’t been in any real relationships since leaving Ingrid. He’d just been creating controlled experiments. And they never had a chance of working.
Why was he in such a hurry? Perhaps his biological alarm clock was ringing—so loudly, it was drowning out his common sense.
“You can’t force a relationship to happen,” he finally understood. “You just have to make a space in your heart for one, then let go of all expectations, agendas, and control.”

Quote

"So maybe your problem isn't rules. You love them as long as you're making them."

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“As I watch her with Donald, though, I become painfully aware of the positive side of rules: They provide clear, fixed boundaries that keep us feeling safe.”

Quote

“Remember that beneath the fear of enmeshment, the love avoidant is secretly terrified of abandonment.”
That makes sense: Any mother who’s enmeshing is also, on an emotional level, abandoning.
“Just remember,” she adds soothingly, “that the only people who can be abandoned are children and dependent elders. If you’re an adult, then no one can abandon you except you.”

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“I sit in silence, processing this. In my heart, I know she’s right. I spent all year thinking that if somehow I found the right relationship, my problems would magically disappear. But the one relationship I didn’t try was the one with myself. For a love avoidant, I’ve done a good job of constantly having some sort of girlfriend for the last eight years. Maybe that’s because there’s no better place to hide from intimacy than in a relationship.”

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“In life, we are born innocent and pure, beautiful and honest, and in a state of oneness with each moment. As we develop, however, our caregivers and others load us with baggage. Some of us keep accumulating more and more baggage until we become burdened by all the weight, trapped in beliefs and behaviors that keep us stuck. But the true purpose of life is to divest yourself of that baggage and become light and pure again. You’ve been searching for freedom this whole time. That is true freedom.”

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“And I realize that I made a mistake by equating variety with freedom.
I’m off all social and dating apps and websites. That’s freedom.
Less than twenty people have my email address. That’s freedom.
My phone barely makes a sound. That’s freedom.
I have my life back. That’s freedom.”

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“It turns out that relationships don’t require sacrifices. They just require growing up—and the ability to stop clinging to immature needs that are so tenacious, they keep the mature needs from getting met.”

—From Neil Strauss, The Truth

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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green juice poop.

I did it.

I. Did it.

I'm taking the leap.

I'm finally taking a Journey to Somewhere!

It happened organically and effortlessly, like a poop after drinking green juice. Oddly enough, I wasn't that surprised. That's what happens after you drink green juice. That's what happens after you live in an emotional pressure cooker for two months straight with zero emotional support, few distractions, and grief as torrential as Niagra Falls. I felt like I had no choice but to follow my heart.

My heart said — go to the place your heart has been calling you towards for years now. A place where the beer flows like wine...where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano... I'm talking about a not-so-little place called...Colorado.

I found a communal living situation and a 1.5-year lease out there. I have a feeling this will either turn out to be totally amazing or totally horrible with not much in between. Worst comes to worst, I can always go somewhere else. But my intuition is saying "hell yes," so I trust that whatever happens out there will inspire me to grow further into my authentic self.

The move is tentatively happening on February 3. Until then, I will say my goodbyes and prepare for the journey ahead.

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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a puddle of UGHHHGHHHH...

This past month —

Imagine a kindergartner, overly excited about the coming school year, not sure exactly what's in store. Preparation falls into his lap — he chooses the first backpack at the store (a My Little Brony limited edition), a pack of traditional #2 pencils, and a glittery folder that he labels "Home Folder." 

On the first day, shoes tied and pant drawstring taut, he enthusiastically marches to the end of the driveway to be picked up by the bus. A few steps on the cracked part, and he trips and scrapes his knee. Battle scars, he thinks as he bravely picks himself up with nary a tear to shed. A few steps later, a bird poops on his left shoulder. Battle poop, he thinks as he bravely uses the leaf on a lawn plant to brush off as much of it as he can. 

He finally makes it to the end of the driveway, perhaps a little less enthusiastic but brimming with hope nonetheless. 

Five minutes pass. The bus is supposed to pick him up at 7:23. It's currently 7:20. Oh boi oh boi oh boi... He thinks as he does a little river dance.

Another five minutes pass. He doesn't think too much of it, as he's learned that people are late sometimes.

Another five minutes. He grows worried. Did he miss the bus, or has the bus missed him?

Another five.

Another.

Another.

With sulky demeanor and drooping shoulders, the kindergartner makes his way back inside and tells his parents. His parents call the school. The school says that the bus doesn't pass by their house anymore — that he had to be at a different place at a different time. 

The kindergartner collapses on the floor and melts into a puddle of UGHHHGHHHH....

That's been my past month in a nutshell. The lease fell through under the strangest of circumstances, and now I'm trying to form another group. People ghosting me left and right, others desperately wanting me to join their house with a flooded basement. In one moment I'm encouraged, and then another moment, I melt into a puddle of UGHHHGHHHH because a house we're looking at gets rented by another group. 

All of this has taken a toll on my nervous system. I am an utterly exhausted, anxious, depressed mess. Who knew housing could be so complicated? And unpredictable?? And expensive???!!!

Jeez Louise. A month ago, here I thought that the process was like green juice poop. But now it feels like one of those constipated deer-pellet poops where you eat too much low-fiber food and have adrenaline flooding your system and you haven't drunk any water all day. My intuitive compass is out of whack. I don't know what feels right anymore. This is not a great place to be — especially after a breakup in the middle of nowhere at the beginning of March, the most uneventful month of the year. 

I could use some literal and metaphorical green juice right now.

 

Edited by jjer94

“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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@jjer94 Uhm... take-off runway rumble?✈️


Apply consciousness to the burned area

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complex PTSD.

Quote

A key aspect of the abandonment depression in Cptsd is the lack of a sense of belonging to humanity, life, anyone or anything. I have met many survivors whose first glimmer of “belonging” came to them on a quest that began as a spiritual pursuit. Finding nothing but betrayal in the realm of humans, they turned to the spiritual for help. Spiritual pursuits are sometimes fueled by an unconscious hope of finding a sense of belonging. The worst thing that can happen to a child is to be unwelcomed in his family of origin - to never feel included. Moreover, many survivors have little or no experience of any social arena that feels safe and welcoming.
They find a sense of belonging to something larger and more comforting by reading spiritual books or engaging in meditative practices. This also allows them to bypass the danger of direct human contact.
Other survivors have spiritual experiences of belonging to something greater and worthwhile by being in nature, by listening to music or by appreciating the arts.

-Pete Walker, Complex PTSD

After more than a decade in the dark, I finally found a term that describes the set of psychological symptoms I've had my whole life. 

Complex PTSD. I recently read Pete Walker's book with the same title. 

I wish I had known about this years ago, as it would have spared me from a lot of self-hatred. Or maybe not. Maybe I would have used the material to justify how broken I am — because we see the world as we are. We can't help it. Our nervous systems play a huge role in how safe we feel, and how safe we feel plays a huge role in what we think about ourselves and the world. 

Betrayal was the name of the game in my childhood. People who confusingly said they had my back would bully me and then give me a hard time if I protested. Friends ditched me on a whim. I was physically sheltered and emotionally starved. I didn't know what to do with myself other than leave human affairs, lock myself in my room, leave my body, and lock myself in my head.

Unlocking the door to my body has been extremely painful. Pete Walker talks about how those with depressive or dissociative symptomologies are in a state of chronic freeze (a.k.a. a chronic state of dorsal vagal). It's basically a perpetual state of the body half-deciding to shut down and die. I feel it right now. You could call it depression, low energy, low motivation — but on a physiological level, it just feels like my body wants to die. 

Meditation in this state is fruitful, which is why I think I was drawn to transcendent spirituality in the first place. Also music. These activities are self-soothing a perpetual state of emotional abandonment. (Spirituality from this perspective = "If no human can love me, maybe God can love me.") Some days are better than others. But when the body runs the show in this regard, life feels a bit like a cage.

But I know that these depressive waves come and go, and I can ride them lovingly. When I feel capable, I can chip away at my trauma bit by bit on the limbic level by using breathwork. And when I'm not, like right now, I can rest assured knowing that growth is inevitable — that my consciousness will naturally propel me to make more aligned choices.

I think the the intense amount of letdowns and ghosting from this housing search is contributing majorly to this freeze state as well. 

Welp, too frozen to write anymore.

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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journey complete.

I made it.

I made it to Somewhere.

:D

IMG_6728.JPG


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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welcome to Boulder, motherfucker.

Well...that was a warm welcome.

:S

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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hardening artist.

I wish I could say that these past two months have been glorious. That I've risen from the ashes of the shooting, made new friends, started new practices, found monetary success in my craft, and found the flow.

There's been some of that, sure. A month ago, I went to Convergence 5 in person and had some mind-blowing healing out in the desert...only to return to the same issues back here in CO. I may write a separate post on that.

I've been on a couple of dates, one of which was abysmal, the other of which was more ambiguous but enjoyable nonetheless. I have another one lined up for Sunday. I've made some acquaintances and have been fairly socially active. I even went busking last week and made $125 in less than three hours of playing on the main street. That was pretty cool. I've also been to a couple of open mics with the same sort of reception — I got some high compliments. 

But I still feel pretty miserable. 

For one, I was having issues with one of the roommates, the only female of the house. My other two roommates were having similar issues, and their friends even warned them about her. With all of the issues in the house, she is the common denominator. She's not a bad person, she has some capacity for self-reflection, and she has a lot of redeeming qualities; there's just a lot of weird dynamics that hurt.

At one of the house meetings, one of the roommates said he wanted her to move out, the other one in a two-faced way defended her, while I also wanted her to move out.

But she wouldn't budge. 

She asked me to move out at the end of the lease. She said that she can't connect with me in the way that she connects with the other two. I felt an equal sense of relief and anguish. Relief that I don't have to live with this person. Anguish that someone with qualities similar to my dad rejected me...and that the other two roommates are signing back onto the lease, even given all of the issues.

It feels like betrayal. Like I spent all this time and effort to build a genuine connection with the other two roommates, only for them to side with the "abuser." And I BET the moment that I move out, they will flake, and I will not hear from them again. Just how that's been the case with pretty much every person I've hung out with out here. Just how it was in childhood, with literally every single friend group that I tried to join. Once a floater, always a floater?

I know logically this is not necessarily the case, but it feels like nobody actually cares about me — like no one would actually reach out to me to ask how I'm doing. I almost fucking died two months ago, I've been trying so hard to make new friends, I'm financially drowning, I moved halfway across the country knowing one person who has since flaked on me — and the two roommates are just acting as if everything's hunky-dory. The female gave one of them the lease to sign, right in my face, as if to rub it in.

So there's that. Then there's the issue with money. Everything here is so ridiculously expensive. Living as an artist feels near impossible. I have to wear a million different hats, and any sort of support costs too much money, and I spend half my day worrying about how I'm going to make my financial quota for the month. It's wearing on my body. I can't think straight. I can't create as effectively. I'm breaking out again. I'm having anxiety attacks and trouble sleeping. Not to mention that both Instacart and Doordash have become so oversaturated that it's almost more economical for me to learn new skills in my room than deliver poison to people and tear up my car in the process. (I think there's hope in both freelance writing and Twitch streaming as side income. More on that in another post, probably.)

I feel so alone in all of this, even with a therapist. And the saddest part to me is, I have to pay someone to have an unconditional secure attachment. I don't even know if he would want to hang out with me if there were no money involved. 

That's what I want, ultimately. For once in my life to be able to lean on someone without feeling that nagging sense that I owe them. For them to do it out of the sheer desire of wanting to help me. Of seeing my value. Of appreciating me as the human that I am. But other than in my last intimate relationship, I have yet to experience that in my life. Everything's just been covert fucking contracts and having to prove my worth to be part of something, only to be forgotten shortly thereafter.

I feel like I'm candle wax, melting to the fire of the systems. I can only hold out for so long before I'm a hot puddle on the floor. And nobody wants to hang out with a puddle of wax — they want to clean it up and dispose of it. 

The systems don't value artists and philosophers. They want me to submit to them and join the rat race just so I can "earn" the right to have food and shelter. What kind of a sick fucking world is this? I have to pay money to have basic shelter? And if I don't, I'm on the streets? As if by not being simply human I don't deserve basic shelter? And the things that I provide are somehow less valuable than that of an investor who for a living literally shuffles money around for companies that exploit people and rape the planet? The rage...

I refuse to submit. I refuse to sell out. I don't care if I die trying. And at this point, it feels like nobody else would, either. 

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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a merry-go-round from hell.

This was one of the most agonizing weekends of my life.

It started with being friendzoned by a girl that magnetizes me. I forgot how horrible that feels. I had that with literally every single girl I had a crush on in high school and college. I should be paid to be a professional vagina evader at this point.

So that was a powder keg to my nervous system, and I couldn't really sleep that night.

The next day, I prepared to go busking, only to find that my car was broken into. Fortunately for me, I didn't hide any money in the glove box, because the glove box contents were strewn about the passenger's seat. 

I got in my car, and three minutes into driving, I braked a few feet away from a car crash that totally obliterated the front of this car that ran a red light. The dude came out of the car relatively unscathed, but his face was all bloody. I had to keep driving, because I was holding up a line of cars behind me. 

When I arrived at the main street, I set up my new busking equipment that I bought a few days ago, and for 3.5 hours of playing with a looper pedal, I made a third of what I normally make for less than three hours of playing without a looper pedal. Feeling discouraged, I dragged my way home like a bag of bones, exhausted yet completely wired with financial fear. I couldn't fall asleep till around midnight, and my body woke me up at two in the morning. I was in stasis for several hours. My brain felt (and feels) atrophied from the adrenaline.

I stayed up for a total of twenty-two hours that day. I had a men's work group process for most of the day until dinnertime. I went with one of my roommates. It was very similar to the Sacred Sons group process I did at their retreat. Someone's in the middle of the circle, re-enacting an old wound to create an opposite experience, often using someone else to roleplay their mother or father. 

This time, I focused on my feeling that nobody really cares about me or wants to hang out with me or invite me to anything; that I'm insignificant, worthless, unseen, unheard, all of that. I used someone to roleplay my dad, and within minutes I was on the floor in a puddle of screams and tears. Maybe I'll make a separate post about that. But I mention the wound because a gallon of salt was about to be poured on it.

After the group process, I felt the dignity to bring up an issue to my roommate about inclusivity. I didn't really feel acknowledged or included when his other friends were around. The rest of my roommates and a couple other people had the same complaint. But instead of considering that with five other mirrors saying the same thing maybe there's something he could own and flex to accommodate, he instead dumped it all back onto me. He said it's 100 percent my issue, and I should be more initiating. There's an element of truth to my issue with initiation, and I've been making a conscious effort to deal with it. But I also have invited him to things on several occasions, and he's turned them down every single time.

Then he said that I give off the energy of "no one wants to hang out with me," and he doesn't want to hang out with that. Translation: I don't want to hang out with you. He said this a couple hours after I was screaming and writhing on the floor with the belief that nobody actually wants to hang out with me.

Later in the evening when I was all alone in my car, I had a mental breakdown. I screamed, cried till I had no tears, kept crying, flailed like a fish, and said "fuck you" to the Universe more times than I can count. And then, out of desperation, I called my brother, and he was the most validating and supportive he's ever been. Thank heavens for him, and for my mom, who also was extremely supportive today. But I have nobody here, now. One roommate told me they don't want me to sign back on, another one flakes on me, and the other one doesn't want to hang out with me. This living situation has miserably collapsed — me along with it. 

Today, I've been crying more from the loss of connection. On top of that is the fact that I moved here only two months ago, the shooting, my financial stress, the dating shit, and the lack of community, direction, and quite frankly, hope. I am utterly crushed. Exhausted. Devastated. Reliving the trauma of friend groups ditching me, over and over and over again, like some sort of merry-go-round from hell. It's like I have a fucking post-it note on my forehead that says, "Ostracize me."

On a logical level, I know that rejection means that it's just not meant to be and that incompatibility is a reality. I just feel so discouraged. Where are the people with whom I have genuine compatibility? 

I know I'm worthy of nourishing relationships with people who actually care. And I no longer want to waste my time with people who genuinely don't want to spend time with me. 

 


“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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Posted (edited)

a merry-go-round back to earth.

Just as I re-live that rejection trauma over and over again, I re-live the recovery over and over again. 

I swear, nothing trumps the resilience of the human spirit. When a part of us is hurting so bad that it wants to die, and we give it some time and love, it will return to a baseline of sorts. That's what happened this afternoon and evening, at least.

I told the other roommates about the incident yesterday, and they saw me and heard me. We talked about how we know he's not a bad person for being inconsiderate, but we need to talk to him about what it means to be psychologically safe in a community setting. Hopefully he can be receptive when three other people call him in.

The three of us connected, just like in the beginning. Even the female, the one who asked me to not sign back onto the lease, the one I called the "abuser," validated my perspective, supported me, and opened up to me. I was utterly floored when I went into the kitchen and she started engaging with me, asking me questions about my life and sharing that she herself comes up with melodies in her head. Two months in, and she shares that!

We were all connecting genuinely. Then, tonight, the other one invited me to go climbing. Invited me! Actually wants to hang out with me!

The one who friendzoned me? Said the same thing. Said that I'm "smart, kind, considerate and talented," that we have the potential for a great connection, and she genuinely wants to connect. Now all I need to do is re-define the relationship and be okay with just being friends, which is actually slightly relieving because I saw my own subconscious patterns latching onto her in the older dysfunctional "rescuer" ways. 

I also didn't mention this because it's slightly overwhelming, but I may have four dates over the next 2-3 weeks. 

On top of that, I bought a freelance writer online course to begin my journey towards better side income. I launched a Patreon. I'm learning new songs for busking. It's all moving, albeit in an overwhelming way. 

In times like these, I really buy into parts theory — the idea that our psyches are multi-faceted. We all have different aspects that need different things and come out at different times. Some are more mature and protective than others, while others are shadowed and immature. 

I see it in myself, and I see it the most in my roommates. Some days, I look at one of them like the devil. The next day, he's an angel. They act really mean one day, then really kindly the next day. One day, she's the abuser, the next day she's a friend and an ally. It's so complex, the way we all interact with each other — how different parts come out at different times. And how we trigger each other because of that.

I guess what I'm trying to say is — we are all devils, angels, villains, and victims at the same time. Nobody clicks perfectly with anyone else all the time. We all push each others' hot buttons. And we all do unexpectedly healing things for each other, too.

We are all just human. And the more we own our humanness in all of its contradictory insanity, the more compassionate and forgiving we can be towards the humanness of others. 

 

Edited by jjer94

“Feeling is the antithesis of pain."

—Arthur Janov

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