Completely out of my mind

Waking up is hard. I have a suspicion it has always been hard, and this is just something I avoided knowing for many years.

Today, I woke up and completely lost my mind. It was around 6:30. That’s around 8:30 in the evening for Country X. Still daytime. No one has gone to bed yet. I checked my laptop. C was online. I messaged her, which these days she never reads, or maybe she does read and because of the network, Facebook does not tell me. That has happened before, where months later, the little check suddenly appeared that she had read it immediately.

There are times when she doesn’t write anything, she just reads. And what she reads matters to her. I don’t actually know what she is doing at the moment.

There are times when it really is Freud, and I am on the couch getting no feedback at all.

I lost my mind completely. The thoughts in my head were of some variety of how worthless I am, that I make a mess of my own life essentially running after people who hurt me. I completely lost my ability to reflect on this or to consider whether my thoughts are really true.

After about 30 minutes, it wore off a little.

I am left thinking that in the past I have dealt with these feelings by trying to alter reality—if someone does want me, I can know securely that my thoughts are distortions, and I have tried at these moments when I am overwhelmed by this feeling to make someone want me. It hasn’t been like this in a long time, because I have just withdrawn so that these feelings never had to surface.

I was thinking about this and then C’s aunt came online to chat with me. I got involved in some other things, and now I am trying to come back to this idea.

It crossed my mind that trying to alter reality to suit me isn’t a habit acquired as an adult. It seems like this unhealthy adult habit in order to avoid the pain inside me, but when I think about, that’s kind of what children do, isn’t it? We are born with that as an instinct and only later learn how to accept reality that doesn’t suit us.

Feeling childish doesn’t exactly help me feel better about myself, but I have been going with this theme that this is the past—these moments of overwhelm are the past—and because it’s the past, I can’t change it. I was 3 or a baby or whatever, and I was overwhelmed by this impulse to obtain nurturing and warmth and that is what happened then. That’s what I am looking at. I am looking at a time when I did not have the impulse control not to reach for my parents to comfort me even when I didn’t know whether reaching out to them might result in serious injury or even death.

I don’t know. But I think I get that whole, “This is the past” thing. I do have to make decisions in the present—that’s the hard part, because it’s hard to know what the present really is when this surfaces. And there often are decisions that need to be made: the window of our shared awakeness is a few hours long every day. How do I relate to C in that time? Because I have reached out to her every day, even not reaching out is a decision. So I do need the present, and I worked for a while with that, because that wasn’t what I thought it was. Just because feeling unwanted and unloved was the past doesn’t mean everyone continually adores me now. I do have to know something about what is happening now. I can’t just ignore my feelings because I find them confusing. What I need actually is clarity.

Anyway, it’s a different approach, because I used to think that it’s the past, and the reason it keeps coming up is that the past actually needs to be changed. If I felt worthless, for example, then I need to replace that feeling of worthlessness with worth, but I now feel the opposite. Instead, I feel I need to contextualize that. I felt worthless and why was that? Why did I feel worthless? I really felt this way as a child, and it wasn’t because I was somehow hopelessly defective. Something was happening, and that’s how it was recorded in me—as an ego state.

I am not sure I am getting at anything here. Thanks for reading.

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6 thoughts on “Completely out of my mind

  1. Rachel January 27, 2017 / 11:25 am

    For what it is worth, I would have been very triggered with a similar interaction with someone very important to me. Very painful to be told to go away or not call, even if you know there is an underlying defense mechanism at play.
    And I think you are getting at something important – it is helpful to validate the feelings and relegate them to the past (where the strength/intensity comes from). That acknowledging “this is how it felt back then” does help lessen the blow in present-day.
    I’m sorry it feels so hard, and you feel out of your mind. That is an incredibly painful and difficult state to be in, I really empathize.

    • Ashana M January 27, 2017 / 10:21 pm

      I think looking at it as the past has a different meaning for you than for me. It might not be an important distinction, but I think in many ways our process is the opposite. You are trying to lessen the blow, but I am trying to let it in. So I feel a sense of shock that it really was like this. I knew what my emotions were as a child, but I did not know that emotions were like this.

      • Rachel January 27, 2017 / 10:32 pm

        Ah, that makes a lot of sense. When you make the connection, it helps for the feeling to be more “real.” Is that it? Or helps you feel and move through the emotion?

      • Ashana M January 27, 2017 / 11:53 pm

        I think I am not using it as a regulation strategy–which probably relegating feelings to the past is, to lower the intensity. I find the more I concentrate on the felt sensation of emotions, the less crazy my mind goes, and when my mind starts working again, and I can locate better what the feeling actually is. I know what the emotion is about because keeping my attention on the felt sensation places it in context, and the context is partly the past.

      • Ashana M January 31, 2017 / 4:40 am

        I have been thinking about this, because it’s not clear to me what is really happening for me when I do have this thought. It is something that happens when my mind is actually working again. It means I don’t need to use my energy to try to get rid of the feeling or change it. I know that it can’t really be changed now, because the past has already happened. So it frees up a lot of energy I might otherwise use to try to feel better or different so that I can titrate the feeling instead. If I feel very despairing, for example, I know that the despair actually has to be felt as it comes up. I can’t just choose not to feel despair–I can, but that creates a fragmented experience of life for me. But if I know I don’t need to focus on not feeling that despair, I am able to use that energy to manage the despair so that it is bearable. That probably does help me move through it, but I don’t have that in my mind as a goal, because I can’t really control how quickly it subsides, and working towards something outside my control doesn’t help things.

      • Rachel February 2, 2017 / 10:28 pm

        I was just reading something the other day that talked about how much energy dissociation takes up – so this makes a lot of sense to me.

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