2022.01.02 Journal


* Day five of journaling about Shame/Humiliation/Misery
* Confirm lunch and dinner plans with friends I also would like to work with
* Explore a programming tutorial on smart contracts

* Meditation – Day 664
* Journaling – Day 7
* Yoga – Day 6

Reflections:: Went to a friend’s impromptu New Years Day Party. Enjoyed seeing him and interacting with other folks. Though I stayed out later than I would have liked, and I could have pre-empted eating pizza by packing the food I already made at home. That would have empowered me to stick to my diet even while going out, by giving me a plan for what I’ll be eating. I’ll try that next time and see how I do. The other thing I could have done is proactively bring a bunch of flavored seltzer waters. That would prompt me to drink the waters that I brought, which would in turn prompt me to drink more water. Woke up this morning at 7am, and it’s now 8:43. I found myself a little sad that I’m almost done journaling about shame for this go-round, and found myself curious about how the next one will go – Guilt/ Blame. It’s a higher energy level than Shame/ Humiliation, but not by much. So it’ll still be very heavy, while being a slightly higher energy level. But that’s a distraction from where I am today, which is journaling about Guilt/ Blame.

Continuing from where I left off yesterday, I was up to the point of exploring shame tied to unwanted exposure – a time when I was called out for doing something wrong or that I didn’t want others to see.

  • Unwanted Exposure
    • Well, there’s that time I already wrote about with the white elephant gift exchange
    • Then there’s the time I was arrested at 15 and had to keep going to court and then miss school from time to time to go to probation. That was definitely unwanted exposure and I kept it secret for a while.
    • Then there’s an aspect of whenever I had to explain my family situation. No, my parents were not divorced. No, I don’t know him and never met him – the lie I told until someone was in my circle of trust, and then we were old enough to not worry about things being reported. After we could tell the truth, it was embarrassing, confusing, and emotionally charged enough to me that I didn’t want to talk about it. But I didn’t want to appear closed off, so I’d talk about it briefly and change the topic.
    • Then there was whenever my name was called out in class and I had to explain my name was my mother’s name backwards. It was embarrassing as a kid, but now I take pride in it. Still though, it was annoying, because it’s an unusual name, to have the first minute or so of every conversation be about where my name comes from. I’ve since learned to enjoy it – if I can anticipate something is going to happen, the game becomes making it go as well as possible.
  • Disappointed Expectation
    • Aside from the ones I listed yesterday, there’s not having gotten my mother a house yet. That was a goal of mine when I was a kid, and I’ve made more than enough money to have been able to do it. However it hasn’t happened. One of the things that was frustrating was having enough money to be able to do it at 24 – I had the savings allocated and had a job that was paying me a few hundred thousand dollars/ year, but I couldn’t quite get my mom to participate in the process and I didn’t prioritize making it happen either because I was working so much. After doing some basic research, my plan was to buy a two bedroom apartment for my mom and youngest sister to live in, in Bronxville – which would put my youngest sister in a way better school district. But again, it didn’t happen. After that, I started being reckless with my money. I guess I didn’t see the point in holding onto it anymore. Now that I’m a bit older and thinking about having a nest-egg for raising kids I see the point in having money again. Interesting how that coincides with almost being past my tax situation. Now my income is back to a few hundred thousand/ year.
  • Unrequited Love
    • This isn’t likely the point of the category, but where my thoughts and feelings go is around how sad it is that I didn’t love myself when I was younger even though that’s what I needed. And a bit ashamed that the love from my mother wasn’t enough to satiate the young version of me’s need for love. It’s impressive how self-centered and needy little kids are. Here’s this person devoting her entire life to raising you and your sisters. You’re fed. You’re physically safe inside the home. -Sure, Hispanic parenting involves a little hitting from time to time, which you are scared of as a kid, but we were safe. Our needs really were taken care of. But then when you’re older and wanting to truly examine how you were, you’re confronted with the fact that this young version of you is so supremely needy. Which means I surely am more needy now than I care to admit to myself even today. And that’s a really hard thing to accept. Like, I’m 38 years old and to rise to the next level so I can be enlightened and truly be there for other people, I have to allow myself to empathize with the child version of me who insatiably wanted more. I’m scare that the adult version of myself is insatiable also. OH! So I just referred to the scale again and remembered that Fear and Desire are both higher levels. So it will be more appropriate for me to explore those later. Right now I need to stay focused on shame. Ways that I’m finding myself unworthy of love.
    • Having been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum and having to do this much work to access my emotions, I find myself wondering from time whether I’ll be able to form and maintain deep loving relationships at all, or whether I’ll always be distant. Wanting to be different is a later stage, but wondering if this is something to be ashamed of is something worth exploring. I’m pretty open about being on the spectrum, but I’m wondering if it’s just an attempt to numb myself via exposure therapy.
    • Back to my first bullet point on unrequited love, I’m disappointed by the ways I didn’t love myself more when I was younger. When I was younger thought I could be more attractive, be funnier, be better at social interactions. Even as an adult, a part of me still does.
  • Exclusion/ being left out
    • As I scanned my brain for ways I might feel excluded/ left out now, I’m really happy that I’m invited to my friend’s 100 day celebration for his newborn. This is a friend I’d known since I was 4 years old. We met in kindergarten when neither one of us still spoke English well. He spoke Chinese and I spoke Spanish. But we both learned very quickly in school.
    • I was invited to a number of New Years things by different groups and didn’t go to anything other than my friend’s party yesterday.
    • As I look for evidence of being excluded and left out, I’m finding more evidence that I’m included and welcomed into places. There’s always going to be events I’m not invited to, but I’m actually pretty ok with that and it makes sense. When I was younger this was definitely a thing. I wouldn’t fully throw myself into any one group, because I was always trying to be accepted into a different one.

It’s 9:38 now, and this is feeling like a not-particularly-satisfying journaling session. I’m really reaching for things to feel shame around and having a hard time. Which puts me back in the state I’m in normally. But if feels a little different now. I can tap into shame very easily by putting myself back in some of the time periods where I was going through it even though I was repressing the feelings then. Maybe I can try acting out the feelings more when I need them now. I guess what’s different now is I have an easy time identifying a number of experiences and time when I had shame and was filled with shame. But now that I’ve aired out my feelings on the topic they’re not nearly as powerful and I’m naturally in a higher place when it comes to them. I’m curious to see how I’ll feel tomorrow and what I’ll journal about then. Perhaps tomorrow’s journaling will be about how I want to be there for others when they explore and talk about shame. 9:45 now. Interesting how long it takes to write a few sentences even though I’m free-writing. The above paragraph was 7 minutes.

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