Healing the mind in conversation

Our Spirit Group facilitator, Mary, helped me through an emotionally challenging, teary discussion by having me switch to referring to myself in the 3rd person rather than as I. Using this process (while cumbersome at first) really works in taking the sting out of words. Later on, during a counseling session, a therapist used the same method with He and I which made honest conversation easier to acknowledge.

Here’s an excerpt from an article I found from Psychology Today:

“When using third person or “non-first-person” pronouns during self-talk, you do not use pronouns such as I, me, or my. Instead, you speak to yourself (either in a hushed tone or silently inside your own head) using pronouns such as you, he, she, it, or your own first or last name. In recent years, a wide range of studies has found that third-person self-talk can improve emotion regulation and self-control by facilitating self-distancing and reducing egocentric bias

Years ago while learning to cope with and live with my relationship with my mother, I began to refer to her in conversations by her given name. While I absolutely did not have the gonads to call her Helen to her face, I recall the feelings of less lethal emotions when I gave myself permission to not refer to her with the beloved name of Mom. Of course, mom wasn’t actually the name she preferred…it was Mother. It’s highly likely that Mother is a loving name spoken from children to their beloved. But in my case it was a “formal” expectation which was another knife wound that separated mother and daughter.

In a FB conversation with a friend this morning, I referred to mom as Helen….and that’s what brought this whole train of thought coursing through my brain like a slow meandering stream. Use it if it feels good. We all have uncomfortably charged conversations

Until next time….

I have something to say…

But currently I’m working through it.  I don’t have understanding right now.  This is why I journal…both privately and publically on ninasusan.com…For the most part, my private journaling is paragraph after paragraph of thoughts that either would not make sense to anyone else or would, quite frankly, piss them off….it may be a book someday.  This blog is a more polished version of what I think  I know to be true.  Sharing back and forth with others is like frosting on my cake.

I find clarity in meditation and journaling….clarity and healing….  I’m seeking understanding about love and friendships.  From somewhere deep within me, I’m realizing that in spite of the parenting I received, I was unconditionally loved by a grandparent from both sides of my family..maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother.  This has been life changing for me…the little girl who grew up believing that love had to be earned.

Through the years, I’ve had a few faulty relationships with friends and family.  I have worn myself out trying to figure out why some of these relationships don’t work….so I started to simply analyze the relationships that do work.  Here’s what I think….those who have grown up with unconditional love are able to love themselves and are free to share that love with friends and family.  It’s just who they are.  Those close to me who have the same vacant love history also have the need and capacity to love when we are connected with respect and “unconditional” friendship that blossoms….and one step further those who are unable to love themselves and have not learned to trust or respect others, for whatever reason, are satisfied with superficial friendships and just do not have the ability to form honest, trusting relationships?  

I guess my bottom line is I must stop trying to earn love and friendship.  Relationships need to have the right ingredients to form and grow and for me, negativity is not one of those ingredients.

Your turn, Please!

After death

Death of a parent can really screw with your life.  For anyone who has had a wonderful, deep, loving relationship with a parent that has died, I know the pain is so great that you really wonder if you will survive.  The immediate overwhelming grief is incompacitating.  Sometimes after a parent has passed, intellectually we can feel relief that it is finally over and I’m speaking of long, painful or difficult illness and dying process.  Somewhere you  grasp the reality that you love them enough that you are thankful they are finally without pain and fear!

But there are others of us out there who do not have the wonderful, deep loving relationship with a parent.  These relationships are colored with many different crayons.  The reasons are many and very personal and obviously painful.  Death in these kind of relationships are difficult because the survivor’s grief is all wrapped up in the fact that this is the end….there is no turning back, or fixing the relationship mixed in with the emotion of not feeling anything at all.  Yet a devastating understanding that this is not how you are supposed to feel…knowing full well that your memories of the life you shared negates any real emotion you have about the death.

……my answer after my mothers death was to dig deep and work and work and work to find some peace within myself…understanding that she did the best she could do with what she had to work with.  Understanding that mental illness is not just an excuse but an actual disease.  Letting go of the painful negative and remembering the positive memories that are now able to be recalled.  8 years ago today, the healing began.  I still don’t feel a lot of grief in her death but I am able to feel some affection for the woman who raised me.  R.I.P. Mom.

Until next time.