wordweaverlynn: (therapy)
[personal profile] wordweaverlynn
After posting the link about learned helplessness, I took the trash out. The Bearcat was outside, frisky and excited to see me. I reached down to pet him, and he reared up like a circus horse to rub his head against my hand -- one of his more endearing habits. I'd take a few steps and he would romp along with me, pausing every few feet for more petting. Then as I withdrew my hand he sank his teeth and claws into my forearm, deep enough to draw blood -- one of his less endearing habits. He's just trying to get more love, but in a way guaranteed to instantly end the petting session.

I found myself in tears -- not so much from the pain, although it was considerable, but from the feeling, familiar from childhood, that I was being punished although I hadn't done anything wrong. In fact, I was being virtuous in taking out the trash, and kind in petting Bear.

Learned helplessness has been a factor in my life from the very beginning. I managed to escape through stories, but I still react very badly to situations in which I feel helpless or am punished no matter what I do. If the situation involves an impersonal force or an authority that's clearly inimical to me, it's relatively easy for me to keep fighting. After all, I have nothing left to lose. (Defiance R me.) However, if I'm put into a double bind by someone close to me, I can react with deep, even suicidal despair.

And this explains a great deal about my currently triggered state, The rug has been pulled out from under me -- my life has changed suddenly and painfully, I've been put into a difficult and polarizing situation that could easily cut me off frorm people I care about. And I cannot fix it, change it, influence it, end it. All I can do is endure while other people choose, react, and decide. For a control freak like me, that helplessness, that sense of being swept up in someone else's actions, is utterly wretched.

The feeling of helplessness is compounded by my injured hand. That definitely limits my options. I'm doing what I can to reclaim my agency: I've been using Dragon Naturally Speaking for NaNoWriMo, which is how I've managed to "write" so many words (and such a rough rough draft). I've also listed 100 goals to achieve in 100 days and am happily managing an Excel spreadsheet of goals ranging from the minor to the huge.

I will not let this defeat me.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-30 05:25 am (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
I think that involuntary helplessness was one of the absolutely hardest things for me about my recent protracted bout of unemployment. It wasn't anything to do with me, it was all subject to other people...New Job is very far from easy, but at least I can take actions that effect my life.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-30 07:20 am (UTC)
wild_irises: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
For me, learning that helplessness is part of me, and that sometimes I need to be able to feel helpless is a big piece. Kids are caught up in the idea of justice: I did something right so I shouldn't be punished. To some extent, I think feeling punished by the cat might be about being still young enough to believe in a day-by-day, action-by-action just world, despite all the evidence.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-30 07:43 am (UTC)
dubhain: (Dubh-barcode)
From: [personal profile] dubhain
Hmm... I get the association-thing with the cat and the 'punished for no reason' trigger. Ones like that are difficult to convey, because it's not about the cat, and it's not about the bite, except peripherally, and then there're tendrils that run to a rat's nest of all sorts of interconnected, interweaved experiences/memories/triggers/echoes that are incredibly snarled, but make a very clear holographic whole in your head. Or at least that's how it works for me. YMMV.

I'm slowly ramping down (it's only been a year and seven months) from triggering constantly, including having the triggers set off triggers in a whole fscking cascade of triggerfest-iveness that I never, ever want to go through again, to more-or-less just the big issues nailing me whenever I catch a glimpse of them.

The trick, in my case, or so I currently believe, is to adapt without succumbing. I don't know what it is for you. I wish I did. I'd wrap it up with a ribbon and email it to you.

All I can say is that for me, what's always helped more than anything other is to seek out beauty. Not possessions, but things which are beautiful to each of the five senses, and to the mind as well. (Not necessarily beautiful to all at once, but you get what I mean.) And try, wherever you might be able to, to replicate echoes of that beauty. That's currently my most difficult challenge, as I don't have space of my own, these days, not even a room I can call mine. That, and I insist that things will get better. Because I say so, and no other alternative is acceptable.

I sincerely hope your life gets better. I do believe you deserve it to do so.

Keeping you in my thoughts, and wishing you well.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-30 04:45 pm (UTC)
zillah975: From Elfquest, Cutter and Nightfall hugging when Cutter comes back into the desert, bringing Leetah, to save Redlance. (hugs hard)
From: [personal profile] zillah975
*hugs you so tight*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-03 04:35 am (UTC)
serene: mailbox (Default)
From: [personal profile] serene
Go, you. And as a self-love note: I wouldn't put "write" in quotation marks. The physical act of writing is not the essence of writing, and you deserve credit for every word. Just ask Guy. *hugs and love*

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