March 29, 2016

Joy and Play~

"The real joy of life is in its play. Play is anything we do for the joy and love of doing it, apart from any profit, compulsion, or sense of duty. It is the real living of life with the feeling of freedom and self expression."  Walter Rauschenbusch 

March 24, 2016

Taking Your Work to the Big Tent

While I belong to a very helpful list serve in EA (Emotions Anonymous), it has stricter boundaries than I sometimes need.  Truly, I find it really helpful to fellowship with others who have AA, NA and Alanon experiences.  That's when I take my work out into a member-initiate list serve for 12-steppers that is housed in the Big Tent.

When I need to share a finished work, complete with cited quotes, that borrow from Sister program (or inspirational authors outside of program),  I take my work out into the world out of the small tent of EA's top down list serve, into a bigger, softer, member-initiated Tent.  We still have good boundaries, but they flex to allow signature quotes and a group conscience vote when needed.

I have a choice and so do you.  We are an autonomous accepting group of Emotions Anonymous members who dare simply to be ourselves and co-create a recovery method that is no holds barred.  Ask me about how to join a tolerant program that interweaves problems with people, substances, places, things and emotions.

If you'd like to the next step and participate daily in a path to emotional healing, using EA's Twelve Steps, please join us our autonomous group on Big Tent at

March 23, 2016

When I paint outside the lines

What does it mean when I find myself using outside quotes in my shares?

Well, in one autonomous group online, it means absolutely nothing. In fact, it is welcomed.

In the other, official online group that represents the highest level in our hierarchy, and where we are not allowed a group conscience vote, to use a quote and give credit to the source, is to be in violation. 

I am trying to mention our autonomous group on this official forum, as God knows, we all need a place where we can learn to do group conscience votes, and the online group on Big Tent is the place to do it. 

I don't do too well with Catch-22's, but I am in one. I am not allowed to use outside quotes, even if they are quotes from long-dead authors that are only complementing my own share and thoughts.  I am also not allowed to mention the existence of the autonomous group on Big Tent in this larger forum. Our group on Big Tent is smaller, has lower email volume and encourages deep thinking and real discussion that we cannot do on the master list serve. I only want to mention its existence once a month or so, but no, I am not given that privilege.

I would grant that privilege to others on the smaller list serve. We are free to mention the Eanon list serve in our shares.

I don't want to understand how my desires are wrong; after all, it would help the master list serve to have others participating more frequently in smaller forums. 

Oh well, I must stop beating my head on this one...

Love, V

March 21, 2016

Making peace with Nada, through self-acceptance

What does it mean if I accept that my own mother cannot give me the love I need or needed?

It means that I musts do this work myself-- take time to love and nurture that part of me that needs her love and acceptance. It means I take time to embrace the fairness in loving myself in her stead. It means that in the end I will strive for a sort of forgiveness of us both.  I wish I had known more fully that it was OK to admit my mom was narcissistic, a long time ago, so I could heal earlier. I must accept and forgive my denial, and find my way to look for the good in me.  I need to find ways to have that love given to me by others who are genuinely caring mothers and who find nothing wrong with me.  Or if they do find things wrong, they chose to engage my strong qualities when they address the lacks, so that my strong characteristics may endure the time of grief that lies ahead, in practicing acceptance.

What it first means to me, when I see that my birth mother, who raised me, was so lacking in her ability to love me as I needed, is that I am left knocking on a door that won't be opened. It means I get tomatoes thrown at me every time I engage with her on this truth.  It means I had to confide to others about my mom and have the fact that I was not given what I needed be validated by someone else.  It meant that I only selectively shared my truth with my mom, at times when she admitted her inadequacies. I tried hard not to rock any boats.  But of course, I was always taking a chance when I agreed with or accepted mom's apologies. So I learned to be cagey.  What it meant was that when my mom admitted an error I often held my breath, held the message and wrote it up privately or told the story to a friend or myself or to my husband. In this way, I moved forward.

Do I struggle with what it means to me that my om did not give me what I need? Do I struggle with acceptance? You had better believe I struggle with both.  When I think about what it means to me that my mom did not give me what I need, I wonder if I am worth giving it to myself. In fact, I have no clue as to how to give myself what I need. It is like those words are written in a different language.  I like to think I have given my son what I needed, but now that he is a teen and turning away from me, I wonder if I really can care about him. He seems to want me not to care, not to intrude, and yet, there he is, in his room, needing more stimulation than I can give him.  Was it like that for my mom. Is all her technicolor accusations of my being a bad daughter, based on regrets she has about herself as a mom, back when I rejected what she tried to give me as a teen?  Boy did she do a confusing job, neglecting me and then smothering me.  I find I don't even want to talk about this~


March 20, 2016

Recovery, One Paragraph at a Time

I spent nearly two weeks in hospital, back at the close of the year.  I'm setting an intention to write about that, rather than hide beneath the covers or hold it in extreme secrecy.  

My nada nearly hissed when she told me not to share the story with anyone.  I can still listen to those messages from voice mail, if I want to.  The long and the short of such messages is that sharing my journey with "people"  (presumeably people who know us both), is "embarrassing." It was after the word "embarrassing" that I can still hear the hiss. 

I'd rather tell my story than my mom's story of my illness.  Scary as it is. 

March 19, 2016

Silence could be golden if we find it...

"You don't care about your aged parents," she said to me. No, my nada did not say, "aging." She said aged.  That "early" boat back to her had set sail and was long gone.    And she and dad are now aged.  There is no way to be witness to an aging process, if they are already aged, like some cut of meat.

I am slowly finding self-forgiveness for the lapse of 13 years and counting, from our last face-to-face meeting. 

One of the main stumbling blocks to having any kind of face-to-face visit with my mom is that I don't know how to just BE with her.   I find my mom hard to relate to.  To even imagine being in the same room with her, in peace, is impossible.  I cringe.

Can I be with her when I feel berated?  Can she be with me, when I am finding fault with her?  Would she rather have a bad relationship with me, than none at all?

What if I begin by imagining companionable silence with her on a phone?   That could be our starting place towards creating a relationship, instead of being something to fear.   Companionable pauses.  Like the ones I experience in Gendlin's Focusing.

March 18, 2016

When Program Doesn't Seem to Work

These days my program is not "working" for me. I seem to be stuck between scenes, and unable to access my life in a meaningful way. I don't feel real. Is there hope for me, I ask myself?

What can I use of my old program tools, the ones that I once placed such faith in?  I used to be able to write in a way that others related to. Now I just feel like I ostracize myself.  I feel alone in a self-made world.  

My mom, in a spirit of honest communication and interest,  asked me yesterday if I take my writing outside the house. Do I do my writing in a place that is separate from home sweet home?  Do I use this as a way to escape phone calls? 

In my old home town, the answer to this question was "yes, as much as I can."  These days I don't feel like any public space suits me for writing openly. I am afraid of being seen. I am also afraid of what will show up on the page, so I frequently write directly into prose to share in posts or to share here on my blog, without editing. In this way I assure myself that I DO write.  While I don't get many replies to my posts, at least I am writing occasionally.  I can see and reread what I write and it has some sense of permanence. 

Truth be told, I really need a friend. I also need to find a way to be a friend, to myself, to my mom and to my husband and son.