A couple of years ago I was still pretty raw. Trudging through the feeling of insanity -I didn’t feel “connected” with people. Feeling angry with not being able to get ppl in my life to respond, have compassion and identify with the angst I was trying to convey to them. Oh, this is not new, it goes wayyyy back to my littlest expression of myself. As a toddler, throwing a fit to get someone to notice what was wrong… but no-one was there for me, just empty shells around me, human forms with unavailable hearts. No-one met me in my fury. Instead. spanking, isolation, distraction or denial of my reality “here, it’s not broken” 😳 as the doll’s head was jammed back onto its body- facing the WRONG direction. Or, “go to your room and be quiet and the rash might get better” Oh, fucking brilliance. This was the response of my parents, siblings. There was no room for my angst, fear, real problems, joy or inquisitive nature. No room for ANY of it, any of my emotions – I learned to just absorb what others wanted me to do and display what THEY thought was an appropriate reaction. I grew masterful in sensing what other people wanted and to go with that, leaving my own needs in the next town over.
As I grew, because I was such a brilliant human in a sea of fucking stupidity, LMAO, I figured out that what I felt, thought and wanted were flawed and it was MUCH safer and sane 😳 to go with what other ppl dictated – as correct for me. These were my NEW needs, my new existence, one that might get a reaction from people I lived with. This brilliance – to just adapt or I might not make it out – was perfect. I’m here, wrong this so obviously I made it out but only a fraction of my original self was visible.
No wonder why I had to kick, scream and otherwise rise up in my body and cause a scene JUST to get someone to listen and connect with me in an honest, present way. I didn’t want shit solved or made better. I understood that some things in life were not “fixable” and sometimes things just plain sucked. I GOT THAT PART, TRUST ME. It would have been ok if THAT very truth was ever confirmed. Actually, it would have been beautiful, but nope.
So today, after years of being a trained dog… conditioned to rise up in my body, energy all in the upper 3rd of my physicality, must get hysterical, emotions swirling, in order to get a need met….I finally, really, can make sense of how this pattern was birthed.
7 years ago, I met my most favorite therapist ever. She has been an amazing force in my life after a string of substandard LOONEY bins. Honestly, she had helped me deeply transform my life.
When I saw my lovely human therapist, for a while there was a common theme – nobody understands me with regards to healing, with doing what’s best for me, with accepting me as I am, with how I’m no longer tolerating certain ppl or situations in my life, with how I’m not happy all the time 😑, I couldn’t get anyone to react in a “normal” way (listening, reacting, ask a question, don’t change the subject, or otherwise tell me how I should be different). So many tears for so many years. So much suffering over shit I have NO control over. Does make you feel bat-shit crazy after a while.
The voices in my head trying to get my attention, trying to “help” me 🙄. Those voices are trying to keep me small, trying to get me to close my mouth, stay isolated, doubt my intuition. Victimizers (those little bastard voices from within) were alive n well. Tearing a hole in my heart every time I made a move to -go for my life- and break an old f’d pattern of behavior. Telling me “why are you making such a fuss?”, “just shut up, nobody cares about your opinions”, “you look crazy, and desperate, trying to get people to agree with you”, “all your family members seem to have let go of the past and you’re a loser cause you can’t”, “ you’re the problem”. Wow, hmmmm all those words have a striking alikeness to the bullshit I was sold 47-25 years ago. 😳
Instead of giving in to the insanity I was destined to be—- My therapist, the saint, the brilliant woman that she is…taught me to use a YARDSTICK.
A YARDSTICK you say? WTF. Now, it’s not what you think. I ain’t gunna go beating anyone with a yardstick – although that’s a delicious fantasy – there’s a more effective, life-long use of it.
The pain I was feeling was a result of wanting something different from people who were (and still not) able to meet me where I was (am). So, she spoke to me, “for instance, say you were thinking about telling your sister that you used to be so scared at night thinking that someone was going to come into your room and harm you.”
In order to figure out if telling your Sister would be the best choice -First, you need to think about what you already know about your sister… How likely would it be for you to feel comforted, supported and heard by her? ENTER YARDSTICK
Ahhhhhhh, the yardstick of compassion. “If I had a yardstick here right now, where, on this yardstick would your sister be, in terms of compassion?” So I replied, maybe 2 inches… and I sat back and thought for a minute. So, I began, I am asking my sister to meet me in my fear, my aliveness, my sadness, etc.. when she is FAR FROM BEING EQUIPPED to do so.
“That’s right.” my therapist added with a smile. “You cannot give what you do not have.” I repeated this, YOU CANNOT GIVE WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE. YOU CANNOT GIVE WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE.
Oh, you can fake it, yes, you can fake compassion, but energetically, it’s going to fall flat and further frustrate the recipient. I often can sense this “fake compassion” in people, and pray for them. The more layers we heal in ourselves, the more we are able to sniff out the fakers, the do-gooders, the saccharin sweet positivity oozers who are really pretty empty and unaware 😔. I think the song the big empty – by STP is coming to mind. I’ve healed to the point that I can feel this disingenuous energy. This slippery “as if” cover up that’s rarely purposeful but also rarely helpful when you’re looking for REAL.
So get yer yardsticks out folks, it’ll save you a truckload of hurt. Ask yourself, self…. where is he/she on the yardstick of compassion? If the answer is low – well then tailor your communication with that person, as such. Those I deem low on the yardstick – only receive brief, shallow comments from me, with lightness and frivolity sprinkled about…LMAO, just the way they want life to appear. Hell, I deserve some fun too 🙂
If they are pretty high on the yardstick, the expectation/odds of having a true connection and being heard, are pretty high and I share freely with them. My entire family of origin is barely represented on the yardstick. So rather than chase, and hope, and dream, and pray that they “get me” I have chosen to have little to no contact.
THEIR yardsticks….. make better tomato stakes in my garden. 😂