I feel like I’m entering my body again.
I didn’t realize I didn’t feel that way. But I feel like my consciousness is coming into phase with my body, and I haven’t felt that way for a couple of years. I’m lining up with myself, my edges are clicking together. I am realizing how much fear and anxiety has kept me away from myself, and it has been so long that there is no longer any difference between “so scared that I can’t be in my body” and “I’m not in my body and that’s making me feel scared.” I think the first one was true, and then the second one joined in and they became a feedback loop all over each other.
The other day in therapy I was complaining about my ex still hanging around my friend group. (My fault for introducing him. Now they’re friends with him too, and I no longer feel safe in my friend group.) I mentioned that the only time I’d been able to describe what happened clearly and concisely was with my girlfriend-in-law (gfil). She wanted me to explain it to her the way I had explained it to my gfil, and I couldn’t. Not only that, but I started panicking and shut it down immediately. She asked me to think about it, at least, maybe write about it. So we could get it out into the room and look at it from all angles and really see it.
I promised I would but after that every time I thought about it I felt rising panic. At the same time, I ended my friendship with that guy a year ago around Thanksgiving. And I’m not much better. I still dread seeing him. I still want to avoid gatherings if I know he’s going to be there. And some gatherings are unavoidable. Waves and waves of anxiety. I want out of this, and nothing else has worked. I thought ending our friendship would end the trapped feeling, but it hasn’t. It helps, but it’s not enough. And now he’s starting to spend more time with my friend group and it’s making me want to disappear from it. My therapist said that she’d like to get me to a place where I can feel indifferent around him. Just feel nothing. She reminded me that I used to love him, and I felt sick. She wants to see how that relationship relates to my life story, my family story, my generational story. At this point I am so sick of being suffused with hatred I’d try almost anything if it would help. I would love to just not care, and at the same time it feels impossible.
So finally, I wrote about it in my private journal. I wrote until I made the connection between his manipulation of me and my having been brainwashed by the JWs. After I left them, my brain felt so vulnerable. I didn’t know how to think for myself, how to test whether information was true or real, or how to protect myself from psychological predators. Now, I don’t think of my ex as a predator, but manipulation is really the only way he knows how to deal with people, and I think it’s so ingrained in him that he doesn’t even realize he does it. He puts on a front to make people like him, and it’s a really kind self he puts out there. I even saw it early on, but when I brought it to his attention he denied it and even scolded me for thinking he was like that. If I had known then, I would have just distanced myself from him and we could have still been friends, from a lighthearted and safe distance. But I ignored my internal warnings and I ignored the concerns of my husband. As a consequence I spent a year being gaslighted, and when that was pointed out to me by another friend, the horror was so great that the only thing I could do was lock him out completely. He kept being kind to my face and telling me what I wanted to hear, but never following through on his promises (and he did promise). It made it so that my intuition would pick up on the truth and I’d bring it to him and say “hey I’m getting this thing from you” and he’d say, “No, no, that’s not true at all. I promise this and I promise that.” And I would believe him. Because why would he lie to me? (He would lie to himself.) As a consequence I spent a year being gaslighted, and when that was pointed out to me by another friend, the horror was so great that the only thing I could do was lock him out completely.
Through him I learned to stop trusting myself and to trust his words instead. Then he kept changing his words. It’s no wonder all his exes were crazy. He made them feel that way. I certainly started going crazy.
Because I *knew*. I knew what he wanted and needed, but he wanted to please me, so he denied it because he thought that was what I wanted.
It all directly correlates to the feelings I had when I stopped believing the JWs. Realizing I’d been brainwashed all my life, didn’t know how to think for myself or live for myself … the fear. The fear that your mind is an open flytrap and just anything could come in and take control. The spiritual concept of surrender does not feel safe after that.
That’s the thing that’s not going away. That gets resurrected every time I see him. That makes me feel hypervigilant, suspicious, and anxious. And very base lizard brain fear.
It’s the JW mind control issues that I need to heal from. If I can neutralize that terror, I can probably spend time in his space without significant anxiety. To achieve the goal of indifference and neutrality… right now it seems impossible.
After making that realization, I started to feel calm. And then the above phasing-in feeling started happening.
I had a wonderful day today with my gfil, doing christmas shopping. 🙂
My cat though. 😦 Sid has stopped eating. I have to get him to the vet. He’s eating small amounts… he ate normally on Thursday, less on Friday, small amounts on Saturday, and maybe only a few bites today, even after I gave him his favorite dry food. D: I’m feeling really anxious and it’s hard to enjoy my evening. He won’t even sit near me. He’s not interested in cuddling. Something is definitely not right 😦 I left a message at the vet. I hope they can see him tomorrow. I don’t want to leave him all day while I’m at the aquarium.