Friday, September 23, 2005

Fear, the Bogeyman

Three weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that all my pigeons had dumped me, except for L. in prison because she doesn't have much of a choice, and that I had better start trolling for more if I want to stay well. Mind you, their dumping me wasn't personal and I didn't take it that way; they either drank or thought they could stay sober on their own. Not everything is about me. (Smirk)

Interestingly enough, just days after my whine, I was asked by S. if I would be her sponsor. I jumped at the chance, of course, and it's been a daily grind ever since. This person has consistently failed at life skills of the relationship variety since childhood, because she was emotionally damaged at a very young age. She's insecure, reactionary, physically abusive and she lacks trust, but at two years sober she has learned to be trustWORTHY and helpful. That's a start, anyway. She calls me once, sometimes twice, everyday like she's supposed to, and she's working on and getting better (slowly) at calling me BEFORE she reacts negatively to her SO. It's almost like a newcomer who still obsesses over a drink - call someone BEFORE you pick up.

I have to micro-manage her emotional life. She needs that much help. I am loving every minute of it...well, ALMOST every minute of it. It constantly reminds me of how I was, what seems like, a lifetime ago.

I was shy, pouty, miserable as a kid, afraid of my shadow and afraid of being abandoned by my family. I felt inferior to my older brother, jealous of my sister, but felt pure love toward my younger brother. [Fascinating. I never really thought of that until now. The loving my little brother-part. I'll have to look into that. My first response is that he didn't pose as a threat of some kind, was just a loving kid].

I understand that, as a child, one places an overwhelming amount of dependence upon family members for the child's very survival, but at some point you would think that that same child would grow up and start to rely on him/herself, rather than cling to the notion that other humans are his/her life and breath.

I missed that part.

I was so full of fear. Afraid of abandonment, afraid of being alone, afraid of not being loved, afraid of dying, afraid of failing, afraid of being misunderstood, afraid of not being respected, afraid of not being noticed, afraid of being taken advantage of, afraid of betrayal...YOU get the picture.

The funny thing about that is that I didn't know that I was THAT fearful. I didn't know that my actions were the result of my fears. I was afraid of betrayal, so I betrayed. I was afraid of failing so I didn't try. I was afraid of not being respected so I was arrogant. I was afraid of being alone so I tolerated abusive relationships.

I was a selfish, self-centered person placing far too much dependence upon other people and their actions to dictate how I was going to feel. The insanity didn't stop there. I then BLAMED those other people for my misfortunes. What an existence! What misery! The thought never crossed my mind that humans are fallible; that placing them in such a high position and EXPECTING them to "fill me up" is doomed to fail.

Carl Jung once told a drunk that he needed a psychic change, or vital spiritual experience in order to recover, and added that the phenomenon is a "huge emotional displacement and rearrangement". Another way to think of this change or experience is; a profound alteration in one's reaction to life.

I've had such experiences. And they really are profound, because there are no words to describe just HOW the change took place. Practice, I suppose, and gradually, over a period of time, the changes manifested.

Working with S. paradoxically helps me stay well. In her I see where I once was and where I could be again if I don't continue self-appraisals. Working with her keeps me vigilant. I hope I can help her get well, but that can't be the most important thing for me, because of EGO. I'm just a channel. All I can do is show her what I learned, and the results are up to her. SHE has to do the work.


Blogger Rita Xavier said...

Great writing, Carrie. I'm still taking it all in.

September 23, 2005 9:44 PM  

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