My 12 step sponsor just broke up with me. It freaks me out but I’m also relieved. Though feel nervous about talking to her. She left me a voicemail then I left one for her. What I am doing with the anxiety coming here and writing it down. I am really doing better and better all the time, with some troubles and recoveries and that happen on a faster time line than they used to. 12 step was so helpful to me at a time, but now I experience it mostly as stress- pressure. If I invert it on myself I will tell myself that it’s my fault that experience it as pressure. But that is adding pressure to pressure. I see more and more that the way out of knots is to relax, not to tighten more and ram through. I suppose 12 step was even good at helping me understand that, though I have not “arrived”…. I am experiencing pressure- and my experience counts. I don’t know that I really have much experience with relationships ending- at least not ending without dramatic happenings. So this will be different. And I am scared. I tried to tell my sponsor that, in DBT terms, working program was coming up as a should, not a want. And I have a million shoulds and need to tone them down. I suppose that’s its own little language and way of looking at things– but, to me, the DBT stuff is the instructions on how to *be* and my relationship with my therapist is very much primary in getting healthy, recovering. She wrote back to me that there are no shoulds in Al-Anon and that it was about whether I wanted what program had to offer, and if I wanted it I’d do the work to get it. It felt invalidating of my experience and she was hung up on her way of looking at things. Here- with two programs colliding I feel like I have no self but dbt/therapy is what I cling myself to. I don’t like the feeling of disappearing, but I do like that I feel safe with a program of self-care instead of clinging to a person who is bad for me and having no self there.
There are parts of my life that are still just so sensitive. And I have new experiences of managing all the time. Last week I made a mistake at work- I’m really not fire-able- but I was expecting my boss to be very angry. Shockingly, he wasn’t – at all. But when I went in early to try and fix things I made a trip to get supplies and was so full of feeling like I should be punished. Then walking down isles where I could buy tools. I didn’t do the behavior- but I thought about, instead, what I could buy myself that would be really nice to me instead. It was interesting. Calmed me down. And confused me. I’m confused about punishment. I guess that is the way of trying to resolve tension with more tension. But that’s the basic of how children are taught, how the whole society works. I don’t really understand though why it doesn’t seem to work too well on myself. I don’t know that it works well anywhere. And it makes zero sense that I would do something bad then reward myself. I don’t get it. ….And then too I could see a bit more of what happened that led to the mistake. I got way out of it in therapy the day before and was too un-relaxed and rebellious at the same time and doing something I knew I shouldn’t and feeling race-y and exhilarated by it and I screwed something up. Not quite a mystery. Where that rebellion needs to go is to insisting I have a self and I matter to my mother. I need to stick up for myself. It’s really, really hard. All week I’ve been sort of avoiding it and planned on working on an email today. (How not to experience the need as pressure…) I’ve been really nice to myself today. I got my first ever massage, which was scary and brave and feels like a new thing is open to me now. I bought myself some spring clothes, which I could totally afford. I bought more dental floss and mouthwash- dumb stuff like that- I’ve been out for a couple weeks and somehow freeze up on tiny self care things like- buy more. All of this to be nice to me and help me relax and work on the email- which will probably be all of four sentences long. Then the thing with my (ex)sponsor. I still haven’t writing anything to my mom. Maybe I’ll do it at the laundry mat. I was supposed to work on it with my therapist but it will be easier on my own- at least a draft on my own. And I need to tell my therapist something – I need to tell him- no exploring feelings around this incident- just focus on behavior. I can get through it like that and once it gets any broader I’m just lost and non-verbal. But I don’t even know how to tell him that. I’m confused all about protecting myself. My mom wrote my son a letter about someone who molested me, basically encouraging a relationship between them. When I write it out that seems pretty bad. I feel totally defensive of her. Totally denigrating of myself. I do really believe (I think) that I don’t have the right to interfere in other people’s relationships. Once I actually got the letter (I knew it was coming in advance) I actually felt better. I told my therapist- see! I’m not making it up. He said, who said you were making anything up. I guess I don’t know. He said that his message has been the opposite- that I am minimizing. I missed that message. I can’t wrap my head around anything. I feel like I led my mom on that I was going to let this person into my life. I did that by not standing up for myself more any of the past times she’s tried to get me to “make up” with him. He pov seems so totally reasonable to me. But my therapist says that that’s emotion mind when I see things her way and it’s emotion mind because there isn’t any logic there. ….Anyway – I don’t want to talk to my sponsor about any of this and 12 step is just wrong when people repeat the stuff over and over that you don’t get better if you don’t work the program. Wrong about not making meetings causing backslides. Backslides are generally caused by some not-fair instance in my life. I get closer to having just normal people problems. I loved, kind of, being stressed about a mistake at work because it’s just so banal and wonderfully simple of a thing to worry about. The only real problem is the urges toward self harm that happen in response to it- and those too I learn from, get better with. …. I think I can tell my mother that I am surprised by her letter. I feel like I should be angry, but I’m not. All of that is just directed toward me. But surprise is something I can work with…….