People are problem solvers. Everyone you meet has a bit of advice for this thing or that thing. Everyone can tell you what you should be doing and what you should want to do. Many times it is well intentioned and meant to be supportive and done entirely without conscious thought. However, for someone like me, it often leaves us feeling unheard, unappreciated, and as if there is something wrong with us for not wanting to do what we should. We are told, “Do what is right for you.” Then we hear, “Don’t stay in your comfort zone. Do what you have to do in order to change.” It may be uncomfortable but it is time
we I become comfortable with the uncomfortable. Why? How does this serve a purpose if we, if I, am unhappy? I am tired of feeling uncomfortable 99% of the time. I want to feel safe and secure and in control and comfortable enough to be uncomfortable. I’m not there yet.
There was a long time when I hated public speaking. I still do not love it and have a hard time with it, sometimes a very hard time with it, but throughout this program, over the past few years, I’ve become a lot more comfortable with it. I can talk in front of my classmates with much greater ease than I used to, especially if I am interested in and enthusiastic about the topic. It has taken time. So I feel like I am in the same situation now. There are all of these things I should be doing, and should want to do, and should do no matter whether I like it, feel comfortable, or not. Just like when people told me about public speaking, “You just have to get up there and do it.”
I recognize that avoidance only perpetuates the feelings of discomfort but until I find a better way to deal with those feelings of discomfort my attempts at confronting it will be limited. One thing I can say is that it has gotten ever so slightly easier to stand up for myself over the last couple of months. Again, I’m not where I want to be yet. I do not like to feel badly about wanting to do what I want to do, rather than what everyone else says I should want and need to do. There is this part of me that thinks/ feels, “Yeah you can accuse and blame, call me resistant, roll your eyes at me, get frustrated because I am not doing what you want me to do. But fuck you; I’m going to do what I want to do and what I need to do for me.” And if that means I’m resistant and refusing growth then so be it. I’m tired of doing what everyone else thinks I should be doing and I am tired of feeling badly about not wanting to do those things.
Huge flashback to an ear doctor’s appointment when I was little. The doctor had to remove a tube from my ear that allowed fluid to drain from behind my ear drum. It’s a common enough procedure for kids who have a lot of ear infections. After a while the tube falls out of the ear drum and lays inside the ear canal until the doctor goes in with a pair of tiny tweezers and plucks it out. So the doctor at this one appointment reaches in with his tweezers to remove the tube from my ear canal. Unfortunately, the tube had wax build up around it and had attached itself to the tiny hairs inside my ear. Needless to say, the removal of the tube this time felt like tiny knives had just exploded in my ear. The next time I go to this doctor and the tube in my other ear has to be removed I would not let him touch me. I mean I totally flipped out I became as strong as a bodybuilder on steroids in an effort to hold my Mom and the doctor off. I would not calm down. I told my Mom she could beat me and starve me but I would not let that doctor near my ears. Looking back on it I totally had a trauma reaction. In an effort to protect myself, rationally or irrationally, I would not do what they wanted me to do. Eventually they realized they were not going to be able to get anywhere near me and plans had to be made for me to be put under anesthesia just so that the doctor could reach into my ear with a tiny pair of tweezers to get the tiny drainage tube, about the size of a couple of grains of rice, out of my ear canal. Looking back on it, I’ve felt guilty about the time, expense, and effort put out for something that could have taken 5 seconds in a doctor’s office.