I didn’t write over the weekend. That’s okay. I really took care of myself over the weekend. I did some work tasks, but they were all low-priority compared to having some R&R!
I want to write about an event which happened this last Sunday. My brother M. and his girlfriend J. were over for dinner, and I tried to step out of my comfort zone and talk to J.
I started the conversation with her watch. “J., Is that an Apple watch?”
“No it’s a samsung xyz“
It was then that I began to panic. My brain jumped to a flight response for some reason. I had the urge to look down at the table and not say anything else, but we were in the middle of a conversation and I didn’t want to just let it drop.
“Does it track your steps?” I worked up the courage to ask.
J. explained that it did, and that she had 2 or 3K steps so far that day, mostly because she was lounging at home so far.
I didn’t know what else to say. The conversation went back to me and I just had a brain meltdown. Nah, meltdown is the wrong word. I had a shame spiral. I had the flight response. I was beginning to sweat. I honestly couldn’t think straight but I was thinking straight enough to be mindful about what I was feeling. In that moment, I was trying to do detective work and figure out what the HOT THOUGHT was. What was I thinking in that moment which sent me to a shame spiral?
In the moment, I literally could not think about what the hot thought was. I could not think of anything other than wanting to end the conversation or run away.
So yeah, that was an awkward conversation and I don’t know why I shame spiralled. I could ask other things, but I didn’t. I could change the subject if I was out of things to talk about regarding smart watches, but I didn’t.
Well I tried, but I want to try again in the future and do better in the future. What could I have done differently?
Well first of all, I don’t want to shame spiral for no reason. I think a common problem I have when conversing with people is that I put myself in a position where I NEED to see them react positively in response to what I’m saying.
I think some mental detachment would be what I need to get past this. In the moments when I’m meeting someone new or talking to someone that I don’t know very well and am uncomfortable around, I want to detach my state of mind from the person’s responses. I don’t want to feel bad when the person disagrees with me. I don’t want to feel bad when I feel like I can’t relate. I don’t want to feel bad when the person is angry about something.
That’s their shit, not mine. I’m doing pretty good overall, and I don’t want that to suddenly change and my mental well-being goes to zero just because that person is different than me.
Let me practice some affirmations real quick. Something I can say to myself in the moment when I am talking to someone, and feeling my calmness slip away.
“I’m a badass motherfucker.”
“I got this.”
“I’m just talking.”
“I want to know how they think. It’s okay if we’re different.”
“Anything they say is their opinion.”
“I hope they have a great day.”
Ok those last two were not really affirmations.. But that’s okay. Maybe the second to last one was, but the final one was more a, “Love and Kindness” meditation.
Yeah, I still don’t know what the hot thought was. I’m thinking I’m blocking it. I think it has something to do with beautiful women. I’m thinking it has to do with my idea that being with women and talking to them is not something I do, and not something I can do.
It’s like… I tried when I was younger, and failed, so I have to give up now because I guess it’s just not for me.
I’m talking about sex and mating rituals. Dating.
Oh my god, just thinking about dating brings up a whole bunch of shit. Shame shit. The kind of shame shit that my parents instilled in me to where I thought that I could not date. I can never date. I am not allowed to date or have a sex drive or be with a woman or touch or hold hands or kiss or fuck.. That’s not allowed and I will be physically punished if I want to do such a thing, think about such a thing, or do such a thing.
Well, I undid a lot of the mental programming from my childhood regarding the omnipotence of my father and how it is my duty to have blind loyalty to him. That idea extends to the sky ghost, the father to the father.. And I will be smitten and sent to hell and shit if I don’t OBEY.
I undid that. I’m grateful for that. But it’s not like it’s a permanent thing. I could relapse if I didn’t take measures every day to work towards re-parenting myself, dismissing bad ideas, and asserting my own idea of my future.
I suppose there will probably be a time when I have to face the shame of liking beautiful women. LOL I’m in this strange place right now, where my anime waifus are not quite human in appearance, and that somehow skirts around the no-fly-zone of being attracted to the opposite sex.
I think it might be a loophole in my brain. Human women, NOT ALLOWED. Anime waifus, Okay!
Yeah. That’s going to be something I’ll deal with. I’ll get there. I don’t need to rush or anything. For now, I’m working on my social anxiety, aaaaaandd…
Wait a minute, I think I gotta deal with the shame regarding women, in order to have shame-free conversations with women!
Fuck. I was hoping I could not deal with it. I was hoping that there would be something else I could work on!
But no, I think I do gotta deal with that. That’s the problem right now. That moment of shame was not something I could deal with in the moment! I was not able to do detective work because I was freaking the fuck out!
I’m going to bring this up with my therapist. But again, I have to deal with this. I. My therapist can’t solve this for me, she can only act as a supervisor to my thought streams.
It’s my brain that is experiencing the shame, and my brain that has the shame triggers. Fuck!
Yep. Okay. Well, I got a new goal, I guess.
Reduce the shame trigger of being around and talking to attractive women.
Well, today is a good day. I rode my bike down to Fred Meyer, got some bananas, a GF/V burrito, a coconut water, and bag of fritos. The bananas were for me, and everything else was for my sister K., who didn’t show up for dinner last night due to being ill.
Once I got back to my bike at the bike lock, I wrote a little “get well soon” note on a piece of paper, and put it in the bag.
I rode over to my sister’s house, intending to sneakily leave the bag on her doorstep, but her dogs alerted her of my presence, and she came to the door and said hello.
I handed her the bag and we talked for a few minutes. She seemed concerned of passing the illness to me, so she covered her face with her sweater.
Apparently she’s working from home. I didn’t mention it in the moment, but now I’m thinking that it’s kinda fucked up that she is working when she’s ill!
I guess if it’s her choice to work, that’s all fine and good. But hopefully she gets the rest she needs!
I made a mistake in our conversation. At one point she said she was describing her symptoms. She was feeling achey and I wanted to say, “at least you’re not hospitalized.”
I only got out, “at least” but then I wanted to ask a different question and I said, “do you think you’re getting over it?”
The mistake was saying, “at least xyz.” That’s something to say to diminish people. I learned that from Brene Brown and my therapist…
I don’t always need to have some response. I can say, “I’m sorry to hear that” or “I don’t know what to say but thank you for telling me”
Fuck! well, I’m glad I caught myself saying that. I think “At least” is going on my list of banned words/phrases. They’re words that are easy to say because it’s learned habit, but they’re often rude and they build an intimacy-proof wall between myself and the person I’m talking with.
- At least
WOW. Those three words together form the start of a sentence!
“You” is often rude. It’s rude to use, “you” when I’m with a person and I know their name.
“Should” is part of an unhelpful thinking pattern. “Shoulding and musting.” “I should go to the dentist.” “I should fix that.” Using should in this way is not helpful. It is a thinking pattern that that only contributes to shame.
“At least you still have…” Rude. Not helpful. This puts me in a position of judgement, instead of being with the person in their moment of suffering. Saying shit like, “at least you still have…” is the opposite of being empathetic.
I think this would be a great time for me to re-read I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown. I still have the copy I was loaned by my therapist. I forsee holding onto it until the fear of coronaviruses normalizes to a historical level.
I hate this. I hate how things are going. I hate how restaurants and small businesses are going bankrupt. I hate the fear. I hate the masks. I hate the fear! It’s the fear that is the most annoying thing! And it’s not even my fear, it’s the fear from other people that is driving them to be hateful or violent or .. IDK
lol, I just said I hate how (blah) and then I said I dislike how people are being hateful. I was being hateful by saying that. So I hate that I’m hateful? IDK. This is a confusing train of thought.
Anyway, there are vaccines now, so I apprecate that people who are fearful can have this thing that they can stick in their arm and have some solice.
But really.. Ugh. Just be healthy. That would be my solution to this situation, if I were in charge, and if I could influence people… Then we could have just kept doing what we do and not let the economy do this strange thing that it’s doing…
Anyway, I am using a not-helpful thinking style, methinks. I don’t even know what the unhelpful thinking style would be. I’m trying to change the past, which is not helpful and all that shit.
Ok my brain is going sideways because I’m ready to eat dinner! 6:30PM. I listed on eBay earlier. I’m going to do some code stuff after I eat. Oh yeah, it’s monday so I’ll also be queueing this week’s daily tweets.
But now! Affirmations! More of them! And also gratitude.
I’m grateful for Junirai. Today I had a beautiful moment where I felt peaceful and in-sync with the video I was following along to.
I’m grateful for my bicycle. It’s truly a life changer having this asset available to me.
I’m grateful for Amazon! As much shit as the company gets, I’m routinely enriched by the wares which I receive from their fulfilment centers and I appreciate the people who work to make that rich supply chain possible.
47. My goals and my passions are beautiful. Err, mean, badass!
28. I choose to see the good in the people I interact with today.
27. I keep going because I believe in myself.
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