Apr. 20th, 2005

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I just finished reading What you Feel You Can Heal by John Gray, Ph.D. and learned so much more about what is wrong with me. I have so many repressed and suppressed emotions I need to deal with. No wonder I'm such a screwed up little monkey. I am also definitely backwards as far as I tend to follow the patterns that most men follow/are socialized into rather than those that women are normally socialized into. Men are usually socialized to believe that vulnerability, hurt and fear are not emotions that it is okay for them to express. Women are usually socialized that it is okay to express vulnerability, hurt and fear but not alright to express anger and hostility.

I have no problem with the anger and the hostility - I express those just fine. I do not express vulnerability, hurt or fear because I was socialized not to let other people see my weaknesses. I can see exactly where this comes from - it comes from my mother's side of the family. My maternal grandmother is the matriarch or the family. I have seen her express anger and hostility, but I have never seen her be vulnerable for even one second. She was and is a feminist who worked outside of the home even in the 50s when she had 5 kids at home. That doesn't sound like such a big deal to us today, but it was a pretty big deal back then. I think perhaps she learned to overcompensate for the fact that she was a woman in an era when women had to earn respect much more so than they do today.

My mother has inherited many of these traits from her mother even though she said she never wanted to be like her mother. Do you know that to this day I have never, not even once, not even when her father died seen my mother cry in front of me? NEVER. And you know, this is a side note, but I haven't seen Aunt Barb (my mom's only sister) cry during her husband Al's battle with cancer or after he died this past December either. I'm sure they do cry - I just never see it. I wonder if anyone sees it or if they always do it in private?

Well the cycle of repressed emotions ends here. I will NOT carry these destructive patterns on into the next generation any longer. So help me, as God as my witness I will find at least 2-3 safe, trustworthy people who I will let all my walls down around and be truly vulnerable and open with. I will cry on their shoulders. I will allow them to be there for me. I will acknowledge my weaknesses and my fears to them and let them do the same to me. I will be a safe person for them too, I will accept and love them and validate their feelings and help them work through those feelings rather than repress them. My name is Amanda and I NEED other people. I am not a rock, I am not an island. It is not good that man/woman be alone - God made us to be in relationships and gosh darn it I'm going to be more purposeful about finding good, healthy, safe relationships.
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I am now reading the Tao Te Ching for the 3rd time. I keep finding something new everytime I read it. And for the more conservative Christians who read this journal - I am also reading Matthew for what has to be at least the 10th time - don't get too scared. ;)
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This is a poem I wrote about 9 or 10 months ago. Something [livejournal.com profile] facetiae and I were discussing on her journal made me think of it. It does an okay job of expressing what I am and have been going through as to my own identity and what that means for my marriage. It's really weird to look back that far and realize I've been dealing with these issues for that long. It's not really a poem that I'm happy with - but then I'm probably only truly happy with about 1/10 of the poetry I write.

A Shadow Dies

I am sorry she had to die,
I know how you did love her so.
But she was such a tragic lie,
And therefore she just had to go.

I will not miss her like you will,
Will not shed for her one wet tear.
Do not regret I had to kill,
In order for the haze to clear.

She had to die so I could live.
She only lived because I slept.
She is the one who had to give.
Had it been me she would have wept.

Though I weep, I weep not for her.
She was but a shadow at best.
I weep for the dreams shared now blur,
Love now subjected to this test.
d_a_r_a: (Default)
I just got the most wonderful e-mail from my Daddy. It is so wonderful to actually communicate with him on a deep and vulnerable level. I actually gave him the url to this journal. Do you know what a huge step that is for me in learning to be myself and not seeking others' approval? I mean, because if there is one person whose approval I have wanted the most over the years it's Daddy. I am *such* a Daddy's little girl. Anyway, it took me over an hour and about 5 tissues to respond to his e-mail in kind. So the tears I'm experiencing now are a mingling of joy and sadness. Joy that my father and I are growing closer, sadness that we have wasted so much time being non-communicative on so many levels. Daddy, if you're reading this - this great big *HUG* is for you. I love you!

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