projection and the battle within

08450c_4cb0c2cf6160474aa6a1dfb3648c934f.jpg_srz_p_220_176_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzProjection is something that I sometimes struggle with, and something I have really struggled with the past couple of weeks.

I am learning more and more about what projection is and why I struggle with it; how projection relates to me and my work in therapy.

I read a wonderful article written by Morgan Sontag called “Things are not as they appear“. She explains how Projection is a defense strategy in which you unconsciously defend yourself against unpleasant impulses or feelings by denying their existence in yourself, while attributing it to someone else.

Basically in a nut-shell, projection is “blame shifting” .. not something done purposely, but it’s done when we feel so badly about ourselves that we turn how we feel thinking others feel this way about us.

A great example: I walked into therapy last Monday morning and the energy in the room didn’t feel right, and immediately I began thinking my therapist was acting like his normal self,  that he didn’t want to be in connection with me, that he was mad about something, and I felt his mood was off – something wasn’t right! Well . . . . in “REAL” this is how I felt about myself. It had nothing to do with my therapist, his energy was fine, he was big and open and actually he was really happy to see me – it was my projection trying to blame shift it on him.

When I looked back at where these feelings began for me, I realized that I woke up that morning not feeling good about myself, I didn’t feel good about the connection, the energy I felt inside was really blah, I felt emotions at the surface, not loving myself at all, so when I got to therapy, instead of owning those feelings as my own, I projected them “blaming the bad energy on my therapist”.

This is what projection is!

When I realized this is what I was doing, I was able to connect to my therapist and talk about it.

We have worked a lot around projection in therapy and he knows when I am struggling with it.

But it’s also important to know that not all times we feel this way is projection, there are also times when others do own their own bad energy or disconnection. There are times I go into session and my therapist falls short of being there fully connected, or the energy is off due to him, not me. It’s the humanness of the therapist/client relationship.. we are all human..

Learning about when projection happens is important and something I have to work with.

I do the same thing here at home with my husband. When I am feeling down or I am struggling with myself and how I feel about myself, or I am feeling in a down angry mood, I will project that onto my husband thinking “whats wrong with him? why is he not in a good mood?” .. it’s not him at all, it’s me! I am the one struggling with these self feelings, and that is when I need to take a step back and figure out where the feelings are coming from.

Projection is tricky, especially if you’re in the middle of the projection, because you can’t tell if this is “whats really going on”, or “is this how I feel about myself!?”

The past week or so I have really struggled with connection to myself and others and some of that is projection. I am working on it, but at the same time, it’s not a really good feeling to feel disconnected.

Half the battle is trying to figure out, “is it projection”, or “is there disconnect?” My therapist is REALLY good at helping me with reminders of what is real, what is truth, what the connection is that he see’s, and then that helps me to tell the difference between “am I projecting” or “do I really feel there is something wrong with the other person”

….. more times than not, its me projecting. There have been a few times it really wasn’t me, it was the other person, but most of the time its a projection coming from something and that is where I need to really work on where this is coming from and why.

Projection is a real tricky thing, and it can really get in the way of connection. A great quote on projection is

“We do not see things the way they are, we see things the way we are”

I am a bit frustrated! I have had a hard couple of weeks with self connection, and connection with others, and I am really hoping that this week I can fine tune what is going on inside of me, and really get re-connected to self and others.

I think I know what is going on, and I have hope that I will work with it this week with my therapist, and I know he is open to really help and support me thru this hard disconnect I have been struggling with. He is amazing when it comes to working thru things like this, I have no doubt I will figure this out.

I see projection as a self  “TUG OF WAR” .. a battle you have with yourself.

The frustrating part in this is, I haven’t felt this way in a long long long time.. so I am curious as to what is going on, and I am ready to work with it and figure it out!

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the love that surrounds me

SurroundedbyLovegoddesssmallcopyrigI dont even have words to describe the awe and gratitude I have for those who surround me and those who are a part of my life today.

I have had a very tough 3 days emotionally. I didn’t know why, or even how I was going to move out of it (as I have never ever felt anything like this before in my life).

I have had hard times before, and I have felt depressed on and off like situational depression to certain situations, but it was nothing like these past 3-4 days have been – this was hard stuff.

Tonight as I sit here, I feel warm and loved. I feel relieved that my therapist and I sat with this hardness today and came to an understanding of where it came from.

I sit here tonight and I am blessed that all day today I got texts and facebook messages from those close to me asking me how I was, and giving me hugs, prayers and good wishes – ALL of which were answered for me.

For the past 72 hours – since last Friday night I started to become VERY depressed. Tears and sobs found me to a point it was almost uncontrollable, and I didn’t understand it.

Each day it progressively got worse, and today in therapy session with my therapist was the worst; even to the point of my therapist having tears because he felt so badly that I was feeling so sad and withdrawn – and then it hit us both why.

I feel better tonight because I understand where it came from, and I was surrounded by LOVE, CARE, SUPPORT, COMFORT, understanding! I am blessed and dont even have the words to express how better I feel understanding the depth of where this came from.

I started to write my book last week and sent my editor 2 chapters of the book. One was called “The Closet” the other was called “Motherless” and Friday night I sent “The Closet” and Saturday night I sent “Motherless”. They were heart wrenching to write, but never did I think it would hit me so hard inside to the point of feeling every bit of those emotions like I have never felt them before.

I have talked about the abuse in my life before, but right now it feels so different because I am at a new level of my healing. I am feeling with no walls and no covers. I am here, I am healing, and I am also FEELING every bit of it. Which is SO new for me.

Almost like needing training wheels for emotions, I dont know how to be with emotions this big.

Today in session my therapist and I sat together and he held my hand, and then gave me a hug as I cried and cried and we figured out where the depth of this was coming from – it was coming from the chapters of the book that I NEVER EVER allowed myself to feel before with no walls.

Writing those chapters hit something deep inside of me that I never wanted to truly see with my eyes as wide open as they are now. I talk about “healing” a lot, but rarely do I write about the abuse, and when I wrote those chapters, it set off something inside and my therapist told me that all those very HARD RAW emotions that were sitting way deep inside came out and it hit me.

I have spent a lifetime hiding my emotions behind walls and only letting little bits and pieces out, but these emotions came ROARING to the forefront and I felt every bit of it. I dont know what it’s like to feel TRUE pain of emotions because I spent my whole life putting pieces of them behind walls.

I have now felt them to it’s fullest.

I think I cried more in the past 3 days than I have my whole life and that is no lie – to the point it made my therapist have tears and I found myself hugging HIM – it was THAT hard.

My therapist helped me to see that sometimes when we really touch something that we have kept inside for so long that we finally allow ourselves to feel, it hurts and it hurts so badly. It’s like DETOXING emotions – snot, tears, water, pain, GUNK, EVERYTHING deep inside coming out from inside – almost like a virus that needs to find it’s way out.

I was grieving and that is what happened in the past 3 -4 days. I was grieving for the parts of my story I was writing and it hurt.

I read a quote and it reads ” When you can tell the story and it doesn’t bring up any pain, you know it’s healed

I am not ready to write the book yet – there are wounds that still need healing before I can face this book head on. It’s not healthy to re-traumatize myself writing this book, this book is supposed to be written from the empowerment – not re-traumatized pain.

I have wounds still open and healing and I need to work more with this. I spent so much time writing and talking about healing that I dont spend time talking about the pain without walls.

My therapist and I both took a deep breath in relief over the phone a little while ago after a hard hard session. I am so blessed for him, he is such a wonderful therapist and I am so glad he was by my side every bit of the way this week.

I am so blessed for my husband who truly helped me and was there for me, and all the people who I shared this with.

I am putting the book aside until I can work with the wounds that are here. My editor is more than willing to wait as long as he has to, he wants to see this book take it’s stand. INSTEAD I am turning my blog into a memori book to be sold as a part of the journey to healing and I will share that with you in time as I plan it out more.

My therapist and I have decided to work more with what is going on deep inside; to work with the emotions that are now out from behind the wall, this is important and its a crucial part of my healing – this is where the GOOD healing happens.

I will know when I am ready – one step at a time. IT WILL Happen, it will just take a little more time than I hoped for.

I am relieved tonight to know what happened and how much love and support surrounded me around this. GOD is so good to me to put wonderful people in my life when I need them most.

The healing journey continues . . . . . and so doesn’t my writing

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the powering in just being

tumblr_mm4w2oe4vj1s8rc3io1_400I have spent a lifetime hiding behind “true emotions” and putting up walls of okay-ness.

I have spent more time in my life putting on a fake front and swallowing the true emotions of how I really feel just to protect others around me.

I ask myself – What am I protecting them from? that is a good question, I don’t know, I only know that however I am feeling needs to be put away because I need to be strong and how I really feel doesn’t matter.

or so I thought …

This past weekend I have come to accept and realize that it’s more work to hide my feelings and put up a front, than it is just to BE however I am feeling and let it be known by those around me.

I have found myself crying on a whim this weekend and I was confused as to why, but after reading a very insightful and supportive email from my therapist tonight, I know why –  I’m allowing myself to BE and that is painful, yet healing!

My therapist and I talked about something very big in session Friday and I opened up some pretty big wounds; wounds that were deep yet insightful. Wounds that were GOOD to open up, but hard to clean out and sit with.

Imagine how painful it is to sit with an open wound that is not yet healed? well that is what this weekend was for me after a big but wonderful session that we had Friday.

I went out for a car ride 9:30pm Saturday night and I was SOBBING while trying to drive, and I thought to myself “what the HELL is going on?” “WHERE IS MY WALL?” … and I realized I was crying because I needed to cry, I was feeling because I needed to FEEL and maybe that was okay.

Healing is happening this weekend even though it doesn’t feel that way.

My therapist explained to me in an email tonight that it makes his heart smile to know I am having a hard time, not because he doesn’t care, but because he knows healing is happening in what we talked about Friday. healing is happening because I am finding my self-worth enough to let those feelings be known and felt.

He always tells me “feelings and emotions are information NOT emergencies”.

I opened up to my support this weekend and I found it to be so much easier to just be open about how I feel, than to hide behind those true emotions and put up walls of okay-ness.

I felt better as soon as I talked about it. I felt better when my support came back to me with a very supportive caring email filled with hope. My feelings were known instead of it being held in. I feel better NOW vs waiting days and days until I have the courage to talk about it.

There is a lot of power in just BEING in the moment.

It’s not an easy lesson to learn when all I know is to hide behind my true emotions and put on a strong front. It’s like walking against the current.. it will take time to learn that it’s okay to be in the moment of how I feel now, let it be known, talk about it and trust I am supported in the openness no matter how hard it is.

My therapist once told me a long time ago that people are more drawn to authentic emotions and someone who is struggling rather than someone who is hiding behind emotions always feeling they have to be strong. He said “it makes me want to help you more when you lean into those true authentic feelings because I know healing is happening”.

I think this weekend has been a moment that I allowed myself to just BE how I was feeling and I reached out in that. It didn’t feel good, but in the long run it will create space for me to be how I need to be instead of hiding behind walls of okay-ness.

ON this healing path I am on I am learning so much about myself I never have known before. Everyday is a challenge both painful and joyful, and this weekend I have really learned that it’s more work to NOT BE than it is to JUST BE and that is powerful – that is healing!

I am HEALING and it’s so okay to feel the way I feel.

I have a big week ahead of me in therapy.. a lot of things I am working hard on, and I hope that I find the strength to continue to be in FRONT of the wall instead of behind it.

I feel better tonight because I decided to get out from behind the wall of “STRONG” and the wall of “OKAY-NESS” and say “Hey I feel sad, I feel tearful, I feel hurt, and I need a little support tonight” and I got it, and I was reached back out to, and I feel better. I was met with care, love and support from my therapist who made me see this is healing and I feel better knowing someone understands.

Maybe there is something to just being. Maybe there is more power in just being than I ever thought .. and MAYBE I can accept that it doesn’t mean I am dependent  it just means I NEED support sometimes and that is OKAY.

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