who's the ECL?

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm not BAD evil, more like devil's food cake evil.

Friday, July 07, 2006

First Impressions

Tonight in the class that I learned we were having two days ago, we got to do a little walk down memory lane. Bascially, our teacher wanted us to talk about our impressions of the person immediately to the left of us when we first met, and how we thought they had changed since then. Mind you, we've all known each other for at least seven years.

And what people said about me? "The same, only deeper."

Which is great and cool in many ways, but me being who I am, I would have liked a long(er) discourse on how I've changed.

"The same, only deeper" implies one of two things: 1. I was already expressing who I am at my core, pretty much. 2. I'm still not very close to expressing who I am at my core.

Later, our teacher gave us her first impressions of each of us, and how she's seen us grow. And she said about me: "I saw a scared little girl who was very afraid. With some really old issues."

With some really old issues.

Like, past life old? Or just deep seated since I was a youngin' old? Like what are we talking about here?

I do have some deep seated issues, that I really wasn't that aware of. It's stuff that needs to be addressed, and I finally think I am ready to do it. I have to say, I am pretty good at processing through stuff if I'm ready for it. I've had a lot of practice.

Anger is the emotion that I feel the most. Only because right before I get angry, I'm either hurt, disappointed, let down, sad, worried, broken...and so to protect myself I get angry. And then I often lash out a little bit, especially if there is a person whose words or behavior triggered those feelings, and that person is still trying to interact with me.

The degree to how much I lash out has decreased quite a bit over the years, which I am grateful for. But there are still times, when I feel backed into a corner, I'll hiss and spit like a pissed off badger. Not good times.

Last night I realised that maybe part of the reason why I barely feel the real emotion before jumping straight into anger/protect mode is because anger was the only emotion in my growing up home that seemed to get attention and respect. All those other emotions, at least it seemed to me, got ignored or not treated well or something. But anger, everybody paid attention to anger. Anger was power. Anger was how you respond to stuff. People listened to you when you were angry.

Isn't that sad, that as a very sensitive little girl I learned that people paid attention to my anger, not my grief? And isn't it more sad to think that's probably how it was for both of my parents, too? How far back in our families does that pattern go? How many generations of pent-up grief am I carrying around on my back--how many of my ancestors are whispering, "don't cry, don't be weak, get angry, get them back--it worked for me."

Well, let me tell you, ancestors. This anger thing doesn't work for me at all. And I bet you, it didn't really work for you either. Stop whispering that stuff in my ear, stop pressing on my heart like that. I am going to deal with my own issues around anger and protection, and I urge you all to do the same. Because I won't be carrying your issues around for you anymore. I love you, but if we're going to have a relationship here, it's got to be more equal. Mkay?

Mkay.