Friday, April 16, 2010

Years ago

I watched a documentary as part of an unfinished psychology a-level course. In it was a brilliant pianist whose short term memory had been shot to pieces as the result of some tragedy. He continually wrote in a diary, "Now I am conscious, today I have awoken!" Struck me, my blog is a little like that. Maybe that's what staying in the present is all about?

Talking to my mum the other day about her paranoid delusions, I noticed that whereas her delusions of paranoia were bad, and mine of self are normal, both are deluded. But it's easier to say mum's are than mine.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Lost World of Tibet (rare footage of Tibet in 1930s) 1/5

Posted in another blog and reposted here. A great line in it, about "seeking to understand the true nature of life through morality, method etc". I finally got off my mental block and wrote to the Lama, and he has written back advising me to be open, mindful to what's going on whilst remaining in the present as this will be the teaching I need right now. Couldn't really get a grip on it, which is a good thing, as it all needs to filter down, sometimes the slower the better. But it resonates with the above from that film, ties it together a bit more for me. Still very much a work in progress, incoherency is needed here to allow room for growth.

D is being wonderful atm, mainly because she is better and we have been able to Leave The House. Huge improvement in mood for us all. Reading the Compassionate Mind I remembered the problems I had asserting myself over my staff in my previous work, and realised that my fear of self assertion predates Deborah. Its a huge burst of relief that I can put my mental finger on the tangible thing that it is not D I am afraid of for triggering my anger, but it's my own inherent fear of those feelings arising. The sick feeling I have had for an awful long time of Deborah's life, the fear of being her mum and letting her down and destroying her childhood is actually my own fear of my own anger. Hooray to know that. It's been a lot easier with D, not being frightened of her strangely enough... I am much more assertive, I say the same things I said before, just with a clearer, more definite edge to my voice. When I have lost my temper, it's not been as bad, it's easier to pull back from and I don't feel so much guilt in it, just human.

It's also lovely, as I am starting to see how wonderful both my kids are. M is just starting the toddler, self determined phase, and it's great because because so far, I am not as phased by it. This will come though :)

I bought the kids new shoes yesterday - D danced down the road in them, and M copied her when out of his buggy. Long may new shoes and the joy of the moment make them dance.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Three little words - coil, assertion and compassion.

I think the most important one here is compassion, I think it's what's helped me through the last five months of hormone hell, and I think it's what's giving me the courage to strike out and keep pushing forward. "Gone, gone, going on beyond" anyone?

Haven't read the Heart Sutra for a little while, but I just remembered I have the bodhi awake bit inscribed on the inside of my wedding ring and am feeling deeply moved and humbled and grateful to my teacher. He didn't have anything to with that, its the living Dharma link that is so profound and beyond my expression - see I'm tongue tied!

Somehow, it does all tie up together - even when I am so confused and self disgusted and terrified of oblivion, even them I am still feet on path, one step at a time, awakening.

And I was going to post about how the coil has removed my pms symptoms which is so, so so fabulous, how being more assertive and less fearful with D is working wonders for our relationship, about how I still struggle, but can cope so much better with that, knowing that it's a work in progress and will never be perfect, except in many ways it probably already is. Or at least it's providing us with the right conditions for learning and training.

I'm amazed and grateful.

Friday, April 02, 2010

A Compassionate Mind

by Paul Gilbert Excellent read and one that is expanding horizons. More on those in a minute. This book is lovely for me right now, as I simply cannot cope with the concept of karma and rebirth. Yes I believe they are probably true, but the thought of my foulness towards my kids having repercussions beyond this life time is horrendous. Plus a very judgemental view of Buddhist practice and one lacking in compassion and overloaded in guilt. So not a useful debate to have right now, when I am needing to get to the bare bones of it all and got on with it. The it is deliberately vague here.
Working on the exercises form the book atm, not too hard as not surprisingly my meditation practice encompasses them anyway. I am being terrified of my parental archetypes at the moment, so the book is useful as I can kind of sidetrack all of that briefly whilst empowering myself to deal with it. This fear of parental archetypes is pretty big with me. The following is from one of the mirroring exercises.

1. Fear of failure/fear of succeeding - or why I mustn't succeed with my kids as my mum didn't
If I fail I let everyone down, and the world will probably explode and no one will love me and they will all bugger off and leave me. Plus of course I will fail as I can never do anything good, because if I could, no one would have abandoned me right? If I succeed, well that's even harder. In the first place I quite simply won't succeed, thus confirming the fact that I always WILL FAIL, whilst causing acute embarrassment that I was stupid enough to have even tried in the first place - I should have known better and not wasted anyone's time. Oh and by the way I can't even keep the rock I live under clean, what's the bloody point? Plus my mother's needs are far more important than my own, she only had PND after I was born, so it's all my fault she was ill, all my fault she abandoned me, all my fault my dad abandoned me when she came home - so how dare I want anything good? I do not deserve it.

2. I don't know how to deal with a screaming toddler and my self defence is to be foul.
I do not allow Deborah to be a child. A beautiful, sweet, child with a child's grasp of emotions. I expect her to be as neurotically "clued up" on reading human emotions as I am and to display no anger, or frustration. I simply cannot allow her to have feelings. It frightens me so much when does that I feel criticised and shamed all over again, and I want to hurt her for making me hurt. Plus I love her so much for being perfect and herself on her little pedastool that when she falls I have failed her and that makes me hurt and I simply cannot be a grown up about it.

3. My father dieing was actually the first time I was able to say goodbye properly, as an adult and see how good bye is sad but not personal and not abandonment.
When dad died 5 years ago, I suddenly realised how much I wanted children. I didn't understand at the time, but knew it was something to do with the status quo being broken. When he died, we said goodbye properly, it was not the abandonment of a child to a mother weighed down with psychosis, bi-polar and PND. It was sad, but it was good-bye.

Today I realised how powerful that goodbye was. My dad was the sole permanent figure in my childhood, as my mum came and went depending on stays in the local mental hospital. I am realising now those stays were - nothing to do with me. My dad was emotionally detached and although I now know he loved me (his sister used to say so and my mum did also), never once said so in his life. He cried in his unconscious stupor on his deathbed - at the time I hoped it was a side effect of the narcotics, but thought it was really about mum, now I realise he was sad to say goodbye to me too. He died when we all left him, at the time I thought it was because he wished to die without mum because she would have been too distraught, but it was also just after I had said goodbye to him on my own. Who knows, it's impossible to tell and not totally necessary.
My beautiful kids. So much mental change is necessary on my behalf to nurture them, and yet it is all already there. I know it, but do not fully realise it because of the blocks above. It's useful to list them so I can recognise them and befriend them.