Shenpa is a Buddhist concept that I’ve been spending a lot of time studying and contemplating recently. I study mostly Pema Chodron’s teachings and this is a big construct for her. Shenpa really causes us great pain and makes us continue to reach for ground. The Tibetan translation is “attachment”, but the construct is much more. It is about the sticky, clinging, distracting reactions that we are so hardwired to have to both external and internal thoughts, feelings, and actions. I felt this was a good analogy of what shenpa is:
Here is an everyday example of shenpa. Somebody says a mean word to you and then something in you tightens— that’s the shenpa. Then it starts to spiral into low self-esteem, or blaming them, or anger at them, denigrating yourself.
I struggle with this a great deal… the experience of someone (even myself) saying/doing something mean or hurtful and the following spiraling down of low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness that happen after.
One of the interesting things is shenpa’s relationship to meditation. One of the goals of meditation is to learn to stay with feelings that we normally pull away from and to work to see our true minds and self. Quite often during meditation we will have to face insights into ourselves and these insights are often of things that we might label “bad” or “wrong” even though it is never a good practice to label things as “good” or “bad” in general. They just are. So, ironically, the more insight we have into ourselves, the greater potential for shenpa to take hold and to bring us down. It is a balancing act…awareness and acceptance without judgment. Very difficult.
J will be home in two weeks. He’s been in Europe since early February. I told him I wanted a divorce in December, but so much has happened since then that I sort of came to a place where I felt that perhaps we can get back on track. But I just don’t know. I’m so scared about him coming back and things just going back to the way they were and my life just going on with me in a supporting role, not as my own leading lady. I hate this.
People keep asking me if I miss him and if I’m excited that he’s coming back. This is one of the hardest things to answer…because in all honesty, I’m nervous about him coming back, I’m nervous that I may have shut off so much that there isn’t a way to “get us back on track”, I don’t “miss” him in the sense that I feel like my life is missing something without him. In fact, I feel more like myself now that he has been gone than I have in years. I don’t feel self-conscious. I’m not lonely. I don’t feel inadequate. I feel like me and like I don’t have to be ashamed of my desires, my demons, my needs.
What does that mean? Does it mean anything?
I’m trying to stay open to this entire thing that is about to happen when he gets back. There is a part of me that feels like I really need to make the effort, but I also feel like I’ve made a significant effort in the past that didn’t work. Is it really necessary for me to give it another go? But I guess he really needed to hear that I was willing to leave him because of how unhappy I was. So, perhaps he needed that reality check before any progress could really be made. I just hope that I can be open minded. If I have the divorce papers in front of me, I will want to have that piece of mind that I did do my best, even if I may have already shut down more than I realize.
I guess it all really doesn’t matter in the end… this contemplation. It will come, it will happen and it will have a result that no amount of pondering will provide until it happens.
Not really… not really “into” Easter anyway and it really isn’t all that great when you spend it alone. I went out with some friends last night, which was fun, but today is sort of just a shitty day! I keep hoping that one day I will wake up and not think of myself as this horrible person that I think I have become. I feel like I want to crawl into a hole some days and never come out. Are all people this fucked up when it comes to relationships or are others blissfully walking around satisfied and clearheaded? I wish someone would simply tell me the truth.
Ugh… and all these Easter pictures on Facebook are about to push me over the edge! I feel like I’ve missed the boat on some part of life. I see pictures of friends and family with their children…all these children all over the place! Kids and mothers, mothers and kids… and more kids… and more kids… I didn’t grow up around family (except my parents and brother), so I just didn’t have this experience. Or perhaps I’m more jealous that I don’t have this. I don’t have lots of family that I spend time with. I don’t have kids that will grow up with their extended family members. I do want kids, but don’t even think I’d be a good mother and I have no support system here to have them. Right now I just have my fuzzy babies (my cats) to take care of and they take care of me as well. I have one curled up right next to me. He always knows when I need a little extra TLC.
My goals for today…1) take a walk at my favorite park. I enjoy going for long walks on my own, particularly when I feel like my head is so clouded. 2) meditate. 3) practice forgiveness and acceptance with myself.
Pieces of me. Do you ever wonder if you understand or have all the pieces of you? I keep feeling that I’m losing pieces of me that I will never get back. After my nervous breakdown in January, I feel like I am much more sensitive to things. That I’m not strong enough to deal with what I used to be able to deal with and am worried that it will never return. Will I forever be fragile? I don’t want to be. I miss being able to bury things. I miss being able to not break down when I’m in pain. I miss being able to be strong. I no longer feel like I’m strong and that scares me. This is the problem with being vulnerable with people. They know too much about you and they can use it against you. That is my main problem with things. I fear what people know about the parts of me that are not “normal”. God, I hope tomorrow morning will be better. I think I’m crazy. Fucking A. Only a few more tribulations and I’ll be one of the crazies on the street. Awesome.
Do you ever get the feeling that you are simply a horrible person? That there are parts of your core that are despicable? How do you come to terms with all the bad things that you have done in your life? Usually I’m pretty good at making myself think of all the struggles and tribulations that I’ve gone through as experiences that have taught me something or have provided me with insight. But lately I just feel like a horrible human being. I think I possess sociopath tendencies and I hate those parts of myself.
But then I wonder if everyone else is as “normal” as they appear or are they simply fighting the demons within as well…. a silent war we wage on ourselves everyday while trying to project to others that we are good, moral human beings? Sometimes I hate living in a “civilized” world. Sometimes I wish I could just go live alone on an island where I cannot hurt anyone by my selfishness. Where I could protect others from me. That’s how I feel.
It’s been a while since I’ve written. I got a little overwhelmed with all the things that I was dealing with in my life. I’m happy to say that I’ve made some great progress and have been on a steady up-swing in my emotional health. I’ve been seeing a wonderful therapist…not a counselor, a therapist. He’s really made a difference for me. I’m seeing him once a week and I’m going to group therapy. Yes! Group therapy. I’ve been coming to terms with this. Not only am I in personal therapy, but also group therapy. It has been really helpful, though. I’m focusing on the positive, but it is almost comical to me that I am doing both. Never thought I’d be here. Oh, well. Such is life.
J has been out of the country since the beginning of February. This has been good for me. I’ve been getting my emotional bearings through all this. I’m hopeful for the future and just need to keep focusing on getting myself healthy.
I love my husband and in many ways I’m hopeful that we will be able to work things out. One of the things that I had to come to terms with is the fact that it took me leaving for my husband to finally hear what I had to say. I’ve finally got a “voice” in this relationship. It is young and fragile, but I have one and am trying to be so protective of it. J and I have spoken via Skype on the weekends. Usually only once on Sunday. This space has really helped me clear my head and has helped me begin to understand what I need in a relationship and why ours got to this point.
I believe that I am as much to blame for the breakdown in our relationship as he is. I think this is fair. I gave in, was submissive and lost my voice. This is just what happened.
I still care so much for C. He makes me feel so complete. We’ve discussed the issues surrounding our relationship and our respective relationships. There is some connection that we have that is not only hard to describe, but also hard to deny. I’ve never felt more accepted for who I am, quirks and all. He really loves everything about me and is not put off by the fact that I have these demons that I’m battling with. It is a novel love and acceptance that I fear losing. I love him.
How can you be in love with two people? I have no idea. I love him and I love my husband…. both for very different reasons. Life is so complex. But this complexity is a challenging gift that I would not trade for anything, even sanity. I’m blessed to have struggled. And even more blessed to feel the love of someone like C.
How will it end? I don’t know. But at least I’m here to experience it.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I’ve had a nervous break, so that was fun, and am currently in a major depressive episode. I’m on some fun meds that make me feel like I’m floating. Last weekend was okay, but I did have a difficult time. It was my birthday. I ended up having another break. GOD, what is wrong with me!
I was finally able to articulate some things. I told J that I was scared, which I am. That I don’t want to be committed to a mental institution. I’m so scared that this will never end. I’ve decided to go to a support group for depression tomorrow night. I’ve become rather reclusive and isolated. I don’t want to talk or to see anyone anymore. Some days I can pretend for a matter of hours, but I’m simply a mess when I get home.
I miss having love. I miss having someone to tell me wonderful things. I miss having someone to make love to me. I miss someone to love. I miss giving love. I miss so much right now and I don’t know if it will ever come back. I miss touch. I miss laughter. I’m alone. J wants to be there for me, and I’m so grateful for the times he has been there for me lately. He’s been there for the worst parts and has been a champ when it comes to giving me space.
I’ve started seeing a different therapist. This one is someone I cannot dupe. He is also working with J while J is in the country. I think he’s pretty good and I’ll do whatever it takes to get better. I feel so sick right now. It is hard. He told me that he will work with me for the next few months while we work together to get me out of this depressive episode. Then, at that point, we can focus on determaning what the next steps in my future are.