Little Girls Can Be Such Bitches

I think I had a Dance of Shiva-induced epiphany this week. A Shivapiphany.

First, some background.

I’ve mentioned my back problems before.

But a few weeks ago, a completely different sort of physical problem manifested just when my back was starting to feel better.

Hmmm.

As I was pondering that sequence of events, I had the Thought.

One that is bizarre and twisted, when observed rationally.

Here it is. Are you ready?

I can’t let myself feel better, because then I will just have to spend more time [doing the thing I don’t want to do which shall remain nameless, for now].

I’m trying to keep myself out of trouble by being vague. I wish I could write openly about it all, but that probably wouldn’t be wise.

Back to the Thought.

It became clear that I am holding on to physical ailments to protect myself from something I don’t want to do. If I feel bad enough, then I can justify NOT doing the thing.

What kind of crazy talk is that? That need to be sick or hurt in order to escape some obligation or another.*

* Note: I am in no way implying that all illness is self-induced in order to avoid something distasteful. This is strictly about *my* pattern.

Step into the way-back machine

Memories of elementary school came to mind. When I somehow became the outcast from my group of friends. Out of nowhere my social standing had dropped to the bottom of the ladder. There was lots of the horrible taunting typical of young girls. I absolutely dreaded going to school.

And thanks to truancy laws (among other reasons), I couldn’t just end my education halfway through the third grade.

But if I got sick, I got to stay home.

I came down with the flu, and could not get better – the fatigue just kept hanging on. The doctor even tested me for mono, because I was so run-down. But the test was negative, and eventually (probably after a month or two) I got better.

I don’t remember if the fatigue lifted after I was no longer the playground pariah. I just know that eventually it went away.

I can still feel the relief of hearing my mom say those beautiful words. “I think you’d better stay home today.”

I needed safety, and when you’re a kid and school is not safe but home is, the only way to be safe it is to be sick enough to stay home.

All of this has left me weepy. Maybe I’m crying for that little girl who just couldn’t understand why nobody liked her. Or maybe I’m just wishing my biggest worry was what schoolwork I would miss, instead of all of these adult responsibilities.

I don’t have any real wisdom to offer up about this, yet.

All I know is that somewhere along the way, I learned that it is not okay to quit something because you don’t enjoy it or it doesn’t make you happy.

There has to be a Good Reason. Whatever the hell that is.

When I look back at some of the other things I quit, there are only a few types of reasons. My staples seem to be illness (as you now know) and money.

Whether it’s one of those two or something else, the reason needs to be concrete in some way. It can’t be a wishy-washy “I didn’t feel like doing it anymore” type of reason.

Money is the most black-and-white reason of all. Look at the bottom line. Does it makes sense to continue bleeding money for this thing I’m not enjoying? No.

To be honest I am not sure why illness and injury passed the litmus test of legitimacy. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

Regardless, shouldn’t the “not enjoying” part be reason enough?

Intellectually, I know this reason-fabrication monkey business makes no sense.

Yet here I am, poised to replace one malady with another. Pure self-protection, but counter-productive self-protection.

For now, it’s the only way I know how to do it.

I know I don’t want to keep feeling bad. And removing the thing I don’t want to do is a much better option than staying sick to justify avoiding it.

But those pesky responsibilities, complicating things.

Sigh.

Making the realization was painful, and writing about it was unfomfortable. But the good news – yes, good news – in all of this is that now that I’ve recognized what’s happening, I can begin the real work of, well, working on it. Acknowledging it without freaking out about it and creating more resistance.

Time to channel Havi for a moment.

So, uh, whatever you are that thinks it’s protecting me, I see you and acknowledge you. And I get that really you just want to save me from having to deal with more stuff I don’t like. I promise you that I’m doing the best I can to get rid of the yuck as quickly as possible.

But I need your help to do that. I know you’re probably not going to leave just yet, but if you could loosen your grip enough for me to feel better, I’ll have more energy to make the necessary changes sooner rather than later.

That will be my mantra for a while, I suspect. And that’s okay. Can’t really expect a 30-year old pattern to just go POOF! Would be nice, though, wouldn’t it?

13 thoughts on “Little Girls Can Be Such Bitches

  1. Adam Kayce

    Thanks for writing about this, Victoria. I bet it can feel really revealing.

    I’m not in this line of work per se any longer, but I was a spiritual/emotional healer for many years, and the kind of thing you’re talking about is totally par for the course. Many, many times, these kinds of situations are exactly what causes our patterns of illness, avoidance, or what-have-you.

    And yes, sometimes 30-year-old patterns do just go “poof”—I’ve seen it happen quite often—and, it’s more common to gradually gain more and more awareness while strengthening the parts of us that are going to take back their original ways of doing things… and over time, the illness goes away. But there’s no reason why the pattern can’t completely resolve itself, and do it quickly.

    Best not to focus on the timing, but on the next step. Keep focusing on where you want to go, and step after step, you’ll get there. :-)

  2. Stacie

    Ahh, Victoria, something you have said here has hit me hard, although I’m not exactly sure, just yet, what that is all about. All I know is that I just started crying as I read this post. Yep, crying. And I’m kinda still doing it (which makes the keys on the keyboard feel a little weird, wet fingers and all). There’s clearly something here speaking to me and telling me something…I guess I’ll just have to sit with it a bit to see if I somehow come up with my own Thought.

    Thanks for sharing your Shivapiphany.

    1. Victoria

      @James – I wish it were from a sitcom. Actually, now that I’m explaining it, it’s so dark I kinda wish I hadn’t said it. It’s a reference to the Jim Jones cult suicide event in Guyana, where he ordered his followers to drink poisoned Kool Aid (or some equivalent powdered drink mix that attempts to mimic fruit juice). The phrase has kind of morphed into implying that if you “drank the kool aid,” then you believe hard core in something (you know, kind of cultish). I was just trying to make a (tasteless) joke that if we started wearing WWHD t-shirts, people would think we were part of a Havi cult.

      Aren’t you glad you asked?

  3. James | Dancing Geek

    Celebrating the shivapiphany (my new favourite word)!

    I’ll second the ‘poof’ possibility, sometimes things take time but sometimes things just click and presto! The latter is actually more hard work, oddly enough, because it’s so jarring. Or at least, it is for me.

    Excellent Havi channelling too, the phrase ‘What Would Havi Do?’ is one I turn to when in need of help.

    James | Dancing Geek’s last blog post..10 days offline

  4. James | Dancing Geek

    I’ve never quite understood the “drank the kool-aid” thing. It must be one that hasn’t made it over to the UK, despite our love of all American sitcoms etc. I translate it to “drank the Sunny D” (bleurgh – that stuff doesn’t even need refridgerating).

    James | Dancing Geek’s last blog post..10 days offline

    1. Victoria

      @Leah – Hi there, Leah! Thanks for the love and hugs, and for sharing that you can relate. The more I write about this stuff, the more I see that I’m not alone. Looking forward to hanging out with you at the KT!

  5. Leah

    Oh, I can definitely relate to much of what you’re saying here, Victoria. I’ve had similar feelings about my experiences with depression. The turn around is definitely scary, but also empowering! You are super brave to share this here, so I want to say, Brava!! And I want to send along lots of love and hugs too. :-)

    Leah’s last blog post..Creative Every Day: January 26th – February 1st, 2009

    1. Victoria

      @Adam – Agreed…didn’t mean to imply that it *couldn’t* go poof, but just that it most likely won’t (and hasn’t as of this writing). But that’s okay. Focusing on the next step is the way to go, for sure.

      @Stacie – Hugs, to you, my dear. Reading your comment was just what I needed after a strangely emotional day. This was a tough one to post, so knowing you were moved by it makes me feel a little less naked.

      @Joely – Thanks for reading!

      @James – Long time, no see! I can totally imagine that going poof would be jarring. Maybe we need WWHD t-shirts. Or not. People might ask if we drank the kool-aid.

  6. Pingback: Victoria Brouhard » Blog Archive » Saturn’s Karmic Finger #3 - Shivapiphany

  7. Natalia

    Congratulations on writing about this even though it was uncomfortable. I mean, I probably will not blog about anything as personal as what I’m about to write below. And a 30-year pattern! Wow. Do you think it was shiva nata that facilitated reaching this realization?

    This post blows my mind because I have shared your problem for the past 2 years. I have recently realized why the hell I got so sick – bronchitis for 2 months straight – that I had to quit my right-out-of-college full-time corporate job I hated. Oh, and realized I wasn’t going to pursue law school after all because it would’ve made me miserable.

    Supposedly, I had chronic fatigue syndrome. Funny how they treat it with antidepressants (ha).

    And now I get the flu when something comes up that I do not want to do but am planning to make myself do anyway. Or my body just feels like crap.

    You know what everyone blamed my frail health on? My veganism. But all the blood tests proved I was physically just fine. Ohhh, the irony…

    I’m glad you only have aches to deal with! Being so ill you can’t get out of bed can make one desperate and intensely depressed.

    Hey, we’ll figure it out. You have an awesome and productive attitude about it. And I admire that you’re sharing it with others – like me – who can appreciate it and even feel understood and less alone in their pain and struggle. Thank you.

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