|Toby Wanted His Time in the Spotlight|
After having nightmares on Monday night this week, I had a really tough Tuesday. I have suffered from horrendous nightmares for most of my life, and over the last few years, they have decreased in frequency and intensity, but I can still go through tough cycles. (No need for dream interpretation here -- they are always the same and they are always about feeling that my life is threatened, etc., and those fears are based in my experiences.)
I am grateful for the decrease. I am grateful for the times when I am getting good and consistent sleep.
But as is obvious (and also as is "proven" in psychological studies about depression and anxiety), waking from nightmares has a tendency to set the tone for your day. Many times, it is just a matter of hours before I feel better -- being awake and focusing on other things is usually enough -- but this past Tuesday, my feelings of fear and anxiety and malaise stayed with me all day.
Marcy came home unawares because I had been emailing her about how I was utilizing all these different distraction methods from my dialectical behavior therapy. And I guess (sigh), I had given the impression that some of these things were working.
Sometimes they don't. It's why this is hard, right? Because you have to keep trying, and if you have a bad day, there is still a good chance that tomorrow will be better. (And in this case, the next day was much, much better.)
We decided that I needed a "distraction" list specifically for the day after bad nightmares. We made one, a good one.
And we thought that was that.
Later in the evening, I had another revelation (and wow...these are so frequent now with this DBT thing. I can barely keep up).
I realized that I lie.
Yep. I lie.
I pride myself on being Super Honesty Woman. But after digging a bit, I revealed to Marcy -- and to myself -- that I am Super Honesty Woman about facts, about things that have happened, to other people when they ask about their own lives, but I totally lie about my feelings and my needs.
I am under the impression, still, that to be a fully functioning, mature human means taking care of my own business. It means being Super Self Sufficiency Woman -- as if I am some freaking Puritan with buckled shoes. (Okay...that makes sense to me...)
If I can't take care of, I must really be broken and bad, right?
So instead of fessin' up and telling Marcy, "Things are going really badly today..." I tell her, "Oh, yes, this is going okay...I am fine...do not worry."
Like some martyr. YUCK. I hate the martyr thing. Hate. It. And here I am, wearing a freaking hair shirt and telling everyone, "Oh, don't be silly! I don't even notice the fleas!!"
(That made me itchy...)
I only just recently wrote about my need to admit to needing help and here I am discovering that it goes deeper even than that. I...I can barely say this without choking...I...
I REPRESS. (O M G -- As I typed that, my face scrunched up into that "what is that smell" look.)
I am a passionate, opinionated, assertive, funny, sometimes-loud, expressive person, and I REPRESS.