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(the first post in this series is here: On Being A Social Outcast )

As I’m wading through this crisis (my good friend telling me to take a hike), I’m now utterly determined not to resort to any addictions or obsessions while experiencing the pain. I seem to be going through a lot of emotional metamorphoses. I’m both deep inside them and, at the same time, (as a scientific behaviorist) observing them from without. I know that the book on this journey though crisis without the use of addictive substances or obsessive behaviors, has just gotten started. Right now I’m roller-coasting at break neck speed.  Here is what I’ve been feeling so far.

*  *  *

feeling scared and self-protective;
needing to keep all my pain to myself. Determined not to tell my husband or anyone else what was going on. Being sure that my husband, or anyone, would just make it about him/them… about him/them feeling powerless to fix me and then getting angry at me because of feeling powerless. Then, just like it was with mom and dad, I’d have 2 problems to deal with. If I told either of my parents about any trouble, they’d get angry at me for disturbing their day.

replaced with …
feeling scared; that my troubles were going to sour me for life, just like my father who was soured for life.

replaced with …
feeling desperately scared; that I didn’t want to stay sour the rest of my life, like dad. Then frantic because I couldn’t think what I could do to keep that from happening.

replaced with …
feeling hopeful; realizing that one reason he was so sour was because he was so self-protective and unwilling to reach out for help.

replaced with …
feeling courageous; taking the plunge and telling my husband what was going on with me. Experiencing his reaction being the opposite of what I’d expected.

replaced with …
feeling very sorry for myself; because of all the childhood pain and how so many other kids had parents who loved and nurtured them. Knowing that I never really had parents… only abusers… who used and abused me.

replaced with …
feeling terrible anger;  at dad because he left me his legacy of messed-upness by abusing me and ostracizing me so terribly. And that I was always going to be rejected by others because of what he did to me.

replaced with …
feeling angry; thinking that I was on by best behavior with my friend – but that it still wasn’t enough for her to want to be around me.

replaced with …
feeling sorry for myself; because this was no different then when I was growing up and that it would always be this way. That I would always be ostracized and rejected.

replaced with …
feeling hopeful; because I really wasn’t alone after all. That there are millions upon millions of people in the world who’ve dealt with terrible problems and tragedies much worse than mine was. Millions of terribly abused children who wind up dieing from drugs and alcohol and all the other addictions they used to try to cope with their pain, because they had nowhere else to take it to.

replaced with …
feeling terribly ashamed; thinking that a lot of others have gone through these tragedies but still managed to contribute something to this world.

replaced with …
feeling scared and ashamed; realizing that I’ve utterly wasted this life I was given. Thinking that dad felt he had no reason for living either and raised his kids to be utterly selfish with their time, energy and resources. Realizing that I was doing exactly what he did. Nothing. That I didn’t even had any kids to raise. That I’ve done nothing with my life. Absolutely nothing.

replaced with …
feeling scared; finding myself sitting stock-still on my bed, beginning to pray for help with this sense of utter wastedness, desperately asking God what to do about it.

The next post in this series is here:  Self Hatred

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