Can I Have Empathy for Me #5
My mind pulses far quicker than my heart.
We all want to be heard. I often wonder if I am saying things that people will understand. The fear of failure and shame that I carry in my mind are absolute. As if they were materialized limbs attached to my body.
Additionally, I often feel like a chameleon. When the anxiety is overpowering I attempt to ignore it. I push a door shut and camp out in the logic side of my brain. To interact in the world around me I mimic my way through. Since I have been doing this since junior high, I have learned to say the right things.
Coincidentally, I feel as if people are only telling me what I need to hear. Patronizing me because I am a burden in their lives. For many years, I never spoke of my suicidal thoughts it felt like manipulation. As if I was saying I wanted to kill myself for some attention. Of course, the fear that people will think I am seeking attention, that they are patronizing me, it is all my shamevision™.
From there, things get convoluted. Therapists and doctors compliment my ability to notice the shame. It is a first step to making changes. It is also an ouroboros, the serpent eating its own tale. Changes in my thoughts happen too slow and then I have shame about still having shame. I have to remind myself that the shame is the evolution of self-protection. The voice of shame is my overzealous and distorted safety mechanism. I am afraid to be less than perfect. 'Don't try and you cannot fail,' stopped working for a younger version of me and so I started berating myself. I have to double-down on my efforts to recognize the shame for what it is. The ability to focus and perform other tasks is minimized. My job becomes dancing through all these pitfalls and I cannot function in a social or work setting at the same time. I must shutdown. I become the chameleon.
I think I am safe. I say what I think you want to hear. However, I know I am doing it. I know I am pushing aside emotions that have tried to get my attention for years. I feel as if I am deceiving others. The shame latches onto these thoughts and feelings. I am back at the beginning. I am starting all over. I do not collect $200.