There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Friday, September 1, 2006

Thinking about Letting Go


The following is personal opinion that is being posted to a private blog (not searchable on the Internet), which is only intended for people to whom the author has sent a link. Please do not redistribute without written permission from the author.

The thing I have been dwelling on of late is why I can’t let go of my anger at how I was treated by the people who set policy at My Former Employer (MFE). Trying to look at things from their perspective, trying to just put it past me, enjoying in the support of upset others, venting to get it past me—all those things have helped a bit. But I need to do whatever that thing is in therapy that brings you the “aha” insight and lets you come to peace with an issue. I can finally afford therapy again but now have no TIME to get there, so…

I’ve been thinking and reading and getting ideas from others. One idea came from the boss at the new job, who has lots of techniques for writing, instructional design and such, plus self help stuff. Sure, some things don’t work for me, but the one she did yesterday in our meeting was useful. I will present it here.

Cost/Benefit Technique

The idea behind this technique is that you have an issue that is bugging you, big or small, that won’t go away. Like, you are always tired, or you can’t get over the fact that your sister did blah blah blah. You write down two columns. One has what holding on to the issue is costing you. The other is the benefits it gets you—because the idea is that you would not hold on to something that’s a pain in the butt if it didn’t give you some benefit (often excusing behavior, allowing you to act in a way you know you really shouldn’t—enabling your shadow side, I guess). After you do that, you can decide whether the benefits do not outweigh the costs so you should let go of the issue, or if you are actually getting something you LIKE out of it, so you can keep it, but realize it is OK and not let it bug you so much. Either way, you can move past it.

I figured I should try to use it on my issues with MFE. Why do I still care about the organization in any way and why am I holding on to the hurt about how people I thought were good friends treated me? I may not have thought it through completely, so additional ideas are welcome.

* Health issues:
Eye twitch
Stomach pain
Chest pain
Lack of sleep

*Emotional issues
Deep sadness
Loss of trust—from being lied to
Lack of self esteem
Resentment over spending so much time and effort on a program that was not appreciated

*Time wasted re-iterating problems or complaining
*Inability to focus on other priorities (house cleaning, bills, family)
*Negative attitude toward everything
*Inability to project positive attitude during job search
*Detachment—can’t connect with other people or institutions


*I don’t have to work on relationship or other issues because I have this one to dwell on
*I get to be a martyr and appear self sacrificing
*It keeps me connected to old friends I am afraid of losing (as if there isn’t any other way to stay connected)
*I can avoid housework and just sit in bed and wallow
*I get to be dramatic and wallow
*I get pity and sympathy/attention, so I don’t feel so lonely
*I can engage in my natural melancholy “weeping willow tree” style personality—I always tend to focus on my challenges and not what is working right
*It makes me still feel a part of the group I was so strongly attached to for over 15 years
*It is a safe thing to rant and rail about because I can’t really DO anything about it and no one who actually did the damage will ever hear me, so they can’t poke me harder and make me feel worse

When I look at these things, I see that a lot of the benefits are all about me getting to play martyr or poor pitiful me, a role I gravitate toward, but one I am working hard to get away from. I am proud that I really am moving away from this and making a conscious effort to NOT keep whining. I want to get away from some of those negative aspects of my personality.

Still, something keeps me stuck. I can’t just say, “Ooh, those costs are icky, I will just stop that now.” Something keeps me from being able to “forgive and forget.” What could those things be?

Here are some possibilities:

Not understanding—I will write more about my attempts to understand why things ended up the way they did. I am doing well understanding the business aspects—every day doing better with that, thanks to all my reading and stuff. It is the personal ones that are eating at me.
Too high standards—I expect others to treat me the way I would want to treat them—with honesty and kindness. That is it in a nutshell. People, especially my former boss, the fellow I worked with last year, and the directors at the organization, treated me as friends and equals, then, suddenly didn’t.
There is missing information. I have received many hints that there is stuff I don’t know that no one will tell me, but that would make it all make sense. I think that really, really irks me. As a person who wants to know WHY things happen before accepting them, I think I am going to have to work and work to learn to accept the status of not knowing. Yeesh, good luck to me on THAT.

Well, OK, that previous section explains why I am stuck and what I have to get over to unstick myself. Looks like there are a lot of meditations, tarot readings and sever talking to myself sessions that need to happen. At least I know have a clue of where to focus.

If you read all this, my thanks. And ideas, opinions, insights and all that are welcome. You can also tell me I am full of crap. Right now, I can actually take it. Apologies for any typos--my family is bugging me to leave. And I could not get the cute picture of my dog to upload and brighten up this post.

Comments (and Plenty of Them)

sandy said...
I think it is A Good Thing that you are able to put this all down, look at it and muse on it. Even though I had distanced myself from YFE before you did, there is still so much I'd like to understand and so many helpful tips I'd like to send to the PTB, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'm feeling like all I can do at this point is set a date to end it, then on that date get in the car and drive away -- which is what I did when I moved away from my childhood home and ended an unhealthy relationship a loooong time ago.Other than that, no helpful advice.Love, sandy
Friday, September 01, 2006 7:22:00 PM

Christine ( said...
I would say that my theraphist sounds like post tramic stress and it will take time to heal.U have to understand that u are caring person not a robot when u work. It will take time and u have many truly caring people who kick u in the ass as needed.If people are hanging u out by saying they know something that u do not know m/b need to look at those people twice. Why in the h___ would someone that cares about u say there are underling things but I cannot tell u. Hello why not just say Sue Ann freak right now and stay that way until I feel like telling u to not freak out anymore. It is going to be great how could it not with that head of hair that says I am mover and shaker watch me Roar.
Friday, September 01, 2006 7:30:00 PM

jody said...
There was one relationship several years ago that was extremely difficult for me to move past. I understood what had happened and why and that it had been unfair to me and all that but I couldn't move beyond the pain of it. Someone - that priest we talked about recently - gave me a technique to use that helped and I forgot the entire thing (sorry about that). The aspect that broke the cycle, though, I do remember, and that was for me to recognize that there were things that I still appreciated and gained and helped me become a stronger person that I learned from the ex-lover. There was part of me that was trying to reject or negate those positive things because of the painful way the relationship ended.That's the only input I have and I don't have any idea if it's in the least bit helpful. I just know that there are times when my thinking gets stuck on one aspect (typically the negative) and I can't see beyond it until there's a radical shift in perspective. That aha moment you were talking about.I just had one in my sleep last night. :) Hope you get one soon, too.
Friday, September 01, 2006 9:21:00 PM

deb said...
To me you sound like you are moving on and working though all the pain. Before you could not put it into words you just felt it and lived it. Now you have words to put with it and work though them. This all has made you a better person in some way and a much stronger one for the future. I yes it would be so nice if other people could treat us all in the way that we would like to treat others and be treated. I have been trying to surround myself only by people that act like this. In the last few years i have had to let some friendships get distant due to them bringing my down and not lifting me up. Not sure where I was going with this, But I am here to listen and support you in anyway I can. Got to get some sleep now as we are going to the lake to kayak in the morning. It is almost 3 am and the alarm goes off at 7am. Yikes
Saturday, September 02, 2006 2:43:00 AM

Suna said...
Thanks, wonderful friends, for all the comments. They have all helped, even the ones who didn't think they were helping. I am continuing to think on this. No dream insight though--I stole a Porsche with the last person I felt a strong personal connection to in the dream, that's fairly obvious to me! LOL.
Saturday, September 02, 2006 10:06:00 AM

DianeS said...
I got a couple of things. First off, the continued use of the word wallow. That's judgmental -- it implies that you don't deserve to feel the way you do and are being selfish about it. Not being inside your head, I can't say if that's right or wrong, but it's something to look at.But second, I also was treated badly in an organization whose mission was to help people who badly needed it. I think it must be worse to be mistreated by an organization that is supposed to be doing good in the world. I had to remember that even when this particular person was tearing the organization apart from the inside, we were still hanging in there, delivering services and doing good. My suggestion, for whatever it's worth, would be that whenever you think about how badly they treated you, that you remember that you still went on, as long as possible, helping people. And think about how many people over the years you've touched in a positive way. And no matter what else they do, they can't take from you the expertise you gained in this area while working there, so you can continue to help people.
Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:46:00 PM

Robin said...
Good for you for getting some of this down in writing. You know how I feel about writing as therapy!I believe that time will help, too. Your new job, especially the "atta girls", will help. Writing about it will help. Being patient with yourself will help.You will heal. And I'm sending love and support while you are in the process.
Monday, September 04, 2006 11:48:00 AM

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