Sober since April 6, 2006


Thursday, June 07, 2007

irrational rationalizations catching up to me

I completed step 4 and started step 5 last weekend. I didn't know where to start with the 5th step, so I started with the most difficult things first. The rest of step 5 is all downhill from here.

I wanted to have this complete over a year ago, but I wasn't ready. It took as long as it took for a good reason. I wouldn't have been able to handle the emotional aftermath.

All my life, I've used a bad way of coping with traumatic experiences. I would escape the negative feelings caused by traumatic experiences by taking unreasonable responsibility for getting hurt.

For example, my default method for rationalizing traumatic events goes something like this: "I was bullied in school because I was a fat nerd. If I hadn't been a fat nerd, they wouldn't have bullied me. So it's all my fault that I got bullied -- I was a fat nerd and I deserved it."

The fact that the bullies themselves played a role in the bullying didn't matter -- I didn't want it to matter -- I didn't want to feel like a victim. The feelings of victimization -- of being violated, broken, and dominated -- shatter self-esteem like nothing else.

If I convince myself that an event was all my fault and I deserved it anyway, then suddenly the feelings of trauma and victimization disappear and are replaced with a sense of "getting the punishment I deserved." Those feelings aren't so bad in comparison.

But now that I'm willing to recognize my past hurts for what they really were, I'm feeling all of the emotions that I've been avoiding all this time -- the feelings of being violated, broken, and dominated.

Things that happened years ago feel like they just happened yesterday. All of the emotion collectively built up and hit me like a ton of bricks. Over the past few days, I've been feeling utterly smashed at the world's feet.

It's getting better though. I guess I needed to grieve. And to feel.

And that's okay. I'm finally moving through all of this -- and I don't have to do it alone anymore.


Kari Sullivan said...

Thanks for sharing about this. I really need to hear it. I still struggling with Step 2, but it's good to hear from those further up the food chain.

Peace out!

simsample said...

Hang in there TKD- you're doing great!

dAAve said...

It's OK to have those feelings now. It's natural and nothing ot be ashamed of. They will pass.

I can't help but wonder if you are working the steps alone, without a sponsor. That's the way your post sounded to me; maybe I misunderstand it.

tkdjunkie said...

Thanks everybody ... No I'm not working the steps alone.

Yes, I have a sponsor. "I didn't know where to start with the 5th step" because if you let me type it out then I'll do okay. But if you ask me to sit down with you face to face and tell you a story, I never know where to start. Speaking intimidates the hell out of me. I get so nervous and shakey that I can't think -- even if I am just sharing something with one person.

LAS said...

Hey - I just found your blog! I am right in the middle of re-doing my 4th step - having a second go round with it because I have been through so much in early sobriety.

I'm with you on typing it out! I totally relate to that - it's my preferred method of communcation. If I actually have to talk to you, it might be that no words will come out. I've been finding it extrememly uncomfortable to share at meetings lately. Anyway - good luck!!

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

ah poor baby. yeah that's a classic. taking the blame is the easy way out. sidesteps having to face reality and come to terms with the grieving process and all those ! unpleasant feelings. I do st 5 same way i did it with my sponsor. 2hr sessions weekly until its done. step 5 is very cool really. very powerful. I don't do 'stories' as such. i get 'briefed' on the ? overall history in step 1, so i know most of the 'stuff' long before step5. step 5 is just a place to look at resentments. whatever. it does mess with your head a bit while you're doing it, so i don't want to say something that increases any sense of uncertainty, as that tends to increase anyway during st5. anyway. it all sounds good. just keep plugging away and soon it will be all over.

Trudging said...

Sarting with the most difficult is a good place to start.

new_eyes said...

I have this an excuse for failure usually...I'll behave badly when i sense things are going wrong, I guess so I can look back and imagine "it would have gone well if I'd have done different".

your post makes me wonder. So...good post!

recoveryroad said...

It took as long as it took for a good reason.



Well done for being brave enough to do it.

It's done now. Move on, hon. Easier said than done; I know.

You rock, you really do.


x Kenny

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

Congratulation on your Step Four.

Have a great week.

recoveryroad said...

Just stopped by to say Hi.


recoveryroad said...

Just stopped by to say Hi.


Khakra said...

ok junko, bit offtopic, but AVOID IPHONE GENERATION 1!! ok, don't intend to sensationalize it, it could be smart to wait to the next generation to come out. Wait for the experts to work out the kinks (and there are many in the current iphone generation), and then prices will really, really fall. Think of it like the Razr. Generation 1 was a mess, generation 2 a vast improvement.