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This roller coaster....words fail me.
If I were a balloon I'd be perpetually refilled and then deflated with a giant squeak.

Scotland makes sense. Holiday makes sense. YOU make sense.

Still hope once you contact the inconsiderate landlord he might still accomodate a tour. Spit.

Thanks for the good wishes.  It's a business, Hopsie, the landlord will pick the tenant that best suits their business model.  I don't know what this guy's model is as he didn't turn up.  Three hours to get there, we waited an hour, he didn't answer his phone or email so we came home again.  Scotland is looking like a better prospect.  More areas with affordable housing that looks okay, housing benefit accepted more readily and it seems possible to rent a half decent place in an area where there's a fair bit going on for son.  I'm going to rent a storage unit, get as much loaded up as possible, go up for a holiday and hopefully find something while we're there and just come back and clear out.  Shouldn't take too long, we've done a lot already xx
Is it like that?
A bunch of different people apply for the same place at once, and the landlord chooses his favorite?
Or is it sequential viewing appointments until someone says, We want it.
You look at it, and if it's going to work, if you say Yes and have good references and pay the deposit or first month -- it's yours?

Having to compete to be liked best by a landlord doesn't sound like fair housing law.

Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: What's New for 2021?
« Last post by lighter on January 19, 2022, 10:08:11 PM »
Things are sure different there, Tupp.  I lit a 3 light candle for you this evening and took very good care of myself.  Things can change on a dime..... for the good as well as for the worse.  I'm crossing fingers and toes that promising lease will be exactly what you need and available to you.

Wouldn't it be amazing if your story resonated with this landlord and he chose you over the other tenants applying. 

Sending prayers  and white light your way, Tupp.

Hang in there.

Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: What's New for 2021?
« Last post by Hopalong on January 19, 2022, 08:30:17 PM »
Good luck tomorrow, (((Tupp)))!

Hope you see a crow flying near as you drive.

Either way, we'll be here.

BTW, you can edit your thread name to 2022 now.

Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: mental health
« Last post by lighter on January 19, 2022, 04:05:24 PM »
I  love the idea of having the right to be wrong, Hops!

What if.... there was more curiosity about what people think and WHY they think it?  WOuldn't it be amazing for people to experience that Pug head tilt moment when they come up against a belief they didn't realize they held.... or didn't realize held them?  To find they're questioning it too.....through explaining to compassionate questioners eager to understand, but comfortable with not understanding.

In the end, our trauma limits our capacity to be open and understand, IME.  It's really difficult to turn a bright bulb onto the pain and discern what's still useful, for surely it was useful at a point.  It's not easy to be gentle with ourselves and others in order to gain the distance providing perspective and restored choice.

How exciting for you!  Here's wishing for the best darned Covenant meeting ever; )

P.S.  I do think wer'e talking about the same thing, but in different ways, yup yup yup.  My T is excellent at stopping, when she meet resistence, and finding a different approach to help me identify my reactivity and use it.
I'm going to post about a lot of things on this thread...... mostly bc food is really vexing me right now.... shutting me down.... paralyzing me, upsetting me, making me angry and I feel helpless around it right now as food, as everything, is about profit at the expense of things I hold dear......and sometimes it's really hard to scrape my nose off certain pebbles.  It just is. I'm on THAT food pebble right now, considering seeing my T about, but that's 100.00 to have her walk me through getting my nose OFF the pebble and shifting my focus to THIS moment, what's mine to handle, what's not (my dd's/FOO's/Friend's relationships with food) and DO WHAT I CAN IN THIS MOMENT, which brings me back to feeling paralyzed in the moment and it's a cycle.... a familiar cycle.

::I can do this I can do this::.  and if I can't I'll make the appointment with my T, who's in another office and seeing clients face to face, which is very comforting and helpful BUT...... but but.

So, restoring choice, understanding what's there and accepting it, even if it's scary.  Ya.  That.

I'll post this here, even though it likely belongs elsewhere..... I've basically let the connections with all my neighbors go.... just dropped them, outside baking lovely little packages of gf brownie cookies and wrapping them beautifully..... I was unhappy to receive thank you calls...... I couldn't get off the phone quick enough and that's OK.  I notice I have the old fear around not having social connection, but it's an echo of 2006 - 2014.  It's not NOW or real or something I can't replace with things I find uplifting.... energizing....JOYFUL.

I want more joy. Less making do.  Less negative energy.... wondering what the Yelly Neighbor said when Cowboy stops making eye contact, which he has..... I just dont want care anymore WHAT YG said or did or does and that translates into feeling less pressed in on, less viewed and judged and threatened in any way. 

I can say..... I've noticed I just care nothing about YG or his gossiping and I might have ONE conversation with retired nurse neighbor about it....before putting it to bed...... but she gets it or she doesn't.  She  won't tell or gossip, as all the other neighbors would and if she did..... big whoop. 


THAT IS AMAZING to just not give a frog's fat ass about what YG said and who things what. Just..... retired nurse will GET it or she won't.  I can return the tupperware to YG's wife or not.  I can limit the time I waste worrying about not having social connection to these people and spend it on the people I find joyful...who build me up and make me laugh. OH TO LAUGH.  It's amazing and it happens and if I'm honest..... maybe I've spent more time worrying about the neighbors and the YG than I have nurturing my amazing small friend group, darnit, THAT IS THE TRUTH.

And this.....
if I don't judge myself during paralysis and turmoil.... I free myself up to process the paralysis and turmoil and respond with discernment to CHANGE what I can change, make peace with what I can't and seek out what I want more of.

Noticing how my own thought patterns and habits keep me stuck....
noticing when I judge myself for it......
means I can do the work, get unstuck, grow and work through the next COW, bc there will always be COWs.

Doesn't mean I'm broken or unable to expand my window of resilience, for surely I'm growing and have more resilience if I'm able to be  honest. 

What it means is my default setting is to ASSUME I'm broken.... assume I'm unable to build resilience and that's just silly, bc the brain is absolutely capable of making those changes.  Every brain can, incuding my own.

And that pattern of hitting old default settings, noticing them, steering over them and l getting on with what I DO want..... is everything.

Several times a day I NOTICE myself going down old pathways and anger pops up around it,.w hich is better than fear, IME.  I resent the time and energy stolen by future fears and rumination of historic events I put down...... over a year ago.

Just noticing the space fear takes up in my brain is HUGE and I know it's important.

Every lesson shares a similar reactivity....... but remembering that reactivity, knowing it's not ME.... understanding I can put it down and pick up whatever I choose feels hopeful, but it's not yet second nature.  Those pathways aren't all up and running, covered in fat and faster than lightening......

They get faster.  They pop up more often and THAT's just what it is.  It's not good or bad it's what's going on for me on this healing journey.

And the anger...... it's not AT ME, as it was when I started seeing my T.  What a roller coaster ride.

It's at the reactive fear in my brain...... I'm ready to reep benefits of installing new hardware and pathways........ it's not anger at myself for failing, bc honestly.... this is the hardest work I've ever done in my life.  I can feel my brain burning.... top right.  It takes more energy to stop the old reactivity, which requires very few calories to run compared to higher brain functions..... it's anger at the reactivity still there..... and my slow response to it, even though there's improvement and that's another thing to accept. 

These things happen in their own time, if I practice.... I get better at it, the brain installs new pathways and makes them faster according to my wrestling myself ONTO them, over and over, even when I fail, Ijust keep practicing and getting myself back on track and noticing without judging.

I should journal daily. Again. 

OK, geusts just sent me a photo of their view through the Cottage window, which is the same view on my website..... just glorious... the Atlantic is that magical blend of blues the Bahamas offers.  And I wanted to cry, bc that couple had to spend a night at a crappy Ft Lauderdale hotel (which I've had to do) then pray standby seats opened up on a really crappy airline known for delays and canceling flights over water on the runway and who knows what else..... THESE GUESTS MADE IT and I have to tell you.  I noticed reactivity pop up for me, over and over, and I just put it away, over and over. 

I accepted the 3 other guests weren't willing to jump through the hoops to make our Cottage happen.  I accepted it was likely this couple wouldn't continue working to make this trip happen,bc it was one thing after another, as always when traveling to the island and I just let it be what it was.  I didn't wring my hands or knash my teeth, which honestly.... I WOULD have without being able to stop it this time last year, likely. 

What I really noticed...... my dropping the problems/putting them on the shelf, opened up more room for problem resolution. I didn't get bogged down with frustration or resentment or reminders of the contractor or anyone or anything negative...... my brain got right back on track without too much fuss and that's a GOOD THING!

My responses to the guests were all concise and helpful and didn't wonder down rabbit holes.  The guests asks questions, I read them TWICE to discern what she needs to know and don't add to it.....I think I would have been anticipating problems and solving them into the future before, as was my habit out of necessity over the years. 

That's not necessary any longer.  I don't HAVE to do that and if  I really ever do..... I've got all the answers and I can send them as needed.....not all up front, bc I feel obligated to be more than honest, more than forthcoming, more than helpful in every single way I possibly can be, bc that's where my worth is..... in my own head.  I'm not responsible for everyone and everything all the time, but that's how I've been operating IN my head and that doesnt leave a lot of room for other things, IME.

So, ya.... this guest (2 of the orginal 5) and I had a different experience..... I was very mindful of my focus and the trip is working out,which is an absolute miracle and I'll take it as proof shifting focus to postive responsiveness beats the heck out of reactivity focused on the negative, yup yup yup.

Just...... amazing.  I consider this manifesting something good and understanding the difference between manifesting what I'm leaving behind.... have I LEFT those things behind?  I'm not sure, but I'm curious to see how this manifesting what I want works out for me. 

It feeeeeeels like the old reactivity is smaller in my brain, taking up less space, utilizing fewer calories..... if that makes sense. 

It's easier to spot spotting a bit of pepper in a big bowl of salt. 

And it's almost like....... a part of me I'm not real familiar with is the one zeroing on the old pathways....... and it's exciting, if a little scary, bc it's a sort of confrontation, isn't it?  My allergy to conflict hasn't dissapeared, but it's less....... it feels distanced and farther away.....not so charged...... just...... a thumb jerk and the old reaction moves.  No need for a crowd or fight about it...... no need to pin it down and pull it apart.... understand it and all it's moving pieces.... just..... thumb jerk. 

I guess the anger is from the part of me feeling helpless and paralyzed and I can let her know it's not her job to DO anything, but rest and feel safe.... cared for...... whoever this new person is giving the reactivity the thumb..... she's got it covered and it's OK if sometimes we get down the road a bit farther than preferred with the reactiviy..... we SEE it. We respond.  We restore balance and trust the balance will be there, even when COWs create bobbles, and they will.  Over and over again.

I trust the COWs are opportunities to practice and not proof I'm broken and failing and a failure, bc that's not true.

OK, one thing I've also been struggling a bit with is my relationship to the Lake house renovation.  I spent a lot of time honing the tools and pigments for tackling the huge kitchen cabinet piece of this distressed wood job.....and the plan feels very solid to me.  I'm a thinker....I like to work things through on paper, then do many samples and I've done those things.  I KNOW what damage I'm going to inflict on this super hard Oak wood.  I know where the damage will be placed and the depth of it and the width of the marks.....the brown an black pigments and the sealants.... just as I figured out how to clean 30 years of cooking grime off them..... and I stopped worrying about breaking the doors in half, which has happened to me on other jobs, but it won't on THIS job and if it does....... it's just a door repair. Not the end of the world, not a failure, just a problem waiting for it's solution and I have that too.

So...... ya.  The kitchen is lined up to be finished.  I've decided not to paint all the upstairs doors black.  There will be some painted doors, but they're not all going black, which I really liked, but the distressed wood is something my heart swoons over, even if it's more work for me.  I adore it.

My youngest DD is trying to connect with me lately....... and there was a lot of frustration for her when trying to talk to me lately.  I think her T is helping....... I can honestly say.... I think she wants to bash her head on the sidewalk if any old references of the PDs in our lives come up...... or PDs in general.  She understands PDs perfectly well.  She doesn't want to dwell or go down rabbit holes with me and that's timely,bc I don't want to either: )

So, more dancing in the kitchen (which still happens)...... and... as I write this a big truck just sprayed what's likely salt water onto our circle and road leading up to it.  There's mostly slush at this point.  DD21L will have an easier time getting in and out of the neighborhood and that feels really good.  We're getting along just fine..... I've sent both girls links to a Cardiologist's Youtube talk about things they already know...... bless me for caring, but I know I have to step back and let them chart their own paths. 

I'll try to chart just my own; )


Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: mental health
« Last post by Hopalong on January 19, 2022, 03:25:03 PM »
REALLY helpful, Lighter.
Helpful, perceptive and compassionate.
Thank you.

You repeat over and over (thankfully) -- drop the judgement.
I think that's sinking in.

My time with T today was good and brought much of what you're
saying into focus. Different approach to it but the same message.

Haven't been journaling about it yet (just came up this afternoon)
but think I will. Simple, short but...right there. Pick up the little book
(you'd like the hand-made paper) and a sentence or two. Reminding myself
that's part of my purpose. To check in on little me-her, with gentleness.

I think amid brutal weather and brutal politics and brutal pandemic,
I've forgotten to check in on little me-her.

When I get my nose off the pebbles I see her smiling.

Here's the topic I'm leading tomorrow night (we all suggest topics from our own experiences, so that'll be pretty obvious!):

Our topic is: The Right to Be Wrong.

Most people have places within themselves that come from hurt.
We'd be mighty unusual if we didn't. This topic is a chance to look at
some of those areas of the self we often don't think about, or live
with automatically--sometimes in ways that block our capacity for
joy and compassion.

What if we had the right to be wrong? And be happy anyway?
When we lose track of permission to be joyful, there could be many roots.
Examples: early religious training, a particular parent's way of criticizing,
a key relationship error, school experiences, or other experiences of loss,
shock or failure that might have affected our sense of permission to be
all that we are -- fully human.

Questions to Ponder

1) What's an example of an instance when I recognized my right to be wrong?
Share a story you're comfortable sharing. What difference did that recognition make?

2) What if everyone had the right to be wrong? Barring destruction or violence,
what else might result in society if this right was part of our awareness?

I do love the Covenant Group. And listening to each woman's responses, where they go. It's awesome.

Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: mental health
« Last post by lighter on January 19, 2022, 02:38:05 PM »
On the other hand....LOL....  Always another hand, ((Hops.))
I sometimes feel a bit as though I'm losing my mind.  Well, that's not just you, I'm sure.
Not too dramatically, but as though my mind is changing.
Less resilient than I need it to be.  Than you need it to be.  If I'm honest, I that belief might be creating more discomfort and anxiety than relaxing into what IS...... would be, IME.  Not sure,  just
I'm making nearly zero headway with the home paralysis.
This made the thought pop up the other day: Maybe I'm "unhelpable."
The belief.... of being unhelpable.... takes up A LOT of emotional energy and real estate, Hops.  Maybe just relax into accepting you won't DO whatever it is you believe you SHOULD be doing and see what's there.  Just.... calm and patient and curious.... ask.  I think we repeat patterns while inching our way forward.  I've seen this edge for myself and for you before.  What will you do to change the pattern up? Are you doing what you've always done?  Do you usually assume your're at fault, not good enough, broken beyond repair?  IS that a belief you want to pop up and take up real estate? Ever?

You've been active with the refugees and the poet group..... wonderful and I hope you hold that alongside the spat and the dissapointment around expectations for yourself..... the home paralysis.  Just accept it IS what it is and drop all judgment for a while.

A disagreement with one of the poets in my mini group has come to a head.  Remember, it's usually our stuff rubbing up against other people's stuff when this happens.  Not that you don't have a reason to throw fists there, but....... if you think about it being "stuf" and not personal or about each other...... does it take the emotional charge out of it? 
My first response is to believe I should drop out. Even though it's two, my psyche registers it as "a group of women" which is always scary to me (except here).  Stick around or leave the group.  Maybe look at it as practice for whatever comes up around it.  Getting curious and dropping judgment helps me SEE more and react less.  Whatever you're feeling is real and you're certainly a caring person who should honor her feelings.  I just want you to get past any reactivity and be as responsive, to yourself and the situatuation, as you can be.  That's where the growth is, IME.
My reaction to the idea of moving on from this mini group is to feel threatened, existentially, by the idea of the loss of a social connection, however small.  I share your feelings around the threat of losing social connection..... I notice it when I see it now.  I can step back and look at it without feeling I'll be snuffed out and lost without it...... we all need some connection,. but there are times when our survival depend on it.  That's not the case now, so...... if that connection goes away..... what then?

You have more room for other connetions you'll enjoy more.  THAT's a truth, along with putting down whatever is rubbing up against your stuff....... which might not be a bad thing.... it might end up beign a really helpful thing.  I guess you'll discern and make tat decision for yourself, Hops.  Whatever you do, it's OK. 

So I want to work it through and will talk to my T about it today.

Here's the kicker -- we (myself and the poet I'm uncomfortable with) discovered a while back that we both see the same T.

I'm already worried about whether I'm making the kind of progress with this T that I want to. Not her fault, but I'm just unsure. Our communication styles couldn't be more different, and her slowness defeats me at times. I'm sure my anxious free association and rapidity defeats her too.

SOmetimes a T serves their purpose and it's time to move on.... find someone else...... that might be the case with this T.  I can see how putting down the T, the poet group and feeling paralyzed in the house all at once might not feel optimal, for surely it doesn't.  I'm just saying...... if you have to find reasons to justify staying in T or a group, when your gut keeps signaling it's time to make a change..... maybe it's time to make a change.  I guess change can come in many forms, but it feels like ending those two things is on the block.  Just remember..... it makes room for what comes next.  There are other things on your horizon and you have the power to discern.   

So now if I'm honest, I'm feeling that here are TWO situations where I can't get my needs met or feel I can open up all the way. And yet one of the biggest things testing me in my life, is isolation.

I'm hoping I'm wrong. Will find out shortly.

I bet you're journaling through this and I hope you are.   I with to avoid sounding preachy, but want to share lessons helping me get my nose off pebbles.  When I read you want more resilience...... it makes me thing you're judging yourself, forgetting to be compassionate with yourself....... maybe your nose is stuck to a pebble which absolutely limits resilience and creative problem solving abilities, which leads to a cycle of being stuck in old patterns, IME.  The only way to break patterns is to NOTICE them while resting in awareness without judgment, IME.  Changing them is about feeling worthy and competent and you're certainly both those things.


Acceptance of what IS without fear of what could happen or might happen or BE.
Getting very curious, avoiding ANY judgments and extending buckets of self compassion will help get your nose off those pebbles, Hops.  That gets you to noticing what's really there so you can discern going forward.   

Your brain can work through your COWs more efficiently if it's not worry worry worrying about social connection and your T....and what that means to you (judging it)..... living in the future is terrifying for everyone, I think. 

If all you have to do is be present in this moment, understand the other poet is doing her best and what she can with her trauma, keeping her nose on whatever pebble it's on...... blocking responsiveness....... creating reactivity..... reducing choice...... notice your reactivity, own so very kind to it...... let it belong and share it's lesson with you so you can SEE beyond it...... get your nose off your pebble and see the entire field..... and know you have choices without judging yourself back onto the pebble of fearing loss of social connection. 

I mean..... social connection is a need we all have BUT it shouldn't base the poet decision on the fear.  Rather, base it on what you get out of that connection, weigh the pros and cons and maybe the cons are opportunity, rather than reason to end the connection?

Heck, maybe the cons far outweigh the good and once you drop the fear you'll SEE very clearly..... it's just not working for your anymore and you've grown beyond it....what's upsetting you is your inability to accept you've grown beyond it and your inability to pretend is what you see as lack of resilience?  You know I'm spit balling here, as someone who likes and knows quite a bit about you.... as a friend...... maybe you're trying to make something work that just isn't working any longer. 

Now, fearing you lack the resilience to get through loss of that connection AND the loss of the T is scary, should you see those connections no longer serve.

Getting shut down by fear is likely a pattern for you.  For most of us.... it's human.  We're wired that way.  What we know has kept us alive.  What's unknown might kills us so...... we tend to keep patterns in place, even if we're actively working on identifying and changing the patterns every chance we get......the reactivity muddles things.  Brings up fear which gets reptile brain back in charge and that's a pattern knocking folks off track...... over and over again on a healing journey.

I guess I'm saying...... I'm curious whats really there, for YOU, Hops...... without the fear and old reactivity...... does this group build you up and give you energy?  DOES this T provide enough insight and opportunity for growth to continue seeing her?

Just THOSE two questions, without assuming endings are proof you're broken and beyond repair. 

WIthout assuming you're survival is threatened.

Without letting fear lead...... just dropping all jugment over and over, b it's going to come up, but drop it...... touch it and let it know it's OKfor it to rest ....... you HAVE this.  You're OK, no matter what the answers are, but you need to know and it's OK to rest in gentle awareness so you can ponder the truth and SEE it for yourself. 

You're safe.  You can do this.

Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: mental health
« Last post by Hopalong on January 19, 2022, 02:03:51 PM »
Good T session.
Everything (always) goes back to the inner child. She deserves love, compassion and protection. As my present adult self, I can do that, protect her-me while also being calm, assertive as need arises, and trust myself.

Intention (better word than "plan" which sets up more guilt): start journaling about this process again.

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