Tuesday, 13 February 2018
As mortals, we're ruled by conditions, not by ourselves
As human beings, we tend to approach hardship with conditions. Conditions that one, we will always get what we want, and two, conditions that won't exceed our comfort levels. Unfortunately, when conflict arises, we cannot avoid conditioning of other people. We need to radically accept that not everyone is going to meet our needs, no matter how many 'right' or 'logical' boxes we tick off in our heads. Sometimes your needs aren't going to be met, and there are certain skills you can use to think about both people involved. However sometimes emotion mind will take over, and you might not be able to salvage the relationship. The damage may have already been caused.
To me, nothing isn't too hard to try to make amends if you show great amounts of willingness. You will meet people who aren't willing to meet you halfway. It's painful, it hurts and its frustrating as all hell. However to stay in the present moment and not be clouded by your emotions is extremely HARD and challenging- no matter how much DBT/therapy/mindfulness skills you have accumulated. There are going to be times you cannot live up to peoples expectations of you. If you have a few weeks where your skill have not been present, THAT DOES NOT DEFINE YOU OR DEFINE YOU AS A HUMAN BEING. Sometimes your mental health can be beyond your own control at the time. People have to be understanding. There is accountability after the emotions have surfaced and you have unhealthy let them out. Due to triggers, trauma and other aspects of your life impacting you at the time. This is a normal reaction to PAIN you will be feeling. No one else gets to say if you are mentally impaired or not mentally impaired. Only you know how you feel and only you can express that. If you are invalidated, ignored and dismissed, reactive behaviours may happen, no matter how much therapy you do. Take this as a sign you still have some more work to do and some room for more growth to occur. There is nothing right or wrong with that. It is what it is.
We all should be more mindful of how we try to ultimately condition people when they behave a way that we don't agree with. We all experience our pain and trauma in different ways, and we all express that pain and trauma in different ways. Sometimes people will get hurt UNINTENTIONALLY. Even the most self-aware people still haven't mastered the skills they have learnt. That's life though. It changes so rapidly that sometimes we are unprepared. Sometimes our friends let us down, sometimes conflict will happen with people you cherish the most and sometimes hurt on both parties will happen. I believe the best way to deal with this is learning about others triggers, instead of shutting them down when they are impaired in a moment saying 'hey carissa, you seem to be lashing out. What is happening to you right now and what can I do to help?'. We tend to respond to people we care about with more heightened emotions due to blaming ourselves or feeling shame and guilt when we cant meet their needs. I think the first step to helping someone is listening to what they need rather than dismissing what they need.
We cannot help only on conditions and ultimatums. As soon as you say 'I only support you under these conditions', it creates shame and guilt for the other person who is experiencing an impairment or episode at the time. Even if you are in therapy, you are still prone to reacting to pain and stress due to past memories. I feel lately people have placed high expectations on me to be okay because I have learnt all these skills. The trick to DBT is practising them for a prolonged period of time. I have only altered my life for 7 months, there is still 20 plus years where all I behaved was in a manner where I couldn't cope and was endangering my life. These behaviours still can surface depending on the current situation I may be experiencing. I don't respond to being cared for under conditions. I respond well to being cared for with acceptance and validation. We aren't allowed to dictate or say some is 'wrong' for the way they react when they are hurt. Healing can occur when both parties are willing to come together and move forward together. Leave the people behind who want to stay comfortable. It is them who have some more growing to do in their own time. Yours is now.