sisterschoice.typepad.comWhen I was a kid, a long time ago, long before I learned about feminism, pre-Betty Friedan, I remember my father joking with my mother.

Though on reflection, I don’t think his joke was very funny.

My father would say to my mother, in jest, because I know he adored her, “Maybe it’s time I traded you in for a new model.”

Sometimes I wish I could trade myself in for a new model…

That’s not a put-down, but given that right now in my psychotherapy with Dr. Bob I’m struggling with a few very old records that won’t stop playing ~ that I cannot break ~ and I’m increasingly upset and disoriented by the values and dynamics of the medical model when it comes to emotional and mental health, I’m thinking it’s time for a new model. A new belief system. A new hybrid, perhaps…

A new way of viewing us “square pegs”…

You know, those of us considered to be “different” and perhaps “difficult.” Those of us who don’t always fit in easily. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us. We’re just different. “Not less,” as Temple Grandin would say.

Perhaps we’re a little strange. Odd. Unsettling. Unusual. Tough to take at times. (Ask my husband!) There is no normal, when it comes to human beings, as far as I’m concerned. No one will ever convince me of the contrary. You’ve heard me say this many times. “We’re all ‘Next to Normal’.” Some more than others. It’s a question of degree.

But let’s face it ~ and I say this to every class of students I teach, on the first day of each new term ~ “We’re all different. We’re all special. We’re all unique. We’re not the same, but we’re all equal.”

Or are we?

Sometimes my cockeyed optimism blinkers my vision…

I can be incredibly naive, at times. The scope of interpretation for the statement above is vast, especially when you consider the many meanings of the word “special.” This statement isn’t a fact for sure, nor is it always true, I’m afraid, though I feel it should be.

Dr. Bob said in one of our many lively discussions lately about my “wretched” perfectionism that “some people are truly evil, not ‘mad’ but bad.” That speaks volumes about what the DSM-IV or V is really all about, but that’s another post entirely and I’m not going there right now. I leave it to the professionals. Have a look at Dr. Ronald Pies‘ (and especially the comments) on his recent post on The Arizona Shootings and Jamie Hale’s post Are We Rational Animals?

I’m beginning to wonder.

Changing your beliefs ain’t easy….

I teach change-making. Social change. A life skills course, really, called “Leadership in Society.” It’s a community service course. How to inspire and effect community change for the greater good. It all boils down to understanding your existing beliefs and values, self-awareness, critical thinking, challenging those existing beliefs and changing them, en mass.

Or rather, inspiring change. Motivating and role-modeling change. Mentoring change.

You should have a look at Shannon Cutts wonderful and inspiring blog here at Psych Central called Mentoring & Recovery. It’s a treasure trove of exceptional information and support for recovery. I have just discovered it. Change is what life is all about. Resilience is the ability to adapt to change ~ often traumatic circumstances and difficult situations.

Like having to downsize or a major health crisis. Resilience is being able to “bounce back.”

One truism, when it comes to making change and just facing change is that there is always resistance. We either face resistance in others, or far more challenging, we must change within ourselves. Change the way we see ourselves, from the inside out. Change how we feel about ourselves ~ which is even more arduous.

I was reading Dr. Athena Staik‘s rivetting Neuroscience & Relationships blog the other night, her one of her more recent posts ~ Free Your Subconscious of “Limiting Beliefs” ? (To Thrive, Not Just Survive) ~ and it really resonated with me. Hit home hard.

I’m not logical when it comes to my feelings. The hardwired notions and obsessions I struggle with go way, way back, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is why the things that bother, still do. When I know they shouldn’t. Dr. Staik explains why this happens brilliantly, but still, it happens.

“When your conscious and subconscious are at odd, where fear is a factor, the subconscious performs a coup d’état – not unlike a dictator,” she writes.

“Logic does not dictate behaviours. Emotions do.”

I feel, every time I read this particular post, that she was writing to me directly, right now. That’s how close to the bone she is, though it’s a ridiculous notion, I know.

I’m struggling with trying to understand my beliefs and feelings right now ~ and why they seem to be at odds with each other. And how I can come to some sort of peace. How I can make peace with myself.

I’m struggling to change what I believe about myself because those beliefs are toxic. I feel so angry. It’s not healthy. I overeat. I binge. I hurt myself.

“I feel I’m not good enough“…

Right now, I’m really having a treacherous time because I feel I’m not “good enough.” I’ve always felt this way. I know I probably am, but I don’t feel it. In the least. I look in the mirror and I hate what I see. Within me an irrational voice is always whispering to me. Putting me down.

Ironically, with my hearing loss, this haunting voice is always loud and clear! Dammit.

I blame other people. I allow them to get to me. Why? I’m angry at other people, but it’s all within me. It’s not them. It’s all in my head. I know it, but I can’t stop those feelings. I feel powerless. So I avoid the issue. I avoid the question. Why? I want to stop. It’s so hard.

To be continued…