Tag Archives: social insecurity

What I’ve Gained by Quitting 6 — Final Entry: Svasanahhhh…

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Holy S. I just wrote this entire post thinking I had one more week to go. I don’t – I have two more weeks to go. What blessed relief! It just goes to show how ambivalent I still am about this whole thing…

Well, this is it. I have one week to go until I can return to Facebook. I plan to spend the majority of this time completely offline save for writing any blog posts here and editing my book. Here’s my first post about it all.

I’ve made some significant inroads regarding my vulnerabilities and insecurities on social media over the last few weeks and I have to say that while I’m looking forward to “seeing” my friends again, I am not looking forward to the nagging tugs and quiet thoughts that I’m not ____ enough or ____ enough or ____ enough; the kind of “stinkin’ thinkin'” that social media engenders.

I see these final days as a last-ditch effort to retain my sanity, my hold on the lessons. Like the final pose in yoga, “svasana” (“corpse pose”) it’s the glue that will seal the lessons into my psyche.

I feel not a little unlike the character “Brooks” from the fantastical “Shawshank Redemption“; he had a hard time adjusting to freedom from living an institutional life in a corruptly managed federal prison; ultimately, it was too difficult for him and he hung himself. That outcome is nowhere near where I am emotionally, but I do have this to say: there is freedom in restrictions. If you feel you can’t trust don’t regard yourself enough to set boundaries, the boundaries imposed under the tenets and auspices of a religious experience will certainly bring you comfort.

I saw my Lenten experience akin to mom calling me in from my dubious awesome friends outside my house late at night. I didn’t want to stay with them, but I didn’t want to be a nerd, so when she called me in, I rolled my eyes to my friends, and sighed relief as I crossed my house’s threshold.

I’ve been reading Brené Brown‘s book, Daring Greatly the past few days and it’s tremendous. I am hopeful that I will finish it this week, it being my verbal svasana to help me keep my bearings when I return to Facebook. She is my hero.

Look, I know this might sound hokey or super ego-obsessed / deep or freaking ridiculous to some of you. To others, it might not sound quite so ridiculous. I am 45 — I am not part of this super-de-duper Internet generation.

I am again, the ham and cheese in the digital sandwich. I’ve got my kids who know everything there is to know about the Internet (and mostly more than I’d like) and then I’ve got my parents, my mother mostly, who can’t believe that you can read a message that one computer sends to another computer within a second’s time (in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m certain that she believes there are little faeries and leprechauns making all these things happen, as her own mother could only describe events such as transistor radios and light bulbs). And let’s not even talk about smartphones. I said “transistor radio” in the preceding sentence.

So I hang on to those romantic and slightly insane notions of magic when it comes to this whole “social media as life experience” thing. I waver between feeling it really isn’t for me and “holy cow did you know there’s an app called Fanhattan that collects all the latest movie info (old or new film) and tells you where to find it to view it — across all platforms?!” This is me. This is my sandwich. Make your own. Pickle spears are in the fridge.

As feverishly and as desperately as I grasp the reins of those galloping horses of the publishing apocalypse, I will maintain, 100% that I don’t need to be totally online to be successful. Why? Because I have my own measurements for success and I have determined that I really don’t give a shit about anyone else’s scale. Nyah. But I’m not defensive about it, I swear. I’m not. See? Really. 

I’ve dallied with ideas: What if F. Scott Fitzgerald blogged? Would he sound like I do? Worried, scared about my talent, woeful about his prospects? Unable to hobnob with the great unwashed, the hoi polloi (even though is was hoi polloi and it IS the hoi polloi which bring richness to our lives? — how many more times can I type ‘hoi polloi’?) and utterly distracted about the point of it all, losing his focus because he concentrated more on the act of hob nobbing than the act of writing? I think this: if FSF were here now and online, Zelda would be his Courtney Love.

People say “balance” – one of my favorite social media writers, the inimitable Kristen Lamb, says we can do it all. But what if you hail from an unbalanced, dysfunctional family where addiction was also an addiction? It’s hard. I know part of Kristen’s story, she has shared it on her site from time-to-time, and she has been gracious to me in very small yet dense ways (which I’m sure she must identify with herself) that keep me going, keep me focused on the Big Picture.

And I’m certainly not some social media Galileo; I just know that it’s likely that instead of looking for answers to my achievements and value in an online presence I should likely be considering my presence more in the stars and on the earth.

this was the weather last week at the boathouse when i trained for launch driving. gorgeous?

this was the weather last week at the boathouse when i trained for launch driving. gorgeous?

I’ve had the pleasure of engaging in an email discussion with a dear friend about all this. She and I have shared so many similar appreciations of the situation: she gets it. In one of our exchanges she went deep, super-vulnerable and stated beautifully how Facebook, social media and all the rest are never-ending and how it never satisfies. I replied with my thoughts:

There are no boundaries, so it creates a self-fulfilling vortex of need for more likes, more appreciation, more “go viral” desires and the rest. It’s sick and it’s intentional. Remember, and I say this in all my Facebook-relevant posts: it was created on the steam of vengeance from rejection. It is driven by greed. Even Facebook isn’t big enough for Facebook; they want more of us, more of our time, more of our money, more ad revenue. Do you think for one minute that if they allowed us to pay for a year without the ads that they’d do it? NEVER.

I can’t write about this subject anymore. I can’t do it to you, and I can’t do it to me; it’s become what I feared most: its own thing. And like Facebook, it is never-ending, a vortex of conceit. I suspected that would happen last week, by then raising the specter of it was a formality — it was already looming: like the moon. It just needed to show itself. If you’ve been following me on this “journey” (I am beginning to REALLY hate that word by the way), you have likely winced or nodded when I’ve stated various things about myself. I have nothing to hide.

murph

My beautiful boy, Murphy, has been my loyal companion through all my missives, screeds and posts about Facebook. He has lain in “our” office as I type. Right now, he rests behind me and he reminds me of that fantastic painting by Wyeth of the labrador on the bed.

So what have I learned in all of this? That I’m alright without Facebook. That I’m just like anyone else. That social media is fun, but it’s totally optional. I’ve picked up more blog fans than I ever have since Lent began: 19. This is nice affirmation that I’m on the right track. To wit, I’ve joined a local writer’s group and I’m connected with a real-life critique partner. She will send me her stuff and I will send her mine. We met in the most fractious of ways, but our relationship is proof that good things can be born of chaos.

As I consider him at this moment, Murphy grounds me. He will be my gentle reminder with a snuffle or a collar jingle or a leg adjustment, to get offline. I just wish he’d sleep away from the door because we use it. I feel guilty asking him to move.

Thank you.

ps – as I reflect on the fact that I’ve got two weeks left, I don’t think my mistake wasn’t a mistake. I think now that I can release all this “stuff” and not think about it anymore. I’ve got two weeks to go, but really: i’m tired of “discovering” things about it all. 

What I’ve Gained from Quitting 4 — Overcoming Habits, Resurrecting Old Good Ones

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I hosed jinxed myself yesterday.

I basically said that it was the first time since before Christmas that I was alone for an entire week, meaning that my kids were all at school every day. My oldest son actually went in to the doctor’s for a strep test which came back negative and he did go to school but today: they’re off. It snowed last night. A whole two inches and well (we are dealing with the massive and sluggish slurpee storm seen below), the local government thinks we’re all going to die, so we may as well die at home.

Slurpee Storm 2013

Slurpee Storm 2013

Today is day 21; the first day of my fourth week of Facebook hiatus (here is the first post about my decision). I was good all last week: the weather was great (that helps). I didn’t wake in Status Update mode; there were a couple moments of cuteness or frustration that I wanted to share or to vent, but I didn’t. Monday I wrote in my journal, “this is great! I’m cured! I haven’t thought in SU mode or anything!” But today, I’m fighting the urge to “post” about the slushstorm (the flakes are downy now and the size of egg yolks, so pretty). So for me, Facebook is like a theater set: I’m on a stage and I think everyone can see me, despite my knowing that the algorithms are such that not many can and after this hiatus, I wonder who will see any post..? And then I must remind myself: none of that matters…

The theater set metaphor raises the specter of the habits I formed last October when everyone was home sick on and off for those four months. The twitches are back and I’m bored, feeling trapped in my threadbare velvet seat, wanting to be on stage (even though I’m a largely private person). Where am I? In my office, hiding from humanity. But I’m not online, engaging with others whom I felt I’d built a fellowship. This is correct and good. The metaphorical and real curtains are open … I am in the world way more and I can see the flakes out front, they are even bigger now, criss-crossing and it looks like they mean it. It’s 31˚ out now…

these are big flakes!

these are big flakes!

Resurrecting a Good Habit

I started working out like a freak last Sunday. I felt another head cold coming on and I reverted back to my old habits of sweating it out. The “industry” rule is this: If you’re feeling sick above the throat: burn it up and sweat it out. If you’re feeling sick below the throat, let it run. Fever? Let it run.

I was able to burn it up and sweat it out because I’d given up Facebook. The next days, I am paying the piper. My lats are killing me, my anterior delts are screaming, my glutes are mad and just about every major muscle is telling me “HELL-O! WELCOME BACK!” But the cold is goneski. This is a good thing.

I don’t talk much about working out here and that’s because I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all, but the fact of the matter is that I do know a lot about health, exercise and nutrition and I can write about it all in an engaging and empowering way, so I will share those thoughts here.

I will write more about health and fitness tomorrow.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Replacing a Habit with Rabbit — This isn’t Magic

I also realized last night, as I was staring down the rabbit hole of school closings and a full house, that even though I haven’t been on Facebook (other than to attend to the nonprofit group and the fiction group I started and that means 1.5 minutes max a week) that I wrote the most blog posts ever last month. I’m feeling like a failure. I essentially replaced one outlet, Facebook, with another, this blog. I see that I also did that in October, when I planned to edit my book and spend less time on the blog.

I didn’t give up writing, I “gave up Facebook.” So then the self-judgement starts: Well, if I really wanted to give up something big, like Jesus did, I’d give up my computer and be a real… you know what? That talk is poison. Guess what: I’m keeping my computer. Jesus was divine. Writing keeps me sane. I have to be ok with accepting myself as a social creature. What I did is enough and the rewards are big and real.

The weirdness of all of this is the obvious independent variable: me. I can blame Facebook and my blog all I want (and I know I’m not) but the “problem” is me. My issue is a fear of being irrelevant. But to whom? I dunno. The five people who need me (Murphy is a person) plus me, largely have me and I am not irrelevant to them. This is tough…

So where did that fear of irrelevance come from? I think it came from Facebook — or maybe Facebook just digitizes it; makes it more immediate. I think the fear of irrelevance is a human condition — I feel we all wish to live feeling as though we’ve contributed somehow to the world or that people knew us… but the thing is: Facebook doesn’t do it. It’s not 3D, it’s not tangible, it’s not real.

My SIL and I were talking last night in person, face-to-face and we discussed the fact that 5-7 years ago, none of this (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc.) was really here for most of us and if we’re going to do studies on any of it, we should do them on how this massive onslaught of mobile social media has affected our well-being and our relationships and our brains. The data is not terribly compelling, but the trend seems to be bad.

600 People out of the 1 billion in China or India?

I read a post the other day alleging how Facebook makes us depressed. They interviewed 600 users. I had a hard time not laughing at the study because if we go sheerly by numbers, Facebook claims to have 1 billion registered users: basically, China. The study interviewed 600 Facebook users. So if Facebook is the population of China, or India, the study talked to as many people as there are in my child’s elementary school.

Mmmmmokay. Move along.

I’m not going to delve too much deeper into it other than to say this: That’s not a study. What they did determine though, is that the type of user who usually experiences depression as a result of being on Facebook is one who is not actively engaged on Facebook: the lurkers, the stalkers and the people who see other peoples’ input and think then that their own lives suck.

I am going to sound horrid, so put on your sunglasses: these study subjects sound like people who might have esteem / social issues to begin with and it does not define the type of Facebook user I am: I engage, I just stayed on too much, but I see why now: I felt trapped. I don’t think everyone’s life is rosey because most of the people I engage with on FB are people I also know off the grid. We commiserate; we avoid our domestic duties with the flair of a Vegas showgirl. When I’m in a shitty mood, I don’t go online. (Which actually sounds pretty good…) I go to my basement and pretend to beat the crap out of our heavy bag with my pink boxing gloves. I throw them at it. 

The other thing: Facebook simply bores people sometimes. It can be like the alleged humor of drunk parents — not only is it asinine, it’s pedestrian and common.

I searched “Facebook causes depression” and look at the results:

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 10.52.30 AM

26 million results.

I searched “Facebook causes happiness” and look at these results:

9.6 million - and most of those start talking about FB causing depression.

9.6 million – and then most of divert to FB causing depression.

The catch is here: living online all the time will constantly make you sad. Sitting on your butt, reading about other peoples’ stuff, looking at pictures, saying, quotes and someecards and cat memes — no matter how witty, apropos, fantastic or screwed up, is going to do NOTHING for our sense of self-worth, our productivity, our optimism, honing a talent or a skill, not to mention cook, clean, fold our laundry or get us back in shape.

A pal of mine wrote about Facebook and perceived perfection on her post, from the standpoint of motherhood and Facebook, and she’s right (we don’t have time to post reality sometimes because we’re cleaning up vomit or chasing the dog) and frankly, we don’t think people care. Lord knows once the moment passes, I don’t really want to think about it again, much less Share it.

So the twinge is gone. Did you know a craving lasts only 14 minutes? If we beat the 14 minutes, we beat the craving and we win.

It’s all about mindfulness. Owning our stuff; being ok with being “just” ok; not taking that online world as our only world and the biggest realization of all: we all die. About 99.2% of us will die largely irrelevant. Facebook wants us to think we can change that. But here’s me:  I’m really fighting irrelevance against the [online] population of China or India which is trying to do the same thing. Chances are… we are gonna stay this way and that’s A-OK by me.

this is a traffic jam in China. (not my pic, click for source)

Are you in there? Get out. The water’s fine.

Oh, these people aren’t online.

Here are just a few dozen people on bicycles… this isn’t even an aerial shot:

This isn’t even a fair representation. (not my pic – click for source)

This is India. Just a town there… (not my pic, click for source)

Be relevant to yourself. To your laundry. To your health.

Thank you.

update: here is when I talked about this next.

False F(r)iendship, Feeling Unseen, Unheard and Dressing Very Old Wounds

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This is gonna be one of my deeper “self-knowing” posts.  It is the culmination of a learning process I’ve been consciously on for almost 10 years. Don’t worry, I include typical moments of humor, to deflect what I’m really feeling ;), so you’re safe.  I propose that you leave only if you’ve never had a friend show you that you don’t matter to him or her anymore. This post also efficiently shows you how to be immature about it if you’d like to do the same (or to serve as a reality check if it’s happening to you).

5….4….3….2….1

I thought so.

OK. I started a post about a month ago, it started with the line, “Sometimes deciding to dislike someone isn’t enough.” Where I was going wasn’t pretty. It involved fantasies of freak and extremely isolated tornadoes, an unexpected job transfer, a mystery case of amnesia, a diagnosis of multiple personality disorder, imprisonment, even winning the lottery if it meant the person would move far away. Hey, I’m not moving.

The post was a knee-jerk reaction to seeing someone I don’t like anymore on my online space, despite the fact that we’d been out of touch and blocked by each other for months. Oh, yes, I have a few of those. I actually find it a badge of honor to be blocked by someone, and I feel that same special endearment for those I block.  Here’s my take: my Facebook experience is like a deck party.  People can come, everyone’s invited.  But if you’re gonna be a dick?  Or nice online but a freakin’ douchebag in person…?  Here’s the gate, use it. So regarding this online-generated froth I had, I had two choices: deal with it because they don’t like me either or quit being online.  I like being online. It’s no secret that I prefer life off the grid, but I like the social “pokes” and kindnesses I see via social media.

So I must put on my big-girl panties and deal.  That’s OK. I will. I am. I do.

I decided to wait on that post, because I wanted to step back, assess my feelings and not let it get the better of me. I’m glad I did that because it turns out I “wasn’t mad at what I was mad at” (thank you dear Fr. John J. O’Connor for that life-learning phrase) and what I was really feeling was jealousy and I got over it.

I stopped in that post before I got to talking about the feelings –emotional and physical– I have when I encounter a former friend or significant other. I get a pain, or more likely, a sensation that rises up in my very lowest gut, almost in the pelvic region.  The only thing I can equate it with for many of us who speed in our cars, is the sensation felt when the Five-O pulls us over.  What the what is that?  What is that feeling and where does it come from? I know I’m not alone in this; I’ve talked to other people about it — I won’t divulge my sources. But it’s a fantastically primitive sensation. Is it guilt? It sucks, whatever it is, and I know it means something, likely knowingly doing something wrong and doing it anyway and then getting busted.  Must be guilt.

But why do we have that feeling when we see those people again? Read on…  

I’m writing today because I got burned recently by someone whom I thought was a near-and-dear, but someone whom I realize was just as messed up, if not more so, than I was when we met.

I wrote this as my status on Facebook yesterday, “the lessons will continue until we learn them. then we become a teacher; then we will be free.

Carl Jung, the brilliant father of theory of archetypes, the collective unconscious and his studies of the human psyche has said many amazing things; I have thought that maybe I will write a blog post per my favorites. “A month of Jung…”  His most personally frustrating quote, which is indelibly written on my brain, is this: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Gah! I even hate seeing it!

I have lots of people in my life whom I’ve either pissed off or whom have pissed off me. You can’t be who I am, or someone like me: scarred, learning, fearful, bold, tenacious, loyal and quick with the biting wit and slicing tongue and not have a few foes.  Hit one of my pressure points, the unseen or unheard thing, and I can become unholy. Most of those foes have become so because I have either recognized a part of myself in that person and denied it or I have let the other person deeply into my heart and soul and they exploited my soul like a … a … cockfight trainer. Sad and true.  I know it, I see it and I usually work on it. You can’t get off this bus of self-awareness once you’re on it.  It’s like a case of … herpes, I guess (not that I’d actually know…): it has flare-ups.

Such is the beauty of the universe: its magical insistence upon flare-ups balance: You can’t have hate without love first. You can’t have spite without benevolence. You can’t have scorn without admiration. You can’t have silence without sound. It just doesn’t work. Jung said this too:  “Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”

Whatta know-it-all jerk.

Anyway, I have been on a journey for many years shedding toxicity (sometimes that means I have to shed entrenched behaviors) from my life.  This shedding means owning things: my temperamental tendencies, my reactivity, my fears of inadequacy and how those feelings transmute into trying harder, working harder, pushing harder, pulling harder, jumping higher, shouting louder, crying longer, hurting longer and just generally over-performing. It was part of my elemental and deeply primitive “see me, hear me, notice me, don’t leave me, i’ll do better” and layers-deep behaviors left over from growing up in a multi-generational dysfunctional trend in a family of truly gifted and brilliant people.

And guess what: it was bloody exhausting. Nothing quite like working your ass off to have someone notice you (bitter irony alert) who’s totally self-involved (too) because of shit that was also done to them when they were younger.  Boy, that was hard to admit. 

It’s an old habit with many people like me who are Adult Children of Alcoholics (I love my parents, so don’t think I’m being a brat, I’m just being honest). It’s also something that can come up from being a child of a mentally ill parent.  One of my sons had a preschool teacher who grew up in a world where her mother was so emotionally fractured and reactive that this woman as a child had to learn to show no emotion, none at all, so as a result she was like Spock. But she loved being around children because of their raw emotion that it sustained her, even though she was fairly ruined. I asked her about it one time and she said that getting help from a psychiatrist or other professional would be admitting that her mother did this to her… and I said, “so… uh, … what’s the problem with that?” and she simply couldn’t do it.

This journey of mine will continue and I’m grateful for it. I see the lessons now and I can write the lesson plan: listen to and feel the intuition, my true inner teacher, telling me what to do: “OK… here we go. Here comes one, feel that prick in your gut? that’s me (you, actually) telling you to … NO. Ugh… don’t make eye contact, don’t talk, dammit, ok… don’t talk much more. Shit! You shouldna said that, now you have a con-nec-tion, remember those? Ok, don’t say anymo– alright… reroute: look at your watch, look over the shoulder, there’s Bipsy, by the window, go to her.  Really?: ‘Why won’t she come over here?’ She’s not stupid… Don’t resume contact with this one …no. NO, don’t say THAT… Gaaad, OK, we can still save you.  You still have time to NOT SAY THAT… you’re on your own now… good luck with this stray… you now have a new project… initiating ‘fix this person’ mode. I’ll be here … in the corner under the dark felt blanket… being ignored by you for the next, oh, six years…”

But I am closer now. I think I’m really getting it. No, I swear!  In fact, when those relationships go pear-shaped now, I’m fairly ready and waiting. Sometimes I’m the dumper, others, the dumped. Despite the sting and the big hole, it’s OK though, because the lesson has been learned.

Feeling unseen and unheard for the formative years of my life has definitely had an impact on how I relate to people.  My mother used to tell me that when I was in kindergarten, I came home with “Five Steps to Making a Friend.” I believe it was a simplistic list adorned with my potato(e) (hahah, I miss me some Dan Quayle, anyone else?) people.  My mom said it went along the lines of,

1: Say hi to the person.

2: Tell the person you like their hair or clothes.

3: Ask the person their name.

4: Tell the person your name.

5: Ask the person to be your friend.

I think it worked. I remember many friends when I was little. I hope we all did. I don’t know what’s happened since kindergarten, but it seems that it’s harder to make good friends as an adult and the ones I have, I really want to hang on to. There’s the one I’ve had since 8th grade CCD and she won’t let me say how long that’s been… There are the built-in friends: cousins, and they are truly, anchors. My cousins have never let me down.  The adult / married built-ins, in-law siblings and their spouses have also been a blessing to me. And then there’s the cousins of the spouse which have also enriched my life.

There are a couple friends that I thought I had for the long haul, despite my intuition tsk-tsk-tsking, rolling its eyes and filing its nails the entire time.  The friendships that go from:

A: hi

B: heeeeyyyy…

A: i never knew my father.

B: my mother was an arsonist.

A: i was raised on dry dog food and two hours of sunlight a day.

B: i ate canned cat food and peed outside near a tree.

A: let’s go on vacation together.

B: i’ve got clothes in the car, i’ll drive.

within the first hour are likely doomed.  It’s sorta like dating: the people who are ready to jump in the sack within the first sip of the drink are probably not gonna be able to make the relationship stick without some serious attention, slowing down and patience.

The ones that seem to last are the ones that are slow to percolate (she knows who she is if she’s reading this, the poor thing) and that’s what my lesson has been: the people who take a while to get to know me and let me get to know them are the ones who see me, who hear me and who know that it’s important to take time.  It’s a lot like how I met my husband. (I started a blog on that too — how my life has been saved, so vibrantly enriched and blessed by simply having him near — and I put it on the back burner because I really wanted to honor it; he has been in my life longer than out of it now.) We weren’t hot and heavy for a while (you can come back out, Dad) as we spent many months talking and getting to know each other.  We let each other be seen and heard (even though I didn’t know it was happening) over years, and it’s still going on. Good! It has to.

If you’re incapable of having a mature, face-to-face conversation about the state of your relationship, here’s how to show a friend who trusted you that s/he doesn’t matter to you any more (or: Here’s how to mess with someone who trusts you):

1. Pose: frequently and openly preach authenticity, but don’t dare actually practice it.

2. Control: be reactive and maintain the friendship on your secret terms; expect your friend to read your mind.

3. Betray: tell your friend you don’t have time, but be openly friendly with others and definitely be friendly with people whom you know have hurt and don’t like your “friend.”

4. Confuse: when things are awkward and you’ve walked out on that “friend,” definitely dance around the perimeter of the friendship but don’t make meaningful contact (Facebook “likes” are an excellent tool for that).

5. Ignore: be unresponsive to your friend’s apologies, heart-felt vulnerability and soul-baring attempts at reconciliation.

Yes, this still happens to people at 44. Feeling invisible and feeling unheard is a very deep wound with some (most!) of us. It can have some good side-effects: ambition, success and audacity and guts.  It can also have some really (swear alert) fucked-up side-effects too: unrelenting flamboyance, outrageousness, loudness, larger than life-ness, chips on the shoulder, anger, disregard for how we appear to others because, dammit, we’re gonna LIVE, BABY!  Here’s a concrete example: I think almost all of The U.S. House of Representatives and New York City feels unseen and unheard.

The physical “guilty” feeling and getting that “I told you so…” tug in the belly must come from ignoring our intuition. It’s the knowing disobedience we inflicted on ourselves and the crash of “oh shit, now we’ve done it; mom’s gonna kick our butts” in our souls.

Those of us who feel (deeply) unseen and unheard are likely drawn to one another so so so strongly that we don’t realize we are simply repeating the pattern. Consciously we think, “This person gets me, s/he knows what it’s like, we’re gonna get along great!” but unconsciously, our bodies, hearts, spirits and souls are saying, “You’re gonna get ignored again. You’re also likely going to ignore this person when s/he needs you desperately not to.”  We might feel a “connection” but it’s really an attachment, which is waaaaay super-duper, I-can’t-tell-you-enough-or-how-very-deeply unhealthy.

We are lining up with people who are very likely to never see us and never hear us because they, themselves, are too busy working very hard to be seen and to be heard, hence betrayals and other acts of desperation to be seen and heard.  This was my pattern and that was my lesson to learn: I can not have an earnest and healthy relationship with another person who is as wounded as I am if that person isn’t working as hard as I am to beat the inner feelings of invisibility and irrelevance and truly listen and see the other person.

What’s worse than any of this? I’ll tell you: being rejected by someone who is totally vapid and self-involved. Why is it worse? Because that hits the unseen and unheard nerve like a cannon ball.  And if you’re asleep spiritually, you’re gonna do one thing and one thing only: GO AFTER THAT PERSON MORE. I’ve done it myself, but I stopped about two months ago and I see other people do it all the time.  In fact, I saw someone do it yesterday.

It’s a deeply old pattern and it’s gonna keep happening until, and ONLY until, I (you, we) stop it. Yesterday, I stopped it. I showed someone the gate. Lesson learned. I am free.

Did you know that band was all white guys? I had no clue!

Thank you.

Teetering on Tweetering

Standard

To: You, both my readers

From: Me, technologically ennui-filled ambitious and conflicted author

Date: July 13, 2012

Subject: Dare I tweet? Does it Help?

Team Grass Oil:

I am at a point where I have written a first draft of a novel.  I have much more to write.  I know this.  I accept this as my mission and I am prepared to do whatever I can to

See, that’s where it stops.

I guess I’m not ready yet.  I have a best friend who is a published author.  Tracy Kiely.  She writes mystery novels and they’re great.  Funny, sharp, whimsical and like Tracy, elegant.  She has wanted to be a writer since before she was born and she is a writer.  To me, whether she is published or not, she is a Writer.  But she is published and now she is a busy writer: traveling, promoting, writing more, interviews, book clubs, author readings, book signings and all that.  She is my hero.  I have known her for a long time.  She won’t let me say how long any more.  She has been a champion of mine as long as I’ve known her.  She and I have a shorthand that spares hours (even though we are on the phone for hours when we manage to carve out a weekend to “chat”).  I don’t know if I’ve ever told her she’s my hero (or maybe I have, but I swear I’ve never sung it to her). I want her to know that I love her and think she’s just that cat’s pajamas.  OK, enough emotional stuff, I need to get to the point.

Tracy tweets. She’s not on Facebook too often which is fine because she’s writing, but she does have an author page.  I haven’t asked her about the tweeting; I will.  So stop rolling your eyes …

Other authors tweet. I’ve been asked if I’m on twitter twice.

That was funny.  Let me try that in an alliterative style: two tweeters talked of tweeting twice. Now three times. Now faster!

People who are not authors tweet.  Snookie tweets, what the what is that all about?

  • ouch. lycra and spandex have limits #inexplicablyfamous

I think teenagers tweet.  About what?

  • Stuckonhighway #needgas
  • thisfrappucinosucks #needgas
  • mommadetunacasseroleagain #needgas
  • can’tstandmyexbestfriend #needgas

Or the butcher:

  • nystriponsale13 per lb bring your own bags. #freshmeat

Or maybe Superman tweets:

  • need SPF 3000 or better lead shield #sunisstrongerthankryptonite

The thing is: if I write and finish this book that I started last month and farm it out to an agent who then shops it to a publisher … (quick, get me the smelling salts, i’m about to get the vapors) and let’s say people buy it and then they tell friends and all of a sudden I’m eating fois gras at the Plaza and Ashton Kutcher asks me for my autograph and then Steven Spielberg tells me he wants ME to star as Miriam in my soon-to-be directed film adaptation about Miriam where she gets abducted by hip abductor muscles and she can only walk laterally… too late, i passed out. 

Anyway, the point is: should I tweet? People say it’s more effective than Facebook and the point of writing the book is to get people to read it … so? I dunno… I guess I could always quit it.  Yeah. ‘Cause that’s what I do… I quit things.  I’m laughing.  My kids are laughing at that.  The dog, he just started laughing. No, I don’t quit. I just dial back.  When I quit something, it’s forever.

I would LOVE to hear from you about this.  I have no clue.  Really.  I feel it’s sorta tapping into that “don’t garner attention” gene of mine. Gah! What a conflict!  I HATE ATTENTION! but then why do i do this?! Really? I just checked my stats: no one is reading this. Like three people are reading this post. So … once again this is a problem in my own brain.

Here’s one: Grass Oil tweets! #conflicted about attention

Thank you.

UPDATE: well, that ennui lasted all of 48 hours. i ended up opening a Twitter account. you can follow me if thou wishest: @mollyfieldtweet – lucky you! 🙂