Life Trajectory Sabotage

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Phoebes

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Life Trajectory Sabotage
« on: May 04, 2019, 05:03:26 PM »
** so long**

Lately I have been frustrated and FULL of regret. Then I feel shame at not wanted to project my low vibes of shame around or onto others. Then I get bursts of intentions for change, to start fresh and succeed, only to quickly fizzle out and lose my momentum or direction. Often I forget about continuing the pursuit I was just a few days ago so pumped about.

The bottom line is, I feel the most at home and true to myself when I am making art. I wanted to become an artist. I had even set myself up for success at one point. How did I get so far off track? I have shamed myself over this for decades, and struggled to keep going with my art when I did get it going.

I get very overwhelmed and upset when I see art that is similar to the types of ideas, images and mediums I have "started" to pursue, things in my head I've never developed. In the time I've spent doing other "jobs" and floundering around, these people have spent their time doing their art and making something of themselves. WHY DIDN'T I? Before I write the next part, if you are still reading this, just know, I 1000% blame no one but myself.

BUT...(Not to negate my self-responsibility..BUT....LOL) I've had a few more layers to my story revealing themselves lately..What DID happen? Why IS pursuing what I want so hard for me? Why DID I not do it when the time was right?

Does anyone struggle with this too? To summarize...

*From a very early age, my art was ignored, eyes rolled at, scoffed at, and even criticized at times. Mostly no comment with a blank look (coming from Nm). Literally, a naturally talented 3 year old who could draw realistically and shade with blended shading and color mixing.

*When I was at the individuation age and talking about wanting to become and artist and musician, Nm would literally rage. Never could I even say anything about my liking of art or music with a negative response from her. Many times she told me I needed to forget about that and get my head out of my ***. (And I believed her. Why would my mom think it was such a bad idea if it wasn't? Doesn't she have my best interest in mind like she says? Uh.. NO actually!)

*My dad was a professional artist and musician. While he will tell you he was always supportive of my art and music (which I have always believed, I guess because he wasn't directly negative and discouraging my Nm), He NEVER, and I mean never, interacted with me over art or music. Never played and sang with me, never a joyful occasion of discussing or doing art, or praising my art specifically. No encouraging my own way, style, ideas. In fact, if I had my own ideas, he was more like "what is that? I don't get it. why don't you do something realistic?" I'm realizing more now that I viewed my EnD as the "good guy" because he has a sweet persona, but he did NOT support me, protect me, or encourage my being an individual.

*My art teachers were weak. In high school, I threw together a last minute piece for a state-wide contest, and won best of my (large) city. I was then up for a scholarship, which I had no idea what that meant, and was led to a room with a long table surrounded by men in suits.hey asked me a few questions about my art, laughed at a couple of my answers, and I didn't get the scholarship. I was so anxious and frozen when I went in that room. Not one adult spoke to me before hand, prepared me for even what was happening, much less to be prepared to interview for a scholarship. The only mention of it again was Nm flipping her hands and condescendingly saying "well, I guess you weren't meant to go to art school." I felt a deep sense of shame that I had screwed up my interview. The one I didn't know was coming and had no idea that it determined if I was able to go to art school. Where was my dad? Where was my art teacher? Why didn't my parents even comment on my art piece that won best of show for the city??

*I remember, as I explored my own creativity, feeling literally guilty and a disappointment to both of my parents. I didn't want to paint realistic landscapes. I wanted to be able to express myself, and I sure could not do that verbally without getting in huge trouble.

* As a young adult, I worked one year after college, asked myself why I didn't pursue art, quit my job and got into a prestigious art school program, waited tables, lived in a small garage apartment..was so happy! I was doing it! Living my dream. My teachers were very pretentious and critical. I had no life skills to handle such a thing. I was becoming broke. My Nm had literally raged in the driveway about how embarrassed she was, she didn't raise me to act like a rebellious teenager at my age (25)." I wasn't rebelling, I was being me. But at the time, I internalized what she said. It hurt. I wondered why she didn't love me. And in that moment, I remember thinking of course she loves me, she's my mom. How horrible to think that about her. I didn't feel successful and I've driven my mom to nervous breakdown. I didn't understand I needed to get away from her emotionally and physically in order for this pursuit to work.

*I completed a year of art school, and went back to my career, thinking I was too old to be doing this, all of my classmates are 18 and I'm 25. Maybe my mom is right-I look ridiculous.  (Still at this juncture, I blame myself for not going NC and staying on an art trajectory. I could have done so much with my art. I allowed her lifelong hatred of me to control me.)

I just think so many things played in to this literal , physical paralysis, shame and stagnation about my own art. My own self-expression. I know intellectually that I can and should express my thoughts, that I can start fresh now in my 50's, that life can change, that I can do something every day for my art. When I don't take action, I feel shame. But when I do take action, I get stuck. Like the voice that gets caught in my throat when I try to speak, my actions get stuck on an invisible snag I can't explain. I can't even post on social media without feeling like someone will judge me.

All I know is if I can't solve this once and for all, get some art going..*, even just for a hobby. No intention of becoming an artist. Just DO something. Anything. This is where the rubber hits the road of my healing..I have to solve this.

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Phoebes

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Re: Life Trajectory Sabotage
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 05:18:44 PM »
Sorry for the loooonnnnng post...thank you, if you read it. I know, it's too much..I'm just processing a bit I think..

A thought I had in rereading is just how enmeshed and codependent of my parents I was. I didn't think I was at the time. But, this is the way Nm made sure I was controlled. I could never speak without her monitoring if what I thought or said was ok. Much of the time, if I started to speak as a child, she would cut me off mid word or sentence with a shameful scowl. Like, how dare I think I can say something.

She had to control my words (severely shaming me for my thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes- often raging and punishing them), controlled what I wore, hairstyle, make-up. Yes, I was forced to comply or rage, beatings, groundings. It wasn't worth the agggro by the time I was 10 or so.

She guilted me and played the victim at all times. Poor her, I was making her miserable (by being me). I was such an embarrassment to her.

My dad agreed with her by proxy. He stayed away, and didn't protect or counter her. Now he claims to not remember.

These people- men in suits laughing at me, teachers being pretentious and critical, and the like throughout life...it never occurred to me until I started healing from this and learning about N-abuse that these people's reactions weren't even about me at all. I was trained and brainwashed to internalize criticism and shame at every turn. At least I can say I recognize this now and have stopped taking so many things personally. I guess that's some progress.


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notalone

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Re: Life Trajectory Sabotage
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 05:23:54 PM »
I feel so sad for the weight of shame and condemnation that you carry. (And I understand it.)

I know intellectually that I can and should express my thoughts, that I can start fresh now in my 50's, that life can change, that I can do something every day for my art.
:yeahthat:
Would love to see you express yourself freely. Would it help to take baby steps? Maybe give yourself 30 minutes to paint. What would help you to be true to this part of yourself? Talk back to the voices, maybe even aloud: "I am an artist and I am worth expressing myself in this way," or whatever best answers the voices. I am for you and rooting for you.  :cheer:

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Phoebes

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Re: Life Trajectory Sabotage
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2019, 07:22:40 PM »
Thank you, notalone!
I like that talking back to the voices approach. Seeing it as being worth it. Thank you.  :hug:

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Tee

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Re: Life Trajectory Sabotage
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2019, 05:08:38 PM »
Hi Phoedes, as I read your post I was thinking I could have written this.

She had to control my words (severely shaming me for my thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes- often raging and punishing them), controlled what I wore, hairstyle, make-up. Yes, I was forced to comply or rage, beatings, groundings. It wasn't worth the agggro by the time I was 10 or so.

She guilted me and played the victim at all times. Poor her, I was making her miserable (by being me). I was such an embarrassment to her.




It is so hard to be your own person when your whole life you have been sensored.  I've been trying to find ways to be different.  I see my kids expressing themselves and it triggers the horrible things that were said to me when I dressed crazy at 6.  It causes me to get stuck not knowing how to move forward except to focus on my kids.  Thank you for sharing.  You are not alone.  Good luck! Gentle hug. :hug:

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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: Life Trajectory Sabotage
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 06:56:25 PM »
Dear Phoebes, reading your post some things came up for me that I had thought I had forgotten about. How controlling my m was and how enmeshed I got with her. I don't blame myself for that because I was too young to know better but somehow even then I knew it was wrong, and I felt shame about it, and I still feel shame now. I can't tell you how much I recognise that absolute control.

I am / was sensitive but I was never allowed to express myself verbally either. I recognise the rage you speak of, and the controlling of the clothes, attitudes. It got to the point I forgot who I was, it being easier to just be who she wanted.

It's funny, my f was emotionally absent as well, and I never remember him doing anything engaging with me, even though he was the 'nice guy'. I'm quite sad that he never was able to be there for me. The rest of my family still see him as the nice guy. I see him as the enabler. In some important way I respect my m more. At least I knew where I stood with her.

I also made a bad choice re my higher education and hated it and did not know what to do. It did not suit my temperament at all. But I still feel guilt for not being able to go through with it. And a failure for sticking with it so long before failing. Even my f said "Complete it for your m's sake". This was after she was dead.

I did try to complete and failed, failed and failed again. It broke me.

Now, I am learning again to be truer to my own nature. But, to find out what it is is difficult, faced with such a strong internal critic.

For me, it is music. I love music and I play my electric piano every day (electric so I can plug headphones in - I don't want to disturb anyone with it). If I had had the support to be me, I would have been much more contented in life. I don't really desire to be rich (I obviously don't want to be on the streets either - I was also brought up to be terrified of poverty which was my destiny if I didn't study hard enough. Nonsense, of course, but it sticks).

Now, in my 40s, I take pleasure in playing for its own sake. I still have difficulty expressing my needs and I still have no real idea of boundaries. It makes relationships very difficult.

I apologise for the very long post. I really recognised so many things you described I really wanted to reply.

I wish you all the best in your art and I hope you are able to enjoy whatever you produce, large or small. It's a great thing to be able to express our true selves, however we can.

 :)

Hug too if it feels OK for you  :hug: