A few days ago I wrote about the flip side of focus. After second guessing myself, I removed the post – all but a link I had within it, that is. I’ve decided to re-post it but only part of it.
The Flip Side of Focus -
Do you know what I wish? I wish my ability to what I call hyperfocus on a task – which can be a very good thing at times – I wish this ability did not have the flip side that is sooooo wearisome. When trouble comes, I have an overwhelming need to relieve myself of all extraneous responsibility and commitments. My mind goes into overdrive focusing on how to manage the trouble as best I can. That management feels like removing every other thing that feels like a weight on me until the trouble has passed. Even when the weights are not weighty on a good day but good things I’ve chosen, on a bad day they can feel like bricks on my shoulders. It’s really an awful feeling. It makes me hold my breath and then let it out again in a huffy sigh.
I think I used to handle stress fairly well (before my son got sick). But maybe all those years I wasn’t dealing with it at all. I just kept doing the thing that needed to be done – staying on track, keeping the routine – and pushed down my emotions. I was so very good at covering my emotions. I was master of the no expression expression. But is that really handling the stress of a hard situation? Some would say that’s being strong. But I disagree. Stuffing your emotions and telling yourself that what is happening is not really happening is just a different kind of coping strategy – but not a healthy one.
(At this point I’m deleting a paragraph from my original post. I’ll talk more about that further down the page.)
I feel the responsibility to fix broken things that although I did not break, I feel I must fix. I admitted to my husband a few days ago that I have lived my entire life feeling that nothing I do is enough. Just under the surface of this 51 year old flesh is a girl with sweaty palms who lives in fear of being called to the PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE. Not because she did something so wrong but because she didn’t do enough right. She didn’t meet all those expectations that for some really dumb reason she thinks people have of her.
(Here’s where I should insert, “People don’t think about you half as much as you think they think about you.)
Maybe it’s because she’s actually heard some of those words through the years. Maybe it’s not dumb after all. Maybe it’s just remembering the real words. It’s a terrible burden to hold yourself to words like these.
She ought to…
She should have been there.
She should do more.
Maybe it’s revealing that the good little girl is not that good after all. I prayed for wisdom today because I just don’t know what to do in a present trouble. But I’m so tired of the wearisome mental and emotional focus.
After I originally wrote and published this today, I decided to google “hyperfocus.” Then I edited my post to link the article. This statement from the article sums up my feelings to a T.
Now for a little explanation on what I left out from the original post -
I wrote about something that, truth be told, represents a place of wounding in my life. The wounds left scars and those scars are very sensitive still. I’m talking about manipulation.
Disclaimer: I have no problem with persuasion that is open and honest but that’s not what manipulation is. Persuasion is up front and comes from a sincere place. Manipulation is another ballgame altogether.
Manipulate - to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage (Merriam Webster online)
Insidious – causing harm in a way that is not easily noticed
By the way, “harm” does not have to be great harm to be harmful.
I have such an aversion to the feeling of being manipulated that my knee-jerk reaction is to escape the source. And I have considered that I may be so overly sensitive to it that I misinterpret it at times. But I also believe that often the people who do it do not even realize what they are doing. Manipulation can be so subtle. A person may not even recognize it for what it is. They may simply feel bad or have a sense of guilt (false guilt!) and not realize what’s just happened. Maybe the best thing I can do is, recognize it but refuse to get inwardly worked up about it – unless it has to do with my kids. Then that’s another scenario.
If I could sit with you face to face, I could speak more candidly about this and if manipulation is not a source of wounding for you, you may dismiss most of what I have to say. But…if your heart beat a bit faster when you read my words and a few past or present scenarios came to your mind, you might find some freedom in an open discussion in safe company.
I have more to share but it’ll keep. I had a conversation yesterday with an older woman – my aunt – that soothed my hurt and made me realize how much I miss being mothered by my own mother. We need one another. We need spiritual daughters, sisters and mothers in the faith. With just one term of endearment in that quick call yesterday, a weight rolled off my shoulders. But like I said, that’ll keep.
Written by Melanie Dorsey - Visit Website