learned helplessness

I’m behind at work.  I have to write a quality plan and we have this crazy auditor who wants things done a very specific way. Unlike other auditors, he does not simply check to see if we are adhering to a a standard.   I can’t seem to get this document right.  meanwhile a bunch of other stuff I need to do is not getting done and it’s making me VERY anxious.  couldn’t sleep last night. 

When meditating - it was hard to get to get thru the thick anxiety and get to my younger selves to check up on them -see how they were feeling.  I started to have memories of school when i was younger. I thought of homework that "the" dad would love to check.  when  the dad found something incorrect he would get angry - VERY angry.  There would be physical repercussions.  So I started pretending that I didn’t have any homework. All this did was prolong the inevitable - bad grades at the end of the semester. One time he left an entire handprint on brothers face.  The dad’s handprint was literally on my brothers face.  

I remember the dad shoving my brother up against a wall because he had a wrong answer on

a homework question.   I wondered  if my brother would live through the event. 

 I wondered if I was  next.   but I didn’t get it as bad as my brother.  why? I have a feeling 

the reason is repressed.

I feel this way at work - trapped - anxious - very anxious. The only thing coming thru in 

this morning meditation was a distant “i’m bad” sound from one of my parts 

that was very cut off.  I feel only anxiety.  I asked my older wise 

self what to do.  She said I was doing everything right - assuring all my parts that 

we are safe.  continuing to check in and

assure  my younger parts that they are loved no matter what.   Allow the feeling to come . be patient.

I think I have learned helplessness.  can't win. trapped.  there is this part of me that 

thinks I can' t accomplish the task at hand  - which I most certainly can.  I think it comes from

not having the ability to meet the dads expecations. Even if my homework was perfect he would FIND

something wrong.  maybe the handwriting wasn't correct.  or  maybe my lines weren't perfectly straight. 

it didn't matter. he woudl FIND something. and there were grave repercussions.  

In writing this.. i’m actually starting to feel the sadness. It’s a start.



I felt very sad reading this too. It's so cruel. Your child self didn't do anything wrong. Clearly it wasn't about what you had done wrong. He was just looking for an excuse to abuse, and manufactured a reason if necessary. It's important for the child to understand that it was never about her being bad or doing something wrong - it was always about him needing an excuse to vent his own pain and frustration on a helpless victim. The big coward!

My father was similar. He used to come home from work and pace through the house looking for some petty shit to lose his temper over, like a towel not being hung straight in the bathroom or something. How pathetic is that?!! A grown man who doesn't have the balls to pick a fight with someone his own size and chooses to act out on his helpless children instead.

You are doing such a wonderful job of getting in touch with your inner children and your wiser self. It's inspiring to read about.

It sounds like you need to put the document down and walk away from it for a little while. Come back to it with fresh eyes. A good walk or activity could help. I used to do that and it would overwhelm me to the point I had to leave it and come back a day later. My dad was also that way. If it was not my homework or the dishes or just walking in front of the tv at the wrong time then it was how I looked. You are doing a great job at getting in touch with your feelings and recognizing it. Keep telling yourself what a good person you are and your accomplishments. If you can, find something to boost your daily confidence.

Oh, ask the auditor point blank what he is looking for. If he is being nitpicky he needs to be more specific. Not your fault. Some people want it a certain way and it is never good enough unless they do it themselves so ask him "what specifically are you looking for? I keep doing this and it keeps changing so I need some additional information". It took me a long time to fight back and say what I needed.

Thanks Doo and DonnaWanda e for your support and feedback :)