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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Uncovering the Root cause of my PHOBIA

I wanted to explore my phobia of dark water. I've had it since I was little, I can remember a time when I didn't have it though, but that is only one memory and I was still pretty nervous about it.

My most vivid early memories of the phobia are 'the log' which was green and it glowed in the water when the sun hit it, and it went so deep that it disappeared into the dark depths of the lake.

Also, the water at the beach would have a nice sandy bottom and then it would drop off all of a sudden into colder darker water, it makes me react just to describe it.

Those are the two main ones, but really any dark water where I can't see the bottom or if there's stuff in the water like fallen trees or rocks or branches.

The last bad experience I had was canoeing down a river. I was pretty nervous the whole time but when the sun went behind the mountains I could no longer see the bottom of the river. It got pretty dark on the way back and my husband and I were new to the area and we were out in unknown woods, so the whole scenario was not conducive to me overcoming my fear.

All of a sudden a huge branch fell off a tree that was hanging over the water. I panicked and then brought it under control. Then, a couple minutes later, large items started slapping the water around the canoe causing big splashes.

I paddled for my life back to the shore, even my husband was scared, it turns out we were in beaver territory and that's just what they do - lol!

I'm pretty sure it has to do with fear of the unknown,
I feel threatened by it, like some monster is going to come out and grab me.
I feel like as soon as the water is dark, the monster is right there, just waiting for me to relax so it can strike.
I'm not afraid of real things like sea turtles and big fish, sharks a little, but it's mostly a make believe prehistoric type sea serpent thing that I think about, something too big to escape from.

Within the phobia possession I feel terror, I realize the irrationality but I feel like I need to get out of the water or die.
The reaction starts the moment I know I'm going to be going in to dark water.
I feel like I'm dependent on being 'extra alert' about what's going on in the water because if I relax for even a moment I wont be ready to run/swim to safety, which pretty much locks me into reacting every time.

I'm comforted by other people being in the water close to me.
When I used to drink I would be fine with a little booze in me, swimming around anywhere.
I'm comforted by seeing through the water to the bottom.
I'm more comfortable at high tide because I know it's just the beach under me.

I got over the mass amount of seaweed I have to walk through in Maine.
I got over swimming over the rocks at 'the river mouth.' But the ocean feels safer than lakes.

Towards lakes I have extensive fear. It's not the drowning that scares me, it's the idea of 'what could be in there' and I frequently imagine the initial snatch whenthe monster popps out for the first time. After that I feel pretty certain I'd go into shock and survival mode, but it's the not knowing and the imagined 'initial moment of realization' when the monster pops out and right before I assume I would go in to shock.
I have some good questions to ask myself tonight.

Support from ANNA:

Hi Kim

I have also had this specific fear and I agree that it reveals a fear of self as "the unknown", as darkness. If we look at bit more symbolic at it, it can also reveal a fear of that which Self has suppressed "under the surface" as emotions that is considered "monstrous" by Self.

What I have done practically with this is to focus on the experience when I am in the water and right before the experience of panic "sets in" before what I started to realize was that I was deliberately instigating the fear with inserting a tension, especially in the legs. And what I found to be the only way to stop, was to deliberately to swim slowly, feel my legs "in the darkness", deliberately pushing down instead of up and then continuing to do that until the experience is stopped while breathing and being comfortable in the water.

Support from KELLY:

Cool support Anna. I used to have reactions toward being the water too, exactly the fear of the unknown, when I couldn't see the bottom, when I'd feel something brush my foot, or that cold dark deep edge, fear of going over that edge, lol, yeah Ana the symbology is very interesting- fear of 'going over the edge' in the 'darkness'. I would get that panic feeling. I haven't been in any water sources for a while so I haven't walked that specifically in the physical. Looking at it now, I see the reaction of going into fear mode is actually 'scarier' to me than water (lol mean to type whatever), the fear-mode is scarier than what I might encounter/experience in the water- I mean, what you experience is there, it's just there and you'll have to face it, there'll be no choice about it, and to go into a fear state will take me away from here to be able-to-respond, and that is actually more 'scary' than the fear, lolol.
So, very cool, to walk oneself through stopping these reactions, so that you can be here and not go into the 'panic-mode' which we seem to 'think' is to help/protect us, but is actually not an effective solution to whatever may come up in the moment.

My use of the support: 

lol- ya, quite symbolic, now that i've re-read it.

The prehistoric monster could be my secret mind that seems so big and scary because I have been suppressing and avoiding it and because I have not shed light on it. It's a make-believe monster, just like the secret mind is not real or 'what is here actually.'

When ever I do some digging around and applying sf it never ends up being as big and bad as it seemed in my mind.

The fear that 'if I let my guard down, the monster will attack,' is like me being afraid to let down my fake face and my image because I have been using it as a protection and as a coping mechanism for so long. If I stop participation in ego I will be vulnerable and eaten alive.

Or, it is me keeping my mind going with energy, if I stop that participation in energy, my mind as me will die.
This makes sense to me - actually the fear of being attacked by Self when allowing self to open up. You can also look at if there are specific emotions that you fear, suppressed, "unknown", "monstrous" emotions - as the water represents emotions. Also when I write through such realizations it is often very clear once I "see it" - so the after-rationalization only happens in the Mind, actually as yet another defense-mechanism of procrastinating and postponing facing the point.

In the actual situation of being run over by a car or eaten by a shark, it is simply facing the situation "head on" most likely in pain - but is there fear? Or is fear always and only in the anticipation? These are quite cool questions we can ask ourselves. 

I have some good questions to ask myself tonight.

But first, yes, absolutely the fear is always and only ever in the anticipation, that's amazing to realize, even though I already knew, I wasn't 'ripe' to hear it actually until now because I have been realizing lately and walking through less difficult smoke screens which gave me a better understanding of the concept.

My questions are: what 'monstrous' emotions am I harboring, or what emotions do i feel i will attack myself over if I reveal them to myself?

And, why do i feel fear will protect me?

For question one, I'm connecting the feeling of the monster to feelings of being found to be a fraud. As in, I have this extensive fear that who I've accepted and allowed myself to become will be revealed and found out and it will destroy me.

Specific memories associated with this are, when about 5-15: lying to my parents and stealing money.

Revealing secrets told to me in confidence by friends/not being trustworthy.

Stealing and lying in general - I had no remorse at the time, because I never got caught, but if I had been caught I would have had to face myself and realize that I wasn't the nice little girl I believed myself to be, and who I had everyone else believe me to be. So I'm facing myself now and I'm ashamed of what I allowed myself to do due to the complete lack of regard for those who I stole from and lied to.

I think my monster is my own deceit, because if people knew how deceitful I was/am their image of me would be shattered, and I define myself based on that image so I would be shattered and die. Hence the life-or-death terror.

Within my self-forgiveness I would like to release this belief based on memories of the deceitful person I once was, and to shed some light in to the darkness of my mind to reveal that it isn't as bad as it seems.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to hang on to specific memories of times where I was deceitful and acted in self-interest and stored the experience of deceit in my secret mind.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to... (I just fell asleep at the keyboard) I'm going to push through this resistance and continue.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to hold on to the specific memories of lying to my parents about skipping school, stealing money from their wallets to buy candy, lying about where I was or where I was going. Lying about boys, drugs, who I was, smoking.
I'm constantly lying to myself about who I really am, and stealing energy from myself through participation in thoughts.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to lie to my 'friends' about almost everything and never keeping their deepest secrets but instead gossiping behind their backs, telling myself I wasn't trustworthy and dependable, so that I would never be able to trust or depend on myself.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to lie to my intimate partners. I never felt a need to commit in a relationship I knew that if I didn't get caught I could do whatever I wanted. I buried self-judgment, shame and self-disgust about all these things which I need to face here and now.

I fell asleep again. I don't know if it's because of the extensiveness of this point within me or if I'm just that tired, so I will go to sleep and finish this I the a.m. now that I have the groundwork laid out.

The Next Day:

Due to the amount of resistance I have to the above topics, I know that what I am trying to uncover is something I hold to be a deep dark secret and have buried in the cold and dark depths of my mind. But I'm sick of it now and it needs to come out.

The statements I made in my previous post lack the clarity I would have liked. I don't know if I need to be more specific. I feel like I'm poking around in the dark.

It feels like I covered everything in those 5 vague and general sf statements, but they were too vague and general to have any effect.

So, I'm going to keep digging through writing about it.

I feel like I was the worst kind of person because I lacked any kind of morality and I felt no empathy for other people as long as there were no consequences, i.e. they didn't find out.

I don't know if the monster is the deceit, or is he the fear of exposure? Yes, that's more likely.

I can't let my guard down-I can't lay off this act because then I'll be seen for what I really am. And I have all this fear, shame and guilt built up from over the years that it has become this big scary thing. And because I don't want to know about it/admit it/acknowledge it, it is hidden in the deepest darkest places in my mind. Actually, it created those places.

The sea monster- being me- also creates fear in me with regards to how I will 'attack' myself and judge myself for who I was and what I have done, so I allow myself, right here and now, to continue expressing myself without fear. I will stand by myself through everything I will have to face, without judgment or self-sabotage.

I allow myself to hear myself without giving in to the safety of fearing myself.

I allow myself to realize my unconditional self-forgiveness is real, it is here and it is only waiting for me to accept its gift of grace as I am only waiting for me to accept myself in forgiveness.

I allow myself to let go without fear.

So, the past is in the past and I can't go back and change it, but I can change myself absolutely here, in forgiving myself for who I have been, and not repeat it.

I'm not that person anymore.

I'm just having a really hard time figuring out self-forgiveness on this for some reason.

So I'll look at specifics.

My first memory of being deceitful, wherein I would use the mentality that "I don't care what you say I'm going to do what I want one way or another" and I figured out the best way to get what I wanted was to be quiet and unnoticed and do it in secret.

I literally lived as corruption.

So my first memory of this behaviour was from when I was three and I was told I couldn't have cookies.

I secretly climbed up on to the counter to get to the cookie jar on top of the refrigerator. When I held on to the freezer door it opened and I slipped and was hanging on the freezer door for dear life- lol.

I didn't call for help because I thought my parents would know immediately what I was up to.

Finally my dad came into the kitchen and saw me hanging there, on the freezer door which was wide open. To my utter shock, he wasn't mad. He was very nice to me when I thought I should be in trouble. I think it was then that I started to realize that if people didn't know about the bad thing, there were no consequences.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have feared and anticipated my father's reaction of anger and disappointment that I felt he should have felt towards me.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to not realize I was actually feeling those things about myself because I was being deliberately deceptive.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to separate myself from those feelings and bury them deep inside of myself and fear them.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to associate energetic charges of embarrassment, guilt and shame to this memory.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to define myself by these feeling about myself.

I allow myself to release myself from this memory and the energetic reactions and charges I have connected to it. I let it go so that it no longer directs me Here.

I just got this flash of wanting to go shopping. I think I used to go shopping to make myself feel better about all my hidden shames.

I also think my ocd, which includes feeling 'dirty' when I'm not actually, has to do with shame or guilt associated with this. I feel dirty and vile sometimes and I have to tell myself that I'm not.

The second memory is from when I was 6-7, I took apart this mechanical toy my mom had bought me. She found it dismantled and asked me if I had done it. She must have been upset because I was too scared to admit it so I made up an elaborate lie about how it belonged to my friend and we had traded toys and mine was at his house etc...

Well, she got my friend alone one day and asked him if it was true, he told her the truth and she was pissed. I got grounded for the first time in my life for lying and I was not allowed to watch a movie with my cousins.

I was so ashamed and angry I think I cried the whole time. But I was crying because I was embarrassed for my mom finding out what I was capable of. But instead of realizing these un-enjoyable consequences and facing myself and changing, I became better at lying, and I made extra certain I wouldn't get caught, and my personality has formed around this point.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fall in the face of facing myself.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself have lied to my mother when I knew it was wrong.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to become less than who I am in the face of fear of reprimand-fear of facing what self has accepted and allowed.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have made a habit out of not facing fear.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to use avoidance and dishonesty so as not to have to face myself.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have put more value and importance in the reactions of others toward me then on my actual character.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to not take 'who I am' into consideration when choosing my actions.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to instead look to my reflection, reflected to me by the reactions of others, to determine who I am.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to build my personality around being a good manipulator and deceiver, thus leading a double life of who I am and who I present myself as.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear realizing I'm not the image, which entails me having to face what I have accepted and allowed in terms of abuse towards myself and others... it's time to face the music.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have used manipulation of myself and others to abuse in self-interest.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to use deceit and dishonesty to abuse myself and others in self-interest.

I will continue for the next few days revealing all the memories I have clung to to confirm to myself that I have become a huge piece of shit of a human being, so that I can release them and build myself anew in a way that's best for all.

I allow myself to release myself from these memories and the energetic reactions and charges I have connected to them. I let them go so that they no longer directs me Here.

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