Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Shadow...knows?

Madam’s speech assessment went well, I think. “She obviously understands, she just can’t verbalize!” chirped the tester. Uh, yes, I know. But it was still good to get confirmation that she DOES understand; she CAN follow simple directions (especially if they are modeled for her). She just can’t seem to make the connection to speech.

TEG thinks she just doesn’t want to. Well, she is a mite stubborn, but…no. Judging from her level of frustration when I just don’t! understand! Her! I would say that she wants to communicate, she just can’t right now.

I know the feeling.

I've been trying to write, trying to post. But the only thing that comes out is just...blurgh. Whining of the rankest order. Maybe Shakespeare could create art from all that "woe is me." I can't.

I’ve done some reading about the Jungian notion of the Shadow. Most psychologists agree that we need to stop fighting those aspects of ourselves that we view with distaste and even hatred. That we need to sit down with them and discover what they have to teach us before we can be free.

Intellectually, I know this. But, action, as always, is harder.

Self-pity is my Waterloo, my black dog, my three-AM-in-the-morning-cringe-of-embarrassment. I try so many remedies—to talk sternly to myself (in the ‘bootstraps’ mode), to vent pages and pages in my notebook, to ignore, to distract.

Nothing. It appears this negative trait is here to stay, arms crossed, belligerent. I ask it, again and again, what do you have to tell me? How can I be rid of you?

In return I get a whiny litany that seems to narrow itself down to fun, and power. Both of which are currently in short supply.

So...fine, self-pity. You've had your day. I gave you every chance, tried to understand you, tried to reason with you, took you to bed and woke up with you. No more.

I am heartily tired of the sound of my own self-pity, and I refuse to give it voice here until it reveals its secrets. That's right...I am holding self-pity hostage!

Insert maniacal laughter here.



Anonymous tammy vitale said...

well, you made *me* laugh! Try making self-pit into some kind of appropriate creature, then gag and hogtie it. My nemisis is doubt, which is a hamster on a running wheel. And that particular hamster is gagged and bound in the right hand corner of my mind right now, along with the A Student who insists always on perfection, yesterday. And two real people who I have miniaturized. As you can see, sometimes it gets crowded. But it does work.

7:30 AM, May 04, 2007  
Blogger Susannah said...

shadow work is HARD. i've been sitting with it/fighting with it/ cringing a lot these last couple of months - apparently it's all part of the healing process and work i've been doing with my therapist. gee - fun!

my biggest foe is my lack of self-esteem, bubbling up from a childhood spent thinking i was a piece of shit.

Hmmm, not the most helpful comment this.... sending you love :-) xo

8:26 AM, May 04, 2007  
Blogger kate said...

You even write self-pity well.

A student of mine just had this published at Her daughter is not speaking much, either. It may or may not be helpful for you. Here is the link:

11:22 AM, May 04, 2007  
Blogger Earnest and Game: Heather said...

Oh, phew on the speech eval. Do you ever miss Chicago or Austin? I'm craving really good Tex Mex right now. It would have been fun to have visited Las Manitas *together.* Thanks again for sending that NYT's piece--hopefully in the summer we can check out some of those spots. Thinking of you. XXOoxox Heather

4:47 PM, May 04, 2007  
Anonymous Frida said...

I hope Madam finds her voice soon. I remember a friend's little girl opening her month one day and, as her first real sentence, telling her mother that the long missing stuffed bunny was on top of the wardrobe. After months of not getting the message through to her apparently dense parents she finally found the words to assist recovery of her beloved companion. I was so relieved and happy for her.

I have to agree with Kate, you even write self-pity well. You make me giggle as I imagine your maniacal laugh and your poor (see it even manages to generate pity in me) self-pity struggling to escape you.

Hard work, but I think Susannah is right (as usual, she is a wise woman). Hard but important work.

11:39 PM, May 04, 2007  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Well you made me laugh, if not yourself. Good luck with keeping that nasty critter gagged - I struggle with mine everyday too, just learning to shut it up for a least a few hours a day is bliss.

1:39 PM, May 05, 2007  
Blogger Amber said...

Well, you have got the right idea. And yeah. It sucks to have to look that hard at yourself. I have been doing a lot of looking at my Shadow this year. For me it is anger.Deep anger. Maybe justified-- like at my brother's drug-pusher. But still, it eats me. And really, it is all about fear. Those shadows are always about fear of SOMEthing.


10:55 PM, May 05, 2007  

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