Normalising vulnerability

Watching therapists share with each other on the CBT course helped to further normalise talking about subjects that would usually be considered too vulnerable, too exposed and painful.

I’d love it to be much more normalised. To talk about the painful taboo corners of insecurity, self rejection, jealousies, anger, shame….. without squirming or even flinching. Yes I would love that.

First step is looking at it ourselves. And that can be pretty harrowing. Takes a bit of grit and for the pain of it, compassion and often outside help.

The last few days I’ve been haunted by a recurring sense that I’m bad. I do know consciously that I’m not. I was told that I was though.

It was confusing as I knew I wasn’t bad. I saw bad behaviour that was cruel in the playground and I wasn’t like that, I didn’t choose to hurt people. Yet being called bad stuck somewhere.

Tara Brach’s talks have been holding me in compassion. A lifeline. Especially this most recent one I started listening at 4am this morning. Too tired to get up, not tired enough to fall asleep. Mind shocking me with the negativity of the thoughts it was presenting. One after the next.

In bed I read the BBC News, each story felt like a dagger in my heart. Pain pain and more pain. I turn it off shut my eyes and the negative thoughts appear. And I’m too exhausted to challenge them. Unable to just observe objectively either. So. I put the talks on to give my mind something to focus on. Entertain the monkey mind. Give it something to do. Listen to wisdom.

So yes, all the pain sitting inside is to be looked at before it can be talked about. Tara Brach reminded me to do this with a large dose of compassion and gentleness. ‘They are waves we are the ocean’ she reminds me about the turbulent feelings and thoughts. It’s that or be sea sick all the time. Yes exactly Tara thanks.

So she enabled me to step out of the hell of my mind this morning. I had a shower and washed my hair and felt better. Then thoroughly washed the bathroom floor tiles. A job I’ve been procrastinating about. So a bit of ‘behaviour activation’ led to some useful activity that led me to feeling a small sense of usefulness and accomplishment. All good.

This afternoon I’m presenting this design to a client.


  1. What a glorious garden design! I love it.
    From the book I sent you: “Confronting denial is no small task. Children so need to believe that their parents love and care for them, that they will deny and minimise away evidence of the most egregious neglect and abuse.”
    I’ve just come to realise the impact of that in some families is that the denial is done as a group exercise. Any single person acknowledging the abuse is a threat to the group as a whole. So the pressure to pretend all is well is massive. Admitting to pain or weakness feels like betraying everyone. It’s also that the admission will probably do away with that flicker of hope that we were wrong and the feelings of being unwanted were all in our heads.

    Liked by 1 person

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