Powerless Shame

Part 8 of a continuing series, (see Part 1 here), documenting and reflecting on a set of states I mapped and moved in 2008. The set revolves around a deeply buried, internalized violence taken on in childhood and adolescence in response to experiences with my father.


Now let’s take a look at a state that seems to tie everything all together, Powerless. What I mean by that is that it seems to be connected intimately with all of the defensive states, kind of locking them into their configuration. You’ll see what I mean. Let’s dive right into it.

One note, and this applies to all the states in this reactive set. The words here are extreme, the uncensored inner dialog from the state in itself, untempered by more socially acceptable and reasonable parts. For this state and some of the others, these words would never make it into the world because of the gatekeeper, Reasonableness. This is a typical configuration for these sorts of suppressed parts of ourselves.

Powerless

“I’m in deep shit. Just felt my body get activated when I saw a confrontation between BO and BO’R. It was strange how strong my physical reaction was. O’R represents the paragon of the asshole authoritarian which sets me off so much. It’s like, if I am expected to stand up to that, I have to meet asshole with asshole, and that terrifies me.

“Even more, I am terrified that I am not strong enough to resist, to stand up to the idiocy, to fight back, and that I will be subjugated permanently. I am too weak, too slow, too emotional to defend myself against the aggression and mean-spirited abuse. I will just cave, and that will mean my life (and all life?) is sentenced to permanent subjugation. There is nothing I can do. I am powerless.

“Like jelly, watery, clear, sloppy-gelatinous, not firm jelly but jelly without enough gelatin, it’s falling apart and can’t hold its shape. It’s very cold, deathly cold, like 35 degrees; whole body; smeary blood-red splotches throughout a clear-ish, translucent haziness. Quivering slightly. Too weak to quiver strongly.

“Sound is whimpering, crying aloud, me as a child. Wants to wail, but wailing is unsafe, will bring down the mocking wrath of the abuser.

“I am powerless to stand up to the abusers of the world. Their mindset is irrational, crazy, and there is no way to reach them rationally. And I am too weak to address them directly, they will just gut me instantly if I try.

“I would love to be powerful and rip them to shreds, but I cannot do that because I will not allow myself to become like them.

“Everything I do is about finding a way to dethrone the Abusers of the world without giving up my own integrity. (*Reasonableness). I want to empower all of the world’s oppressed, make them immune to the Abuser’s manipulative power. I want to cut the Abusers off at the knees, make the ground they stand on go to quicksand.

“‘I hate them. I hate the world that supports and rewards them. I hate them all.’ (*Vicious Enforcer).

“This part contributes to keeping the Vicious Enforcer in check because I don’t actually believe I could overcome the abusers even with the Enforcer part. They are much stronger than me.”

This was yet another part adding to the ammunition available to Reasonableness. It was unthinkable to unleash Vicious Enforcer because I believed they were much more powerful than me and would shoot me down.

Can you see how this ties back to the punch I mentioned in Part 3, The Perpetrator Inside? I was mad at being forced to do something that felt physically harmful and dangerous to me, and my temper got loose when I snapped at my father. He was in fact much stronger than me. He did in fact shoot me down, with a conclusiveness that felt final. The punch was one symbolic moment of years of this kind of oppression. There was no fighting this. That left only the necessity of keeping the rage contained and avoiding at all costs any confrontation.

A more extreme version of this state was the following:

Hopeless Shame

“Like bruised, rotting flesh in my heart. Cold. Heart-size. Center of chest. No movement. No sound, except maybe a depleted sigh. Very heavy, like plutonium heavy.

“Hopeless. We’re all fucked. Even I can’t avoid being an asshole animal of a rapacious jerk. I’ve failed. I’m going to fail. I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough to do this. The world will be destroyed by the stupid.”

Hopeless Shame

It’s OK. We’re almost finished with the mapping. Yes, this set is intense and dark. I’m deliberately not holding back on portraying its full darkness as it revealed itself to me in the mapping process. In Feelingwork it is important to open to the fullness of what is actually there, so that the complete energy of it is available for release and activation as it transforms into the ideal state. Two more reactive states to review tomorrow before we get to the transformation phase.

Want to participate in conversations about the feeling mind? Over the coming year (2019), depending on interest, I’ll be I’ll be hosting live, group calls where we can go much deeper into the material and practice the skills. If you think you might be interested, please reach out to me.