Emotions and Behaviors Will Get Better As You Heal.

Punch to the Face

Image by Ninja M. via Flickr

Don’t worry.

When you hear that, don’t you think violent thoughts?  Or how about, “Calm down?”  Got to love that.  I have visuals of my back swing.  Sure.  You might call them hallucinations.  I’ve never actually hit someone but I have pulled into ready position.

Here’s the thing though.  After all this on-and-on about taking care of ourselves, I have found myself saying things that get awfully close and I’m looking out.  Pretty soon I’m afraid I’m going to get it.  (I’ve got my eye on you!  And you!)

Here’s what happened.  Augustina was wondering what to do about her best friend.  They had quarreled and then quarreled again.

Naming someone, “best-ie” sounds pubescent but Augustina was no child.  Her best-ie had been her chosen family (as Jackie Paulson reminded us yesterday)  since she was twelve, fat and leaked.  Kids were laughing.  Future Best-ie wasn’t.  That’s the kind of girl she was.  Safe; a light in a house that she had gone toward naturally and that had not been put out by Augustina’s misty self.  Wet face, stained pants, fat neck and pimples – Future Best-ie wasn’t laughing.  And that’s about all it took.  She was her friend.

Why had Augustina and Best-ie quarrelled these thirty-some years later?  This was am apparent mystery to Augustina.  You know those kind of mysteries, when they belong to only one person while everyone else with the answer key is looking on.  It was almost like she was standing there, twelve-years-old and bewildered.  This time though, Best-ie wasn’t on her side.  Or so she thought.

Truth is, Augustina had been mean.  She was not keeping dates, she argued easily and she was more self-absorbed than the color black.  It had been months now and then they quarreled.  Augustina missed all the prodrome, the warnings, the recommendations from family, other friends and including Best-ie to get insight and help.  To Augustina, this quarrel stood alone and she was being misused and misunderstood.

So what do we do?  Do we discuss Augustina’s behavior?  Do we explain her problems?  Maybe.  But only long enough to help her join our treatment team.  Once she’s in treatment, we wait.  We for reasons of self-preservation won’t say, “Don’t worry,” but we will come close.  Why?  Because we know that many of her problems as perceived by others and herself will disappear when her brain illness heals.  Do you believe that?  Where do you think her emotions and behaviors are coming from?

See blog post, There is Less Space Between Emotions And Science.

Questions:  When have you seen maltreatment from others that feels personal to you appear without provocation?  When have you seen someone you trusted change into someone who is mean, angry, selfish and reject you when they never did before?  Did you see the opposite happen when their brain illness was treated?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip – Calm down.  (Duck!  I see you and I’m outta here!)

25 thoughts on “Emotions and Behaviors Will Get Better As You Heal.

  1. Had that problem with a commenter today with my post. Why would a good friend be so insulting to my efforts and disrespectful of the institution at which I researched? Not the first time. And on my blog? I suppose we all say foolish things sometimes and that should be overlooked by friends. I am infuriated by his impudence. Time will heal. Brooklynites have a reputation for such arrogance. On the other hand, I have become easily able to delete such people from my life. I’m will not remain ticked of by anyone or anything if it is in my power to suppress provocations by dismissing their very existence. Have lost so much in my life, what’s the difference deleting one more item?


  2. Hi, I came here after reading your comment on Sidey’s blog. This is a really interesting blog and a really good idea. I’ll be back for the tip each day.
    I’m afraid I’ve been more the one who suddenly changed than the one who had to suffer it, but I am getting better thanks to treatment.


    • hi tinman. what fun to connect w u! thank u for speaking out w us. i hear u on the owning up part. we’ve all been that person who suddenly changes and hurts others, though we don’t always know it. your self-accountability and courage in tx is a pleasure to b around. keep on.


  3. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from your blog is that it is okay, and often smart, not to personalize other people’s behaviors. The question becomes, then, how to interact—or if.

    Also, sorry to hear about your friend’s comment.


  4. Just had to stop by after you got a dose of my Hallucinations. I like what you are doing, tube tops notwithstanding. I tend to look at all emotional states from a Buddhist perspective, and try to see all hurtful behavior as being the problem of the instigator who may be the one really suffering; and because of that suffering, resorting to unskillful or conditioned responses. I’ll be back; you’re posting some interesting stuff.


  5. Yes! Again I say “we do not see things as they are but see things as we are.”
    Also again I say “the attacker does so out of fear or asking for Love.”
    It is easy to personalize these attacks and make them about us but more often than not the attacker is projecting and yes, I’ve had personal experience with this and found that when they didn’t apologize to put them out of my mind. This is hard if that person keeps coming back with more attacks so I find I need to forgive and forgive again and again. And continue to put them out of my mind if they won’t accept the love I offer.
    Easy to say and hard to do.


  6. Enjoyed the humour in this otherwise serious post, Sana (and had to look up ‘prodrome’ 🙂 ).

    My question is whether jealousy should also be considered a brain illness, or just an emotion that the holder fails to control? Because I think that often such maltreatment stems from jealousy


  7. I am sorry to say I am the one who have turned to be a different person because of my illness. I am paranoiac among other things, and when I am out of control, I behave badly towards others, loved ones or otherwise. I say things so horrid, that are completely uncharacteristic of my persona. It is almost like having a split personality. It is very sad that I can see myself doing it while having no control over it… and waiting for days, weeks, or months for the medication to do its job.


    • hello dear marie. can’t thank u enough for your consistent comments on my daughters blog-site. she’s so proud and truthfully i haven’t told her that i solicited on her behalf. (covering my face looking at the floor in appropriate discomfort.)
      i hear what you’re saying about splitting off from yourself. i believe many more of us do this and don’t recognize that we are not connected to ourselves, present, a part of our personal journey – as if we are outside and looking in.


  8. hehe, I once hit someone in the middle of the chest. he ws trying to intimiddate me by towering over me (I’m short, he was tall). It wasn’t hard, just enough to make him step back and stop trying to do it. Really worked


  9. What do you think of put-down humor coming from a close friend, who has this sarcastic personality. Let’s say his jokes goes a bit too far at times. Do you think it’s a good idea to talk to them and let them know you find those joke a bit over the top and insulting or just let it roll off your back. If you ignore it wouldn’t it only escalate and lead to a toxic relationship or friendship? I feel that you have to talk about it EARLY while still in good terms and nip those insulting jokes in the bud.


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