Steve Hein's EQI.org

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Aug 20 - I am in Brazil. Feeling encouraged, supported.

July 4 - I have created a Wordpress blog
which is associated with my writing here. It will contain a lot of different writing, including journal writing. I like it because I can tag things and it will help me organize my writing.Please write me if you would like to see it.
July 4 - I have signed up for an online course based on NVC - non violent communication - called the compassion course. So far it looks very good and they offer a free registration if needed. I felt a little skeptical when signing up but so far, after 2 weeks now I can say I recommend it. Here is the link http://compassioncourse.org/

One thing I like is the chance to connect with like minded people, for example in their forum and on their FB page. Their ideas and language are the most similar to mine that I have found. So I am feeling optimistic about being a part of it.

Steve

- Aug update ..I feel disillusioned with the course, or more the people - its too churchy, let's say

June 25 Journal writing about faith - under construction June 25 - Revised "Suppressing Emotions" - under construction
June 7 - Thinking of what my first boss said (not including teachers who bossed me around)... he told me something he liked about me. He said "You see something that needs to be done and you do it." But I realize this is a problem now because I see so many things that need to be done and I can't do them all myself. And even worse. people stop me from doing them. In his shop they let me do pretty much anything I wanted to because they saw that what I was doing was helpful. Sometimes they helped me, but now I get almost no help. This has been one source of pain for many years now - no one helping me. June 7 b - Feeling inspired. Have very smart Couchsurfer here today. Here is some more of my writing from this morning.

Just wait till you have slaves of your own...

When I advocate for changing parenting laws a lot of people say something like "Just wait till you have children of your own." Once when I was talking to my then partner Prisiclla about this I said, "That is a little like saying 'just wait till you have slaves of your own.'"

She understood immediately. Some of you reading this will also quickly understand what I meant. Others won't. Some might feel defensive or even guilty, maybe without realizing it. Some might feel curious what I meant and why I said what I did. If you are feeling understanding or curious, I'd like to know. Steve

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June 6 - i did some journal writing just now and i will show it to someone who writes to me and asks to see it if i know them/trust them etc.

if u have been a reader of eqi for a while but have never written me, please write me and let me know a little about yourself. i am needing some personal connections. i feel more motivated to write when i know who is reading -sometimes at least - sometimes i feel motivated to write anyhow.
June 5 Feeling productive -will add link later
June 6 Thought - I want to pay people to help me, not control me. Or, said another way, I don't want to pay people to control me, but I would pay for them to help me. I did a search on this idea - the results are in the next column >>

I would also pay people to care about me... but if I have to pay them, then they probably would not care very much. At least not at first, but maybe as they got to know me they would care more, as I did with Priscilla. I grew to love her and care about her much more with time as I got to know her - at least until Angela and Priscilla became a couple,.

May 30, 2016 - I am working on a few pieces of writing. I will post what I have so far. May 30, 2016 - Dissecting depression. Lately when I have been feeling depressed I try to search for more specific feelings. It doesn't help me when I tell myself "I feel depressed." It seems to make me feel a bit worse actually.

But it does help if I identify more specific feelings such as discouraged, powerless, unimportant, unvalued, not cared about.

I plan to write more about this later... more on my May writing page

   
May 30, 2016 - Is "Neglected" a Feeling? May 30, 2016 - "I feel neglected" - Lisa story - will post later...
May 30, 2016

Hunger, anger and expressing feelings clearly, directly and constructively

Let's say a boy lived in a home where there was never enough food to eat because the father spent all his money on gambling and alcohol. Then one day the father asks his son how he is feeling and his son replies, "I feel angry." \\

You never believe me!

That is what my partner said in one of the last "fights" we had.

We were in Puerto Iguazu, on the Argentine side of the world famous Iquazu waterfalls. We had planned to start our new life together there. I was going to teach English and she was going to teach Portuguese. More

Here is an early draft of the first chapter of one of the new books I am working on. It will be called "Your Emotional Needs"

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You never believe me!

That is what my partner said in one of the last "fights" we had.

We were in Puerto Iguazu, on the Argentine side of the world famous Iquazu waterfalls. We had planned to start our new life together there. I was going to teach English and she was going to teach Portuguese.

It is a place many couples go for their honeymoon. But after only a few days there together, she gave up on our short but intense relationship. She packed her bags and left.

Over the next few days I thought about what she really meant when she said "You never believe me." For many years now I have been trying to decode people's words and translate them into a language of feelings and emotional needs. I find this to be a very helpful exercise. As I thought about her words, I started to remember things she had told me earlier in our relationship. One of the first things I remebered was something she told me about her mother and step father.

When she was in her early twenties her mother re-married. She told me her step-father had been touching her in appropriate ways. When she told her mother this, her mother did not believe her.

I also remembered that she told me once that her mother did not use the internet much and did not like to read things online. My partner, though, liked to do online research. She said she would often tell her mother things she had read online and her mother would not believe her.

So it became clear to me that what she needed was to feel more believed by those important to her. On the day when she said "You never believe me" she was in pain. She was in pain from not feeling believed by me. This set off a chain reaction of painful memories of other times she had not felt believed. Some of those were fresh in her memory, others were not. She gave me more clues to her painful feelings and her unmet emotional needs that day. After she attacked me with "You never believe me," she added that I hadn't believed her when she told me about the water in our hotel room and about something else which I have now forgotten. So now, looking back, it is all much more clear to me. For years she had felt pain from not having her mother, and probably others, believe her when she told them things. So when she felt disbelieved by me she sprang into a type of animal survival instinct response. She went on the attack.

That day, when she said, "you never believe me," I was too stunned to even reply. She is normally an extremely peaceful and gentle person. It was very rare that she would feel so hostile. In fact, I am not sure there had been even one time where I saw this kind of reaction from her.

I have learned that when people go into the attack mode like that they are in some kind of pain. Often, this pain is from some unmet emotional or psychological need. We might even call it a brain need because it seems the brain needs certain feelings so it can maintain a healthy, secure and peaceful chemical balance. So on that day, knowing she was in some kind of pain, I did not counter attack. I did not defend myself. I simply remained silent, trying to figure out what had sparked such painful feelings.

If someone would have asked me how I felt at that moment I might have said, "attacked and confused." I must admit did not feel a lot of empathy for my partner. I felt some, but not very much right at that moment. Nor did I feel much connection to her pain. I suppose one reason I did not feel connected to her pain was that I did not understand it. If someone would have asked me "How much do you understand why your partner is in pain right now... from 0 to 10?" I might have said either zero or one.

Something else I learned a long time ago is that it is very difficult, if not biologically impossible, to feel both defensive and empathy at the same time. I believe this comes from the way we have evolved, in other words, the way our brains have been wired over time. For example, if we are being attacked by we probaby don't think, "Oh, the poor lion. He must be hungry. I will let him eat my arm."

So on that day in the romantic village of Puerto Iguazu I did not immediately feel empathy for my partner. I really did not feel very defensive either, to be honest, since I was more surprised and confused than anything else. But I definitely felt a little attacked. So as I see it, my partner was in the "fighting" mode of her evolved and learned survival response mechanisms. But I really believe that she did not know what she was fighting for.

I say that she did not know what she was fighting for because I feel sure that if someone had asked her, "How are you feeling right now and what do you need?", she would not have been able to give them a very precise answer. I suspect she would have said something like "I feel angry because he never believes me!" But this would not be telling us very much, as I will explain later.

Something else I have learned is that saying we are "angry" is not very helpful. It is not helpful because it doesn't help us identify what we need and why we are upset or in pain.

I have also learned that saying things like "because he never believes me" is something like a road sign pointing you on a detour or pointing you in the wrong direction.

I will explain why in the next chapter. I will also talk more about why saying we are angry is not very helpful.

 
 
 





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