Smart But Stuck

Today is Fathers day and my Father has decided not to talk to me because for the first time in my life...I disagreed with him and decided not be the nice little daughter by putting up with his inappropriate comments. (Im 40) I secretly wish I did not have to deal with him. He could easily be considered clinically insane.

 A related problem: Im currently having fears of getting a job. I have owned 3 one man band business's (1 being a coffee kiosk...this type of business's). Only the coffee was successful because I had support at the time. Im now the support for my fiance's business but just emotionally... But I need to get to work because we need more $. I think this stuff with my Dad is related to my fears. Instead of dealing with my obstacles..I just freeze .

Im really scared and I dont understand of what? Why am I procrastinating? I have anxiety..I have worked for myself because I cant process what others are thinking of me AND focus on the task at hand. I dont really have any skills...other than running a small business? I have a Degree in Psychology ( go figure!) I think I have a social phobia. Turning 40 has made me more so. As I have started to show some signs of age, Ive been self concious of that. I live in S. imagine! ( so superficial).

I get anxiety when Im learning something. I also think people are mean and wrongly judgemental. The past 4 years the one job I took was not even close to what I even care about or good at. It ended in depression and paralysis...then being let go.

These details may help to understand. My Father was a violent abuser. We lived the high life but he was crazy. I want to say Manic crazy...more so dangerous. I was the only one not physically abused but verabl and emotional while experiencing everyone around me getting beat to a pulp.  He may be clinically insane. Like the blonde guy on Desperate housewives!!

First off, I sincerely believe he is the sole reason I have certain fears of the world as being and friends..But this does not go without problems I have to try to overcome that I honestly are a result of my horrific upbringing.

Lastly, Im good at ebay...really good. Im thinking I can teach a few people. But my negativity gets in the way..." oh everyone is doing it" etc etc. but I do get stuck and burnt out of course. Im isolated, that cant help.

Im reading a lot of Barbara sher books..very helpful in planning my solutions. i understand I need to take a risk, but I just cant make another mistake of going into a job after being a business owner, being rediculed by those younger than me or risking doing something I have no skill for...which ends in depression and paralysis. My negative self talk  ( shadow of my Father) seems to dominate my thinking.." Ill never amount to anything, Im stupid etc." ) When in fact I KNOW Im smart ( street smart). If anyone has any thoughts about all this, I would LOVE to hear them . Thank you.



qzeemouse qzeemouse 36-40, F 3 Responses Jun 21, 2009

Your Response


try to relax more take things as they come Iam 40plus and have always had a fear of new things have a disabled wife and grown up kids now and still feel the same about things U started my own business a year ago and its been a nightmare worrying about bills ansmoney but find myself hapier than i have been in years as i am in controll for once i had an abusiuve grandad and rough childhood to but wehave to move forward not backwards or they are winning sounds like you doing better than most dont beat yourself up all the best nidge

Me again. I realize the "superior" aspect I jabbed into might be a little heavy handed but it draws into light the internalized expectations and mindsets of the people around you. They feel that way and, in a sense, you NEED to act that way too if you expect to thrive in that kind of environment. Most...most of the time you'll find that there's nothing or not nearly enough to back up the attitudes of such people and so it's essentially become normative baseline behavior for such a climate. (It's nothing personal, its just how deep the cuts go as they pass by...there's no need to bleed from every one.)

Climate is important. Especially in Chinese Medicine. You seem like you might do better in a place that has winters or at least less rain in the rainy-season. I would seriously give Minneapolis, Chicago, or Denver serious consideration. Atmospheric pressure and humidity put different physical demands upon the bodies systems. In Socal, you're alway "ON" and that can wear you down. Winter allows and demands that the body remove itself from such demands and the deep-inward directionality of the body's energy in such climate (cold outside demands strong, warm core...likewise, hot and rainy weather demands stronger outer shell......see the "hollow-superficial" correlation? Read this: The Nihilism of Heat:

Cold weather is when the energy goes inward and thus is when you eat nourishing foods to replenish the Jing (wiki it) and other things like Yin and Blood so that when Summer swings around again you're storehouses are replete and you have the foundation for the increased demands for activity. Moving away from the coast(s) could be've heard how much more "simple and friendly" people are in the interior by now so that might be better as well. If you're having issues with work/purpose a different climate of expectations may be good for you as well... turn the pressure down and allow yourself to be without the claws of youth and money always in your face. People being "mean and wrongfulyl judgemental"...that's a thing I also believe and try to deal with as well. But you have to take note of that aspect as a product of limitations: time, money, sense of self-valuation and expectations. I don't know exactly how to get over it but I know for certain it's not doing what I catch myself doing about ten times a day which is letting these little scripts run in my head about how full of **** they are and how much I hate people with money they don't actually know what they're saying/implying since they had it handed to them in so many ways. People just need to be nice. I think a lot of the negative people that build up the perceived cloud of anticipated negative reactions are just other not-up-to-par people. They, as I, can see just as well as many of the "gifted" how things should be yet don't have the physical manifestations of vouched legitimacy...degrees, position, money, clothing, car, health, teeth, hair, etc. and so it goes that the less perfect you are the more work you have to do to disprove people's judgemental attitudes to "expected archetype" of whatever avenue it is your're trying to act within. I'm questioning if the very practice of Chinese Medicine would even be possible due to some blips in my educational background...a thing I myself paid large amounts of attention to when choosing one for my care. I found out that sometimes the cheap guy can actually be better than the guy that's written several books and taught at university...or is the son of a highly developed and respected doctor. It seems that EVERYTHING is an art, especially when dealing with humans and so be it in therapy or in business the human or educational aspect may have a large part in the process but it is not really the crank by which the main effect is gained.

The other part to realize is that the effect to be imparted is always going to be of a much smaller stature than you initially or hence believed. It always will be. It took the earth billions of years to turn up only 5000 years of cultivated human existance, a whole lot of mucking about before that, and we still don't have anything with broad levels of inherent certainty devised. I'm riffing on what I've focused on as the issues behind choosing one thing over another and in failing to act I end up "serving coffee" (I apoligize if that's is work and someone needs to do it and if some type of work ultimately feeds a human being it is good work.)

I think a lot of it is that when you put any two paths in your mind they can come to seem as though they are on a hoizontal plane of effort-to-worth. Running a small business and making coffee and serving people hour after hour and cleaning and bills and etc. is a full-day's effort and more so. So is the eBay path. So is developing beyond your psychology degree. But the more vertical the elements become the more risk there is in it. Cups and beans and packages, etc. are objective while a grasp on subjective things like actively engaging a human while applying concepts to further understanding...that's a lot trickier. But difficult things engage more of yourself and if your health is capable of encompassing them then they are the healthiest thing for you... doing work below you is a stressor because you're always dissatisfied and despise all those you encounter in such a mode. And I think you'd come to enjoy working with people on a deeper level. You may be afraid of coming to hate people as it seems many in the mor ehuman industries usually do. But I suppose it gains you perspective, that details are details and they all have different weights for different people for different reasons. Like a puzzle, we're made up of things we can't we're snowballing masses comprised of situations not of our choosing. This strikes a Chinese Medicine reference point: the idea of Yin and Yang as layers of the Body/Self. Yin is the interior while Yang is the exterior (the basis for housewifes and hunters? probably; each best situated for their naturally predisposed strength). It's why women generally never lose their hair (a product of Blood, a Yin fluid) and why men can so easily build the Yang, muscular-shell. Men and women have both Yin and Yang it's just a matter of proportion. When women have Deficient Yang ...well, the snowball thing...their shields are weak and things like jabs and snears and society start to get through and attack their core. (True for men as well..."sensitive emotional men" are for the most part Yang Deficient...really generaelized but I'll leave it at that).

Like I described earlier, your Yin-interior may be exhausted because the demands of the Yang-exterior environment (climate and social) may be wearing you out. It's really hard to write in this tiny text-box...I wonder how it all reads. Anyways, seeing a chinese medicine doctor or getting some of THOSE kinds of books might be helpful for you. One I recommend is Paul Pitchford's "Healing with Whole Foods" blog I like is as he has a number of good blogs on how to eat and living in tune with the seasons. You'll find books through those sites. is another good one.

Another point about moving (if your fiance's business would be able to move): almost everywhere is cheaper to live than in Socal and the benefit of going from high-cost to lower-cost city might afford you a couple of months of decreased pressure on the money issue.

I wouldn't worry about it if you can't move. You've been there for some time in Socal, I assume, and so you've acclimated in some's just a matter of finding your own groove while there. You probably aren't the only person of your age and means dealing with these issues in that area...try to find them and realize that your space is yours and is not to have self-imposed acidic cloud of disapproval of the young/rich/beautiful hanging over what you do. Anyone that wouldn't understand is deeply ignorant and will be blindsided by such things at another time and isn't really need for your concern and mental capacities. So, not only the jambs, kick out the imposed and created ghosts.

Wow...all over the place. Like I said in my last piece, I'm trying to work on these issues myself and so writing them out is helpful. It's both self-centered and makes me feel good that I can share with someone dealing with similar issues. A little bit of captive audience thrown in for good good measure, at that, I'm sure. So my disclaimer is don't take offense to anythign that seems like I'm pinning it on you as if I know so well. I don't. I don't know you and can't possible know so many more details that have a part in how these are situated in your life. Just trying. I'm just trying. Thanks for reading.

I think that your implicit doubt concerning your most oustanding achievement, you Psychology degree, is the template for the structure of your subsequent failures. I'd like to agree with your take on that point being rooted in your father (I wasn't abused but damn did my father have the negative self-talk thing rub-off on me)...but I don't quite think it's that. You have a Psych degree and you're serving coffee to people that have lesser educations. Every action you took at the coffee-stand was one of utter subservience to people that were less than you because you'd rather put out no effort and be the handmaid to losers than put in all effort and be "just another psychologist do the psych thing".

I'm wondering... why.. you haven't gove back to school to study these exact issues. This is your post-grad thesis. It's there for you to pursue. Your success at obtaining that degree through student loans and all the kinds of free-money that's out there will be the crown you wear.


You just need to realize what most of the industrialized and educated world needs to, which is with power comes responsibility. You won't be taking advantage of patients in a way that's in any way simlar to that of how your father controlled you with sheer, hollow power. What you would be doing as a psychologist or counselor or therapist would be extremely useful and validated. You need to realize you have value and what you do means something and than anything to tear it down ("everyone else is all doing that ...") is only a sliver of the picture.


:) I usually don't use caps. It's rude and condescending. Sorry. :)

That one excuse and the procrastination thing you mentioned hit a nerve. You deserve to be here (I guess that's where the father issue ties in; the doubt he instilled in you and the value of what you do). Again. You Deserve To Be Here and Do WHat You Like Because It's Fun and Simple and You Like It and There's Only So Much Time To Go in Life. Enjoy Yourself. If you don't do it now you'll never do it. Drop all the crutches and filler. Throw out your TV. Clear out your wardrobe except for 2 weeks worth of clothing. Look into getting the next degree to begin some type of counseling. Or Start the eBay venture. Or Write/Start a self-help group that utilized your degree and addresses all the stuff you mentioned here and that you'll help people get on their feet starting a small business serving coffee or doing eBay.

1) Screw the young. They're either too inexperienced to know really at heart what the hell they're talking about (if they're talking at all...catty Socal *******, I'm guessing? trust funds and rich boyfriends...they're worthless without them).

2) You have skills. Your degree states as much. You can develop that degree. Any new job you would get with that would certainly be capable of paying off any loans if there were any.

3) You need to get out and start walking around after making yourself up. You'll know you look good and are representing yourself the way you wish to be seen, but you're out of any "job" context that would frame you as a skillset or "ability-level". Walk around and look at people get a feel of yourself in the world. Airports are great for this. It's like a kind of limbo or bustling Zen-state where everyone is waiting to leave and has no roots and you just see what people are when they're not framed by their in-job context. If they're wired-in then they maybe they don't have any "Self" to escape into. Realize how that dynamic works and how it tempers the feel of the you're only in for so long. Get a sense of the world outside the regular set of tunnels you drive to the local stores and shops. You deserve to be here merely for the fact that you -are- here. Everything you do has value because it touches someone one th eend of every action someone needed. It doesn't matter if you can doubt it and assume it "really has no meaning and thus no value and therefore neither do I". It's really basic. People want to feel good. How you do that for people is myriad. But it's not about living up to some "Ultimate Standard" of any position. -You- are the position, not the job. There may be other in the field but not every client is seeing every doctor. If you can be attentive to clients/customers in a way that draws them back because if your skill isn't "up to par" perhaps your humanity can make up for it and simply offer a human warmth that is missing.

The part of it that you're floating towards the infinity of oblivion and "I'm only -this- good? :( " The more you let your mind concoct mental visuals for such thinking the more your carve those pathways into your brain. Think of it as a field which you've worn footpaths into by walking over so many times. Visualize it and ZOOM BACK CAMERA and find a fresh field to which you can walk around to or even come at from a completely fresh direction. Find traits you like in others and mimic them. FInd thinkgs that make you happy and let out the full sound and glee you have about them. Have sex out loud; damn the neighbors! Learn how to share the things you like with others. A structure may be helpful... try and find a group or few that you resonate with and connect.

This all sounds like a lot but it's stuff that starting to bear fruit for my own situation. I'll say that in good measure Chinese Medicine is very helpful, as well.

With your highyl stressful emotional past you may want to see someone that does reiki treatments. Qigong and Taichi practice can also be helpful... find a "school" or look up the site for group or any others. Turbid, repetitive, negative emotions can get loosened up and diluted when you start adding all of these approaches together (acupuncture and herbs, all the power-cliches, burying your father and standing alone with a smile atop his grave which no longer are not his grave. You have value, your joys are valuable and no number of b.s. intellectual doubting tagants can be affixed to those joys... those joys are methods you've found to bring yourself to the surface of your skin which is the surface of the world.

It's not what you's how you love it. And loving is the only thing there is to do in this world. If you're not actively loving you're moping and doubting and losing momentum. Keep up the pace. Fill out a daily time schedule and do everything on time. Wake up, bath-stuff, eating, meditate, exercise, stores, bills, call people you know, go to groups to meet people you don't know, work on project, research ways to DO and prove your unfounded "ruminations" wrong, take joy in destroying the killjoy inside of you, take joy in cleaning out your mind and taking back ownership of your body and making it do the things you want it to do and come to love every moment of the 'regular' day...

Go find someone to gush all your positivity onto.... it's the internet, right? Just get it out and know it's going somewhere and you did it and you'll work on time/effort/value-efficiency some other time!Get yourself feeling good and KICK OUT THE JAMBS.