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Showing posts with label Psychology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Psychology. Show all posts

Monday, 9 May 2022

#MondayBlogs - You are too sensitive!

May 09, 2022 0 Comments


Have you ever been told - ‘You are too sensitive’ by people you consider as friends and family? That you over-react to things and situations?

If your answer is yes, then this post is for you.

If you have said it to someone close to you, then this post is for you too!


I went into therapy after I separated from my husband to be able to manage my depression, hyper anxiety and panic attacks. And man, did that open a pandora’s box. I discovered that I am an empath. That is also when someone told me that it is not good to be an empath because empaths give too much of themselves to and for others. That I should seek therapy to learn how to ‘turn it off’. And seek did I… Not to learn to ‘turn it off’ but to understand it. 

Granted, why I am an empath doesn’t have a glamorous backstory to it. In fact it is downright sad. But what I now say is, Empathy is my super power, and no super hero ever had an origin story filled with rainbows and unicorns, neither is mine.

Being an empath means that I feel strongly and deeply. Not only that, I also absorb the energies around me, whether positive or negative, and often lock it in my body. At first, it was extremely difficult for me to understand what part of what I am feeling is my own and what part of it is something I am picking up from the people around. I struggle with that still, but I am trying to learn to control it, so that I do not have to feel overwhelmed and exhausted all the time.

It took me a lot of therapy to understand that being able to feel deeply and strongly is not a sign of weakness. My feelings and emotions are my own and nobody has the right to tell me what to feel or how to feel or how much to feel. 

In the past have been told that I am too sensitive and that I over-react far too many times. 

Sometimes from a well meaning friend who wished me well, but mostly from people trying to gaslight me (and succeeding) in order to avoid taking a look at their own actions. To the point where I started taking it as a personal character flaw and beat myself over it till I was exhausted. I started wondering if it would be so much better if I did not care at all.

That is, till I was was prescribed anti-depressants and I spent a week feeling nothing. 

When I am happy, I feel that strongly too. I laugh. I dance. I celebrate and I am loud. Nobody complains then or tell me that I am over reacting… because everyone loves to have a good time. Yet, when I feel sad or hurt or betrayed, I am told I am being too sensitive and over reacting because it is too much work to even consider that I am human, I have a heart, may be hurt and I have a right to feel however I feel.



Photo Credit: Brighter Places

If you are someone who has told people that they are too sensitive, take a moment and consider… why does it bother you that someone cares and feels?

Take a moment to stop and think what you are really doing by invalidating someone’s feelings.

I want you to think why do YOU feel the need to invalidate someone else’s feelings and what does it actually do for YOU?

Chances are that you are avoiding to take a look at you own behaviour or statements.
Chances are that the sensitive person in your life is absorbing your energies and putting it back up as a mirror to you.
Chances are that you are the one who doesn’t have the capacity to understand what you are putting the other person through.

Maybe, it is time for you to take a look inward rather than outward. 



For those of you who have been told these gaslighting statements, remember that empathy is not a bad thing. Being sensitive is not a problem that needs to be cured. We need more of it in the world - the feelings, the understanding and the want to help instead of stone cold indifference & destruction.

If someone says these things to you, look at it for what they are. BIG RED FLAGS. The person saying these things maybe saying these to make you doubt yourself so that their actions are not closely looked at. They may even be manipulating you unknowingly - but that is what it is in the bottomline - manipulation.

Being a sensitive person in today’s world is a blessing to the rest of the population. We understand exactly. We care. And we are human. 

So, next time someone tells you that you are too sensitive… own it ‘coz you feel and care when others don’t. That makes you a much better person. We could all do with more understanding and sensitivity!





Monday, 21 February 2022

#MondayBlogs - Walk Away... #Gaslighting #Survivor

February 21, 2022 0 Comments

 



What does it feel like?

To be told that what you experienced moments earlier, never happened.
To be told that everything is only in your head.
To be told that you were being too emotional.
To be told that you were over-reacting.
To be told that you were the one forgetting things.
To be told that you were not good enough for anything.
To be told that you were too stupid to ever succeed.
To be told that you were a waste of space and a terrible drain on resources.
To be told that you couldn't take a joke after constant body shaming.
To be told that it wasn't their intention to hurt you while repeating the same thing for the 100th time.
To be told that it was your fault that you were hurting.

Everyday…
For months…
For years…
For close to a decade!

At first I fought. I took it up as challenge. I tried to prove them wrong. 
But how does one fight something that is being planted in their mind and doesn't actually exist? How does one win a challenge that shouldn't have been placed at all? How does one prove something that shouldn't need to be proven in the first place? 
And how long does one have to fight (alone) and keep proving things?

I am sure I knew the answer while growing up. But then I fell in love - Yes, Blindly! - and lost my way in the tornado that my life was. Constantly working. From the moment I woke up, till I crashed into my bed.

Working (from home) a job, handling a household and shouldering the responsibility and welfare of 6 other fully grown adults, day after day… Working up to 18 hours a day to deal with everything (and never less than 12 hours a day) to be able to take care of all the responsibilities that were suppose to shared by your life partner, (yet you find yourself handling them alone) - 7 days a week and 365 days a year is bound to have some effect on a human being. Everyone knows that, right? Apparently not everyone.

Cooking, cleaning, meetings, and promotional activities - constantly laced with comments and rebukes that aimed at reducing the family nurturer, the 'ghar ki Lakshmi' in to something less than a sentient being still happens in the 21st Century.

All that along with intermittent love-bombing!

You go into a shell - the survival mode. Always being prepared and trying to reduce any chances of triggering another round of 'how useless you are tirade'. You start to dim that spark, that is so eternally you, so that every one else is under the spotlight while you hide in the shadowed corner. You do not let the spotlight be ever on you - even though it is your story, your life! Shrinking into a ball, not taking up space and yet making it easier for people to kick around.

And should you dare to question it, i.e., if you still have some semblance of self left, and ask why - the society around you (some even in guise of friends) will gather to remind you that all you are good for is to keep your mouth shut, adjust and compromise. A 'failure of a being' has no right to ask questions. You only get to continue to try and prove your worth in exchange of being 'allowed' to breathe.


Would you consider stop breathing if that is the only way to end the hurt and pain?

Many do!

But there is another way… Stand up, break the invisible shackles and walk away! 

(read invisible shackles as: expectations forced on you by those close to you and the society; the constant self doubt drilled into you; the crippling fear you feel; the unshakeable belief that you cannot make it on your own; the anxiety of how could ever do anything right on your own; the mind blowing concept of what will people say… in short - whatever it is that is holding you back in a life that is slowly sucking your spirit out.) 


It is hard! The hardest thing you will probably do... When you finally have had enough, and realise that staying on will eventually kill you, much before your time; and when other people will reiterate that all you can do is stay and compromise. Try and remember, that there ARE people who will support you and help you... So, keep at it till you find someone who'll throw the life jacket when you are drowning. And then, swim... swim for the shore - your life!


And it starts getting better almost immediately.


Its been over a year since I walked out… And, now all I know is what it feels like…


To be told that you are strong.
To be told that you are a heck of a fighter to have survived.
To be told that you are worth more than ten of them.
To be told that you are loving and caring.
To be told that you have a right to take up space.
To be told that you deserve to have your needs met.
To be told that you are inspiring.
To be told that you have an amazing sense of humour.
To be told that you are a responsible person.
To be told that your are a logical and practical person.
To be told that you are loved.
To be told that you are seen.
To be told that you are cherished.
To be told that you are wanted and desired.



It is good for your body. It is good for your mind. AND, it is the most liberating thing for your spirit.





Tuesday, 26 May 2020

My Mini Version and a Thoughtful Afternoon

May 26, 2020 22 Comments


Life is hard with a toddler, life is very hard with one toddler and one unofficial toddler (read: husband), and it is extremely difficult with both of them at home because of this lockdown. It’s almost like, if the lockdown goes on any longer, the mothers’ union will manage to create a vaccine to send their toddlers to school and office respectively.

My three-year-old daughter is a mini version of me. God! She is a smart baby; asking questions the entire time and challenging every single rule. All these questioning and challenging rules are fun when I am doing it, however, when a three-year-old refuses to listen to you and argue, it just drives me crazy. And the mighty husband enjoys the show from the front seat.



While having a crazy quarantine, I was thinking about my pregnancy and what struck me most is that I wanted a boy child and I am not ashamed of it.

My whole life, I really considered myself a feminist, and most of my actions reflected that. One of the best compliments I ever received is from my MBA classmate who called me a true fearless feminist.

But when I became pregnant the first thing that came to my mind was that I wanted a boy. And that very thing felt so damn wrong. On one hand, I claimed to be a feminist, belief in equality, and on the other hand, I wished to have a boy. I should have been wishing for a healthy baby, irrespective of the sex of the baby.

That very thought haunted me for days. On Surface, It seems like I just want a boy child. But it was only when I dug deeper that I discovered the real reason why I wanted a boy child.

One thing is very clear in our society, not only in India but the whole world, it is primarily a male-dominated society whether we like it or not. Still, there are some people, called feminists (I swear to god, it sounds like an abusive word nowadays) who still dare to believe in equality, striving for a society, which is based on equal rights, equal choice, and equal opportunity. In most cases, the work of feminism was concentrated on the independence of women, women empowerment, equal pay, equal job opportunity, equal opportunity for education, etc. And we have created a generation of ladies who are independent, smart, intelligent, and ready to take on any responsibility and do what is needed.

No matter what, one thing we all can agree, the two genders are an equal part of our society, and in order to achieve holistic growth we need to address both genders, only making our girls independent won’t solve the problem. However, men, in general, are not used to such independent women. Someone once told me, you are too smart to be a woman. And he received a very polite reply from me, i.e. “you are too dumb to be a man”. Sadly, this answer does not even come close to generate a real change in our society.

What we mothers, parents' families really have to do is construct a generation of men who are ready for independent women, take them as their friends, wife, sister, mother, and not be afraid of their intelligence.

And that is the reason for me wanting a Boy Child. I wanted to raise a man who treats all humans equally, who is very good at household work, earns his own living, takes care of a baby, in short, can do everything a woman can do.

All human beings are equal, but the challenge here is to raise men who are equal to women. 

My mini version of me sleeping beside me, while I am writing this, and I am proud of her for every smart little things she does, for every question she asks and challenges the societal gender norms in her own kiddy way, I still want to raise a boy to show the world that there is a man who can cook, clean, wash, babysit, work, earn, love and be a MAN. 




Tuesday, 5 May 2020

A Widower and a Sad Afternoon

May 05, 2020 14 Comments


It was just another Wednesday afternoon during the lockdown. I was about to finish cooking and start cleaning the house. I was sweaty, irritated, and hungry when my husband decided to call me at the top of his voice. I responded to him with the normal frustration and he told me Irfan Khan has passed away. I was not expecting this. My first reaction was that this must be fake news. But to my utter disappointment, it was not, and I felt so gloomy for the rest of the day. 


Later in the afternoon, I was watching one of his old interviews where someone asked him about his most difficult acting jobs and Irfan Khan mentioned two names: Life of Pi and In Treatment. I had never heard of “In Treatment” TV series and started watching it immediately (what better way to honor his memory other than watching what he considered one of his most difficult acting jobs). 

In Treatment is an American HBO drama which was produced and developed by Rodrigo Garcia. It is about a psychotherapist, 50-something Paul Weston, his weekly sessions with patients, as well as those with his own therapist at the end of the week. The series debuted in January 28, 2008. 



I have only watched the part in season 3 where Irfan khan played a 52-year-old widower Sunil,  who was transported to New York from Calcutta following the death of his wife. His new life entailed him living with his son, daughter-in-law and their two young children. 

Sunil is not only depressed by his wife’s death, but he is also deeply wounded by his son’s decision to marry an American woman and angry at what he sees as his daughter-in-law's insensitivity. He is extremely disappointed with his son’s American lifestyle and thought process where he chooses his personal happiness over family respect and pride by marrying an American woman. 

I cannot express how much I got affected by this. Saying 'brilliant' would be an understatement. 

Sunil’s (Irfan Khan) son Arun/Aaron and his wife guides him to see a psychologist since he is finding it difficult adjusting to his new life in America. Sunil refuses to take a bath or eat, and doesn’t maintain proper personal hygiene. Sunil also displayed deeply resentful behavior towards his daughter-in-law and probably has some unresolved sexual tension towards her. 

As the series progresses, we learn more about Sunil, his lost love, a tragic suicide, and an unborn child. The series is portrayed as a mystery drama, where you can say for sure something is hidden but can’t exactly figure out what it is. The ending of the series is unpredictable and leaves you with a heartache. 

Irfan Khan portrayed the character of Sunil with so much ease that it seems like the audience is witnessing a real counseling session. On the surface when the audiences see Irfan’s character, he comes across as depressed. However, as we get to know more about him, there is an undertone of anger (second stage of grief), sexual tension, and huge guilt building up over time. 

Sunil is an extremely complex character. He was probably brought up by narcissistic parents who hammered a false sense of family pride before anything. For him, putting his family's pride before his happiness is a sign of a disciplined life. As such he resents his son for marrying someone he loves instead of the girl Sunil and his wife choose for him. In reality, he resents himself for not fighting for his own love; he didn’t even think of fighting and accepted the fact that marrying someone from his caste is the best thing to do. As a result, he was responsible for a death. 

All these issues from his childhood and past combined with his recent loss of his wife and moving to America became an unbearable situation for him. 

What will he do to resolve this? The story offers an answer in the end.


While watching, I saw Sunil, (not Irfan Khan) a middle-aged Bengali, his struggle, hopes, dreams, and an endless quest for a disciplined life. And that is the brilliance of Irfan Khan’s acting. You don’t see him; you see the character he is playing. That is the true nature of an Actor.


I will miss him, as will the film industry and people all over the world. I want to finish this with a dialogue from his movie ‘Life of Pie’: 

"I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye".







Monday, 27 April 2020

Kabir Singh and a Lazy Afternoon

April 27, 2020 20 Comments

I was going through a very difficult time in my life when my friend (philosopher and guide) Debdatta suggested I should write and put it in a blog. She actually gave me access to her personal blog, and the lazy me didn’t do anything concrete with it. 


After this lockdown, like many others, my husband is at home and eating my head along with sweets, biscuits, and every possible snack and bugging me to do something about my free time. My friends and husband seem to have a lot of confidence in me that I will do something good in life; however, I am happy with my lazy ass.

Yesterday, after a heated argument, which I think my hubby won, he convinced me to write. Therefore, here I am trying to collaborate one of my favorite subject Psychology with not at all favorite character Kabir Singh. 

Before I start, let me clarify that I am talking about Kabir Singh as a character, not Shahid Kapoor the actor.



The primary criticism the movie received is that it is promoting misogyny and being anti-feminist. However, I found the main problem in the movie is: The director is promoting a mental illness as a masculine trait and fun quality. Kabir Singh is clearly suffering from Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). It is a very much real disorder recognized by DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). The DSM-5 defines Intermittent Explosive Disorder as “recurrent behavioral outbursts representing a failure to control aggressive impulses.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)

From the very beginning of the movie till the end, there are multiple occasions where it is very evident that he needs some medical help, counseling, and medication. Having a mental disorder is not fun, like many other physical problems it needs to be treated. I actually felt like the director Sandeep Reddy Vanga trying to say like, “hey Kabir! You have a brain tumor (comparing IED with a physical disease to have a better understanding), it’s actually fun to have a deadly disease and the best part is you are not going to be treated, and most importantly, you are a doctor.”

For god’s sake get some treatment Kabir, you are a doctor, I am sure you know some good psychiatrists and they can give you some discount also. Anyhow, Kabir was consuming so many drugs; it won’t kill to replace them with some prescribed medicine. 

I am sure after the treatment, people will not call you a misogynist, and even if you still behave like a jerk with girls, you can definitely do something about it and get improved. But first, consult a psychiatrist.

And lastly, let me tell you who the main villain in the movie is… Any guess…

It is that dean of that medical college, he asked Kabir to write an apology letter for his aggressive and violent behaviors and didn’t bother to understand that he is sick with IED and needs to visit a psychiatrist. 

This is my two cents about Kabir Sigh. I hope I will not get back to my lazy routine and continue to write more. 

Please suggest to me something to write about. I struggle a lot with prospective topics. 


Thanks