Boy do I feel anxious


My friend, Colleen, over at The Chatter Blog (link above) just posted something that made me feel really anxious. Everyone that follows my site knows that I rarely do personal posts. I think after reading what she wrote I gained an insight into why. I’m afraid to. That’s the truth. Below in italics is my comment from her post at her site FYI. I’m writing this one for me, to help me stretch into some courage and face my fear. What am I afraid of? What you will think, what you will do with that thought, and how that energy will impact on my body, my life. Why am I afraid of that personally? That I don’t know. Not really. I could attach a lot of story to it about my upbringing and beliefs but really I just don’t know. It’s not always with me. But, today after reading Colleen’s post it came forth, full on, and is gripping my gut.

Boy did this one stir anxiety in me because I thought of so many things I’d love to say and then my insides came to a halting screeching “don’t say that!” I am afraid to say some things or to put things out there even loving kind things because of feedback I’ve gotten in the past or no feedback and then the vacuum, the void screams out to me “you idiot why didn’t you just keep quiet.” All this when I’m originating something because it makes me feel self conscious. For the most part, I don’t mind being asked things and am comfortable opening and being honest but we kill because we are different, we go to gas chambers for it or hang with a rope around our necks on trees, we bully because of it and that also takes lives; words are not so innocent and once it’s out there you can never take them back. There is no word that comes without an energy, a physiology. Candace Pert, wrote about the molecules of emotion (up for a Nobel Prize). For me, this is what speaks to all of this. A thought inside our head, that silent voice, once out there can be very dangerous. Is there really enough love around to embrace the differences? (BTW: I worked with a person, in the closet, so fearful of coming out, still today, because of this very issue. This was one of the inspirations for my writing my book and also placing it in history for the security and safety of this lovely wonderful human being). Thank you, Colleen. Paulette

About The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for "gross indecency" under Britian's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When the news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wildes' imprisonment. It is chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing. Paulette Mahurin, the author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--- Max and Bella. She practices women's health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. All profits from her book are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Shelter, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where she lives. (see links below on Ventura County Star Article & Shelter) To find out more please go the The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on facebook or Amazon or e-mail us at the gavatar addresses. Thank you. (photos: of Paulette, her family, and a reading at The Ojai Art Center, July 2012)
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61 Responses to Boy do I feel anxious

  1. seeker says:

    Thanks for sharing your response to Colleen. I can relate to you and Colleen. And for mentioning Candace Pert.

  2. Alison says:

    There is *nothing* like honest vulnerability to endear you to others. And nothing like sharing your vulnerability with others to help you become free of the fear.
    Big hugs from me.

    • Alison! Thank you so much. I was really feeling it and had to get on the phone to talk to my cousin (we’re very close) because it was really bothering me. It’s not easy to let one’s underbelly show, is it? I don’t do vulnerable very well. I appreciate your incredibly loving and supportive comment here. I needed those hugs. Thank you so much. Stay well and healthy and don’t forget your have an air mattress to crash on if you ever come our way. Big hugs back to you.

      • Alison says:

        Not easy to let the underbelly show, but incredibly freeing in a safe environment (which can’t always be guaranteed of course).
        In the end we can’t control what others think.
        Byron Katie says what others think of us is none on our business. It took me years to get it. But it didn’t stick, so I have to keep getting it over and over.
        The fear of (negative) judgement by others lives in all of us I think. Until it doesn’t. I have great faith that it’s possible to get beyond this.
        Thank you for your kind offer of accommodation. We just might take you up on it one day 🙂
        More hugs

      • I love this so much and that you came and shared with me, you who have been such an inspiration on so many levels. Bryon Kate lives near us, her office is in walking distance to our home. She is a master with helping us to connect with our essence, who we are without the story. I’m no where near there but thank goodness for those like her to give us hope. It’s a constant work in progress. You’re helped me immensely today with your words and kindness. Thank you, my friend.

  3. feelingjoy says:

    The fear of speaking…I know soooo well! Writing and putting my thoughts as well as what I’ve learned on my blog has been a huge move for me. I believe one thing we are to learn while we are in these bodies on this planet is to be independent of others thoughts of us. What I’ve learned…if I believe someone else is thinking a particular thing about me, this is showing me what I’m thinking and believing about myself. We learn we must care about what others think, that we are responsible of others feelings and it’s okay to talk about others. When I first began the process of my transformation, I did my best to hold on to all my beliefs because I didn’t want to see that I’m the cause for why I’d believe I wasn’t accepted and loved. When I finally wanted to look at myself and see how I accepted some of my beliefs and that I didn’t have to blame the other person, I had to feel more emotional pain. What I’ve learned is to keep on moving while I’m feeling emotional pain, which hasn’t been easy because my pattern is to identify with the feeling of… My thoughts are I’m a horrible person, not good enough or lovable enough, which are all lies. A truth that was given to me is first there’s thought, then feeling and then action. I’d been living most of my life from thought then action. Feelings are the key to freedom because my feelings will tell me which mind I’m thinking from, my lower self or my higher self. My lower self brings pain and suffering and my higher self brings peace. I’m learning to be genuine, feel, let go of what others think and if I mess up or do something that doesn’t support me that it’s not the end of my world. I purchased a Candace Pert book about three years ago that I haven’t read…”Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d.” Maybe your post is a sign to read this book. Pam

    • What you wrote, Pam, brought me to tears. Up surfaced my schizophrenic brother and all the names he was called, the denigration because he was morbidly obese and rejected. He left High School to be institutionalized. Perhaps his mental illness was his escape from his pain. I can’t possibly know this. I was just a baby, eight years younger and so many of the names were screamed around us. I wonder how many stuck with me that I owned? What you wrote about staying with the emotions is so helpful. Really, because I see I want to run off into the story, the answer I think it real, when in fact I don’t have a clue why I’m really feeling what I’m feeling and even though it is painful and uncomfortable I think I can do it, sit with it and see what comes. When I was at my worst with Lyme disease so much came up, I saw a lot of pain inside but never communicated about it to others, outside of my husband. I often wondered if that hampered my recovering sooner. Today is a step in the right direction for me to regain more of the pieces of my health that are still not up to par. Yours to me today has been a blessing and I thank you from my heart.

    • P.S. Pam, I tried to connect with your site but it said daily nourishment wordpress is not longer available. If you have another link you’d care to share I’d love to stay in touch with you.

      • feelingjoy says:

        Thank you Paulette for your response. I’ve been shedding some tears today. I’ve learned crying is always a good release…not keep the feelings in the body. If we could only see crying as a wonderful and normal thing. What if we where out about during our day and we’d see people crying because they were releasing whether the release was from the emotion love or fear. I’ve cried more in the past five years than I have most of my life. I’m feeling again!! When we are babies we communicate from our feelings and somewhere along my childhood I didn’t want to feel because it seemed all I was feeling was rejection and… then came my addiction to perfectionism (then I didn’t have to feel) in order to be loved and accepted by others.

      • feelingjoy says:

        Oh, here is my email…

      • I can’t tell you how much this response means, how it gives me permission to feel a little bit more okay with my insides and putting them out there. I really appreciate this. Thank you.

  4. Paulette, you speak my fears as well. I will say that there is MUCH (believe it or not!) that I do not say. For the reasons you expressed.

    But I have said much, that I never would have said, before.

    Before what?

    I don’t know. But “before”.

    When I speak, or write something, I do fear the response or as you point out – the lack of response. And yet I know I sometimes don’t respond because I am unable to formulate clear thoughts on a subject so perhaps others don’t respond for the same reason. Or I don’t respond because it’s something that does prompt feelings of anxiety.

    I make a very conscious decision to not speak about certain things or express certain feelings. And we certainly have that right.

    I hope though that if there are things you truly want to say or write, you find the way to do it that helps you. I will read it. 🙂

    • I love this Colleen, thank you. I’m still feeling nervous but that’s okay. I know what you mean about not responding at times. A lot of times there’s just this uncertainty inside of me about popping in and speaking up. But, it’s weird because writing fiction is so easy for me and yet within those stories is so much about me. I guess it’s easy to hide behind something especially when we can call it fiction. This today feels like growth. You and your posts are so helpful for me. I mean that most sincerely. Thank you again, friend.

      • You’re welcome Paulette.

        I only know you through the words you write. And I “read” strong and assured. We do have a wonderful sense of control with our writing. We can put out that part of our persona we want to share. Or we can create a persona and remain anonymous. Or we can risk all and put it all out there.

        Or, as I suspect many of us do, we step timidly with our words. Building our momentum. Or cautiously approaching the world.

        I write much. But I don’t write everything. And I relish the control I have. The ability to take risks or protect what I want to keep private, protected, or sacred.

        Even with you writing about anxiety I read strong and assured.

        And I am happy we have ‘met’ friend.

      • Wow, Colleen. As usual I love reading what you write. Brings up a whole other topic: how accurately do we really see ourselves and what of it is a projection out on another? What of it is what we’ve been told or taught about ourselves and is not based in our heart or nature and what shields protect all that? This has been a day of a lot of deep reflection and growth for me, all started with your post for which I am extremely grateful. How often can we respond to someone’s post, “That made me feel anxious?” That was the first time I’ve ever commented like that. I think it speaks to the level of invitation and safety you create, my friend. That’s my take at any rate.

  5. runningonsober says:

    Awwwww what a personal, honest and endearing post, Paulette. Consider your toe dipped into the pool! You’re very brave–they say being brave is being scared, but doing it anyway.

    People respond to “personal,” especially in this vastly impersonal world. Different or not, we’re all human, and most of us are good. Flawed maybe, but good.

    So practice… Share a little personal stuff now and then. It will scare you less and less each time you do so.


    • Christy! I just came from meeting Ginger and Coco and here you are. Thank you so much. You’re miles and miles ahead of me in braving the storms and as you so incredibly put it at your site, the lack of sunshine. I love reading yours and feel so comfortable when I’m there, welcome. That’s a wonderfully inviting heart you have there. So glad for this connection.

      • runningonsober says:

        I’m so glad too! Thank you for your kindness. Sharing the personal has been a work-in-progress for me too. Having a mostly anonymous identity helps with that, enormously when I first started blogging, though now that’s not as big a deal to me. (See, it gets easier and easier.)

        I started blogging though to work through some grief (I’d lost my mom and aunt shortly before my start) and to help keep me occupied and sober, so my purpose starting out was a lot different than many who blog for publicity or work promotion.

        I’ll look for a Spot pic for you– I know there’s one. I think it’s in “Preparing myself for the probability of cancer.” I’ll find the link and post it to your recent comment on my site.

      • I found her and fell in love. She’s a beauty. I cannot imagine a life without dogs. And as long as dogs live I know I will have joy in my life. I’ve loved these conversations with you today. Thank you, friend.

  6. FlaHam says:

    Paulette, Thank you for that explaination, for that insight into you, I have loved your posts, for what they were, and what they exposed for my view. But now you offer a different view, which I love equally as well. Take care, Bill

    • Thank you so much, Bill. It means a lot coming from you who I feel is one of the bravest bloggers I’ve run across with talking about your insides and how you feel. I admire that. I mean it. I aspire to be more like that. It’s not changing who I am but having a little more courage to put my guts on the line. I need work in the bravery department. Big hugs to you my friend.

  7. cindy knoke says:

    I can only imagine positive energy directed towards you because that is what you put out. I have been dumbfounded by the kindness of WP boggers. I too (like all sensitive people) am affected by insensitivity. You rock my dear and don’t forget how much your followers admire you.

    • Aww, Cindy. You’re a love. I really appreciate your stopping by and your kind hearted comment. You know from your past professional life that when we’re in our helping hat (therapist, NP, etc.) it’s a totally different ball game then when the issues of our humanness surfaces subjectively. It’s not easy for me to take off my NP, writer, feeling good identities and sit with the painful emotions, self-consciousness, sensitivities that erupt, even harder to share them. Thankfully, they pass and for the most part I live a blessed balanced pretty happy life. When the boo boos surface, well that’s hard to open about. Today I took a risk and although I’m having growing pains at least I feel hopeful that I’m growing. Thank you again and so very glad that our cyber lives have connected. You’re a gem.

  8. gita4elamats says:

    I completely empathise with you Paulette. It is good to take other people’s opiniions into account but sometimes we can be too mindful of that and therefore be inhibited with sharing personal info. i know that went through my mind when I posted ‘Xenophobics out’.
    If you wear a mask for too long, it may become your face, I fear.

    • Excellent point and boy when do we start to believe the mask and lose ourselves, in cognitive dissonance? Reminds me of an Oscar Wilde quote, “be yourself, everyone else is taken.” For me the hardest mark to dissolve is the social pleasant one, those times I feel I really want to say something but fear/anxiety gets in the way that in making a point I may lose the relationship. One can’t claim then that it was never a relationship if it’s throwing the baby out with the bath water. But how to know, how to trust, and how to feel be damned consequences? At what cost? You’re another very wonderful new cyber friend who I deeply value. What we went through over our loss of dogs and that you adopted Tara after we met is something I will never forget and hold in my heart. How does that relate? I care about you and with that comes a sensitivity and not wanting to offend; even when I stretch and take a liberty. What a dance. Grateful you’ve entered my life. wag wag.

  9. jmgoyder says:

    I have actually been wishing that you would share personal stuff. I wait with anticipation and this post deserves an ONYA!

    • What you wrote here, really went straight to my heart, that you care to hear and find out about another complete stranger, me. That you came to offer support to me when I posted something uncomfortable makes me feel better about it. Thank you so much for that. I’m really bowled over by the support. Not sure what an ONYA is. If you see this and have a sec could you let me know. Tks.

  10. Hi
    There is a lot of fear with some about sharing or exposing. I believe and always have, that I will not be stuffed into a box and left in there with all my thoughts feelings and beliefs. I believe that we must take a step with each person. And feel our way along in life. some you can be more open with and others give you an impression that are not comfortable. I will never engage anyone I get the sense from that they wish to not be engaged nor will I share much with them. However if I am asked my opionion or on my own blog I feel I will be myself. Of course we all must be respectful and tactful. But I have to be honest. And if someone is offended at what I believe, I am sad for that, but will still own my feeling and thought. I can’t be responsible for how another will act, but I can be responsible for how I will act. And if we all take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, maybe we’d be less sensitive and more embracing. I believe in agreeing to disagree if I need to. I will never force my views on another. But I won’t not accept them.

    • Yisraela! Another wonderful insightful reply from you. Excellent point on the degree of openness relating to internal comfort. I love that. And, very powerful point that you can’t be responsible for how another will act (& I add think) but can be responsible for your own thoughts and actions. That is great. But most significantly is what you wrote about the sadness and still owning your own feelings. I saw when reading that that decisions can be based in what is the discomfort I can live with or that sits authentic in me. If I speak my truth with no intent to harm or hurt and it creates something in another that makes me sad can I live with that? I think so. On the other hand can I live with never wanting to risk or stretch or grow and grow courage? That seems far worse, even though I tell myself deluding stories otherwise. I know I need to risk a bit more at times and also be more responsible as you pointed out. Thank you so much!

      • Hi my friend
        You are so welcome. In life I know that none of us will always agree. That is a certainty. And yet without differing opinions, the world would be less colorful. I have learned much from what others think, even if I don’t always agree. I know that if I be true to who I am at the heart, no matter what I believe and express, i can be ok with that. Cause I can only embrace the truth. And if I speak my beliefs respectfully, then if it still offends, I feel sad that it may have offended, but also know that it was not to offend. And I can leave with knowing we agree to disagree. But I can’t walk away knowing I didn’t express myself honestly. To be genuine which is more important to me, I know that some things will not always be as I wish them to be. But I know more importantly, that I won’t miss out on the beautiful flowers I may have otherwise missed by not being honest. I try to see the glass half full and not half empty. I am able to have a more complete life whatever it brings me.

      • Wow, I admire that. I’m not that courageous to always speak my truth. Sometimes I just prefer to keep my mouth shut. But I am learning to squeak a little more and all of the help here with this blog has made me feel a bit more comfortable stepping out of my proverbial comfort zone. Thank you so much.

  11. Francina says:

    Interesting and thought provoking read. When we share any form of creativity we might get hurt, but it’s worth the risk as long we stay true to ourselves. Doubt belongs to creativity made public , me think. Not necessary a bad thing though because it will let you keep trying to do your up-most best. And constructive criticism is always good for another look at our own work, as long we keep in mind that taste differs of course too.
    groetjes, Francina

    • Great point, Francina. Never looked at it that way; doubt belonging to creativity made public. And then in the context of it being about improving… that paints a whole new picture. This is a really helpful new perspective. Makes me feel a little more courageous that I can weather getting hurt instead of wanting to avoid or hide from it. That really feels good. I’m so happy you stopped by to share this. Thank you so much.

  12. As I’ve matured, I decided to speak my mind and grow a thicker skin. This is a most thought provoking post here and Colleen’s post brought me to my knees too.

    • If we’re really going to cut the crap, in honesty I have cycled in and out of speaking my mind through the years. Of late, taking on a voice of tolerance it’s been louder. Talking about some of my own stuff, more a tiny squeak if anything at all. It just makes me feel too damn self conscious. But, this was a baby step for me and I lived through it, lol. I’m bowled over by the kindheartedness of so many of our blogger family that do invite us to open and share. It’s quite something. Completely agree about Colleen’s post. I’m a die hard fan of her site. She writes really great thought provoking things. Really glad you stopped by.

  13. As you know, I speak from my heart with the firm faith that if my sole purpose is that my message can bring light to someone, then any risk I take is well worth it. I know there is risk. But what I do is not courage; it is my nature. Sometimes I feel as vulnerable as a tree’s newly budding leaf in a late spring frost. Yet I persevere because I know I must. In my world I feel protected event if the elements are sometimes harsh. “My world” is really everyone’s world, if they choose to live in trust rather than fear.

    The way I see fear is this: it is a construct, vapor, really. It lives in places that don’t exist: the past and the future. And even if, at this very moment, I feel fear because of some circumstance, I can’t locate that fear–see or touch it. Fear only lives as an idea that I can hang onto or let go of. I choose. That world is my world. That world can be your world or anyone’s world. Hang on or let go. It’s that simple and that profoundly difficult…

  14. I am just now getting around to reading my favorite blogs, and, oh boy, your post could be my post: that is how much I am reticent to reveal “too much”—whatever “too much” is (b/c it varies depending on who I’m working with, lunching with, blogging with, etc., AKA as the “safety level”—and for all the reasons you cite, and maybe a hundred more. Somewhere along the line we learn, by reproach or scorn or whatever, to uber police certain thoughts, attitudes, feelings, appearances, all of it. Thanks for a great, courageous post, Paw.

  15. Kerry Dwyer says:

    Well I can see I am a little late to the party and all the good stuff has already been said. It is so hard to truly reveal ourselves. Some of the fear is real and some of it isn’t. What I mean by real is that we don’t want to put ourselves or our loved ones at risk. We know there are risks with being public. Oh dear I’m not doing this very well am I?
    Look – have a hug from me and know that I understand where this is coming from.

  16. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    This is great, and valuable as I am sure many many will relate. Colleen says it so well some days, and you’ve capped it. Love is love, I reckon – and good luck to those who find it.

    • Thank you so much. It helped me a lot to have kind hearted cyber friends, like you, comment and relate. I’ve made some headway since this post, little baby steps, but have stretched in a few areas I was uncomfortable in and spoke. Mind you, there was still discomfort but with it I felt a little better that I did it. For me, it’s an ongoing process. Colleen is a gem and has been a great teacher for me of someone speaking out on controversial topics and doing it with heart, plus accepting all differing comments back with grace. I love this cyber community. 🙂

  17. JK Bevill - Lost Creek Publishing says:

    Reblogged this on lost creek publishing and commented:
    Thanks Paulette!

  18. My Tropical Home says:

    I read this first on my tablet but couldn’t do anything more than that. The like and comment just wouldn’t go through. So I came back today to do it. I hear you Paulette. When you come from a place of pain, especially the type that has become a part of who you are, there is always that fear…of being “accepted” for not being “whole” or for not being “normal” like the world expects. It is always an item of praise when we are able to face those fears head on and (eventually) live life in abundance and freedom the way God designed it to be. Here’s a toast to those brave steps you took in writing this post!

    Love and more hugs,

  19. beebeesworld says:

    Thanks for reading, I enjoy yours as well. beebeesworld

  20. jmsabbagh says:

    Its pleasant to hear from you Thank you for liking my post (( Years/ Achievement)) best regards.jalal

  21. olganm says:

    Finding a safe place is difficult and more so where exposed to the public eye. A very brave post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Olga and thank you for stopping by and commenting. In the years that I’ve matured (for lack of a better word) my discernment of what to let out, or not, has been better fine-tuned. When I was younger, more innocent, my mouth got me into trouble and hurt. Seeing and learning about hatred from a deep place a lesson/teacher for me to be discreet. I’m still learning.

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