thumb-sucking
I still suck my thumb. #Confession
by Jennifer Pastiloff

1. I like to feel safe.

I have a yearning to feel safe.

The pop psychologist in you will say Well, Jen, that is because your dad died when you were young and all you ever want is to go back to feeling safe because that felt very, very unsafe.

Probably this is true.

Regardless, I do things to stay safe.

Even if they make me miserable sometimes such as waitressing at the same restaurant for 13 years because I was scared to leave.

I married a man I love deeply but who indeed makes me feel very safe.

I am not talking about the I will protect you because I am so tough kind of safe although he keeps a gold club by our bed. (Yes, I too am not sure what that could ever ever do.)

He makes me feel safe because he loves me unconditionally. Except when I am a slob, which I am quite a lot. Then he still loves me, he just gets aggravated. I get that.

He checks my car to make sure it has oil and gas. He waters the plants. He puts his hands on my forehead and tells me not to worry, that everything will be okay.

There it is!

Those used to be my fantasy words.

Perhaps they still are?

I have said aloud many times throughout my childhood and teen years even. All I wanted was for someone to tell me: It’s going to be alright. 

My husband does that.

And he means it. He believes it. He believes in me.

He makes me feel good. And sexy. And beautiful. And talented.

And safe.

So yes, I am being honest. I like to feel safe.

So here is my confession which I thought I would save for my book.

2. I suck my thumb.

I have for over 35 years.

There must have been years in adulthood when I stopped but lately I notice I have been  doing it again, usually when I don’t even realize it.

It’s like nothing I could ever explain to you the feeling of safety it gives me. The feeling of relaxation. The feeling of being high. The feeling of it’s going to be alright.

Psychologists say the habit is a comforting gesture that mimics the feelings gained from breastfeeding as a baby, sending a rush of endorphins to the brain.

So what do I do?

It’s not like I walk around with my thumb in my mouth but it is indeed a comforting vice I allow myself. And, perhaps the reason I have been doing it more lately is directky related to the lack of judgement from my husband, from the safety he provides. Perhaps  I feel more stress and it is my way to make me feel slightly better.

We all have something.

Some drink wine. (I have done.)

Some over eat. ( I have done.)

Some starve themselves. ( I have done and done again.)

Some over exercise. ( I have more than done.)

Some have too much sex. (Not so much.)

Some sleep too much. ( I have done.)

Some shop with money they do not have. ( I have done.)

Whatever it is, we all have things that make us feel safe, even if they are actually causing us to stay in a dark place, albeit a safe one, because it is what we know.

Better the Devil you know….

The point is that I am confessing to something I observe in myself. This yearning to feel safe.

Is it crippling me? No. Not at all.

Are there things that I am doing that I could change? Yes. Many.

For example, I have already had braces and I hated them. I do not need buck teeth in my 30′s.

I can also attempt to find these feelings in other ways. Maybe I can get that same endorphin rush through exercise, except this time without feeing like I need to exercise 4 hours a day (yes, I did that.) Maybe I can get that feeling through meditation.

Maybe not.

Maybe I will suck my thumb and like to feel safe until I die.

Most of you won’t know. You will like me anyway.

3. I have many more but this post can only be so long to keep your attention.

You will go on and do the things that you do to keep you feeling safe or alive or relevant or scared or lovable or whatever way you need to feel to keep on keeping on in the world.

What’s your confession? (Answer below)

JENNIFER PASTILOFF 
www.jenniferpastiloff.com 
www.manifestationyoga.com 
@manifestyogajen

Jennifer Pastiloff

I am a lover of life, laughter, poetry, yoga and a really good glass of wine. I created Manifestation Yoga, which is all about causing serious breakthroughs in your life without being too serious. My rule of “If you fall you must laugh and take down your neighbor” is Strictly enforced! I teach all over Los Angeles and also in Philadelphia & NJ at Dhyana Yoga. I travel the world teaching workshops and leading retreats. My nephew Blaise was recently diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Prader Wille Syndrome (PWS) which prompted me to start GAME Yoga. Gifts And Miracles Everyday: Free Yoga for Kids w/ Special Needs. It’s also a really good excuse for me to be around kids whom I generally loved more than the average adult. I am also a poet, and in the process of writing a book. I firmly believe that you can manifest whatever it is you want in your life. I am partially deaf and wear hearing aids. I spent 13 years working in the same restaurant and I believe that everyone should have a job in the service industry at least once in their life. It’s good for the soul. www.jenniferpastiloff.com www.manifestationyoga.com

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One Response to I still suck my thumb. #Confession

  1. A confession… hmm… okay, here goes:

    I didn’t lose my virginity until I was in my late 20’s, I think 28, can’t remember for sure. As to why, I realize there were several factors. Education was always real hard for me, I struggled with math and anything logical. That mixed with swimming competitively played a key role. I realize now I was always completely exhausted and semi-comotosed for a good chunk of my life. Because between being in the pool four hours a day and sleeping two hours a night because it took me forever to do my homework turned me into a zombie. I dated sporadically, I was twenty-five when I graduated from college, due to the economy I lived at home for three years. My parents don’t sleep much and the walls were real thin. I was just embarrassed to even think about dating anybody under those circumstances. I just couldn’t do that to somebody. I finally moved out Los Angeles when I was 28. I got to the point where I didn’t want to be the 30 or 40 year old virgin. So I just bit the bullet and handled it. She was from New York, she had just graduated from NYU and was out in Los Angeles on vacation. She was very nice. I called her back and she told me she just got back together with her boyfriend and who she had broken up with at some point that last semester. She flew back to New York for him. I was nice enough to understand and was not heart broken or jealous. I was grateful and thanked her. I’ve hooked up a couple of other times since but have never had a long term meaningful relationship with a women. I have tried a couple of online dating sites with limited success. I don’t have a good answer why I have not had better luck. I know I am hard to understand given the ADD/ADHD I have, I just don’t know how to make myself more emotionally accessible to women who want to understand me better, out side of written forms like this one. I have no problem if women want to get to know me better on a deeper emotional level. I just don’t know what kind of vibe to put out to present that I am accessible. All they have to do is ask, I am not afraid to talk about anything. So if anybody out there has any ideas I am all ears.

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