So, as an interesting follow-on from the last blog entry, a few days later I heard from the opposite part. I began to think about why I continue to go to work each morning, if I hate it so much.
The answer was, because I "should". It was only right, if I was going to expect to live the way I do. In fact, I "should" be a better employee than I am, or if I'm going to decide to change to a more laidback job, I "should" start looking. I "should" wash my car, exercise more, clean my apartment, do more to plan to move, and on and on.
In fact, this part feels completely hemmed in by "shoulds". I know that's not uncommon, and I've felt that way before. But I realized that this is the part who, at a certain time of each morning, decides that it's time I "should" be going. It stuffs the fearful part into its little room, and starts getting the job done.
This might be acceptable, if the job were in fact getting done. But as the list above shows, for each thing I "should" be doing, I can also say I "should" be doing better. Partly, this is due to perfectionism, but partly it's also due to rebellion. Despite the fact that I feel overwhelmed, I can clearly see that many people get much more done each day. But I'm much less efficient than I could be, precisely because I fight myself every step of the way.
Too, in the hierarchy of "shoulds", the ones where only I am involved, such as cleaning up my apartment or myself, come last. In some tasks that are "for others", such as work, the other people might punish me if I don't do what I "should"; in others, I would feel that I had let them down. When it's just me though, it seems okay to let myself down.
Another noticeable result of all this is that I feel bad about myself, as if I'm constantly failing, because I never reach a point where I've done all the "shoulds". Not only lower-priority ones; I shrug off pieces of even the most important ones, if I think I can get away with it. Then, I'm sure I'm letting someone down.
On the other hand, feeling like I owe everyone something that I'm not really giving makes me feel vulnerable, like they might find out and cut me off. Also, it feels like nothing I receive from others is unconditional, that there's always something more I need to do to deserve it.
Now, all this is coming from just one part of myself. These days, I don't feel the "shoulds" as strongly, as consciously, as I used to. They were a big drive for the part I call 'Censor', but now they come and go during the day. I'm more confident than I was, more willing to accept my humanity.
But I think these feelings come up, now, because I'm trying to integrate the fearful parts, and besides the fact that this part is their principal oppressor, it's just possible that this part is also fearful. What I have to work on is ... how to comfort them all.