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Elsa’s Blog On Life, Personal Development Blog.
A life pattern: dry tit sucking. Where from? How change?
Life Blog, Blogs About Life, from a Life Blogger.

October 10, 2009

LIFE PATTERN - try try try again - or dry tit sucking

I've somehow gotten into looking at my patterns in life - starting with jump and swim.

It's not my only pattern. There's another one - very powerful. I call it dry tit sucking.

What do I mean?

I need something. Or anyway, I want it badly. I do my best to get it, from some source around me. I don't. But I can't see - or don't want - or I don't dare to reach for - any other source. So I go back, over and over, to the first place, always hoping that I will get what I want. So much longing, wanting, hoping, imagining. Uusually I don't get it.

I don't give up hope. I try over and over. At some point, in many cases, I do give up. The big thing: the energy I've spent, if I'd put it elsewhere ...  maybe I would have gotten nothing. But maybe I would have gotten much more of what I was after.

Another thought: maybe what I ws after was there, and I knew it was there. But I didn't have the magic formula. Abracadabra. Open sesame! Aladdin in front of the cave of riches - with no password. And then, try try try again.

Where did this pattern get started? I don't know. But my mother has told a story, over and over, of my first few weeks. She wanted to breastfeed, did breastfeed. For six weeks, she only breastfed. Never enough milk. Finally, the doctor told her to add a bottle so I could have as much as I wanted.

I was a thin baby, according to her, and I stayed thin throughout childhood (much to her frustration) and throughout adulthood (much to my satisfaction).

Is that where it started, in those first weeks, trying to get enough when enough wasn't there? Needing to keep trying, because that was they only way I could get anything?

Yet, in a larger sense, enough was there - milk was easy for my mother to obtain. But I had no idea how to get it - or even that it could exist anywhere else than from my mother.

I don't know if that's where it started - this struggling to get, this hoping to get, where the milk does not flow freely.

I do know that, when I was a child and there was fighting, I lived with the hope that things would be better from now on. It would never happen again - including my anger would never happen again. And I would try so very hard not to let it happen again.

Maybe that has a lot to do with the pattern of hoping and trying where there isn't a good chance of getting.


And then, more important, what keeps it going, this dry tit sucking?

First, the sense that it could be there, whatever it is I want, if only some little thing is changed. So I may try to change it - try to fix the other, or (less often) try to alter what I've done that got the rejection. A bit like sucking harder and harder - no fun, I'm sure, for my mother - and difficult for me.

Second thing. Fear. I may be afraid of looking elsewhere. Lots of things are scary, or anyway, have been scary for me. My sense is that I've had a lifetime of working to undo old fears - especially fears of reaching out. I see people casually making friends, casually approaching other people. Not fearful. So unlike me. It doesn't feel safe to me. The big fear: they won't like me.

Third thing that keeps the old unsatisfying pattern goin.. Not seeing any other possibilities. A sense of despair: if can't get it here, I won't ever get it. That was the case when I was a newborn. But the world has gotten larger.


Examples of dry tit sucking. Relationships. Trying to fix, in the hope that, if this gets fixed, everything I long for will come together. Error: trying to fix the other, which is uncomfortable for the other and not conducive to loving closeness. So, more lack and distance.

Not all trying to fix fels like dry tit sucking - not when I'm trying to deal withmy own inner blocks, inner tangles and messes. That feels like tackling a major clean-up job.

More examples of dry tit sucking, Three vivid examples have just come to mind - of trying for grants for creative projects. Each time, I started by getting a very positive rejection - a near miss, according to the response. I looked at the comments. I fixed things totally. Resubmitted for the next deadline. The result, each time: a much more total rejection, a much more negative response. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe, in the second attempt, the creative flow of the original submission had been destroyed. Also, the people evaluating the proposals had changed. So what I sent might have satisfied the previous batch, did not at all satisfy those who looked the next time around.


I don't mean that try and try again is a bad idea. I got into college teaching at a time when there were incredibly few openings. I tried and tried again. I kept sending my cv. I got part time teaching at one college. I still kept sending my cv to the others. And then, suddenly, I was in. Almost by accident. But after a very long time of trying.


However often I try and try one approach way too long because I can't imagine any other way of getting where I want. I tried for years to get things published by small publishers. Very little luck. A lot of trying and trying. Discouraging.

I gave up for years when I started full time teaching. There was only so much time.

Then I went after grants. Again, that went on for years.

Again I gave up.

The web. That has, for me, not been dry tit sucking.

At the start I had no idea how to get visible. At the start, in fact, I had no idea how to do anything.

Then I found a resource - nourishment - which I've written about in My Adventures in Internet Land, all about getting better search engine ranks and even top web site ranking.

Lots of milk suddenly, even an overflow. I had no idea how to use it, what to do with it all. But I learned. It became much easier to get ahead. Last month, this site had 41,220 page views. And I still have much to learn.

Quite some difference, dry tit sucking and having a buffet around. Okay, buffet is overstating the case - there's still a huge amount of work, or has been, for me anyway.

But at least, with the right nourishment, the right tools, I've gotten ahead.

This is something I'm struggling for in other areas of my life at this moment: bountiful plentiful nourishment, so that my own nourishing can flow outward instead of being bottled up in me. Not good for me, or the world.


An old saying just went through my head: you can't get blood from a stone. A question: is trying to get blood from a stone the same thing as dry tit sucking?

Not quite. I'm not talking about bloodless stones. My mother had milk, and wanted to give much more than she could, and had access to lots and lots of milk. I wasn't trying to get blood from a stone - something utterly hopeless. A stone - cold, lifeless, heartless. I would have starved. No, my mother had enough to keep me alive but ever hungry. Frustrating for her as well as me. It just took her a long time to give up trying to only breastfeed.

My sense isn't that I've gone for totally hopeless things - the blood from stone scenario. It's like seeing milk in a glass bottle. It's there. But how does one get to it? And what if small quantities of milk somehow get out? And what if one sees others getting lots of milk?

Anyway, that's it for now. Maybe one final comment. I have much in my life. But I know that what I've gotten I've struggled for. The goal is less struggle. And more of what I long for.

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PS. What's your pattern in life? How easily do you get things? Do you hang on too hard, give up too easily, expect where there's a clear no - or do you find you easily go for and get much of what you want?

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Elsa’s Blog On Life, Personal Development Blog.
A life pattern: dry tit sucking. Where from? How change?
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