I feel like yesterday (I mean Monday) was a huge turning point for me. It was strange how a switch flipped, and things felt different and looked different. Had that shift not happened on Monday, late afternoon, I could not have dealt with today’s events as effectively as I did (granted it still wasn’t flawless). But for the first time in what feels like a very long time, I was able to see things clearly, to remove the emotional fog I’ve been living in and take a real look at things.
I’ve come to a few great realizations. First and foremost, EMDR is not the right modality for me. Someday, maybe…but maybe not. I think about the sum of who I am…every experience that I’ve had, and how it all plays together to make me who I am today. And there are things about me…diagnoses, predisposition to emotional instability, fragile brain chemistry…and I think that all those things combined, no matter what spiritual blessings have come to pass, make it difficult to engage in EMDR successfully. Someday down the road, I expect that the healing that’s happened will continue to put me in a better and better place…but now is not that time. I do however believe that working through some of the trauma and distressing events from my past and present IS necessary…and now is the time to buckle down and work on that crap.
Yesterday was filled with moment after moment of encouragement, reminders, and thought provoking events that came in the most unexpected ways. First, driving to work and listening to the radio when Lauren Daigel’s song “You Say” came on…a song I’ve heard probably 100 times. But for the first time, it really resonated with me. It reminded me of all the moments when I felt I was at my deepest darkest moment and I was lifted up spiritually. It reminded me that I’m not always a piece of shit, and I haven’t always been.
And then catching up on Station 19…the episode had 2 story lines that really hit home for me. The first was about a guy who was in foster care, abandoned by his birth parents and he ends up making some bad choices and sleeping with a coworkers wife…which in the show is deemed “unforgivable” by all his coworkers. But in this episode, one of the characters says, “I forgive you for sleeping with (whatever her name is). It’s not your fault. When you’re abandoned as a little kid like that, it changes you. You are the way you are because of what happened to you as a kid, and I forgive you.”
And does that give people a free pass…no. Does it explain things about why someone does what they do…yes. And for the first time in a very long time (if ever before) I’m starting to cut myself some slack. To recognize that the body does hold onto trauma, and as much as I want to deny it, my very earliest months on earth were filled with many traumas. As I’ve been learning about Lifespan Integration Therapy and about trauma and the idea that even from conception, emotions are stored in the body…which I’ve tried to deny up and down…but it also makes me wonder how much of that is true.
Finding my birth mother after I got home from my mission did nothing but open up a box of pain and hurt that I didn’t want to have. Finding out that not long after I was born and given up for adoption, she married and I have several half siblings who know nothing about me. Finding out that the reason she gave me up was because my birth father raped her when he was drunk and then went to prison for a bunch of drunken crimes and she had no hope for a future with him. And being told that I spent the first several weeks of my life with my birth mom before I was placed in foster care, and then with my adoptive family…so three changes of caregivers in the first few months of my life. All of those things are hard for me to face…hard for me to admit. Just plain hard.
And then the second story line that really hit home…another character’s mom is leaving her dad because of the abuse he inflicted upon her and the kids. The mom comes to the station to tell her daughter this, and the daughter gets mad because the dad never hit them. Just because he yelled, and had crazy high standards and expectations…that’s not abuse. That made them be better…made them winners. And this gal’s girlfriend has an entire conversation with her about the realities of emotional and psychological abuse and how real it is. And I found myself identifying so strongly with Mya. Feeling like it’s not real abuse…like it is what pushed me to become successful and accomplish what I have.
And these things seem to just be scratching the surface. Going back to my childhood…remembering moments when I was five that I always chalked up to curiosities of kids growing up, but am just starting to identify as sexual abuse…and then a big fat blank. That was when I was in Kindergarten. The next thing I remember is 3rd grade and suddenly being afraid all the time, reverting to wetting the bed regularly, starting to act out with lying, stealing, and fighting with neighborhood kids. And with everything I know clinically…there are about 100 red flags there. And it’s been something I never wanted to try to open up. Anytime it’s ever come up, I shove it down. But it’s not getting that easy to do anymore. I feel like it’s gonna come out if I want it to or not. And I’m not sure how to be prepared for that to happen.
And now I’m way off topic from anything that I thought I would write down tonight. This is 1000% not where I thought I’d go with this journal entry. Not where I wanted it to go…but I’m trying to let things happen and be real…so I guess there it is.
I know that these are things that need to be dealt with…things I need to process and work through…things that once I do work through them, I will be a better person for having done so. But it’s painful, embarrassing, and makes me feel weak. Hoping I can just get it done.
And here I am…at the office…still. Just hanging with my good friend Jose, really struggling. Having those couple of drinks the other day has really messed with my head. It’s not like it was a lot…and it hasn’t been a lot since. But it’s always there…always in my head. I’m not sure how to make it go away.
Well shit. How did I get to this point?? I have 6 hours of meetings tomorrow, a budget report to complete, 2 employee evaluations to prep and a new hire packet to pull together. And it’s after midnight and I’m exhausted, and yet I feel like there’s all this stuff that just needs to come out…that I just need to get out of my head and put somewhere else. But my brain is lagging a little. I had a drink tonight. Just one…nothing crazy. It felt good? But now not so much…more guilt and feelings like I’m just making my life so that there are more secrets I have to hold. When I’m working on being open and honest and connecting…this is just one more thing to hide. It’s kinda fucked up.
Two very prominent thoughts have been on my mind in the past week or so. First, having a drink. It’s always there…always an urge to just have one drink. The other is the thought that if I just died, everything and everyone would be so much better. I feel like I’ve come out of this crazy hot mess I was in over the past week, and things are still hard, but I’m not crazy…but I’ve left this mess behind me…this havoc I’ve wrecked over the past week…and it feels impossible to clean up. It’s embarrassing, it’s devastating to see the effects of my crazy, and it’s hard to face. And I just want to end it. It feels like it’s unrepairable…like I can’t ever go back to the way it was before. And this wasn’t even the craziest I’ve ever been! I’ve been 100x’s more crazy than this past week…and what’s to say that this wasn’t just a gateway for the crazy to flood back into my life. In my crazy moments…those are the moments when I wrecked relationships, destroyed everything I had built my life to be, dashed dreams I’d worked hard for…in those crazy moments, I lost the most important things to me…and it feels like it’s just gonna happen all over again.
And part of me feels like dying would just be the lazy way out. Like it’s chicken shit. But the other part of me feels like it’s honest to god, saving those I love the most a lot of heartache and pain to end it all before the crazy ruins their lives.
I mean, what the hell am I even doing here? Everything feels fucked up. And I just want it to end. I don’t know how to carry on and make things right again. I don’t know how to go back to normal.