I can’t breathe. I can’t think straight. I’m not even exactly sure how my insides are staying where they’re supposed to…because it all feels like it wants to come out in a hot mess. I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread, which may break at any moment.
My meeting to fire our employee got pushed until tomorrow at 6:00 PM. And that’s fine. I think. I’ve been a ball of anxiety all day today, and it’s so stupid. The thing is…this was a crazy traumatic experience. And maybe it wouldn’t have been if things hadn’t just kind of lined up the way they did. But they did…and the trauma response is there and going strong.
And I think about why. Why was this such a traumatic experience? Why is it rocking my world the way it has? And I’m led to so many thoughts about things that have happened in the past. So much of my childhood that plays into the response I’ve had. As much as I keep trying to make it just be this incident…it’s not. The exaggerated response I’ve had to this attack from my employee is fueled by past shit…and that also sucks.
I keep playing things over and over in my mind. Things that seemed so dumb when I was a kid. And it’s not like my parents are these horrible monsters or anything. They’re good people, and I’m sure they did the best they could with what they had.
But it all kinda comes together and makes sense why I do the things I do. From getting spanked and yelled at when I broke my arm in Kindergarten because I was fighting with my sister…to getting sent to my room without dinner or bedtime stories because I had to try a bite of the coleslaw (that I didn’t want to eat) and threw up…to being a junior in high school and having the school counselor have my mom pick me up because I was feeling suicidal, and having mom punch me in the arm and yell because she didn’t know what to do with me. And asking my dad for help on a report only to have him yell that he didn’t have time, and he was just going to leave my mom and all us kids and never come back…and watch him drive off in anger (he came back later that day). And even as a kid, getting in fights with my sister and having her yell at me she wished I was never adopted.
It’s all of these experiences, and so many others that come together and have really just instilled in me that I truly am a worthless piece of shit. That I can’t do anything right. That I’ll never amount to anything. That there’s something at my very core that is bad. That nobody truly sees ME and nobody can possibly love me…the real me. And I’m sure it didn’t even start with my earliest memories. I’m sure that things go much earlier than that. My folks always joke that they never saw me smile until I went to school and they used to call me Little Miss Stoneface. And it’s funny…right? Only it’s not.
And now here I am…desperately trying to fight the thoughts and feelings that seem to be so ingrained in me. Trying to dispute those thoughts…trying to find a shred of belief that is contrary to that. Trying to find the courage and a voice to respond to the person who most recently cut me down and attacked me on a personal level. Who pointed out flaws I see in myself and have tried to ignore. Thoughts I haven’t shared with many people, but are blaring in my mind. And I’m also trying to explain things to my boss. Why this particular incident has thrown me off my game and has hurt me so deeply. And how do you explain that in a professional setting? He can clearly see my distress and anxiety, but to know that it’s so much more than just this experience…that there’s so much more happening inside…how do you even do that? How do you even change 35 years of the same crap being reinforced in my mind?
I am battling thoughts daily, sometimes hourly, that there’s nothing left in this life for me. That ending life would be a far better option than trying to live in this hell. I’m battling the urge to drink, what feels like every moment of every day. I’m fighting the urge to cut the hell out of my wrists. I’m fighting to hold onto any glimmer of hope that might find it’s way into my life. To find the silver lining. To stay the hell out of the hospital. I’m fighting to just get out of bed. To just get in the shower and get dressed. To just make it to the office and sit. And it all feels so incredibly hard. So big…so impossible. And yet somehow I keep making it just one more moment…one more day…one more week.