I’ve been quiet because I’ve been struggling. The pharmacists at Tara messed up my meds and I didn’t have enough of my one anti-depressant over the weekend and Monday and spent the next three days recovering from the withdrawals. I’m still feeling rough just recovering from the recovering. I’m also struggling with the fact that a mixture of what’s been happening in therapy and weaning off my other anti-depressant means that I’m feeling a lot of feelings. Mostly anger and sadness. Mostly to do with what I went through as a child and the resultant loss of 20 years to the chronic depression and social anxiety associated with CPTSD.
When I say loss I mean the fact that I couldn’t hold down a job, the resultant financial lack, couldn’t have a healthy relationship, couldn’t be in the moment and enjoy life because of the constant state of being in fight or flight, couldn’t make memories because I was dissociated, and basically how I couldn’t create a life for myself because I didn’t want to be alive. I missed out on life and life experiences because I was struggling to survive. When people my age talk about their teenage years and twenties I cannot relate because I spent those formative years in and out of psych hospitals. I don’t have stories like they do. I don’t have what they have to show for living life.
All because people made the choice to sexually abuse me and my mother’s own depression and struggle with my abusive and alcoholic father caused her to neglect me. And that’s very, very enraging and very, very sad. And I’m starting to feel those feelings with a depth I’ve never experienced. Because I’ve never been able to feel those feelings or fully acknowledge what happened to me because I haven’t been safe enough to.
I know that feeling these things is a huge step in my healing and I know that once I’m able to appropriately express my anger (not internalise it) and able to cry I’ll start to feel better. But I’m terrified. It’s not just that fear of a dam bursting. Not just the fear that I will be drowned. But also a fear of anger, because how do I be angry without worrying about upsetting others, and a fear of crying. The fear of crying is complex. As with anger I fear that I won’t be able to contain it. That it will be too big for me. But with crying it’s also the fear of how people respond to it.
I was brought up in a “I’ll give you something to cry about” household. Not exactly an environment where it was safe to cry. Not a space where crying was met with nurturance. My therapist says that with my mother’s depression and struggles with my father it’s unlikely that she tolerated me crying very well. So I worry that my crying would distress my loved ones. Make them feel helpless. Uncomfortable. Distressed. I also fear that if they’re not distressed or uncomfortable and we both acknowledge that in the face of such rage and grief it’s ok to feel helpless, that them holding me will not be enough. That nurturance will not be enough. That I’ll still have to delve through the depths of my grief and anger alone. And that is, of course, true. With all the support in the world we are still alone in our heads.
I need to trust that others’ nurturing will be enough while I learn, increasingly faster, how to nurture myself in healthy ways. This trust will come from a place of trusting that I deserve the nurturance and from a place where I can fully absorb that nurturance without the “once you let someone in they’ll abandon you” voice being too loud.
This is so, so difficult, no, tortuous, and it’s so, so terrifying. But more than ever before I’m ready to start dealing with my grief and anger because, despite the inner child voice of doubt, fear and lack of safety, I am strong enough to handle this and I have amazing support systems in Noah, my therapist, my chosen family and my friends. So I can soothe little Gabe and tell them that everything’s going to be ok. I’ve got their back. I know you do too. And that means the world to me.