I am trying very hard to stay positive. To remind myself through focus that I have a lot to be grateful for, and I do. I really, really do. I
Every once in a while, though, I am reminded of what i don’t have. I’d like to briefly touch on those here.
I don’t have a deeply ingrained sense of stability and trust.
I don’t have a family that loves me no matter what.
I don’t even have a face that only a mother could love.
The fact is that I grew up with a mother, as i understand her today, incapable of love. While I am doing pretty well, I do get reminded during some times in my life of what i am missing, not just a mother/birth family, but the knowledge of being deeply lovable. Lots of people have lost their mothers for many different reasons. But the knowledge that I was (for a a while) deeply known by my mother and still not loved has produced damage and scars in me that I now think won’t be going away anytime soon. I can mask them, cover them up, talk about them, try to be understood, but I am fundamentally different in that way than almost anybody I’ve ever known.
And that’s ok. I know now that it doesn’t define me. That it doesn’t actually make me less lovable that my next door neighbor, or the guy down the street. In fact, I have people who seemingly love my deeply now. But yet, I’m always watchful and always scared. And because of that, I sometimes scare people away, at least I think I do. Because I grew up watching my every word, every action, I also grew up not trusting in my own self. Not knowing that it’s ok to make mistakes, to not be perfect, to not be the best dressed or richest or best looking. And THANK GOD! because I am none of that. I just always believed that I needed to be to earn love.
But saying all of those things doesn’t change the fact that I have a flaw – an intrinsic blemish or weakness that others mostly don’t have. I find the world to be a very scary and unpredictable place. I don’t feel safe even when I am. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. The rug to be pulled out from underneath me. And when it is, it still hurts.
I think this is why I love Augusten Burroughs so much. I get him. I listen to his audio books, and I feel like I am listening to myself, except I’m not as funny. Or maybe I am, but I have, instead of relying on my humor, decided to squelch my humor because I have felt like I am in a life or death situation all the time. How’s that for clarifying the intensity of who I am? I can’t relax! I’m terrified to relax. I’ve got to hold on for dear life.
And then there’s the doubt. The doubt that I am wrong, that I am just mentally deranged or worse. After all, my entire birth family feels the same way about me. Why?
Well, that’s a whole different post. I’ve even heard lists read to me about what precisely it is that they don’t like about me. Oh, I know. But I disagree with them that they dislike me for who I am. It is FINALLY crystal clear to me that they dislike me for who they are. And how they interpret me is an exact representation of themselves, and, yeah, it’s ugly. But it isn’t me.
Maybe as a teenager I had some anger? I don’t remember anger. I remember sadness. Profound sadness. But today, my teenager told me that she hates our family and that I don’t understand her. She is filled with rage – actually is seeking counseling for it. So, because I know that I at least partially do understand her, this makes me doubt a lot of things about my life and my beliefs about my life. So, I might start investigating whether or not I’m right about my life. Have I deserved a bit of what I’ve gotten? Was I actually a bit on the unlovable side? Was I angry? Was I verbally abusive? Accusatory? What was I? I don’t think I need to go back to my childhood for that. I am going to just relive the past few years. So, these next posts might be a bit ugly in content. But I am trying to therapeutically prove to myself that I’m not insane. That my situation has actually been quite sad and emotionally abusive. And I’d like to give myself permission to heal from that abuse in a very real way. In order to do that, I have to stop pretending that it wasn’t there and stop doubting myself.
No matter who I was in the past, I am who I am today in the present, and I am good. I have flaws, but I am good. And the primary negative distinguishing feature of my adult self is my inability to trust that I am lovable, my skepticism aobut love, my fear of being wrong.
I’m ready to be done with that.