I’ve written over the last month that I am having a really hard time. I’ve been down…dark, and depressed. I’ve been fighting bouts of anxiety and nervousness, and stomach issues that are a result of all of it, but also make all the stress and nervousness worse.
I have been feeling trapped. And stuck. And hopeless.
Yet, I could not, exactly pinpoint why.
Today, in another intense–but effective–EMDR session, I feel like I am finally starting to see what has been weighing me down.
I also feel like some of the heaviness is starting to lighten–I feel tired–absolutely exhausted and worn out–but also, strangely, more free.
I am able to see that this last month has been hard for me for many different reasons, that all kind of intertwine with one another.
I have been struggling, so much, with the grief and the anger I feel about my childhood. I have been struggling with the knowledge that I really need someone to connect to and share my pain with–in a way that is free of judgement and, in my mind, includes a hug and permission to just let all my tears out. I cry at the thought that some women can call their moms and have these conversations. I can’t.
I have also been struggling with the terrible rhetoric surrounding Donald Trump and sexual assault. I did not even realize how much of a trigger it was for me until Friday, when my friends and I were discussing slumber parties for our girls. My immediate reaction was, “Oh no…we won’t do slumber parties.” Suddenly, I could just remember all those feelings of being trapped by men who were hurting me. Stuck in places that I did not want to be. All this talk of “locker room talk” and “boys being boys” infuriates me. All the justifications for this behavior terrify me. And reiterate why I never told anyone. I am not at all worried about my own safety. I am so fearful of the safety of my sweet girl–who is seven–and the immense job I have to keep her safe.
Safe, like I wasn’t.
I am also mourning the fact that I have lived with all of this for SO. LONG. I realized today how much sharing emotional pain was not allowed as I grew up. I learned to hide my feelings, out of fear of being too dramatic and too whiny (which, ironically, I was called on a normal basis). I think of the most painful moments in my life–the moments that I did share, in the hopes of having that connection I imagine in my head (tears, hugs, and being told my feelings are okay), and I simply remember being dismissed and told to “Stop being so dramatic. Women in our family put on a smile and move on. We don’t wallow in our own self-pity.”
Maybe this is why I never talked about any of it. Maybe this is why I never realized how deeply it has hurt, how much the fear has shaped me, or how alone it all feels.
I do know, though, that this–all of this–is why this month has been so hard. That part of me–the critical part that is always yelling, telling me to quit whining, get over it, stop being so dramatic…suddenly makes sense. It doesn’t mean that it is any easier to get rid of it–but I also know how I want to be treated, and how I wish I would have been treated as a child. I know how I treat my own kids when they come to me with problems.
I may not always feel like a great mother but I know today, without a doubt, that I am nothing like the mother I had.
I can treat myself better. I can be stuck and get out of this…and, dammit–
I will feel better.