I have had some really dark days the last month or so. It was taking everything within me to function as a human being and, honestly, I failed at even accomplishing that much for a solid week in the worst of it. Then, because I’ve been away from you so long, I started feeling anxiety about where to begin, what to say. That anxiety only perpetuated my absence here. It’s a sick cycle, anxiety and depression. Sick, indeed.
I feel tender and wounded as I come out of the bleakness of the past weeks, but I hope coming back out into the world will help me keep turning it around. It’s certainly worked in the past. I need to release things, but I’m afraid of overwhelming people with my sadness, with my shit. I have a lot of it, and it’s really heavy sometimes.
I’ve missed writing you, though. So, here goes.
For the few weeks after she showed up at my house unannounced and uninvited, I couldn’t bring myself to speak to her. What could I say? Her visit triggered my anxiety like crazy. I had flashbacks of exactly what I feared most when I was in the deepest chasm of my psychotic break. Before I could begin to say anything healthy to her, I needed to talk to my therapist about it. I needed his help to figure out how I even felt about the situation, figure out what I wanted to say, figure out how I wanted to move forward.
After talking with him, I felt more confused than ever (like that’s never happened to anyone in therapy, right?). I knew I didn’t want to keep going through the dysfunctional rollercoaster. I knew that I still so desperately wanted my parents in my life. I knew I had to set boundaries. On this last point, I really thought I had. I mean, changing my locks, telling her not to show up at my work without telling me, I can’t specify every single fucking thing. Come on!
During the three or so weeks of not talking to her, to them, I started to have these intense waves of anxiety, sadness, anger, depression, deja vu symptoms like I hadn’t felt in over a year. I didn’t connect the dots that the situation with them was why I was having those feelings at the time, but I should have.
Anyway, I didn’t know, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for contact. When she called out of the blue and left me a voice mail saying that she wanted me to call her and not say anything, to let her know I’m alive, I didn’t know what to do. Her tone of voice was what got me. It was an attempt at nice that turned sour at the end. She’s always that way and it gets under my skin in a way that you wouldn’t believe (or maybe you would, I don’t know). Either way, I was really tempted to continue to ignore her, make her worry. But, that’s not what I’ve learned to do in therapy, and that’s really just not me. I had to rise above it. Again. Such is life, people. It’s the only way to grow.
I knew I couldn’t risk a call. I still didn’t really know what to say, much less in the way that I needed to say it. Plus it felt like a bit of a trap. I’m pretty sure she’d answer and, although she’s no danger to me now, I still freeze around her, when talking to her, when thinking about her. She’s my childhood boogeyman, after all.
So I texted her, “I’m alive.”
I had initially meant it to be just that. Leave it, done, call it good. But once the door was open, it couldn’t be closed. In a series of texts, I set my boundaries in the most loving and accountable way I possibly could.
I almost ended it there, but felt like I wanted to keep the line open, even still.
With that, it was done. I said my piece and put the ball in their court.
I wasn’t at all prepared for just how hard it would be on me to say those things to her, though. The next morning I was absolutely sick to my stomach and for the four days that followed my texts, I quite literally couldn’t make it out of bed. Looking back, it seems so obvious why I froze, why I went to my darkest of dark places, but it still took me another three days until therapy and a semi-major meltdown at the office, before I figured it out. Oops.
After sending those texts (which my therapist applauded me for, btw), I felt like I had given up the power to her. She had it all again, all the power I have been working so hard to reclaim for myself. I still can’t quite shake the feeling, because now it really is up to them whether or not we continue forward. That’s a vulnerable and scary place to be in any relationship. The feeling is only amplified when it’s your own parents and you have the sordid history we do. So yeah, I knowingly walked into a place of extreme vulnerability with the people in my life it’s hardest to be even remotely vulnerable with while keeping myself feeling safe. The anxiety hit me like a freight train.
I also felt an intense sadness that it had come to this point again. We were making progress. Slow, but progress. I thought we had hit a major milestone during my trial. But her invading my private, safe, space was more than I could bear. I really just can’t deal with the dysfunction while I put myself first and focus on my weight loss surgery journey. That comes with a whole host of emotional issues in and of itself and my progress is only going to continue being impeded if I’m having to deal with their shit on top of it all. So, yeah, what I said had to be put out there and I didn’t (don’t) regret it; but, oh, the depression.
On the deepest level, the level that my therapist really had to help me get to, I
am questioning questioned my own self worth. I wonder, am I good enough? Do they love me enough to make this work? Do they love me like I hope they do? If they say no, if they balk, I can’t help but feel like I’m not worth the fight. Like I’m not worth it. If I’m not worth it to my own parents, I’m not worth anything. How could I be?
Really. How could I be?
Thank God for therapy, let me tell you. It was an intense session last week and I’m definitely still recovering. I still have more to flesh out next time (an hour goes by way too fast), but he helped me see some light where there was none. I’ll say it again, thank God for therapy. 😌
Check out my art and follow my journey on Twitter, Instagram., and in my Etsy shop.