Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Recently, I lashed out at someone with whom I'd gotten close. With whom I'd felt warm, excited, strangely safe, beautiful, not just a woman (though that was wonderful), but a whole person.

On the other side of things, I was getting scared, too. I said some ugly things to him, things I'm embarrassed to think about. I objectified him, forgot that he wasn't some sort of thing in my past or an institution that I resented. Forgot that he's a man with his own history, pains, feelings.

Why the hell did I do that? I can't take the words back, and I don't think that there's any way to make amends. I wish there were, though. God, I wish there were.


Survival Instinct.

A few nights ago, in half-sleep mode, my mind was going over all the events of late. In frustration, it asked itself what could be done to get me out of my current state. From somewhere the answer came: you'd not have to worry about any of this if you were dead.

I woke up immediately.

One thing about me is that I absolutely do not want to kill myself. The only other time in my life when a similar feeling came to me was maybe 10-12 years ago. I was living in another part of town, and felt myself getting hypnotized by the train on the tracks (much like Garbo's Madame Bovary in that awful but poetic last scene). I immediately found myself help and started therapy.

I used to tell my therapist that during times of great pain, my heart would begin to glow, heat up, spread a light throughout my body. This, mein Stern, as I call it, has kept me from throwing myself in front of trains or cutting my wrists. She told me that it was my life-force and that it was a good thing to have.

My current therapist calls it a survival instinct and says that I have a very strong one.


Why am I up so early? Had another angry, frustrating dream with my mother in it. Oh, the rage I felt.

I have a lot of these dreams. They've evolved from the serial nightmare I'd had since the attacks began of being alone, frightened, threatened with death and with no one to help me. I guess that feeling anger in my dreams is an improvement, anyway.



I used to joke that they were all like Tintin. Actually, they're all like my dad: smiling, agreeable, pleasant. I think they love me; I know that I do them. They're all just so distant, uncommunicative.

If someone comes along who isn't like that, generally I try to toss them out as soon as possible, as they are too dangerous. I can't allow myself to be touched, to be vulnerable, as that always leads to pain.


One of the symptoms noted by my counselor was the inability to look towards the future - of seeing one's self in a career, of having children, of having lasting relationships.

I've never wanted children, nor have I ever, ever ever seen myself in a wedding dress or with a life partner. After the music company closed (I'd been there for 10 years), I'd just take mid-level administrative jobs, moving from one to the next when I got bored or stressed out. I've picked up some good, marketable skills, but haven't really looked towards cobbling this stuff together into (perhaps) a career.


The post traumatic stress diagnosis was both a surprise and not a surprise; I think I'd probably suspected it all along. Dealing with conflict always feels like that old wheel of samsara: fighting the same battles over and over again. But how to disengage one's self sufficiently to resolve the conflicts like an adult? I'm not the child being beaten over the head or locked in the basement anymore. I'm not the teenager being taught to please a man by one of my mother's dirty-old-man boyfriends anymore. I'm a woman halfway her third decade, in another city with another life. How do I break through all this past that's got me stuck and get to the task of living, of being productive? Of deriving benefit from being a benefit to others?


For years, I just thought I'd had some sort of chronic, low-grade depression peppered with anxiety attacks. The anxiety affected a couple areas in my life: didn't want to perform in public and at a certain point, wasn't able to take the train because I was passing out on the platforms. What to do? Adapt! I switched specializations from a performance one to a more academic one and walked a lot, thus losing weight. Didn't think about any of this too much, just did what I had to to go on.

Recently, extreme stress on my side of the family (death of my grandfather, aunt's illness, cousin's admission that she'd been abused by my step father, my mother's falling off the wagon again), and on H's (his mother's mental and physical illness), from the job and from the relationship with H, started becoming unbearable. I couldn't work, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat. The nightly glass of wine became two, then three. Finally, I found a counselor. After that, I broke up with H, started having less contact with my family and then put myself out on medical leave.

Where does this all leave me? I'm not sure. Not quite a month and a half into my leave, I find myself still not feeling all that great. What should I do? Should I get out of bed? Should I take a walk? Should I call my shrink? Should I bother my friends? It's always been very difficult for me to reach out to others, as I'm afraid that I'm going to be left hanging. A valid concern, yes, but one I need to get over.

(From Grimpen Mire)

No comments: