My therapist had never heard of sea monkeys until today. I was talking about a friend who just told me she’s 9 weeks pregnant. I fondly referred to the currently minuscule embryo as a sea monkey. J didn’t get that reference. And sea monkeys are hard to explain right? Anyway, it was funny.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted from our session today. I’ve got so much going on right now that I didn’t know where to start. I was all over the place. At the moment though, despite everything else that’s happening, I just feel angry. I feel angry and disappointed and confused.
I wrote a few days ago about a difficult conversation I had with my mum. As always, she undermined the work I am trying to do to recover; by questioning my choices, trying to change my mind, and invalidating my feelings. I simply cannot understand why she continues to defend my brother, even after I explained the extent of the sexual abuse to her.
How can she still love the man who terrorised her little girl? Why isn’t she angry for me, and for herself? Why can’t she just accept my decision to cut him out of my life?
There is absolutely no point in us trying to play happy families – not now and probably not ever. Everything in my family is broken right now. I’m an adult, I’m married, I have a job; so why can’t I cope with the idea that I might never belong with my parents or my sister again? I can live without them. But I don’t want to.
That thought is often what drives my suicidal feelings. That’s where I went on Thursday after talking to my mum. I felt incredibly let down, and unsure of myself. When I feel as though I can’t trust my intuition and I’ve shattered so many of the relationships I care about I just want to end it.
I hadn’t been to that dark, unsafe place in a while, but it has been lingering with me in the past few days. Every now and again, that permanent solution creeps into my thoughts and it takes a great deal of energy to push it away. But I have improved, because I called J. I reached out, and that helped me realise there is a part of me that wants to survive. It has always been there, and that part knows that these feelings, these problems and struggles are all temporary. The emotions come and go. I know they will return at some point, and when that happens, I have to keep reminding myself that everything passes.
When I get past that, beyond sinking into that horrible, heavy sensation, I know I’ve got to make choices and stand by them. I’ve got to figure out how I can end this chapter. If I dare to start looking ahead, I need to map out what I want that future to look like.
Like every therapist, J talks about boundaries. She says I need to firm mine up. I guess a part of that is deciding who am I going to repair relationships with, and who I’ll have to give up on. And when I work on getting closer to the people that matter, I’m going to need to figure out how to establish boundaries and be assertive about them.
It all feels like too much for me right now. Even writing this is too much. I’m getting waves of panic thinking about what happens next. My chest is tight and I can feel my heart racing. I’m scared of the future. I’m scared nothing will change for me. I’m scared that the damage I have done is irreparable. I keep trying to cling onto some hope, and focus on the things I am looking forward to, but that fear paralyses me and holds me down.
Photo credit: Feliciano Guimaraes, Creative Commons