I was going to begin by saying ‘it’s been two weeks since my last blog post’, but I realised that made it sound like confession. Which is interesting because, for me, blogging is not a million miles away from that concept. Here I write exactly what I want to say, because I am anonymous and I don’t feel judged by those who ‘hear’ it.
Writing about my experiences is therapeutic. It’s also validating, because so many of you identify with what I say and can relate because you’ve been through something similar yourselves. It is really useful to me to share some of my inner world here, to be heard and supported by my online friends.
Knowing this, I have to question why I have been keeping myself away from blogging. The last couple of weeks have been really tough. I’ve been feeling isolated; shut out from my family, cut off from my friends, pulled away from everyone by a tide of dark and confusing emotions. The sense of loneliness I’ve felt has been so profound.
I don’t want that loneliness. I want to feel connected with people. I want to let my wife in, so she can comfort me and be with me in what I feel. I want to be able to open up to J so that therapy brings some relief.
But there’s something in the way. Something that belongs to a young part of me, a feeling so powerful it overrides my logic. I think it’s essentially a core belief that I don’t deserve comfort. It’s a driver that tells me I have to suffer alone.
And it is also about trust. When I’m stuck in a cycle of flashing back to my 11 year old emotions, there is nobody I can trust. At that time, everyone who was meant to protect me failed. The adults I had trusted so wholeheartedly until that point no longer offered the safety I had always taken for granted. Everything felt threatening. As a victim of abuse, I had learned to see the worst in people, to assume that kindness was a veil for something more sinister.
Even though I know, consciously, that right now I am safe with my wife and also with J, there’s an unconscious part that is really active at the moment and tells me not to trust. So I’m left with a perpetual sense of conflict between hating the loneliness, and not being able to have enough faith that being vulnerable with people, allowing close to them, isn’t dangerous.
Photo: Peter Trimming, Creative Commons.