If you have been watching for and reading my blog recently I’m sure you have noticed I have been struggling. I’ve written posts that are full of real emotion and not holding back.
I think this honest is crucial to help others who live with the effects of any kind of traumatic experience(s). You see, just because I’ve come a looooong way in my own recovery doesn’t mean I don’t have seasons when I feel like shit.
It is a horrendous mistake to tell yourself or someone else that you are okay and that you never have problems. That is a lie. Everyone, I don’t care who you are, has times when they just wish they would die in their sleep.
Perhaps my honesty in sharing my struggles will do more than any of the feel-good blogs, videos and books on the market today.
What’s Been Going On?
I’m going to share with you today what has been going on to drive me to feeling so badly of late.
I live with my brother, his very young wife, and their three year old son in a tiny three bedroom low-income apartment.
We also live in the poorest county of Illinois and our town has nothing. Oh, we have a few shops and big corporation stores, but no jobs, and no prospects.
My brother is in a bad marriage and he has a very hard time keeping his voice down. He gets so frustrated at his wife that he blows his top and when he does its loud.
Having survived severe and repetative childhood trauma, I think anyone who reads this blog understand just how triggering these angry outbursts are to me.
I’ve told him, but it changes nothing.
I could leave, but I have nowhere to go and no resources to do it with.
Yep, I’m just like most of you. I’m on a fixed income with no prospects and sometimes I lose hope.
Smiling and Pretending
Like the gif playing to the left of this dialogue, I have tried to keep up a pretense of happiness. I smile at the right times and laugh when I’m supposed to. I can do this all the while I am dying inside.
I can feel my emotional stability ebbing and flowing through my fingers. This frightens me. I have spent many years in dissociated states and I do not cherish the knowledge that this will happen again.
However, I know for certain that if the stress level I am experiencing does not lessen, all bets are off and a fugue state might begin.
I’ve lost two years before after becoming overwhelmed by stress, sigh. It might happen again, it just might.
“You’re Not Getting Older, You’re Getting Better”-Bullshit
I dread looking in the mirror anymore. Not that mirrors have ever been my friend, but now I see dark spots and gray hair staring back at me.
I’m very aware that what little beauty I had is fading and that I am powerless to stop it.
You’d think since I’ve written so much about accepting oneself so many times that this wouldn’t be an issue. Well, think again.
I’ve become very aware in these past few weeks that I less time before me than behind. I’m aging and some days I feel ancient.
Is this mid-life crisis?
I imagine it is. Long gone are the days when I could stay up late at night and feel okay the next day. Hell, I go to bed at eight o’clock most nights.
Loneliness is My Friend
Then there is the infernal loneliness. I have had only one long-term relationship (you know, marriage, ick) and fact in my entire life I’ve only dated one guy.
That’s sad, I know.
I crave companionship with someone who has the same interests I do and who won’t be demanding of me for sex.
I’d like a relationship that is based on acceptance of each other just as we are with all our faults and problems.
I’m not looking for physical beauty. I’m looking for someone to sit with under the stars and talk way into the night.
I’m looking for someone who will listen to me when I ramble on and on about physics or some such nonsense without shutting down.
I’d love to sit and listen to someone else ramble on about physics and such.
Alas, none are to found in this part of the United States. They just don’t exist.
Then there is the problem of me accepting any advances from anyone. I’ve been hurt so badly that I tend not to notice someone is interested until they have given up.
I Don’t Want To Be Strong Anymore
How many of you have said what the young woman to the right of this dialogue is saying?
My question is why should you?
Why should you be strong? What benefits do you receive for being superhuman and hiding your emotions?
Here’s a statement many of you will understand because you sometimes allow yourselves to say it,
I’m not a strong person, and I don’t want to be.
I’ve played the “I’m strong” card too many times and people now expect it of me. Well, I am officially climbing down off the pedestal I’ve been placed upon.
I am not a strong person. I am a determined person and a loving one but I do have limits to how much bullshit I can take and be mentally healthy.
You know what? That’s okay. All humans are vulnerable to heartache, fear and loss.
I’m Not That Sorry
I watched a disturbing video two days ago.
A young girl of twelve had been raped repeatedly by a family member and hanged herself on a live feed on Facebook.
This happened a few years back and it made me profoundly sad. The last words this young girl spoke were to tell her friends that she was sorry. The hopelessness that drove this young girl to die by suicide must have been horrible.
I’m not that sorry. In fact, I feel more defiant than sorry.
I feel defiant towards the people who hurt me when I was a child
I feel defiant towards my brother and his family who drive me bonkers
I feel defiant towards the rinky-dink town I’m trapped in
I feel defiant, I just feel pissed and angry.
Hmm Mmm, I Can’t and I Won’t
I can’t and I won’t just roll over and die. That’s one thing I know for sure.
But does that make me stronger than anyone else? Does it make me into some kind of mega-god of resilience?
I’m human, just like everyone else on this doomed planet. I poop and pee, I get hungry and I get tired. I get frustrated and lonely. Some days I just hate life.
But, ooooh, I can’t and won’t give up.
I may not be happy all the time and some days I want to spend screaming, but the alternative is death and I’m not ready for that yet.
So, when you read my posts here on my blog and on guest blogs, remember this.
I am a human being, no more and no less.
I do not have the answers to everything.
And, please god, more than anything else remember:
I am not better or stronger than anyone else, I’m only human. Shirley
“To become fully human means learning to turn my gratitude for being alive into some concrete common good. It means growing gentler toward human weakness. It means practicing forgiveness of my and everyone else’s hourly failures to live up to divine standards. It means learning to forget myself on a regular basis in order to attend to the other selves in my vicinity. It means living so that “I’m only human” does not become an excuse for anything. It means receiving the human condition as blessing and not curse, in all its achingly frail and redemptive reality.” – Brené Brown