Wednesday, March 26, 2014. In many ways I feel like a stranger, a foreigner to myself right now. It wasn’t until late this afternoon that I realized I didn’t even have the day of the week correct. I just went back and changed the day I put on my post last night. I was wrong about the day even then.
When and how does one stop fighting something that doesn’t fit, doesn’t suit, yet must be – because – obviously – it IS? Acceptance gained like a free pass to somewhere beneficial. Who cares if it’s fun? I talked with a good friend down in the high desert last night. I can walk that place. So familiar. All the people. The terrain. The climate. Those changes of those seasons.
But I am – obviously again – right plain here. Another big wind coming. Blocked by cityscape from seeing any view worth seeing except for bits of sky, bits of grass yet to turn green with this change of season in this place.
A sort of giving up. A giving in. Something I seem to NEVER do without balking. Giving in never seems safe to me. Yet it happened down south. It took years living in a place that felt like home, but it did happen. Am I a visitor here? How long until a visit, if this is a visit, becomes something else again – and I am gone?
I lived a kind of controlled poverty. My basic needs are met. Wishing gives way to wanting only what I need to get by. Dreams? True dreams, it seems, in this cultural climate, most often come with price tags. I am watching the price of gasoline at the pump going up and up again. Knowing that down south those prices are significantly higher. Moving around? Moving home again? Being able to return here for reasonable visits instead of having to uproot everything known to sacrifice home for some time, for some chance, to spend time with the family up here that I love?
Such a small person am I. With such small desires, such small worries, such small concerns coincidentally coincidal (No, this is not a word) with SO MUCH of such import belonging to so many other people. How do I not feel guilt for being myself?
Perhaps because for the first 18 years of my life I survived by always letting go and never holding on I am so cautiously scared to admit that there IS A ME – that is defined. Has a definition. Has something going on within boundaries (that are OK?) – that makes me an individual separate, distinguishable, differentiated from ANYONE else – and THAT IS OK?
When it comes to issues of safety versus lack of safety. I fight as if it is true that if I stop fighting I cease to exist as my own self. Giving in? Giving up? Float along like a cork in a stream. That’s the best I can come up with for a life?
Living on the outside always looking in. Outsiders. Not fitting in with the mainstream? Is that a bad thing? Not if one is strong enough within to know nobody else is worth more. Nobody. Others can seem to “have it all,” but do they?
I just don’t want to disappear to myself. It’s a fine line. When I wrote last night about a certain kind of inner freedom I knew as a child (certainly until age 18 when I escaped that abusive hell hole of a family home) I did not know then (a part of that freedom) that I was SUPPOSED to be a person inside. I DO NOT want to let go of that person.
Infants are supposed to find themselves mirrored back to them by the people who take care of them. I never had that mirroring. (I had the reverse where my psychotic mother saw the horridness of herself in me.) Having to create the mirror myself so that only THEN can I look into that mirror to find myself is – well – tiring. It takes a fight. A certain kind of fight. Not only to stay afloat but to STAY one’s self at all. Stay present to the person-within.
As if with a certain kind of tiredness one could give up/give into the pressure to conform to a culture – yes, cultures can certainly be localized geographically even within fairly narrow ranges – and then disappear to who they are. I’ve lived here before. A long time ago. But here nonetheless. And I felt this disappearing thing back then. I FELT it but I did not know what it was.
I AM an outsider. I AM a foreigner. I cannot be seen by people here. They do not see me. That is a fact. And if I am not seen – do I give up caring? Trying? Is it my rightful place – here – to only become invisible as myself? To pretend that I am somebody else, a different kind of person so that I can be “recognized” at all?
This is a danger here. I needed to write this post so that I can see in the mirror of these words this reality of what it is I fear. The reality of what I am feeling. Because IT DID HAPPEN TO ME BEFORE – here. I need to be inwardly wary.
I am poor. I live a small life. But at least in that high desert people could SEE me. I was not entirely invisible. Not that they understood me – but at least they were open-minded. Often gently curious. Some call that easygoing. There were many characters in that place. I could be one of those many.
PS. From a developmental neuroscience point of view I believe that over 80% of my adult life or more has been determined for me by the brain changes that happened to me in response to terrible traumatic abuse during my first 18 years of life that – among so many other things – removed from my body the ability to build an ordinarily-functioning “higher cortex” region.
I never had and still do not have – although at least now I have the comfort of having identified “what’s wrong” – the ability for what’s called FUTURETHINK. I COULD not plan my future. I could barely see past the end of my nose when it comes to making decisions about myself in my life.
As a result I have felt lost more than not lost. Scared nearly all of the time because I cannot PLAN for my own best well-being. I take the best information I can understand and make the best decisions I can. But I am always aware of what I am lacking.
I believe the ‘normal’ ability to practice futurethink involves a sense of FEELING one’s self in the future as much as it does being able to ‘see’ one’s self in one’s future in any kind of practical, tangible, material-based way.
Because I finally understand how psychotic Mother was – and I mean that absolutely literally – I understand that the patterns of her psychotic abuse of me denied me the ability to create anything within myself that resembled an ability to predict or control any part of my reality. I was formed, then, from the inside out from birth with a special kind of blindsightedness that replaced – in the literal physiology of my brain – an ability to use mindsightedness (as it is called today) to PLAN my life based on a true understanding of the ramifications of decisions I make as those decisions are going to affect me on a moment-to-moment basis.
I am therefore nearly always “at sway” as if I am being tossed around in a massively moving sea I cannot understand – because I CANNOT! I do not believe I have the ability to take certain kinds of information ‘ordinary’ people are privy to — nor can I use the information I do gather in my own ‘special’ way — in order to create an inner (or even much of an outer) place of sanctuary from the neverending storm.
I am always in flux.
I have been blessed with an ability to do pretty darn well with whatever is at hand to keep myself going. To keep myself afloat. But the motion never stops.
This means that the emotion never stops. All through my childhood I never had one person I could depend upon to care about me ONE SINGLE BIT. It was that lack of ANY safe and secure attachment relationship that made sure I would remain for the rest of my life essentially alone in this great sea of life. This is true in important ways even now that I am in the physical proximity of my loving daughters and grandsons.
As I have said so many times I lack the ability to FEEL their connection with me or my connection to them. This is a form of hell. I am quite clear, quite certain of this as fact. I know there are readers of this blog who know exactly what I am trying to describe. In this particular kind of aloneness we are together.
I would not wish this on ANYONE. Of course not! But neither am I going to pretend it this state doesn’t exist for me and for others like me. And I believe because of this essential aloneness my soul will be restless until I leave this world.
Is my struggle worse for me in some places than others? What circumstances in my environment make it worse? What make it better? (A better struggle!?) Was I presented with a set of problems from my childhood for which there is no solution? Yes. I was.
Not only is the problem unsolvable but I was prevented from forming a brain that COULD have found a solution – should there have been one! And I wonder why I struggle?
Giving up just does not seem to be a good plan.
(I think I better practice some drumming now.)
Here is our first book out in ebook format. A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben! Click here to view or purchase:
It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge. Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site
4 thoughts on “+SOMETIMES THERE IS NOTHING BUT THE STRUGGLE”
Woke up to four more inches of new snow here. (Insert heavy sigh) I have been having anxiety attacks all week. On the surface, I know what is triggering them, but I’m told they will always be there until I get below the surface. Honestly? I’m tired of digging. Did I tell you about my new, favorite book? It’s called “The Narcissistic Family” by Pressman and Pressman. If you can find it at the library it’s well worth the time to read. Still working on Crittenden, but it’s written in a very clinical style that I find hard to get through. Still searching for the cure, even though I know there isn’t one.
Yes – that branch of the forever-struggle — the search for ‘the cure’!! I am so happy to hear from you today, Lisa. No snow here but expecting 40+ mph winds from the north. I have a post going in notes on paper about place, climate — boundaries……
I think America is an entirely Narcissistic Family of a culture!!! WOW, sounds like an intriguing book!!! About all I can manage on these gray gray confining-indoors day — is relearning how to crochet hats from my handspun wool yarn — something I did over 30 years ago. Am waiting for a sense of body memory about making hats to come through my hands…..
Never still. I am never still. Very restless sleep lately. Just had a thought here: I see this culture as incredibly surface, plastic, UNREAL in its inorganic pursuits — I am so distant to it I cannot comprehend, connect, relate, understand. It is so SURFACE and to me in so many ways so lifeless and dead.
I am a ‘mismatch’ for this culture. The game is that we are supposed to think – using Dr. Martin Teicher’s term — that this is a benign BENEVOLENT world — the same one we severe early trauma survivors have been created to be such a ‘mismatch’ for — YET!?!?!?!
Who says that this ‘benevolent’ world is healthy? It is not. Yes, it is real – to those who feed it and feed off of it. But it is NOT necessarily life enhancing or supportive. Perhaps a great part of the distance I feel from others is a very HEALTHY response!
Interesting………..I feel the same only I never had children and am a single female nor do I have much family to speak of. Life forced me to struggle and although I fought it because I never wanted to be single, now I am okay with it. In fact I’m tired of having carried around a desire that was based on a dream and a wish……………there is power in what we are………and maybe we didn’t realize this but I believe that perhaps there is a hidden gem that ultimately will grant us the very thing we want the most when we finally Let Go.
WOW – ‘surrealsurrender’ says it all to me! Brilliant in every possible meaning of the word.
I think – in reading your comment – at this point in my life (at 62) I am reaching an entirely new, unexpected, heart-wrenching new stage of realization: That even in the very close proximity to my most-loved ones on earth this (still to me horrible and horrifying) sense of great impassable distance between myself and human beings exists very nearly as a physical, tangible reality.
On one important level I have some kind of an agreement with myself that in some way it is important for me not to give up knowing HOW WRONG it was that someone (my mother with her husband’s support) could so abuse and neglect me that what I live with is the consequence. It makes me hold onto the tug-o-war rope concerning what harms infants and children — in what ways — even if everyone in the entire WORLD were to grab onto the other end of that rope and pull against me and what I know.
I ‘hear’ you saying you have made a working kind of real peace between yourself and the reality of your life. How do I both attain such a kind of peaceful calm acceptance at the same time I refuse to give up the struggle? I continue to question…..
Thank you for writing!!!