Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another email to my cousin

My therapist suggested I do something like you are doing, having a foot in both worlds (spiritual and secular). It's hard not to be able to share my spiritual and emotional experiences with people, I don't know how you do it (i.e. keep it to yourself). Those are the things I am passionate about, you know? So it's like if I don't share that, people don't know me at all. They don't know what matters to me the most, so what they're getting is a shell. Of course it is never that black and white, some people know more of me than others, and sometimes I just talk to my friends like you talk to K, without them really understanding but being supportive. That used to be so hard for me with my depression, my friend J just has no clue what it's like, and couldn't offer a single thing when I talked about it. The most she ever said was "ohhhhh". I gave up sharing that stuff with her VERY quickly. But it prevented us from being emotionally close, you know? It is better now that I am having more "normal" feelings about life. A couple weeks ago, she off-handedly called me her "best-friend", which made me feel really good. She's never called me that before, in all of our 14 years of friendship. R is the same way, just doesn't want to single one person out as being "best", which I understand...but now that I think about it, it kind of seems like a reaction from the adolescent way girls try to possess each other. Maybe it's not so totally emotionally mature to deny the category altogether just because you don't want to be singularly attached to one friend, or hurt somebody's feelings. I've always called both of them my "best friend". R just uses the phrase "close friend". Anyway, I'm just rambling.

I've been thinking about my therapy and the way I've progressed, and I just realized I'm feeling kind of scared and frustrated because even though my self-image and self-talk are better, my physical pain isn't. I've been operating under the assumption that my back pain was psychological, the physical manifestation of my rage at my childhood. But now that I've discovered the reason for it, brought it into consciousness, and been able to release some of the emotional traps it caused, shouldn't the physical aspect be released too? I'm seeing my therapist tomorrow, and I'm going to bring it up with her. I'm wondering if I actually have to confront my mother with all of this in order to get it out of my body. I really don't want to. I don't want to hurt her, you know? I mean my "inner child" is still very angry with who she was back then, and wants revenge, but my adult self doesn't want to put this on her now. It can't be undone. I don't even know if she'd understand it. It doesn't seem ethical to confront her with something she can't do anything about. But maybe that's what I have to do for me, I don't know yet. I'd definitely have to do it in a session with my therapist so it didn't get muddled up, but then she might feel like we are ganging up on her. Well we'll see what my therapist thinks about the whole thing.

I've been reading a book that talks about how helpful it is to have an "enlightened witness" when you are talking out your traumas, rather than an objective, non-partial therapist. An enlightened witness can validate that you in fact did go through something horrible, that what happened to you was wrong. This is exactly what my therapist does for me - and what her therapist did for her - and that is what makes this time different from all the other therapy I've had. She's allowed me to be angry with my parents. She's never made excuses for them. And everyone else I've ever talked to about my childhood has always made excuses for my parents, which is so hurtful and invalidating. People who've done that probably think they are helping me forgive my parents but forgiveness is not a rational thing, I can't be talked into it, I don't think anyone can. When someone gives me an excuse, they're saying that it's acceptable that my parents neglected me. It's not. I don't care what the reasons are, it's never acceptable, it's never going to be right. It's not okay that I was brought to the point of suicide countless times because my mother had it rough for a few years. Again I'm rambling.

I know you aren't the one I have to convince of this, but right now you are the only one I'm brave enough to say this to. There is such a stigma around being angry with your parents. People get really defensive when you bring it up, even if you're just talking about your own situation and not theirs. I've (idiotically, in retrospect) had separate conversations with both R and her mother about my issues regarding my neglect and they both jumped down my throat, which makes me think that they are in denial about their own feelings. R refuses to lay any responsibility for her depression on her parents (even though it started when she was still living at home and they tried to ignore it - which brought her to do things like drink cleaning fluid), and her mother is probably repressing her own guilt about how she neglected to help R.

K, the more I grow emotionally and spiritually, the fewer people I can talk to! How can I talk to people about my truths when they are living in denial of their own? All I end up doing is dialoguing with their defense mechanisms. You know I do all this work to alleviate myself of the hang-ups I presume are keeping me from connecting with people, but now their hang-ups are getting in the way. I don't mean to sound superior, I'm just so frustrated. Sometimes it seems to me that "hang-ups" are the only thing connecting "regular" people, I mean, workaholics talk shop with other workaholics, crisis junkies talk crazy relationships with other crisis junkies...I somehow had hangups others couldn't relate to (or, that were by nature isolating), and I thought by getting over them I'd be able to connect with other people who didn't have my same hang ups. But now I am realizing everybody has them, and I can't relate with theirs. I am looking for people who are overcoming theirs, who are starting to see clearly, or at least trying, and I've found exceedingly few. Am I being too picky? No, no, I'm still indimidated by the people I most want to know. Perhaps that will change with more time and more work.

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Disclaimer

I sometimes write things that I don't really mean or believe. These are not to be taken literally, nor as definitive statements about me or my beliefs. Thoughts and emotions are transient, and I reserve the right to change my mind, generalize, exaggerate, give strong opinions, or write other possibly offensive statements. I don't lie, but I may say something that's not true to check whether I believe it or not, or to make a point. Call it creative license. This is my blog, and do have the right to say what I want. I'm using it in creatively therapeutic ways. Whatever the reader may think of me and my words, please believe that my core intentions are always good and I never willingly hurt anyone.