I can pinpoint where this all started.
I know when I became a construction worker and started on my first project of building a sky-high wall around my heart. I know when I decided that it was easier to just “be okay” than to try to get help or talk to someone. In some ways, I was right. If you asked me how I’ve been doing the last few weeks, I would tell you that I’ve been great. Life has been fun and exciting, and I don’t cry anymore, and I don’t feel like I need anyone. For the first time in my life, I am okay by myself. I’m not lonely. I don’t even really WANT to talk to anyone.
I have gotten a PHD in acting. It’s become second nature to put on this show when I’m around people. I’ve been partying a lot and I have so many people tell me that I am the life of the party, and I am so fun to hang out with. I never knew I had the power to shove down my feelings this much and act like I am happy. And honestly, when you act okay long enough, I think you can even trick yourself into believing it. It wasn’t until I DID start sharing that I realized how much I was lying to even myself.
I don’t think things have been just horrible lately – that’s not what I’m saying. But my construction project started right after my traumaversary in June. The day of, June 15th, was hard. I was not doing well. By the end of the day, I was thinking that no one was there for me. There were a few people that knew what that day was and the significance behind it. I really thought those people would be there for me. You know, when my friends have something going on – even something exactly like what I had going on that day – I do my absolute best to be there for them. I do everything in my power to make it a little easier for them to get through that day. When it was my turn, though, I didn’t think anyone was there for me the same way. No one reached out to me. No one checked in. No one asked how I was doing. I did talk to a couple people, but only because I messaged them first. And you know, it really bothered me. I pour my entire heart and soul into the relationships in my life. No matter what type of relationship it is, I am all in. I am loyal, and I am kind, and I go out of my way to make sure the people in my life know that I care about them. But that day, June 15th, I realized that I don’t think anyone in my life cares about me the same way I do them. So, I grabbed some bricks and mortar and got started on building.
It didn’t make sense for me to continue relying on people that were never measuring up and being what I truly needed. And that realization HURT. I know that I am a hard person to love (romantically or platonically) and just to be friends with. I know I have a lot of issues and baggage and it’s not always easy to get along with me. I overthink and misread things and assume the worst sometimes. I know that. But I also know that I’m not a bad person. I am genuine and honest, and I give and give and give to the people that I think need it. And I’m not trying to ask for too much or be needy or anything like that. It’s just really hard to constantly give to people when no one is giving back to you.
But I’m moving on from that because repeating myself is not doing anything but making me sound like a broken record and making my heart hurt. I don’t WANT to feel that. I don’t WANT to be sad. Like I said, I don’t need anyone. I’m doing fine on my own. There are people that rely on me to make sure things are done or they rely on me to be there when they need a shoulder to cry on and I will continue to be there. Because honestly, not being there would make me feel worse. That’s not who I am. I am a better person than that. I AM reliable and I care, and it makes me feel good to know that I am doing what I can to radiate kindness and humanity in a world that is broken and hurting. I will be fine. I can take care of myself.
Anyway, that’s how it started. After that day, I guess I just decided that I wasn’t going to let myself be disappointed or hurt by anyone again. I have no expectations. I don’t ask for anything. I show up when I’m wanted or needed. I make sure everyone else is good. And I am fine.
The whole reason I’m writing this is to finally start getting some of these feelings out and I’m STILL convincing myself that there is nothing wrong and I am perfectly happy. Writing was a safe space for me. Somewhere that I could write until my fingers ached and cry as the words spilled out and just let myself feel anything and everything. And now… I’m lying to a piece of paper. A computer screen.
I’m not doing all that great. I mean, I’m not doing as bad as I have been in the past, but I’m not fantastic. Um... I miss my friends. A lot. I feel like almost everyone in my life has disappeared lately. When I closed myself off, my circle shifted. My friends now either want me there to party, or they want me to be there when they feel that no one else is. But my other friends – my BEST friends – I barely talk to. I miss them.
I’ve been picking fights with everyone. Pushing everyone away. I don’t think I can accurately describe how hard that has been. My entire life, I have always wanted to be around people. I guess that’s why I identify as an extrovert so much. I LOVE being around people. Talking to people. Human interaction is a HUGE thing for me. So, when I started building my walls and shutting everyone out, it was hard. Because, while I was still physically seeing people, I wasn’t connecting to anyone. For me, that feels like swimming to the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no life vest and just hoping I don’t drown. And knowing that I didn’t tell anyone I was going in the ocean and still hoping by some chance they would find me.
I started writing this on July 20th and it is now August 5th. I say that because my feelings have shifted a LOT since the start of this entry. I was still in a manic state when I was writing before. Even though I was starting to get down to real feelings, it was HARD. I have never felt so disconnected from my own emotions. From a young age, I have always been so overly in-tune with emotions. I still have a hard time identifying emotions, but I could always feel them. When I was writing this, I couldn’t really feel much of anything. I was digging really deep to try to pull out the stuff that I hid in there.
Now, it’s been a month without medication. I knew the crash was coming, but I still wasn’t prepared for it. I’m at an eight. Yesterday, I would say maybe seven, but today, it’s back to eight. My mind is constantly running. I am always thinking. And lately, it’s been more intrusive and negative. I can hardly sit through a therapy session. The thoughts take over and I can’t speak. I physically cannot make words come out. I will repeat a sentence over and over in my head and try to make myself say it and I just can’t. It doesn’t come out. And then the bad thoughts start again.
“She doesn’t like you.”
“You’re so stupid.”
“She’s mad at you.”
“This is why she hates seeing you. You won’t even speak.”
“You’re just wasting her time and she resents you for it.”
“This is why no one loves you. You’re so fucked up.”
“Just quit. Give up. Give in.”
“Would I even be a pretty sunset?”
“Where can you get blades after this?”
“You. Are. All. Alone.”
“No one loves you because you do shit like this.”
Anyway… I could go on. That doesn’t even include the graphic mental images of slicing and dicing or the visualizations I have on ways to unalive myself. I know for a fact that she gets frustrated when I get quiet because she’s told me. But can you just, for a moment, try to imagine how hard it would be to form a coherent sentence while all of that is running through your mind? Because it’s not that I just don’t know what to say. Most of the time, she will ask me something, and I immediately respond in my head. Not always, but most of time. But then I think about how she would respond to whatever it is I want to say, and I can’t. I shut down because I don’t want to make it worse.
It's just this constant cycle of wanting to share how I feel but being terrified of how it will come across or making things worse or making her hate me more. But I also know that sitting there in silence won’t help anything either so then I’m battling myself in my mind and I don’t know what to do so I just stop. I started taking a notebook with me so I could write down some of the thoughts, but even that was hard today. I’m so angry with myself. I don’t know why this ALWAYS happens during my sessions. I don’t know why I’m like this. I don’t want to be like this. I want to be able to vocalize what I’m feeling or thinking and work through it and I fucking can’t.
Today was an absolute dumpster fire. I tried to do what she wanted me to do and I just couldn’t do it. I really tried. I tried to tell her that I couldn’t do it, but I feel like she got upset so I didn’t want to bring it up again. I just tried to do it and make her happy and it wasn’t working, and it was making me feel worse. I wasn’t upset with her, though. I was just so mad at myself for not being able to do what she was asking me to do. And after today, I don’t even want to do EMDR anymore. I want to cancel my session next week. I just don’t want to go through that again. We didn’t even process anything difficult. It was just preparation for EMDR and I freaked out because I don’t like the way we did it.
This may be confusing for anyone that hasn’t done EMDR so I will explain the best I can. Do you know what butterfly taps/hugs are? You cross your arms over your chest and alternate taps on your shoulders. We tried that today as a way to do the EMDR and I hated it. It made me so uncomfortable. Touching myself while processing a rape will be ten times harder. Why would I want to actually feel a sensation of being touched during something like that?
My T is new to EMDR, but I’m not. I did it with my old T so it’s pretty familiar to me and I know what works for me and what doesn’t. But my new T said at the beginning that she didn’t want to do it any of the ways that I know worked in the past. So, when I told her that I didn’t like the butterfly taps, she offered something else. The problem is that she had already said she didn’t want to do it that way, so I would’ve been very uncomfortable knowing that I was forcing her to do something she wasn’t comfortable with.
I didn’t really say anything to her in session about that, though. Just kind of drifted off and thought about how I was making everything really difficult for no reason. And because I drifted off, we spent half the session in silence. Which seems to be a common occurrence nowadays. See above if you forgot how that usually goes.
Anyway… I’m running short on words now and I think this piece is long enough. I’m ready to wrap it up and move on. I can always start a new piece and come back to that one periodically for a month before I finish it. Seems to be the new trend for me!
Thank you for taking the time to read. Hopefully there is more to come soon. Now that I’m starting EMDR again, I’m sure I’ll need to do a lot of debriefing. Online journaling to ensue!