Here is what I know.
I need to write every single day, no matter what. It helps me stay grounded.
Writing daily, no matter the subject helps to ground me. It helps bring my hyperarousal, my tuning into each and every little thing happening in the world around me, down to the page for at least as long as I’m writing.
Here is what I don’t know.
Does typing count as writing or does it have to be by hand? That’s a silly thing to say: hand writing. When I’m typing, I’m using my hands.
In a moment of vulnerability on Thursday, during a video therapy session, I asked through a mouthful of tears, “It has been 52 years. How can I still be traumatized?” Her response was, “Because it’s been 52 years.”
She explained my trauma has been like bricks piling up one atop the other. I haven’t dealt with them one at a time. Couldn’t deal with them because it started when I was an infant. And it continues.
There’s a saying. “The hits keep coming.”
In my life, I’ve had no chance to heal from a hit before the next one landed. Sometimes physically! Mostly emotionally, but the result is I am battered and broken, and whenever life raises its hand to say hello, I flinch.
I don’t trust anything. I don’t trust anyone. I hate feeling dependent on anyone.
I hate loving.
It is easier for me to say, “Love is a decision, not an emotion. Hormones are the emotion.”
And this is true. Of any relationship. Including romantic and spousal relationships, but also parent-child, and close friendships. Hormones flood our brains and release chemicals that make us feel good. When we feel good, we want to maintain that feeling. So we decide to continue the relationship. Emotions are out of our control, dependent primarily on hormones.
Decisions are within our control. That means MY control. And I must have control no matter what.
Because I don’t trust.
I don’t trust my own emotions. I don’t trust other people’s emotions. I don’t trust their decisions (or mine). Minds change. Life is inherently unreliable.
Children need consistency to thrive. They need a trusted adult. I never trusted my adults. Obviously, I don’t remember my infancy. I do have memories beginning around age 2. I remember an earthquake that happened while my parents were still together. They divorced when I was 2 ½.
I was raised with extreme inconsistency.
I remember Mom sitting me down and making “NEW RULES.” The rules were always new. They always went up on the refrigerator. The rules would be enforced for a day or two, but then she would stop paying attention until weeks, or months, later when suddenly I would be punished for breaking the rules. I can’t remember when this started, but I remember specific instances starting around 4 years through 9 years. When I was 9, Mom remarried and we moved to Germany. She had a baby and another baby. My brothers are sixteen months apart. She had her hands full and our relationship took on a new dynamic.
My brothers are much healthier than I am. I think they had at least one trusted adult, and Mom never interacted with them the way she interacts with me. She was never physically violent with them. She never seemed embarrassed by them or had extreme anger toward them. They had a very different childhood to mine.
As a teen, I used drugs and alcohol to survive my emotions. I still use alcohol and really miss the drugs. Not so much the high or the lifestyle, but the escape from my constant awareness, my hypervigilance. These days I rely on chocolate and red wine to do the trick.
I plan to write every morning. The laptop typing will have to do. I may mine some gold to use in Don’t Go Outside! My work in progress. Meanwhile, I’m leaving you with another glimpse inside my life.