Before I go into this post, I would like to share that my source of shutdown this past week was triggered by numerous things. I completely forgot how fragile I am in January. I have triggers for this month, and no matter how great I feel during/after the holidays it is inevitable that meltdowns/shutdowns are going to happen. I am writing this to say to myself and anyone else who may be feeling what I am feeling “It is ok.” Holidays are a lot and we need release. My emotions were triggered even further by the feeling of being left out by my family. It happens every year, it happens when I am with them or not. The fact is, I do not think that I will ever feel comfortable with them. I need to accept that. The exception being my aunt that I love dearly and who means the world to me. She does accept me and our family the way we are. When New Year’s weekend came and went I was overwhelmed with feeling invisible.
Every year the family meets at her house for the New Year’s weekend to celebrate.
They celebrate Christmas as well at that time. As I saw the pictures of everyone, I got engulfed with emotions that I am not sure how to describe fully. It brought about fears and anxieties about moving back there. Shortly after that I began to feel as if my aunt was angry at me, or upset for some reason that I concocted. I tried desperately to stop the loops, but the thought of losing my aunt and then not knowing how things would work with us moving back consumed me. I went into a panic and emailed her. I was devastated when I had not heard back from her fearing that she indeed was upset, and I was not making it up. I forced myself to work through it, and came to the conclusion that I was overreacting and to wait it out. I got resolved in my mind, after my panic and shutdown of course. Long story short, for some reason my email did not go through until later in the week.
This is part of my process.
I am looking at and discerning my irrational thoughts. I am deciphering who accepts me fully, and deciding what types of relationships we should have. In the past my only options were all or nothing. This is a damaging thinking pattern, especially when it is based on irrational fears. Although I will say that many of my fears are not unfounded, I have been treated like crap. I do not need to make my choices based on social confusion, or feeling far too inadequate to understand. I am seeking to base it on a balanced mind frame. I have been unable to share with my aunt the past three months what I have been going through. When I finally could write out my words, I was fearful of the outcome. I had no reason to be with her, but because of me being overly sensitive this month with emotions, sensory, and working through everything that I have been sharing on here, I could not think straight. All of that being said here I go.
Starting from the end of Faking Happy I
I do cause myself much pain by holding in my words, and not expressing myself to certain people in my life. I do not know how, and until I feel comfortable I am not going to. This one is very hard to work through because I have managed to fake being happy and hide my feelings for so long that I truly do not know how to express them with clarity. It makes it even more difficult because I am still unable to know what I am hurt, angry, or frustrated by specifically. I am not altogether able to pinpoint what it is that has hurt me or is hurting me. The only thing I can determine is that it hurts or it feels wrong. The only thing I know how to do is write them through poetry or fiction. I still am not able to figure it out right away.
I am also learning how to express myself when I feel happy.
I felt real happiness this last month. I was happy because I conquered some pretty big giants that were in my life. Now I am facing other ones. I mentioned that David took me to a ballet in 2008, he had no idea how moved I was until the other day when I voiced it to him. He knew that I liked ballet, my mom and sisters made darn sure that I got to go by insisting that they would watch the kids. I had never left them with anyone at that point for any amount of time. They knew how important the ballet was to me though. David knew that I would be happy, but he barely remembered it because my response to him seemed very subtle. He said he remembered that I sat there quietly through the whole performance, which is very unusual for me. He had no idea that I was so happy that I had tears of joy, or that it meant that much to me. I thought it was clear how much it meant to me.
I wasn’t. I only thanked him and talked about it a little afterwards.
He had no idea that I studied the booklet from the show, and then researched the group online. I didn’t share any of that. He didn’t even know that I kept it and the tickets. I had waited my whole life to see a real ballet group perform, and I felt too vulnerable to share any joy. Possibly since I had only shared with myself my joys for so long I didn’t know how. More likely it is both. David mentioned the other day that I did not cry about anything except for people I was praying for when we met. I actually didn’t cry until two or three years after we were together. It was after the twins were born. I think my tears came from being completely overwhelmed and exhausted from the changes of being a mother, taking care of the twins, being completely isolated, and Daniel not sleeping, crying/screaming for hours, not eating and various other things.
I was sleep deprived and had sensory issues from everything.
I didn’t know how to express any of that either. I couldn’t understand why I was having problems when so many other mothers seem to have no issues, and that is a whole other story. I do not know how to express myself to a person and not feel guilt or fear that they will reject me or my feelings. The scripts that I have are of people getting angry at me for voicing my emotions, or telling me that I was being foolish for feeling those things. Those are forms of emotional abandonment. I also get struck with the fear that they will leave because they think that I am too much or that my problems reveal what a mental case I am. I do not mean that in a bad way, please do not get offended I do not know how else to word it. I have not felt safe to share my real joys, or how much I care about things because people have hurt me when they discover my passions.
My problems are not any different from a lot of people.
To be continued in Faking Happy III (This got much longer than I anticipated…sorry. )