I don’t want to write this post. Normally I would just figure out a way to rationalize away any reason to actually pick up my laptop and put these thoughts out into the ether. But then, through a recent discovery about myself and after much procrastination, I finally sat down and started this note to myself. Because that’s what this little internet thingy is supposed to be…notes to myself. It started off as a series of letters to an Internet friend – a kind of anonymous experiment in vulnerability through a complete lack of discretion in sharing my deepest and darkest secrets. But then I met my Internet friend in real life and discovered afterwards that my ability to just slit myself open and bend over and show my emotional asshole through writing was shut down when I actually know the other person IRL. So this became a place to post password protected notes for my psychotherapist to supplement my remote sessions. And then finally, after realizing I was paying a small fortune to host a blog that no one reads and upon which I never post, I decided to make this little slice of the Internet my private writing space…a place to leave myself messages to help me remember things about myself as I discover them (As opposed to writing them on my body with pen and sharpie like I have in the past. Nothing like waking up, not knowing what day it is, and finding “DON’T TRUST HIM,” and “HELP” written on my body.)
So in theory, in maintaining this “blog,” I should to be writing a quick note to myself each day so that tomorrow me can remember what today me experienced and thought about and so that day-after-tomorrow-me can remember what today me and tomorrow me experienced and thought about, and so on and so on. A place where I don’t always remember the right word, where the typos run rampant and the thoughts are recorded as willy nilly as they flow through my fractured mind. When I have managed to capture these thoughts out here, it really has been helpful (and admittedly a little cringey) to find hits on my random bend-overs-and-spread-ems…reads by complete strangers who obviously stumble across me through web searches and wordpress links. But then, I remind myself that these are people who don’t know me and that even if they did, I’m done hiding who I really am. I mean, not completely, obliviously. Not even my family and closest family members know anything about this blog despite some fairly insistent probing in the beginning when they learned I was writing again. But between my decision in the beginning to post everything as a first draft and my discovery that I can’t write honestly and authentically when there is a chance someone I know might read it, it seems like my decision to just keep writing to no one in particular is working out nicely…except that I hardly every write.
The more I learn about DID and how my trauma injured mind works, the more I am starting to understand this surreal existence and my own actions or, more often, lack of action. I grew up never getting it right. No matter what I did in the attempt to be “good,” I was always bad and never received any kind of approval with one exception – when I was at my paternal grandmother’s farm. On the farm, where I spent almost every weekend of my young childhood due to my single mother’s social life, I was just me being me and being loved unconditionally for it. But that safe place disappeared when I was only nine years old and my mother remarrried and my new stepdad adopted me and the weekend visits to the farm stopped. From 1979 forward, I don’t have a single memory of just existing and being me without hating myself for it and worrying that I exist wrong. And it was just two years ago, when I finally accepted my diagnosis after denying it for years, that I started this journey of self awareness and saw a glimmer of hope that I might actually feel safe again someday. That’s a 39 years absence of ever once doing anything and feeling good about it…a complete void of finding any kind of personal joy or satisfaction in anything without it being offset by fear or shame. Four decades without a single shred of self esteem or confidence. And when I realize the magnitude of what I’ve survived, if not yet overcome, I find something akin to, dare I say, respect for myself…and maybe even hope for a life before I die.
At the beginning of yoga class this evening, the instructor gave everyone the mantra of “How I do anything is how I do everything” and asked us to meditate on that thought before we started our practice. Usually I let these kinds of “meditations” glide right on by me because survival in my world depends on me NOT thinking too deeply and being distracted as much as possible so that the agonizing shame and grief don’t catch up with me and take my breath away. But tonight the instructor’s words made it through to me and I asked myself “How do I do things?” And, from deep within, as is often the case these days, I heard the answer….”With resistance and a constant running critique.” And suddenly I realized that it’s true…I never want to do anything (even the things I really want to do) because I tell myself I’ll never be able to do it right. And, when I actually do something that needs to be done or that I want to do, I do so with a very loud voice in my head telling me that I’m doing it wrong…that it’s not enough…that I’m not enough. I have, on a mindblowingly regular basis, even chosen to medicate myself and sleep through entire days and weeks so that I could avoid existing…and therefore avoid existing wrong.
This is why I don’t know where I want to live…I don’t want to choose the wrong place and have to move again so I just keep moving from one Airbnb to another….but I’m so homesick. This is why I don’t want to speak to anyone…because I don’t want to say the wrong things…but I’m so lonely. This is why I don’t want to walk out of my door…because I don’t want to do anything in public that I’ll regret…but I’m so tired of being confined. This is why I breathe but don’t exist…because I don’t want to exist wrong…but I’m so ready to live. This is why I don’t write anything…because I don’t want to use the wrong words and be reminded of it later…but I have so much to say.
And tonight, I did. Good girl.