And other times you find yourself like a half-dead fish gasping for air while being gutted alive. Everything, everything, tilts on its axis and you see yourself in the world in a different way and you can scarcely believe it.
The realizations come without warning, breaking in waves over the breast bone. It fucking hurts, like chest-cracking open-heart surgery without anesthesia.
I knew before I went in that I was looking for the connection and interplay between multiple emotional abuses in childhood and my fucked up relationships. It seemed obvious. It seemed...simple. Of course, of course I'm somehow playing out those abuses repeatedly. It's in all the textbooks.
Therapist decided today was the day to tickle at my random thoughts, to gently nudge here and then there, to turn me again and again to face down particular corridors and walk to their end and open the doors I found there. Doors linking past and present.
There was my frustrating need to expend energy on getting people to give me permission to be. Why if I knew someone was wronging me and they refused to see or apologize or make it right on their own was I so determined to batter myself up against their wrong thinking repeatedly? Why expend so much of my valuable time and energy getting them to see? Why the need for their permission to feel hurt? Why the need for them to have the right view so I could move on?
All people? Or certain people, she asked.
Certain people...people who are consistently mean to me (even if they are sometimes also nice, generous, giving).
Something...an awareness...a truth is coming up and I feel like crying.
I'm one of those people, I think. I look at Therapist with a rising shock in my eyes. "I'm repeating the abuse...I'm repeating it because I want to come up with a different ending, and I think I CAN come up with a different ending. If I can get one bully to see their error I can relax, that's what I'm thinking. It's so predictable."
No, it's still not that obvious. There's more, and each new revelation strikes its blow, swift and precise. Therapist says nothing now, she sees she doesn't need to.
"I was a good child, and these people, they punished me because of it. My caretakers, my peers, they wanted to make me feel awful not because I was bad, but because I was good and open-hearted."
It's true. As a child I was a little ray of sunshine. Talkative, brave, kind, curious, sweet, sensitive, and pretty. I was stubborn as hell, but I wouldn't hurt a fly. And for whatever fucked up reasons, my caretakers and peers took it upon themselves to make me feel as bad about myself as they possibly could. Seemingly without remorse.
"What you're describing sounds like evil", Therapist said. I heard those words through the pounding rush of revelations, it barely registered, but I felt myself nod slightly through tears.
Therapist asked me if I felt any anger or rage. Yes, I have a lot of rage. "Sometimes the rage comes through because we have moments of knowing how wrong it is", she said.
All of this. It manifests in various ways. I repeat the abuse hoping I can undo the evil this time. I take on the burdens of others hoping that kind of good will be appreciated. But instead my strength gets used, ABused. My ex-husband, when we were splitting and he couldn't bear to be alone started an affair before we were properly separated. His excuse, "you were always the strong one".
Bottom line, I can't fix this problem from the inside.