Running

I wish I ran track as hard as I run from myself. At first I never really know I’m running from me until ironically I began to feel those clear oxygen deficient symptoms. I’m laughing because I never really realized that i was experiencing similar mental “out of breathness” till now. I start feeling like im suffocating, so I run harder. And almost as if  have deprived my brain for oxygen too long, I began to experience a mental lightheadness characterized by pure delirium. My thoughts start racing a mile a minute, probably hoping that the harder it pumps them out the greater the chance coherence and sanity will return. Then just like that everything fades to black and numbness slips over me comfortingly.

 I ran so hard but in the end I wasn’t fast enough. I collapse on my bed and she catches me and accosts me. “Why are you running from me?!” I try with all my might to roll over but my body just lays there for my brain is too depleted, too deprived of oxygen to direct my body to flee, even if just to face the west wall. “I hate you, I hate you, LOOK AT MEE!!” I stare. I think about those good ole sleeping pills and the prospect of just slipping away for a few. She cries. I stare. She’s tired. I stare. She throws her hands up and turns from me, broken. 

I sit up. I can feel myself breathe again. I see her, dressed in rags, hallow eyes, emaciated, cold. I begin to feel for her. Tears fall. 

I now have a choice. Care for her, bathe her, clothe her, feed her. Stroke her face tenderly, lovingly. Love her. Or Run. 

I choose the worst. I stand over her and cry. She looks up at me and cries too. She knows I care, but she cries because she knows that regardless I am going to abandon her. I turn. She cries out barely above a whisper, “wait.” And I run. 

22 Days

Haven’t posted in a while and that is because I have been actively wanting to “just do it” instead of writing about what I want, or could be doing. This morning I felt persuaded to write a reflections post, so here I am.

22 days ago I woke up and realized that the pain of holding unto someone who doesn’t want me anymore, finally outweighed the pain of living without that person. So 22 days ago I stopped seeking out interactions with Artemis, my past attachment figure, through any form of her social media pages, or the people in her immediate circle, and through my texting her. 

Just for reference, the longest I have ever spent without contacting her is about 2 months, and the longest i’ve ever spent without viewing her stuff whether we were talking or not talking was idk lol, but probably not long maybe 1 month. 

So these past 22 days have been interesting but also tremendously healing. I wrote about when I decided to just follow her sites because not doing it was pointless for me because I felt nothing wrong with it besides fear she’d think bad of me, and I wanted to finally put what I need first. However, 22 days ago I woke up with the same urge to check in on her because I felt like I was losing my connection to her. And then for no other reason besides time, I finally voiced to myself that she is gone, and ALL parts of me finally HEARD it, and PROCESSED it. 

I downloaded Quit that, an app to track how long I have quit something, prayed to God to be my accountability partner, and started my journey to “quitting” Artemis. 

This time feels very different and more real because it’s for me whereas before I felt I had no choice. When I went those two months before, I did it through a whole lot of numbing and distractions because I wasn’t ready to let go of her then, I didn’t understand why, I didn’t agree that it was what was best, and I had a lot of fight left in me to fill my void with her. 

Now though, almost every 2 days is a struggle and about once a week for the past three weeks there was a day where the temptation was super strong to look at her page. I have not even seen the website that she said she was launching!!!! So it really feels like her life is moving on without me. But struggling through that has been helping me heal and process, and most importantly, LOVE. Because when I feel the urge to look. 

1) I get to reason through that I am doing this to feel connected to her, and keep her alive in my head. From there all parts of me get reminded that she is gone and we don’t want the pain of resuscitating her to have to face the fact that she’s gone….again. So these past 22 days have been a continuous stream of mourning that feels therapeutic and long overdue.

2) I have gained more love for myself and my worth, as well as my boundaries. Saying no to her has finally allowed me to say yes to me, and I think the result also has been that I need less of her, or anyone for that matter. 

Which brings me to the last part of this reflection, my relationship with Jupiter, my coworker that I started attaching to. Over the past 22 days I also notice that I have had zero interest in trying to pursue attachment behaviors with Jupiter. It’s like I recognize what I want, and have been choosing instead to wrestle with the fact that it’s impossible to gain with anyone. But also, mourning Artemis just also gives me the wake up call that if she couldn’t do it, no one can, because she tried hard to do it, and was and probably will be the only one to ever try something like that. So my brain is just like dude theres no point pursuing attachment behaviors, it don’t work.

In the end, Artemis holds a special place in my heart above the rest. Even my therapist finally admits that she was more to me then just an object. But I’m ok with learning to accept that she’s gone. But I still also ask God, that if He wills maybe we can meet again in another life, but only if He wills. Which I think, THINK, conveys that i’m not ready to 100% let go, but hey if so it’s only been 22 days 😉 

A closer look into my break with my past attachment figure

If you have been following me then you have read my many posts about my last attachment figure, who I have taken to calling Artemis.

After many failed attempts to making our friendship work once she decided that she could be a friend but could no longer be in my life as an attachment figure, I asked her for a year long break back in March.

In March, the extent of my understanding was that I was too attached to her and behaved very unhealthily towards her. I figured that in a year apart from her, I should be able to lessen my attachment and thus be able to accept the new setup of our relationship.

About two weeks ago, I gained new understanding of what this break means, and I wanted to meditate on it before writing about it.

 

Shout out to my friends’ patience because they have been saying this since March, but it took me 8 months to understand and see.

In my mind, the goal of the break was that I would get healthy, that way when she comes back I will be able to emotionally handle our relationship without having the bad reactions that I use to have. After thinking about it two weeks ago, I realized that my goal was to essentially pick up where we left off, except I would be handling it better outwardly, even though inwardly I would still feel as hurt, abandoned, and alone as before.

Why would I want that.

Instead, the goal of the break should be to give myself the chance to find happiness outside of her and learn to live without her. The honest truth behind why this goal is hard for me hurts me, but I will say it nonetheless.

I am afraid that if I give myself the chance to experience life without her at the center of my actions and thoughts, then I will realize at the end of the break that I will be ok if we don’t resume a relationship. For as long as I love her like an object then I get to want her, need her, desire her, so strongly, with a passion that helps touch the always present emptiness inside of me. When she becomes a person, then I gain the freedom to say that despite the love that burns in my heart for her, our season of relationship is over.

I feel like I have a definition of love, colored with dependency. In order for me to feel loved, I need to feel like someone holds me in their thoughts and needs me. Similarly, I express love in that very stifling way, where I try to always be present and around.

So what do I do now?

I decided to start by actually following her on instagram. I visit her page all the time, the only difference is that now she knows that I am looking. I didn’t want her to know because I was trying to show her that I am less dependent so she could take me back. But now I know thats not the goal anymore. In the beginning, I needed to stay away from her page because seeing her with certain people, moving on, hurt me. Now it doesn’t. I literally just visit her page out of the compulsive need to feel close to her. Visiting the page is just a symptom of another deep problem. The symptom will always arise. Even when I stayed off for two months, at two months and a day I was back to obsessively visiting it. Therefore, I wanted to follow her, so I did. Whether secretly visiting, or visiting on and off, I still have to fix the underlying problem either way.

I will end this post by saying that I know that dependent love is not love. If I only feel ok about someone pursuing something for as long as it does not hurt me then that is not love. If I want someone to be somewhere, where they are not experiencing their full potential, but them leaving means I get inconvenienced, than it is not love if I don’t encourage them to leave.

I need to love myself by encouraging myself to go, to move on, to soar. I need to love myself by giving myself the chance to learn to love like God. It’s not about Artemis, it’s about me. It’s my fears, my needs, my issues. I will love Artemis, and every other “Artemis” that was or will be, as people, and not objects, when I love myself.

Unanswered Texts

I don’t think you will meet anyone in the world who will say “I love it when someone does not respond to my texts.” Yea probably not. Everyone would love a response, and probably feels a bit ticked off when their messages go unresponded to. 

However, if you struggle with borderline personality disorder, then I am sure that you have found yourself in many a frenzys over an ignored text. Where most people get annoyed, we blow a lid and escalate a situation beyond what was necessary. 

Jupiter, my new attachment person, (read my past blogs to learn about that) is a horrible texter like Artemis. However, with growth comes new adjustments. I understand more and more how BPD is a disorder more than it is a sickness. Left untreated one can be very mentally ill as a result of the other mental illnesses that can arise as a result. However, when under control having BPD is essentially having a disordered personality. And if you ever studied psychology then you know after a certain point your personality is mostly fixed and few changes can occur. BUT again, like I have written about, the way your body naturally responds to something is your personality, that will take time to alter, but how you conciously choose to respond to your body’s feelings is under your control. That was the beauty of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

I wrote about how well I have been handling Jupiter’s poor texting habits. However, it’s been getting harder on an internal level. But for me I recognize the internal challenge as an opportunity to stretch myself and grow. 

Like with Artemis, waiting for the response was what did me over. The response would come, but i’d be so emotionally taxed that I’d still feel like she ignored me and I’d feel horribly rejected. So as I continue on with my relationship with Jupiter (which is a real and healthy friendship may I add) This morning I recognized depression signs in me related to her texting. But unlike with Artemis, I am not going to let my hypersensitivity ruin her trust in me, the comfort she finds in me, and her ability to see what she means to me. I love Artemis so much, and because of my bad reactions, I may have lost her forever. But I learned a lot about myself through my relationship with Artemis, and the least I can do to honor our relationship is by using what I learned to not hurt and scare another person out of my life. So I have been practicing holding both of my realities inside of me. Yes I feel all of these negative things, but continuously reminding myself that she did eventually respond, that she’s busy with a husband and two kids, that she has shown nothing but love and kindness to me so the chances of her secretly thinking bad stuff about me and responding late to make me suffer are slim to none, especially since she does not know I have BPD, or that her poor texting affects me. To her I am just a friend that she likes, and I like it that way. I’ve learned from Artemis, that someone in her position knowing about my BPD, will cause me to have unfair expectations of her, and wanting her to treat me more special, and take care of me in a way. It’s kind of like, “well now you know the affect you have on me, so fix your actions.” Yea, thats not ok. I respect and care about her too much to make that mistake. With Artemis I didn’t know better but now I do. 

So, sorry not sorry Kermit, my mind is not winning this battle! 😎

P.S. As I wrote about, it was Artemis birthday last week and I showed my love by staying far from her and not wishing her happy bday. And I showed love for me by continuing to not go on her pages.

Goal Reflection #1

I have been super excited for Sunday. I could not wait to sit down and have the time to think about how I did on my goals and what new ones to set. So without further ado I am going to write how I did on each goal below the goal. If you want to know why I set each goal you can take a look at last week’s post Here.
Last Week Goals:

1. I will visit my last attachment figures (lets call her Artemis) social media page only four times this week.
-I visited her page five times this week which is still a SIGNIFICANT decrease from the amount of times I was visiting her page before my goal. This week, this goal helped me see just how often I was running to her page for comfort and coping. At the same time I miss her so much. But do I miss “Object Artemis” or “Artemis Artemis.” Definitely both. There are moments where I am eager to share a new hair product or talk to her about something I only feel comfortable speaking with her about. Then there are moments where the emptiness feels like it’s going to swallow me and I wish she were there to set up tent inside of her. This month is her birthday and I know that the best thing I can do is not wish her happy birthday. I think because I am still so confused, she will sense that and even that minor complication on her birthday is not ok. I don’t want her to have to think about if she should say thank you and what both saying it and not saying it will mean. She knows I know it’s her birthday and she knows I love her and thats enough.

2. I will let Jupiter lead our interactions this week by mostly only interacting with her after she interacts with me.
-Yea I failed at this goal at the beginning of the week. BUT BUT BUT something else amazing happened that I don’t know how to explain. On Monday and Tuesday I offered some options for Jupiter and I to hang together and she agreed but didn’t follow up with it. There are lots of reasons as to why that is, but the most important thing is that despite me knowing that, I still felt rejected and HURT. I had a very emotional therapy session on Wednesday as a result. And in that session I was learning how to accept when another person doesn’t want the same things out of a relationship that I do. How that doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t want me or doesn’t love and care about me. But that what I want from them they just are not in a position to give.

I don’t think I quite understand this yet. During session I was just super confused as to what that meant because if what I want is for us to be close friends and she doesn’t want that then that means she doesn’t want me. Session ended with my therapist informing me that I just don’t know what I want. The following two days though something happened in me that I have never experienced with an attachment figure. Jupiter was talking to me about some of her insecurities in a close friendship of hers and I was being a safe space for her to talk and sharing ideas on how she could make the best out of that close friendship. And it wasn’t until after that I realized WAIT. I just spent the past hour hearing her talk about her love for her other friend and their closeness and not once did I ever get jealous. Heck, not once did I ever cross my mind. It was like my only concern or care was her, and how she was feeling and at the end of it, I just went on with my workday.

I genuinely and sincerely just cared about her. And whatever friendship role I was playing it just felt natural and contentful. I didn’t feel the need to push for more, neither did I feel insecure that because she has all of that love for her friend, there is not enough love or care for me. She wasn’t an object that I needed to gain, but a person that I truly saw and care about. The joy in my heart at this realization is bursting from out of me!!! I, am naturally and organically forming a real healthy friendship with someone that I initially unhealthily bonded too. Me, I am doing that. And because of that, Thursday and Friday I didn’t need to be conscious of this goal and how to actively do that. I knew who I was in the friendship, where I belonged, and just lived my life in that confidence. Does this mean I will never have BPD related issues with Jupiter now, idk, but I know that there is hope that BPD does not have to control my relationships.

3. I will choose one coworker this week and take time getting to know them a bit better.
– I did this! It was awesome getting to know someone else and experiencing how not every friendship has to be close but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be superficial either.

This Weeks Goals:

1. I will visit Artemis Social Media Page only four times this week.
– I am keeping this goal because everything I wrote about last week concerning this goal still rings true. I am a lot more bonded to Artemis than any other attachment figure because for a period of time Artemis actually tried and succeeded at fulfilling the longings of my heart, though they are impossible to continuously fulfill. Nevertheless, it’s like with her I tasted how good life can be to have those needs met, and I struggle with deeply believing that it is not possible to get what I want, and I struggle with accepting that even if it were possible she will never want to be in my life in that capacity again. I gave myself to her more than I have ever given myself to anyone else and so forming a healthy bond to her is extremely hard and extremely painful because it feels like a lot of loss. In therapy I try not to talk about her often because there are other parts of my life that need healing, but when she does come up it’s one of the rare times my therapist sees me cry because the emotions that come with her are overwhelming.

So again, my head wants to have a healthy bond with her because it understands how much more satisfying healthy is. Parts of my heart want a healthy bond because it loves her as she is. But the part of my heart where that lil girl resides very much would still be throwing tantrums and acting out if I let her, at the thought of having Artemis in a capacity less than what she experienced and wants. So with Artemis the baby steps are very much impactful. And if I can start lessening the dependence through less interaction on her page, then I am doing good.

2. I will be in control of my happiness not people.
– With my recent victory concerning Jupiter. I have to be careful of not allowing my interactions with her determine if I am happy or sad. I am going to set the tone for the kind of day I want to have and operate out of that.

I’m only setting two goals this week and am excited to see what I learn from them!

Recognizing Growth

I feel like I forgot how to write because I have not written in so long. But hey, I miss my blog so I am going to just jump in.

With me not in school anymore I am now employed full time as an elementary school teacher in a charter school.

I work with one of my old attachment figures, Marigold. From the beginning Marigold and I established very strict boundaries that gave us assurance and safety regarding our interactions. As time goes on Marigold and I are slowly becoming as close as we once were, EXCEPT this time we are building a real, HEALTHY, friendship. It’s amazing the way my friendships flourish when a portion of my being is not attempting to create an impossible attachment with the other person.

With that being said though, I have written extensively about how my relationship with my last AF and how she is not currently in my life right now. So with her being unavailable, and with Marigold occupying a friend spot and not an attachment spot, guess what happened?

Exactly, the little girl in me quickly found someone new to occupy that attachment spot in her life and that is one of the other teachers at the school, Jupiter.

Now as anyone with BPD can guess, the last place you want your attachment problems to be manifesting itself is in your work place. But the things with these attachments is that they form quickly and you can’t help their formation. BUT you can help how you MANAGE it.

My therapist and I have been working extensively on managing this attachment. In addition to our meetings, we have phone calls, and I text her when I just literally forget all the right things I am supposed to be doing because I am so overwhelmed by all of the wrong desires.

This past week has been really difficult because I am beginning to simply feel maxed out emotionally. I am with this teacher Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, we are in the same room, she is an extremely nice and naturally close person, and so on top of all of the stress of just being a teacher, I am also every second of every day managing my raging emotions on the inside.

My attachment is growing, and this week, everyday everything triggered me. Seeing her laugh with someone else sent my insides on a frenzy. Now imagine how many friendships a genuinely nice, close person has, and the amounts of laughs or conversations she shares with them, on a daily basis. A lot. By Thursday after school I didn’t have the energy to make it to the bathroom to vent my emotions in tears or silent anger, so I went to Marigolds room and just collapsed on her floor in tears. It was just us two in there but while in there, we thought everyone had left, but two coworkers came in to ask us if we were heading out with them and saw me on the floor crying. Marigold just told them I was fine and we’d see them tomorrow. In a school where teachers quit as often as the rainfall from the stress and teachers breakdown all the time, they just probably assumed it was from work so no big deal.

This week I have had so much anger at Jupiter. Moments in the day i’d just be screaming in my head “I hate you, I hate you.” Did she do anything to deserve it? Nope. But I know by now, that I’m just feeling rejected because I am not her everything and the most special to her so it’s just the imagined rejection influencing such intense emotions in me.

BUT HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS!!

Jupiter has ZERO IDEA that I feel any of the emotions that I do towards her. Both the intensely good and bad. We are friends, and I think because of who I am, people just tend to naturally open up to me quickly, so I have quickly become one of her confidants and she remarked how she’s surprised by how quickly she opened up to me because though she has a lot of surface level friendships not many extend beyond that level.

No one in the school, except Marigold, knows anything about my BPD because I have gotten so much better at living with it. Even through the intense emotions with Jupiter I have my coping mechanisms that I do that look normal to everyone else, but helpful for me. All my work gets done on time. I give my students my best when I am teaching them. Even Marigold who knows everything, on Thursday told me she had no idea that I was struggling so much this week because of how fine and upbeat I looked.

I learned something very important this week. I learned what it means to have problems. Everyone has problems, but I looked at my mental health as an inconvenience that keeps me from getting to my life where I can start experiencing the “normal” problems. So this week in session my therapist mentioned:

Therapist: how much better I am getting and how once I let go of my last attachment figure (she unfortunately still holds a big portion of me) I will be that much closer to experiencing freedom.

Me: You are only saying that because you don’t see how much I am struggling because I am internalizing a lot of it.

Therapist: Sweety, that’s exactly the point. You are not internalizing you are self regulating, taking care of your own self emotionally without external help.

Me: *eyes opens wide in realization*

Therapist: You are not yelling at people, hurting yourself, throwing tantrums frequently. Even in our relationship I feel less cautious around you and less worried for you.

Me: But how am I getting better when I am still forming these attachments

Therapist: Sweety, unfortunately that’s not really something that goes away. Whatever happened to make you this way, happened and so it is in your personality to form those attachments. That is not what is going to change, it is how you handle them that will, and the power that you allow them to have over you.

Me: oh so the attachments don’t go away, I just am growing to control them.

Therapist: yup

I am now looking forward to this week and everyday as an opportunity for growth. I am a normal person with problems that I am managing like everyone else. I am not sick, I have a vivid brain! It is my job to care for myself. Even if I did not have mental health issues, I would still have things that require me caring for myself.

I am setting up goals for this week and I look forward to checking back in next Sunday to discuss how I did with my goals.

GOALS:

1. I will visit my last attachment figures social media page only four times this week.
-She still occupies a significant portion of me in an unhealthy way. Because she is not present in my life she has become an imaginary comfort object for me. Seeing her pictures comforts me because I am imagining her hugging me when I’m down. Talking to me when I am angry. She is not a person to me, but an object and the day has to come when I have to stop using people as objects for my sanity. She is a beautiful, loving, inspiring, extra, funny person and I love her enormously. I want to love her for her not for me. And also, if I can get myself to the point where I stop believing that she is capable of being an object then it will make it easier to also not let that belief flourish with other people. Because she tried everything to be what I wanted her to be and couldn’t because it’s impossible. I need to learn that, and reducing the frequency with which I use her images as comfort blankets, forces me to replace those moments with moments of me comforting myself.

2. I will let Jupiter lead our interactions this week by mostly only interacting with her after she interacts with me.
-This may seem unhealthy because it is not how natural friendships develop but this is not meant to be a long term habit. The purpose behind me doing this is that I have been on the lookout for “natural” ways to interact with her and thinking of “natural” conversations to have with her. Instead, I want to improve my ability to be content with where we are now instead of planning on how to create a closer friendship with her. I will instead be putting my attention on my work and not on her. Basically this goal is about learning how to shift my focus at WORK from her to THE WORK. LOL!

3. I will choose one coworker this week and take time getting to know them a bit better.
– Again this goal is about easing up on the habit of only caring and focusing on one person and instead learning how to actively care and attach to a variety of people with a variety of depth to each attachment.

This was a super long post. When I created this blog it was for me and I never expected anyone to read it. I have gained some followers along the way and I just wanted to say that I appreciate you reading and I hope that me talking through some of the things I have learned and am learning can also help you!

Enjoy your Sunday!!

Recognizing Your Worth

It has been so long since I have blogged or journaled but I feel very compelled to write this post. 

Yesterday while on the bus I recognized that I was doing something that I have probably been doing all of my life. When someone does something to me I always daydream about someone else that I care about defending me and making it clear how much I am worth and showing me and the person who wronged me that I am valuable. 

In the midst of doing this yesterday I realized that in real life I then hold the defender of me to the expectations I have of them in my head. Which basically means that I begin to align my sense of worth with how that person treats me in real life. In my head they are the magnificent people that love me and think I am so special and worth loving. But in real life whenever I feel a slight deviation from that narrative because lets say they just said “good morning” instead of “good morning honey” my insides break. I begin to feel so dejected, like overnight they sensed a decrease in my value and by tomorrow I will be worthless to them. 

What if I became my owb defender? I mean it’s funny because I an actually the one writing the scripts in my head. Instead of making someone else the star in my own life, what if I wrote the script with me as the one with power over me. I think I will see a big change in my life and in my emotional stability. But also in the quality of my relationships. I can get rid of the unfounded expectations and the internal secret dissappointments that eventually blow up and out of me leaving the people in my path so confused as to when they ever made me feel as demoted as I do. 

I don’t know how to gain that level of agency for myself YET, but I will learn. 

Things I am Learning

1. While healing there is going to be pain, but absolutely no one is responsible for alleviating the pain. The pain is part of the process and learning how to carry it fosters growth. There is also a tremendous amount of inner beauty felt when another day goes by and you have carried the pain gracefully, and in a way that makes you proud. 

2. Forgiving yourself for the times you didn’t know how to carry the pain is crucial. The people affected by those moments are entitled to their thoughts of you, and have the right to resent, dislike, and not forgive you. All you can do is sincerely apologize and release the guilt. Guilt won’t help either of you, and you have the right to change and move on. 

3. Boundaries are SUPER important. They really do keep both parties safe. Create boundaries, and ALWAYS respect the boundaries of others, no matter how close you feel you are. We are all separate people. SB: I think with the fall of man came the imperfect union of “being one flesh.” Yet we’re still created with that hole, maybe God is the only one we can enmesh ourselves with to fill it. So respect the boundaries as time, patience, love, naturally renogotiates those boundaries, not your forcing it. 

4. Your mom has boundaries too that also need to be respected. 

5. Cry a lot when no one can hear you or see you. Crying breaks the heart of those who care about you. It’s ok to cry in front of people and sometimes ask help from people to help carry the pain even if for a minute. But when time and personal growth is the last remedy to the pain, cry the tears that are always threatening to fall, and create joyful memories with all the ones around you who care about you. 

6. Don’t make people pay for others mistakes.

7. Lastly, be ok in the in between of no longer wanting to die, but not yet knowing how to live. As you can see, you got to the point where Suicide stopped being an answer so more growth awaits if you just stick it out. And when suicide does fleetingly pass, breathe, your hurting and your body is telling you it needs you, listen. 

Accepting The Past’s Trauma for a Better Tomorrow

Yesterday I woke up knowing it would be a hard day. After work I found my strength wavering and tears falling as I rode the train home and texted a friend to ask for 45 undivided minutes because I felt a surge of things needing to be poured out. Immediately she called, she didn’t know I was crying or that I was feeling so low, but i’m thankful for friends that don’t need for me to be dying in order to be present. I sat in a park and poured my heart out, mostly in tears, explaining that I just don’t understand why a part of me can’t let go. I wake up every day and do what i’m suppose too, but I always feel like i’m just living to push through instead of actually living, which always leaves me questioning what’s the point.
At the end of our talk, I realized and decided that if I want to see even more improvement then I need to push myself to do even more than just the bare minimum. Living for the minimum is empty and I will always feel purposeless, so I need to push myself to do more, and I left the park determined to do so. 

Then just like that I stumbled upon a picture of the person i’ve been actively avoiding on my instagram explore page. A rush of pain just consumed me. My stomach went numb and I could feel the tingling. My legs began shaking uncontrollably. Alligator tears were just falling unprovoked. My mind felt like it was drowning and the only thoughts coming to the surface were, hurt yourself. Before, these thoughts were immediately acted upon before I even had time to register what was happening. However, I have grown better through continued therapy, so I texted my therapist and did the best thing I knew to calm me while I waited for her to call me, I rocked as I sung “Jesus be the center of my life.” As I waited, God was with me reminding me that we are a team, that I just have to ride it out, keep breathing, keep rocking, keep circling the scrunchie through my hands (repetitive motions are extremely comforting for me idk why). 

My therapist called and my main question was why does seeing her with people she loves instantaneously drive me to this point? And she eloquently and accurately explained to me that simply put it makes me feel rejected, abandoned, and betrayed. I see her with all this love that she can dole out to others and feel betrayed that none of that love can be doled out to me anymore. Then she continued to say that, “whether you agree or not, you were traumatized and you just never built any tolerance to handling abandonment, or rejection in that form. The tolerance is just not there sweetie, and wanting it to not be so won’t change it.”

I calmed and this got me thinking about trauma. Out of I guess pride and desire to always NOT be a statistic, I NEVER allowed myself to believe that my dad’s passing affected me. I thought it shameful and disgusting to call myself traumatized when people experience “real” traumas daily. But what if the shameful and disgusting thing is my pride that keeps me from accepting this reality as my own? That i’m not as resilient or strong or better than the “statistics.” 

In an effort to do things differently in order to begin to see different results, I am going to accept the reality that I experienced something that I never understood or learned to process, and that is why I can’t understand or process it now. If any of the nine year olds I work with experienced what I did, I would immediately feel heartbroken for them out of sheer intuitive understanding that a loss like that is devastating. I watch my kids, especially the girls, run to their fathers during dismissal. I listen as they recount stories of where their dad brought them for their birthday, or the gifts they bring back from traveling. Now that I think about it they don’t talk about their moms. I know the occupations of some of their fathers through the awe insipred retelling of a child. And when they run to their dad, I think, that was me. 

My memories are all but obliterated of me and my dad. Up until recently i thought i barely knew the man. But thats trauma. My sisters and mother tell me about how he was the only person I was close to. The only one I wanted to spend time with. The only one i’d eat dinner with, and sometimes I think I feel certain memories coming back. 

But they must be right because the memory that never goes away was how on August 17th we had a bbq and I was sitting at my dads feet waiting for him to give me the rest of his champagne cola. My mother was telling me to let him drink and get another one but I ignored her, patiently waiting for the drink that always came. Then on August 18th I stood and watched him struggle to breathe. Front row and center, everyone panicking too much to notice I was there and maybe remove me. He struggled and struggled as my mom tried to get the asthma machine down his throat. He was making noises and grabbing at his throat, he began to defecate himself, and I just stood there glued to the ground. Slowly his color changed, and then supported by my mom his lifeless body fell off the chair to the ground. He layed there until the morgue people came, zipped him in his black bag then took him away. I next saw him in the open casket in his suit and tie, then finally sealed away in his tomb. 

I can’t conjure up feelings where they don’t exist. I didn’t mourn then and i’m not mourning now. I simply exist with this as my reality. But it’s a reality that I have to give its credit for who I am now if I have any hope of a different future. Maybe just maybe my therapist is right, “My psyche finds strangers to turn into surrogate parents, knowing they will fail, to recreate the trauma and allow me to mourn safely.” I’m not a therapist, I don’t know why the heck a psyche would want to recreate trauma, but looking over the course of my life it looks like thats been my ONLY purpose in life, recreating trauma. Heaping impossible demands on people so they can fail and I can try to “fix it” so that they don’t fail and they don’t leave, because I couldn’t fix what happened when i was nine. But they always fail. 

I hope that by accepting this my psyche can start to heal. 

Seeing Leah in Me: Part 2

The more I study the story of Leah, the more I realize that this is going to turn into a series. God is revealing so much to me, and my heart has been feeling so full spending time in my bible. I haven’t felt anything inside of me for a while now. But when I’m reading and studying the story I feel a mixture of ache and hope for a future that was often eclipsed by my depression.

If you have not read Part 1: you can do so here, as that sets the stage for this next post.

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As I have been reading, though this journey originally started with how I am coming to see myself in Leah, I believe that an even more accurate representation of myself is painted by separating the child inside of me and my adult self. While reading about Leah, the similarities between Rachel and I became too much to ignore.

I will try my best to include all relevant information but for a better understanding I suggest reading Genesis 29-30.

Background:
When Jacob arrived in the Land of his Uncle Laban, he fell in love with Rachel, Laban’s daughter, at first sight. Totally enamored, he agreed to work for Laban a total of 7 years in exchange for Rachel’s hand in marriage. At the end of the 7 years, Laban tricked Jacob by disguising his elder daughter Leah, and bringing her into the wedding chamber that night.

SSUP23Top Jacob who was probably drunk and excited from the wedding festivities did not realize He christened a marriage with Leah and not Rachel until the morning. Jacob was furious, but Laban explained that it is not their custom to marry the younger daughter before the elder daughter. Jacob agreed to marrying Rachel the following week, in exchange for another 7 years working for Laban.

Rachel is described as the younger more attractive sister, in contrast with Leah, who is described as having weak eyes. The bible doesn’t say how Leah must have felt watching her younger sister be chosen over her, but for Laban to resort to deceit to marry off Leah, makes me feel like Leah must not have suitors that were interested in her. What the bible does make clear though is that Jacob loved Rachel way more than he loved Leah, and that both Leah and God felt the pain of this rejection. I will dig into this more later but for now suffice it to know that God comforted Leah by blessing her with children compared to Rachel’s Barrenness.

Seeing Rachel in the Child in me:
14 years. That’s how much of Jacob’s time it took securing Rachel as his wife. Despite Jacob expressing his love for Rachel in both word and deed here is what the bible has to say.

When Rachel saw that she was not having children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or i’ll die!” Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am i God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!” Genesis 30:1-2

I am ashamed to say that I exhibited the same intense jealousy towards my attachment figure and even sometimes my own siblings concerning my own mother’s affections. The thing with jealousy is that it clouds the reality of things. Whenever my attachment figure would express affection towards her Pastor (aka Spiritual Mom), or I would feel they had something that me and her didn’t, my emotions would go through the roof. One time it also led me to almost seriously harming myself. Like Rachel I could not see the expressed love that my attachment figure had for me, and I instead drove her away with my need and jealousy. But Jacob stayed and loved Rachel, continuously, she never did anything that lessened his devotion to her.

Once, Leah’s son, maybe about 4 years old at the time brought his mother some
mandrakes. Rachel asked her for the mandrakes, and said “I will let you sleep with Jacob tonight if you give me some of the mandrakes.” Imagine! She knew the power and authority she had over her husband, that she could even dictate when he does or doesn’t sleep with his first wife, her own sister, Leah, then use that to her advantage.

Unfortunately, though Jacob loved Rachel endlessly and unwavering, Rachel died before allowing herself to experience Bible-verses-to-overcome-Jealousyand walk in that love, purely, and wholeheartedly. When God finally granted her request for children, after the first child, she petitioned God again for another son. While giving birth to the second son, she died, and in her last breath named that son Benoni (son of my sorrow). How sad, she had everything and yet died trying to attain what she already had because jealousy made her insecure. She realized too late that her quest for children only brought her sorrow.

I have brought on myself increasing amounts of pain seeking the perfect mother and the perfect friend. In the process I have lost people who mean a great deal to me. I have tried adamantly to gain them back because I felt like I was missing what they offered me. But i’m not.

I have the most amazing mom and group of friends. Show me someone with better friends than me and I will probably not believe you. All five of my closest friends are so unique, and so caring, funny, ambitious, strong/perseverant, that when I allow myself to think on the beauty that is all of them, I am overwhelmed. I think about the patience that they all exhibited towards me in the throes of my illness. When I would get hospitalized, without a doubt I could phone one to bring me clothes. When I was hurting they all were there in the best way they knew how from studying for exams by my hospital bed, to massaging me and providing laughter. When I allowed my reactions to my attachment figure to cause me to withdraw from them, they never held it against me because they understood. But now I know better and understand better and don’t desire to portray that level of selfishness again.

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For when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a (Wo)man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

By the Grace of God I did not die in my sorrow, and I have the opportunity to grow in giving love and experiencing love. I want to maximize on that opportunity.