I might be one of the unhealthiest healthy people in the world.
God, what a fucking grandiose statement, right?
Who is this bitch?
A damn good friend/lover/partner sometimes.
I don’t remember every minute of my small self being locked in a dark closet for hours on end, day after day, weeks in a row. But I can connect the cause and effect dots between the entrapment three-year-old me suffered and the fucked up neural pathways that scarred my brain as a result. For instance, security is incredibly important to me. Because that means options. I could give a shit about my old ass having a comfortable cushion in the sun as I get closer to inevitable death but I care immensely about always having an out. I need to know I can run if I want to. Historically, I don’t run away but when I feel I don’t have that choice, I alternately freak out and go fetal.
I don’t think that’s so healthy.
Want to know what’s even more fucked up? A pattern emerged; a deranged acceptance of being held hostage (physically, mentally, sexually, hooray) became my familiar. I had no out again (age 8) and again (age 12) and again (age 15, 18, 19)— what, was I asking for it? If asking for it means being shocked into submission and unable to make out the words NO, STOP, I’m going to tell my parents on you, I’m going to call the cops, or just screaming my fucking head off, then yeah, I sure as hell asked for it.
In an attempt to get healthy, I’ve parked my disgruntled-at-best ass in front of many a therapist. I’ve sat silent while a certified woman sat even silenter; this was beyond a Mexican standoff and I totally lost when, five minutes before end time I said, “So this is your way of helping me?” I’ve entertained the crap out of another as she made me so fucking mad with each passing minute because she sure as hell wasn’t asking difficult questions, or entertaining me for that matter. I got really hopeful when I clicked with this really awesome dude but then I ran out of money. So it goes, therapist musical chairs, a routine occurrence among the obstacle course of getting help.
Currently, I just do the best I can.
Sometimes that means really awesome: maintaining healthy, meaningful relationships, moving across the globe and successfully assimilating to a new culture and language.
Sometimes it’s disturbing: the tears freefall while I rapidly figure out how quickly I can get on a plane. Out. Of. Here. Fuck my job, lease, funds. I just want to disappear.
Usually my best is good enough. Because I’m still here. Sometimes my mind still reels me back to that dark place and I want to give up because I can’t see two inches in front of my face and I still don’t have all the tools or coordination to unlock the fucking door.
But these days I smartly use my voice (I don’t even have to scream) and it reaches those who love me. We make sure I get out of that dark place.
3 thoughts on “This is personal.”
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I was just talking to H the other day about that having happened to you with your daycare provider (in the context of never being able to trust a daycare provider, and your father’s intuition to discover what was going on – I wonder how long/if he suppressed his inner voice about it before he acted). I see what you mean about it’s being a part of your neural development, literally, but of course I don’t believe that you somehow actualized future acts of victimization against yourself. I love that you’re doing this therapeutic writing, and that you are still so…you. ❤
Wow…thank you. Especially since you’ve had the misfortune of having witnessed many a freakout/fetal moment of mine.
Childcare has always been so damn tricky, on all fronts, but your little ones are super lucky for your scarily awesome on-point intuition and whistle-blowing tendencies.
Thanks for reading and commenting…very touching.