16 weeks

I have so many things to write; I’ve started writing none of them. I have to write my essay for grad school; I can’t think of what direction to go in. I have to write a letter to my therapist before our session on Monday. Since I’ve had a lot of trouble communicating verbally the last few sessions, my therapist asked if I would write her a letter and include all of the things that I’ve wanted to say but couldn’t. I do have a lot of things I want to tell her, but I don’t even know where to start in writing it, so I’ve avoided it altogether. Instead, I’m sitting at my desk and writing this blog about how much crap I have to write. Clearly my prioritization needs work.

I’m still walking on a thin line between giving up and going on. The fact that I recognize this is actually making it more difficult for me. I hold myself to such high standards that it bothers me when I feel so low. I tell myself I should be stronger than this. I tell myself I should be over it. But I’m not.

During this week, people have shown me more affection and care than I’ve ever received from my own (immediate) family. Today, I felt like going for a walk just to get some air. I stopped in a Chinese restaurant to pick up some soup because I was cold, and a man who I hadn’t seen in a couple of months must have seen me and stopped in. He works at a place I frequented before I broke my foot; as I was recovering, I had to find another place that involved less walking and got used to going there instead. He asked if he could give me a hug. He said he wondered where I had been and was worried that I moved away. I told him what had happened, and that I should be around more often now. I never realized I impacted someone enough that they would miss me. A few days before, a man who I frequently see and interact with on the bus saw me at the bus stop and asked how I was doing. I wasn’t in a very communicative mindset, so I gave very basic answers and continued to listen to my music instead. A few minutes later as he got on the bus, he turned around, made an “air hug” gesture, and said “Love ya C, take care of yourself and be safe.” Take care of yourself. Such a simple phrase, yet so difficult for me to actually put into action. Am I really taking care of myself? And why does this man care so much to even say that? He cared enough to remember my name, and I can’t even remember his.

I realize I have difficulty processing the idea that other people care about me, because my mother made it very clear to me growing up that no one ever would. It goes against the reality that I’ve formed of myself and my world. But that reality is entirely based off of what my mother told me all of these years. It’s so hard for me to erase everything and start over. Parents are supposed to guide you and teach you things that are right; instead my parents instilled in me a warped sense of the world that I just can’t seem to override.

I’m a little worried about how I’m going to handle the next two months. Tomorrow is the unofficial start of the holiday season. The holidays are about family…something I no longer have. It’s going to be another reminder that I am alone. As much as I can try to keep busy with work and with school prep, I’m still going to be reminded of all that I’ve lost. It doesn’t even make much sense. I’m grieving something that really wasn’t even there anyway. Family wouldn’t have done those things they did to me. Family wouldn’t have made me suffer. They were never my family.

I’ve tried to pretend like everything is okay this past week, and it ended up doing more harm than good. I need to learn to be honest with myself and with those around me. I need to learn to say I’m not okay when I’m not okay. I need to learn how to ask for help when I need help. I need to learn to accept that everything is not going to be perfect…that I’m not perfect.

I need to be the person that got me free. She knew how to be strong. She knew how to stand up and fight. Where did she go?

3 thoughts on “16 weeks

  1. I had to separate from my family, and holidays were hard, the wishing for a family that was close and loving. One thing that helped was doing a kind thing for another child. The local library had an angel tree where you’d pick off an ornament with a name on it, buy and wrap a gift. The library distributed the gifts to the appointed child. .

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  2. I now have my family of choice which is composed of my wife and kids and lots of friends. I celebrate the holidays with them. It was really hatd to put myself out there to make friends, but once I did, I found a life I never thought I could have. Rich with families of friends functions. I guess it was amazing to me that I am not the only person without a biological family to celebrate the holidays with. There are lots of people estranged for lots of reasons. I made lots of friends by going to Church, but I also know people who ended up with families of friends by volunteering or through hobbies. It’s hard and it’s scary, but it has been worth it to make these friends and always have them in my life for holidays and support and special events and fun times.

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  3. I remember all this, the feeling alone, especially at the holidays after I left my ex-husband. He had spent ten years berating me, criticizing me, raping me, making me afraid of him. He told me I was shit, and I both hated him for it and also believed it. (I know this was still not as bad as your experience! You were a child and dependent on the person who betrayed you every day through her abuse of you.) I was also amazed that anyone cared about me. But over time, I have found that they genuinely do, and that many people are more loving than both my parents and my ex. It just takes a while both to find the people you really connect with and to come to trust that they genuinely care.

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