Once I was addicted to rage, I struggled to get it out of my bloodstream. Time and time again, I fought back real hard to stop the urge to strike and lash out real hard. I was boiling, I was on fire. The pain of life is massive. The emotional pain is ruthless, so much that when it subsides, I go seeking it. My mind and heart struggles to accept that pain can even subside.
At that moment, I realized I was emotionally attached to pain, to fighting and to being thoughtless. I longed for rehab, I long for a treatment therapy, fix me up I’m broken pills, but they did not work. The only was through it is to sit in the gashes. Sit, my mind commanded. Sit in it. Don’t move. I knew my better elf was so disappointed in me. My despicable self was satisfied. My despicable self felt relieved of my pain because I know I’m addicted.
This was the fork I stood in once again. Feelings of sadness, shame and fear pulsed in every corner of my body. I felt utterly overwhelmed. You’re out of control, you’re obsessed my logic warned. Calm down. Breathe. You can handle this and more. Trust yourself to speak thoughtfully and guide your children. It will be okay. Breathe.
My childhood and adulthood was infested with all kind of bullies. Bullies in my third grade class taunted me and snickered at any misstep I might have had. Bullies in middle school that huddled in a tight circle where there was no crack for me to slip in. Bullies in high school who shot dirty looks way as I walked to my next class. All those bullies would not have mattered that much if my mother wasn’t my biggest bully.
My mother was my first and worst bully of all. She used scare tactics and various forms of humiliation to try to crush my sense of self and belonging. She complained and lied to my aunts about how dreadful and disrespectful I was so they’d scold me and shame me to listen to my mother and honor my mother.
My mother bullied my sisters and I daily and truly set us up to be bullied by classmates, cousins and co workers. Eventually, I started to bully myself y calling myself cruel and degrading names. I bullied myself from the crack of dawn until I fell asleep. I paralyzed and terrified myself from ever advancing to a healthier and happier stage in life. You see, my mom was my first bully, but she will also be my very last.
There’s a monster living in my home. The monster is ruthless, cruel and calculated. The monster lashes out in verbal abuse, knowing exactly where to strike me, cut me. The monster has no heart. The monster lies and laughs at me. The monster snickers and mocks me. So, I left. I moved half way around the world.
Many years later, I came back and there was the monster, still. The monster smiled a knowing smile as if to say, I knew you’d come back eventually. The monster did haunt me all the years I was far away, but the monster is not aware that I learned something. I learned that I had to let it go to find and keep myself. The monster knew I was scared and weak, but the monster did not realize that my desire to be me was stronger than my almost paralyzing fear.
I was lost and processing my trauma all the years I was away, far away. I used that time, without knowing it, to lick my wounds, to mourn and to sit and feel my depression. In those years, I raised my kids, I worked and made friends even though, I had and still have social anxiety. Often my digestive system rebelled and would not break down all my sadness, shame and fear. Often, I was stuck and could not breathe from all the emotions I suppressed with in myself. My husband and daughters loved me and that helped me not give up, not stay in the web of depression.
So monster, I did it. I left and never returned. You thought I never would.
I have no choice but face my biggest fear, to go out and meet people, to be out in the open in life. I have no choice but to stand in the open field and scream, “Here I am world out in the visible.”
When I was in high school I wrote a poem titled “The Invisible Tear.” I can’t express how symbolic that poem turned out to be. I even drew a man with a mask on part of his face and the other part of his face hid behind a shadow. A drew a tear rolling down the cheek of the man. I was taken by the comedy drama masks I saw in Ms. Frankie, my English teacher’s classroom. She hung these masks on the bulletin board next to her desk.
I never thought much about my poem, “The Invisible Tear” or about the comedy and drama masks in Mrs. Frankie’s classroom; but when I think back, all the signs of my troubled life were there. My poem, my fixation with the comedy and drama mask and my depression, were just a few examples and indicators of my sadness and longing for a normal life.
My mother instilled a phobia in my sisters and I of people; stay with what’s familiar was one of many beliefs that my tribal family of origin held. So, the world is full of strangers, how am I going to get to know these strangers if I don’t stand out in the open field where there are no trees that I can hid behind??
It’s so hard for me to make friends because my mother’s voice keeps telling me to push them away. “But, they like me. I like them. Why can’t I be their friends? Why can’t I have any friends, everyone else has friends?”
I can’t remember a time when my mother did not dismantle my friendships. She worked very hard to brainwash my sisters and I to turn on our friends, to discard them or insult them so that they’d leave and ever come back. It was her way of keeping us isolated and available for her abuse and brainwashing. My mother was a master of robbing us of any family or support system.
I remember when I started to change from a vibrant and happy little girl, to a depressed and little girl in crisis. I remember when my once strong confidence began to sink like a stone. She struck at my foundation with maximum force with the intention to dismantle, shake and crumble the person I was trying to form into. My self development was incomplete, halted in my early years never to resume until I let my mother go. I had to let her go, to find myself and to invite friends and kind people, back into my life.
How is it that many of my thoughts and feelings are on auto pilot? How is it that I open my eyes in the morning and those automatic thoughts start…
“You are not worthy.”
“Ha ha ha, your own mother doesn’t even love you!”
“No one cares about you.”
On and on and on.
How is it that I have an internal bully living in my head? I’ve told this bully various times to shut up! I’ve threatened it too. I know the bully is my mother, my aunts and my sisters. I can hear the bully being repeated through my inner child. She believes them, but she is a child with no perspective or world experiences. I know otherwise . I am the parent who knows better.
Insanity knocks on my door throughout the day. Insane parents, insane sisters and illogical daughters. My parents live a lie. They destroy, belittle and rob their daughters of love and support. My sisters claw and attack one another. They use one another with no knowledge of love and kindness. My daughter is illogical and deceiving loading her body with tattoos while talking about God and religion. All of this drives me nuts. All of this makes it hard for me for me to breathe.
It’s me. All up to me. Only me. Just Dana. Just my thoughts. My feelings, my truth. I find comfort in norm interactions with the world. I find comfort in God. I find comfort in my home alone by myself. I find comfort in my own soul, within myself.
I’ve been blessed with a beautiful home, with lots of stuff, with nice vacations, but I have been cursed with relationships. So I’ll hug my car, I’ll kiss my couch and encourage my fireplace to achieve what it wants to achieve.