Posted by BarbaraCat on September 12, 2003, at 13:39:39
In reply to Re: I is here » BarbaraCat, posted by katia on September 11, 2003, at 22:26:54
I'm not sure where to post this. It doesn't fit neatly into any of the Babble boards, but here I am and here this is. You are right about all that the other day not being entirely about you, although it was conveyed totally out of care for you. What I was getting from your posts, especially when you were feeling really down and in need, was that you weren't being heard and weren't getting the help that you needed and that you were in alot of pain. I've come to like you very much and care about you and it infuriates me to think that a friend who is in need, who deserves it, is not getting it because 1) they don't insist upon it due to the sense of powerlessness our pain subjects us to; 2) those who could give help don't because they're either overwhelmed due to a mental health HMO system that's a travesty, or; 3) these caregivers are inept and shouldn't be in that business, or; 4) we can't afford the care. It's true that I was concerned about what was happening to you and causing needless suffering for you because of others' neglect. BUT I've also gotten in touch with so much in these past few days and you're right and so am I - most of it is projection. Most of ALL our crap is projection one way or the other.
I drank almost every night since the first 'fall' a few nights ago, thinking I could control it, moderate it. I beat myself up, of course, but could not prevent myself from buying those bottles. I finally had a long talk with myself, or rather, that part of myself that is driving this, and SO MUCH emerged, just from the act of being willing to endure the previously unendurable pain and just listen to it. Not to go into the dregs of my life's history, but it's important to do so to explain yours and my interraction, but also because I'm lately finding it important to share some of my story.
I grew up in a very abusive home situation due to my father's extreme and unpredictable bipolar rages. My mother tried to protect, but she was helpless and paralyzed and could only offer furtive comfort when she felt safe to do so. The Catholic school I went to had a few truly sick-o nuns who were terribly abusive as well. In short, I had no one to turn to, no one to listen to my story, no help or protection, and no trust that there was any escape because, of course, I deserved it. How else could a little kid make sense of all this insanity? I was constantly told from the time I was 4-5 years old that I was 'the bad seed', rotten, a no-goodnik, and although I rebelled quite spectacularly, the belief of being a 'bad girl', not deserving help or care, no one listening to me (except those I paid a nice sum to) and being in danger with no place to turn has never left me. The idea of unburdening all of this to my friends or lovers has been unthinkable. Some of it, yes, but not all the deep scary stuff. Most have their own pain and no one can truly know another's and certainly don't want theirs stirred up. I know enough about human nature to know that there's a limit and eventually they would freak and scram. Instead, my shadow stuff has been faced down and suppressed, but is still alive, a unversal dilemma that is not unique to me. Those disowned pieces have been converging lately and I found myself unbearably hurting without even realizing it. There was a layer of coping that was a product of the meds and my own tough resolve and resourcefulness, but it was just a layer.
Your plight that I perceived with you being 'in danger' and not getting help, not being listened to, and neglected because of the perceived inability to pay really hit home and activated all sorts of things, especially in light of the fact that I've been sorting so many things out since my Mom's death in December. Many dreams almost every night to make sense of, memories good and bad, going through old pictures, unpacking boxes she'd put away that I haven't seen since childhood, so many memories that aren't clear, are hazy, like being on the tip of my tongue. There's some abuse issues in there that haven't surfaced yet, but they're on their way.
Alot has been activated with this reconciling the loss of my home, my mom, my childhood things, and memories of how I handled the pain when I was old enough to take control - through drugs and 'feeling better'. I was in alot of pain and needed help and that was the ONLY way available to me and one I could take into my own hands.
The same goes for drinking. After being sober for years, I'm now falling, falling and feel compelled to do so. Why, I've been asking myself, am I hurting so much that I have this need to numb myself and even destroy myself? I finally hunkered down and just sat with the awful feelings that were lurking and that I've been afraid of getting too close to, like they'd subsume me and not let go. The rage, the fear of the little girl, the shame, self-loathing, rebelliousness, the 'bad girl', the dark demonic stuff that needs to be snuffed out. We've all been having some very interesting conversations. It's time these disowned parts of me, although not pretty, were listened to, were helped and protected and not projected. I really don't want to go to a therapist at this stage. The whole messy money/time/business end of it has to be reconciled for me to trust it, and the way I'm going about this seems right. I'm more than up to it, but when I need help to figure it out, I'll get it. Lord knows, with 20 years of therapy under my belt, I think I know the drill by now.
So, dear Katia, you got the brunt of the outrage that I've been surpressing over the neglect of a hurting young girl and woman who desperately needed help, but no one listened. I admire you for sticking to your guns and committing yourself to your wellness and take your word for it that you're not in danger. If you were, I trust that you'll handle it. You're not a helpless 8 year old. You're not me. But, whew, this has been quite a journey, and thanks for lending a hand to hold (and jerk around) during it. - Barbara