Depressed Kid In America

kid depressedI’m compiling lists of music on YouTube because I’d like to listen straight through while doing things and not stop to switch the video. The reason behind that though, is that I want to use the music as a tool for feeling. Music is one thing that will really get in deep, chip away until the tears come. It causes flash backs while bringing up feelings that I know I need to feel.

I’ve been numb too long. I’ve avoided all the shit I need to peel away and shed.

I was a teen in the 80s so I’m choosing a lot of that music, at least right now. I like a lot of other music too, and although other music brings up emotions too of other things, it’s the memories of the 80’s I’m after in that list.

One video I specifically looked up is “Kids in America” by Kim Wilde because I was a kid (at 15/16) when the song was released and it was being played on every pop station, probably around the nation.

The song “Kids in America” takes me back to my teen years, in good ways as much as sad.  But while watching the video and looking at the singer’s face, I was taken back to when I was 19. I think it’s because she was close to that age in the video. I was more than a year out of high school and going nowhere. And I continued to go nowhere all the way up to this day.

I looked at Kim Wilde’s face and compared myself to her. How she was doing something, creating something, putting something out there to be remembered.  And at that age I wasn’t even driving myself to the job I hated. I was walking several blocks to meet my ride.  I was smoking pot at every opportunity, including sometimes on that ride to work. I was living day to day to find some sort of escape from the depression that had taken such a tight hold by then and continues to this day.

It saddens me so much the potential lost as a result of no guidance in direction by the adults in my life at that time.

The most relatable line for me sadly:
“You know life is cruel, life is never kind.”

Taking Not Asking Permission

Terminate the ToxicPeople use the word ‘SELFISH’ like it’s a bad thing. I used to hear it a lot while being guilted, shamed and manipulated into saying yes when I really wanted to say no.

Drawing boundaries is not a bad thing. And saying no is a complete sentence.

The word “selfish” is used in place of the word “self-centered” much of the time. Self-centered is probably the extreme on the ‘SELFISH’ continuum, in thinking the world revolves around one’s self. But being self-ish is a form of caring for yourself, protecting yourself and looking out for yourself. Drawing boundaries is not being self-centered.

We need some selfishness to be able to draw healthy boundaries and let people know what’s not OK and what we won’t do. There is nothing wrong with looking out for your-self. And in some cases you might be the only one who does, so step up for your-self. I’m learning how to do this now and what it really means.

It might only be in the form of ignoring some sort of attempt at contact, but your silence sends a strong message. There are times when words are not necessary to convey a message. Of course confrontation can be a healthy thing but that’s a whole other topic. At times it’s not a good idea to confront, especially if you’ve attempted to discuss and resolve repeatedly and the other party doesn’t get it. At some point, it doesn’t make sense to continue trying to make someone understand.

Don’t let manipulation sway you either. Healthy discussions are good and changing your mind is OK too. But this is where it’s important to really learn how YOU feel. Ask yourself, “Are you changing your answer from yes to no or no to yes because you want someone to keep liking you and approving of you? Or “Is it a genuine feeling within that is coming from authenticity?

Watch for the feeling of resentment. That could be a clue to what you really want to say and do.

Only you will know though, so get to know your intuition. You have your own answers.

Giving from a Dry Well (Helpful Words From A Friend)

kid_drywell“You give from what you’ve already received. If you haven’t received there’s nothing to give.”

This was said by a friend of mine years ago. I wrote it in a journal because it really had an impact on me.

Having been abused in such a covert manner and in insidious ways, I have grown up to wonder why my relationships were so fucked up. (That’s a technical term for unhealthy.)

I don’t remember now what exactly we were talking about when he said that, but it’s very likely that I was lamenting on how unhappy I was and probably something about how I’ve felt unsatisfied in every relationship I’ve ever had. That includes romantic and non, just the same.

Sometimes I think I’ve given too much, even though it was from a dry well. So that would make it fake wouldn’t it? I guessed a lot about how to be, how to act, how to talk and what to give and what to take. I wanted to show that I cared but I also wanted to be honest, which at times worked against me.

A friend of mine used to tell me that I was ‘too honest.’

A relationship at any given time could be unbalanced where I gave more than I felt but I wanted to keep the person from leaving or felt the need for approval.  Other times I felt I was receiving too much and I would say something or do something to sabotage the relationship.

And then came the desperation in selling them a reason to stay.

After that I’d feel trapped and dishonest for making that sale and break it off or tell them they were calling too much. And then I’d feel lonely.

In truth I had nothing to give. Because there was nothing in the well.

Update on 10/27/16:
Since writing this, I’ve written a post about how I’ve been mostly a taker in relationships and friendships.

To add to this though, when I was “giving” anything, it was out of codependency a lot of the time, being a people pleaser, wanting them to stay because I didn’t want to be alone/lonely. It wasn’t authentic most of the time. I may have liked them, but I also may not have. I didn’t take much time to really know. Much of the time I was running away from myself.

Some cases I wanted to feel special. In other scenarios I wanted what they had, much of the time that was pot. There were plenty of times I would choose someone to call and hang out with based on the high possibility of them having weed.

Pathetic to think about that.

All that time wasted…in more ways than one. All that time I spent high or with someone that treated me like shit or with someone just to avoid being by myself, I could’ve been getting to know myself.

I’m trying to do that now. But it isn’t easy.

Ties No Longer Have to Bind

black sheepWhy should family ties necessarily bind?

Once upon a time being accepted in your tribe was a matter of life and death, so it would be detrimental if we didn’t do what we needed to do, including bow down to the role of family scapegoat, for example. That’s what I was.

Maybe I still am, in their view.

But I’m not there to know. I am not there to be treated that way. My going No Contact or more like No Response was my way of drawing a boundary.

I think it’s still an imprint in the DNA, to feel the need to stick with family, even if they’re abusive.Being part of us, I think is why I felt so anxious about severing those ties before I did so. On the surface I was afraid of their reaction to not liking it.

Would I be in danger physically? Would they come knocking on my door? Would they endlessly text or call?   I didn’t know. But I had to take the chance for myself because I was emotionally exhausted and beat down. I needed to get away from them…permanently…as far as I knew. And as far as I still know.

It’s nice to think that they will see. Once you’re away they will figure out what happened and why you want to keep your distance.

That may happen. But in many cases, that most likely will not happen.

There is ambiguity within me about wanting any family member to want to resolve things. Even if they seemed genuine there would be doubt and if they really were genuine what about all the shit that’s already happened? It would take a lot of apologizing and talking to resolve the past.

I’ve said I’d be open to such discussions and conversations. But then how would I know what the intentions are from a phone call or a message?

How would I know it would not just be a trick to lure the scapegoat back in, or just plain bullshit?

There are I’m sure ways to tell, especially when you have “known” someone all your life and you’ve been tricked and pushed and bullied and beaten so much. There’s a lot to be said for intuition. In addition it would be in their words. And later in their actions if it was a trick and they said all the right things.

Someone who is truly sorry and wants to resolve issues is going to know what to say and how to approach things. They will be awake to their own errors and won’t be accusatory in an email or voicemail. They should point out where they went wrong so you can easily know they are self aware.

I also don’t think they are going to send emails and leave voice mails that don’t acknowledge the bullying and abuse at all. God knows the attempts at contact from my family members mentioned nothing of the hell I put up with.

They’d rather sit with the elephant in the room and in the ether. But of course the elephant wasn’t addressed when it was fully present and in fact held against me later. I was blamed for it. My mother blamed me for of it, of all people.

So even if there were sincere attempts and desires to want to discuss things, to resolve and heal the hurt, to apologize, I’m not sure I’d be ready right now, nor trusting. Words prove nothing. A whole lot of action would be needed to prove it was meant and sincere. And that takes time.

The abuse and bullying got to a point that it was severe, and I’m still angry that they would even do those sorts of things in the first place. It can’t be changed I know. But the damage is deep. It’s also layered dating back to childhood for me, going all the way up to a couple years ago.

There’s a lot not to forgive. And besides, I’m just getting to me…the real me and I haven’t even gotten past the surface yet. There’s a lot to get to know and years of catching up with myself.  Given the oppression that was dished out and then my own defensive suppression I felt was necessary to protect myself, I think it’s better that I do some healing on my own.

But then if they were actually sincere, the healing would be faster if we were ‘all in it together’ I think.  I know that’s not reality though. People who finger point, scapegoat a family member, triangulate and blame don’t usually just wake up one day and say, “OH, what a shit I’ve been. How narcissistic and damaging of me to be so abusive.”

If it happens at all, I’m guessing it’s rare. It’s their way of dealing with their own trauma. It’s more comfortable for many people to be in denial, pretend it’s the fault of one other person, establish a scapegoat and instill lots of double standards.  But that doesn’t mean you gotta take it.

To find out who I am, who I really am is important to me and if I were to accept them back into my life right now, even if they truly were sorry, even if they really wanted to work at healing themselves and the dynamic among the family, I have myself to tend to right now.

It would be too easy to fall back into my role, as it would be for them as well. No matter how sorry or apologetic they all might be, we all still have our triggers and history.  So I can only assume it wouldn’t be easy for them as well. Change is hard for everyone so that would mean it would be difficult for them not to scapegoat me. It would be difficult not to utilize their double standards of their blame and shame against me.

The point is moot though. I think this may be permanent. I can’t imagine that they would ever understand or stop seeing me as the problem. I can’t ever see them as coming to realize how hurtful their treatment of me was, let alone that they were even treating me like shit.

I don’t expect that any of them will ever be self-aware enough to see the blame they put on me.  Nor will they push past the denial of the triangulating and manipulation they pulled.

I just don’t see the rug being put back where it’s been pulled out. And I don’t see them looking under said rug for all the shit they swept under it.

Although I removed myself, I still feel ostracized, because I was pushed out. I wouldn’t exactly say that I went willingly, even though I used my own will to walk away. I did it to take care of myself, for self-preservation and self-defense.

Apology and Resolution

sorry buttercupMr. B did something yesterday that I got angry about. It wasn’t resolved yesterday for a few different reasons and I wanted to talk about it this morning. So I approached him calmly and let him know I needed to talk about something that was bothering me.

He was receptive. He heard me. He was even remorseful. Then he apologized.

Afterward, I felt the resolution immediately. A feeling of relief washed over me.

I’m not hanging on to it as if trying to make it not happen. I’m not ruminating in anger about how much of a jerk he is.  I’ve done that in the past about various things and various people.

Two reasons: 1). Lack of resolution and 2). Wanting that other person to change their behavior from here on out. Especially if the person isn’t understanding or empathetic about where I’m coming from.

If I felt the need to resolve such a thing in this way with a family member, before doing so, having the intention, I would be sweating, shaking, afraid of the reaction of whichever family member I felt the need to resolve things with. The resolution in this case was that I wanted and needed an apology.

Most likely, my sister would have pulled something out from history and attacked me for it, pointing a finger and screaming about how, “You did… and another thing, you are….”

My brother would minimize and talk about how my worrying and holding onto things would eventually give me an ulcer or cancer.

My mom would say something like, sounding closer to a whine, “Can’t we just have a light conversation without you having to resolve some issue. Why can’t you just call me and say, “How are you mom?”   (As if that never fuckin’ happened?)

They think that resolution isn’t important. I won’t ever change that line of thinking in them nor the behaviors that demonstrate that fact. And my feeling won’t change, that resolution is important in some situations. It’s also important to give it when I screw up as well.

Sometimes instead of working so hard at trying to change others, you just have to remove yourself from the equation.

I am feeling grateful to and for Mr. B. ❤

Dysphoria and Shoes Dropping: A Connection

too-happy-charlie-brown
Googles definition of dys·pho·ri·a
disˈfôrēə/

noun

Psychiatry
noun: dysphoria
  1. a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life.

What sucks about dysphoria is that there is no real enjoyment to life. Nothing that really gets me up and at ’em.

The times I’ve felt that way were when I was anticipating getting together with friends, going on a date or I had a job where my crush worked too.

I don’t remember getting excited all on my own or inventing my own reason to be excited from within.

In my last post I talked about wanting to create some excitement for myself by getting into the storage bin with all my old clothes that no longer fit. And it was fun to check them all out and I even felt an underlying determination that I will fit into them again. But excitement? Not really.

It’s sad. I used to think it was depression, that depression was the name of what I had. But then I started seeing a therapist again after an excruciating break up and I was told I probably have PTSD. The break up contributed, but the trauma runs a lot deeper. I grew up with an emotionally abusive father and my mother enabled it and she was emotionally apathetic and neglectful.

Now that I spend a lot of time alone and don’t have much of a social life, I’m sure that has much to do with the dysphoria. I like talking to others. I like to learn about other people. Of course I like people who listen as well and those who can help me create a balanced conversation. It doesn’t even have to be one where we agree. In fact disagreements can be fun and interesting, as long as everyone stays civil and there’s no name calling.

Thing is most of my friends are drinkers. So for the time being while I know I’d be weak and would probably “do as the Romans do,” I feel the need to stay away.

Another reason for the dysphoria, I believe, is that I’m now conditioned to believe that any excitement that I feel will be spoiled. Have you ever been in the middle of screaming with delight over some really great news or some great trip you’re planning, only to be told your dog just died or something equally devastating?

Or how about this?

You’re a little kid, sitting at the table with your family having dinner and you start laughing at something. Something really funny someone just said or maybe a funny face one of your siblings just made. Then suddenly, in the midst of your joy, your father bellows in a loud, sudden and deep voice, “SIT UP STRAIGHT AND EAT YOUR DINNER!”

You are startled. Suddenly the food in your mouth no longer tastes very good and you feel shamed. You can barely chew and the thought of helping it out with a gulp of milk (as the only choice of liquid) makes your stomach heave a little.

This happens often and your mother does nothing to put an end to it. She might say something like a long drawn out, “HuUuUUuUn!” But in reality she has no power and he doesn’t take her too seriously, because he continues this and similar behavior every time he feels the need to control any situation. There seems to be such a thing as having too much fun.

It’s become an expectation now that joy will be turned to sorrow or excitement to shame.

It’s conditioning.

I miss joy and excitement. But have I ever really truly experienced it in the first place?