I had an intense therapy session on Tuesday, and here I am still trying to recover from it. Those looks into my past and into myself can be exhausting and overwhelming and sometimes it takes me days to snap out of it. Out of what? The anger. The grief over my lack of childhood and innocence.
The painful memories take me back to a place where I feel helpless, and even though I rationally know I am not there any more, I revert to some self sabotage. I’ve been overeating, eating too much sugar and junk, and escaping reality into a video game world for 2 days now. I’m about ready to come back, but I have a bit of guilt for wasting 2 days, and a bit of sadness there too. I also have some understanding, and try to be gentle with myself.
I did get out of bed, I did get dressed, I did make every meal and snack for the kids, I did load the dishwasher and sort some clothes. But I did not connect on any meaningful level with the kids or work on anything useful. I spent hours on end eating candy and chips and playing video games obsessively. I have nearly passed every level of the current game.
I am not a blanked out zombie while I play these games, my brain is busy, sorting, processing, and I think, possibly learning and healing. The intense focus of the games puts me in an almost trance of concentration. I am not overly emotional, but it is very intense. The speed of the games keeps me locked in. I get a huge satisfaction from beating each level and is nearly uncontrollable to want to beat the next level.
It is a beautiful day outside. I should take the kids to a park. I should weed the flowerbeds. I should paint the fence. I have so many things I should be doing, and yet I am already itching to get back to my game, just taking a break to blog about it. Am I addicted to games? Well, yes I am occasionally. My work is sliding today, but I will catch up all the hours before the pay period ends – I always do. But I do have this feeling that I MUST play this game, a must that I don’t enjoy.
In therapy we discussed how I often see the world through crap-colored lenses, no roses here. She said I have a hyper sense of responsibility and perfectionism. I often feel crummy when the slightest things go wrong, even though it didn’t really matter. I knew that I get this icky feeling, but have never been able to place it before. When I feel I have messed up, I go ahead and withdraw the love of my family before they can, knowing I am now unlovable. So even when they hug me or I see them smiling, inside I know they can’t really love me. That I am stupid and terrible and they deserve a better wife/mother.
My dad always held me up to an image of unattainable perfection, and his love was always out of reach until I could prove my perfection, which never happened. He also made me believe no one else could love such a wretched human as me too. That my only worth was providing physical pleasure, and even that was my fault for being beautiful, for tempting him. I guess I go back to this tape in my head, that used to run non-stop, and now runs when I have made a mistake. I am grateful we figured this out, but it has taken me to a place I did not want to admit still exists in my head, that his voice still has such power over me.
——————–Here are some examples of my childhood mistakes, and a summary of the lengthy scoldings I would have:
When my room was messy – I was a lazy slob, pigs were cleaner, no one would marry a disgusting girl
When I missed 1 question on a standardized test, still scoring 99 percentile, he would sit me down to analyze the stats, and finding the error in “logic” he would laugh, and say of course, because girls could not be taught logic so I should stop trying, not fooling any man to think I am smart and certainly not ever logical
When I asked to stay home from school with a fever, it was because I was weak and pitiful and just wanted attention and someone to do my work for me
When I cried when a boy didn’t call me back – I was a stupid whore and that boy knew it
When I needed new clothes in middle school to fit my devleoping body – I was a sloppy fatass and didn’t need new jeans, just more exercise
When I was 16, had straight A’s, 3 jobs, a member of every club in school, volunteer at the hospital, and needed a loan to fix the car I had bought myself – I lacked the strength and discipline to develop a work ethic and took no pride in working hard and was always ready for a handout
When I wrote my first short story(the boy and the invisible train – I still remember a bit, sure wish I had it now) at the age of 4 on our old typewriter – he ripped it up and told me silly stories were a waste of time and he would take away that annoying clicking typewriter if all I could do was write nonsense (Yes – now I know how amazing that was I was writing stories at that age)
When I got ready for homecoming dance – My boobs were spectacular in that dress and all the boys would be lining up waiting for me to turn a few tricks, so he knew I’d be tired that night – then he felt me up and slapped my butt so I’d remember he was only loaning me out (umm, ya, I did not know what to do with boys liking me, so entirely confusing, I wanted to date, but I also did not want to be a whore, and I thought if I liked them then I must be a whore)
————————– Have to stop now, enough examples, feeling sick. SO when the therapist asked why I am so hard on myself? I told her a few examples. How I was never allowed to make mistakes, and even things out of my control, like growing up and having hormones, were my fault also made me naughty and guilty. The problem is, how do I turn off that tape now that I pushed play? The examples are coming at me too quickly to hear much of anything else. And I didn’t share the X rated examples from dear old dad, because I am uncomfortable using words like filthy c*nt. But they are there too, all mixed in daily. My dad tried so hard to make sure I never knew I was strong, smart, capable. Well, I am.
I will get through this, and forgive him of this too. But today is hard so the tomorrows will be even better.
- The Cognitive Behavioral Miracle – Controlling your Emotions (brainblogger.com)
- Typical Day of Therapy (lothlorien.typepad.com)