Dearest little snowflakes,
I’ve been under house arrest! Well, sort of. Between all of Missouri being in Icepocalypse (the news came up with the name, not me. Dramatic much?) and the virus that I still have not been able to beat, I have done a whole lot of nothing. In many ways this is good, as I am a chronically ill and disabled person who is usually not allowed to care for myself as I am busy keeping my life from turning into a supernova. The storm and my virus have both forced me into a state of self care, which my body appreciates, though I am quickly becoming restless.
Restlessness for me often leads to introspection…and a lack of sleep. So, this morning around 4a.m I found the last appointment I had with my psychiatrist on shuffle in my brain. I went to visit him Thursday and I caught him up on my life, which is tasking since I only see him once a month. I explained with enthusiasm my plans to set off on the next adventure in my life which includes taking a leap of faith. As my words flew out of me like fireworks, he listened intently before finally saying, “I can’t help but think as excited as you are, there’s fear behind your words, too.” What is he, like a psychiatrist or something? He was completely right.
Acknowledging fear for me has always been easy. The dissection of it is what I find intimidating. As the conversation descended into my past, I was overcome with memories which naturally set my PTSD into action. Growing up, my mother made sure that every emotion expressed was negated. If I was upset, angry, saddened or in pain she would tell me I was overreacting, a bitch, selfish, worthless…you get the idea. I look back on crying in my bed from the pain caused by my many illnesses; she would blast open my door furiously, ask me what was wrong, then scream at me to stop crying. The only thing she did worse than this was never coming to check on me at all after hearing my calls and screams, which happened more as I got older.
My suffering as a teenager was only ever relieved by my beautiful older sister, who we’ll call Sissy. Often after my mother would scream at me, Sissy would gently knock on my door. I’d be laying in my bed, my spine and legs engulfed in horrific pain, barely able to breathe without screaming. She would be so compassionate towards me, a rarity in our household, and would either hold my hand or rub my back while I cried myself to sleep. The severe pain would cause nausea to the point where I was unable to eat anything, so my sister would make home made chicken soup while I rested. She would bring me food in bed because I was unable to walk. Her affection towards me was my silver lining in a life full of constant nightmare that she too was living. After all, Sissy was only five years older than I living in the same dreadful home.
It wasn’t until last year that my sister told me on days like these, my mother would go to her and tell her, “go deal with your sister.” Despite being endlessly appreciative of my sister’s kindness during some of the most painful days of my life, my heart breaks thinking that my mother had to pawn off my care onto my sister because she was just that inept at being a mother.
The discussion with my psychiatrist carried on and I realized that my mother did not only stifle the negative emotions I expressed, but the positive ones as well. Whenever I felt accomplished, I was told I that I was too thrilled about what I had done. When I was happy, I was told no one particularly cared that I was, and that expressing my happiness was selfish. When I was excited, I was told, “it’s not that big of a deal.” By the end of my appointment I was reduced to tears and bullets of memories were piercing through me. I felt shaken, terrified by the worst memories we spoke of (which I will not write about as to not trigger myself) and on the verge of a panic attack.I was disheartened because I was sickened by my own life.
Wiggling about my bed in the early morning, replaying all of this in my head lead me to one conclusion; for all the time I have been alive I have always been seen by others as either too much or never enough. I’m either too deep or too silly, too excited or too worried. I’m never good enough, pretty enough or healthy enough. If I’m elated I’m manic and if I’m saddened I’m depressing. Through it all I have come to a conclusion:
I AM SO EXTREMELY TIRED OF BEING TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH.
It is no secret that I am hyperaware of my flaws, but now I am beginning to understand that while it is true that I am chronically ill and altogether imperfect, I’m not the only problem. Some in my life kept me feeling inadequate in order to keep me on their leashes, while others I have loved intended to keep me weak and therefore easily abused while remaining attached to them for fear I’d be unable to survive on my own. I’m only now understanding that they were not healthy people to have in my life and as I grow I fight to rip myself away from them, even when it is the most painful.
I have been minimized, gaslighted, and hurt endlessly by people I lent my trust to, only to have it exploited. There is so much wrong with me and I fully admit it; but what makes me more than my faults is that I not only admit it, but I fight to care and strengthen what is wrong with me to the best of my ability, so that rather than being a part of my pain, my pain is a part of me. That makes all the difference, as I am only now starting to learn.
I may be chronically ill and damaged from the abused life I had no choice but to make my way through; but I work to take all my damage and pain and create something truly wondrous out of it. That is what I feel my purpose is, and for the first time, I feel that I actually do have a purpose. That’s a big deal for someone being told they were worthless from the very start. I am hoping that with more time, help and support from those I love now, I will believe more and more that I am just the right amount of everything that makes me myself. After all, I never want to be less than myself. Why should I be?
For all the people who have been told they’re too much or never enough, I hope you make your way to self love and understanding, too. I’m just starting this journey, but I hope one day we can assure ourselves that we are good enough as our hearts swell with love and pride.
To read more about my experiences living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Click the blue right here!
P.S – If you’ve seen the film Howl’s Moving Castle, you understand why I made it the feature image. If not, you should definitely drop all your obligations for the day and watch it right now. OR read more of my posts. Or both!
We are all that we are; so terribly sorry.