In my quest to get to the root of things, to find the heart of the matter, I have tried to open myself up, to see things not as I normally would.  In doing so, I have seen some things I did not like, but that explained a few other things along the way.  This evening I realized something and it hits me pretty damn hard. 

          I am suspicious.  I have an endless supply of guilt in two categories – deserved and undeserved.  Where that is concerned, I still heap more than my share into the former category.  I have doubts – doubts about myself, others, about everything.  I feel secure for a moment in time, and then I feel as though I am standing in the middle of the an earthquake of immeasurable magnitude.  I am unsure of myself, of those I care about, and those around me.

          Why?

          As I was thinking about this post, I was asking myself if I really did jump the gun, or if I really should be angry.  In keeping with THOTM, I didn’t wallow over the silly aspects, I decided to ask myself why I was even pondering it to begin with.  As I was rinsing the dishes from tonight’s dinner, it hit me.

          I doubt and suspect because it’s what I know.  When things seemed to be going okay, that magic carpet was always yanked from under me and I would plummet.  When I thought I had hit the bottom, a pit just opened beneath my feet to swallow me again.  Yes, I had good moments in my childhood.  There were times that were pretty good.  I remember a few in particular – the day my cat, Merlin, became one of the family, the sleepover at SD’s house, moving into a house we actually bought, etc.  So if you’re thinking this is about what a horrible life I had, and how I am wallowing in it and can’t move on, just stop now because you’ve already missed the point.

          What killed me was the other moments.  When he would stop smoking or drinking, he would do so well for a while.  My step-mother and I would be so proud and even though it was tough to cope with him, we were always looking forward to the money it would save, the health benefits, and just him being a better person.  A few weeks would go by, sometimes even a couple of months, and then it would start again.  He wasn’t ready to quit for himself, so he didn’t.  When I was younger, I never understood that.  Why wasn’t I enough reason for him to quit?  Why didn’t he want to stay sober and be lucid?  Why didn’t he want to quit smoking so he wouldn’t stink and save us all that money?  Why wasn’t I, or my step-mom, enough reason?  Now that I am older, I know that a person who is addicted has to want to quit for themselves.  While I know that, it doesn’t take away all of the guilt – the guilt that I wasn’t enough reason.  So the up was when he was sober and smoke-free, and the down was when he would go back to one or both.

          When the divorce came, I was crushed.  I kept thinking about how I would see my step-mom and how it was all going to work out.  And then he said I couldn’t talk to her or have anything to do with her, and then the drinking got worse, the nights out more frequent, and the utilities kept being shut off, or the phone wasn’t working.  With that came the lying about it – calling Gram from 7-11 and not telling her what was wrong.  Or calling her from the house with the power cut off and not being able to tell her that, either.  Each one of those things stung.  They carved out little pieces of me that turned into festering wounds that only scab and never heal.  When all that wasn’t enough, he brought someone else home.  And she brought her son.  More lies – me lying to Gram, my step-mom, and everyone else, and the two of them lying to me.  Even at 12-13, I wasn’t dumb enough to honestly believe they were sharing a bed because she had Rapid Leg Movement and might hurt herself in her sleep.  (RLM is a real disorder, but it doesn’t mean you can never sleep alone.)  And then I left.  Because I didn’t know what else to do. 

          When I came back, it was to a different place, the divorce was more or less over with, and there was bitterness.  I started high school, riding a public bus, getting bullied, and trying to find my clique.  Before I could even get comfortable, more low points.  He sold the car and kept the motorcycle, even though the car was the vehicle that was paid for, and obviously, more accommodating for a 2-person family.  And then she came into the picture – someone I had met before that was only 4-5 years older than me.  It was embarrassing.  It was awkward.  It was hard.  By the time I got comfortable with my friends and my routine, he stopped believing that I wasn’t doing the things he suspected, and I was put into another school – a school that was in the district his new, older, girlfriend and her 3 kids lived in.  I met one of my best friends there, but even that didn’t last.  I went from never having to share a room, to sharing a room with 2 younger girls.  While that in itself didn’t really bother me too much, what did was that they constantly went through my stuff and tortured me.  Nothing was ever said or done because I was the older one, and I was supposed to handle it myself.  But stop and think about that…  They’ve been siblings forever, and I just came into the picture.  Do you really think I could have even made a semi-confortable arrangement with them?  Not to mention they were much younger than I was – I think 10 and 6?  Even when we did go to the parental units, it was always two against one and it was miserable.  I wanted to join every club I could, but wasn’t allowed to partake in extracirrucular activites because he still didn’t believe I was actually participating.  I was never trusted.  It got to the point where I figured, and I know now how dumb it is, that if he was going to keep treating me like I was doing horrible things, I may as well do the horrible things.  Having never been trusted hurt.  And when I started doing horrible things, it just made what little self-esteem I had disappear.  I turned lots of hurts into more hurts because I didn’t know what else to do…

          I suspect and doubt because it’s all I know.  I know that when I think I am doing things the way I should, someone else thinks differently and takes it upon themselves to try to force their way on me, making me feel like shit.  As an adult, I thought I would finally get some relief.  Other than obeying the law, who did I have to answer to?  Well, I still get some "feedback" about how I am doing things, and it still hurts just as much…  Actually, even more so. 

          I know that when I finally get comfortable somewhere, everything changes.  I suspect because it’s always the people closest to me that hurt me the most – whether they mean to or not. 

          I’m not angry any more.  For the most part, I have let the anger go.  It was too heavy and took too much energy.  While I don’t carry most of that anger, I do carry all of the wounds it left.  And things like that post, just open them up, pour in the salt, and they get bigger and harder to fill each time.  And it’s not a hyperbole.  I have holes.  Caverns.  Chasms.  Canyons.  And even one abyss…  Okay, two.  Nothing will ever fill either abyss or make them better because they are things that you can never fix or make up for.  But whatever.  Anyway.  THOTM is that I can’t feel safe because I have never been safe in the hands of anyone other than myself, and according to a few people, I am a failure, so I keep waiting to let myself down.  There are people in my life that I can’t let go of because of who they are.  Even though they hurt me, they love me, just differently than I would like them to.  There are a few people who are like rocks for me, and they are my foundation…  I need pillars, too.  I am weak and I need more.  And I doubt and suspect because the people that should be my pillars are the ones that I feel attack me.  And maybe I need more because I am making up for the what has hurt me in the past… 

          THOTM is that I suspect and doubt because I haven’t let go of the years behind me.  THOTM is that I suspect and doubt because I have reasons, even as recent as a year ago, to do so.  THOTM is that it’s who I am because it is what happened to me.  It is a part of me, but not the definition of me.

         

          "All the things I thought I’d figured out, I’m learning them again.  I been trying to get down to the heart of the matter…"

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