I’m about to do something I never do… post right after a therapy session and while I am still feeling raw about an experience I had today. Actually, an experience that has been prolonged for weeks. However, resolution was just achieved today. And, sometimes, resolution sucks. It’s almost better being in limbo, not knowing if something is over for good or if there is still hope. Turns out, there isn’t.
If I weren’t busy being a mature, put together adult (that’s almost laughable), I’d probably throw myself on the bed, wrap myself up in the comforter (human burrito style), and just disappear from the world. There would likely be a sea of tears within which I might drown. Not that drowning is a new experience. Some unlikely patron would probably break into my apartment and save me… because for some reason I’m not allowed to die. But, that’s another story entirely.
Can you see the dark cloud looming over my head tonight? This is why I don’t post while raw. But, I’m in it. So, why stop now?!
This has been my experience: a little over two weeks ago I stayed the night at a friend’s house (I guess former friend would now be the term). I wasn’t going to stay but we had just watched a movie that really ripped me open and poured salt on buried wounds; wounds which I thought I had healed. The film was about this couple who kidnapped a young girl and violently raped her. After her rape, I thought, I hope she dies because death would be better than living with those wounds. I genuinely could not stomach the thought of her having to carry that pain into the world. (Yes, yes, I know she wasn’t real… but that pain is real to so many people, including me). Of course, this then made me think, why am I living with mine. I spiraled into some pretty heavy suicidal ideation. People only think I’ve got it together. Hah!
At some point in the movie, the violent asshat of a rapist beats his girlfriend’s dog to death. Unfortunately, another all too familiar experience, as I witnessed my ex-husband abuse my cat on more than one occasion (though never to that extreme). I adored that cat. I never actually thought I was that affected by my marriage or any of the things that happened in it, but after the movie I felt vulnerable, hopeless, and scared; much of which I attribute to the happenings of that relationship. I was “triggered”, as the mental health field would put it. So, I accepted my “friend’s” offer to crash there… but I needed a favor from her, something to protect myself. Asking for this was selfish. I was living the saying, “hurt people, hurt people.” It wasn’t intentional. I never would have hurt her on purpose. But, still… it shouldn’t have happened.
No, I won’t be that ass that mentions this giant thing and doesn’t tell you what it was. I had razor blades in my car. Not something I usually have with me, mind you. I’m not even sure why I did at that point. It’s not really relevant. The point is, I didn’t trust myself with them. I knew that if I knew where they were while I was feeling the way I was feeling, I’d use them. I did use them once though, before giving them up. Another mistake. Another thing that would lead to more pain for her. Perhaps another selfish act. I was ashamed, so I took care of the wound in secret. I asked her if she would get rid of the razors, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to do anything worse. She disposed of them, even though doing so triggered her. But, she never said as much and I was so lost in my own inner turmoil that I never stopped to think of that as a possibility. I always thought she was this tough, badass warrior woman. Impervious to the things that trigger we feeble peons. I was wrong. It breaks my heart how wrong I was.
To make matters worse, my bit of “self-care” resulted in a bloody mess. Again, I was selfish. I didn’t think it through. Apparently, I threw the bloody tissues in the trash can when I woke up in the middle of the night, though I don’t remember this. I assume it’s for the same reason I didn’t use the restroom most of the night: I didn’t want to wake them (her and her girlfriend) by flushing the toilet. But, turns out, leaving the tissues in the trash was the bigger error. This, too, was a trigger for her the next day. It was just one night, and I believe I caused her more turmoil than she seems to have experienced in a long time. Of course, I deeply regret it. And I literally hate myself for even having been so weak and pathetic in the first place. But, I can’t take it back. I can’t make it “un-happen.” So, I apologized. A million times. She never answered.
She never answered before the apology either. Or, for that matter, before I even knew what I had done wrong… or that I had even done anything wrong. (I mean, besides the obvious, which I didn’t think I had left any evidence of (I guess I was still half asleep or maybe dissociated, not that it makes a difference)). I panicked. I thought, this is it… she thinks I’m pathetic and weak and that I’m a shitty human being, now she doesn’t want anything to do with me. Typical, self-centered thinking. I wasn’t too far off base, as it turns out. That’s not my current point, though. My current point is that her lack of response triggered that abandoned place in me, that place that says I’m unworthy of compassion or friendship or love. That place that says, I’m not good enough, because I can’t fix myself, can’t fix my problems, can’t just pray them away or meditate them away. And, I don’t mean to blame her here. I get that she needed space, because I hurt her. But, that hurt me, too. The silence. The not even being worthy enough for a response, just a simple “I was triggered and I need some space.” I don’t know if things would have been different had that been offered up, but I’d like to think maybe we could have talked it through… salvaged the friendship.
Instead, we were both just two hurt people, hurting people. Except, in my case, I deserved to be hurt. I genuinely believe this. It’s part of what we talked about today in therapy. I’ve come to embrace this belief that I am a bad person. That I only bring pain to other people. Or, that I am an annoyance or a nuisance. I often think that the bad things that have happened to me are a form of punishment. That I must have done such awful things that I was being subjected to some sort of karmic retribution. And, now, I have to suffer through those hurts in silence. Because, I could never dare share them, to split the weight of those burdens. Yet, still, I hurt people. That is infinitely worse than hurting myself. I can take that pain. I’ll endure it. But, I’m tired of being the person that rips through the night like a surprise hurricane. I’m tired of being a natural disaster. Sometimes, I’m just tired of being.