Right now in my part of the world everything is shutting down. Part of me feels ecstatic—like it’s a lot of fun to prepare and nothing can phase me. There will be a lot of umbrellas around and I like umbrellas because they’re symbols of protection. This just feels like nothing compared to the personal holocaust that I’ve been through for the past few years. Wow. Few years. I’d nearly come to accept myself as a mental patient and almost nothing else. I was a wreck– just coming to realize I was being pelted by an abuse that had been going on for years and coming out of denial as it was still happening so finally I to do something about it. I was my husband’s captive.
It’s confusing. I want to run to where it’s familiar and where it’s familiar is fighting urges, knowing that fighting doesn’t work. How unacceptable I find it. I seem to love to judge myself, keep myself motivated with harsh criticism. There might be another way to do it.… I feel like I have a very good prognosis—though that doesn’t seem to correspond to my always behaving skillfully. I’m going to get back to the dbt group I was in for a couple years. Just go around and around in the skills- be talked to in my kindergarten spot.
She was very sick when she was in kindergarten. They thought she was stupid and gave her tests and she used to have to go outside in the hallway to practice her colors because she couldn’t learn things. They put her special classes and gave her tests. They were bothered that she couldn’t write without putting her head down on the desk and that she was always singing. She was always in trouble and had to sit in the back of the class behind the other students and thought that must be because she was stupid.
Now my kid is going to make chocolate frosting because who needs cake when you have frosting. Not only am I not going to stop him, I’m kind of proud and amused.
How these years of sickness began is that I was beginning to have more awareness. It was like something coming into focus. When I’d published a book a few years previously and my husband had so opposed my accepting long distant reading invitations, the gift from a major organization of a residency at a colony, and basically stood over my shoulder and watched me every move in public I made- because this was the first time I’d been interacting in a world my husband didn’t control– We worked together- just the two of us and we were very poor, which keep us at the hand to mouth level of concerns. He was always forcing me. I would just fall asleep as it was going on then wake up as if nothing had happened. By all other measures he was a nice guy—charismatic—the guy everyone loves.
I’m allowing myself tangents and nonsense because this all feels like it has to get out- which is thinking terms of catharsis, which I’m not supposed to do—I’m supposed to thing that these are just feelings and they’ll pass. I don’t have to get them out. But I do have to tell their story. That’s what I was doing when I was harming and that’s what I’m doing now. I hope I don’t really regret this later. I assume I’ll feel ashamed, I usually do. ……I do want to get back to the dbt group—it’s really safe there—feels containing. I look like the picture of confidence for weeks at a time but I need very firm ground under me right now. I’m tight rope walking. I’m jumping from shaky platform onto trapezes. That’s it: I feel about like a traveling circus in all the adapting and daring I’ve been doing for the past year. But I’m free now. And the stocking has even ended. And the upheaval with my child, the after-shock, is beginning to settle.
So, a hurricane feels like nothing and it also feels like—oh, my grandparents are holocaust survivors—practitioners of denial at levels almost unknown—the same propensity for denial that I inherited. I’ve gotten to see how some other families react to things. In my family we react to nothing. I told a friend that I was going to take the dog out and just use an umbrella. Maybe things are worse than I realized. Maybe a natural disaster is about to happen. I’ve done enough of the things that they say to do in order to get by.
And I know the band-aid for everything- make it dialectic. This is no big deal, it’s kind of fun as a dialectic to a natural disaster about to strike? I don’t know what’s going to happen but I never know the future. I haven’t taken street drugs for a long time but I had just tiny bit of something today. I question now if that was an acting out behavior. Maybe I was afraid and I didn’t know it. The subtle Buddhist influence that always was in my life has really come into strong focus now. I meditate. And my understanding of Buddhists thinking is to just be done with all this speculating—this is how I’m avoiding reality now. ….but then I kind of like this compulsion to document experience.