When you know your past, you know yourself

9:47 AM

I've made a couple of breakthroughs in the past couple of weeks as far as recovering memories goes. I recovered two major memories that were emotion packed and linked to a lot of heavy stuff. I'm still processing their significance in my life, but I've already identified one as a "root", i.e. one of the main childhood issues I had that later went on to become a real mental health issue.

The first memory I haven't really processed much yet, maybe because I still don't really feel anything connected to it, I just happened to remember it was upsetting. I remembered that the reason I never had any contact with my dad was because my mom wouldn't let me. I begged like crazy for his address, phone number, anything that would connect me to him, and she would never comply. And while I still feel numb about that, I do feel a little upset that she still didn't see fit to allow contact even when my grandfather died. My father was around the same age as him so she had to have known he was going to die soon, too, if he wasn't dead already (and he did die two years later). And it wouldn't really be so upsetting if it wasn't for the fact that to this day, I don't know why she never would let me contact him. When I was little, she said he abused her, but now that claim has been taken back and I'm just left confused on why. Even more puzzling is that she allowed contact when I was little right up to one night with a phone call that she listened in to, and whatever was said was evidently so upsetting to her that she cut off contact between us forever after that. So, I'm left with this question of why... he wasn't abusive, and the only problems she had with him were personal and wouldn't have even affected me. So what was the point of causing me all that pain of growing up without a dad, or how about the pain of spending most of that time thinking he never even tried to contact us after she left?

The second memory goes a little deeper. I was talking to my counselor about how every time someone calls me some variation of a "spoiled brat" I immediately feel like leaving to go slit my wrists. I then apologized to her for my choice of language and explained that I've never been able to identify the specific emotion, just the actions it makes me feel like taking, partially because I only feel that emotion when I'm in situations like that where I'm being heavily criticized. And that's when it hit me, where that emotion came from and the first time I felt it. It was when I was little and my mom would be suicidal. I remembered that before anything else, before I was angry or fed up or hurt or anything, waaaaay back when I was just coming out of toddler-hood, the very first thing I thought or felt was that it was my fault that she was so miserable she wanted to die. And that's when I first felt that emotion, and first felt the urge to kill myself - it was just so I could make her happy, so she wouldn't have any more reason to be so miserable and want to kill herself. The thing is, a lot of times before my mom got to that point, it started with something I had done. I would make a mistake like accidentally spilling something and my mom would flip out and start hitting me and/or throwing things at me and calling me names (spoiled rotten good for nothing brat was her favorite). Then she would start feeling guilty and start hitting herself and calling herself names. And that would eventually progress in to a suicide attempt.

The thing is I have spent my entire life trying to make other people happy, and wanting to hurt and/or kill myself when they're not, and I've blamed it on things like having been raised in a mild cult and having a controlling, blame-happy family. I'm sure those things played their part, but I realized that particular memory is what started it all, right down to that emotion I still can't identify to this day. My people pleasing and self harm/suicidal behavior has been a direct result of that simple childhood desire to just see my mom happy and not in so much pain. I couldn't fix her, so I projected that desire on to others - friends, lovers, family, anyone and everyone I could find that just *might* fulfill that original need to feel that my mom was happy with me. Instead I have found myself in a constant nightmare of being used and abused, and it's no wonder - users and abusers have a sixth sense for people like me because we are vulnerable, we stake our lives and our happiness on just being able to please one person, no matter the personal cost to ourselves.

My counselor now wants me to repeat the following mantra every day when I wake up: I am a precious child of God and He loves me. I am a bright, intelligent and honest person. I don't deserve to be abused and I refuse to be abused. Anyone who abuses me verbally or otherwise, I will find a way to not have them in my life.

It's really easy to say these mantras, but they are so hard to actually believe, and I realized that the other day when I found myself shocked that she said I didn't deserve to be called a "selfish spoiled little brat who has the mind of a child and does nothing but whine" by my husband. I mean, not so much shocked that she said that, just shocked that I wouldn't deserve that... and in disbelief. Disbelief that I would have any kind of right to say I don't deserve that; in my mind if someone says that it deserves serious consideration as to whether it's true or not and why they said that. And questions as to who does deserve it if I don't. That is something that has really been bothering me, too, on a moral level. In counseling they have no problems with putting my husband down, but then they tell me I don't deserve to be put down, and I can't figure out how that is fair, especially since sometimes he manages to drag me right down in to the gutter with him, especially if he is being stubborn about fighting and is just finding nothing but dumb insults to throw out there because he's ran out of any pertinent material, and I find myself calling him names too. And then comes that feeling that I should go off myself because I can't exert enough self control to avoid doing that when I don't believe in it. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person in the world that would call someone an asshole and then put a gun to their head as penance because they feel so guilty about it. And yeah, it makes me feel kind of "crazy" that I operate that way, too. My husband and his family do not help with their insistence that I'm "crazy", either. But right now... right now I just keep telling myself I need to put all my trust in my counselors, even though/when I can't put my full trust in myself and believe I have the judgment necessary to know who to trust... just because right now, they're the only people that I know bottom line aren't going to abuse me or use me or have any kind of ulterior motives outside of wanting me to get well, nor do they have any reason to. And they do not think I'm crazy... in fact, they think I'm more sound of mind and well balanced than most people, and are shocked that I am so well considering what they know of my past. But of course, I have my issues the same as anyone, also... and I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere with them, healing them so they can be gone for good and not just learning how to better cope and live with them. I've just got to trust myself more.. forgive myself more... and depend on others less, or rather, learn who the right people to depend on are. And well, allow Judy to help me open up and connect with others... I'm shut tight right now and refusing to associate with anyone too heavily for fear of getting kicked while I'm already down to begin with. She's wanting me to connect with some support groups for people like me but I can't seem to manage to do it, or even feel like I belong. But that's another story for another time. Sayonara!

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