It’s hard to wake up this morning. It’s hard to feel sorted or like I am clear-headed enough to even tackle the day.

I think there has just been so much to sort out in my mind, and it is so intense, and it seems to be so hard to keep myself from shutting it down. I don’t know why it’s so hard to let it be, but it seems that way.

It just seems unreal, and it seems unreal in so many ways.

The core of it seems to be that what was allowed to be articulated when I was a child was all lies. The truth could not be spoken. It could not be acknowledged that it was all lies either.

I went home to my own house, and there was no affection or warmth or safety. It did not feel as though anyone particularly cared about me, and I am not sure I cared about anyone else. And yet we said that we did. My mother used to make that accusation. I didn’t care about her. Well, I did care, but I cared about her as much as I care about the spiders that wander into my house. I mean, they are living creatures. I care. I try not to break their legs when I trap them and take them outside.

It’s not unusual, for a household led by empathically-impaired individuals to have only lies at its foundation, and for the children to assume that all relationships are like that. Everyone goes through life pretending to care, contorting themselves into receiving care, manipulating others into providing for one’s desires or needs.

But I had another life, and I didn’t just wish those were real relationships. I think a lot of children from families where there is no genuine care have “as-if” relationships. The child is attached to a caring adult outside the family and wishes they could have a closer relationship with that adult, but it isn’t as close as the child wishes.

I didn’t have “as-if” relationships. They weren’t even really adults. But they were authentic. The warmth was genuine. So were other things. I think I could talk openly about feelings with the girls I loved. I don’t exactly remember, but the two things that started coming back when I began to really work through my memories of the five of us friends were my sense of humour and my rage. I don’t think that was accidental. I think with those girls it was safe to play and to joke and I also think it was safe to be angry. I didn’t just feel angry at the memories they called up. I think I could express that anger. I think there were times when we shouted and we argued and no one hurt anyone. I am not saying it was all nicey-nice and everybody made “I-statements” and no one’s feelings were every hurt. It wasn’t like that, but I think we there was space for authenticity.

And then I went home to own house and we lied about everything. It resembled the truth: they were my blood relatives, they were on my school enrollment forms, other people outside of that house knew they were real and they existed. But everything that had anything to do with emotions was a lie. They didn’t love me, although they said they did. I don’t think I loved them, although I also said I did. They didn’t protect me, although the school authorities seemed to assume that as parents they would want to.

So everything was upside, and I think whenever I think about it, I get the same upside-down feeling. It is all lies, and yet the truth seems it cannot be.