I feel today like someone recovering from a long illness who needs to be treated gently, not overstimulated or placed under too much stress. It’s an odd feeling.

I seem to be coming to grips with the sexual abuse, or some aspect of it anyway. I want to explain it, but it’s not clear. In the process of trying to sound clear, I may lose what is real about it. I may invent a clarity that doesn’t exist. Here goes….

Lately, I have struggled a lot with suicidal feelings, with a general sense of hating myself, with worthlessness. It’s hard to deal with, but it’s also hard not to deal with it in the usual way, which is to push it away. But it’s scary. It’s all the more scary, because there is this idea from popular culture maybe, or perhaps from my years of psychodynamic therapy or too much Freud, that at some point I will drill down into myself and find some kind of authenticity. And maybe this is it. Maybe what seems like it could be just a profound shame is my “real” feelings about myself. What would I do if that were the case? It’s awful to contemplate. But it keeps coming up. It’s triggered by all manner of things. Actions that feel mistakes, the saw, survivor guilt….

In the night, maybe it was morning already, a little part pops up and is feeling this intensely, this terrible feeling of self-hatred. She says something about being “squishy.” She hates herself because she is squishy. She doesn’t want to be squishy. I try to get back sleep (and do), but later it figures in.

What’s happening to me is just a feeling state. The sense of worthlessness, the self-hatred. It’s just an emotional state. It’s something that I felt in a broad range of situations that were terrible. Human tissues are “squishy.” Bodies are “squishy” when you are being sexually abused. I think the emotion is again something completely disorganized. It is not clearly disgust or fear or rage, but everything mixed together. I was very little when these things began to happen to me, and this feeling is something fossilized from that time. It is the toddler having a meltdown, pounding her tiny fists on the floor, not clearly angry at any one thing, but simply overwhelmed. But the thing prompting it is the squishy feeling of terrible things happening to me.

Advertisements