A better morning, still hurts

Something is really happening to me. I don’t know what, but it really, really hurts. And it hurts a lot longer and in a more complicated way than I feel able to cope with. Anyway, I guess I might be coping. Who knows.

I woke up again very angry. I was angry last night, slept soundly at least, and woke up angry again.

She’s not doing this, I eventually found myself thinking. She isn’t hurting me. This is a conditioned response. This is my brain hurting itself, because it has been conditioned to do that. Damn.

The morning went a bit smoother at least. I woke up at a little after 3, eventually decided to just get up. I wrote a bit in my journal, made pancakes for C, made breakfast and lunch, cleaned the kitchen, did the laundry. After that, it was like, okay where is the friend? Where is my messenger? The messenger doesn’t leave earlier than 6:50, and she usually leaves by 7:15. Sometimes, she doesn’t leave until 7:30 though. So it’s a big window. That was part of yesterday’s problem. When I start thinking the messenger is on her way, I start doing work in the bedroom, where I can see her walk past the house. I used to be able to see her from the kitchen also, but these enormous sunflowers have grown up and block my view of the pathway.

I did my work. I did some extra work. No messenger. It was edging towards 7:10, and I wondered what to do. I thought of yesterday’s dilemma. How do I make sure I can reach a backup messenger? Damn. It’s such a small thing, getting pancakes to a child at boarding school, and it seems so unimportant, but it is important. The consistency of it is important. I went into the bathroom and considered taking a bath. I can see the path below from the bathroom window—it is on the same side of the house—but then if I’m naked, I can’t get outside to see the messenger in time.

I was washing my face, I guess, and I saw her, threw an extra shirt on, and she was just disappearing when I came out. But the girl, who knows I want a messenger, hears the bolt of the door slide open, and turns around now. On Saturday, I sent her up the hill with a big box of stuff, so I feel afraid now that the messenger is fed up being a pack horse for me, and wants to avoid me. I mean, I might. And there are lots of other ways to walk to school. Anyway, she heard the bolt slide open and turned back. Maybe she isn’t fed up, and if I indicate appropriately that I recognize she is a human being and not a pack horse, she might not mind being my messenger too much. I gave her a candy bar, said thank you, she said thank you, and I went inside again.

Now, I’m terrified. I was relieved for a while, made tea, and then terror came back.

It’s a conditioned response. C isn’t doing this to me. I want her. I am getting a handle on that feeling that I want her, this feeling of wanting that hurts so badly. I understand now it hurts so much because it isn’t regulated. Feelings that are not integrated do not get regulated in the normal way. They remain like baby feelings, full-blast on. The feeling isn’t integrated, because I am conditioned to think I can’t have it. So, it’s getting integrated now, and that means experiencing it first in this very unregulated, over-intense, really horribly painful way until it starts succumbing to my ability to regulate my emotions.

C gives it to me partly because of the joys of mirror neurons. She wants me. My mind goes about imagining that feeling of wanting someone which she is having. I want her, and I also imagine her wanting me, and so it’s harder to avoid feeling that wanting that I don’t want to feel, that I have been conditioned to think isn’t allowed. Along with that feeling of wanting, comes everything else that is conditioned with it: fear and anger and shame. I am not allowed to have it, I am afraid of being punished for having it, I feel angry and ready to defend myself from attack, I feel ashamed I can’t control the impulse to seek it.

It sucks.


11 thoughts on “A better morning, still hurts

  1. desilef August 17, 2016 / 8:17 pm

    You have so many lifelong reasons to be angry. Maybe opening your heart makes it harder to freeze out feelings like that anger.

    • Ashana M August 17, 2016 / 10:08 pm

      I somehow think they are very simple reasons for being angry. It’s not about injustice or the bigger life questions. It’s more like, “This hurts. I don’t like it.”

      • Rachel August 18, 2016 / 10:16 am

        In going along with the baby stuff you’ve been writing about, it makes sense – babies don’t really articulate injustice, they just have a feelong of “I know I don’t like this, this doesn’t feel good to me.” Babies are more attuned to their bodies than we are, probably. As adults we develop our minds and not so much attunement to the body anymore.

      • Ashana M August 18, 2016 / 5:38 pm

        The feeling in the body becomes modulated. As adults, we get the feeling in the body, we think some stuff which gives us other feelings along with the first feeling, and things kind of get mellowed out in us because we make these series of adjustments. In disordered attachment, the body just kind of spins out, because that back-and-forth doesn’t happen and there isn’t mommy to make it happen in a physical way. The brain stops being in a team.

  2. Rachel August 18, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Right, you want her, and, you are taking actions to demonstrate your commitment (going to lengths to ensure the delivery is made), which I imagine fires up the shame and self-hatred for wanting connection like no other. Those very overt acts of caring for her must make the self-hatred get in your face and yell at you and terrorize you.
    It is really hard to feel all of that.

    • Ashana M August 18, 2016 / 5:35 pm

      Somehow, the delivery is hard because it’s me being me. This is important to me. It’s important to me to be consistent, and I am committed to that. I am committed to being a reliable person in her life, and that fires up the shame terribly. That is somehow so, so me. It is me saying I think this is the right thing to do. Being consistent and reliable is the right thing to do. Doing the right thing is important to me. And it’s awful. I don’t even really know that I want her yet. Either that’s easier or harder to deal with and not on the agenda yet, but I can feel she wants me. Not just that awful longing/pushing/angry feeling that is at the core of the trauma, but a happy/joy/warm feeling and that brings on the shame too. Her having that happy/joy/warm thing feels terrible. It might feel terrible because that is the feeling I wasn’t allowed to have. I don’t know. It’s both of these things going on that’s so difficult.

    • Ashana M August 18, 2016 / 7:00 pm

      I realize I replied to your comment and my reply sounded like a direct contradiction of what I said before. I just can’t quite get it nailed down in my mind is all. There is something unexpected about it for me, like what should be difficult is the need or the want inside me, and what is hard is something else. It’s someone else wanting the parts of me that aren’t needy and that feel like really me, rather than merely trauma wreckage. It’s feeling somehow that I survived enough to be a person still, there is something inside me that isn’t either dead and going through the motions or crazy and enacting and someone likes it. Someone likes what survived of me. That feels totally impossible and wrong wrong wrong. I will get badly hurt for that. I was not supposed to survive.

      • Rachel August 22, 2016 / 12:35 am

        I think it is okay to contradict or come to new insights and awarenesses that seem to contradict when new information comes in. What I’m hearing is that you’re perhaps coming into contact with the fundamentally good “you” that can’t be killed off or warped by the trauma, and it is painful to feel it or even acknowledge it is there, because you were treated so terribly it hurts to think anyone could hurt you that bad if all of you isn’t bad. Almost it was senseless, there wasn’t a real “reason’ for it, other than conditions and circumstances, but not because you aren’t supposed to be here.

      • Ashana M August 22, 2016 / 5:19 am

        There is something very scary about getting connection with myself. I don’t know what it is.

      • Rachel August 22, 2016 / 9:11 pm

        Maybe it makes everything that much more real; what happened to you, the aftermath, what is still happening inside, and the possibility of a future that is different.

      • Ashana M August 22, 2016 / 9:14 pm

        I do think it’s just conditioned. I was young, so a feeling sense would make sense to me as something to build a pattern out of. Like tapping the red lever and getting an electric shock, that feeling of connection led to dangerous experiences when I was a child. That’s my thought lately anyway. I just have to cope with this conditioning as it arises until the conditioning lessens.

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