Total despair

I feel overwhelmingly sad and despairing. I don’t actually know why. It has a quite formless quality.

I wish I were not alive. It’s so difficult. I can’t even pinpoint why it seems so difficult.

I don’t know what has prompted this—only the faintest of guesses about it. I got a message from C last night, but I was asleep, really deeply asleep and I didn’t hear it. She wanted a recharge. This began over the holiday recently and continued. It can’t really go on. She needs some other way to get connection with me, but she doesn’t feel safe doing normal things. Like, you know, saying good night.

I am not sure why this is. Sometimes I wonder about it. How did this happen? It must have something to do with her own parents, and I don’t know them that well, so I don’t know what she has grown up with or the mind she has internalized as kind of generic mind. It really must be that her own mom rejects her affection and warmth, but sometimes provides this kind of indulgence to her. It has to be that. I cannot think of any other way in which normal social niceties, which almost anyone would appreciate, are too terrifying to do, but asking for money is safe enough to try sometimes. I know there is more vulnerability involved in expressing affection through words, and maybe that is why it is not allowed in her house.

Or I don’t know.

Thinking about this does seem to help with the despair, even if I don’t exactly have the answer.

I have an idea that my brain is trying to do something when it is trying to get what I call connection. It’s trying to synch up with another person in some way. When I can’t get that feeling of being synched up, stuff happens. I react. This cycle goes on in my head. I am pretty sure it is my brain telling me we can’t get a good connection going on here. Maybe we should try harder (Vulnerable Child). I feel sad and angry about it and I want it back (Angry Child). I am royally pissed off about it. Maybe I should throw a tantrum (Punishing Child). Maybe I should withdraw and despair. But it’s all about the same thing. I can’t get a connection going on. What do I do now?

I was thinking last night that I gave C a phone and she withdrew after that, not saying anything until after 9:30 in the evening, and even then not to say thank you or anything warm. It’s easy to see this as being discarded, but I think what she feels is warmth. A lot of warmth. And because she feels a lot of warmth for me, she feels a lot of shame. The warmth seems shameful to her.

As a child, I think my mother did that—withdrew after periods of connection. My father might have done that. As a child, I am sure I would have seen that as being discarded. I am sure it felt like being discarded. C might actually feel that she is discarding me, but she is defending herself against the shame of the warmth she feels for me.

Anyway, I went to sleep feeling I am not being discarded. I know very deeply that I am not. I know she wants me.

So that might be why I woke up feeling despairing. The deeper a sense of connection I have, the more sensitive I become, and any of a number of things could have happened in the course of a normal morning that might make me feel hopeless or rejected.

I don’t know. It’s hard.

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7 thoughts on “Total despair

  1. desilef October 5, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    I was in a group discussion last week sitting in a group of Africans, the discussion led by an activist from Zimbabwe and she was talking about stereotypes. At one point she asked the Africans their stereotype of white people. I expected to hear some variation on “racist”. Instead, almost with one voice they answered “ATM”. Given the realities of the world we’re in, maybe it’s unavoidable for people, even when they feel a deep emotional attachment, to believe that the function of white folks is to have an unlimited amount of cash to dispense. I don’t know if that figures in C’s attitudes. But you’ve also said her family is rich but apparently lacking in love and healthy attachment, so she’s also grown up perhaps thinking that the only way connection and nurturing is shown is through money. I do think you should try to talk to her because it’s no good for you or the relationship if you feel hurt or resentful and it’s no good for her healthy development to think of you as an ATM. I should shut up. I’m not there. I don’t know the situation. But when you sound in despair, it’s hard to just click Like and leave it at all.

    • Ashana M October 6, 2016 / 5:13 am

      I don’t honestly know what prompts pitches into low moods. I don’t know what happened yesterday. I don’t feel like an ATM. Typically, Country Xers don’t express feelings of vulnerability verbally. In many ways, it’s like living in a big alcoholic family. But they do express affection with money and gifts, and I think that’s why C does this. The hard part for me is knowing I will have to say no to her eventually for her own well-being and she will feel rejected and unsafe. It’s hard.

    • Ashana M October 6, 2016 / 5:23 am

      I don’t honestly know what prompts pitches into low moods. I don’t know what happened yesterday. I don’t feel like an ATM. Typically, Country Xers don’t express feelings of vulnerability verbally. In many ways, it’s like living in a big alcoholic family. But they do express affection with money and gifts, and I think that’s why C does this. The hard part for me is knowing I will have to say no to her eventually for her own well-being and for mine and she will feel rejected and unsafe. It’s hard.

  2. Rachel October 8, 2016 / 8:27 am

    That makes a lot of sense to me, that moving towards connection and opening yourself more and more to it, would elicit even more despair and pain. What I am now realizing and learning, is that to a point, attachment and connection will feel worse and elicit a lot of terror, until it starts feeling safe. I have just started to shift into this place (sometimes), of actually feeling safe with connection with my therapist. Or being able to hold the safety and the terror, and the safety is strong enough for me to not completely despair with the terror.
    I say this, because you are so on track with your awareness and work you are doing to open yourself to connection. It is just so, so fucking hard, to tolerate everything connection brings up. It is so painful. It won’t be forever, it really does not last forever.

    • Ashana M October 8, 2016 / 9:01 am

      No, it doesn’t last forever. I think what I am experiencing right now is that the safer it feels to have connection, the more I pursue it and the more pain and fear it stirs up. So I am just kind of always just shy of out of my mind.

      It’s not fovr

      • Rachel October 9, 2016 / 1:03 am

        That line is such a fine one to walk on, the pushing and knowing it is necessary in order to grow/heal, and feeling so crazy as a result. Hard, hard work.

      • Ashana M October 9, 2016 / 6:22 am

        It is.

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