Shame fest


I have work to do—marking. And now have basically abandoned it. I am so tired in the evenings, and in the mornings I feel wrecked by emotions. I never expect to feel wrecked. I wake up in a fog, but with the vague impression there is energy there to be tapped into. Then I nose dive. Two days in, that’s the pattern.

My mind tends to want to think in wide swaths. That’s me, I think. But I suspect I just miss C, and I feel ashamed of missing her. I wake up and have hardly anything I need to do. Relatively speaking anyway. My breakfast and lunch don’t take that long to make. I am not making pancakes. I don’t have curry to make for her. It’s half as much chopping of vegetables, and mine doesn’t require supervision. I put it to cook, go take a bath, stir it a bit when I get out. Hers had cheese in it. It burned. I had to watch it. I don’t need to leave the house early to find a messenger. There is no letter to write. I send her a good morning text that takes two seconds, and that’s it.

She has always been such a big part of the mornings. We used to chat on Facebook while both of us cooked. She was in the kitchen making breakfast for her family, and I was in the kitchen making breakfast and lunch for me. My laptop sat on the kitchen table, and she had her phone next to the stove or sometimes she borrowed her mom’s phone. I know this because later, when she wasn’t in school, I was there in the mornings, and I saw her doing that. Chatting while she cooked. Listening to music and chatting in the kitchen.

That was in 2015. Then she stayed a part of my mornings through the latter part of 2016 because I worked doing things for her in the mornings.

I think I just miss her. But my mind is busy thinking how I am filling the hole in my life by taking care of someone, because I think the only way to be worth something is to take care of someone needy. I am supposed to just know I am worthy, but actually when you have no close relationships, no one does value you. You aren’t important to anyone. But I am not allowed to be sad about that.

It’s a very sophisticated form of beating myself up. And the reason I am doing it is because I feel ashamed. There isn’t any other reason behind it.

I should add I felt fine until I sent the good morning text. Yippee. I had a completely different idea of how the morning was going to go until I did that.

I sent a second text that said I miss cooking for you, which is absolutely true, and then felt overwhelmed by shame. I didn’t feel ashamed of having said it to her. That would be too direct and logical. My mind doesn’t make my life easy that way. It goes for these broad strokes of thinking of myself as needing a child to fill the hole in my life. Other shit like that.

The thing is I learn from these shame-fests, as awful as they are. I thought C probably knows what happens after this. She is silent, because she knows the rabbit hole someone with disordered attachment goes down after admissions of dependency. And she probably doesn’t feel safe. She might not connect any of that in her own mind, but at a felt level, what she feels when I say things like that is probably mistrust. If she felt safe enough to even reach out, it would probably be to say, “Why?” Sunday, she reached out and said, “Don’t text me anymore.” Then in the evening she said good night mom.

Anyway, I remember my mother’s shamefests, and the rabbit hole she went down. I wouldn’t be that surprised if C’s mother goes down them occasionally too. “You don’t love me. You don’t value you me. You treat me bad…” etc. And I didn’t know how to put my mom back together. I was just mad at her, because I needed her to be an adult, and to stay my mom and not this needy shame-showered mess.

I felt like doing that to C. I felt like inviting her to my shame party, and asking her to put me back together again. That was the impulse inside me. And that was very instructive. It told me about my own trauma and the reality of it. Yeah, no wonder my mom came to my room needing me, and I rejected her. Her needs were very scary to me, because I couldn’t meet them, and she flashed back to having her own mother not be able to meet her needs because her mother was like a blunt knife and my mother absolutely fell apart then.

There are times when I think I should acknowledge more vulnerability to C, so that she sees vulnerability is okay and her vulnerability is okay, and there are times like these when I think my vulnerability scares her, not because I have done anything terrible to her (I have, but not often), but because someone else has. Someone else has expressed vulnerability and then spiraled out of control. Things like “I miss you,” need to be used sparingly.

It told me also what I sometimes did in my longterm shitty relationship, and how it affected my ex, who had been brought along to similar shame parties by her own mother and was angry about it too.

So I learned a lot. But it sucks.


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