The idea is always that reflection will make things better. I hope it will. Hard to say still.

Emotions–the warping of my mind that happens with traumatic triggers, when I know their intensity is leading to cognitive distortions–seems to happen too quickly to track, and what I am always trying to do is slow things down, calm things down, quiet them so that I can get a better look at them.

I printed out an application for a sub job, stopping on my way back to buy a shirt. I don’t think I really have a suitable interview shirt anymore. The last one I wore was not very good quality, and the fabric is beginning to pill.

These are two difficult things. Job stuff and clothes. So I was walking home and kind of washed with shame, feeling generally that I am an imposition on the world and an intrusion.

I was thinking about this, knowing my parents did that to me. I started to wonder how this could be. How do you have children and then just really not like them? I understand finding them challenging and sometimes annoying, but not so annoying your child feels afraid to move or to speak.

And then I began to think about my friend’s daughter, how everything seems to be too much for her. “I can’t cope with this,” is a frequent refrain, as if things will disappear if they realize they are beyond her. She seems to be perennially shocked at the normal setbacks and frustrations of life, as if she just doesn’t know how they happen. She’s not always like this, because life is not annoying all the time. But when it’s annoying, that’s how she reacts–as though it’s just so unexpected.

I realized that’s my mom. She never expected life to be something she had to adapt to, and she didn’t have the tools to manage ordinary frustrations and losses that happen in the course of the day–she only voiced them, as though she thought the universe might fix them if she simply spoke up. My grandmother was something of the same way.

When someone does not experience ordinary losses that occur in childhood–most through the parent setting boundaries and not giving you what you want–in a context which allows you to come to terms with those losses, that person finds loss unmanageable in adulthood. So, if your parent cannot cope with your distress over loss, and indulges you in order to avoid trying to cope with your baby rage and sadness, or if your parent demands you suppress all indications of your distress at experiencing loss, you don’t integrate loss as a part of life. It becomes this thing that must be avoided at all costs, because you never developed the tools for dealing with it and you probably also never integrated the experiences of loss enough to understand what losses might be inevitable and what losses you ought to protest.

That was my mom. Annoyed about everything.



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