I mentioned I have been struggling with depression the last several months. One of the issues is how I feel in my home and how I feel with myself. The typical pattern is that I leave school on Friday and sometimes Saturday excited about my free time, and then I get home and kind of collapse. I can force my way through it, but this doesn’t change the nature of the collapse. I can get things done when I really try, but it’s joyless.
In the US, I used to walk home and begin to feel I was losing my mind as I approached it. My thoughts no longer seemed to make sense to me, and the usual feeling of having opinions supported by evidence appeared to unhinge itself.
I’ve thought for a while it must be that my home is a source of comfort to me, and how I feel.when I reach home relates to how I understand other sources of comfort. In other words, although my home is nonliving, I ascribe to it the characteristics of an attachment figure.
So I’ve been trying to make sense of my reaction through the lens of how (most likely) my mother behaved towards me. I think it may begin to help soon, but it’s difficult to think clearly enough to trace what I am reacting to and then also figure out how to help myself.
Last night, I began to think I feel like a black, squidgy ball. So I wondered to myself how I would help a black, squidgy ball, because if I can bring down the intensity of the bad feeling just a bit, I can start to think clearly enough to understand the sqidginess.
I don’t have a great arsenal of comforting activities, but in the wintertime, getting warm enough to actually feel hot seems to do the trick. I got under the covers with a hot water bottle and pondered the nature of the squidginess.
I feel, reflexively, that no one will believe me, if I describe the nature of the squidginess more precisely.
The sqidginess is submission. My parents lived in a hostile world, as traumatised people often do, and consequently had a seemingly relentless desire for control because, in the short-term, it makes people’s motives appear more transparent and less potentially upsetting. They determined what we would do and therefore presumed they knew the meaning of what we did.
But also they behaved in frightening or threatening ways purposely in order to evoke submissive displays so that they could, in comparison, feel strong. We live by comparison, as human beings. It’s in our DNA.
I now see both of my parents as lacking empathy, and empathy as a brake on human behaviour. No brakes on how cruelly they behaved…so I was flooded by the impulse to submit. It wasn’t a mild urge, but a deluge.
This is my expectation based on my working model of attachment. The flood of submission does not feel good. It feels very bad. So I approached a potential source of comfort knowing I was more likely to feel bad than good.
To a narcissist, anything you have represents a loss to themselves. If I got their attention, this was time spent not getting attention for them. Comforting me represents that kind of threat. All the more reason to be threatening or rejecting: I might, in some sense, steal their attention.
I don’t really know what to do, but it makesit easier to understand.