Lots of stuff going on in my poor, overwhelmed brain.
The therapy appointment is this afternoon. Let’s see.
I know perfectly well no matter what the therapist does I will be slammed with shame afterward just for having someone listen to me for 50 minutes and will, more than likely, feel suicidal after this.
I suppose I should construct a plan for what happens after I leave the office. Business as usual may not be the idea.
I am reminded of one therapist who used to ask me, “So how do you take care of yourself?” What it looks like to me now is more along the lines of, “This is reality. You may not like it, but you can still plan for it.”
Of course, in those days, I wouldn’t have known how to do that. I didn’t know what was wrong or how to respond to it.
I think there is a mindset at work with someone like my ex or even, in some cases, like my friend and it has to do with narcissistic jealousy–a deep-seated sense of deprivation that’s hard for me to grasp. I always wonder, was I like this at some point? And I don’t know the answer to that.
It’s a sort of obsession with small injustices, and maybe it comes from not being able to process those injustices. You obsess over things you can’t understand, and maybe if the deepest kind of injustice can never be named or acknowledged, you never know what to make of the small bumps and bruises of life as it happens in the present. Maybe, if you are like me, and your parents intentionally attacked your social status in order to enhance their own, but if you can’t acknowledge this in later life, you never understand that inconveniences in your present life are not always the result of someone doing that now. Certainly, people do.
I don’t know. But I am trying to put together my sense, which overwhelms me these days in certain moments or even for hours at a time, of not being wanted on this planet and of just being this massive intrusion into a life I am not entitled to participate in and the people whose mindset and personality originally gave rise to that feeling about myself.
It’s my own little idea, but I feel like people live on in our minds as a pattern. If we grow up with someone or spend long years in their company, we know more or less what they might think of someone, and I presume when I feel this way, I am imagining my parents’ view of me or of what I am doing. I have a theory that the pain can be more easily handled when it is placed within a specific context. In other words, I need to imagine not just my state of sadness and shame, but the person on the other end of that–my parents, or the person in the same room with me, or both.
Because, the thing is, my parents aren’t one-offs. My dad might be at the absolute extreme of it, and my mom might be a bit worse than usual, but if I shut down my entire mental process around what motivates narcissists and bullies, I won’t be equipped to deal with quite a few people who might pop up in my life–and have.
So that’s the hope. When the shame shower hits, try to examine the edges of it. I am imagining someone else. Who is it? Not literally who is it, necessarily, but what kind of mind is it?
A few things happened this morning. A principal I need a recommendation from called back at last and apologized for not getting the letter to me and talked about a job she wants to give me. Which was all very nice.
Then I bit the bullet and called the other guy I need a letter from. I guess we worked at the same school 7 years ago–I hadn’t realized it was so long ago. But I have been at that school since then, and the man who was the principal there when I left I never liked or considered to be a decent human being and it seems he has been demoted along with maybe a dozen other administrators in the district for basically hiring all of his friends.
Ironically, it seems that this is what the principal who called me wants to do….
The district had someone else in mind for a long-term sub position, and she said she knows him and is not in favour of him taking those classes.
I know if I were in his position, I would not be happy to have the rug yanked out from under me like that.
Let’s see though.
I had some other little thoughts pop up during the morning that were interesting to me. The first was this kid who was school captain during my first year in Country X messaged me, and we chatted for a bit, basically about what we were eating. I thought this is a nice way to start the day–just a pleasant little conversation.
I get so mired in heavy stuff and serious emotions, that I forget this is actually the way I would prefer to start the day. Just: I’m happy to see you. Yeah, me too….
Then I was chatting with this kid who is my neighbour in Y-town. I taught her in seventh grade, and her brother was friends with this boy who lived in my house for a few months. For a while, he came to my house to do his homework, and it seemed like it really helped both boys to sit together and work on their homework. So I asked her about her brother’s grades, which were not good, and I also went out on a limb and told her I missed her.
The first thing I thought was how in Country X, this is kind of normal–I mean, what I was doing, because I was trying to get some other stuff done and I was also chatting with her, but this is basically the way Country X-ers work. Not in isolation or with total focus, but I’ve got this stuff to do and it’s nice to have this company while I do it. It’s not great for getting things done quickly, but there is a naturalness to it.
She used to take things to C for me pretty often and I once got some advice about a sweater for C from her. She’s just this really nice kid. I don’t really get her family situation. There’s a new baby in the house and a total of four kids at home, but no evidence of a father around. This girl has herself said she has no father. So I went out on a limb and said, “I miss you.” She said, “I miss you more ma’am.” Which is something kids say there: I love you more, I miss you more, you are more beautiful than me. But I was touched by that. Touched that I am remembered at all.
We began to talk about C after that. She said I must be missing her, so I said some things to that and she said some other things and in the course of that, she mentioned, “C is always talking about you.”
Well, it used to be C never said anything about me to anyone–not even her best friends. It was in this box of secret, vulnerable things she didn’t share with anyone.
That was really touching.
So I am mulling that.