I know this is a long one, but I wanted to post it.
You ever feel like you are stuck in an unending loop. Around and around, like some bizarre merry-go-round. Except this isn’t some child’s play fun afternoon, this is your life. Instead of gleaming brass poles and hand carved ponies, you have emotional upheaval and extreme emotions. The gay music playing in the background is instead all negative self talk and brutal judgments. There is nothing wonderful about this, and in some respects it is entirely created by external stressors and individuals.
For me it is family. A family ripe with shortcomings, failings and unpredictability. When faced with the “right” thing to do, they always end up missing the boat. To the point where I am normally left adrift in the emotional response that always seems to come calling. The emotions are so raw and powerful, at times crippling. Often I find myself completely numb in an effort to avoid the sensation that someone has pulled back my emotional skin. This defense is so primitive and powerful. It comes without asking, without warning. It stays without invite or welcome. Usually settling in and unpacking. Why can’t I just sit with that pain and explore it? But it is never that way. I don’t know how to get around this most unpleasant visitor. I know you are probably wondering why I say unpleasant. You are probably thinking numb is better then pain. Don’t get me wrong, for years it has been preferable. But remember I want to get off this Merry-go-round. To get off I must be able to access these emotions that are so carefully guarded. I mean armed guards, razor wire and bars kinda guarded. It will be no easy feat to find a way in past this security. The dual meaning isn’t lost on me. For years this was my security, my safety net. That net is now just a net, another obstacle until I find those emotions.
You’re probably wondering why it is so important to get there. I have spent years being ok, until I’m not. It is then when I am dangerous and lethal, and completely out of control. There is no safety net there. The defenses fail, and turn back on me. Rather than guarding the emotions, they invite me in to play amongst the razor wire and land mines. In the blink of an eye it all changes. I feel nothing but a raw edgy driving energy. A compulsion to do harm, to destroy all that is good. Whatever is left in my life that is worth saving gets thrown out with the bath water. Suddenly I am inside that outer perimeter that guards my soul, and inside it is roiling with destruction and decay. It is years of unimaginable pain left to fester and rot untouched by love, kindness and care. There is no access to it, so it slowly builds until it is no longer containable. Some stressor comes along, that so called straw that breaks the camel’s back. Once inside that perimeter and faced with the horror of it all, only one thing becomes real. Only one goal becomes visible, one answer trumps all reason and logic. No logic exists there in the face of that rotting putrid mess. The end. To be no more. To never again have to look at that and feel my very bones shake in fear. The overwhelming panic to run and hide, but there is nowhere to run and hide. All my logical thought is gone. The carefully constructed safety net of people just evaporates. They fall outside that perimeter and soon are not even visible. Those that love me and care for me are no match for this place.
At this point you’re probably thinking, why on earth would you want to go there and explore? I don’t want to hop the fence and settle in. I’d like to take a look from nearby. Maybe scope it all out first. Pay a visit without letting it all suck me in. Somehow come to terms with all that is there, but a piece at a time. Sadly I’m not sure I can do that. Just the thought of it makes my heart race and my hands shake. This isn’t a place for a casual visit, maybe not a place to be anywhere near in 40 minutes or less. Because I don’t know how to be close without being out of control. The times I have been ended horribly. But I know that it will never be ok, unless I try. I have to find a way to trust my guides and stop running away. Though there is always that inkling at the back of my mind, “ they can’t help you there”, don’t even let them try. I have always carefully avoided it, in the ebb and flow of treatment. Always finding a reason not to even come close. If it happened to come into a session, suddenly I’d be adrift. Fast departing onto that numb vacant stretch. Sometimes so severely that I would need to bit my lip just to feel present at all. The sensation of leaving your body and going adrift into nowhere is scary in and of itself. The room and walls seem to become smaller, as if looking in a doll house window. The prints and furniture miniatures of themselves. The only tether to the here and now, a voice from across the room. Now a million miles away. In that vacant place there is nothing, not even sure I exist at all. Arriving back home from a drive I don’t recall, the feeling persists, sometimes for days. Going thru the motions of a normal life. Eating food that tastes like cardboard, and breathing air that has no smell, laying on sheets that have no texture. That is not a place I like to visit either, so you can see the choices are not so great. I’m not even sure how to stop that reaction as it happens. How am I supposed to explore and work on the painful stuff, if I quickly set sail at first approach. It all feels like some sick twisted catch 22. To muddle along until everything comes undone, or to attempt to work at this and lose myself in the process. It seems like a bad choice either way. Though they tell me I have to work it thru, and I know they aren’t lying.
My life may never bear any semblance of order, and normalcy without the work. I will continue on the merry-go-round, until the music quits and the horses stop dancing. In that silence I will be gone forever. So, here I go, setting off on a journey of discovery. Buffing my armor, but knowing to do the work I need to lay the sword and shield aside for now. They have no place in my treatment now. My guides are no threat, just another brave soul to walk beside me into this fire. Wish me luck…..