Fuck. This is a hard one. A risky one, and a long one. Life has been hard, all over the place. As you know, if you’ve been reading, I’m kind of going through a huge loss, a huge life event. (Revisit Involuntary Emotinal Abuse, if you need a reminder). I spoke up about something really hard, and though the post is done, my life is still messy. I feel like I have emotional whiplash some days, from the amount of stuff I’m feeling, how often I change moods, how deeply I feel it all. Some days are better than others, usually when I’m out and around people I feel better, but when I am home and alone it all hits me like a ton of bricks. My eating and sleeping has been all out of whack, which of course effects me emotionally. I am getting my period (yes, I’m being honest about that too, deal with it) which makes shit a lot worse. I feel awful today, and a bad day at work doesn’t help. I drank 2 glasses of wine as soon as I came in the door, thats how bad work was (someone shit on the floor, like….it was really bad). Some days, like today, I have this general overall feeling of not wanting to exist. Its a really strong, awful feeling that eats away at you from the inside out. I wish, today, that I’d just never been born, and think that that would have been easier, I wouldn’t have been such a burden on my family, I wouldn’t have been such a burden on my friends. I keep on fucking trucking, but man it is so exhausting to feel that for days at a time and have to pretend I’m fine, or just do everyday tasks feels like running a marathon.
A couple months ago I posted a blog speaking up about emotional/phychological abuse. If anyone else knows of or has had experience speaking up about emotional abuse from family you’ll know its fucking hard. The amount of guilt and shame I felt for speaking up about it was unbearable at first. It took me a long time to feel like my voice was worth using, that my experience was valid, that I deserved to be treated better. A whole year went by between the time I realized it was still happening and me opening up. It took me a while to trust myself and my own memories. Emotional abuse is not something thats talked about often, as often as other forms. While I’m lucky that I didn’t experience those, as far as I remember, it doesn’t make my experiences any less shitty, any less valid, any less. I feel often like I can’t trust myself. I always question other people, my friendships, whether they really care or they don’t. When I was a little kid, I remember coming home from hanging out with my best friend, she still is one of my best friends, she lived right next door and we hung out all the time. Anyway, I came home, sat with my grandma by the fireplace, and she proceeded to list off all the reasons my friend was using me, all the reasons she didn’t care about me: I can’t remember most, the conversation was an hour long, but I do remember a few were: Shes using me to feel better about herself, keeping a ‘bigger’ girl around to make her feel skinny, that she was using me to get what she wanted. This wasn’t unusual talk from my grandmother, this happened a lot. She was awful to me, but I would do anything and everything to be better, to get in her good books, to be good enough for her to love me. There were conditions to her love, I’m sure she didn’t mean to hold them there, but there they were. And I sacrificed everything to try and keep them. Being emotionally abused rocks your entire universe, your way of thinking, how you feel about yourself, your worth, how others see you. The term for one of the forms of emotional abuse is gaslighting. Its when someone turns around a situation that they caused, and makes it the victims fault. But they’re so deeply woven into this fabric of abuse that they believe them, especially in the case of family. Let me give an example. I was fighting with a family member, and whatever the fight was over I’m not sure, but the context was I was trying to explain how something hurt my feelings, or something emotional of that caliber, and they started to get defensive. They said things like “Wow, you must really think I’m an awful person” and would interrupt me saying “You never let me talk, you never listen to me” when if I were to take a step back, I would logically see that it is rare that I can get a sentence out without them interrupting me, or with them actively listening. Breaking out of this is really hard, because as I was saying, it makes you stop trusting yourself, your experience and who you think you are as a person. This was still happening to me up until two ish months ago. Its shitty because they don’t even know they do it. They don’t decide “I’m going to trick her into thinking SHE is the bad guy” they just see me as the bad guy, its easier to do that than take a second to look at their own actions, because that means revising all of their own trauma, and that, take it from me, is hard.
I wont keep talking about it, because I think this alone might get me into trouble. If you want to know more about my experiences with this, if you’re going through it yourself it can be really comforting to just know someone else going through a similar thing. Let me say though, that you deserve to speak up. Your voice is worth using, you definitely deserve to be treated well, listened to, loved in an unconditional way. It is okay to ask for space from those you love, even if theyre your family. I read an article about emotional abuse the other day that said something like this-If you had an emotionally abusive partner, all your friends and loved ones would urge you to let them go, get out of the situation, cut them off. But when you have an emotionally abusive family, people say ‘family is complicated’ ‘it will pass’, but its okay to do what you have to do for your own healing and growth. Just know there is a very big chance that they wont understand. There is a chance they wont be able to listen, that they will say they have nothing to apologize for, that they will say mean things, or not take it well. Stand your ground. Love yourself. There is a little kid inside you that has been waiting for the day that they finally feel safe and loved unconditionally, and I know you want it to be from them, and maybe someday it will be, but you can do that for yourself now.
So, I’m really sad, really really fucking sad. I’m angry, I’m honestly, I’m grieving. I’m grieving for that little girl and how she was treated growing up. I’m grieving for the loss of more than one person. I’m also grieving for the family that I always dreamed of, but never got, and never will. But, I can make my own. I can surround myself with friends who love me, who listen, who support me and actively listen. Who can have open conversations and who can admit when they fucked up, and grow from it, and help me do the same.
I will be honest, most of my friends are fly motherfuckers. They’re doing cool shit, chasing their dreams, working, loving, creating, exploring. They’re busy. Which is fair, and its great and part of what I love about them. But its hard, because I spend a lot of time alone (when I’m not working one of six jobs/projects). Most of the time when I ask for help or to hang when I’m down, they’re busy. I’m not mad, I totally get it, I’m happy for them. But it sucks when, on days like today, I ask ten different people to hangout and all are busy. Its shitty. And when I”m in a dark place my mind can play all sorts of tricks on me. My brain goes right back to that fucking conversation by the fire, and lists all the ‘real’ reasons they don’t want to hangout with me. I’m too clingy, I’m too much of a burden, I”m not fun. I even think how much of a burden it must be that I’m still having such an incredibly hard time. But like…I just basically lost my family, obviously I’m going to be sad. If I wasn’t I would seriously question my character. More than I already am, I already feel like a monster.
Love you all
6 thoughts on “Emotional Whiplash”
Thanks for sharing, friend.
Wow. This was deep. I know how you feel.
This is all too familiar to me. My husband constantly says ‘you never let me finish’ or ‘no-one listerns to me’ yet he can be looking on his facebook and suddenky starts laughing while i am talking to him about something important. I am feed up with one minute he is fine next he’s saying no one listerns or he cant do anything because he’s doing thing else. Constantly putting me down.
Have you ever talked to him about how it makes you feel? Do you feel able/safe to do that?
Your words are extremely intense are painfully true. You are not alone in what I call being in the Valley. A place we all go, a place of wandering. A toxic, mean and harmful mental state. We all question ourselves, our own worth… I frequently wonder, would anyone even miss me? But the answer is yes. In moments of selfishness, we all hurt one another. most of the time, its all a misunderstanding. It’s also projecting what hurts we have experienced in the past on to innocent bystanders, or the ones closest to us.
Please do not feel alone. You are worthy of love in every aspect. But sometimes you do have to let go of toxic people and toxic mental manipulation to become something greater than you currently are. ?
Thank you very much for your thoughtful words <3