Day 176: Deepest Shame
I'm going to have to write and post this one with my hands over my eyes. I am not sure right now if I'll actually post it, or if I'll leave it up.
A couple times along this healing path I have encountered a truth in myself that felt it was my deepest shame. The first was associated with feeling my pregnancies resulted from r* because I believed the doctor who r*-ed me when he said I would never get pregnant. I still feel intense shame for this. The second time I thought I had identified my deepest shame was when I acknowledged I need to receive safe touch. I am no longer ashamed of this, although I still feel nervous about it. (I'll need to explore that further I guess, but not today).
For the last few weeks I have not been able to stay asleep for more than 5.5 hours (except last night). I have had stretches of insomnia that last three or four nights, but never three weeks! I hoped I was finally over it last night because I was absolutely weary to the bone. (I did sleep well for two nights while away in the mountains with AF too.) Today I feel still like I didn't really sleep last night. I feel anxiety once again creeping up. I have felt it all afternoon. As soon as I'm quiet for more than five minutes, the monster starts to expand inside me and take over.
Night before last, and tonight as well, the desire to SI is strong. But, I won't allow it. I am imagining AF grabbing my arm the other day when I started to punch the floor. I have been much better regarding SI for months now. It rarely comes up any more. Tonight, it feels like almost a desperate need. I realized this as I was driving home. I sped past a police officer and hoped he'd pull me over. I wanted to get into it with him, maybe get arrested. I wanted the intense release that comes from severe confrontation. I heard these thoughts going through my mind and realized I needed to listen to Little Intrepid.
This was different for me. Normally I just feel angry and try to find an outlet. I don't so much care about the reason. The reason never mattered before. Whatever happened to me about which I felt anger or sadness was irrelevant. It was immutable. So, I had to find a way to get the emotions out, knowing the cause could not be named or avoided, knowing I was not allowed to show anger or sadness.
I told Little Intrepid it's a new day. And I sat down and listened to her. I was pretty sure I knew what the issue was, at least superficially. The issue was feeling the need for another person. My anger was about the shame I feel associated with that. I learned to feel ashamed of it, to shut myself off from needing others. I was feeling angry, because of feeling ashamed, because she has such intense need for someone. I learned not to allow that need. I learned it was wrong and stupid. I learned it would lead to hurt or violence. But, she didn't learn these things. She was protected from this knowledge.
So, my desire to SI was directed at her, trying to teach her not to need, to cause her pain, to make her give up. But, she is not one to be so easily defeated. I know better. She has stood firmly on her ground through everything, everything that was done to me and everything I have done to myself. She has stood.
At first, as I thought about the anxiety I have been experiencing, I thought it was associated with the issues I have recently addressed and the healing work I have done. Undoubtedly, these have been big issues. I'm preparing to end my marriage and I grieved for the first time. These are more than big issues. They are monumental and transformative. But, they are not the main reason for my anxiety. I know that now . . . today . . . because I'm still feeling it, even worse.
My feelings have been intensifying every day as I have accepted more love, allowed myself to feel loved. The more open I am to it, the greater the need I feel for it. The more I allow myself to feel that need, the more I feel I am regressing to a younger and younger age, to a point of having the needs of an infant. Such needs cannot be met. It is too late. You are only an infant once. Either they get it right for you then, or it's done.
I keep telling myself that. I can't expect to be held every day. That's what I imagine is Baby Intrepid's need. She is desperate to be held and can't get enough of it. But, that part of our life was over a long, long time ago.
Even though I know that, cognitively, it doesn't erase her crying inside me, reaching up. I am trying to do the holding myself. So far, I haven't been successful. I don't know why I can't overcome this need for her on my own. But, somehow what I am able to do for her just isn't enough.
Plus, there is now real love in my life. It exists and can be touched. It creates an intense craving in me I fear cannot be satisfied. I end up thinking about AF a dozen times a day, hoping she'll have time for me and will give me a hug. And, I feel afraid and guilty. I feel afraid of her seeing the intensity of my need and then requiring distance. I feel guilty because she has a lot on her plate and doesn't need me adding to it. I want to bring light and joy to her, rather than intense need.
The abdominal pain I feel . . . I'm feeling it right now . . . is very much about this need. It is overwhelming. I just want to curl into her arms and cry and cry until I can't cry any more. This is why I feel like an infant. She doesn't need an infant. She needs a friend. And, I need to be an adult who recognizes boundaries.
I learned as a child that no relationship lasted very long. People either hurt me, abandoned me, or I moved away. Nothing and no one was there for more than a short while. AF has said "forever." Little Intrepid hears that and wants to fall into her arms.
I also have my Portland Friend. Little Intrepid might feel the same way about her. But, she doesn't live nearby. She's not in my life on a regular basis. I'm not conscious of her presence in proximity to me. I can't ask her to meet me in the morning to give me a hug. I can't invite her to lunch or to go for a walk. The geographic distance creates natural boundaries that don't require effort. I don't have to hold Little Intrepid back. With AF, I have to hold her back.
I don't know what to do about this. But, I decided SI-ing won't fix it. If I post this and leave it up, AF might read it. She probably will. And then I'll be faced with talking to her about it. I'll be faced with her boundaries. If I manage to survive that, I probably will also talk it through with my T. I will probably talk about it with my Portland Friend too (god help me).
I am not supposed to have this need. I am not supposed to feel unable to control it.
But, Little Intrepid does have this need and she won't grow up as long as I keep the distance from others that I do.
I don't want to go through the pain of having to learn whatever I have to learn now. But, even though it's awful to admit this, I need to go through this for her sake. God help me. I need AF more than I can say, and I need to learn how to have this need in a healthy way.
This is my deepest shame because the stupidest thing in my life before now I could ever do was need someone.