The desire I have to be happy does not compare to anything else I have ever known. Up until this past week, I have been fucking up. Major. The self sabotage and self destruction was so vivid and real in all of my feelings, words, and actions. It’s rather shameful to admit that. I am embarrassed that I put my loved ones through all this unnecessary bullshit in order for me to fulfill this self-imposed self fulfilling prophecy. I essentially put in my head, probably unconsciously, that I am going to harm myself in all aspects of my life without causing physical harm to myself or others. And it worked.
The thing is, my words and actions take a greater toll on those I love than it does on myself. Often times that is financially and emotionally. I have become a burden. Maybe I was a burden before, but now it is known to me that my actions really do affect others negatively overall. I think there was almost a sense of comfort and peace knowing that if I ever did something truly reckless, my parents would bail me out financially. I surrounded myself with those who enabled my bad behaviors and would get defensive when they called me out on my bullshit. I was and am very toxic.
But until this week, I was never really in a spot mentally or emotionally to reflect on the past, present, or future. I wasted years in therapy because any moment the tables were turned towards me to reflect on my issues, I would either become defensive and dismissive, or more often then not, shut down entirely, ignoring the speaker or therapist. Through more conversations with friends who don’t enable me or have set proper self boundaries with me, I realized this was a real issue and I wouldn’t get far without developing these inner reflection skills. When my friends would tell me the truth as they saw it, I became offended easily and would start crying and say that I am a failure, I am no good, I don’t deserve to be happy, etc, etc.
Not only did this make my friends feel bad and forced them into a spot where they would console me when they shouldn’t have had to, but it turned what could have been a productive conversation into a fight or shut down everything altogether.
Over the years I learned that shutting down and out was a coping mechanism for all the trauma I faced. I was constantly surviving with adrenaline on high, overly anxious about what could happen, and always on the ready in case the worst kind of scenario arose.
I have learned that I no longer need this immediate response for about 98% of situations I am in or may face. I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder at 16 years old. I attended therapy and took medication for a long while to fight it. I am not sure if this response I have to basic or simplistic situations will ever go away, but like some may say, time heals all wounds.
With more practice and perseverance, I got better at not shutting down conversations and listening to the speaker share their thoughts and concerns with me. After listening for a long time and rationalizing what they said, I respond. I first ask questions and for clarification. I give my thoughts and how I feel about what they just said. Then we have a conversation until the issue is resolved.
It seems really simplistic because it is. It’s a basic life skill that I never had the opportunity to develop in my youth due to dealing with acute trauma with my mother at home. I had to miss so many social opportunities and school in order to take care of home stuff. I don’t resent this now, but it led to a lot of comments to me in my young adulthood that I was childish or that I had a lot of growing up to do.
Anyways, I am now forced with this chance to reflect on myself and my choices. I am given this weird… opportunity to change. It can either be for better or for worse. After putting my family through hell this week, I have got to be better, do better. I cannot fail them anymore, I cannot be more of a burden. I know I am stressed because I lay in bed here with hives covering my body, entirely due to stress. This is a time when I would go to the bar or go out on a date to distract myself from stress, but I can’t. My car is messed up and I am now sober, entirely in all aspects. I don’t have booze or weed at my house even if I wanted to partake. I am left with nothing but my emotions and my blog.
I want all these things and now I got a chance; a second chance to live a worthy and worthwhile life. To create change. To one day get married and have a family. To buy a house. To be successful at this job. To go to university. To be who I want to be and be the person God intended and designed me to be.
That is power, that is courage.
I’ll get there. I just know it.
One day at a time.