(Written in June 2009)
I’m guessing that I’m angry at myself for still being sad. I should be through with the grief work by now. I’ve read everything I’ve written to a sympathetic listener, some to more than one. So I should be done, right? And at the moment it all seems pretty small stuff. Abusive parents and rejecting boyfriends. So what else is new? I never lost a great love, or had someone I really care about die. Other people have much more reason for grief than I do. That’s what my head says. My heart is swollen with unshed tears.
I’m reading The Shell Seekers, and it brings home to me how barren my life is. Good healthy loving supportive relationships between mothers & daughters. Wonderful loving sexual relationships. People who can cook and garden. Sadness at the loss of real relationships. Although I notice that they don’t let themselves cry, it’s seen as admirable not to cry.
I sat in Karen’s office and cried for half an hour with no idea what it was about. “You don’t need to know,” says Karen. But I think I have to justify it.
I don’t have to know what it was about.
I don’t have to know what to do about it.
I only have to be there for it, be there with it. This is the traumatized baby I picked up from the garbage can and she has a right to her grief.
I think this grief must be from a very non-verbal place. I think it’s coming up now because I have healed enough so that the baby feels safe having her feelings. I have to remind myself to keep her safe, to allow her to grieve (even though I don’t know where it’s coming from — I can guess at how barren and stony was her infancy) to allow her to grieve and to soften around her and hold her in her grief. There, there, dear, you have a right to grieve. You deserved to be cherished, loved, comforted, supported and guided, have your real self be seen and mirrored back to you. What you got was a mother whose narcissistic wounds did not allow her to love, or even see another person accurately. You were expected to love her, make everything OK for her, and she projected her self-hate on to you and treated you like you were someone you weren’t at all. You never developed a real sense of your strengths and weaknesses, you grew up believing that you were unlovable and that you had disappointed your parents. You’ve spent your life trying to prove that you deserve to live.
This morning I’m sad again. And nothing to say. “Please see me. Please hear me. Please understand how difficult and painful my life it.” I wake up in the morning feeling sad, with no energy to start the day. I make a cup of tea, and write in my journal, who is my completely accepting witness, and interested in every detail of my day. I have a ritual, a routine, for how I cook my breakfast of eggs and rice, and that helps me do it, I don’t have to make any choices.
Right now it’s being hard to just get up & do breakfast. I’ve had my second cup of tea, but I don’t feel hungry, don’t feel like moving. But I have to go on with my day. If I just sit here I will feel more and more immobilized. So just do it.