I have always lived with the reality that I have heightened sensitivity. I am hypersensitive to loud noises, bright lights, sudden movement, and especially to anger – whether directed at me, or my own. From a young age I learned not to trust signals from within. Genetically, I have a “special chromosome” that tells me I am at fault for everything. When a parent or anyone is angry, I know it is because of something I did or did not do. Whatever hardship comes my way, including abuse of various types; rape, assault, bullying, abandonment – it all seems karmically deserved. There was something broken in me before birth, and it has been my family’s misfortune to have to witness me living out this belief over and over. The bedrock I built my self on is my complete lack of any lovable quality. Again, this was/is chromosomal, not due to anything my parents or siblings did or didn’t do. In some ways the more they ‘ve tried to show me their love, the more shame I’ve felt at the poor stuff of humanity that comprises my being. Various professionals have attempted to help me along the way, some with more success than others. This sounds like “victim” talk, but it is a limiting mindset. It is me trying to understand how I have at 1/2 a century of life still been unable to shake it.
I stand at a threshold, one I’ve stood at before. This time I want to think deeply about how I want to cross it. I’ve had my share of falls, trips, and dives through others. I’ve visualized what I want for my life, and as with many of us, I have limited its fruition due to circumstances and self-doubt. There is no blame here (other than my own) for weaknesses that have held me back, distorted my thinking, and guided me toward self-destruction. I have been extremely fortunate to have a husband who has been stalwart in staying with me, and insisting on loving me despite all my attempts to deny it is possible. In his case I have not been as able to use the excuse, “well, he’s family, of course he’s going to say he loves me.” He’s also one of the most determined people I’ve ever met, and does not give up easily. (to be fair, my family doesn’t either) The threshold still awaits, and I’ve taken many steps toward it that have been extremely positive. There have been negative ones as well. For those of you who share my particular genetic disability (or have it for whatever other reason) how have you overcome it? I earnestly request feedback on this, and will appreciate any experiences you would be willing to share. I will keep them private if you let me know that is your wish. Namaste’.
I had given up on my other blog, Reintegrating, because it didn’t seem to be helping me or anyone else. I also didn’t keep up with it. It keeps haunting me though, especially since my father died. I feel like he branded me when I was still a child, set me on a course that would take me in an endless downward spiral. I was an overly sensitive child, and this brand felt as obvious as Hester’s scarlet “A.”. My son’s diagnosis was further proof that I was bad, without redemption. I would always be a source of suffering and pain to anyone who crossed my path.
I do not condemn my Dad. I have four siblings and we are all very different people. Same parents, different psychological make-up and it’s anyone’s guess how words and actions become a part of you. My Father was actually the only other adult with me when my son was officially diagnosed. I think we were both in shock as the doctors listed the limitations that would emerge in his life as he grew. It breaks my heart to remember how helpless he felt to make this better. A physician himself, he lived to heal people. Now, his own daughter was in the deepest psychological pain he’d ever seen her face, and he couldn’t fix it. Not that he didn’t do his best to try to ease my sorrow. Away from my Mother, who had always handled the emotional issues in the family and was his soul mate, he was courageous and noble, cooing and rocking his six month old grand-daughter so I could be with her brother during needle sticks, neurological tests, and exhausting days of evaluations and dire predictions.
It was my brain that connected the pieces, deep in the dark foundation I had always feared was my true self. How had he known? All the times he’d pointed out my flaws, shown his disgust for me, listed every mistake I’d ever made, he’d been seeing the real me. This was the beginning of the unraveling of my sanity. The line from point A to point B was drawn, and it was my son who would have to bear the consequences – irrationality became rational. My mind, my soul, was on the edge of a black hole whose overwhelming pull would inevitably suck me in, and spit me out forever changed in a universe that was completely foreign to me. Branded, an alien in an unfamiliar world. There would be no return trip, but a path has begun emerging to acceptance or something like it. Those of us shattered by trauma can find a way to get a piece of our self back here, another shard there, and try to build something resembling a whole person. It’s a long journey, and each day feels like I’m starting all over again. The alternative would be to stay shattered, and that is not an acceptable solution for me.
May you feel peace, and may blessings pour forth to you from places you could never have imagined. Namaste’.