No room to grieve and no room to breathe

An ode to facing hard truths unashamedly weeping and to those strong enough to be weak

This past month has been filled with the empty business that death brings to the mourning. Nothing made sense, everything tasted and sounded grey, nothing caught my eyes or ears for all my efforts to listen in his memory. I have enough practice in grieving to go through the motions mechanically. Stopping makes it all much more unbearable and even worse brings everything to a standstill.

I do cherish and adamantly defend downtimes as autistic people, introverts and highly sensitives are known to do but I cherish and adamantly look forward to the times I’m pretending to be a normal non grieving still human being. Neither is the truth anymore (have they ever been?). Truths seem to have stopped existing. Again. He seems to have taken them with him, along with colour, taste, cuddles, smiles, sense and a great deal of my personality.

 

I’m well and truly miserable but unlike most people I grew up like this so this is my home turf. It’s what I know, what feels comfy because I know every nook and cranny of it. There was a time my demons had tea in my mental living room and there was nothing I could do about it just as I couldn’t do anything about the demons claiming to be loving and supportive family members. So the sight of said demons taking away hard won victories against depression and cPTSD does not horrify me in the least.

I find many people are pathologically obsessed with feeling happy all the time and manically fleeing into escapistic escapade after escapistic escapade pretending everything is just fine. This does horrify me. We evolved with a full set of feelings, including sadness, frustration, anger, shock, fear and all the other distinctly uncomfortable feelings and they all serve a function. I find it truly sick how people seem to actively castrate their limbic systems and think this is a good idea.

If you run away from the skeletons in your closet said closets will become surprisingly mobile and versatile in finding ways to haunt you. Your life will be spent forever running and running and running all for the sake of some fleeting happiness. We do not even seek content, the more sedate and longer lasting positive feeling. Instead consumerism has indoctrinated us successfully. We think we can have the short enthusiastic sparks of happiness all the time. We can buy emotions and harness and control them according to what we like. It’s no wonder people become mentally injured living in such a world. As soon as you aren’t manically smiling you suddenly become defective rather than simply being a full human.

This obsession has gone so far that people simply can not stand someone being in touch with their harder to deal with feelings anymore. Being reminded of the castration we are demanded to collectively perform on our limbic system is uncomfortable and thus a part of what needs to be slaughtered away. So it isn’t enough that one does not allow themselves to have a full set of emotions, people also have to preemptively castrate the people around them as well.

This is such an accepted practice that it’s become the norm to tell other people with mental illnesses including ones about whose lives we know about three sentences of conversation all sorts of bullshit rather than just being real with them. As if it was the end of the world to simply say “I can see you are going through a hard time and I bet it’s teriyaki hard, heck it’s already very stressful for me to just witness it.” We have no room for humanity anymore because we have no room for the uncomfortability of the human condition. We think if we give the run down house that is our loneliness and isolation a fresh coat of paint everything is fixed and we actively harass people who acknowledge this house is pathetic and there needs to be something done about it.

To me grieving isn’t done for the dead, we mourn because we are still alive. We mourn because our lives have to change and we have not chosen this change. It’s frightening to face change in general, but changes we didn’t look for become the stuff cPTSD is made of. Especially if we systematically erode all versions of support systems that should help deal with the catastrophes we all inevitably face during our lives.

We need to have a right to be miserable again. We need to stop wishing everyone without fail a happy day and to sleep well. Some days there is no room for happiness and some nights are sleepless as a last expression of fondness for the ones taken away from us. To me this is sacred and I have a hard time understand why this wouldn’t be sacred to anyone who is mourning. I also have a hard time understanding why mourning as another castrating act needs to be limited to the physical death of blood relations or you who is already in a rather dire phase better be ready to justify yourself to the grave that may or may not exist and back.

 

I see us being so cruel to each other and I see this planet being made inhabitable as a result of us locking our empathy with ourselves and others away and some days I just wish the human species would just find its selfish end already. The skeletons in our closets will not stop haunting us unless we stop our frenetic flight in a hamsters wheel and turn around and face the ugly truths we will find. Personally I consider it an extreme failure of evolution that there is any species who attempts to forget that simple mechanism.

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confidence, self mothering and other potential healing tools

Over the last few months I have done a lot of reading about healing from being raised in a neglectful family. If we are going to assume that neglect is included under the umbrella term of abuse I found a meagre pile of resources, some of them moderately helpful. If we define neglect as a beast of its own as some people researching in the field do, I have found nothing I can recall from the top of the head that was even moderately helpful. Despite seemingly remembering that neglect is by far the most common way to acquire a mental injury no one seems to talk about it, no one has any healing to offer. The neglected, oh irony of ironies are still neglected.

From the aforementioned meagre pile of somewhat constructive advice I compiled this:

– being raised in any version of a non supportive household will cause your brain to develop differently
– among the dramatic difference in development is a loss of natural tendency to explore and learn, instead all energy is funneled towards mere survival (which is still not achieved by many nonsurvivors…)
– to date there is no known healing tool available that actually rewires the brains of those hurt by the people they are required to trust the most
– since the people you grow up with are usually your only possible way of acquiring food, shelter and mentoring you learn that whatever they do is safe and are conditioned to seek out similar people in later life
– any healing that can take place is essentially geared towards rewiring as in unlearning and relearning every experience you made in early life
– usually being raised in a non supportive household means that even finding ways of starting your journey to a healthier life is severely difficult because you were conditioned to fear, hate and run from supportive things

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my journey pt. VII meet the family

The term “Narcissist” and how it might be detrimental to healing past the anger stage

Recently I came across this page for . The dictionary was somewhat helpful in finally understanding the me.

However the site got me pondering the matter of narcissism again. I’m struggling with the term narcissist and have been for a while now. My main bone of contention is how it seems so loosely defined that apparently every abuser is a narcissist to the point that the two terms seem to be interchangeable, so why have both? The core of narcissism seems to be a fundamental lack of empathy which in turn informs their abusive and/or neglectful behaviour. Narcissism and abuse/neglect seem to be causally tied together. Also many people I am reading about seem to permanently use the narcissist label to throw blame, hate and vilification towards whoever hurt them.

I am also curious about male narcissism and how things affect sons. My one grandfather might be classifiable as an enabler, but I’m not so sure about the second grandfather and my father. It feels a bit like autism with gender reversal where you only describe half of the spectrum (the male symptoms in autism and the female symptoms in narcissism) and pass it of as the whole thing.

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the unhelpful helper

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Credit goes to Jonas Lundström http://www.sweetchuck.se

In these last days as I tried to cope with the breakup from my partner I ran into the issue I am always running into when I am in need. Since this is a very painful and at times downright life threatening issue for me I have analysed this thoroughly and want to share my ideas about it with all of you.

My struggles start with the fact that like many long term depressed, neglected and/or autistic people I have no reliable social network to fall back on. You know your best friend you can call in the middle of the night to share your horrifying pain with? I never had that. I dealt with all these night on my own. Always. I do have of course people I’m talking to that may or may not qualify as friends (my concept of friendship is rather… vague).

In times like these I always learn who is a good person to be around and who isn’t. Not that I feel very eager to learn such things when I am preoccupied with the idea that I am in all likelihood never going to see my six furbabies again but such is life. As you may have guessed from the title of this post I am calling the people who do not qualify as good friends are the unhelpful helpers. Let’s see how they go about my issues and why this is far from productive.

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My journey pt VI

What the UFO happened? About a week ago I read an email from my mother. I knew she had written and I have been putting off reading it for a few days. Eventually I decided to read it because I felt not reading it was driving me crazy. It looked okay enough from the preview. It was a short mail. From what I remember now it did not contain anything abusive. Mother knows she is on very thin ice with me and almost does not dare doing anything at all, afraid to mess things up further. It was mostly organisational stuff related to an insurance of mine.

Since I read the mail things have been going south fast. Not sleeping well, depressed, abusive voices in my head on a loop tape. I think many of us know the drill. But I do not know what triggered me that much. So I want to try catharsis through writing. Given I am one very messed up person I do not know myself or my feelings well. My best friend has a similar problem and she once described aptly how this feels:

You go through your days feeling somewhat uncomfortable. A few days in you eventually realise it might be headache. Another few days later you are standing in front of your mirror. Puzzled. Is that an axe splitting my head?? When did that happen?

So there you have it I need to start with the very basics. Many emotions I never really dared to feel. Many things I need to read about before I allow myself to entertain the notion that I might be that way too. So I will try and catalogue what I feel. There are these nice needs and feelings lists from the Center for Nonviolent Communication. This will be my starting point because I have no idea where else to start. So NVC feelings list. Lets list the ones that I feel concerning the email. Continue reading

Absolutely hated it! It’s why I want it back!

I often struggle with having cut off my abusive family. Still I never seriously considered getting back in touch. I know many other people who do have a much harder time sticking to the resolve of walking away from their abuser. It’s already very hard for me. I feel for everyone who struggles with these kinds of things. To the observing eye it has to be next to incomprehensible.

So why do we all have such a hard time? Are we that dense? Devoid of any logic? Blind and deaf? Selectively amnesiac for the bad sides of our relationships?

I do not think we are dense. Humans are creatures of habit. We prefer things we know well, things we can predict and know how they work over the great unknown. This is the reason we have a tendency to reenact our trauma in first place. We are used to this. We know these feelings and situations well and we are attracted to what we know. In a sick way it makes us feel safe. In another way I think our brains have the weird idea that we can find a way to “fix” things by subjecting ourselves to the pain over and over and over again.

I remember the first moment when I was not depressed. I have been walking back from school and for a brief moment, one, two steps the transmitter party in my head was over. It was one of the most horrible moments in my life. I have been depressed for so long, I knew how to deal with not having any energy, with not sleeping at night, with not knowing how to be happy. I knew all this and I knew it well, that’s been all my life. Knowing what it is like to not be depressed even for just two steps was horrible. Knowing what I was missing out on, how it might feel on the other side of the veil. Continue reading

What are we afraid of? Why we label and shun the “others”

So I’m sure you know about homophobia, racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, religious discrimination and all the other heinous ways prejudices poison our relationships with each other. With it running so rampant I thought I’m gonna tell you my ideas of why we are that prejudiced in first place.

These prejudices are old. Really really old. In fact many mammals are know to shun members of their own species which look different such as say albinos. So in order to understand a concept that has apparently been around for many many years we might benefit from looking how it originated in order to understand it better.

So let’s go back to our sabertooth tiger again. The one I have already invoked . Same situation again: you are faced with this animal. Let’s assume you have never seen it before and you do not know yet that you might benefit from instantly developing the new hobby of running or fighting for your life. Well you won’t make that mistake twice.

The next time you see something huge and alive, especially with protruding canines you won’t ponder whether or not that poor thing is just an orphan looking for a mommy or wants to talk to you about it’s religious beliefs. Once you have made an experience with something as very painful and possibly life threatening you develop fear of it and even things looking like that. You attach a name to it and tell all the members of your social group how they should not mess with the big stripy kitty.

So now they are afraid of sabertooths as well, even if they never had to fight one and life to tell the tale. From then on the sabertooth will be discriminated against as dangerous and it only took one incident, because this one incident was life threatening. Bears and wolves might be considered dangerous by proxy of being big, alive and predatory as well. We overgeneralise what we are afraid of and for many hundreds of generations this has helped us surviving.

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