Over the weekend, I found myself crying over our cat Marmalade’s death, which happened in June 2018. I have cried about this before, but I feel like when I did I hadn’t yet accepted Marmalade’s death very well yet plus wasn’t able to fully acknowledge my feelings because I’ve been busy focusing on the other cats who are now sick themselves. Because of this, it wasn’t the type of crying that resulted in the kind of release that I’ve been needing.
Despite the fact that Patrick has cancer, though, he is hanging in there fairly steadily. Although I am worried about what our future looks like with him, especially since he has a rare form of intestinal lymphoma that doesn’t have a clear prognosis, I feel like my life in terms of taking care of the cats has been pretty stable the last few months. No one has had any emergencies for awhile, meaning that they are on the right food and medications. Also, many of their behavioral issues have been lessening as the four cats grow more and more used to sharing space.
Because of this, I’ve been feeling like I can truly cry about what happened to Marmalade and really feel it. I’ve also been crying about Patrick’s situation too. It feels nice, but at the same time those feelings don’t feel great either.
I am beginning to have more bright spots in my life than I have for a few years. My life has seemed really dark ever since I started working through trauma in June 2015. For some time it has felt to me like I have lost my inner light. It’s been hard, and difficult, too, because I’m actually a pretty positive person, so feeling so negative and angry towards everything and everyone while I work through trauma has rattled me to the core. It’s really shaken me up.
Over the last few weeks, though, I am beginning to feel my own inner light again. I also feel like I’m more positive overall. I basically consider the dark period that I’ve been in a phase of my life that was necessary for me to work through the trauma that I’ve been through and to learn some of the harsh realities about life that my positive self tended to either ignore or just not even notice. So even though it’s been extremely difficult for me to go through this, I believe that it needed to happen for me to be able to truly live life in a balanced and healthy way.
I am still having a number of difficulties, though. Depression seems to impact me pretty much every day, as does PTSD. I find it hard to do the smallest of tasks such as doing the dishes or even taking a shower. Once I start on these chores or activities, I feel okay, but getting myself to do most things takes a lot of work. Writing, though, is one of the aspects of my life where I don’t have to push or convince myself to do it. It seems to be something that I’m always pretty happy to do.
I also figure that some of this lack of motivation arises from the fact that today it seems like I’m practically living in another world than I was a few years ago. I’ve become aware of trauma that I didn’t even know existing, don’t go to AA anymore, and most of my friends and family stopped talking to me when I started talking about abuse in my family and in AA. In both places this is not an acceptable thing to do, and people in both groups reacted by first increasing their abusive behavior towards me to try to silence me, and then when that didn’t work by isolating me. For me, this is a strange new life because I’ve always been in cults and a cult-like family who provided me a false sense about how life was in terms of always giving social support to each other to the extreme, as long as the person needing it was still following group norms. Because of this I had a lot of false notions and expectations about how the world actually works. Thus, for me, I am learning to live life like most people at the age of 37. This is definitely difficult to do.
I do recognize too that although it has been painful to have so many people in my life just leave, it is what I have needed to heal. It is triggering and traumatizing for me to hang out with not just abusers but even the other victims of the abuse that I went through, particularly because none of them but me really seem to be confronting what we went through. It seems as though the other victims are still idolizing the abusers in our family and in not talking to me have taken their sides. This bothered me a lot for some time but I am beginning to accept that is happening. Also, it of course is easier for me now that even the abusers don’t talk to me much because that means that I don’t have to deal with their abuse.
I am learning, too, to tolerate emotions. Also, after being on ADHD medication for about five months or so I am also beginning to actually get control over my mind. Sometimes, I am able to calm my mind down with mindfulness techniques, which I’ve never been able to fully accomplish before, despite the fact that I’ve been using these techniques on and off since 2003 or so. At least I know now why I wasn’t able to fully implement and feel the effects of those techniques in the past.
I understand that today I am grieving over all of these issues and more. Grief is a natural part of not just working through death and loss in one’s life but also in working through trauma, as trauma results in many losses itself. Not everyone understands healing from trauma in this way though, but I do. I feel like I’ve been grieving from trauma and a lot of other issues for a few years now.
Last night I ended up having a breakdown over all of these things and more and must have cried for at least an hour. I did feel release from it, but I also felt embarrassment about it as David was there. I’ve been taught my whole life that crying and showing vulnerability is not okay, so even though crying is uncomfortable for me sometimes, being able to do so is a big step in the right direction for me.
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