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I have so much pain inside of me.
I never imagined myself having to UN-learn so much.
So much of my “learned behaviors” I’ve carried with me throughout my lifetime. Never did I make the time to re-evaluate if any of these behaviors needed to be unlearned. Never did I entertain the concept of unlearning so much of what has helped me move from chapter to chapter throughout a tumultuous life. Never did I take the time to dissect the inventory of my toolbox that I reference when I find myself in challenging situations. In panic mode. In survival mode. Never could I have imagined that something I once leaned on for support was the very thing holding me hostage in that space that I so wanted to run from.
It’s only once you find yourself in a situation with someone who doesn’t operate or tick off of chaos, that you quickly realize the dysfunction you exist in. That you crave to feel something other than pain. And yet the pain you feel is so deep. The pain you feel runs thru your veins. The pain you carry is the essence of you. No matter what they do it’ll never trump the pain. Nothing is ever good enough to ease the pain that plagues you. You become addicted to pain. Pain is the only thing that makes anything real. You pray you receive a love that isn’t associated with pain. But even the slightest indication of pain brewing sends you in a tailspin because all that past pain starts to burn. And it hurts.
It starts to suffocate you.
It’s easy to think you learn what you want to learn. You imagine a blank canvas and the world is your oyster to paint on that canvas whatever you choose. And everything will be beautiful and innocent. It’s much harder to digest that many of the behaviors that have been learned were out of sheer survival. Panic mode. Desperation. Many of these behaviors are detrimental to you and the rest of your life… You are not thinking this when you just want to stop the pain. Stop the bleeding. You learned something while crawling your way out of a situation you found yourself in that you don’t want to be in. You had no choice. You learn to process pain in whatever way eases that pain… You are not thinking if this is the right way to process. If this is the healthiest way. There’s no manual or guide on how to manage difficultly. You don’t weigh out if this is the healthiest way to process said pain. You aren’t thinking of the consequences 20 years from now. You are in pain and you want that pain to stop by whatever means necessary. You just want to make it stop. You suppress. You lash out. You get angry. You cry. You yell. You hurt yourself or others. You are drowning in utter despair. You need to stop the madness. You just want to be seen and heard. You want someone to hold you and take all the pain away… You want to be saved.
You push all this pain behind these iron gates inside of yourself. You work hard every day to keep those gates tightly closed. But every once in awhile you are tired and for a minute, you let up on that gate. You trust someone else to be the gatekeeper of your heart and they fail. They disappoint. They get weak. For a moment, you remove your grips from those gates to take a small break for yourself… Pain starts seeping out. Slowly by slowly until the gates have come down and pain is now flooding out of those gates.
There’s no control at this point.
Pain is coming out and going in every direction. I want everyone around me to see me, to hear me. To feel my pain. To make me feel like you feel my pain. I want to hurt you because I’m hurting.
You are now in panic mode. Survival mode. You crave destruction so you can see that your pain is real.
Something you work so hard to tame constantly but survival mode has now taken the wheel.
Survival mode is pulling at the straws that have gotten you through every other panicked moment. Every other painful moment. Every other disappointing moment. You are here again… Why wasn’t I enough? How could someone not think of you? Your feelings? Don’t you matter? How do you not matter?
Do what you do. Do what’s familiar. Do what’s worked in the past. Let your pain fuel your rage. Like a hit of drugs you’ve been craving for so long, all you want to do in that moment is to ease that pain. All you want to do is make everything stop.
Then you exhale. It’s all over.
Then you look around at the devastation and realize nothing’s fixed. The releasing of the wrath did nothing but destruct. You let your pain do what it does best and have nothing to show for it. You allowed your pain to steal everything from you. No one showed up. No one fixed it. No one saved you.
Pain stays with you. Whether it’s ruminating thoughts that manically steal your joy as they replay negativity over and over again in your mind or like a stranger you are able to hide from and pretend it doesn’t exist-only for so long.
Pain stays with you. Pain lives inside of you. Pain doesn’t go away. Enough years doesn’t erase pain. Time doesn’t ease pain. Writing doesn’t erase pain. Talking about your pain doesn’t erase pain. Pain is unforgiving. Pain is relentless.
I’ve only realistically really been diving into my childhood trauma for maybe the past year or so. I’ve never felt I had the greatest childhood, however, because of the perception of my childhood I’ve never received the true validation one probably would’ve needed to begin this healing journey a lot sooner. The perception of my childhood probably looks great. I remember people thinking we had money, I remember people assuring me that I was just spoiled rotten. I remember wondering as a child how money equated to a good and happy life? The way I looked always gave the assumption that life was good (again, I wondered how having a pretty face equated to being happy or why that gave people the impression that my life surely must’ve been good?). But I don’t remember ever feeling happy as a young person. I’ve ruminated alone in dark rooms all my life. Head always spinning. Manic thoughts always consumed me. I remember always wondering why I was here if no one wanted me. Why would God bless people with a life they didn’t even want. And where does that leave that unwanted person… What will the rest of that person’s life look like? Mind racing constantly. The voices never stop. Stir crazy. Anxious. Vicious thoughts replaying over and over. Music was my escape. I remember I could drown in song lyrics. I would sit in my dark room-with my blacklight on just spinning in thoughts of self-loathing. Feeling worthless. Reciting things that moved me, chanting lyrics that exhibited whatever pain was flowing thru me. Cutting was my escape. Controlling something. Feeling like you are letting all that pain out. Easing the pressure. My face never let on that I had such a dark side. That the troubled waters on the inside were brewing up constantly and it was only a matter of when and where that hurricane would surface. I didn’t come with a warning label.
I don’t know how to unlearn what I’ve learned to survive. I don’t know how to unlearn what has helped ease a lifetime of unbearable pain that’s always lived inside of me. Pain that’s grown with me through every chapter. I don’t know how to be ok with feeling so unloved. With having so many questions of why. With feeling thrown away. I don’t know how to decipher as an adult when someone is walking away to let a situation settle. It all feels like abandonment. It all triggers the same pain. I don’t know how to decipher that someone can love me if it’s not the way I understand love.
I hide it.
I smile past the pain and always hope for the best.
Then triggers find me. And when enough triggers find me I give in. Eventually, I give in. Eventually, the gates get too heavy and I’m tired. Eventually, I explode and I see red and I burn everything down around me until there’s nothing left. Then I sit in solitude. Feelings of guilt and shame becoming overbearing. Regret. No words. But all the while so lost. So broken. So much pain. All the while wondering why love didn’t and couldn’t just save me. Still that little girl hurting and crying for help.
I bleed positivity in an effort to pretend the pain doesn’t exist.
I smile past my tears and exude strength at all times to appear ok. I constantly flex my alpha to remind myself that I’m stronger than my pain. But I’m not. My pain is much stronger than me. My pain controls me. My pain suffocates me.
I have so much pain inside of me.
I thrive in ideal environments.
Who doesn’t… right?
It’s keeping that ideal environment that becomes challenging.
I’m so afraid of a not ideal environment because of my fear of those gates opening up and revealing the monster inside of me.
The second my ideal environment is threatened I want it restored immediately. I need it restored. I need to see effort. I need to feel something other than pain. And if I see it’s still struggling… Sometimes I can keep pushing-other times I just throw open the gates in an effort to hurry the painful process along. (Self destruct much?)
I’ve spent a year unpacking childhood trauma. I’ve spent a year of sharing my insides with a complete stranger and all thanks to covid it isn’t even in person-it’s thru a screen. I’m opening up and showing my guts to a stranger on a computer screen….
I started with all the obvious childhood traumas.
Strained relationships with parents who created an absurd amount of abandonment in someone who never asked to even be here. A lifetime of asking yourself why you weren’t enough. Why you weren’t enough for those around you to do better? To be better? To do right by the person they chose to bring into this world. Why couldn’t someone ever fight for me? Why if you love me, it hurts so much?
You spend a lifetime answering your own questions that you never received answers for. Coming to your own conclusions. Writing the story the best you know without the answers you deserve.
You move past pain and try to give yourself as much closure as you possibly can with the tools you have been given-with the tools you’ve picked up along the way. You never stop to re-evaluate if the tools you are using are doing more harm than good. It’s too hard. It’s too hard to admit that what you are doing isn’t working. Isn’t healthy. Because all you are really trying to do is survive.
I find myself still being triggered by these loathing feelings that I’ve spent a lifetime running from.
My pain only knows anger. Anger is my pains only friend. Destruction. Devastation.
I’ve associated love with chaos and pain for so long. I couldn’t possibly have recognized a healthy love-it just wouldn’t have been possible. Healthy love shouldn’t cause pain. Right? Shouldn’t cause disappointment ever. Right? I have love on such a high pedestal, I don’t think anyone will ever feel like they can deliver. Every person I’ve ever been with has said the exact same thing to me at one point or another… “I don’t feel like I will ever do or be enough for you”… No one ever feels they can make me happy. No one ever feels they can please me. No one ever feels enough… The same way I never felt enough.
People don’t trigger you… so I’ve read. Your own triggers trigger you. Pain triggers me. Even the smallest amount. Disappointment triggers me. Feeling unseen, unheard, and unappreciated all trigger me. All things I’m positive I lacked as a child while tryna figure this world out. All things I NEVER deserved to feel but did as a young person who should’ve been protected from the evils of the world. All things a child absolutely needs and deserves. Now I float around in life making men owe me what my parents failed to provide. What I can’t seem to provide for myself.
As a little girl, you needed someone to hold you. Tell you everything would be ok-no matter what. Someone to be there. Someone you know will always be there. Someone to choose you. Every time. Over anything. Tell you that your pain does not and will not define the rest of your life… Then you wake up at 38 and realize no one has ever said or made you feel safe. No one has ever said all the things you needed to hear. No one has ever caught you when you were falling. No one has held those gates with you. Many have helped open those gates and watched you scramble to hold it all together alone. No one will save you.
Maybe you get a pat on the back when you conquer one battle but no one understands the struggle. No one knows how hard is it when pain consumes you.
People with pain inside of them relate better to those with similarities but when that kaboom finally hits… those similarities are what burns it all down. People who don’t relate to the pain some of us carry-look at you with judgement. Look at you with disgust. You walk away with shame and guilt. You face that your way of dealing with chaos isn’t the right way and you are now being judged. There is no winning when you have so much pain inside of you. There is no way out.
For moments, you convince yourself that alone is the safest path. And you find your own happiness. You pursue your own happy place. Eventually, it gets lonely and you want to share this journey with someone or not be on a journey at all. But every time you think you are ready to embark on this journey with someone… similar challenges rear its ugly head. Deja vu. Your expectations become your own worst enemy. Your needs becoming challenging to fulfil and the disappointment is eventually equated as a lack of love. And then you find yourself asking the same questions the little girl asked, why am I not enough? Why am I not worth it? Why is this happening?
And you want to escape the pain yet again.
I’ve never challenged myself more to be different. To look at things different. To think differently. To process and move past things differently. But every so often my old ways win and I feel I’m back at the starting gate again. And I’m tired. I’m tired of being back here. I’m tired of fighting myself. I’m tired of regretting the actions that ease my pain in difficult times. I’m tired of the cleanup crew. I’m tired of having to recite bullshit to myself that I am enough. I’m tired of constantly battling the everlasting negative self-talk that lives inside of me.
I have so much pain inside me.
I don’t know how to be loved. I don’t know how to accept love. I don’t know how to love without rules. Milestones. Checklists. I don’t know how to free myself from this pain. I work endlessly to keep the pain at bay. I appease my pain. I distract myself from this pain. I starve my pain.
But my pain is always there.
Always waiting.
Just like my MS.