Everything is fine. Anxiety - check, depression - check, trauma - check. So why do I feel so bad?
What if you just realized that your whole life was a lie? That the love bombing and narcissistic abuse, and discard, and smoke and mirrors were the crux of it, and the very thing you longed for, a decent, fine family didn't exist or you were better off without it?
My patient says her best friend became religious and rejected her for being gay and getting married to a woman. How can this be? Can someone you love be so cold? What about your own parents? Do they not understand "wokeness?" Apparently you can talk the talk without really walking the walk. It's easy! But what a cop out. The sense of pain and loss and separation and insecure attachment (Bowlby) follows you around. But taking steps to heal is meaningful. And you will.
The alternative is staying stuck in the groove of: who will love me, take care of me, show up for me or hurt me next? Who indeed. You start repeating the cycle of betrayal and chaos. You cannot see yourself because you are, by definition, too close to it all. Our brains get stuck. Our Vagus Nerve is frozen in time. There is no future. When life is a bowl of trauma, you don't make lemonade. You make due. You compromise and twist yourself into a pretzel to be seen and heard. You shout from a silenced voice inside. You hide yourself. After a time, you no longer know how to be and you collapse into a permanent state of shut-down, dissociation and disconnect. Why don't I feel alright? Because you don't dwell in peace. You dwell in self-protection. You are on high alert until your battery drains. What charges it up again?
No way around but through. Thank you, Bessel Van Der Kolk for making this available to all people. Thank you Gabor Mate for making it okay. Thank you Tara Brach for your calm. Thank you friends and family for being rich in spirit. Thank you kind neighbors and trusted colleagues. Thank you Irvin Yalom for normalizing family conflict. Thank you Murray Bowen for working through it. Thank you Annie Lamott for making life funny again. Thank you Paul Thereaux for lighting the way with adventure. Thank you husband and children for allowing me to love you through acts of service. Thank you Brene Brown for lessons in vulnerability. Finally, thank you Lisa Damour for caring about young people the way I do - by caring about the nuances of being a teen in today's awful, violent, intolerant world.
Go through your pain and see what surprises await. Your daughter shows up with wine, friends and generosity of giving. Your child gets her top pick law school/law firm. Your friends come to the class you're teaching. You turn 60! Who knows. Greece? Ireland? Moving? We'll see what I make happen as I release the chains of deceit. Not by magic. By effort.