I tend not to post for others to see – most my posts are just for myself, and even when I could post them I feel wrong to. I’m wondering whether I’ll post this publicly. I guess we’ll see.
I just saw this image and quote and it brings up a LOT of thoughts that I want to try and put down. I’m laughing in my head writing this coz I imagine I’ll only write a sentence or two. But I guess will see.
I was thinking recently about my sis. How, however much I’ve talked about her, it doesn’t change my reality. I know that when I was about 9 she would say she wanted to die, how she was going to, it was our fault coz we didn’t love her, and we were gonna go to hell.
I understand why she felt that way. I understand why the 9 year old E would feel guilty. I understand it all. It doesn’t, however, change the guilt I live with. Understanding where it comes from doesn’t make me not guilty for living.
I was actually realising about that, remembering when I once wrote about how I overreacted to something minor, completely freaked out, because I was hearing all she said then, now.
I know that my mother doesn’t have the emotional ability to feel all her emotions. I feel guilty writing this because over the last few years she’s been changing a lot. She doesn’t have the capacity to hold emotions. Didn’t have the capacity. Therefore invalidated everything we said. If we felt sad, we didn’t. It was things, facts, too. Anything we’d say, wasn’t. It was never intentional. I was seeing it recently with my special needs sister. She told my mother she was hungry, and my mother said you’re not. My mother wasn’t trying to say you aren’t hungry. She was trying to say I’ve not yet thought of what to make for supper and feel bad when you tell me you’re hungry because I don’t know what to make and haven’t had time to see to it yet. Which instead she said with you’re not. (By the way, we grew up with hot supper on the table when we came home from school at around 4. I’m putting this in because my mother was, and is, a good person. Yes she was critical, had very little sense of self, anything her kids do are about her, cannot regulate or handle emotions. She also waved us goodbye every single morning. Had supper on the table when we came home. I’ve loads of happy family memories, especially summer holidays. My memories of my childhood are mostly those times – though anything not happy is kind of images or knowledge that I don’t really know).
Seeing, and understanding, the what and the why, doesn’t change the fact that I don’t believe what I think. That I don’t feel safe to feel. That it isn’t safe to feel.
Growing up any time I’d complain to my father about anything, maybe not every time, maybe most times. Actually probably every time. He would tell me I was just being sensitive. My father is someone I trusted, I still trust. He’s a really good person. He genuinely believed I was just being ‘sensitive’. That catch all phrase.
The reason I say probably always, because still today that’s what he says. Except as an adult whose thoughts he respects I can actually explain to him how anything I’m saying is valid and is not just about me being ‘sensitive’.
Understanding it doesn’t change the confusion and shame.
There was a lot of denial in my house. Things that were, just weren’t. That taught pretty much all of us not to trust ourselves. Because what we knew wasn’t true. There was a lot of secrecy. That’s mostly generational. Things that today wouldn’t be kept secret. Understanding it doesn’t change the shame it engenders.
That quote above was interesting. Changing the memories. How do you do that? How do you actually change the memories? And what about when it’s not really memories, but a narrative, a fact, life.
It makes me think also of the non memories I have. The half formed images in my mind that I don’t really know what happened, if anything even did. There are 2 images that I wonder about.
I’ve a vague memory of being in the playground and my class running after me. Something doesn’t add up because I’ve no idea when this could have happened. Weren’t teachers always outside? I know I was hurt because everyone including my supposed best friend joined in.
I’ve a vague image of my sister rescuing me from someone a few years older than me. I can see the location in my mind (side of school building as it used to be). I can’t see her or the other. I know I must have been between 5 and 10 – because my sister was in school. I have no idea what happened. I actually only know this person really did bully me because recently at a family meal then the surname came up, and my mother asked didn’t so and so tease/bully E. Or something like that. I didn’t reply. I’ve no memories of her bullying me. Though now, I kinda feel like she did, and feel like she ganged some of my classmates against me, and I’ve no idea why I think that.
That’s all I have to say on this for now…
For now I’m keeping this public and may change my mind.
One of the reasons I rather my posts are private is because people comment. They show up. They deserve the respect and courtesy of a response. And sometimes I don’t have the headspace to reply. Then I feel bad for not replying. Because I want to. And I don’t want them to think I’m ignoring or don’t appreciate what they’ve said.