My inner robot is back. Or is at least making appearances.
When my emotions get too painful, my instinct is to shut it down. Sometimes the pain is more than I can handle, and feeling nothing at all is preferable. Except that it’s not. I can’t get better without feeling the pain. I also can’t feel the amazing things that I feel when I’m with Amanda. Its like I’m perceiving everything through a layer of diffusing gel. A nice Rosco 3027 probably. I can tell that it’s there, but its all fuzzy and not distinct at all.
She does this thing where she runs her hand over my cheek, a way of showing her love in a non sexual yet still tactile way. Normally I can feel the emotion that she is pouring into this little action, but yesterday, all I felt was her hand on my face. And while that felt nice, it wasn’t her intended effect. Most of yesterday evening I felt really off. I had put up my walls, I had hidden from the pain I was feeling. As soon as I felt it coming on, I had shut it down instinctively.
It is so easy to hide and not feel anything. It is so much harder to let that wall back down and let the pain in. Before I started consciously bringing it down, I would just leave it up until I didn’t feel the pain any more and it would come down on it’s own. But when I was trying to take it down last night, it took a long time, it took much encouragement from Amanda, it took focus and pain to actually get myself to feel a different level of pain. It HURT to try to get it down. But I am finding something that is helping, when I feel like I need to cry but I’ve shut myself off, thinking about my grandpa helps bring the tears. It might be completely unrelated to whatever it is that hurting me, but if I think about him too long, I can cry, no matter what. Shit. Just writing this is making me cry.
So apparently in addition to having to deal with all of the shit from my relationship with AP, I have to deal with the fact that I don’t think I properly grieved his death. I was right smack dab in the middle of robot mode because of AP, so I shut down the grief I felt after his funeral. Don’t get me wrong, I felt his death, I felt his loss. I think it was so intense that even my robot mode and my toughest walls couldn’t hold back all of the pain. I remember biting my tongue until it bled to keep from sobbing during his funeral. I know my voice cracked and broke during my eulogy. I know I walked into that church with tears streaming down my face. I know I sobbed at the graveside. I KNOW I felt his death and loss. But then I seemed to bounce back. I still got sad, but nothing like what I felt at the funeral and when he died.
And that just hijacked this post.
I know that Amanda doesn’t think I’m broken, but I can only believe that when she tells me it. I can’t feel it for myself. Not when I’m consciously keeping my walls down so I can feel. With my walls down I feel broken. Not to the point that I can’t fix myself, but broken none the less.
I don’t like feeling like I’m broken, even if Amanda insists I’m not. I don’t like feeling so emotionally raw constantly. I don’t like the battle I’m constantly having to fight to keep my walls from clamping back down on my emotions. Hiding my emotions is so dishonest, not only to me, but to Amanda as well. And we’ve promised that we would be honest with each other. As much as she is mine, I am hers, and therefore the emotions I feel are just as much hers to share as they are mine. So I’m fighting with myself, fighting my instinct to hide my pain, to remain strong for her. Because it is dishonest, and being dishonest is more hurtful than feeling the hurt myself, because I’m hurting her with my dishonesty. And as she reminds me constantly, it’s not weak to cry, it’s not weak to show emotion, it is one of the strongest things I can do. But I’m not doing all of this just for her. I’m doing it because there is absolutely no way for me to heal myself if I keep hiding from what I’m feeling.
One of the hardest things I’m having accepting is the idea that AP isn’t a good person who did horrible things to me repeatedly; she can’t be a good person if she abused me like she did. So rectifying the vision I have in my head of her as a good person with the things she did to me is really hard, and part of the problem I’m having moving on. I still sometimes find myself craving her approval. As much as I know I don’t need her approval, I sometimes still find myself wanting it. And then when I realize what it is I want, I want to flash my happiness and my new relationship and my new job and my new and improved life in her face. And then I realize that none of that will actually help me feel better. In those moments, I understand why Amanda gets so incredibly mad at AP.
Last night even after I shut down my walls on my emotions, they were so strong that I could feel them shoving, pushing, hitting, doing whatever they could to make me feel like I was. going to burst open from the inside out. In moments like that (in retrospect anyways), I know I’m not broken, I know I’m just fighting myself on this. I know AP can’t hurt me anymore. I know that I am safe with Amanda. I know that the people in my life love me. I know that they all have my back and most of them would fight an army of Uruk-hai with me, or help me hide a dead body if I needed it. I know I have people in my corner who want me to get better. I know I have cheerleaders rooting me on as I fight with myself and tackle the shit that AP left behind.
Actus Me Invito Factus Non Est Meus Actus – a latin phrase with the literal meaning of ‘the act done by me against my will is not my act’ – it has some legal implications, but in my sense, it means that the things I did to make AP happy, the things I did to survive her abuse, as distasteful as I find most of them now, aren’t me. They aren’t anything I (as I am now) would do, so I have no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed or disgusted with myself about performing them. I can’t hold myself accountable for things I did under her control, so making myself feel guilty about them does me no good and is unnecessary. Nobody would blame me for them, so I shouldn’t blame myself.
I am thankful that my parents can help me pay for my therapy. I couldn’t see my therapist as much as I clearly need to if they weren’t helping. So I thank the universe for generous parents who are in a situation where they can help. I thank the universe for a girlfriend who loves me even when I’m not at my best. And I thank the universe for the strength I am finding that I have to fight my way through this shit so that I can be the happy and healthy person that I deserve to be.