I have always believed that everything is connected. A leads to B leads to C leads to D, etc… Everything is a process and once you understand what process you are in, you know what comes next, for better or worse. Timing is always a mystery, but the next phase is predictable. Everything takes time–and usually longer than you think or assume it will.
This past summer/fall has been exhausting. The denial in my family evaporated in a heartbeat. My brothers are dying of cirrhosis. My mother’s true feelings about me came out in a letter, things I think I had always suspected but never wanted to admit. I have been processing my feelings as quickly as I can. But let’s be honest: this is a lifetime of rage boiling up to the surface. It is not pretty, but I have faith this is just a phase. No matter how strong the feelings, if felt, they ease up eventually, because no feeling lasts forever, good or bad.
I was talking to a friend that I hadn’t spoken to in a couple of months because I had just gotten the letter. She asked if we could talk about something else and I agreed, but I cannot imagine calling her again. A person to help me process some of these feeling was all I ever wanted from her. So when she said no, she eliminated my primary reason for talking to her. I made friends with her precisely because she also comes from a highly dysfunctional background and seemed to understand some of my struggles. Maybe she thinks I am getting stuck in my anger. I don’t believe that. Life moves way too quickly for that.
The issues I am dealing with from the past are the issues that have crippled me my entire adult life: the toxic shame, the radical under-achievement, trying to tip-toe around my mother’s feelings while she possesses zero empathy, the scary lack of having a goal in life in my mid-fifties, and not having any meaning. There is simply no way for me to talk about my current issues without speaking about my current efforts to resolve them and the hundreds of dots I am connecting, sometimes seemingly all at once. This is the core of the onion. There are no deeper layers. I have hit the “mother lode” of my psychiatric issues/life problems, pun intended.
I am developing clarity. This is what I have always wanted. Be careful what you wish for because clarity can be like turning the lights on in a toxic waste dump. This is precisely what the denial was meant to protect you from: too much awareness. Now you know how much needs to be cleaned up. The difference between now and the past is that I now have the tools necessary for the job: the shrink, the books, real friends, meditation, the Crappy Childhood Fairy, Gabor mate YouTube videos. I have a huge task ahead of me, but am equipped to handle pretty much anything now.