There are times when a person with a problem* will seem to circle around back to things and fixate on their issue rather than doing anything to try to solve it.
*or a complex host of problems…
From the outside, this is frustrating to watch and can be hard to deal with. From within the tortured perspective it is troubling to have someone frustrated with you. I go through this with my mother more or less every time I talk about issues stemming from childhood bullying. She ends up minimizing and dismissing a lot of my pain. She doesn’t mean to and I know why it hurts her to hear that I endured these things… We’re getting to a good place with communicating about it.
I have had consistent and reccurrant issues that stem from my pervasive bullying that was not just on a peer to peer basis but that was made significantly worse by institutional mismanagement. The older I get the more I realize I have wired myself completely wrong based on being trapped in an environment where even if I was being treated well for a while, there were consistent rotten occurences that could be depended on more than any kind of goodwill.
“It wasn’t always all bad,”… yes nothing is ever always or never.
But how can I describe an eight hour a day, 195 (ish) days per year experience where I didn’t know whether or not I was going to face bullying, face consequences for my own bullying (because I didn’t deal with it well) and was routinely told by people with positions of authority that this was all my own fault and if I were different (Specific wording: “You paint a target on your own back with your attitude.”) it would be better.
All of this during the formative time in a child’s life where they’re supposably learning to be a functioning adult. (I don’t think schools are effective at this for anyone) but I look back at all my insane behaviour over the past ten years, my unproductive work history, my history just running the fuck away from various jobs, my lack of resiliency in institutionalized settings…. and as I gain distance on it I realize how could I have been so stupid … how could I not have been?
Then I came home to a home environment so twisted no one pieced together how terrible it was for us all until 2014 when we tried to get the person instigating all the twisted bullshit to change.
I’m going to get a handle on all this. But it is … something I need to rationalize that I am a person whose childhood was so bungled by adults that I have had a really rough time of adulthood and unlike other kids who seem to understand that they are the ones who have to take care of themselves… I didn’t get the memo.
My ‘safe’, ‘stable’, and happy childhood at home with my family was a core part of my identity. But it was predicated upon the idea that it was safe, sane, and stable because my father wasn’t beating us all with two by fours. And as I grew up I moved out and looked back on my life with new eyes to see that my father bullied my younger brother, was more abusive with my mother and his selfishness was the engine that drove our family to welfare and foodbanks. I was always his biggest supporter. I loved him so fiercely and if I had seen through his bluster sooner perhaps things would have been different.
But I only pieced this together slowly… over years. Years of realizing that I argued in an abusive way with my partner because I had been pretty well abused throughout the years. The slow realization that I remembered home life better because school was so bad and my younger brother’s most pervasive bully was right there at home with him (this is not to say he wasn’t bullied at school). Realizing that nightmares about dad aren’t normal. Having friends recoil in horror at stories from childhood I thought were funny. To this day I don’t really remember what story I was relaying it… only that I stopped telling it and don’t have a lot of interest in dredging it up again.
All these little things that caught my attention. All these little things that piled up and revealed themselves to be an unpleasant truth that I rationalized one ugly piece at a time and added it onto what I thought was an already overburdened trauma load. But it was exponential. As I revealed one ugly truth it forced me to acknowledge that the piece of shit I’m working on uncovering might be bigger than I realize.
And now that I know I’m carrying it I can see where its weight has dragged me throughout the years.
What I said to my mother this morning that sort of made her understand that I’m not …. stuck here. I’m just here for a while and I NEED TO GET THROUGH THIS PLACE.
“It is very important for my understanding of myself to acknowledge that I’m a person who has faced these things. So that I can figure out HOW to move forward from here.”
Because I have carried these things without knowing what they are or how they’re affecting me for so long … and I learned to carry them unconsciously in the first place… I need to understand that they are there in the first place and move accordingly. Because if Iwant to function as an adult I’m going to need to move a bit differently than other adults who seem to function better. Maybe they’re in understanding of how they need to move to get by.
But move I will at some point.
Movement is going to have to become a portion of my mental health wellness regimen. Because I have noticed a decrease and increase in mood based on physical exercise. But I also have the lazy. More updates on this later.