11 February 2005

Quieting the Inner Noise

"Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it." ~ Lewis Carroll

So all day yesterday and into the evening, I had the self-loathing soundtrack repeating endlessly in my head. I thought it was because I was feeling angry with my father. Late in the evening, I remembered my therapist said she thought it was related to sexual abuse and suggested that I remember with whom I'm really angry. So I shifted my thoughts and started substituting his name instead of mine. It only took a couple of minutes for me to be overwhelmed with rage. It always makes me feel like a want to set myself on fire. It makes me want to disappear. It makes me want to implode. I stopped the thoughts. I couldn't bear it anymore. Here's the big surprise--it worked. For the rest of the evening, the cruel voice inside my head was silenced.

I still tend to minimize that abuse. As I thought about that, about why I don't want to face how horrible it was and the damage that was done, it dawned on me that somewhere deep inside I still believe that it was my fault. That really makes me angry. I've managed to keep that a secret from myself for a while now. My logical mind knows it wasn't my fault. it's that child inside who believes otherwise.

Somewhere in the midst of all of these epiphanies, it occurred to me that recounting the events of my life doesn't help because I am unwilling to move across the threshold of my memories. I can recount them to myself endlessly, but the meaning of those events is still more than I can bear. I know the meaning. I'd just rather not have to confront it. The meaning of those memories plunges me into darkness, so much darkness that I'm uncertain whether I can return to the light. Confronting the despair barely hidden behind the events my past makes me not want to go on living.

I thought yesterday about letting a friend of mine read this weblog. I thought about it, but I didn't do it. I'm afraid she will no longer like me. I have no idea what the fuck that's about. If someone were to ask me if I like myself, the answer would be yes. there are a lot of things I like about myself. I think. now I'm uncertain, having had this revelation.

On the other hand, it's true that one of my biggest difficulties in life is letting people know me. I tailor my personality to fit my audience. Would my audience like me to be intellectual? Then I'll downplay the parts of myself that don't fit that bill. Would my audience like to believe all I ever think about is shoes? Can do. I just temporarily excise other parts of my personality. I don't know why this is. I know when I first started therapy this last time, I told my therapist that I wanted to figure out what people want from me and give it to them so they'll go away and leave me alone. That's not so true at this moment. but if that's not it, I'm not sure why the hell I behave that way.

america held hostage day 1857

bushism of the day:
"I'm hopeful. I know there is a lot of ambition in Washington, obviously. But I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as opposed to failure."
—Interview with the Associated Press, Jan. 18, 2001

09 February 2005

The Dreaded Hump Head, Among Other Things

"I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?" ~ Jean Kerr

I thought long and hard yesterday about making an entry here, but I was just never able to summon the interest. It was one of those days. It began with my hair. I curled my hair yesterday morning before work and, when I looked in the mirror, there it was--hump head. One side of my hair was poofed up taller than the other side. It was also poofed up more than all of the other hair on the same side of my head. I tried to flatten it out, but no matter what i did, it wouldn't budge. I spent the rest of the day avoiding the mirror because every time I would catch a glimpse of myself, all I could see was the hump head. then I would be obsessed for a while with trying to get it to flatten it.

Aside from that, whenever my attention to something would lag, I kept hearing my critical voice inside my head telling me what a terrible person I am. There wasn't any precipitating event, I just was having a self-hating day. I was able to notice when those thoughts arose and try to stop them. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes not. I was answering an email from a friend and I kept thinking about how lame my email was. I started feeling very needy, which is not a feeling I find acceptable.

I've also noticed that for the past several days I've had random thoughts of my dad that just simply infuriated me. It wasn't new material arising from some deeper part of my memory. It was just the same old shit. It was stuff i should be angry about, but I found it a little disorienting nonetheless. I'm thinking that maybe that anger at my father was directed at myself. It certainly wouldn't be the first time I decided that it was easier to hate myself than to hate someone else. Yesterday afternoon, in pursuit of understanding, I started to try to find some information on sadistic personality disorder on the web. There wasn't a whole lot out there beyond the obvious. Symptoms are predictable and fit my father perfectly. I was really searching for an answer to why someone would find pleasure in others' pain. Naturally I thought it was something that happened in early childhood. I may be correct in that assumption, but I was never able to verify it.

It's another manifestation of my need to understand my father. I've always thought that if I could understand his behavior, I could forgive it. There's just so much to forgive. At this point, I question whether understanding will lead me anywhere in particular. I just always think there's some way to soothe this terrible tension between love and hate. Maybe that's just a belief left over from when I had to deal with him every day, when I wanted to make that interaction more bearable. At the very least, I need to not take out my anger on myself. I also need to try to always avoid having the dreaded hump head.

america held hostage day 1855
bushism of the day:
"Then I went for a run with the other dog and just walked. And I started thinking about a lot of things. I was able to—I can't remember what it was. Oh, the inaugural speech, started thinking through that."—Pre-inaugural interview with U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 22, 2001 issue

website of the day: Fourth Way Home