I have a hard time writing about my past. Not so much because it is difficult to talk about but because I feel that I am talking down on the people who raised me. It isn’t that. It is only my perception. The way I experienced the events as a highly sensitive person living in a life that didn’t support that.
I think many of us can relate, to a degree. It is difficult to write about things you don’t want your mom to read because none of us really want to upset our mothers. We certainly don’t want to write about our dads or our siblings in any way that puts them in a bad light. Especially when we are aware that their experience and their perception will be much different than our own.
Does that make any sense?
Long story short, when I was one year old, my mother left my alcoholic father. I never saw him after the age of two until much later in life. His story is a story for another time and one that I will share when I am ready. She remarried another man who I lovingly refer to as Dad. He raised me, he loved me as his own from day one, and he was always there for me while I was growing up. I have many childhood memories that are bright and happy because of him. He was also an alcoholic but he was there.
There was always a void, however, where my biological father wasn’t. I have tried filling that void in so many ways throughout the years and have still not succeed nor have I fully healed. I know this because of recent events.
My dad recently had a procedure done and it wasn’t exactly not a big deal. But nobody told me. Everyone knew about it but me. My brother, my sister, probably people outside of the family, they knew about it. But not one person thought to tell me.
It was a major trigger. This happened last week and I have not recovered from being left in the dark. It broke my heart and I felt so stupid for being upset over it that I cried in the shower so my husband wouldn’t see me. I didn’t know how to talk about it. It brought me back to the days of childhood when I always felt different, felt like an outsider, felt like I wasn’t welcome. I had a different last name than everyone in my household, I didn’t have a relationship with the man who was responsible for half of my DNA, and I always felt a little lost. I felt like I had to do more to fit in, to be part of the family.
A friend of mine texted me and asked me what was going on with my dad. I was confused because I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. She told me she saw a picture of him on Snapchat in the hospital. I hadn’t heard anything so I figured it was just something routine that my sister had to drive him to and she was just trying to kill time, as we do.
I can’t help the way that I feel, like I am walking through this life alone, a little unhinged, untethered. I have always felt this way. Though I have my own family now, a husband and three children, I still feel that I am not part of it. I dissociate myself from so much of it, making myself lonely, sad, depressed. I find difficulty in being present. I am still trying to fill a void.
I have been searching for answers for so long. I used to look for them in the bottom of a bag of Smartfood, then in the bottom of a pint glass, then in the bottom of a pint of ice cream. In the empty wrapper of a chocolate bar. I looked for answers in the books I read. On the TV screen. I searched endlessly for answers to so many questions I had, questions that will never be answered.
I am searching for peace, now, and I have to walk alone to find it. I have to hold myself on this journey because I am the only one who has had my exact experience. I am learning how to live with unanswered questions, triggers from my past. I am healing my body and my mind.
Did the reality of not being told this news trigger me into a flare? Was it the stress from birthday party planning? Was it the recent change to my medication? Is it the endless tasks and the inability to keep up with them? Is it the lack of support with my kids? Is it that I am home with them? I am not sleeping enough? I am not eating something I should be? I am eating something I shouldn’t be?
The questions set me into a spiral of doom and it can take weeks to find my way out of it. I left the house tonight and told my husband to please not be mad at me. Please be understanding that this is what I need to do in this moment. I push him away so often that I am afraid someday he won’t come back. I push and push and push and then pull him back. Push and push and push and expect him to just be waiting for me on the other side. I don’t know how he can live like this, I truly don’t, and I live in constant fear that he will abandon me too. He will leave me in the dark, he will lie to me more than he probably already has to, he will start pushing me away too. He will walk away. He will tell me I am undeserving of love, I am ungrateful. He will tell me all the things I tell myself and then I will really break.
I go up and down up and down up and down like a goddamn rollercoaster. I run. I hide. I close the shutters and build up the walls. I sabotage all of the things that are good in my life. For what? What good does it do to act like this? I know in my heart that this is old pain coming up. The survival mode I have been in for so long, coming to the surface.
There is so much from my childhood that has hurt me and created pathways that I am trying to rewire. I am trying to unlearn and relearn and heal and grown and do all of it without talking about it too much because it is annoying, you know, to be a sick and hurting person. You have no choice but to go at it alone unless you are fortunate enough to find your tribe. I am slowly working on finding that tribe.
My dad is doing fine, thankfully, but is in the hospital with a small complication with medication.
He’s been keeping me updated this time around.