Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Hole in the Ground

During internal excavations I stumbled upon my sense of shame. I was shocked by its enormity, its breadth and depth. In a single quiet afternoon, after much effort, I found the reason for this unnamed pain. I have internalized everything that ever happened to me as a child.  The voices that plague me, weather or not I am in a deep depression, the ones that tell me I am ugly and stupid every single minute of every single day, these are the sounds of my childhood. 

I began to research. In his book: Healing the Shame That Binds You, John Bradshaw calls this particular kind of shame, toxic. Toxic shame becomes pathological. In the face of early trauma, shame is hard wired into the brain. "I am defective," is the daily mantra of the walking wounded. Shame burrows deep into the psyche and becomes one's identity. When this happens, Bradshaw states, that the individual vows either, "I am less than human," or "I am more than human" and acts accordingly. "I am less than human-why try?" or "I must be perfect in everything I do or I am nothing." Induced shame is the root of all meanness and all perfectionism in the world. 

 Therapy is funny, you can hear something over and over without getting it, until the day that you get it. I have carried this feeling all my life. I know that people can tell I am damaged in this way. I act so crazy sometimes, so easily hurt and angry. I always think I am being judged. I am paranoid and nervous. I always think I am going to get into trouble after all these years.

 It feels like a big cosmic joke that it is a lifetime of negative self-talk that brings me to this place, here on my knees. I have caused much of my own suffering trying to prove to others just how worthless I am. It makes me nauseous to think of the wasted time. 

Although it will be a long road out of this kind of thinking, a victory is a victory. Some of my pain has a name. It can be color coded and lined up with the rest of the files. I saw some light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Photo: Pink Sherbert Photography
I thought my little blog had run its course. That is, I wasn't so sure that I had anything to say or that I had said anything in six months (this blog lived on Tumblr for two months- until I decided I was too old for a hip Tumblr audience.) I have been trying to decide if my last post was a farewell piece or not, since the beginning of the year. I was going to move over to a private venue because calling what I do a "blog," seemed wrong. "A real bog would educate, inspire, affect positively" I told myself. "A real blog would be more organized, more opinionated. More...."

I do this to myself all the time; kill a thing before it's been given a life. I have been stymied by the whole issue, above all, because I think I am not good enough or some crap. I can't afford to think like that anymore. If I don't believe in myself, who can?  Blog schmlog, but don't stop! I think this is the point in a project where I typically give up. I have to see this as a succession of little problems to be worked slowly instead of one great, big, suffocating one. Six months is nothing.

Being crazy is all I have ever known. Surely, I  have something to say on the subject. Admittedly, the cocktail of medicine that I'm on is not helping. At times it feels as though my brain has been stolen and replaced with a dull, weighty stone.

My original aim was to blog for a year. The year I would stand in line to see a judge about my crazy. The year I would climb out of helpless mode and Help Myself. The year I win. That's the goal on my good days.

People care. I can see that clearly, now. I was so wrapped up in my dark place that I forgot the light of humanity. I was chewing on cotton and void of good feelings. I am sometimes full of excuses and self-hatred.

The fact is I will be pulling pieces of my mind back from the edge for the rest of my life. I have to decide what that looks like. I need something to show for all my secret battles. I need to see that I have been on this earth and done something- anything.