So since we last talked about me, my mom, and how she emotionally abused me, I’ve been at school, and I’ve been trying to work through everything. Trying to figure out how to heal while I’m at school and she’s a thousand miles away.
I found a therapist. At first I was just seeing the counselor at my school, but that wasn’t enough—she would just let me talk about it, but she didn’t have any advice for how to heal, and she probably wasn’t prepared to deal with the level of bullshit I’m on anyway. So now I’m seeing a new therapist, and it’s.....it’s ok. I don’t like her very much. She hasn’t told me anything about my situation that I didn’t already know, and the techniques she’s having me try feel awfully tame for how huge my emotions are about all this. Consistently, I feel like my arm’s been cut off, and people are just handing me band-aids. The whole process makes me wonder if I have some other, undiscovered mood disorder that makes normal treatments nonsensical—like, do I have manic depression? Am I bipolar? Why do my emotions seem to make sense to nobody? Why do I seem to feel things in such a big way? Is this normal grief, or is this grief combined with something untreated?
Besides the therapist, I’ve been trying to find support among my friends. Because without friends, what am I to do when it’s 10 at night and I’m paralyzed by sadness? Every emotional abuse blog I’ve read says, as like the #1 tip, “find support.” And I’ve tried. But what I’ve found...makes me really sad.
I was hoping I would get the kind of support from these friends that I give to them when they’re going through rough patches. Someone reacting like the problems mattered; somebody putting aside everything to listen and respond; someone letting me talk through it, and responding to my talk. A shoulder to lean on. An offer to help. Sympathy and time and recognition of my individual problem.
And no one has given me that, or anything else that made me feel like this mattered to anyone. I’ve tried to tell five people, five people I thought I was close to.
Only one of them responded by listening, even a little (not even for long). Three of them were just all “wow that sucks,” and then moved on from the conversation, and one of them keeps giving blanket statements like, “maybe when you calm down you can talk constructively with your mom about things.” (I have been trying to talk to my mom constructively for ten years!). And I thought this would be easy, because to me emotional abuse is so obvious that of course people would understand at least a little bit of what I’m going through, but confiding has just made me feel worse because no one understands. They don’t understand that:
- this shit haunts me
- this shit impacts every interaction I have
- this shit is rooted in all these aspects of my personality I haven’t even fully unpacked yet
- this shit is here every. fucking. day.
No one even seems to want to understand; they don’t ask questions, and they don’t listen to what I’m saying before moving back to basic advice or themselves. I haven’t been able to fully open my heart to any one real-life friend, because no one WANTS to listen.
I get that I can’t rely on others for my emotional support. And if I was strong enough, I wouldn’t. I’m reaching out as a last resort. I’ve felt like I’m in crisis for the last three weeks. Not suicidal, but strained to breaking. I feel sometimes like I’m going mad from all the grief and anger and sorrow of it all.
Also, just....I’ve been very much alone for most of my life. I didn’t have best friends when I was young, though I always wanted them, so I made up a lot of imaginary friends and/or found them in books. And because my mom wasn’t there for me post-age-ten, I’ve been doing a lot of my own emotional maintenance single-handedly: checking in on my own mental health, running through strategies to get myself going and happy, inventing my own ways of feeling safe or cheerful, even saying goodnight to myself to feel like someone’s there.
And I’ll keep doing it, because I have to. But I’m so tired of pulling this whole entire mind along by myself. When it’s so, so, so hard, I just want someone to back me up for a bit. Hold my metaphorical backpack while I tie my metaphorical shoes. I’m exhausted.
No one, not even the therapist, seems to actually understand that sometimes I feel like my mind’s talking way too fast or too loud and it scares me. And I try to tell people where I’m at honestly, by saying “I feel like I’m going mad” or “I am in anguish,” and they assume I’m exaggerating or using overdramatic words. I. Am. Not. I wouldn’t say “anguish” if I didn’t completely mean it. I literally was scared of losing my mind for a week, of having a break from reality that sent me to a psych ward. I’m still in grief so big that I don’t know what to do.
I’m glad I have Groupthink. All your comments following my first posts on this have been SO HELPFUL—if it weren’t for you guys, I probably would have lost it, because no one in real life has confirmed that yes, what my mom did was awful and yes, I have a right to feel shitty and emotional about it. I go back and re-read the comments when I want support, because apparently no one in my actual life can give it.
So....it’s sad. It’s sad to realize of my whole friend group, there is no one I’m sure of, and I don’t even know where to find kinder friends. And having not-there friends makes me frightened to cut off from my mum, because I have 0 emotional support then if I do. My friends apparently aren’t going to gather ‘round and help me until I can be on my feet again in a healthy way. It’s just me pulling me along, and that’s TERRIFYING when shit gets bad.
Not sure what the point of this post is. I wanna thank Groupthink again for giving me the support, and advice, and encouragement I need to keep going. You guys are wonderful, honestly. Thank you for everything—thank you so, so deeply.
And hey, if anybody else is in this boat, here’s a resource that felt like it actually nailed how I feel right now, and actually has been helping me feel not insane: