This week, after EMDR, I am becoming aware of a deep belief that has permeated my entire life.
I am alone.
I was out delivering pizzas and thinking, as I do, that I’m not as scared of bad things happening as I am about not being taken care of when bad things happen. Those unexpected life things that bring pain. Pain itself. And when it comes, being alone to handle it.
I can see now why I would cry when someone showed me a kindness. Or why I was drawn to hospitals because at least there, I was cared for consistently. I was not forgotten.
This belief and fear didn’t come out of nowhere. I can think back to many, many experiences that formed it, then reinforced it. So many, that it created PTSD around anything that happened that looked like I might be alone to take care of something without support or love or care. Accidents, sickness, pain, mental illness, poverty, just being myself….everything. It touches everything.
It created, over many years, a belief that I don’t matter. That there must be no purpose to me, despite my understanding or other beliefs that I am gifted and want to be here to experience life and love. And as it grew, the voice inside grew as well. The one who said, “maybe it’s better to just not be here, if you are alone.” It usually wasn’t that nice, the voice.
In the worst times, the voice would show me how I should stand in the road, waiting for cars to do the dirty work. Or drive off bridges. Some of the images were even more violent. I never tried, but the images would play over and over in my mind during the darkest times of despair. And while I could not feel anything else other than the despair of this belief, that I was not wanted in the first place, that I was utterly alone and uncared for, I became very still, most of the time sitting in an empty bathtub, waiting for the wave of despair to loosen its grip on me enough that I could move again. And even though my heart was breaking, put one foot in front of the other. I am one of the lucky ones. Not everyone comes back from the despair.
The fact that I’m still here is the greatest evidence that I have not been alone or uncared for. I can see that now.
My memories are coming out of the woodwork, showing me all the times that formed and reinforced this belief. Going all the way back to birth, and stopping at each place in time that there were legitimate circumstances that would cause a child to feel alone and uncared for. I think if it had stopped there, it would’ve been a lot, but it didn’t. The neglect of others, the absenteeism of people who were not equipped to be solid loving examples, continued on into adulthood, reinforcing what I learned as a child. I know people do the best they can, but the things that happened were not ok and I can hold both of those understandings and also the one that if I want a good life full of love, joy and trust, I have to do the work. So I am.
As I revisit these memories that formed the matrix of my brain, creating an illness within it, I am now seeing other facets that I missed before. The beautiful gifts, in the form of people and spirit, or even the workings of my brain creating a web of support that I believe has kept me from going completely off the deep end. That even though terrible, ugly things happened that should have never happened, I was not alone. Even when there were not physical others to come alongside, I had an army of creatures, spirits, whatever you want to call them…imaginary friends….and they loved me fiercely. They matter too. It felt real to me. It still does, when I set aside my grown up doubt. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you think about the Other side or mental illness or whatever. What matters is that I felt loved and important and I’m still here.
I think this belief is so deeply ingrained, it will take a bit to reprocess. But I can see and feel it happening deep within my marrow. Where I thought there was no hope, I found a little. I can feel my brain working so hard to form new pathways, bring up memories long forgotten and buried under the trauma. And it is miraculous. I sit here extremely grateful for those humans that have cared for me through the years, giving me something to hold onto and for the Others who have never left my side.
(You might have noticed that I put the rest of my blog writings into draft. and my Flickr account/photography page is gone as well. I am currently focusing on making art and other magickal offering in Etsy while I am doing this deep healing and working part time elsewhere. Clearing the space to make room for the new. )