Stop “Wallowing”

 

Ok, here we go. It has happened. Probably my greatest concern since starting this blog. I had a feeling this was coming. The greatest obstacle in my mind has finally emerged. I found a comment yesterday from a family member to “stop wallowing”. And followed up with “I love you”.

If you knew me, you’d know that my greatest failure in life was never dealing with the past. Whenever asked if anything was wrong my stock answers were, “nothing”  “I’m fine” ” nothings bothering me” “would you please stop asking” “can’t I just sit quietly without something having to be wrong?”

For thirty-five years, with few exceptions, I NEVER SHARED WHAT WAS “BOTHERING” ME. I never wanted people to think I was feeling sorry for myself. I never wanted to be perceived as weak. I carried guilt that the feelings I was struggling with certainly didn’t measure up to many other people’s pain.

Who was I to be depressed?

It’s funny, all these years I’ve never stepped into a therapists office, yet I look around and it seems like every other person I talk to has been to one. To me that was a sign of weakness. I didn’t want to have to talk about myself. Talking about myself made me feel guilty. It still does.

Did I wallow when  my adrenaline was on overdrive for years listening to a drunk walking in the door repeatedly and creating chaos? Hearing the screams of my toddler twin sisters because he put them in a baking pan and was pretending to put them in the oven?

Did I wallow when I’d see my oldest sister smashing a guitar over my brother’s head?

Did I wallow when I was promised to go to the zoo with my older sisters and then taken on a diversion which included the boyfriends stealing car batteries, then selling them, then purchasing beer and pot and watching them get high and drunk at the park instead?

Did I wallow when I came home from baseball practice to find my dad sitting by himself  in the kitchen asking “where the hell is everybody?” I told him I was at baseball practice. He asked “who the hell practices at four in the morning?”

Did I wallow when I’d see the bedroom door daily that reminded me of when it was kicked in?

Did I wallow when the same guy down the street that twice made my oldest sister pregnant and resulted in two abortions (that I wasn’t supposed to know about) had me in his basement and made me take my shirt off? He told me that if I told anybody than he would hurt my sister and my dad.

And I told nobody.

For over thirty years.

He had unbuttoned my pants, but I don’t recall anything else other than  running up the basement steps and out into the sunlight.
I could do this all day, but I won’t. That would be wallowing.
Here’s what I did do. I said nothing. I did nothing. I internalized and created a cauldron of anxiety and fear and depression. I pretended. I joked. I made myself a liar to myself.

 

Who the hell am I to whine about my past? What makes me so special that I need to write about this stuff when everybody else seems to be able to just deal with it? Many people have been through this and they seem to be ok. These are questions I don’t have answers for.

Perhaps these people have found their own ways to deal. Maybe they were offered help when they were young. Maybe they turned to alcohol or drugs, or marijuana. Perhaps other behavioral traits are their way of overcompensation. All I know is that whatever I was doing wasn’t working. Ironically, this very post represents a sort of victory for me. Just a month ago I would carry it around on my shoulders. Seething inside, I’d say “who the f..k is wallowing?” “This is why I was so worried about putting this crap down on paper for people to see”. I’d obsess over it and mutter and swear and justify and then do it over and over.

Now I can write it out and let it go. Or at least try to. And that is much better than what I had been doing.

 

 

I just read what I wrote, and I see I still need to work on my anger! LOL

 

****Update****

The person who made the comment about wallowing to me sent an apology after I wrote her today. I’m removing some of it to prevent any issues with family. In fact, I’ve blocked most family from this in order to not hurt them if they choose not to revisit the past.

She said “I do believe that EVERYTHING IS SOMETHING GOD WOULD HAVE US LEARN, but somethings are downright hurtful and I am so sorry! Right now I can hardly believe I wrote that, just overwhelmed and angry with some other issues in my life that I can only do so much to help with.  I love that you are writing the blog, and am sorry I influenced your making it private again. I usually believe everything happens for a reason, but what I wrote was unconscionable! I am proud of you and pray you find peace.”

In a weird way I feel so grateful this happened. I didn’t respond my old way. I wrote a sincere letter stating my feelings without resulting in my normal lashing. I told her I love her, but she is incorrect in her assessment of what I am trying to accomplish. In turn, she wrote this heartfelt apology which I really appreciate. Hell, a month or two ago I may have been the one telling someone else to “give it a rest already”.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Stop “Wallowing”

  1. There’s ‘wallowing’ and there’s being traumatised. We cant just forget when our minds and bodies are still in some form of shock from damage that other’s have done. I struggle with anger also and believe Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome pretty much cover’s it. Where I stay it’s not the done thing to see a therapist and counselling waiting lists are months long. Yet mental health problems are getting worse. The doctors generally just dope us up on meds and send us on our way. It solves nothing. We HAVE to talk. I think talking along with cognitive behavioural therapy is the best way to heal. I struggle off and on with depression because I have no family (they were the ones that caused the problems) and my friends dont understand so I don’t talk. People tend not to understand what they don’t know. My mother is a good example of a contradiction, she was abused by her neighbour but didn’t tell anyone. She has always brought it up as one of these things and went on herself to neglect and verbally abuse her own children. I think she copes through drinking and having various men in her life. I am alone, i literally hardly ever touch alcohol and I have no addictions apart from the odd cigarette and I struggle with the issues my parent’s left me with. I am trying though. In conclusion I think people either destroy themselves with drink or drugs etc, heal by sharing their problems with someone they can trust or via sheer inner strength on their own. But it is possible to heal and cope, acceptance plays a huge part and realising that whatever hurt you before CAN’T now. Bless you for sharing itl get better 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “wallowing”? Damn, someone needs their head examined and IT ISN’T YOU! It seems to me you are doing the very best you can with what you know. I would wish for some cognitive behavioral therapy for you as it will teach you NEW ways of coping; it will teach you to forgive (yourself mostly, I can hear the blaming behind your anger and pain); it will teach you to be aware when others are toxic for you and how to get them out of your life. It is clear that PTSD is a primary problem in your life, as how could it NOT be after living through what you have? Keep writing though. it is a way to vent out damaging thoughts and feelings. We care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know these people that say stop….basically stop feeling.
    They can be some of the coldest people ever. They mean well, but they have learned to be guarded with their feelings. They turned them off, why can’t you?
    I don’t want to live that way. Because when life is good, nothing matches the feeling. But it also means we have to feel the pain. Don’t stop wallowing because then you’re just numb. Wallow, yell, cry, release it…and feel!
    I hope to make it to counselors office myself one day to learn how to cope. Anyway, just my thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Something that women told me a long time ago, when two people have a problem it’s the one that isn’t talking that is causing the problem. I watched people over the years, and have been able to see both from personal experience and observation of others that they were right. Things need to be said. You just carry on and say what you need to.

    Like

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