If anger consisted of gooey globs, I'd be flinging it at a number of people right now. And...that would include myself.
I don't want to be angry with myself but I am. It just seems better that way at first glance because then I won't hurt anyone else. But that isn't right. If I'm angry with myself I'm not showing myself compassion and being kind to myself. Its just a way of taking the blame on myself because I don't want to hurt anyone else, plus I usually got hurt if I verbalized anger towards anyone as a child so I learned to turn it inward towards myself because I was at least doing something with it by punishing myself. Or so I thought. Now I'm learning how harmful it is and just how hard it is to break the habit. And to learn better ways...
My week was going pretty good till Saturday. A friend invited me to a ladies event at her church but I declined the invitation because I was afraid it would be too triggering. I wasn't wrong because later in the day I saw some pictures from the event on social media and some of the ladies were dressed like those at the Holiness Pentecostal church that I used to go to in WV and I was then glad that I hadn't accepted the invitation. I tried not to think more of it, but my body wouldn't let me forget.
I haven't mentioned it before because I've been ashamed of it but there are times during the night when my body will feel aroused and wake me up. I feels horrible and I used to hate it so much! With the work I'm doing in therapy I'm learning to be curious about different sensations in my body because I'm learning that it's a younger part or memory that wants attention and is craving acceptance and love and care. I'm trying to not be ashamed of this sensation because it is so uncomfortable and weird but the hate is slowly lessening.
Anyway Saturday night this arousal sensation kept waking me up almost all night and then I had a dream that involved some people from the time of my life when I was still going to the church in WV. I tried to figure out what might have triggered it as I sent a message to my therapist friend about it. She reassured me that there's nothing bad or dirty about it, just a part of me that wants affection and care and used the illustration of a little girl tugging at her mother's skirt, begging: "see me!" "acknowledge me!" "please love me!"
I guess I wasn't expecting to receive such grace and compassion. I mean, I certainly was having a very hard time giving it to myself. With her compassion it melted the resistance I felt towards myself and as she asked for more details about the triggers and memories, the memories came flooding back. Sad memories. Painful memories. Loss.
The little girls who were always so happy to see me and would come running to give me hugs. The emotional highs of the services. The manipulative preaching. The fear-mongering by the "annointed" ones. The prideful words of my pastor's wife implying that we had more knowledge than those outside the movement. The yelling and shouting and crazy-acting of people under the "influence of the spirit". The many hours of driving. The loneliness of living 3 hours from my church family. My former employer and his wife trashing me. All the confusion I felt because of it. And just so much more. It's only Tuesday evening but it feels like a week should be gone by now it's been so crazy. I think just seeing those pictures from that church with those ladies in long dresses and uncut hair just brought a LOT of emotions to the surface.
Last night I ended up crying for a long time. I had felt close to tears all afternoon and then I was taking pictures of my "painful" art so I can set it up to sell prints of it and I came across this one called "Weary Spirit":
It was almost as though it turned something loose inside of me. I tried to suppress the tears but eventually they came no matter how hard I tried. I remembered how I felt when I painted it and I looked at where I am now and in a way I almost hated myself, my body. I hate that my body refuses to let me work. It is a huge loss. So many losses. So many painful experiences. My therapist friend kindly said that there's just so much grief inside and that the tears are healing. That helped a little bit. And I felt better and slept well last night.
But today I've felt weepy all day. I've also felt angry. Angry at myself for the way I feel. Angry at the people who have been so unkind. Anger masking the fear of running out of money. Anger masking the fear of the unknown. I only have a month till it will be discussed about terms and limits and rent. I really want to get out of here. Because of the way my housemate has treated me, I really don't want to deal with them in any way. This is basically what has happened:
I don't have the energy to deal with more gaslighting and manipulation by people who are double-sided. I was trying to have grace for them because they don't seem to be able to handle the truth about themselves, but it felt almost like I was telling myself that it's ok what they did. I found myself trying to dismiss it.
Then comes an email asking what my thoughts are and how I feel about a mutual friend moving in for a few months. It made me so angry. Here they had just told me in their last email that this is their house and basically if I don't like it I can move out and now...they want to know how I feel about someone else moving in??! It felt so twisted and so wrong. Like I was being asked to make a decision for them. I basically told them that because of what they said in their last email, I don't feel that I have a right to say anything about it, that it is their house and they are the only ones that can make that decision.
I'm still angry about it. I have been wronged. I felt like I was kicked when I was down because I came here thinking that I finally had a safe place to rest but I found out that wasn't true. Such a let down. Such a betrayal.
They invited me to spend time with their family. Then someone triggered their jealousy and they lashed out at me and told me that they don't want me around their family. That they don't want me to take their family away from them. Um, ok, I never wanted to take them away in the first place. So why, if they were so afraid I'd take their family away from them, why did they invite me in the first place? And...why... did they then feel rejected because I didn't accept their invitation to be with their family? Make it make sense somehow.
And...if you lash out at someone, shouldn't you apologize for hurting them? I never got an apology. Instead, when I tried to set boundaries and explain that I'm keeping my distance because they lashed out at me and I don't trust them to not lash out again; they then twisted my words around and made me the problem and asked, Did I say you have to stay upstairs?
Then they tell me it's their house. And...if I don't like it, I can move and they gave options that totally won't work for my situation. I just gave up. It almost made me go crazy. Why would you invite someone in the first place and then tell them that this is their house and if you don't like it you can move? Is that how you treat guests? You just kick them out when you're done with them?
Now it's as though in their mind the incident is done and over with...on their end. It's like they're moving on with life and I can't. It feels like salt is being poured into the wound.
It makes the hurt go deeper, stinging sharper. Its like I've been kicked when I was down, or am down. It has been very hard to not tell some abuse advocates they work with how this person is not who they portray themselves to be.
As time goes on and there is no hint of any apology or their taking responsibility for their actions, it hurts even deeper. And...it makes me even more angry. Not only do I feel like I've been kicked when I'm down but I also feel like now I'm being walked all over before I can get up, trampled, my face ground into the dirt. And... I am angry. I feel trapped. I feel helpless. And I know that if I don't keep strict boundaries this person is going to try to keep using me because it appears as though helping and pleasing others is where the get their sense of worth and value.
It really is sad. A part of me pities them and wants to give them grace for their "unawareness" but it makes the rest of me feel like I'm siding with my housemate and they aren't being heard. I need to accept that I've been betrayed by a person I thought was safe. I need to accept that this person is not safe for me. I need to accept that this person does not truly care for me like I was led to believe. I need to accept that I have been deeply wronged and grieve the loss of a friendship I thought I had. I need to accept all the emotions that I feel because of this situation. The anger I feel is righteous and stems from being treated wrongly.
It is okay to feel angry.
It is ok to feel sad.
It is ok to grieve.
It is ok to be afraid of what may happen.
It is ok that it is hard and painful to live in this house.
It is ok to not want to face them.
It is ok to set boundaries to protect myself from being hurt more by them.
I feel trapped.
I felt this way not so very long ago. When I lived with the lady downstairs. I never dreamed I'd end up in another negative situation. Will it never end? Will I ever have a place to live where I can feel safe? Every part on me is asking these questions now...I don't know the answer. I struggle to hold on to hope but it keeps slipping through my fingers. I grasp at it. It hovers above me, taunting me. Implying that if I'd try just a little harder I can catch it. I'm tired. I'm so tired. I'm so tired of trying to reach for things that seem impossible. I'm so tired. I try to rest. But the anger and the fear and the grief keep hounding me making it almost impossible to rest. I feel guilty for resting. I see my dwindling finances. And I struggle to keep doing things that might bring in some money, even just a little bit. I find it hard to be still. And to rest. I struggle to create. To write. To come up with more things that I can do to bring in a little money. I look at job listings but nothing appeals or looks like something that will work for me. Despair creeps closer. Hope keeps slipping out of my grasp. My dreams. The dreams I have. They look so impossible. They mock me. They wink at me. They taunt me. Look at us. You'll never attain us now. All your gifts they're just going down the drain. Look at them go. See you can't stop them now. You'll end up on the streets for sure. You'll probably be raped and abuse even more. They laugh at me.
What if they're right? What if I never get my energy and strength back? What if I end up on the streets and get raped again? What if I lose my car and all the rest of my things that I managed to bring with me? Is it even worth keeping it? Then I see social media posts of local people asking for help and i want to give them food. A toaster. Furniture. But then I wonder...what if they're fake? What if I do get a safe place and help? Then I would have to rebuy all those things again. Would it be worth it? I don't know. I love to give. And it's just so hard... to not be able to in any sense.
I don't know what the future holds. I'm scared. I keep trying to create sources of income. It feels so useless. It makes me angry with the whole world. It makes me angry with myself. I'm angry with the ones who have been so abusive and unkind to me. I wonder if anyone will believe me if I ask for help. How do they know I'm not lying? I don't have the energy to try to prove myself.
I'm tired. So tired. I feel like I've been trampled. Again. And again. Till there's hardly anything left but my dreams that now seem to be taunting me with how impossible they are to attain. I want to work. I don't want to ask for help. I hate asking for help. I want to do things myself. It feels good and is rewarding. But I also don't trust anyone very far anymore. I expect to be taken advantage of. I expect to be abused and traumatized. I expect to be gaslighted and manipulated. I expect to be betrayed and treated like trash. Those things have left a bigger impression and wounds in my heart than any kindness and compassion that was shown me.
Where do I go from here? I don't know. Hope that I can survive the next few months somehow. And then, I don't know what.
I feel torn. Torn between listening to my body and getting a job. I feel torn between having compassion for my body and the war its been through and forcing it to somehow do the impossible. What if it's just all in my head? I was told that so often as a child when I wasn't feeling good. It's hard to listen to my body. And to believe it. Its painful.
Oh, and I also got a letter in the mail today. I knew it was coming and was looking forward to it but when I opened it, it was like my body revolted. Refused. Like I literally couldn't read it. It was a weird sensation. And then I remembered that nasty letters I got when I left the Mennonites. The phone calls. My last pastor's emails of gaslighting and manipulation. I knew why I felt that revulsion in my body. It was almost more than I could handle.
For now, somehow, I'll try to make it through the next week till I can have my next therapy session.
Thanks for reading!
Edited to add: I just found out that I need to move by Nov. 15th. How and where I have no idea. I'm glad an end date in sight for being in this situation but the rest I'm scared of and I have all sorts of feelings about it. I just hope that the next place will feel safer than here.