Saturday, November 26, 2011
It occurred to me today while pondering other things in a state of hormone-induced anger that the source of many of my long-term woes have derived from the same source. It wasn't a happy realization. In fact, it made me really sad because of what it means for the relationship involved.
But! The bigger problem is that I've let other people unconsciously tear me down year after year after decade. My mom is particularly susceptible to unconscious criticism and manipulation, so I've been aware of the pitfall since high school. I thought, in the years since and as I grew up and came into my own, that I had left my own susceptibility behind. You know, for the most part. Some of it I know I will never grow out of. As I sat there today, freaking out that my thyroid is going through a serious out-of-whack phase, I discovered all of that weakness is still there. Still goin' strong. Still leaving me wide open to other people's hang-ups, opinions, manipulation, and emotional whippings. In fact, I think the last ten years have deepened it, widened it, and let it run out of control.
So all these years I felt out of control and incapable of taking charge of my life, well, I sort of was. Okay, I really was. Because the people who are supposed to help me do that were, sadly, the ones doing the whipping. In the last six years, my health has steadily deteriorated (I think because of my thyroid). I complained periodically over those six years, freaking way the heck out several times. Instead of addressing my concerns or treating them as legitimate, the important people in my life treated me like a silly little girl unable to tell real problems from the inanity of a privileged life. Only now have I discovered that yes, that eye does bulge a bit, my teeth ARE worn to the nerves, my jaw is messed up, my hormones are seriously confused, my thyroid is injured, my joints suck, my pelvis is misaligned, and I really AM insanely sensitive to heat. None of it is in my head. But is it any wonder I was unable to stand up to the doctor when I was pregnant? That I couldn't say, "No, REALLY, there's something wrong with my hip, it's not JUST because I'm pregnant!" They poo-poo my concerns, likely because I expect them to. Because everybody else always does.
The resulting realization that goes with all of that is that my whole social circle is BAD for me. The ones who are supposed to be the best are actually the worst, the ones putting me down as a regular part of the day. I just didn't hear it before, or recognize it for what it was. I have to periodically withdraw from social settings not because I'm socially inept, but because I've been beaten too black and blue to keep up. The worst part is, I can trace the feeling that something like this was going on for years back. I knew it was going on, but I had no conscious recognition. The result? I copied their example and believed I really was a silly, stupid, scared little girl. It left me always at the mercy of my belittlers.
I don't want to live that way anymore. I've only got this life, and I'm the one who has to live in this body. It'll be a constant, daily battle to close those doors and rewire my thought process, but I'm committed to it. I will NOT let people con me into believing I'm worth less than I know I am.
Still, I'm pretty sure I'll be alone when I'm done. But I guess I'd rather be a strong, beautiful, accomplished single mom with no friends and not much family contact in the wilderness of life than the whipping girl for the frustrations and insecurities of everyone around me.