Friday, January 10, 2014

bitterness

08/27/2002

in this whirlwind of emotions that swirl thru this heart day and night, there is one more painful and torturous than all the rest. the worst part is, it's one of those things totally under our control. i hate being bitter. even when the anger is justified, bitterness is like a cancer that eats you alive from the inside. bitterness over perceived rejection is what keeps us from participation in groups, going back to church, having people in our life.

so isolated we've become that we've cut almost everyone not online from our life.

rejoined one of the groups we left a couple of months ago, only to find that nothing has changed. one person keeps us from feeling we belong. more accurately, we ALLOW one person to keep us from feeling we belong. this one person is not bad, or mean. she's simply needy and desperate. she's the very picture of us 3 years ago. the similarities, the co-dependent bullshit, are so strong that we become obsessed with the emotional games she plays rather than letting it ride and moving on. we cannot separate ourselves from what we see in her, not because we are even a part of each other's lives, but because everything we see in her reminds us of ourselves at our very worst. it reminds us of a time when we played at taking responsibility for our actions and emotions, yet relied on those around us to meet all our needs. a time when we would call people for the sake (not a conscious, intentional thing) of berating ourself and railing about what shit we are, because we knew someone would tell us it wasn't true. rather than choose to speak anything other than the negative about us, we expected others to counter our opinion for us. we used self-injury (again, not conscious or intentional) to communicate our rage and fear, rather than choosing to verbalize it. it hurts to see someone doing those things. it hurts because it reminds us of the horrible price we paid for falling so deep into such a dysfunctional relationship. it hurts to know someone is doing that to herself and we cannot say word one to her about it. it's infuriating to know we cannot help her in any way shape or form. the bitterness comes in and grows when the stupid petty feelings no one likes to admit to, come in. the feelings of, 'well, if she can get away with it, why not us?', the childish feelings of wanting to compete "why don't people jump to our aid and reassurance when we whine about how shitty we feel?""why don't people care about us the way they do about her?"

we hide those petty feelings and try to pretend they don't exist and while we try to hide them they grow from a small thing that could be faced to a bitterness that begins to feel all consuming.

the most frustrating part is that the issue brought up by this one person in this group, has absolutely nothing to do with her or the group. we could project it onto her and try to make it about her. we could shove all the rage and indignation at her and convince ourselves it's her doing. god knows we've done that before in other situations. but we have grown. we have learned, and because of that we will not place on her the responsibility for a pain borne from years and years of emotional neglect. we will not, even though she has, in the past, done precisely that to us, with a vengeance. we will not.

the issues this brings up though are so many and so far reaching. it's no wonder people usually just 'project' onto the current situation, because trying to track down the real source is like trying to untangle 75 balls of yarn in a pile.

this bitterness has been rolling around in here, unlocking doors and leaving a trail of shit and pain for years. deciding to find it, stop it, and undo the damage is like deciding to climb mt. everest blindfolded and barefoot. it seems impossible. as i/we sit here now, it's easier to ramble on about it than to point out any one thing. partly because it's not any one thing.

we could mention how according to the mom, we were never ill. so firm was that belief that by adolescence, there had to be a violent fever or some other tangible 'proof' of illness before she'd even consider taking us to the doctor. this was made worse by the fact that both the younger sister and brother were fairly sickly and pampered while ill. that one thing alone is not enough to warrant the degree of bitterness we carry. there are innumerable other things far far smaller than that. single instances of rejection or being passed over or snubbed that alone would seem ridiculous as reasons for the pain and rage we carry. still, years upon years of those things piled higher and deeper in a fragile soul, are more than enough to leave the lasting damage to emotion and thought that it has.

to use the example of the lady in the group... the fact that she can be assured of being petted and loved on by the group with every post brings up being 'less important than she is', a feeling that comes partly from being the only one of 9 kids to be adopted, but also from the years of watching sibling's needs get met, while we were ignored (these things trigger Stacy, Amber, and Laura very deeply). it brings up feeling our 'problems' are all our fault (which triggers Reese in a huge way). in short, it triggers something in every part of the crew, including and especially those we do not yet know.

we had hoped that in leaving the group we would leave the triggers behind. silly us. after all this time you'd think we could realize that we cannot leave behind anything that is a part of us. triggers are just that. a part of us. the only way to get rid of them is to render them harmless by facing them and tracking them to their source.

we're responsible for what upsets or triggers us. not to say it's our fault, but the emotions are ours and we are the only ones who can deal with them. dammit, i hate being reminded that running from this shit is ultimately harder than facing it.

if you were able to follow this rambling train of thought you are to be commended.