I needed my mom this week.
When I got sick, I needed her to come. But her dogs got in the way. My husband’s family swooped in instead, thank God.
When I felt my interior crumbling, despite a strong exterior, I needed her.
When I was mom to four this week instead of just my own two, I needed her.
I knew she wouldn’t come on her own. I knew I’d need to ask. And I did, once. But when I got sick, and realized I’d probably be isolated from the people that help keep my interior from actually completely crumbling, I lost it.
Fearing loss of the opportunity to get my needs met and having it come to fruition slowly but surely, quickly sent me into depression and some serious irrational thinking. I was sent back to being a teenager, where fear and anger were met with isolation and irritation. I wasn’t allowed to be seen or heard and I certainly was not held close–arguably the thing I’ve always needed the most.
I wrestled with the logical side of me that said: of course it’s only responsible to stay home. For 14 days. Even if I don’t have COVID-19 (which I didn’t believe I did, but, any symptom today causes fear to abrupt) and have fully recovered and am most likely not contagious. And people agreed. And I felt completely crushed. Enter emotional me, child and teenager me, feeling completely fucking abandoned and untouchable and unlovable just because I *was* sick. A mom comes to a sick child with mama bear protection. My mom did not come.
So I held on to that vulnerability and sadness because I knew I’d get a chance to be met with care in a couple days time in therapy. Then, I couldn’t go. I knew the professional and ethical answer. So I tried to not let child-me come out. But the feeling of even potentially being rejected brought up so much and I did not handle it well. An overwhelming feeling of being deserted stuck to me and became temporarily impenetrable. Guilt towered over me the entire time with; you should be grateful you’ve had this much support, so many people have not been offered this during this time. When I was offered to come to therapy, as normal, I couldn’t accept it (aside from the fact logistics were too hard at that point) because the logical and emotional parts of me got twisted in a fantastically terrible way; she didn’t feel that way 12 hours ago, if anyone actually does wind up getting sick, you’re going to be blamed and you cannot handle that. There is no turning back now. You are untouchable trash, this is the actual truth, this situation has proved it is a lost cause for you. Just be done. No one has the capacity to care for you–you are truly too much. If you don’t shut things down now, everyone is going to burn out from your needs.
Of course, my hormones collided with this week. Sleep deprivation (beyond my normal) collided with this week. And my hypersensitivity to other’s was out of control high. I tried to maintain use of the skills that work for me. Silence felt like rejection. Short answers felt like rejection. I was reaching out this time, while literally contemplating whether keeping my life was meaningful and I was not getting what I needed. The hurt from that, felt like the end.
It’s not fair for any one person to have that responsibility. It’s not even fair for a group of people to have that responsibility. At the same time, I don’t want or need 911 to come and traumatize me more. I only need my inner circle to wrap me up in their arms. In these times, I am as hurt as I was as a teenager, I am reaching out but shutting you out at the same time and I need you to say, fuck your walls, I’m coming anyway. Because what I got as a teenager was: you’re right, you’re fucked up, if you want to starve yourself to death go ahead and see where that gets you.
And that is exactly what I felt.
I know therapist burnout is a real thing. And sometimes I wonder if it’s because of clients like me. Especially with the combination of things I’m working on. This fear comes out when I am emotionally breaking and don’t feel like it’s being caught. I always want and try to be mindful of respecting that everyone has their own life but am continually told to keep reaching out. I can’t help but wonder how it’s possible that I am not too overwhelming for my entire inner circle when I begin to break.
Someone please hug teenager me so she can know she is ok. Loved. Valuable. And so maybe in the future I can hug her myself.