alcoholic mother as harpie, fear of pain, inner child despair, knowledge is power, self-medication, the anguish of the adult child
Today I was struck as with a rolling pin between the kitchen and my desk. I realized that it is the pain between another person and me that crests in me unbidden and when not appropriate, that gets triggered when there is the least misunderstanding or someone and I become “crosswise,” as my husband puts it.
We had been discussing his vacuuming of the living room which was, naturally, not to my satisfaction, and I am tired and stressed, my health issues plaguing me and under pressure to get a new creation, one of my belcherubini, beautiful cherubs I craft with vinyl kits and acrylic paint, into the mail.
Such is the nature of epiphanies, to sneak up like marauding intruders, compromising one’s state of mind.
Of course it goes back for a long, long way, to the first times when my mother and I went at each other– and earlier, even, when she found fault with me and I was so devastated I would run and hide behind the overcoats in our foyer.
AA’s Twelve Steps address resentment and fear, but what about the cache of pain in the solar plexus, the tears and hurts, the woundings and the dark hours when all was lost between oneself and another human being? What about how this pain repeats itself forever more.
The diamond is this: now I see what it is that has me by the throat, and that I so often mask w/ my moments of ire. It is a primal and gut-twisting anguish that sent me to my basement bedroom as a teenager, when love somehow morphed into a travesty so that it was made a mockery of: she would annihilate me with an insult, when I adored and needed her. Everything awry, and everyone, then, grabbing the nearest bottle of Dewar’s to numb mind and heart.
How do you rehabilitate a soul? No wonder I surround myself with belcherubini. No wonder I self-medicate however I can.
I believe that the only way out is through. And there is a technique called “mindfulness” that trauma survivors are taught–to hang with terrible feelings and increase one’s “distress tolerance.”
But just a minute: why should one tolerate distress? Repeated, cyclical like the rain distress, with its furtive pallor?
What does it take to get free of that pain? Is it even possible?
I’ll be back when I have another epiphany. Feel free to weigh in. You my cyber friends, you who have seen the damage in me and been able to forgive me and remain my family and friends, thank you. I love you.