I nearly completed the sentence on the title of this blog. But half of the enjoyment from writing everything on here is that I can be brutally, unfiltered-ly honest. Over time though, I’ve written posts in anger and used real names for not only myself, but for my T, for my sister and probably other people. In the past I think I’ve liked the ability to write anonymously because it was necessary for me to be able to write. It was a safety thing… and now I think it is more about protecting the people I write about and their privacy. After all, it’s not really fair for me to write shit about them when they don’t even know and can’t defend themselves. So using my blogging name removes that I suppose and so when I write as Twinkletoes, I can pour it all out. Uncensored.
However, I have just read a new book (in two days) which is called “My Name Is Lucy Barton” and it got me thinking.
The story is about a character who comes from poverty and ends up living in New York City, as someone with a very middle-class life. It is also about the story between her and her estranged mother who ends up visiting her in hospital one day and about their conversations and the character’s feelings about her mother. It is quite hard to explain as it is complicated. Anyway, I guess the story is about her coming in to herself, being able to say her name and know who she is. Something which I guess I can relate to. Something which I guess I am trying to do myself.
This also hit a nerve, the whole ability to stand up and say “My Name Is.” because only yesterday at work I was in a training session where we were told to go around the table and introduce ourselves. This immediately filled me with dread. Terror even. Ugh I hate that, why do they do that, why???? Luckily I was last, and so about 20 other people had to go before me, none of who looked remotely bothered by the task at hand.. me on the other hand, I was sweating, and kept having to replay the sentence over and over in my head. What my name was and what department I worked in.
I’ve never really looked into this too deeply until just now. Until finishing this book, until writing the title of this blog and writing the gist of the book… I guess then it makes sense that I am not yet able to confidently stand up and say who I am. I am still finding myself. I am still finding, or possibly creating myself.
It’s been a strange week for me. I don’t really know how – which I know doesn’t make a lot of sense but I have had a lot of thoughts and a lot of feelings and the thoughts and the feelings have been about so many different things that it’s all a bit confused.
I’ve been moaning a lot recently to my fiancé that I feel like since we moved to our new house in April that every evening and every weekend are so busy. I have been saying that life used to feel much more relaxed and that lately we never seem to have time to just…. well, be. It has only been the last couple of days that I’ve questioned that a bit and have pondered, am I really that busy or am I making sure that I am busy in order to avoid something?
On Tuesday before my therapy session, I sat on the sofa for ten minutes before leaving home and I was watching a YouTube video about being scared of a narcissistic mother. That was what was on my mind that day. The fear. The constant (illogical) fear that has a hold over me even now. As I watched the video, the enormity of it all hit me just for a second and I cried. I was relieved that I was soon off to see T. Yet in my session only my anger and panic came out = the tears didn’t make it there which happens sometimes. Not the end of the world I guess.
But then tonight I walked into my house and before I had even made it into the lounge, I could feel my eyes stinging. I was about to cry. I shocked myself with this. I slumped onto the sofa and laid back and just let them come. I think I knew that I needed the relief. I wasn’t sure what the tears were for precisely but I was kind of glad they were coming.
A bit of background from today in case it is relevant – it may or may not be, I actually don’t know. This morning I was on the train and a song came on that makes me think of my T. It makes me think of her so much that it often makes me cry. I admit that I have been known to play the song on repeat and think of her. This morning was no different. As I sat on the train, I listened to the song, and again, and again.. and then I found myself typing out an email to her where I basically told her how grateful I was to her. I told her how a friend of mine had some awfully sad news about her own T and that it had clearly been playing on my mind and made me realise how utterly devastated I would be in her shoes.
The song is about someone’s love never-changing. I guess really it’s about unconditional love.
I sent the email, and then I played the song a few more times and eventually T responded with a lovely email. I’ve read it a few times.
I think there is a whole load of sadness caught up with the gratefulness in a way that is hard for me to describe to you. I’ve said/written about this before but for me, getting what I always needed as a child or even giving what I never got as a child can be quite triggering for me. Seeing/feeling these feelings for T was lovely in a sense but also quite heart-breaking in another sense because, well, to be blunt, it should have been my mother shouldn’t it?
I know that sounds really ungrateful but hopefully those of you in therapy will be able to understand what I mean by that, at least a bit.
It’s the contrasts isn’t it? The contrasts which have a fecking huge light shining on them at these times. A bit like the light that will be shining on the lack of my mother being at my top table on my wedding day – at least it’s truthful. Her sitting there smiling and acting the doting mother would have been a lie – and I can’t lie anymore about my story.
It’s feeling the adoration, love and warmth for someone who is not my mother – knowing I don’t feel that for my mother anymore. It’s feeling the security and love and care back that she gives so easily (or so it seems) that my mother doesn’t and hasn’t ever given me.
It’s that feeling of mattering to her. Being someone important – someone who didn’t deserve to be made to feel like a fucking burden. It’s the ability she has to remove my internalised shame. The ability she has to let me be myself. To have feelings. To have some kind of impact on .. her? the world? I don’t know.
I am crying again now that I get into this…. it’s so raw.
I realised as I cried earlier tonight that I felt LONELY. I don’t think I have ever really felt lonely before – well, I suppose what I mean is that I never associated how I’ve felt as being that. I know it sounds a bit of a cliché, but lonely was for people who were physically and literally alone wasn’t it? Now tonight I feel I can understand what lonely is more than before.
I felt lonely my whole childhood. I continued to feel lonely into my early twenties. I am tempted to say until I met my fiancé and until I “found” T but there is part of me, perhaps the wounded and sad child that is out tonight, who is saying I still feel that loneliness sometimes.
Maybe it’s a form of loneliness when I see my stepchildren being loved by my fiancé and by myself and I see what I missed. Maybe it’s a form of loneliness when I am crying from deep within me, from a place that is preverbal and I cannot explain to myself what I am crying about. Maybe it is literally re-feeling the old feeilngs of utter loneliness. The feeling of literally having no impact on anyone in your world… not existing. Having been totally engulfed perhaps. Or maybe it was before that, before she could even care about that…
I think there is a type of lonely that comes from growing up not being loved by one’s mother. I may be the only person in the world to think this, but I think it nonetheless.
Every now and again I feel lonely in this journey I am on. Yet I know logically I am far from alone on this journey. There are people reading this now, no doubt who are on a similar journey who want to be able to stand up confidently and say “My Name Is….” without their face burning from the shame and insecurity they feel by being seen. I know logically I am not alone at all… but the journey feels lonely sometimes because … well maybe because you have to feel the old feelings don’t you? So tonight I feel in touch with the lonely child that I was. I was always alone and I felt like life would always be that way I suppose, looking back. A child doesn’t know when and how things will improve does it? It doesn’t know any different really…
I had a vivid dream once where I met myself as a child on a beach. I was clearly sad and lonely there – walking on my own, scared, wearing my nightie. What an image of loneliness that I’ve only really just this moment decoded.
How did she leave me all alone? I can’t bear it when my stepson locks himself away for too long on his tablet in his room. I have to make sure he is okay after a while, make sure he knows that I CARE about him being gone. Not like my mother, she told me to be gone. She didn’t want me there.
And now she has the utter cheek to cry about how Idon’t want to see her.
How fucked utterly fucked up is that?
Sorry, this became much more angry than I had anticipated…
Anyway, I will continue working through this pain every day until I can stand up and say “My Name Is” without any fear.