Apparently I have a lot of it.
Frankly, I think I come by it honestly.
Alcoholic parents equals bad brain chemistry, for which I hold absolutely no responsibility.
But, the rest of it is due to being one the most stupid people in the history of peoplehood, by staying in an abusive marriage for 45 years. Sure, it was not all blood and strewn guts, but it was mostly not good, and I stayed and stayed and then stuck around for more. My therapist called it a relationship, perhaps trying to minimize the married part, but it never was any kind of being in relation, unless you count the license and ceremony.
So, anyway, I bailed on therapy when it became too difficult to avoid doing any actual and real work. This was back in, oh god, maybe July. When I was living in the shelter, it was not a shelter where they made programs and help available, it was a Program that just happened to have emergency housing available.
Enter the shelter environment and I was assigned a therapist and the responsibility for attending at least three other things, groups, activities, whatever I chose from all of the stuff scheduled each week, most days actually. It was difficult to take a few steps without tripping and going-ass-over-teakettle over some kind of help.
I stayed in therapy even after I left the shelter to repair and prepare the house for sale. That is a whole other life-altering, separate experience.
But, when we started to get close to the abuse issues, you know, the nuts and bolts and just plain nuttiness of living that way, I could not handle it. I was still being threatened and harassed by someone who is not me. Every day was a struggle. Fixing the house. Being assaulted via his attorney. Trying to stay safe in that house, or at least capturing the sense of relative safety and get a decent night's sleep. Threats. More threats. Not having any money. Not being able to find a place for myself and CoolCat for when the house sold. Waiting for the next assault/threat/attack.
I cannot share the worst of what I experienced because there might come a time when someone from that old life could access this safe place and use it against me, but there were several times of significance when I truly believed that I would not be able to go on even one more day. Sometimes survival was from hour to hour. And, yeah, someone who is not me would love to know that, that I was that seriously affected by every stupid, pointless, cruel, threatening, disgusting thing he tried to do to me after I fled for my life all those months ago.
So, when we began to get too close to those core issues, I stopped working with my therapist. I just stopped.
Then, in the past month or so, I began to have those cannot-do-any-of-this-anymore feelings, which is stupid because I have been doing this. All of it. I kept it all together when preparing the house. I kept it all together after the house sold and CoolCat and I lived in a motel for a while because I did not have any other place to stay that would allow cats, and could not stay with my daughter or any friends because it seems that I have a talent for choosing friends with life-threatening allergic reactions to fur-bearing creatures.
During those last weeks in the house, I continued to look for a place to live, without success. In the last week and a half, I had two appointments to euthanize CoolCat because I had no place to take him and he is un-adoptable due to chronic and expensive health issues and because his temperament, well, it sucks. He is fairly unfriendly because one of his health issues is back problems as a result of not having a tail. It sometimes causes spine problems which cause pain which cannot be properly treated with pain medication, due to being a cat, which is risky, which makes him cranky...the pain. The reason there were two euthanasia appointments is because I could not do it the first time and I could not do it the second time either. Until I thought of the motel thing, my plan was for us to live in the car in the back driveway of a friend.
But, there was a happy ending. The short version is that I found a place to live, where CoolCat was welcome. This place is barely within the limits of my resources, but I like it and we are safe here. We have decent shelter, enough money for food, utilities, litter and the occasional carton of ice cream from Walgreen's when they are on sale or I am feeling desperate for some junk/easy/indulgent mood altering.
Some who is not me extorted a good portion of the proceeds of the house from my share because I was so invested in getting free with as few complications as possible. Now, if I had known that one of his activities was to steal and hide a huge portion of our joint assets and investments, I might have been more assertive about him continuing to fuck me over and over and over.
No, that is not true. I was not capable of being assertive about anything. Nothing. I knew it then and I know it now. I would not have done anything differently. And, whilst it means that something who is not me has most of our assets, I have something he will never have.
I have come through all of this with my ethics and morals and standards for decent behavior intact. I never responded in kind to any of his shenanigans, which is how I choose to think of his crap. In fact, I never responded to him at all. He and his sister would make all of these threats through his attorney, who would send it to my attorney, who would tell me, and that would be the end of it. Our response (mine, really) was no response. No 'yes', no 'no', no nothing.
I think that never losing myself, never becoming caught up in the terrible stuff that can be part of a divorce was perhaps the one thing over which I had control, in an adult life of never having control over anything, not even my body.
Interestingly, now that the worst is over and I am comfortable with so much, I feel that doing what I did and how I did it is worth everything. You know, like everything.
And, still, with everything I have experienced, I am feeling the occasional impatience at not being recovered and healed by this time, even though it has been only a few months. I guess I am simply weary of it all. I know that it takes time, that it took decades to bring me to this point in my life, that healing takes time, that I will be dealing with the PTSD for a very long time. Very long. I take medication for the depression. I have medication to help combat the anxiety and panic attacks, but I made the mistake of reading the prescription insert and it causes drowsiness, and I just cannot have that. Lordy.
I need either a different medication(s) or a higher dosage of the one I already have. I am stalling. However, I have gone back into therapy. Two sessions worth in the last week or so. And, in those sessions, my therapist is pushing to work on the issue over which I quit.
It is anger. Or, actually, my inability to feel anger, much less express it. It is a foreign language in an equally foreign location, to which I have no access, having swallowed it for most of my life. Just ate all of it up with a spoon.
It served me well. It helped me survive. I am not complaining. Except, of course, that is exactly what I am doing, because working on this is horrible. It scares me beyond articulation. I made a vow to do this work, and I will. It still scares me, but I will do the work, because the panic attacks are returning and that scares me even more.
The practical aspect is that I am supposed to write down what I am feeling as I feel the panic building.
What happened just before.
What is happening now.
How I was feeling before it started.
The specifics of how I am feeling now.
I thought that I would also note what I had been eating, drinking, sleeping, whatever.
I have not had one in this week or so. Had one tonight. Something difficult happened, no worse than any recent difficult things, but this one knocked me on my ass, and I have no idea why I reacted to this one thing when I have not done so to any of the other things that happened last week, which was a terrible week.
Writing all of this is helping, although it is not bringing me any closer to understanding any of this. I am trusting that this is the process.
I am not running away again. I am sticking with this.