CW: PTSD sorta, vomit, suicidal ideations, weight loss, alcohol
(Man those content warnings make this sound a LOT more fucked up than it is. I’M FINE, FOLKS. MOST OF THOSE TOPICS WERE JUST BRIEFLY MENTIONED.)
I don’t know if it’s my massive paranoia or what, but I legit think Chocolate dislikes me now and I don’t know what the EXACT reason is, since there are two probable ones, and another that I may have entirely made up, or maybe just compounded on the other two and finally broke the fuckin’ camel?
I have to deal with this NOW or at least in the next week because I can’t handle the stress of constantly trying to interpret her behavior.
This is like… honestly the closest thing I have to what the kids these days refer to as a “trigger.” Everything else that causes me anxiety or discomfort is nowhere near the level of an actual PTSD situation.
Well, except vomit. And that’s just an immediate, fairly extreme anxiety response that immediately dissipates after the threat of being exposed to vomit goes away. so maybe BECAUSE that reaction is so strong, it fits more into the “trigger” category UGH I DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW THE RIGHT WORD FOR ANY OF MY BRAIN PROBLEMS.
The years I spent living with my stepmom, I was constantly CONSTANTLY trying to figure out what was going on in her head. I knew asking wouldn’t get me a straight answer. Are you upset? No. Are you annoyed? No. Did I do something wrong? No.
But I knew I’d done something wrong, and I knew I’d likely interpret her signals wrong and somehow make it worse by trying to fix it. And I’d be put through days of her refusing to make eye contact when she addressed me, but still, STILL claim nothing is wrong. As though basic social signals don’t exist and I couldn’t OBVIOUSLY TELL that she was unhappy with me.
Or maybe she was just in pain, since she had chronic pain, but then why would it only be when interacting with me? And why wouldn’t she just TELL me she was in pain? (I’ve asked her that one and she says she’s always in pain so she doesn’t feel the need to mention it. Which almost checks out but like, you’re not always acting like you hate me…?)
Then finally, FINALLY I’d get a laugh out of her and things would be better and I’d think maybe I could repair the damage I’d somehow done, and then something else would set her off a day or two later–sometimes a week, if I was INCREDIBLY lucky, or my dad had done something particularly heinous and we bonded over our mutual irritation–and then the cycle would begin again.
Then at some random time after I’d done something ELSE upsetting, she’d mention the thing that I’d done wrong weeks/months previous and I’d be like DUDE I ASKED YOU IF SOMETHING WAS WRONG AND YOU WOULD NOT TELL ME. YOU WOULD NOT.
And her argument was either that, essentially, I’d picked the wrong adjective (I wasn’t UPSET, I was HURT), OR she’d give a lengthy (and honestly, reasonable-sounding) explanation as to why it was her right to not tell me, and it was wrong of me to ask her more than once. (Preferably at all, since she hates being asked if something’s wrong, but more than once is basically a crime.)
I just. On the rare occasions I broke down and explained how much I tortured myself just trying to do what she wanted, I wound up convinced it was entirely my fault, and I’d feel like garbage for whatever thing I’d done wrong, AND for trying to fix it, AND for feeling nervous around her when clearly she was communicating her needs perfectly and I was just too self-centered or stupid to understand.
And she was so REASONABLE about it. No raised voice, no insults. Just a quiet explanation as to how she was right and I was wrong, filled with logic that I could probably debunk at 29 but not at 19, and I walked away feeling like I was meant to have learned a lesson.
I know I should be over this by now. I wasn’t abused, OBVIOUSLY. She didn’t DO anything to me. She just… existed in a way that caused me stress and made me feel bad. But for some reason it was the most awful experience of my life, and after 3 years (was it 2? Maybe 2 and a half?), I was a 98-pound rubber band ball where all the rubber bands were wrapped around it just ONE MORE TIME than they should have been. And when she somehow 100% convinced me that if I didn’t move to Florida with them and help raise her kids, the whole family would fall apart, I was just about ready to punch my clock.
It was a lot, for me. And I know most people can handle a whole lot more trauma than just some maybe-unintentional emotional manipulation without wanting to die, but HEY-O, GUESS THAT’S JUST MY BRAIN, Y’ALL. IT’S A BIG OL’ BABY THAT CRIES ANY TIME IT’S NOT GETTING POSITIVE ATTENTION.
So here we are, nearly a decade later, and I’m spending like 3 hours a night fighting with this voice in my head that’s reminding me of every single thing I’ve ever done wrong in an attempt to pinpoint the source of a problem that may not actually exist, and then frantically brainstorming solutions that would probably never work, and every other thought gets drowned out until I’m a 115-pound rubber band ball and the rubber bands are wrapped around it just one more time than they should be and god DAMN if I’m not angry I didn’t drop down to 98 like I did back then because WANTING PEOPLE TO LIKE ME AIN’T MY ONLY NEUROSIS, FOLKS.
I’m just struggling right now but I’ll be fine.
At least not drinking is easy. LOL. I mean okay fine it’s been like 4 days and I’ve had no social plans but fuck you. HAHA.
I’ve created some hard lines around when I DO go out to drink, and I’m trying to figure out how soon I should test them out.
When I set clear boundaries, I’m always perfectly fucking fine! I just rarely make them CLEAR to myself. I’m always like “feel it out and stop when you feel drunk” AS THOUGH MY DRUNK BRAIN HAS LITERALLY EVER BEEN ABLE TO SELF-ASSESS.
Nope. Eat first or you’re not drinking. Set a drink limit, a time-between-drinks limit, and have a full-ass glass of water between each drink.
Plus with the latter, I’ll have to pee so often I won’t even have time to drink!
Sorry this is long and complain-y BYE
Last updated January 16, 2019