I found something I wrote about 2 years ago and I felt my heart start scuttering up towards my throat again as I read it- my body so readily believes that it is in a state of distress! In the spirit of Narrative Exposure Therapy, I wanted to reflect on it, dissect it and reduce its ability to remove from the now. This is what I wrote:
…One of the reasons I started writing here was that I wanted to confront the anger that I internalised. Even today it haunts me. I’m riddled with impatience and anger in unexpected times and places.
Today I tried really hard to control it and I couldn’t. I suppressed it with all my might but it still poked out and I’m trying to defend myself and explain it but I can’t. And he gets so annoyed with me. And everything he throws at me angers me more and I can’t even express the anger because it would end it all. He tells me it’s PMS. He tells me I’m being assy. He tells me I’m being a princess. I’m raging inside and want to scream the place down. But I hold back. It would only make things worse. So I take it. Let him keep belittling me for fear of losing him.
How can it be that I anger such a calm man? How I wish he came with instructions. I am willing to do it right. I just keep getting it wrong. He knows I’ve realised I’m wrong most of the time, so now he’s willing to let me take the blame for it all. It’s all my fault.
I loved him. I’m starting to resent him. He knows my memory is failing and is using it against me. He is making me feel bad for shit I’m not sure I’ve done.
Or am I being paranoid? I’m sick of not knowing. What’s wrong with me? Am I broken forever? I’m sick of secretly crying on the cold bathroom floor.
I need to get up and face it all. Life is so hard. If I wasn’t such a coward I would just end it all…
I would love to say it was a different me who felt that way, who felt she was treated that way, who wasn’t coping, but it was the same old me, in a lower place than I am now. I still feel all those things on occasion, but there are other things in my life now that don’t let me fall down the rabbit-hole of self-sorrow for too long. These new things (a job, more space and creative activity) have also given me the distance necessary to get some perspective and see what was real and what was imagined.
As much as I hate to admit it, John was right about one thing: my moods are extremely affected by my menstrual cycle. I used an app to track it and to my utter annoyance, John is pretty much as accurate as the app about when my period is due. As annoying as it is, it has armed me with information to help me be more self-aware. I’m now conscious that I might be more irritable or have the hunger to enable me to eat the entire contents of the fridge and take precautions.
I have also realised that during times where I’m not affected by an imbalance of hormones due to my menstrual cycle, John has his own issues. He is sometimes irritable and impatient and it’s not my fault and it doesn’t have to mean that my world stops.
That’s the main change. I know that my world would not stop without him now and in the past I had convinced myself that it would. It strangely sounds like I’m not as in love with him as before, but it’s quite the opposite; I am now with him out of choice and not out of necessity. For too long I believed and behaved as though we were not equals. I believed him to be so superior to me.
That is why I know I love him more now. He did not make me feel like we are equals by lowering himself in my eyes. He made me feel like we are equals by boosting me up.
And now I still get angry because of him but it’s a lot briefer and scarcer and usually ends up being because of misunderstandings. I am still shite at communicating my feelings to him because my feelings are still confusing to me.
I know I need more therapy.