[An appropriate title considering the deluge of rain we’ve received today.]
Went to a birthday party this afternoon. My nieces birthday party actually. It was nice, saw the family, etc. For whatever reason, I felt myself transform during the car ride home. I watched as I grew mute and angry. My face bore an exaggerated pout. My partner kept asking me what was going on, what was I feeling, and all I could do was feel myself pout even more. I eventually curled up into a ball and fell asleep. When we got home, I watched myself timidly follow my partner into our house, which is when the waves began to crash.
I was trying to look something up on my phone and it wasn’t working. The page kept going back to another page that I didn’t want, and I began growing frustrated. But being in the already dissociative state that I was in, it was more like I was watching myself get frustrated from a distance. At some point, I watched myself scream several times and slam my phone down on the floor. At this point, I forced the body to go to the bedroom, where I watched myself pace back and forth. I had images of losing control fly across my mind. Shattering the lamps. Flying the covers off the bed. Tearing the curtains from the windows. However, I was able to fight to maintain control, and nothing was flung or shattered or torn down. I managed to go back into the living room to sit and write an email to Bean explaining all that was happening.
I wrote a letter to Bean explaining that I think there’s another part of me that I’m becoming aware of. A young-feeling part – a toddler I would guess – who wants to throw a full blown temper tantrum. With all the screaming and the throwing things and the breaking things that goes along with it. And even as I was writing the email, it was as though both myself and this frustrated child were vying for control of my body. I was able to type the letter to Bean, however this did not mean I was fully in control of myself. The only way I can describe it is being possessed. You watch your body behave in a way that you would never behave, say things it would never say, act in ways you would never act.
While I was sitting typing the email to Bean, my partner came into the room and began talking to me. I can’t remember exactly what happened, except I wasn’t able to speak, and… Did she walk away? Did I run into the bedroom? I can’t really remember…
The next thing I can remember, I was in the guest room/her room. She was sitting on the sofa. I came in and sat down on the floor, still very much feeling like this child. I put my head on her lap and I wrapped my arms around her legs. I think she asked me, “Can you tell me what is wrong?” And I think I shook my head no.
The next thing I know, I feel the room coming into focus, and I’m back to myself again. I sit up on the sofa next to her. I’m feeling fine, happy even, but she remains quiet. I ask her if she is okay, and she starts to cry.
She tells me how hard it is. How hard it is not knowing how I am going to be one moment to the next. How hard it is not being able to depend on me to do certain things, to plan certain things, since she won’t know what state I’ll be in. How hard it is “not being able to count on you being you.” That one… really hurts. I’m trying to stay present, to really listen to her, to support her and comfort her in her sadness, in her grief, in her frustration, but I can’t. I feel myself turning off. I feel myself shutting down. I sit there, I continue to listen, I continue to make eye contact (since I know that is needed in order for her to feel listened to), but I feel I am dying inside. That a part of me is going dead. My mind is saying things like, “what right does she have saying these things. She has no idea how hard it is for me,” all the while knowing how completely selfish these thoughts are. She has every right to her own feelings after all. She has every right to express them, and for someone to hear them. For me to hear them. For me not to be the only one in the relationship that can break down and cry and have the other one be there.
However, this breakdown of hers was caused by me. I did this. It’s because of the emotional turmoil that encapsulates me on a daily basis. It’s because of the unpredictability of how I am going to act one minute to the next. I don’t blame her for being frustrated. I don’t blame her for needing to let it out. After all, she is patient with me, day in and day out. Isn’t she entitled to get overwhelmed, to be distressed, to cry and share her frustrations and have someone listen to her? And yet, for whatever reason, I couldn’t. While she was talking, I began drifting hundreds of miles away. She even noticed and said, “You’re going far away from me.” I knew this would hurt her the most. When she was in the most pain, when she just needed someone to listen, to care, to empathize. To share her pain the way she shares mine. But I couldn’t. I closed myself up. I walled myself off. I couldn’t even respond when she said that. I ended up having to leave the room. To go in the other room and scream and cry. To go into the bathroom and try to breathe and prevent myself from having a full-fledged panic attack. Her having big emotions made me feel like the rug was being pulled out from under me. It made me feel like my world was collapsing. That the waves were crashing. And I couldn’t make it stop.
Later on I told her how sad I was that I am not reliable. Because that makes me the most sad. She told me that I am reliable in the ways that matter most. That my love is reliable. That my care is reliable. I have to trust that she wasn’t just saying that to try and make me feel better.
The waves have calmed. The tide is receding. And now it is time for rest. Contemplation and reflection must be left for another day.