There's been a bit of a build-up on this blog to my newest adventure in learning to overcome mental illness/child abuse. That's because it feels like the hardest topic ever. Basically I have to learn to let go of my anger, both at people who I felt hurt by when they walked away from me because I was hateful and scary (but didn't understand that), and at my parents and grandparents, especially my mother, for the things that happened to me and how she has handled my illness.
The thing is that anger scares me. I am afraid of people being angry with me. I've spent most of my life trying to avoid that. I think the defining moment on why that is so true is a story I've told part of but not all of. Really to anyone. When I was 15 I ran track. We didn't have a track that was full-sized so we had no home meets except this one little practice meet with the boarding school up the hill and some other tiny school that didn't have a real track. I only actually got to run one year thanks to the ankle fracture/destroyed knee incident, and since I was a cross country runner and ran long distances regularly throughout the year I was one of the 2 mile runners. The other one on our team with my father's girlfriend, although she ran shorter distances than I did (and therefore could sprint better). I ran that race in the lead. I was determined to just once in my life beat her. At the end she sprinted in front. I ran as hard as I could for the last 1/4 mile and she won by about 2 steps. In the meantime I, who never ran that fast, had hyperventilated because there wasn't enough air. I was terrified and crying and gasping and the coach was walking me around, talking me through breathing slowly. I'd about half recovered when my father charged down through all the athletes, coaches, and officials and began screaming at me about what a horrible loser I was and what he was going to do to me and a lot more I don't remember. The coach, who was awesome and big, merely grabbed my arm and walked away with me. I have no memory of the walk to the school and if my father followed; I believe other coaches restrained him. In the school I was locked in a safe room (no windows), given water, allowed to cry, and I think another coach came in with me while the big one went and basically threatened my father's life if he touched me or ever acted like that again. Again, I do not know details.
I do know that I was still so scared because I knew the ride home would be horrible. We had a black minivan and he forced me to sit where he could see and reach me and we'll abbreviate the 20 some minute ride to "it was abusive and terrifying and threatening" and I lied to everyone the next day when they asked. I also adopted a new hairstyle to hide my black eye. I think that was the time that happened. Or one of them. Who knows, I knew a lot of tricks to cover or lie about injuries, although most of them weren't easily visible.
That, to me, is anger. Anger also is the dark, deep uncontrolled horribleness that made me tell people I love that I hate them, that made me accuse people of horrible things (anger let my paranoia have a voice), that made me an awful customer because I was so horribly rude and demanding and insistent I was right no matter what. Anger is the feeling that I had when I used to assume people who care about me were going to some day immediately hate me and that every tiny mistake they made meant they hated me. Anger is me doing things I'm horribly ashamed of, including hitting my sister when I was way, way too old to do that.
Anger also is what has led me to spend years thinking I was the wronged party when people moved themselves away from me, when really I probably did or said something awful. I've spent so many years being so angry with most of the people I care about, for rational or irrational reasons. I just didn't have the ability to see how I could hurt people much worse than I thought they were hurting me.
But now I do. And so I am starting to face my feelings about anger and starting to apologize to some of the people who really deserve it. I'm not sure how, and it's very hard to apologize when I know only that something happened which caused change and it is 99% likely that I caused it and have no memory of it and that it seemed perfectly right at the time.
During the years I hurt people so often I remember this one person was supposed to call me to explain something that was affecting our relationship. There was an emergency and the call wasn't made. Rather than think "this is someone who cares about me and something has happened" I sent an email of horrible accusations, fury, and an overall statement that this person clearly had never cared and had just been lying to me like everyone else and that just like my whole life caring was just fake and I could be thrown aside wtihout thought. When we spoke the next day I begged my friend to not read that email. I will never, ever forget the hurt in his voice when he told me he already had.
I've done some horrible things because of my illness and it's only now I'm ready to take responsibility for that. I am not going to find everyone I've ever hurt, this is not AA, but it is something I have to do to make what I've done seem less horrible, which then maybe lets me deal with the even deeper anger.
Regardless, I am afraid and I feel so uncertain how to do this. It's just frightening and yet so necessary.
There's a lot more involved in this and I'll get to that tomorrow or Sunday. Tomorrow I have to work for a few hours and then I'm going to go get some baby snuggles in. So I don't know how I'll feel when I get home.
I do know that I cut my seroquel dose tonight because I overslept this morning because I"m worn out emotionally after that session with Dr. Mind and it is working like it is supposed to. So maybe I can get off the sky high dose soon.