Heartbroken & Hopeful
.CW: I'm writing / processing about mental health stuff, DBT, group therapy, & mentioning family, abuse, neglect, & incest without details.
Feeling bitter in group therapy reminds me of being a teenager.
I had the gall to think that the DBT group I started last week would be a cinch, & I was wrong. I totes had a meltdown on the first day before I even arrived! When I got there I found myself quickly annoyed by someone who reminds me of one of my ex's in the worst ways. This combined with my general resentment & malaise, leaving me juuuuust pleasant enough to be around. Even though I'm feeling these waves of resistance, I'm still committing to going once a week & adhering to their dress code. It also helps that I'm committing to $5 movie nights right after group. I love when people share their post therapy treats on social media, mostly food, & was inspired to do the same! My current fave is popcorn dipped in nacho cheese.
There's three phases (I think) in this program, & the first phase is a four week skill building thing where they train us to reflect daily on our feelings & urges. I'm supposed to fill out a "short" checklist every night (still working on this one!), & one of my homework assignments last week was to list my strengths, & another one was to write a pros & cons list about behaviors I wanna change. These are harder to complete than I thought they would be. The second phase is a 6-8 month process where I'll be given the opportunity to delve into my shit with one-on-one therapy & group once a week. We'll probably continue to do more skill building. The third phase is EMDR, if needed. They don't really go into detail about it. It's on a need to know basis.
This week's group therapy highlights were Karate Kid references to exemplify how mundane training & disciplining yourself can seem, but if you stick with it, those "boring" skills you're developing can really help you kick ass in life. The fatphobia was something I could've done without.
I'm reading what I've written so far & looking at my picture, & I can't help but wonder if this is a bad / unwilling attitude. It totes might seem like I'm being forced to go, but I'm not. Wait. Maybe I am. My breakdown this past winter / spring is making me go. I don't like feeling out of control of my feelings, & I totally was! It's really scary when I find myself yelling & feeling so defensive & saying mean things to someone I love. This was happening more & more often, resulting in these huge deficits of any compassion or love for myself. Hating myself like this reminds of my tumultuous teenagehood, & maybe I'm resentful about that cuz I'm supposed to be done with this shit, but here it is, front & center, making me go to group therapy once a week for the first time in over a decade.
Suze, my girlfriend, wasn't necessarily trying to get resources for me when she found this snazzy therapy place, either. She was researching resources for my kid. My baby just turned thirteen this spring, & I don't even know what to say about him other than I am heartbroken & hopeful, which pretty much sums up parenting.
It turns out this was the year I told him about how prevalent incest, abuse, & neglect is in our family & lineage. I always knew I was gonna have to, but I didn't really want to. My secret hope was that maybe I could provide such an idyllic, pristine life for him, free of pain & strife (omg lol), that I wouldn't have to share such ugly & shameful truths. By no means did I go into detail about anything, but just communicating the gist is excruciating. I didn't want to, but Suze helped me understand that it's important to share these things with him now, at these crossroads, so he can begin to place himself within the larger complex family tree that we belong to. Knowledge is power, & this is the best way to keep him from repeating the same shit I tried so hard to protect him from.
I guess what all this boils down to is that I wanna change. I wanna heal shit that hasn't been touched in generations. I wanna break myself open & then put myself back together in ways that defy my lineage of pain, suffering, & sorrow. I want to honor the part of me that urges me to stay soft & open no matter how much I am hurting. I can't always remember or name where this place exists, or whether its inside or outside of me, but I know that it is very old.
I wanna know joy. I wanna know peace. I wanna know connection. I wanna know safety & security. I wanna know love love love. I wanna know that I helped raise a boy who knows how not to hurt others. I wanna be a mother who isn't afraid to acknowledge the truth. I wanna show my baby how to release shame instead of feed it. I wanna heal things in our family that have haunted us our whole fucking lives. I wanna turn this shared grief into lives worth celebrating. I really really do.
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