In an odd turn of events, I have my teenage self under control. It is a rare thing that happens. He isn’t normally my good inner self. But here he is, the calmest of the three. My adult is tired, because he’s trying so damned hard to keep everything together and appear to be competent. Then there is my little kid and he is being my troublemaker. I’m not used to him being the issue, so I’m even more at a loss right now. Every time I talk about these three inner folk with my old white dude, I make sure that he doesn’t think I’m crazy. He just looks at me, chuckles, and tells me that I’m perfectly sane.
So my little one is a ball of emotions. The only one I can identify is anger, which scares me. I learned very, very young that I needed to not have certain emotions. I learned early on how to hide them or just sort of block them out. Most children will throw tantrums of a need of theirs isn’t being met and they don’t know what to do other than get angry because they can’t regulate their emotions yet. That wasn’t an option. Getting angry at all wasn’t an option. If I did, things would be worse. It didn’t teach me anything other than I wasn’t allowed certain emotions and nobody would take the time to talk to me. I would be ignored more than I already was if I didn’t “act right” and yet I was never sure what acting right meant. I adapted to what I thought was wanted… which leads me to where I am now.
There are days where I am scared of myself. That has come and gone for years, I know my limits with it. I am not near the line I set for myself eons ago, but the fact I had to remind myself of where that was a bit of an eye opener. I hadn’t realized how much I had been retreating into my head and turning off different emotions again.
I am trying to learn how to help my inner child but he’s building walls and he is hiding. I keep getting flashes of emotion and some memories. I can’t stop them. They are spanning great lengths of time, but each one is being seen and felt through the child. I had been getting one or two the last couple weeks and those are normal. They just happen and have for ages when I retreat too far in my head. I honestly thought it was normal because it was normal for me. Thanks PTSD. The last couple days have been bad. I haven’t had flashes like this in awhile. I’m going to have to bring it up with the old white dude this week. I hadn’t really mentioned them before, because they just exist and I learned how to deal with them for the most part. I know, the old white dude could help me work with them better but it just seemed insignificant at the moment. It was trivial compared to other things I was dealing with.
By seeing even adult memories through the child, I’m losing control of more of my emotions. It’s getting more primal, more out of control. I don’t know what to do with emotions like this, I have no idea at all. I never learned proper ways to deal with emotion, because I was just supposed to not have them. The more I try to move forward, the more boxes that are opening in my head and I can’t handle them. There’s more pain, more hurt, more sadness and loneliness…and after the fact comes anger. Hot, visceral anger. He is angry that nobody noticed, nobody ever seemed to care. He’s angry that he had to hide himself for so long and had to suffer alone in the darkness. There is an anger that he had to leave the land of magic that so many children live in… because that’s where kids exist, before he was ready to. Nobody taught him how to grow or express himself. Instead he was taught to hide, to pretend, to not have feelings, to not cry. Crying was always followed with that phrase, “Knock it off or I will give you something to cry about.” So I didn’t anymore. To the best of my ability, I hid it and caused it to cease to exist. It took me over two years to be able to cry in front of my one college professor who I saw on basically a daily basis. Over two years of stress, pain, and feeling so hopeless at times. You know what I was scared of most when it finally just burst? I was more scared that she would push me away. I knew I couldn’t hold it in anymore, but as I sat there at first I was afraid I had just ruined a relationship that meant a lot to me. So I didn’t know what to do when she did the opposite of that. She listened, she waited, and most of all she was kind. She didn’t think any less of me for releasing all those pent up emotions. I think she was more relieved in some ways that I was finally able to open that door a little bit. I’m afraid I’ve slammed it shut again though.
I didn’t understand what I was experiencing when I was little. I did not have anyone to help me understand what I was experiencing. What I did learn was that I was getting the message that I couldn’t be. Literally, I could not be as I was and I had to change to be safe. Kids want to feel safe right? I didn’t know what safe felt like because I constantly policed myself to make sure I was following all the rules I thought I needed to follow.
I am not sure why the little one in me is so angry. I might have theories to talk over with the old white dude when I see him, but I don’t know if any of them can hold water. Since I started writing this particular post a couple days ago, I still don’t have any idea. All I know is that I don’t have control over him and he’s a ball of emotion… with nowhere to put it.