My thoughts go round and round, like a never-ending carousel with all the horses faces replaced with people I know, or have known, or think I know. No smiles. Just snarls and knowing looks. Some maniacal laughter just on the surface of their lips.
I just want to get off that carousel. I tell myself “I’m just not going to get on it anymore.” But then my feet find their way to it. “I’m just going to watch it for a while,” I tell myself. Then I get back on it. “Maybe this time it will be different.”
It’s never different. I’m so delusional. I don’t understand why I tell myself it will be. Do I really want to be on that carousel? Deep down?
The Serenity Prayer
Whether we have embarked in Alcoholics Anonymous or not, most of us have heard “The Serenity Prayer.”
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Every single horse on that carousel is something I can’t change. Someone I can’t change.
And should I want them to change anyway? I’ve often heard the idea of “letting people live their own path.” And I get it. No matter how much I want to help someone, they have to want to be helped, accept the help, ask for the help. I’ve been there. When I’m in my darkest moments, no one can help.
But it feels like they are affecting ME.
I’ve often heard the idea of “don’t take it personally.” I get that too. People’s actions have more to do with themselves, than their target. I’ve been there. I’ve struck out in anger or frustration. And then I have to humble myself and make my apologies.
But when so much is directed at me, it feels very personal.
I’ve often heard the idea of “You can’t be hurt unless you consent to it.” And I get that too. I like to think of myself as very strong. I would never allow myself to get involved in the victim mentality that’s going around. Even if I have been victimized.
But some wounds cave in my heart.
A Look at Myself
There is this idea that the things that truly upset us are things we don’t want to acknowledge in our own selves. That it’s an opportunity to be honest with ourselves about our own short-comings and delusions.
I believe this. And the question is why do I keep getting on that carousel? What is it about me that I don’t want to face?
I come from a hard background. In reality, I have no business being alive. Most people with my background die early, either from drugs or violence or suicide. Hell, I can’t even find a therapist willing to work with me, I’m so damaged. I’ve been fired so many times.
NOTE to Friends: If you are going to refer me to someone you think is good, make sure they can deal with someone with a truly hard background. And yes, Jane, I did get ahold of one of the people on the list you sent me. They fired me too.
I know that I have violent tendencies. The need to hurt the people who have hurt me is staggering. The energy it takes to not indulge is frightening. But I choose not to kill them all.
I know that I’m judgmental. So many people judge me or others, yet their own behavior is so poor, their self-delusion and righteousness so misguided. I think that if you are going to judge me, for anything, you better God Damn well be absolutely perfect. My judgment is focused on those who are not worthy of throwing their own judgments, shame and blame around.
And I know that that is just a justification for my own judgmental attitude. I’m also lying to myself. I know this, even if deep down, in my bones, I believe it is justified.
And because I know this, I feel superior to those other judgmental assholes.
And yet I also know that is a lie too. It’s an outward attitude to protect myself from what I really feel. Inferior, broken, and unworthy.
I know these things about myself. So why do I keep getting on the carousel?
Riding the Carousel
I think I’m trying to figure it out. Find an answer. A deep answer to a deep question. Or some sort of understanding or acceptance. Maybe even some relief. Here are some of the things that are on the carousel for me:
- I was an unwanted child; told I was stupid and would never amount to anything. Left in a playpen. Starved because my father didn’t like being disturbed at night. They didn’t even bother to teach me to walk. (My 3-year-old cousin Shari did they when she came to visit.)
- I was actively discouraged from marrying. My grandmother Carlson told me that if I did get married, he wouldn’t be welcome at family gatherings.
- My aunt our inheritance.
- My oldest friends in the world hurt me. One wants to dominate me, the other lies and forces her will on me. While I will always love them, they are not my friends.
- I was attacked by an acting teacher and all his students. They circled me, pointed their fingers and screamed “You suck! You will never be any good!” over and over and over. Hell, they even think they’re in the right. The assistant for that teacher actually asked me if I was ready to come back to that class. As if I would ever…
- I have a long history of therapists, and other people in helping professions, firing me. Saying they can’t help me.
- And More…
All of this tells me that I’m broken, flawed, can’t be fixed. Unfixable. Not worth even trying. Worthless. Undeserving. That I suck and will never be any good.
Logically, I know this is all bullshit. That the fact that I’m still alive is testament to my worth, my power, my capacity.
But in my bones, I’m still the little girl whose daddy thought he could train like a dog. Who has to just sit in the playpen, quiet, until he wanted to take her out.
Is it any wonder that I get so triggered by the shaming and blaming on social media? Can anyone blame me for getting so upset about that delusional group of women who are bullying, shaming and blaming, and getting people banished from the dance community? And why do you think that I’m becoming less flexible, less understanding, more autocratic and untrusting. The term “dumbass” is a word I use every day. My need to express my violence is growing.
And I hate it. I don’t want to be like that.
I want to believe that people are good at heart. But to believe that means I have to believe that all those people who have hurt me had it right. I am just a piece of shit. That they were doing me a favor by making me believe it. To keep me from getting my hopes up that I have any opportunity for happiness in life. That they were protecting me.
But I don’t believe it. I think humans are violent, vicious creatures. That they will take any reason to indulge themselves. They look for justifications to indulge themselves. Even as they lie to themselves.
I Ride the Carousel
I ride the carousel because I’m trying to make sense of all of this. I keep going over the same things, looking for a different answer. Maybe one more time and I’ll feel better.
But that’s madness too. I’m not getting my answers. I need a better method. A new solution.
All I want is for my bones and blood to accept that I am a worthy person, that I’m talented and smart. That none of the people who have been violent toward me had the right or were right, in any way. That they are the damaged ones.
My little girl needs a champion. Someone to care.
Deep down, I want to remove the need for the carousel. But on it I go again, round and round…