My therapist asked me what has been present for me these past few days and I had an answer ready for her immediately: “As I apparently was not important enough to be protected I constantly think that I am not enough as a partner, friend, employee, or whatever today.”
She asked me to elaborate and it just poured out of me. That I am often angry because I just can’t wrap my head aroung the fact that certain things were allowed to happen in the past. I can cope with people falling ill and with relationships ending and with school kids being assholes. It is okay. I am not angry that nobody tried to protect me from painful experiences; I am even grateful because most of these things have allowed me to grow.
But then there is this one thing, this one relative of whom everybody has always known that what he does is objectively not okay. All around him there were people who suffered from his crossing boundaries, his treating women like shit, his showing his body and regarding other’s bodies as his property. And it’s not even this behaviour that’s bugging me this much. People like him exist, that is sad but after all it’s true as well.
What I just really can’t grasp is that these exact people who have been suffering from this for decades enable his behaviour. Due to dependencies and fear of accusations this sick system is working and working and working. Of course it would have been great if the people who were responsible for me hadn’t exposed me to this, knowing that it would not be good for me. But I can understand that this is virtually impossible when you’re so trapped in such dynamics. Instead it would have helped if someone had taught me to set boundaries, to say no. What happened as an alternative was that I was being told why I had to accept his behaviour, that he would not change and that it is an inevitable fact that one has to put up with it. And what this does to my head is the following:
His needs were more important than mine.
His needs were even more important than questions of respect and decency that are much larger than just me.
So I was less important. Not important enough to be protected. Just not important.
And if I was so unimportant that nobody could surpass themselves for me in spite of old habits and fears and simply judge matters rationally there has to be something wrong with me.
There must be something about me that is fundamentally wrong and makes me so unimportant and worthless.
I won’t elaborate on this any further – don’t worry, I’m completely aware that these thoughts are super destructive. Not helpful, so full of self-pity and anger. I’m also not looking for guilt, neither do I like accusations, nor do they help, nor is it relevant. I have tons of understanding for the people this is about. I know their stories, I know exactly why they can’t see or can’t scream or can’t act. I understand every little detail, it is a crytsal-clear picture. But the problem is: This understanding is what’s destroyed me. For twenty-five years I have understood and understood and understood…and in the process I first joined the end of the queue and later lost myself.
I don’t know how to continue with this issue as I’m now torn between the old understanding I can’t keep up anymore and this new anger that sounds like an accusation all too quickly.
For now, I’m just glad I got rid of this poison in the old year; we’ll see what my therapist intends to make of it with me in the new year as we don’t have another session this year. This has been incredibly challenging for me and I had to fight the worst thoughts of self-harm in months after the session. Now I’ll turn off the phone and shut out the world. I wish you all a fluffy weekend.