Depression (1)

Some days are better than others. Overall, they are getting better and better, but there are days where I feel like I took three steps back and get trapped in my old toxic emotional thinking patterns. At those times I feel like I’m trapped inside a dark, moldy prison with no one but my own demons to talk to and will never be able to escape. I know that’s not true, and tomorrow will probably be better, but right now, at this moment, I’m in immense emotional pain.  I feel like if I died and went to hell, it wouldn’t much worse than this. I can’t just turn the pain off with a switch, the way the narcissists in my life seemed to expect me to be able to do.

I got triggered. At least I know what the trigger is. Today is my daughter’s birthday, and we were planning to drive up into the mountains and have lunch together. She was supposed to be here around 10 AM. But by eleven AM I still hadn’t heard from her. I began to panic and imagine some kind of catastrophe befell her, the way I always do because the world has always seemed incredibly dangerous to me and no one can be trusted.     You never know when you’re going to get bad news or when the other shoe will drop.  It’s a horrible way to live and I definitely don’t recommend it.   But it’s in my programming.   People think I’m nuts but I can’t help being this way.   It’s hard to change the programming.

Around noon, I finally got hold of her and she hadn’t gotten out of bed yet. She was hung over from a night of partying and she was also depressed. All I could think about was myself and what SHE was doing to ME. I told her I’d been looking forward to this and I’d taken the day off work to spend with her. She told me I was putting her on a guilt trip and she was right–I was. I apologized and told her to try to have a nice day and we’d get together another time. But I still felt triggered  and ornery.  I’d written a nice, positive post this morning about the fun day I was anticipating having with her, and what a great daughter she was, but I couldn’t bear to keep it up, so I removed it.

I spent the rest of the day alternately feeling sorry for myself and being angry. I did nothing but sit on the couch, switching channels mindlessly but not really watching anything, and poking around online but not really paying much attention to what I was looking at. I tried to read a little, but couldn’t focus and would keep reading the same sentence over and over, not comprehending the words. I yelled at my cat for no good reason. I snapped at my housemate. I thought about how much my life and everything in it sucks and how I’m not getting any younger and will probably be dead in the next 25 or 30 years with nothing to show for it.   I thought about how most people my age and even much younger are doing much better than me emotionally, financially, and every other way. They have healthy, real relationships because they were given the emotional tools to have those things.  My programming cut me off from having access to those things.   Of course I was constantly reminded of my inferiority by my unsupportive narcissistic family (I was rejected and labeled “the black sheep” for my failure to attain the “success” in life my very programming denied me) until I cut off almost all contact with them.  I was cruelly told to “sink or swim” but never given any swimming lessons and in fact spent most of my childhood with my head forcefully held under the water. That’s the sort of mindfuck you get when you’re the child of narcissists. You can’t win. You can only lose–and then you’re callously blamed for it. Sometimes you’re even disowned for it. I’ve been treading water–barely–for years, in constant fear of drowning.

The rain stopped and the sun is shining but I have no motivation to even go sit outside on the porch. All I want to do is stew in self pity and self hatred. Why? What good does it do? I hate it. Angry and bitter? You bet. But I refuse to drown in those feelings because I still hold onto hope that I can be a real person someday. I won’t give up on me, even though the people who were supposed to love me unconditionally did.

Finally I got a call from my daughter apologizing to me. She was crying. I felt so terrible. She told me how depressed she was and it sounded a lot like my own depression. She was talking about all the bad choices she’s made. She feels badly because some friends she went to school with are starting families or are getting advanced degrees or have careers and she has none of those things. But she’s just 23.  She blames herself. I could relate. I tried to be empathetic and not think about the way I feel very much in the same boat–only I’m a lot older and don’t have my whole life ahead of me or the options she still does. I assured her that she may be a late bloomer but that she is blooming and to be patient with herself. I may never be a perfect mom, but I will never give up on her or abandon her the way my family did to me, because it’s not something you ever get over. It ruins you. It murders your soul. I won’t let her soul be murdered.

Sorry this post wasn’t more upbeat. But I’m just really depressed today and needed to write about it. It doesn’t help to keep this crap inside.  

18 thoughts on “Triggered.

  1. I don’t know that there is such a thing as ‘cured,’ but we do get better. My bad days are no way as bad as they used to be, and my good days are so much better! I don’t know your age, but I am in my fifties, and maybe only starting to look at what I might do with the rest of my life, which might be very short. You are not alone. You have done an amazing job, and I have no doubt will continue to recover. I wish you all the strength, and rest, and recovery that you can have, and a wish that you may love yourself. You are lovable, despite what those people may have taught you. I say to you the things that I need to hear, and hope that it benefits us both.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m the same age as you, it seems many of us don’t realize what we’ve been up against until midlife. I know this is just a temporary low and overall I’ve been getting better and have more good or neutral days than bad ones (most used to be very bad indeed!) I feel a bit better after writing this post–that’s why blogging has been so healing to me.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. It was so good to hear from you again today on this. I saw when you took your other post down. This post of yours made me feel better because misery loves company! It does sound like you’re feeling better at this point though. The closing of your post here sounded more upbeat.

    It’s kind of cool if nothing else that you and your daughter had a bad day together, even if it was her birthday. I liked that she called you.

    I know for me, at this age, and I’m 50, I worry all the time about a combination of two things. Isolation and poverty combined. I’m not really IN poverty, but, low-income yes. I’m isolated except for the faces I’ve become to know at church. I’ve been living where I am now for going on two years and really only have one friend to call on and I fear wearing out that friend with repeated requests. In a nutshell, progress is very, very slow.

    I feel set up to fail in my life because I had asked family a lot of the right questions but was given dishonest answers which landed me in my present circumstances. This situation is one I wanted to avoid.

    But hearing from you, and knowing the situation is not all that dissimilar made me feel better. That you too are probably playing a financial balancing act that brings about worry. I also get that like me, you probably would like to be more hopeful. So thanks for your honesty and for adding this post. It was comforting.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I was blamed for my “bad choices” but was never given the emotional tools to be able to make the right choices. I look at my daughter and when she talks about her “bad choices” and blames herself, I feel like she’s following in the same path I did, and it makes me worry. But I’ll always be there for her. That doesn’t mean enabling either. But your kid never stops being your kid, you just don’t throw them away like so much garbage because they have “shamed you.” I’ve never gotten over that.
      I’m glad my post made you feel a little bit less alone though. I definitely know that “misery loves company” feeling. Sometimes I feel guilty about it, but it always hurts more to think no one else has ever been through what you have. It’s good to know there are SO MANY who blog, or comment on this blog, who know EXACTLY what this feels like, and are working hard to become emotionally healthy and heal from the things that were done to us. We are all in this together.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Dear Lucky, peepull are so f*ing inconsiderate. Take a day off work for what?!? A freaking no-show, that’s what. i really fume at ghe idea of even going alittle bit out of my way for peepull because..?


  4. I’m sorry you are hurting. I understand your feelings of wallowing in self pity. Especially waiting for the other shoe to drop. I get so scared when things are going well. I am always looking ahead to the future to see when shit will fuck up. I am constantly thinkng about how things affect me. I can be selfish at times. I’m sorry, I try not to. I am always afraid. I have anxiety today. A wonderful conversation with my beau turned bad because I’m fucking stupid. I have money troubles and I may have to get a second job. Then I’ll never see him bc he is a traveling worker. I usually see him holidays and summers. We made a pact that I would get my shit together and go on road with him and write as a job. I’m in no way near that, nor do I think I am good enough. I contacted a local publication and have not recievwd a response in last week. I wrote for them before but haven’t heard anything again. I tried contacting other local places here and no dice. I’m flipping out bc my job doesn’t pay the best and I know I need insurance and benefits. And writing, especially my ability, will not provide me with either. I’m ducking frazzled today.
    I have said a prayer for you and your daughter. I hope your day gets better. Remember: One day at a Time.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was so encouraged by this blog. Sharing honestly the triggering impacts makes me feel less alone in the world because mine are very similar. There is no one present in my life that I can honestly share the struggle I’m going through day to day recovering from Narc upbringing And it does seem odd that I’m now 61 and wading into this ocean of truth about what was actually happening to me most of those 61 years. Like the ocean, those waves sometimes knock me over and I’m dog paddling to keep from drowning.

    My children certainly can’t hear where I am at and what their grandma was up to in my life. The “get over it” is an unspoken clear reprimand to say anything. so I keep it all stuffed away and withdraw. As the scapegoat I absolutely believe that being raised as the scapegoat is grooming for the next abuser to take it to the next level of abuse. As you said “because the world has always seemed incredibly dangerous to me and no one can be trusted” I remembered being told today by a grown daughter….”I refuse to live like you trusting no one”.

    I think part of that narc pleasure is the condemnation “make something out of yourself” when they have robbed you of all possibility of doing so. The siblings have been given the tools to do so, and the only tool you’ve been given is how to fail. The family needs a failure to make themselves feel more successful and the entire structure is arranged just so that there will be one. What is sad, is when the narcs are gone physically and the shame, worthlessness and rejection that were their surgical tools of cutting your heart up are now being exercised by their voices in your head repeated the hatred toward yourself.

    If this is a tool at all, the thought “they’d enjoy knowing I hate myself today because I’m living out the failure they set me up for”. The real victory is to love who and what you are, understand that you did your very best given what you were given, and accept that wealth is not the measure of worth and value. Narcs deserve the hatred they directed at you, they are the ones that are not successful, they are horrible failures as human beings.

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  6. I like a lot of what you have to say katiesdream2004. I recently asked myself that when I complain about my present situation, a near impoverished existence, what is it that I would want the narcs to do for me to make it better? My answer to that would be some kind of bail-out, help getting to firmer ground in order to improve my life.

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    • That is all I would want from them too. A sort of “making up” to me I feel would fix things. Maybe it wouldn’t. But I feel like it would help. In therapy, my therapist has actually had me “talk” to my mother and let her know what I need and also ask what it is she wanted from me. I still don’t have the answers and it’s so hard for me to talk to her even in my imagination. Rejecting me, and disowning me, were absolutely devastating to my growth as an adult and pretty much put a halt to any self esteem I had left, which wasn’t much to begin with. I don’t “hate” them because I feel like they didn’t know what they were doing, or thought that they were doing the “right” thing and will never change that opinion that what they did was “right”. But it was so, so wrong. They have no idea, and I’m trying to accept that they will never change. I have to give myself what they should have given me. Somehow. It’s so hard.


  7. I’m sorry you were triggered today and are having a hard time, but you don’t need to apologize for it. You have highs and lows like the rest of us and your feelings are valid. ❤


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