Missing normal.

I was going to write a post, but this piece (I don’t know who the writer is) sums up my feelings as well as I can.

normal

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Mourning.

I feel like I’m in mourning today.     I could barely get through my day.  I called my therapist and told him how upset I was and asked him if  crying and feeling this depressed over a presidential election was a normal reaction.    He shared with me that his phone had been ringing off the hook since last night because people are so depressed, despondent, hopeless, suicidal–and yes, many are crying too.    There are many, many of us feeling a great loss today.   Not over Hillary’s loss per se, but over the loss of hope for this nation.

It’s all over.  America, as we knew it, is no more.

But it’s been coming to this point for 40 years.  How could we have been so blind and denied what was obvious?

It’s all so surreal.

And the games haven’t even begun yet.   We are in deep shit.

This is the worst thing that could ever have happened to this country.   I can’t see anything good coming from it.

I see a Hunger Games future for this country.

I can relate to this song right now, so much.   It was recorded in 1965, a time of hope and innocence when the country was changing in a positive way and people were waking up to new possibilities.  Now everything’s all going to roll back to 50, 100 years ago–a time when women knew their place was in the home serving their authoritarian husbands,  there were no social support systems for the vulnerable, children were to be seen and not heard, homosexuality was considered a serious mental illness, and non-whites knew their place was in a servile role to the rich white men who ran things.

But people still flocked to America even then because they saw the possibilities, the promise of freedom and opportunity.

All of that is gone.

RIP AMERICA: 1776 – 2016

 

Further reading:

The Five Stages of Trump Grief: How to Go Through Them as Fast as Possible (from Mashable.com)

Thinking about my dad.

dadandme1983

I have only three pictures of my dad, and only one of us together, taken in 1982 (shown above).    He passed away suddenly on June 6, 2016.    I can’t believe he’s been gone for almost half a year.

My dad wasn’t a very good father.  In fact, he was pretty terrible.   A covert narcissist (though I don’t think he was malignant or evil), or possibly a borderline, or maybe both, he was always codependent to higher level, grandiose NPD women.   At least in my mother’s case this was true.   For all of my childhood and part of my adolescence, he was an active alcoholic and often lost control and become violent and abusive.  Sometimes he really scared me.   His punishments could be harsh and cruel.  He also invaded my boundaries in many ways and seemed to expect something of me that I could not be, but I never knew what that was.

Much like my mother, he could never accept “negative” emotions and always seemed to expect me to act happy even if I wasn’t. So I learned how to fake happiness or at least contentment, but was never very good at it. But there were also times that he wasn’t this way (more on that in a minute).

He also cut me off for years at a time once I became an adult, refusing to have anything to do with me when I disagreed with him or did something that went against his wishes.   The time around my daughter’s birth was one of those times (not because of her, but because of something unrelated we had disagreed about).   Because of that, he never met her until she was 8 years old.   He did apologize for his lack of contact with me.

In spite of these behaviors, my dad could also be very loving.  When he was loving, he could be the sweetest and most understanding dad anyone could ever hope for.  While I always somehow knew my mother’s “love” was fake, I never felt that way about my dad.    When he showed me love, I knew it was really coming from his heart because it just felt like the real thing.  My intuition about these things is usually accurate.   Although his rages were usually scarier and more violent than my mother’s, as a person he scared me less.  He was less cold and could even be very warm.  As disordered as he was, my dad had a heart.  I always felt like I could talk to him, at least when he was sober or in a good mood.  At those times he could be extremely supportive and empathetic. He was very protective of me and used to get so angry when anyone else tried to hurt me.

The problem was he was so unpredictable.  It was so hard to discern when he would be nasty or nice.    So I usually waited for him to be nice to me, rather than seeking it out. He was such a conflicted person.

I loved my dad.  I still do.   Today in church the priest talked about praying for those loved ones who have passed on.    Until now, I hadn’t been able to cry about my dad’s passing.   I experienced a lot of other emotions — shock, anger, rage, regret — but I never really grieved.   We hadn’t been close in years.

But today was different, and I sat there wiping away tears and realizing how much I miss my dad, and feeling so sad because we never had a chance to get together before his death and reconcile or come to  some kind of understanding as father and daughter.  There was no closure.   I never even got to see him in the hospital, and I was unable to attend his memorial service.  There was this vast distance between us (I never went No Contact with my dad).   He never got the chance to see how much I’ve changed and grown.   I know he would be proud; he always told me he wanted to see me thrive and be happy one day. I knew he meant it too.

I hope wherever my dad is right now, he has learned a few things and is working out his demons and his soul is being cleansed.  I don’t believe death is so final that you just go to either heaven or hell and that’s it, because no one is all good or all bad.    I think our souls continue to grow and mature and sin can be cleansed even after death.

I also hope he understands that his youngest daughter, who I know he loved in spite of the terrible way I was raised,  has realized a lot about why things happened as they did, and is now using those lessons to become a better and happier person.   A person who has processed enough of this trauma that she can finally reach out and begin to help others.    I hope he is looking down from wherever he is and is proud of what I became.  I hope he knows that I love him and pray for his spiritual freedom too.  In many ways, both my parents were teachers to me.  Harsh teachers to be sure, but I still learned so much once I realized what I’d been up against.   Framed the right way, narcissists can teach you much about yourself, if you can move on from hating them and try to understand why they did what they did and why it was done to you.

Dad, wherever you are, I miss you and love you….in spite of everything.  I forgive you.

Depression is happiness.

I’m so depressed I had to call in sick at work and set up an emergency therapy session this afternoon.  I couldn’t sleep last night at all.   I’m crying almost all the time.    This is more than just SAD.  That never got THIS bad before, even though it’s probably contributing to it.  My therapist thinks I’ve slammed headlong into the “void” and have lost all my usual defenses without anything to fill the hole yet and that’s why I feel like I’m losing my mind.    I know this is probably “good” and means I’ve made more progress but it sure doesn’t feel that way right now.   I have to keep telling myself this is not permanent.   I feel like what’s happening is some sort of grieving process.  But what exactly I’m grieving I’m not sure.

I did see this post this morning and it made me feel a tad better.   Maybe it can help someone else too.

Depression Is Happiness