I also spent some "down" time this week really grieving the fact that I have continually punished myself by bringing people into my life who perpetuate my underlying belief that I am "less than." It made it difficult to make it through one of the days at work, and with so much emotion laying on my sleeves, I was incredibly sleepy and staying focused was even more difficult. I found myself incessantly checking e-mail and writing e-mails and procrastinating in one way or another. I guess this is some of the remnants of the depression, which I continue to take medication for.
I also wasted my time listening to someone I know say that he wasn't quite sure that incest was a bad thing -- that learning about sex from someone who you love and trust firsthand seemed to make sense. He went on to say that there would probably be far fewer hangups if families talked more openly about sex. I sat in silence, feeling both defensive and misunderstood. I didn't even want to scream out, because it felt like it would be a waste of breath. It brought back a feeling I often have that no one can hear my voice.
A friend of mine recently referred to my behavior as "punishing myself." He suggested perhaps I was punishing myself for not being a good daughter ... for not maintaining contact with my stepfather. I wrote to him:
As much as it doesn't make sense, I feel bad about myself for cutting off connection to my stepfather, not calling to check on him when I know he's been in the hospital, not rushing to "clear things up" and pretend again that I am not hurting. Sometimes the farther I go into my thoughts on these things the more depressed I become. In other words, I thought I was "doing the right thing" cutting off connection to him ... and that has resulted in a whole other set of feelings -- feelings like I am only punishing him, it's not really that I am trying to take care of myself, because if I were taking care of myself I wouldn't make myself feel bad by being a bad daughter. It's crazy thoughts like this that keep me spinning. And in the meantime, I'm trying to recover from not just one but two or three lures that are so overwhelmingly attractive that the pain they cause seems better than living without them.
All of this seems a little more sad than my week actually was. My husband was very supportive and encouraging this week and it did feel really good to be among the workforce. I liked learning to use the transit system downtown and had some great conversations with a few fellow riders. The work I am doing also allows me to talk with people all over the world and that has been very satisfying as well. I enjoy meeting new people and hearing parts of their stories -- even if it is just what they do for a living.
Well, it's time to walk the dog ... on this nice sunny but cold day.