Let’s get it out and down on paper and then let’s start doing something about it.

Most days I feel like an old battery that can’t hold a charge.

I know why. I know that I was never good enough
for someone when I was too little to do anything about it. I was only as lovable as the next thing I did to make her happy. Everything I did was in service to her ego. I was a weapon she used to inflict damage on other people. She always kept score.

It doesn’t excuse anything. I am accountable for my actions. I just wish I didn’t have to be accountable for hers. There’s gotta be a way forward that doesn’t involve hurting anyone else or myself.

Celia says that every stick has two ends. The two ends of this stick are:

1. I am capable of understanding a person to their very core. I remember everything about them. I take care of people.

2. I never feel understood. No one’s love passes the test. I can’t be taken care of. I seek out people who don’t approve of me and make it my mission to win their approval. I don’t ever feel safe.

I became an empath because I had to keep tabs on an adult’s moods when I was four. It was mostly just the two of us together. She scared the hell out of me. And what’s worse is that all of it had to be my secret. If I brought any of it up, she’d deny that any of it happened.

Now I keep tabs on everyone. The other night we were all out at Crown on Franklin. I knew where everyone was at every moment. I knew who they were talking to. What they were wearing. Where they were standing. What they were drinking. How they were feeling.

Tyler told me, after I had people over one night, that he knew I was keeping tabs on him. He said to give him slack so he could be himself around others. I know exactly what he meant.

I’m 42! I don’t blame my mother for the things I do now. That’s on me. But I still have problems with autonomy. I don’t have an ability to defend myself when someone is doing something that might hurt me. Instead I just dissociate and let them hurt me. It isn’t me they’re hurting. It’s a body that never belonged to me in the first place.

Maybe hypnotherapy can help with the Complex PTSD. It worked on other issues I have. I’d really like to live the rest of my life without thinking of her. It feels like such a betrayal to say that because she’s my mother. I always feel ungrateful. I’ve just been wishing this for as long as I can remember.

I know it’s not just her. She grew up with parents and so did they. The difference is that they had no problem with hurting other people. I mostly just hurt myself. The problem is that it hurts the people I love. That’s the part that keeps me from wanting to be around others. It’s why I want to go live in a cave and be forgotten.

This is darkness. It’s not manufactured. It’s not quirky. It’s not a personality I put on to be unique. I don’t have to do heroin to access it. Or listen to Nirvana to identify with it. I don’t read Bukowski to feel it.

The other end of this stick is that I’m aware of the light. Not Lisa Frank stickers or Jennifer Garner flicks or Ariana Grande hits. The light is that feeling I have when I go into a panadería and pick up a tray and tongs. It’s wearing a swing dress with pockets and sneakers. It’s fresh sheets on my bed. It’s a woman passing me on the street and telling me she loves my dress. It’s getting called darling or baby or sweetie by a waitress or receptionist. It’s fixing my own mistakes.

I want more of that, please.

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