Man hands on misery to man

I’m not great right now and I’m blaming therapy. I’ve been merrily plodding on for months and months now, the odd bad day dragging me down but not for long. My strategy of locking all my demons away has been working terrifically, so as long as I don’t actually think about anything other than the things I’m doing that day.

Then last week I started therapy. After some mental health assessments I’ve been prescribed some CBT and some intensive counselling which is great news, but it does mean I have to put my demons in their best party dresses and take them out for a spin every week for the next three months.

My therapy will focus on sorting out my self esteem (minuscule) and getting my critical voice to be a bit nicer to me. Fine. But what that means is I’m now looking at WHY my self esteem is so tiny and WHY my critical voice is such a massive bitch. I know the reasons why and it really really hurts to delve back there and pick at those open wounds.

If you want a clue as to why I’m a messy mess of messy issues, a pretty good starting point can be found in Philip Larkin’s famous poem, This Be The Verse. I had a perfectly nice, normal, boring childhood, pretty devoid of praise, with overly critical parents, compounded by my abject failure to match up to my high achieving younger sibling.

I love my parents and I know they love me, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m a disappointment, a failure on all fronts. Even now their every interaction with me is peppered with criticism about me, how I look, how I act, how I dress. They criticise my husband and child, my life, everything really. Occasionally they slip up and tell me they’re pleased or proud of something and it’s so rare I figure they must be lying or have made a mistake. I do love them though, but I’m determined not to be like that with the small boy.

I know the first few weeks of therapy will be the hardest. Opening up to someone and showing them the darkness within. Talking about the things that hurt the most without having the strategies I need to cope with this new avalanche of pain will knock me for six, but I’m really, really upset I’m feeling this way again and I’m frightened that it’ll drag me down again, pull me under and overwhelm me and I just can’t go back there. Part of me wants to slam the door shut and run far away from it all. Part of me, most of me knows this is all for the best, in the long term at least.

So please bear with me, I’m struggling right now, I hurt a lot and I’m really, really hating on myself, but you know this isn’t really me. I’m not really like this. I’m just frightened of being swept away on the tide and never finding my way back again.


8 responses to “Man hands on misery to man

  1. love that quote. i understand and can relate to so much of what you say about your parents. for me i found once i had realised why they acted in certain ways it explained alot. when i finally reached a point where i was tired of the same old same old i took 3 steps back and never looked (or stepped!) back. id love to talk more about this with you in person. i am really proud of you and how far you’ve come. you are a fabulous mum and it is clear that B adores you and has lots of fun with you. i love that we are not letting our pasts dictate our futures, our boys deserve better than that x

  2. So sorry you’re feeling like this at the moment Jane, those demons are not ones that I would like to have to bring out each week. It is a really difficult to open those wounds. However, the journey to feeling happier often has to go through some pretty dark paths I hope that you get there soon x

    • Thank you Jen. part of my problem is I put things away and don’t deal with things as they happen, so they fester, hoping the therapy will stop some of that, at least for a while. You have a beautiful soul Jen, thank you xx

  3. I’m also in the position of loving and being loved by my parents, but having grown up in an environment where I wasn’t heard and wasn’t protected. So good that you’re aware and changing how parenting looks and feels with your boy. Take care, be gentle with yourself, be as kind to the child you were as you are to your own child.

  4. I can empathise so much with this. This was me last year, at the start of a therapy journey that unearthed a lot about my relationship with my parents. It was raw, it was draining…but in the end it was empowering and it did help. It didn’t fix me, but it patched me up enough to keep going and I think that’s the best I can hope for from just three short months. I hope your progress and journey are good for you too, just remember that you get out of it what you put in.

    • Thank you so much. I’ve only had three sessions so far but I’m getting more insight into why I am how I am and I’m sure we’re going to address them in time. Thank you for sharing your story, like you I don’t think I’ll be fixed, but a decent patch up job will be good enough I think x

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