That’s the question that is typically on my mind as I drive to therapy. Like, I made it through another few days, another week, and I didn’t think I would. Are you proud of me?
Sometimes I wish I could talk about these things, about how much I don’t want to be alive sometimes. But I know better than to talk about it. I learned from a young age what to say, what not to say, and how to toe the line so you don’t get “in trouble”.
Growing up, and even still now, my mental health was always…disciplined. My parents didn’t believe in therapy, or treatment, or anything to do with that. My sister has a number of significant mental health diagnoses and tortured and abused me from the day that I was born. So, while my own mental health struggles were a direct result of an abusive and tumultuous home life, they were not recognized as a priority, or even as valid. And I was always shamed and punished for it. They were too busy dealing with her, and the thought of me being another problem for them was just too much.
Those voices and feelings are the driving force behind a lot of things still now. My parents still think “I should be grateful and happy and blah blah fucking blah” and that I should insert gaslighting phrases here. Whatever they come up with in the moment about how great my life is.
Because of those voices in my head, I do often feel as if my pain is invalid. Or not real, or…anything at all along those lines. It’s such a hurtful way of thinking, to feel hurt and feel wrong for hurting all at the same time.
I guess that question, that “are you impressed every time I show up not dead” question, is my subtle and sarcastic way of attempting to be proud of myself or something. Like, it was a huge accomplishment to just survive, and even if I got nothing else productive or useful done, I still somehow survived. It used absolutely all of my spoons, but I did it.
It’s stupid, I know, and it’s never something I’ve said out loud. But every time I have therapy, I guess it feels like a mini milestone.
I did it, I made it. I made it another few days. And now hopefully I have the strength to make it through a few more.