I've been trying for over a year to write a letter to my little self, the self before my mother died, the self before psychic and physical pain conspired to slow me down, and I just can't do it. I know how important it is that I write it, as part of the therapy arc first suggested by my reading of Toxic Parents. I know how much my physical and emotional health depend on being able to let go and stop judging myself, and blaming myself for surviving horrible circumstances in the best way I knew how.
Somehow, knowing all of that isn't really helping.
How could I have let things get to this state? How could I have done this to myself? How can I try to take good care of myself when I know that I've spent years making things worse?
I feel paralyzed by guilt and unable to get passed it. I know that I have to rip through the guilt to get out more anger and sadness and who knows what else, in order to heal, but I just can't move right now.
I know that if I were talking to any other friend or family member -- or even a perfect stranger -- I would urge forgiveness and kindness, but I can't muster it up for myself. I know that by being so judgmental I am almost compelling the type of bad decision that I feel guilty about, but I can't seem to stop. I sit quietly with my feelings and sense the space around me grow dark and agitated and can't find my way back to the light. One of my friends, responding to my previous blog post, reminded me that there are a lot worse coping mechanisms I could have chosen, alcohol, painkillers or street drugs, and she's right; any of those things would have hurt the people I love as much or more than they hurt me, and I wouldn't have the years of productivity and good relationships behind me that I do have, and for which I am very grateful.
I know all that, and yet my heart knows nothing.
So what do I say to my little self? How do I apologize? How do I move on? I don't know yet, but I'll keep trying to figure it out. I do trust that if I keep true to my process, I'll get there eventually.
A hui hou.