Last night I returned from a 26 hour trip to my mom’s house. She lives about 4 hours away from me and she is watching my daughter for the next 4 days while I’m at a wedding.
Some back story on this relationship:
I started wrist banging and hitting myself when I was about 6 or 7 years old. In the 4th grade, my teacher gave me my very first journal. I still have it. On more than one occasion, I wrote about wanting to kill myself or run away. Depression and anxiety have been a life-long struggle for me. You would think that, as a parent, you would recognize this. When I was 15, my mom got that dreaded call from the school guidance counselor to inform her that I was cutting myself. I’ve been in and out of therapy since I was 13 for suicide ideation, self-injury, depression, etc. My mom has always referred to it as a “phase” though. Longest. Fucking. Phase. Ever.
Ok…back to the story:
During my trip my mom and I had a long talk about my marriage (which is currently falling apart, but that’s a topic for another day). Apparently my sister told my mom that I’m back in therapy (insert eye-rolling emoji here). My mom has never been “pro-therapy.” Who knew that was a thing? PRO-THERAPY? Pro-life; pro-choice; pro-peach milkshakes at Chick-Fil-A….but pro-therapy?
Ok so she asked me when I started seeing my new therapist. I told her July of last year. She responds with, “Were you feeling depressed last summer?!?!” Her face looked totally shocked. Sometimes I just want to shake her. I have felt “depressed” my entire life…for as long as I can remember. I mean, I’m not even smiling in most of the pictures of me from when I was a kid. I wish she could wrap her brain around that. Whether it’s a chemical imbalance or a result of trauma and abuse and growing up in a crazy household, or a combination of it all, I don’t know; but I do know that I fight depression every single day and have forever.
My mom does know that I’m a recovering alcoholic in AA. She does not know that I still struggle with self-injury. She regularly asks me if I’m struggling with wanting to drink. The answer is almost always no. I don’t want to drink – that’s way too time consuming. I would much rather cut myself until I can’t feel anymore and then go on with my day. But I can’t tell her that. She wouldn’t understand it. It’s easier for her to understand alcoholism and be empathetic towards that, than it is for her to understand self-injury.
Sometimes I want so much to tell her that I still struggle with self-injury and healthy eating habits. I want to tell her about the sexual abuse I went through as a kid. I want to tell her about dissociation and how I’m finally at a place where 95% of the time I can feel it coming on and do things to prevent it from happening. I want her to know that it’s been 222 days since I’ve last cut and because I’m not drinking, drugging, or burning myself, that’s the longest I’ve been without numbing my feelings in over 14 years.
I talked to my favorite therapist about this yesterday, the one that lives in my home-town that I’ve been talking to since I was 16. She reminded me that my mom isn’t in a place where she would really accept these things and be supportive, she would make it about her. It’s hard because I really want my relationship with her to be different. I want to be able to have an open, honest relationship with her where I feel safe enough to be vulnerable. I’m not giving up on that hope, but I know that today is not that day.
Now for the yoga piece of today’s post:
I am spending roughly 12 hours in the car today as we head up north for this wedding. I’ve spent about two hours, on and off, sitting with bound angle feet, or like a butterfly. It feels so good to stretch out my muscles without actually getting out of the car. I won’t make it to a yoga class for another 5 days!!!! I may actually die. I did convince my husband to let me bring my bolster though, so at least I can do some restorative poses in our hotel room. Featured pic on this post is my bound angle feet while he’s driving 🙂 This pose used to be really triggering for my trauma memories, but after several weeks of yoga, I am doing better with just being in the pose and not thinking about the sexual abuse that I went through.