Over the last weekend I ended up in a familiar place. When I was little and living with my grandmother, her closet was an extraordinary place. I would sit in there for hours opening boxes and going through the dresser she had in there. The closet was miraculous and full of amazing discoveries from the past. Hats, and dresses and a pair of opera glasses. Lots of things for a kid to pour over. Over the years as I got a bit older, when I would visit her over the summer, I always gravitated back to that closet. It was one of my favorite places on earth and she let me dig around in there as much as I wanted.
fast forward to living with my mother and step father. It wasn’t enough to hide in my room, it wasn’t far enough from my life in that house. So, enter the closet. I would go in closet and stay in there until either called for or until my mother would burst into my room and open the door and then scream at me for being in a closet. I actually remember that I was 10 years old and sitting in a closet the first time I decided to kill myself.
You would think that as an adult a closet would be, well, childish. But this past weekend I felt an overwhelming urge to get in there. I took a device that played mp3’s and I turned the light off and just sat there, not quite sure what I was doing in there.
Then I started crying. Yes, me. I cried. And it sucked. Various thoughts passed through my head. At many points it was like my grandmother’s closet was super-imposed on my closet. I could see her clothes hanging there and her hat boxes stacked on the floor. I could see that big dresser looming in front of me and I just dried harder.
I will say that crying for over half an hour to forty-five minutes is freaking exhausting. Those dips and peaks I’ve been told about didn’t come. It was just straight crying.
Besides my grandmother, I thought about all the people in my life who don’t love me. Perhaps because she loved me so much. My mother. My biological father. My step-father (of course you can’t expect a step-parent to love you, can you?). It just weighed on me how very unlovable I am.
Then came the pity party. Fun!
I thought about how alone I am (not here, I mean in real life). I don’t talk about my past with anyone and I don’t talk about anything I deal with anyone except my therapist, not even my husband. It simultaneously occurred to me that this situation is also my fault though. Yes, I’ve been burned by countless people I thought were my friends, so I’m gun-shy, but it’s more than that.
I sat there and realized that I feel quite incapable of sharing my thoughts and feeling s and experiences with people in my life, including my husband. He would be very supportive if I let him be but I also find the concept incredibly distasteful.
I don’t want sad looks and “I’m sorry’s” from people. Let me share a story that just happened before my crying in the closet thing.
I was at a religious service and I had gone to bathroom to blow my nose (TMI? lol). I was on my way back to my seat when I saw a woman in my congregation walking past me and she had tears streaming down her face. I turned around and followed her back to the bathroom and asked her what was wrong. She began to tell me and she started crying in earnest. I put my arms around her and let her cry until she was able to speak again. I listened to what was happening and from time to time she would start to cry again. I would again hold her for a while until she was ok. After it was all said and done she seemed better and we returned to the auditorium.
She sent me a card a day later to say thank you which was unnecessary as I think any human being would have done what I did. Jeez, what was the point of this story? Oh! I remember. Ok so in thinking about myself later after the crying jag, I shared with my therapist that I don’t have a problem doing that for people but when I say something about my life it sounds like whining and I can’t tolerate that. I can’t tolerate me crying in front of someone and I can’t tolerate saying things that could possibly engender sympathy from someone. I just can’t.
So I’m in a quandary. I feel alone and yet I’m alone because of me.
Hmmm. This post has been self-serving enough I think.