Do you ever just enter a period of turbulence? This season has been particularly difficult for me. I posted on my personal social media page about learning to love who I have become, as an adult, wife, mother, human person in the world. I didn’t know that that was the first slipping pebble in the landslide of emotions that have flooded me since then. I told my friends to be prepared for turbulence, but was I ready?
Today, I am dealing with a vulnerability hangover, like Brene Brown calls them. The feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness that started in my childhood bubbled over like a toxic sludge on me last night and it-was-hard. It’s made me realize that I have been living alone for way too long. I have been trying to hold myself up for the sake of not burdening others with my pain. I have also been trying to take care of their emotions. That’s a heavy load to bear. No wonder my energy is all screwed up.
I have taken responsibility for everyone else’s emotional stability, making sure that they’re comfortable, fed, clothed, and happy. But I forgot that I have a responsibility to myself and my own emotional healing. Isn’t that interesting? Why do we do this? It can’t just be a mother thing. I think that this is also a coping skill. If everyone is happy, no one can be angry at me. No one can blame me for their emotional outbursts. What an interesting revelation.
I live in fear of other people’s emotions, whether they’re actually directed at me or not. Most of the time, they’re probably not, like probably 99% of the time. My three year old can’t control his outbursts, it hurts when he tells me that I’m not his friend, but I don’t let it bother me. However I live in fear of being a disappointment. That fear is paralyzing- so it turns into a self fulfilling prophecy. Dudes, it’s a miracle that I made it through grad school.
That’s why you haven’t seen much updating from me in this shop. I am committed to Spruce Knits and Spruce Fiber Co, but I am also exhausted from a brain that questions every decision that I make and judges every little false step. My brain won't allow me to be anything less than perfect. It’s really frustrating. Knitting has been my salvation in many ways and I think that I need to keep it as the mindfulness and stress reliever that it always has been. I love the knitting community, but I am still looking to see where I fit in. If I fit in at all. I’m not going anywhere, just slowing down and being completely intentional about where I am in my healing and where I am with my ability to cope with stress.
I am not typing this to make any excuses for myself or have anyone feel bad for me, this is just my truth right now. I live with an often debilitating mental illness- one that was caused by childhood trauma. I “know” that I will be okay, but dang these emotions freaking hurt. I don’t know how to properly sit down with them yet and accept them. For the most part life has been kind to me, but the hard years were the formative ones. I am learning what it means to let shit go.
I am coming back here to document this process. For those crafters who also struggle with Depression and PTSD or whatever chronic thing you might have, know that i’m in this forest too. We shouldn’t have to live our struggles out in the shadows- from our families or our selves or our social circles. I am not crazy. And if I was, who cares? I am here doing my work so that my children don’t end up with the same trauma i did.
For tonight, let’s rest.