“It is as though some old part of yourself wakes up in you, terrified, useless in the life you have, its skills and habits destructive but intact, and what is left of the present you, the person you have become, wilts and shrivels in sadness or despair: the person you have become is only a thin shell over this other, more electric and endangered self. The strongest, the least digested parts of your experience can rise up and put you back where you were when they occurred; all the rest of you stands back and weeps.”—Peter Straub The Throat
I went to Walmart at 8:00 pm to buy ice cream because my emotions told me to. By the time I got home I didn’t even have the desire to open the pint. Not for any noble reason. I didn’t suddenly see the futility in eating my emotions, though intellectually I understand this. No, I didn’t eat my ice cream because who cares? I don’t care that it might taste good or soothe my emotions. It probably won’t anyway. And it’s all the way in the kitchen and I just don’t even care.
I think I might have PTSD in addition to the depression and anxiety that I’m being treated for. Sometimes life is great and I’m moving on and everything is just fine. But then something happens and I’m right back here, not eating my ice cream.
Usually that something is chaos created by the narcissist, but it can also be reaching out for help and finding empty air instead of the hand of a friend. The reason that hand is absent is understandable. It demonstrates an appropriate hierarchy of relationships in that person’s life.
My intellect knows all of that. It even knows this event is upsetting because it reminds me of the decade of reaching out my hand to a partner who should have been there but wasn’t. None of that knowledge makes it easier to get out of bed in the morning or put on clean clothes or work or parent my children.
I feel so damaged.