It wasn’t as awkward seeing my therapist today as I’d feared it would be. She’s been away for three weeks over Christmas and it has been tough trying to deal with things on my own. I’m so glad she’s back.
I told her about the small overdose I took on Christmas Eve, and about how seeing my family at Christmas was a monumental effort as usual in the category of Acting Like Everything is OK.
What really got us talking was when I brought up what my sister said on the way over to my parents’ house on Christmas Day. Basically, she admitted that our dad used to get very drunk each year on Christmas Eve (he drank a lot the rest of the time too), and that this was upsetting. She even gave the example of the time he started crying and wandered off (I had to go after him) and we were all really worried.
This may not seem like much, so let me explain the significance for me. My family never admit that anything has ever been wrong or difficult except for my behaviour. There is an unspoken agreement that I was the cause of conflict as a child and that other than that things were fine. My sister saying this is an admission that not only were things not always fine, but also that my dad’s drinking was an issue and that his behaviour had a negative effect on us.
This has brought up a lot of confusing thoughts for me. There is a battle going on inside me about who I am and what happened when I was a kid. What feels true is what I’ve been told all my life: that I am bad and worthless and the cause of anything bad that befell me. What I am thinking now though is starting to question those feelings and beliefs of badness. My sister saying the above is the first evidence from someone else in my family that things were not right, and not just because of me. That’s huge.
My therapist said there was a shift today in the way that I spoke about my childhood and my family. I spoke more from a personal perspective and was more emotionally engaged. She was more able to understand what things were like for me growing up. It hurt very much to speak about things that way, but it is reassuring to hear that she feels I am making progress.