Negative thoughts really weigh you down and wear you out. It can make day-to-day life difficult to get through, let alone enjoy.
No, I don't really have any self-help advice for getting rid of the negative thoughts. I'm still trying to figure it out, myself, so it would be terribly hypocritical for me to give advice, and add my uninformed voice to the vast piles of self-help advice books and columns and blog posts also written by well-meaning but clueless people. No. There's enough of that.
What I have figured out is that some negative thinking is natural, and you can usually talk it through by yourself or with someone else, and figure out why exactly you don't need to listen to those thoughts. If it becomes overwhelming, then sometimes counseling will help you reorganize your brain and train yourself to think positive thoughts instead.
It's helped me to some extent. Well, I thought I had taken care of it, but it turned out that there's still plenty of room for growth. Plenty of room.
That's when I recently realized that perhaps there's two kinds of negative thoughts. The ones that come from myself, and the ones that come from my father, through my memories. It's the latter that has been continuously plaguing me.
I don't know why, but when I think about the psychiatry appointment I have on Wednesday afternoon, I keep seeing my dad raging at me, in my mind. I think I must have internalized much of his yelling. It's hard not to soak up parental admonishments as a kid.
I'm a spoiled brat. I'm too big for my britches. I have no reason to feel the way I do, because... [insert all the things he ever did for me, here]. I'm just acting spoiled. I need to suck it up and get over myself and my pity party. I need to do some hard work and menial chores to help me get over myself. I need to stop complaining. I don't appreciate enough. [insert all my failings here.]
A lot of the memories are locked up. I can see the shadows of them in my mind, threatening to come out. While the memories are hidden by my brain, the emotions travel freely. I do my best to push back the wispy tendrils, but sometimes they overpower me. Stress makes me weak. Sometimes it's a trigger. But for whatever reason, I succumb to them.
The anxiety, the feeling that I disappointed someone, the anger, the sadness, the fear--is he going to take his anger out on me? On my little siblings? All of it jumbles together because there are no memory tags to separate them out. Without the memories to help sort it out, I have difficulty boxing it up and storing them in my mental closet, as one counselor taught me.
And without the memories, the feelings start attaching themselves to my surroundings, becoming irrationally situational. And I know it's irrational, and yet the feelings are still there.
Am I disappointing my boss? No wait, I know I'm not. He just said that he really appreciates my work--he just looks tired. Not angry.
A loud noise at work. Someone moved their chair suddenly. Someone tries to get my attention. I jump out of my skin, my heart racing, I think because I expect yelling and spanking and crying to soon follow.
To cope with all of this, I withdraw into a shell, not allowing myself to feel anything more from the outside world. I can't handle more of the world, the inane prattle of people, while I battle the internal demons. I become easily frustrated. I know that my reactions to external stimuli are irrational, but it becomes consuming and tiring, and I just can't handle any more. I always feel physically tired during and after, as the clouds of anxiety and depression settle over me, especially when the tapes from my dad starts playing. At least, the ones I remember. I don't have a reason to feel this way. I just need to get up and move. Get over myself, I try to tell myself, following the pattern of the mental tapes of his rages. But those memories only serve to sink me further.
Once all of this started--it can start with just a small trigger--it's insanely difficult to climb out again.
I know I need help from a psychiatrist. I know I probably need some sort of prescription tweaking or changes, and yet my dad's voice in my mind tells me that no, I shouldn't go in because I'm merely spoiled.
All the more reason for me to go in. I want to shut my dad's voice up forever.
Then I might be better equipped to help the little ones if...when...they manage to break free and contact me again. God bless the little ones, and give them strength and courage to survive.
Filed under: Abuse