I had an experience Monday that sent me back down a shame spiral; a spiral of despair and loneliness I haven’t felt in a long time. Am I being hyperbolic? Maybe, but I was really upset.
I am not going to go into the whole experience, but it was the kind of situation that I went to meet someone and they weren’t there. It was actually a comedy of errors with miscommunication and we did get together and have lunch, but I’m reflecting on the experience beforehand, in hopes of finding healing.
When I was knocking on the door and they were not there, I felt embarrassed and shamed-filled that I had the idea they would even want to be with me in the first place. The feeling was even hotter because I had Wee One with me, and she looks at me with such love and trust that I didn’t feel worth in that minute.
I had a boss awhile ago who would talk about trauma and she would say, “The body remembers.” The body remembers past trauma; the adrenaline, the stress, and the pain.
My body remembers embarassment and disappointment from an earlier abandonment, and I’m sharing it,:
In junior high, my abusive birth father came home and gave me a button that said “Simply The Best.” I hadn’t seen him for months before that night, and I didn’t seem him for months afterward. The pin wasn’t my style, but held onto it for… I don’t know, at least 10 years. I would look at it and imagine him buying it. Imagine him standing in a store in front of a button stand, seeing it, and him thinking of me. That at least for that minute, he thought of me and loved me. Because he didn’t show that any other way. A few years ago, I mentioned it to my mother, though I didn’t tell her how I thought of it. Which makes it easier to excuse when she said, laughing, “That? That was a promo at the firm.” She wasn’t trying to hurt me with the comment, but I was so upset; I was actually surprised by how much.
I felt that same shame of “Of course he doesn’t want you. You were silly to think he would.” I have different vague memories of that same rejection. That is what my body remembers and sometimes, it reminds me.
But now I am older and wiser, and safe from him. I still want it to stop, so I tried to use this opportunity to do some healing. I told myself that he was wrong for abandoning me. I reminded myself that it was a testament to my intrinsic love and hope that I held onto the idea that he did love me. That is the lesson I will pass on to Wee One.
We’ll see if it works.
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