How many times can a person scrub the past and attempt another start without recognizing the integration of all abandoned narrative threads? I wouldn't call today an arrival anymore than I would every day before it. My time-obsessed youngest son and I have discussed the illusion of present, and the unwinding slipstream movement from past into the future. I've spent a good portion of my conscious time afraid of looking over my shoulder, hoping that running at full speed would merit enough distance from myself, that I could do better, that the future would be different. When I close my eyes, everything is a web. The interconnection of people, places, each component to the wild ontological expanse is inescapable. Why not so stories? Why not so time and picking at stitches in the spindled narrative to better understand what's coming in the great determined unknown?
All that is to say, this is a fresh chapter in the book of becoming. But that requires looking behind me without the dissociative glasses that I often wear to obscure my emotional participation in the story. I'm acknowledging for the first time patterns in my narrative that only I can amend. Enough finger pointing at what has happened to me. It's time to accept the ways those events saturated my self until I leaned on them for destructive comfort. Why did it take this long? I really don't know. I'm a fixer, a savior, a caregiver. And maybe I thought those things would redeem me, or give me value when I felt I had little.
But there it is. For 43 years I've lived in this corkscrew, lying to myself and to others: "Please, want me! I will be everything I want to be by taking care of you! I want to love me by loving you." And I'd continue to lie to myself if I don't admit I'm still in that place. Past, present, and each fleeting second tugging into the future.
I have all the emotional wiring of the classic codependent, and although undiagnosed, a few characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder. I don't know which is more frightening to write, but after thirty years on the therapist's couch facing Bipolar Disorder, I'm only just figuring out that there is a door waiting to be cracked open, and behind that, change necessary to address a lifetime of blistering self-sacrifice and running from toxicity that I helped to create. I'm worn out. I'm uncertain exactly who I am if I'm not caring for others, and I have a difficult time accepting that I have any value if I'm not allowing myself to be distilled by the identity and suffering of those I claim to love. I give away reserves I do not have, waiting to be refilled by people as broken as I am. And when those stores are not replenished by the very people I promise to repair I lose my emotional footing. I perceive I am unloved, marrow sucked, anxious and fluttering on the edge of a sea of overwhelming feeling.
Repeatedly, I retreat. I come back. I wait for the fix to magically appear. It never does. I abandon trying to love one person. I start over with another.
This is the long pattern of my adult life.
Does anyone know how to rewire themselves? I know I've reached a season of necessary self-care, and I'm hurting because that meant leaving behind a relationship that I thought would be the last. Perhaps it will be. But as the sun gleams in its path across the sky each day, I am unwilling to drag another person, especially this woman, deeper into the toxicity of a codependent relationship. And ours was quickly turning unhealthy, if it hadn't been since the onset.
I want to learn what love is. I want to be able to love purely, without deriving some false sense of self from the act. I want to learn how to love myself, and how to make that connecting loop in the narrative's tapestry. I have hope for the future. I have hope.