I wrote this in shorthand (which I expanded for the post) last night while I was laying in bed trying not to lose my mind. I think some of the turbulence this year is from having gone deeper into my system than ever, and being in contact with some of the youngest and perhaps most wounded people (the babies) that exist on the inside. I don’t know. I can analyze all day, but the truth is that I’m still pretty much lost at this moment. I’m writing and posting this more for the people who haven’t experienced it, so they have a glimpse into what’s happening since I usually go mute right about when I wish I could tell them what’s wrong. My day to day rhythms, as they downward shift, when the waves of pain and panic hit me, are not really describable in words – the brain tends to shut off the language centers in extreme pain/flashbacks/trauma – but this is the closest I can come. Even words like “pain” or “torture” or “fear” don’t really convey the experience. But words are all I’ve got to work with.
10/8/2014 nighttime (laying in bed, trying to fall asleep):
It feels like my insides are collapsing.
Like a panic attack but also so so so much sorrow and grief I feel like I mentally cannot stand up under the weight of it. It feels like it’s crushing me into the ground.
Chest physically hurts.
Heart rate is off the charts.
Images swirling in my mind’s eye.
Extreme primal desperate skin hunger.
I want to be held, rocked, and sung to – “want” is the wrong word. It feels like an inner demand, but that’s not the right word either, because “demand” has a negative connotation.
It is not angry, entitled, or taking for granted. It is pure humble unassuming desperation.
Desperately needing…something. Attachment, I presume. Brain is frantically trying to heal itself. In the absence of nurturing, the brain cannot organize itself. It continues to cast around on the inside for something – anything – to answer such a torturous state of un-answered aloneness.
Feels like I’m going to fall to pieces, but I can’t even name what’s wrong.
In the absence of a response from, or a connection to, or even a memory of a connection to, a safe person, an attachment figure, a rapid downward mental/emotional spiral happens. The thoughts come flooding in. Even the thoughts are irrational, illogical, somewhat stream-of-consciousness but of a consciousness that is pre-verbal. My translations are just translations at best. They feel like baby thoughts, which are not thoughts, but more like existential conclusions based on immediate, uncomprehendable data. My translations are much more mature (and decipherable) than the experience itself.
It goes something like this:
I am in pain.
I cannot meet my own need.
My need is all-consuming and I am totally overpowered by and swallowed up in it.
I need you to help me.
The unmet need is killing me.
I can’t live without you.
I can’t stand this endless separation.
I want to die.
Until the very end, there is hope inside the agony. There is hope that someone will hear, will see, will respond, will reunite. The problem is the spiral happens so fast – maybe because the hope hasn’t been rewarded consistently enough to keep itself afloat for very long? Or maybe because babies have no sense of time or ability to delay gratification? – that I go from heart-wrending emotional and even physical pain, to hopeless, in a very short time and often without understanding what’s happening myself, nevermind trying to describe it to or reach out to (or alert) anyone else.
The primal mind is no joke.
…I wish I had resolution, so I could tell you the happy ending, but I don’t. If I ever get to that point, I’ll be sure to share. Cheers. ~J8