Right now, I’m feeling really messed up.
I know a lot of trauma survivors–mostly online, but some in real life, too. And right now, I feel like all of them have their shit way more together than I do. I’m not talking about external stuff like jobs and so forth–I think I’m doing decent with that stuff, all things considered. I feel like I’m way behind everyone else at recovering emotionally, and I feel like I’ll never catch up because I’m much slower, too. I see people who are able to be much more compassionate toward themselves, see themselves as worthwhile, believe they deserve things, and so forth. People who’ve been in treatment for far less time than I have, people with worse or more extensive trauma histories than mine.
And I think I MUST be faking it. These other people are REAL survivors, and they’re getting better much faster than me–so my problems aren’t real. It’s like my family keeps saying, I just fake all these symptoms so I don’t have to grow up, get a job, and take care of myself. That seems like the only logical explanation for why other trauma survivors get better but I don’t.
It’s not the only explanation, though. The other explanation is that I’m more broken, for some reason, and there’s no hope of ever fixing myself. And that is too scary to think about. I’d rather just be faking it. If I’m faking it, I can just stop.
This turned into a huge crisis while I was at Sheppard Pratt. I honestly couldn’t tell what reality was, and that was terrifying. It happened when my therapist wanted me to start challenging/rewriting/breaking some of my internal rules. I think that’s what’s happening now, too. I had therapy homework over the weekend that would’ve REALLY broken the rules. I didn’t do it. But now I’m freaking out (actually, it’s probably some of the kid parts) because she’s going to be mad at me for not doing it.
My therapist at Sheppard Pratt told me to think of this as a symptom. Either denial is the symptom of trauma/DID, or the faking it is a symptom that something else is wrong. “Either way, it means you need help,” she said. I’m trying to frame it in those terms now, but it’s not making me feel much better. I’m crying right now, and I don’t even know why.
When I was hospitalized once, years ago, I remember a group therapy session. One patient said she didn’t feel like she should talk because what was going on for her wasn’t as bad as what other people were dealing with. Another patient said, “Imagine if you and me were in a car wreck. I’ve got two broken legs, and you’ve got one. Just because I have two broken legs, that doesn’t mean your one broken leg doesn’t hurt. Yours is still broken, and you still deserve to get help for it.”
I’m trying to have that kind of compassion toward myself, but to be honest, I just can’t. I could have compassion for almost anyone else, but not myself.
I wish I could stop crying. I don’t want to cry in therapy tomorrow.