I always feel lucky/blessed when there is a task to do that requires tools — that I actually possess. For all the many, many moves in my adult life that have required that I pare down my belongings to a small core of things, it is always my minimal clothing, my warmest blankets, and my collection of tools that I have tried to hold onto.
Because I seem to have been born with an attraction to working with my hands, my small collection of tools relate to craft work, kitchen work and yard work. I do often find that I don’t have QUITE the right tool for the job, but so far I have always found that if I am creative and determined enough I can do what I need/intend to do.
This morning I am thinking about my inner tool box. Of course these inner tools are harder to name and discover than those tangible ones of wood and steel. I think about this depression that I know I have directly because of the 18 years of debilitating infant-child abuse I suffered. Mother’s was a comprehensive abuse toward me. She left no possible stone unturned when it came to imprisoning me inside her OWN terrible world of hell.
Mother eroded me continually from the time I was born. It happens that as I sort through the collection of family slides that contain the snippets of the history of my family of origin I am remembering within my body as well as within my conscious mind how different my reality was from that of my siblings. My own inner message is that there are acceptable thoughts about this whole situation I can think about (very few of them, really) and a million thoughts I am not ‘supposed’ to think.
There is nobody here with me to monitor or control or even suggest to me which thoughts are to be sorted into which category. I do all of this myself. I think about how my lifelong struggle with deep depression caused by horrendous early abuse while my body-brain was forming is as much about the depression ‘that I got’ as it is about other critically important positive aspects of being alive as a human that I did NOT get.
All five of my other siblings received from Mother a sense of being special. True, Mother didn’t possess the capacity to understand that any of her children were separate beings from her own self so that she was actually projecting GOODNESS onto my siblings just as she projected her hopeless, condemnable evil badness onto me. But I don’t think as little people any of us knew Mother was projecting her own crap onto her children — be it good or bad.
My siblings PLEASED Mother. I DISPLEASED Mother — no matter how desperately from the core of my being I tried not to. Mother accepted my siblings. Mother rejected (condemned) me.
Mother’s condemnation of me was continual and pervasive. Her praising, ‘loving’ acceptance and pleasure with my siblings was equally as continual and pervasive. Mother took ‘favoritism’ to a level unimagined by anyone who has not been unfortunate enough to be at the mercy of a severely ill, psychotic Borderline Personality Disorder mother.
Where I got sadness, pain, sorrow, hopeless despair, desperation, terror, confusion and panic built into my body-brain through abusive trauma my siblings received hope, confidence, competence, play, special freedoms — my siblings had a different mother, a different father and a different childhood than I did.
I wouldn’t care at all except that what can be named ‘depression’ in my body is as much about what I grew up missing being built into my body-brain as it is about deep pain and sorrow that I don’t see ever going away in this lifetime (I am 60). I am missing PRIDE I realized today. For anything positive I have ever done/accomplished I might have felt a tiny passing tinge of pride in myself, but that passing sense had nothing inside of me to STICK to, to add onto, to build itself around.
I have no sense within me that I can find of any sense of ENTITLEMENT.
I look at the slide pictures of attention, affection, adoration and GLADNESS, of joy for their presence in her life that Mother felt for my five siblings. Mother never felt those feelings for me from the moment I was born her special ‘condemned to hell evil devil’s child’. I fought for my life, for my existence as a being separate from her with every breath I ever took.
I cannot erase that history or what it did to me physiologically as I continued to grow up in that world of hell made especially for me.
I cannot receive some kind of surgical implant that would instill inside of me any sense of entitlement that leads to a sense of confidence, competence, or full blown pride in myself or in anything I do.
These things I observe nearly like a complete outsider to my own reality of existence. I do not allow myself to let emotions/feelings attach themselves to what I see as facts about myself in the world. I do wonder, though, how life is for other people — including my siblings — who received love as little people that allowed them to acquire certain kinds of essential tools within their body-brain that – to me – allow them to follow along some different track through life that I can barely begin to imagine.
I see the image in my mind that comes from memories of times I have stood barefoot on the sandy shore of an ocean as the sea water laps over my feet while it sucks sand out from under me and I sink, sink, sink — always sinking without any sense of solid rock or solid earth underneath me.
But I have other thoughts that circle around in my mind in a swirling kaleidoscopic pattern connected to all of these important issues involving my life in this body in this world. I believe in God and I don’t think any of my siblings do. I can’t stop my thoughts that somehow these patterns are all connected.
Is there something about my particular depth of suffering from birth-to-age-18, about my being disallowed from gaining a sense of entitlement of affection and affirmation by rights, that left me not only battling ‘depression’ (and its host of complications) but that also left me with some peculiar form of humility that has enabled me to keep my life on this material plane in a clear focus of perspective that my siblings completely missed?
Would I competently and confidently and pridefully be waltzing through my life oblivious to a different level of reality that excludes some deep level of humility that might be its opposite had I been removed from my parents at birth and raised in a so-called normal, healthy, happy, loving home?
Did I stay in touch within my soul as I grew up suffering so that I did not forget the spiritual reality that over all is a God that runs this entire show down here on earth — not I — not we humans?
As I sit outside watching the morning sun bring into full color the world I live in today I see God inside and out of everything. I see life here as it possesses an essential, inner ability to reflect the rays of the Creator. I sense that my abilities to manipulate anything having to do with my life — or any other life on this plane — also comes from this same Creator.
I don’t know how to live a blatant, emblazoned life of “I can do anything I want to and I have the perfect right to do it because I am me and I am special that way” and I never have. I wonder, “Where is the balance in all of this?” Where is the spiritual health that I believe humans are designed to best function with that allows for knowing both personal self-worth and our dependence for EVERYTHING on a loving God that created and maintains all of life in a state of mercy and grace?
I converse with myself about whether or not I would trade the awareness of human life’s dependence upon God for a limited and truly pitifully minuscule blind assumption that God does not exist at all. Fortunately, being able to make that choice between a perhaps spiritually based deep humility and an oblivious sense of my own powerfulness seems to have been removed from me before I was ever born.
Perhaps I possess a multitude of spiritual tools that I use every instant of my life that are just not as glaring and glitzy as others’ gifts of self confidence leading to a complete disbelief in the Great Mystery some name God.