Jen just jen
full :: transparency
I've been avoiding writing today but now that my cat is laying on my chest i feel comforted enough to for the moment.
Work was hard today. It is usually, but today in particular emotions kept bubbling up and it was brutal to hold myself together. I saw an ig post today that said structure & discapline are hard for traumasurvivors because the routine and calm makes room for trauma to resurface, and that can be hard to deal with.
I find that although i don't love my job, I feel like the discapline and structure in it is good for me in this way. I don't like saying that i've gone through trauma, since my life is of the average variety, although, I know, when i really let myself feel things, that there's a lot i'm suppressing. Part of me debates whether it's ethical to let me feel so much about my life. Even as these emotions cause me to get in my own way, i feel like acknowledging them is an affect of my own entitlement. I worry that my boyfriend wouldn't be on the same page as these vulnerable, irrational emotions that overcome me because of a similar outlook.
Although, the past has proven he's kinder to me than i am. BUt there is his whole thing about holden caulfield being a terrible person in his eyes, and who was caulfield really other than a person going through a whole lot of unprocessed trauma. It's not an excuse for his behavior, but an explaination, and god knows I've walked the line of excuse and explaination more than once with my behaviors. Sometimes things trigger trauma you didn't know you had and it's to much to process in the moment so you just do what you can to get by, and when the moment's passed, you are at a loss for understanding what just happened. Or why you act the way you do. And then it becomes hard to face, so you dismiss it with some form of denial. That kind of happened today, as i shrugged the concerned way people at work tried to interact with me in a cold way, i was barely holding it together, and still knew enough to feel guilty of the way i disregarded their kindness. I guess it wasn't denial that i dismissed it with but with the calm of knowing i'll figure it out, but not under the guilt of present pressure.
The thing is, that i'm not sure he understands, is just because you know better doesn't always mean you can do better. It's a hard thing for me to stand beside, but ideally, I can do better, I just don't know how. Or i know what it looks like to be better but i don't know how to be better.
I exhaust myself. This feels pointless.
On another level, there were a lot of thoughts that were going through my head, and are still, and i don't know what to do about them.
I mean, I could start with the most immediate pressing feeling.. It's a forboding sense that my relationship with nick is less stable than i'd like to believe it is. Although, even simpler than that, and harder to admit, is, maybe, i don't have the same feelings for him as he does for me.
Before I go further, i need to unpack how overwhelming and confusing that is. Because it is. And I'm not sure where to begin.
I'd just watched a sabrina benhaim poetry video on a break up, i guess, and it surprised me how much i liked it. mostly because i usually think she's a mess of emotions, and that she's entirely too lost as a person to make any good insightful poetry. But I thought this poem seemed to observe the way relationships tangle your desires and identity in with another person, and i guess getting lost in that idea for a moment was sort of a reprieve, or a way to feel seen, in my own mess.
I don't even know how to get back in contact with the emotions i could hardly choke down earlier. It started when i was on break. Or rather, before then when i was picking boxes off the conveyer belt- because the stress of keeping up with how fast they were coming was aggravating me. (I swear I usually can keep up with these things but i've been drowning in my own thoughts and it actually is harder work than it needs to be and i can't handle the layers of frustration that causes on top of it). But on break, i took a breather iin my old office, with the stiff air of shared silence between my old coworker and i was abetting my frustration, and fueling a social media dive for distraction. I came across my old high school crush's instagram and was once again pleasantly surprised with the way he turned out. I was enjoying the nature photography he posted- some of it is rather good- and probably lingering too long on his profile.
I spent some time trying to make peace with my high school relationship with him when i went back to work, and it seemed to bring up more and more memories the more i thought about it. I can't remember what was going through my head exactly, but i know it began with remembering who i was in high school. I remember getting his number, and wanting to be with him because he seemed stable and kind and reliable. Which are such basic things, you would think, and things that i pretended to be for myself. But really, I felt so alone.
I remember sitting in my room texting him, saying the randomest things i thought might be funny just to get his attention. It didn't work in the long run obviously, because, but. And then i see him in these photos on facebook with his family, and with his degree in pathology (coincedence my boyfriend is getting the same degree?) and i just imagine what it must be like. How is it to feel surrounded by people who believe in you, or rather, make you feel less alone?
And these are such victim statements. But really, and this is another instagram post, I was a victim at some point. And i still haven't figured out how to not be a victim of these traumas i was subjected to.
God, I keep wondering if the solution to getting over all this is just to actually get over it and start doing better. Sometimes i feel though, that the getting over things and denying they ever existed is the same thing. At least, they look awfully similar when people try to pretend to help you out, and it really just comes off as a way to silence your problems.
not that i want my problems to be anyone else's. Except i have trouble making them my own in a way that's productive and leads to an end that i am satisfied with.
i guess this is 'the work'
There's more to what i was going on about before though. At one point earlier i was thinking about how I cried on the first day of preschool when my mother left. I thought about this because it was tangentially related to the way sometimes we don't act how we mean to, and we don't understand why. On that day I remember being so lost when my mother left me alone, and i was embarrassed about how lost and overwhelmed i felt, so after crying with the teacher i clammed up and built some bricks alone. A girl came up with me and tried to get me to share but i shut her down, and immediatley felt terrible for it. I didn't understand why i lashed out at her, because i thought i was a good person until that point, but that moment proved something that didn't fit in with my image of myself. I didn't know what to do with that feeling so i sat it on a shelf and moved on.
As one does.
It probably sounds psychotic to go back and bring up memories from childhood and give them this much consideration, but i have a strong feeling that my personal history is still presently with me in a way. Especially these unresolved memories.
The thing about my high school crush on that guy that was sort of prying at me earlier was that he has a lot of the same qualities as nick. I guess. I can't seem to get to the part that really is bothering me. And i'm afraid because i know it'll resurface at some point during work tomorrow, and I won't know what to do.
There is good to come out of this most recent breakdown. I feel more in touch with myself than ever. Although when i'm being super honest, the future and present feel rather bleak, it feels honest.
I get worked up at times because this job that i hold really sucks at times, but at the same time, it feels like the best i can do for myself. It was when i first started moons ago, and still is. And looking at that high school crush who is graduated and getting a masters in something or another, along with all the other people i graduated with who are doing well for themselves, and i look at me.
That's why i let myself explore these memories so attentively, because i think there must be some explaination for why i can't seem to let myself achieve any real success for myself. Like, what did i miss out on.
But there's also a question of whether i just didn't push myself hard enough.
The other thing is when i dropped out, and whenever i bring up dropping out, for me, dropping out was the culmination of all these unresolved memories. It's the epitome of me getting in my own way. It's the success i can't seem to let myself work hard enough for, or the suffering i'm unwilling to bear for myself.
And yet, the people closest to me in my life are quick to look at how college 'isn't for everybody.' It's a sort of funny and genorous thing for graduates or people who feel secure in their own life to say. Especially without actually understanding what college really means to me. They're willing to overlook my own shortcomings for me and soften the blow in this way that leaves me more lost and alone in the overwhelming personal life that i clearly have trouble managing.
And that reminds me of how every time i start to let my emotions get me worked up about a job, and i talk about something i'm excited about for either a good or bad reason with my mother, she starts to distance herself from me like i'm some sort of bipolar nutcase.
Like i'm the only one with emotions here. Sorry i don't deny myself everything.
It just goes to show how people are only willing to comfort you to the extent that they are comfortable with. Or rather, that when you're going through your darkest times, they won't acknowledge the pain for fear of what they may have to also acknowledge in themselves. or whatever.
I don't mean that entirely. . i'm just so tired and there's so much to work through here.
I hope this helps work tomorrow.
Although; there's still the whole problem of my relationship with Nick. I'm actually feeling rather okay about it- we have reached a kind of stable and boring phase that allows me to feel comfortable enough to start to heal these issues i have with my personality (if that's what you could call this). I really appreciate the boring consistency of it all.
There are long term concerns i have- because at the start of our relationship i wasn't looking for something with the potential to be this lasting. And in the present, sometimes all i see are the areas where I'd like to see improvement. The long silences in the car, the way we see things differently, but in the way that makes each other feel slightly unsafe. We don't fully trust each other yet. Although he definatley is better at all of this.
He tells me little affirmations- like when i'm being funny he'll say how i'm funny, and i'm not sure if he's doing it to build me up or because he is trying to foster our connection in a sallow way, I don't know. I have trouble trusting who he claims he wants to be for me.
Because i do need it so badly.
Although, i mostly need to figure out how to take care of myself. I don't want to rely on him so much. I'm starting to realize it's an inevitable thing.
and should i mention (?)
there's still the ethan from 2018 who crosses my mind from time to time, in comparison to nick. Just because i felt so much more willing to trust ethan readily for some reason. But I know there is also something off about the way i let myself drift attention back to this, because it's not at all productive and it's really just a defense mechanism for me to avoid getting more vulnerable with my own previously denied and confusing emotions.
Part of me worries that i'll ultimatley end up taking nick for granted in all that he does for me. And i wonder if it's because i still struggle to legitimate my own feelings enough to truly appreciate when they're being seen. Maybe i was better at this back in 2018. I don't doubt i was. I was angrier.
I feel somewhat lost on how to make any of this happen. I feel mostly overwhelmed at how i need to go to work again in 3 hours.