Facing My Demons

My demons are out full force today.  They are panicking because I am moving away from them, and they get extra-nasty when they’re mad.  They know that this is their last-ditch effort to hold onto me, and so, they are doing their damnedest to reel me back in.

They whisper their sweet, seductive lies, and cleverly mix in a truth now and then to keep me off-balance.

“Your friends would hate you if they really knew you.”

“They don’t really love you.”

“You are still damaged goods.”

“You will die alone.”

“You are fat.”

“You are disgusting.”

“You are lazy.”

“You haven’t done jackshit.”

“You are nothing.”

“Nobody gives a shit about you.”

“Nobody should.”

“You are alone.”

I know that 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are bullshit, and yet, they still have the power to hurt me.  They are my oldest fears manifesting themselves once again.

5 and 7 are true.  4 may be true, but it’s not the worst thing in the world to die alone.

I can keep telling myself that the demons are spouting bullshit, but it’s wearing me down.  I know most of it is false, and yet, a soupcon of their nonsense makes its way past my defenses.

My friends have faith in me.  They have my back, and they support me in my endeavors.  My friends have always believed in me more than I believe in myself, which humbles me, gratifies me, and occasionally bewilders me.

Kel commented in the last thread that I was going for more than survival now.  She’s right.  What I did for the last fifteen years was hunker down and survive.  I got through each day, agonizing and despairing the whole way.  I hated my life with a passion, or rather, with as much passion as I could muster.   Those days were recent enough that I can’t get them out of my mind.

Here’s the problem:  I am fucking afraid that I am going to slide down the slippery slope to hell now that I’m facing my past and looking toward my future (yeah, that sentence sucked.  I don’t care).  I have impulses to binge and purge, to burn myself with a cigarette, to bang my head against the wall until I can no longer think, and to retreat far into my shell once again.  All the shit I used to do is calling to me, and it’s taking all my strength not to respond.  I am panicking because I cannot be that person again.  I will not.  I look back at how I was, and I know that I would prefer death to being that empty shell of a person again.

So, the only option I have is to press forward, but I am so fucking tired.  There are many things on my to-do list,  and I feel as if I’m constantly failing because I’m not making much headway with it.  Some of it is the practical shit like my writing work and my editing work.  Some of it is personal like my fiction writing and getting back into theatre.  Some is community-oriented, such as getting involved in politics at a local level.   Some of it is another level of personal–dating, finding a sex buddy, etc.

My sleep has been fucked up in a different way lately.  I am sleeping too much.  I am getting seven hours of sleep, and it’s making me more tired than when I get four/five and catch a nap later in the afternoon.  Since my sleep is even more erratic, my defenses are even lower, and it makes it that much easier for the demons to come on in and make themselves at home.

I feel as if I’ve hit a road-block once I had the flashback.  It’s two steps forward, three steps back, and then another step or two forward, and one more back.

I made an observation to Kel that I don’t blame my parents for the suckiness of my life in the past fifteen years because I took over the role of abuser, and I inflicted as much if not more damage to myself than they ever did to me.  I hate the fact that I set daily goals and don’t meet them.  I want so desperately to just get through this shit already and be well on my way to planning my final tattoo.  I am pissed off that just as I was beginning to make real headway with my issues, I am getting knocked on my nonexistent ass again with the childhood shit.

I need to be strong, and I am feeling pretty damn fragile right now.  I don’t take for granted the new me because the old me isn’t completely gone.  Wait, I didn’t say that right.  I know the new me incorporates many parts of the old me–most of them good.  However, I don’t truly believe that the new me won’t collapse like a paper tiger, leaving nothing but the shredded remains of the old me.  In other words, my worst fear is not that I will return to be the old me, but that I will be even worse.

Going forward is the only option.  I just wish I didn’t feel so damn afraid of failing.

9 Responses to Facing My Demons

  1. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid of failing. You’ve been to the Pit of Despair, and you don’t want to be back there again. And I know it’s hard to deal with things when one is tired and one’s sleep patterns are boinked. But I’m sure you won’t fail, because that fear itself is going to help push you away from your demons, even as the love of your friends pulls you away from them and fraps them in the face with a fire extinguisher.

    It’s easy to be overwhelmed by a too-full schedule and to feel failure when everything isn’t done. Choose one thing that’s the most important band resolve to get *it* done — or to make as much progress as you can — and then build on your successes.

    You know I don’t agree that you are fat and lazy, but even if it’s objectively true, so what? There are many, many worse things to be. Michelle Bachman, for example, is neither fat nor lazy; she’s just a reprehensible human being in ever other way. I prefer you the way you are, and especially compared to that.

  2. Minna, your pissed and your frighten. Good! You’re human and these emotions are your guide lines, like a rope through the blizzard. You don’t need to be strong, because you are. You just need to be. And you need to rebuild the trust of that beautiful little girl that was once you and still is part of you. Listen to her, hear her, hold her, embrace her.

    One of the fantasy authors that I have read for years is Patricia McKillip. She wrote the Riddle Master of Head trilogy. But among her other stories, she told the story of a princess who had been sexually molested by her father. She got so many details right, I have often wondered if she was telling her story through the medium of fantasy.

    Put your demons on paper, write them out. If nothing else comes of it, you can light the grill and burn them then.

  3. Minnachick, please do NOT make me sing in front of these fine people. It would not be pretty, and we both know it.

    We have talked at length about both of our demons; and I think maybe sometimes they get together and have lunch in order to get new idea on how to eff up our heads. But that doesn’t mean they are going to succeed. They can try. They can lie and they can be in your head when the real people in your life aren’t around. They can remind you of how easily the physical pain can block out the emotional.

    But here’s the thing…we’ve got one thing that they don’t. When all else fails, and you’re ready to listen to the demon chorus, just ask them one teensy little question.

    Where’s the joy? They can bring your temporary peace. They can bring a sense of the familiar. They can bring a wall to hide behind. But in all of that, can they bring you joy? And no matter how much shit you face from your past, and how much fear it dumps in your lap, through it all, the real people who love you will bring you joy.

    And the crew we discussed yesterday just can’t compete.

  4. Feeling again SUCKS huh?
    Some of it is wonderful, but all of it even the intensely good stuff is draining. I’ve been writing about adjusting to it for over a year now.
    I promise you, it get’s easier if you stick with it.
    Self abuse is not allowed, because you deserve better, and you know it.
    You know from some of the stuff I have e-mailed with you about, that as amazing as things have gotten for me, there has been a shitload of side issues, deep and painful of my own past…part of this is because (I believe) I spent so long not feeling that stuff, that it is time to feel it in a healthy way and find alternative ways (like emotionally vomiting on you in e-mails!) to move safely beyond shit now.
    It takes time and you don’t have to join, group up, start, return to (insert activities here) all at once. Baby steps are OK and get you there as well.
    Best Wishes on your trip, and don’t forget to notice the flowers that grow along the way. It’s amazing to see where little things of beauty are able to survive and bloom (hint hint!)
    You’re loved.

  5. Oh shit, talk about not doing it right. In the hurry to finish and get Naomi up and to the bus, I failed to proof read (not that proof reading really helps me). The second to last sentence in the first paragraph should be “beautiful little girl”. She is you know, just as she grew into a beautiful strong woman.

  6. You left out one of the most important things the demons keep whispering:

    “Reaching your goals is the only victory. Anything short of that is failure.”

    It’s a powerful way they keep you in place.

    What they don’t want you to know is that the real victory and the real strength isn’t in achieving your goals, but in moving forward. Every step you make is a victory for you, no matter how small the step or how far you still are from whatever goal you’re moving towards.

    The old you will probably never completely go away… but as you move forward, her voice (and the voices of the demons) will be less loud and she (and the demons) will speak less frequently. This path will not be straight and you will sometimes slide back a little. When that happens, the demons and the old you will call you a failure and try to drag you back to where you were… because they don’t want you to know you can always get back on the path and start moving forward again.

  7. Gregory, you have more faith in me than I do in myself. I am not as strong as you think I am. Not only do I fear failing, I fear success as well. I am thankful that I have friends upon whom I can rely, but in the end, I am the one who has to keep moving forward.

    I like your suggestion of focusing on one thing at a time. I tend to to think I have to do it all at once, and then I end up doing nothing at all.

    Heh. Thank you for making me laugh with your last paragraph. I can, indeed, be very thankful that I am not batshitcrazy like Michele Bachmann.

    Crystal, thank you for your author recommendation. I will look her up. I mourn, too, for that little girl, especially as she is still uncertain as to whether or not she wants to come out and play. Just be. I would like to be able to do that. Taiji is definitely helping me in that area. P.S. I fixed that mistake for you.

    Kel, I bet you have a fine singing voice. If Johnny Cash moves you, then let it out. You are right about the demons not offering me any joy–they wouldn’t know the first thing about joy. All they can do is creep about, moaning their doom and gloom warnings. Thank you for bringing pure joy into my life and for making me laugh through my tears.

    whabs, yes it fucking sucks to be so raw. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced true, authentic emotions on a sustained basis. Before, it was a flash here or there before I quickly retreated back into my shell. I have forgotten how, well, intense such feelings can be.

    Self-abuse is so easy for me. Self-love is much harder. I am struggling against my impulses, but it’s not easy. It helps to have friends like you who have gone through it as well. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to be Superwoman, that I can just be…me.

    Alex, oh yes. That’s a big one. It’s even trickier because once I near a goal, I change it. Therefore, I can never actually reach a goal. Diabolical, eh?

    Your last sentence is so important to me. I can always get back on the path again. I need to remember that because I have the habit of thinking all or nothing. If I screw up once, then I might as well stop trying. Thank you for gently reminding me that life is not nearly so linear.

  8. I am feeling raw right now, whabs. I can’t quite find the words to blog about it, though I might give it a whirl tomorrow. We shall see.