No Choice (I Am Not Okay)

With everything that is going on with my family, the changes in my habits, the realization that I am not at fault for what happened (which seems to be sticking) – I am feeling incredibly vulnerable and this huge need to withdraw into myself.

I am sad and swallowed in this sadness and grief almost constantly. I knew it would be hard, these changes, but I did not know that it would be this hard. I did not know that I wouldn’t want to talk with my husband, that I wouldn’t feel like talking at all. That I would feel like nobody understands me – like I can’t talk to my closest of friends – save for Lu, that angel – I didn’t know I would feel like I don’t understand myself.

All I have to hang on to is that this process of severing old beliefs and integrating myself and my experiences – that this process is going somewhere good. That this is simply a part of the storm that feels endless. That it’s worth it. That I am worth it. But I have no concrete evidence of that being the case right now, and it makes it hard. Before, I could see the growth, and believe in it. But right now I feel embedded in this period of sadness, unable to see anything except an endless sea of grief.

This is the first time, in the 7 months I have been working with A, that I feel desperately as though I need her. That she is an anchor point in this insane storm. That if she cut me off or died or stopped being there for whatever reason – I wouldn’t cope well.  I am having serious object permanence issues – as soon as I’m gone I wonder if she even ever existed or if she is simply a caring figment of my imagination. How could somebody real, who knows (almost) everything, genuinely care for me so much? This fear of her leaving me has been especially aggressive since my family severed their ties with me and unknowingly fast forwarded a really sensitive process. I am trying to intellectualize it and make sense of it – and I can’t. I know, somewhere, that it is okay to need her, I know it is wholly due to the fact that she is giving me care and emotional attention that I desperately need as I work through this really difficult transitory period. I know that my need is a symptom of all I’ve been through, and is crucial to getting me to the other side. But I am ashamed of it. 

I believe, too, that little PD has a lot to do with how I feel right now. I have always treated her as so separate from myself. I have always fragmented from her and separated from her… her emotions and beliefs and the way she was treated they all belong to her, not me. Yet when I realized the other day that nothing that happened was her fault or my fault or.. our fault… it bridged a gap there that had previously been completely separate. I had been blaming her and putting it all on her and in that one session where I mentally relived all I blamed her for and saw, in fact, that it was not her fault – it has changed my perspective. It was terrifying and raw and real, and it has changed everything. Her experience is uniting with mine and the deep seated grief of our childhood is affecting all I do and all I am in the present moment.

I imagine this is why I have felt incredibly fragile and childlike the past 48 hours. I want to curl into bed with stuffed animals and blankets and hot chocolate and watch Disney movies where everything always turns out alright in the end. I have this urge to colour, but not in my adult colouring book – in one I have that is for kids. I want someone to care for me and I don’t want to do any caring myself right now. So I’m going to do as strong suggested (which I think was brilliant) and give myself a day off from thinking about all this. I’ll get through my freelancing, etc and then I will colour and watch a Disney movie tonight and maybe have hot dogs and kraft dinner… 

I am not okay. I am not okay right now. But I see no other option than continuing. Trying to sit with it and reminding myself that even the darkest and most dangerous of storms ends with a sunrise. Drinking did nothing for me yesterday in the way of harm reduction and self-harm isn’t an option I can consider anymore (when did that change happen?!). Stopping now would leave me in this painful limbo forever. 

I have no choice but to move forward. And move forward we will. 


22 thoughts on “No Choice (I Am Not Okay)

  1. It is incredibly painful, isn’t it? It’s not like you can just say, “Yep, I’m completely changing the way I have oriented myself for my entire life, and I know it’s good, so let’s get on with it.” It’s so much more complicated, and even in the midst of knowing you are doing the right thing, it’s normal to experience doubt, grief, anger, fear and confusion in all kinds of combinations. It is normal.

    So you are going through a normal process that is very difficult, painful and exhausting. You can imagine it almost like having a very serious illness or surgery. If it were a physical illness, you would rest, retreat, and choose things that would make you feel better. You might lean heavily on the support of your doctor or physical therapist. I personally rely a lot on this analogy to make it easier to accept how the dependence on E, the withdrawal from much of my social circle, and the need for a lot of rest.

    You can do this. You ARE doing it already. It won’t always be this hard, PD. Your bravery and your awareness of what needs to change in your life are powerful forces that will get you through it. And of course, your friends here on the blog; we will rally around you and remind you how very lovable you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for normalizing this for me Q – I didn’t know how much I needed that until you said it… I needed it a lot.

      That analogy was so incredibly helpful. I talked about it with my husband actually and he has taken it to heart and is making me dinner and caring for me and it makes things a bit easier right now, so thank you.

      I’m right in the middle of it and wishing I wasn’t but knowing it’s a good thing and trying to see the end, trying to remind myself there is an end, there is a through part of this. There is a place to end up that is peaceful and more sunny than rainy and full of easier days compared to hard ones.

      Thank you Q, your comment had me in good tears. Words can’t describe how much this community means to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, PD… please do give Little PD everything she wants / needs. Coloring, Disney, a hotdog dinner, fuzzy blankets, maybe a warm bath, making cookies and licking the bowl?? This childlike grief is incredibly intense, and I hear your pain, and I wish I was there to sit with you in it (no talking necessary). xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • The store was out of my favourite hot dogs and you wouldn’t believe the inner temper tantrum that ensued (or maybe you would). This is my first experience with an active kind of little me to take care of, I have always shunned her… so I’m trying to figure out what else to do – but cookies sounds awesome. I wish you were here to sit in it with me too, everything is just so much more overwhelming right now. Adulting takes 4x the effort as normal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! It’s okay for Little PD to throw a temper tantrum!! Seriously, what the fuck, Grocery Store??? 😉 So let her throw her tantrum… because you’re letting her express yourself… and then go eat something else that she might like, as a second best option. 🙂
        I wish I was there with you too. And Annie’s White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese and a pan of brownies would be Little Lily’s classic choice!
        Adulting sucks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My Facebook status last year was something about giving up adulting and if people needed me they would be at recess. I feel the exact same way today.

        And yes, grocery store, we have allergies so way to have ALL THE HOT DOGS WE CANT EAT. Stupid grocery store.

        Thanks Lily xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have never heard of those but I bet they’re good! We eat Schneiders All Beef – I’m allergic to chili anything so it’s hard to find any label without the word “spices” which can usually be fine but represents an unknown!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You are most definitely worth it and there will certainly be a sunrise after the darkness. This is so painful and I can feel how overwhelmed you are. A is there for you, she very clearly cares about you and wants to help you navigate this. I’m glad that you have her – she sounds solid.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Sophia

      She is solid. I believe she is solid. She has had to tell me at least once each session that she isn’t going anywhere – and I so need to hear that when she says it. It’s so frustrating to be so attached but I wouldn’t have gotten to this point without it.

      The pain and grief is deep seated and so raw. Thank you for saying you see it. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aside from the painful issues themselves, I think it’s hard to smash up against the realisation that progress is neither linear nor even. There are times, like now, where everything seems to hit at once and it is just too much, all you want to do it retreat. What you are doing sounds perfectly healthy, taking a it of time out and doing your best to slow the pace to a manageable level.

    I know from my own experience of moving away from a group in which I was completely immersed, and similarly backing off from hurtful family members that there is a lot of rethinking, mental back and forth about exactly what is the right thing to do, and alternating feelings of relief and loneliness and pain and grief. I’m not through it yet, in fact am actively choosing not to deal so much with those particular problems at present, but it does get better and you slowly find the right path.

    Hang in there 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Why oh why can’t it progress like a checklist or instruction booklet?! You’re right, there is so much back and forth – my body is on alert overdrive because I’m not playing the game anymore – I’m not following the ‘rules’ that kept us safe… and it’s hard to stop being so hyper aware of everything.

      Thank you for your kind words – and for telling me it does get better


  5. You have a choice Paperdoll and you’re embarking on the difficult choice. Well done you! I know how easy it is to stay in that little zone of comfort but, as they say: “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got”. Sounds to me that you’re doing something different now and I promise: you’ll reap the rewards down the line. Take care now xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really appreciated that first sentence, Serena – you reminded me that there are many other, much unhealthier ways I could be coping and yet I’m choosing the hard way – what a difference. And yes, well done me ☺️

      Thank you xx


  6. It’s not okay right now, but it will be. I can hold that hope for you. You’ve got a lot going on, and it’s hard. Care for yourself, whatever it is you need.
    The end of this post, it sounded like a lot of growth you’ve gone through in the past few days. I can feel your determination and your will and the fighter you are. It will get easier. You’re doing a great job. And I’m here if you need me ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Everything you have said is correct and I can relate to the limbo feeling. I think needing A shows how much you want to change and just feel ok. You have made rapid change. Carrying around all that emotion and feeling is exhausting. The alcohol not working is incredible and a sign of your coping method changing. But also bloody hard because you need some sort of comfort.
    Self care and rest is definitely a good idea. Take care x

    Liked by 2 people

  8. PD there is no shame with how you are feeling. What you are going through, and all the emotions is tough. Taking some time out and allowing yourself to have a day off is such a good thing to do.
    There is also nothing wrong with not being ok and needing people. A sounds very understanding and kind. From your posts, I would ​definitely say she cares about you and won’t abandon you, but I really do understand the fear.
    Don’t expect so much from yourself, you are going through some difficult things. Try and be kind to yourself and give yourself time.
    Always here xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, forever. It is hard. It is so much harder than I expected. And it’s fast, right now.

      Thank you for your affirmation and validation in I’m ok to not be ok right now. I appreciate that so much.

      I should manage my expectations of myself better – this isn’t an overnight thing, it isn’t supposed to be… I’m used to being expected to do everything ‘perfectly’ – I suppose I’m losing sight of how far I’ve come. Thank you, forever xx

      Liked by 1 person

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