Saturday, February 7, 2015

Acknowledging My Truncated Adolescence

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The days are growing longer now.  We are in the depths of winter's silence but at least the world is growing a bit brighter each day.  I myself feel quite aware of the dark sadness I carried around for so long.  Though it might not seem like it I do feel the nature of my grief and sadness is changing and also improving.

The particular traumatic moments of my early life history no longer haunt me in the way they once did. I can no longer connect my grief and sadness to particular events as I once could easily do.  My grief has morphed into something a little less ponderous.  I now am aware of how sad I feel about how what I experienced distorted how I thought about myself.  I specifically am aware of the less than ideal adolescence I had.

Lately I have been involuntarily recalling the period of time in my adolescence in which I made my bedroom into something more like a cave.  One of the neighbors in our neighborhood had a bright lamp behind their house that illuminated the area where their swimming pool was.  It was so bright that it also would illuminate the ceiling of my bedroom!  I didn't much care for this.  So I coped with this excessive light by covering the primary window of my bedroom with blankets and other items to blot out the light.  Unfortunately my coping strategy had some unintended consequences.  Between this issue and my stepmother's proclivity for ensuring my younger brother's bedroom was the right temperature I often found my own bedroom to be uncomfortable.

I recall the discomfort I felt as an adolescent and feel sad and aggrieved that I was often so uncomfortable.  It didn't have to be that way.  I didn't protest my discomfort with my father and stepmother more than I did because I didn't want to waste my energy.  Their behavior was often inappropriate.  I rarely felt heard.  I rarely felt as if my most basic needs were respected.  It was a horrible way to live.  And now I am finally mourning how I felt all those years ago.  At least I am finally working through my grief and pain.

It has been nearly twenty months since I decided to reenter psychotherapy.  I never would have imagined it would make such a difference.  EMDR therapy in particular changed my life in a way I could not have foreseen.  I find myself still adjusting to the changes that have come about due to the treatment I have undergone.

When will my grief end?  I honestly do not know.  But I do feel it is improving over time.  I sense that this coming spring will mark a decisive leap forward for me.  At least I hope it will.  It is one of my many hopes.

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