"Why is this happening?" I asked my therapist, tears streaming down my face, heart pounding in my chest. I was in that relationship, the one in which my partner displayed evil manifest and I kept wanting to see him.
She looked me straight in the eyes and said, "This is happening because you're replaying patterns from your earlier life." The honesty pierced my emotion, and my tears settled. It made sense. There I was, hurting. I felt confused, helpless, hopeless. I thought I was doing things right... being honest, keeping my commitments, giving freely and not expecting anything in return. I didn't understand why bad things kept happening in my life. And... I didn't know that I didn't know how to evaluate other people and their treatment of me.
As I pay for and develop a relationship with my art therapist, she offers art techniques, life opinions, and her quirks in a soft, consistent manner. We practice EMDR together, an effective trauma release technique. She taught me EFT, a quick and free anxiety alleviation method that's easy to learn and use individually. Recently, we tried brainspotting. I liked it because she didn't tell me she was going to do it before she did it, and that made my brain guess. I didn't know why it helped, and it did. Now I feel calmer about life in general, more confident in myself.
Part of getting to this place was being able to see my family for the unit it was -- an intelligent and unhappy life. We loved each other in the ways we knew how. We were a middle-class existence, two people who were very unhappy running the show, three kids who each did what they thought was best. Then my dad pushed for a divorce, my mom attempted suicide, and I flew alone to the other side of the world with this emotionally unstable woman.
She almost passed out on the plane and the stewardess gave me a dirty look when I told her my mom needed help. It was another freaking display of overt anxiety, and someone else needed to save her. I think the stewardess probably thought I was callous because of the way I expressed my words. I didn't have patience for my mom then. I felt so furious with the entire situation. My dad had asked me with whom I wanted to live, I said him, and he said he thought it'd be best for me to live with my mother. [Why even ask, you inconsiderate man? If you're going to tell me what it's going to be, don't act like I have a choice!] Then I hop on a plane with this person, this mother figure with whom I have almost zero connection and she's putting on an anxiety show. When I need her help, she laughs at me. Then she needs my help, I get it, and the stewardess gives me "you're horrible" face. Gah.
My dad quickly pursued marriage with someone half his age, someone close to my age. It totally grossed me out. Right after I found out, I crawled out on the roof of the "the guys' house" (that's what I called where one of my sisters lived, she lived with a bunch of men) and looked up at the stars. It was such a shock, this incredibly outrageous behavior from my father. I'd later learn that this was a pattern he practiced, that my other family members practiced other patterns, as did I.
If you're reading this and you watch the stars and wonder why bad things happen, deep breaths to you. I don't know why they happen. My guess is that bad things happen because people disagree on what a good thing should be. In other words, bad is a concept. We can learn how and why bad things happened, how to process those feelings, how to live a different kind of life. I believe that trauma and its patterns can end. Pain can end. Everyday bliss is possible. That doesn't mean things don't happen, that life stands still. It means we adapt and find ways to experience bliss in the mundane. This is meaning.
Well hello there.