I have realized that I'm not very happy. I am comfortable most of the time. I'm much, much less numb than I was a year ago. I can keep myself diverted, more or less. But I don't feel a lot of positive things, and almost never feel joy. I don't enjoy things as much as I believe I would "normally" (based on my history--it seems unreasonable for almost everything to be kinda flat).
I'm not saying I'm getting worse. Almost everything about me has been getting better continuously for the past year or two. Heck, I can get sad and cry about things now, which I couldn't recently. It's just that I noticed that I don't have a lot of positive thoughts or positive things to say. I mostly observe, or figure things out, or use sarcastic or ironic humor. Or I'm calm. It actually feels strange to say happy or positive things. It feels like I'm protecting them from something, almost.
I know for sure I never felt comfortable about sharing them with my dad. The guy was incredibly frightening and mean and he would take any sign of weakness and crush it, most days. There was a 'nice' side to him too but that just made it worse.
I recently did an EMDR on a really upsetting incident from when I was 13, revolving around him, and while I still can't remember it, it did bring up some very intense stuff regarding him at a lot of other times.
He said terrible things to me and my sisters and he treated my mom horribly. He used to say it was my fault when he got angry at me, that I wanted to hurt him and make him angry (said this more times than I can remember). He said when I was a toddler I made too much noise on purpose to interrupt him (also said this more times than I can remember). He said that I did things accurately but too slowly. He said that I spent too much time saying things that people around me couldn't understand, or weren't interested in.
I often wanted to hurt him but I didn't want to hurt the 'good' him I thought I saw in him. I still have dreams to this day where I'm physically fighting with him (usually winning...). Obviously I never physically hurt him that I can remember in real life, just in dreams.
I always thought that his problems with me were just misunderstandings, that he really believed what he said but since I knew I didn't want him to hurt me, I figured there must be some way to get that across to him. But no matter what I tried there was no way to keep him from berating me, lecturing me, screaming at me, saying incredibly hurtful things over and over... Eventually I got more and more upset at him and by the time I was 15 or 16 I realized that he was insane and there was no getting through to him. I stood up to him once around 17 and it ended badly and turned into one of my EMDR targets that I completed a couple months ago. I stood up to him again around 18 and he stopped talking to me for a month. Actually, it was the month I turned 18.
I compartmentalized all of it heavily. The above description is just some of the stuff I remembered when doing the EMDR, but I think it just barely scratches the surface. It's weird to see all this stuff from an adult perspective. It never seriously occurred to me to get outside help (when I was a kid) because of how scared I was of him and how I was scared of feeling guilty of betraying him. Of course I started getting help as an adult around age 19--and initially felt like I was betraying him even then! It was like I was in a cult or something... the outside help only started getting effective when I first did EMDR at age 24 or so.
It's like there's a large padlocked box in my psyche that I can't open and I feel like it's full of horrible things.. and I feel like important parts of me are in there. It makes it hard to be close to anyone because I as much as I crave positive feedback, I am scared of negative feedback, and I don't want people to see all that ugliness. I know rationally that it's not my fault, but I feel like a lot of the stuff clinging to my soul is fundamentally ugly and repulsive.
The EMDR technique has worked pretty well so far so I'll just keep processing I suppose. The emotions that have come up since the last session have mostly been anger (mostly towards my father) and frustration (in general).
Thanks for reading this.