Tense Past

I don’t talk much about my past for the same reason I don’t wake up and hit myself in the head with a 2 x 4 every morning; it’s unpleasant.

He told me you talk about it until the pain goes away.

With about eight suicide attempts, two stints in psychiatric wards, a failed three year relationship, and a period of promiscuous sex, I didn’t think the time would come when the pain would just “go away.” That’s not even including being unintentionally neglected by well-meaning parents and dropping out of college.

But I was at a real love seminar this past weekend and stories about my past were told– in unflattering detail– to an audience of 100 and two interesting things happened.

1. I did not feel shame.

2. I could enjoy how not crazy I am not.

This is after he specifically mentioned the time when I got so crazy that my husband had to call the cops and I spent one hell of an uncomfortable night in a New York hospital. Can’t say that was my best move.

And you know how not crazy I am now? I had totally forgotten about the entire incident until he mentioned it. I was a completely different person.

I got an overwhelming response that people feel less alone when they hear about how truly nuts I was. After all, I can put on quite a show. It’s always difficult to believe that we’re not the only psycho person on the planet. From afar, strangers seem so well put-together.

Anyways, is there anything in my past that anyone is interested in hearing more about? Comment and let me know.

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8 thoughts on “Tense Past

  1. Did you really want to die in your suicide attempts? What were you feeling inside, what was your brain saying to you, what was your emotions saying to you right before you made the attempt?

    1. Huh. Good question. Not sure I have much of a short answer to that. Yes and no in different ways. Might take a couple posts to answer that

  2. I will not praise the clever title.
    Hmm….what would I like to ask you about your past? I don’t know. When I was a depressed, suicidal teen I had a list of grievances against my parents, their religion and life. It was a very long list and I recited it often (sexism, double standards, adult hypocrisy, parental ignorance, uneven distribution of wealth in the world/starving babies, misinterpretations of scripture…it goes on) But I think my top three fears were actually: 1. Being Ugly, 2. Not knowing what to do with my life, 3. Armageddon

    I quickly gave up the fear of #3, correctly filing it under “Things I can’t control” but #1 and #2 persisted.
    Did you have a list of deep fears that you can identify now? Any of them still come up for you?

    1. Funny. I’ll have to ask you more about that (really Armageddon?).

      I plan on writing posts in response to these questions, but for me the fear has ALWAYS been not being good enough. I actually didn’t even realize that’s been the over-arching theme of my life until you asked so thank you for that.

  3. Hi Veena,
    Thanks for honest truth. I think it is the ‘unflattering detail’ that does the trick, because these unflattering details is all just saying how much pain was there. Flatter it up in any way, is not really seeing the pain.
    When someone tells how ‘nut’s and ‘crazy’ they have been, others get to see we are all the same – just in pain, different stories or events, but same old pain of not feeling loved. It gives them permission so to speak, to not feel alone or have to hide anymore.
    It is good to ‘own’ the crazy…….I use to say and believe that I was crazy and felt bad.
    Now I see it as yes I was crazy, crazy in pain, but now I am still crazy, crazy in love.

    One thing I would like to ask you is, what was the overall factor you experienced in the pain just ‘going away’?
    How would you describe it in a ‘nut’ shell 🙂
    Love m xox

    1. Yes! That’s exactly what it is. I now finally believe that it was just wacky expressions of pain– not who I really am– and thus the pain has subsided… Or in some cases, completely disappeared.

      I’ll post a more in-depth response, but I think it amounts to trust/faith. From being completely depressed to having a glimmer of hope made a world of a difference. I had to feel loved first, of course, but after that I could believe that it was possible to be happy. Did I understand your question correctly?

      1. Yes Veena,

        You did answer it. For me too it boiled down simply to someone – one person, who really loved me and accepted me for all my wacky crazy expressions of pain, as you so aptly put it. (not being good enough, which went into and colored everything)

        Also, a recognizing from my part that this one person was trustworthy and they ‘proved’ it time and time again, no matter how crazy I got, when others ran away scared or reacted in some wacky way of their own. (from their own pain)

        From the trust, faith came big time into play when such unconditional love was given freely and abundantly and allowed me to receive what was sorely needed…..result of which happiness has become a living reality, something that I never thought possible. (feeling loved/loving and good enough)
        Love m xox

      2. Exactly. I really do believe the answer is pretty much the same for everyone, whether they can see it or not in the moment.
        Yes, the faith allowed me to, as you say, receive what I needed. That was a bigger turning point for me just because I nearly did decide to throw away all the love and go back to being miserable. The faith allowed me to feel love that was being given.

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