When Did I Cease to be a Person?

A few weeks ago, Dr. T asked me to think about what would nurture me as a person. I had no idea what she was talking about. Nurture? As a person?

I said that I did plenty of things I enjoyed – Hapa Papa gave me plenty of free time (more so than he had for himself). I wasn’t sure I needed any more time.

Dr. T replied that things I enjoyed doing such as reading or watching TV or hanging out with friends wasn’t necessarily the same as something Life Giving. Or something after which I felt refreshed and renewed.

I just stared at her blankly.

I thought all week about it and got sadder and sadder.

How could I have no idea what would nurture me? How could everything I thought of only address the surface of things?

Every thing I thought of, I came up with an excuse of how it would be too hard logistically to implement. Or how it depended on too many other people.

And finally, I just wanted to cry.

When did I cease to be a person?

When did everything I do revolve around getting through the day and making sure my kids are alive at the end of it?

How is it that I long for deep connections with my children yet cannot stand spending time with them without constantly checking the clock or texting or Facebooking?

And when I think about what would make me feel like a person, it seems like all those things aren’t actually what would make me a person. Just things I think a person outwardly resembles.

How can I not even know what I want? Or what would make me happy? Or what would give me life?

I feel like I’m a hollowed out discarded exoskeleton, seemingly whole but with no real bones. Fragile.

All the things that I think would make me happy, “If only I did XYZ, then my life would be better…” type things – they pile up and add to guilt and feeling bad and inadequate.

Dr. T believes that I constantly feel bad about myself. I have to take her word for it because it is like background noise to me – a situation that I am likely to only notice once it has ceased.

This week, Dr. T wants me to stop myself when I feel guilty. She says guilt is an indication of moral judgment so she wants me to examine what I’m feeling guilty about, what the underlying moral belief is, and whether or not I truly believe it. If I do, great. If I don’t, to throw it away.

I just nod and say, “Ok” even if I’m not really that sure what she’s talking about.

Am I the only one? The only non-person amidst a sea of Real Persons?

That may explain why I am so, so lonely.

 

 

5 thoughts on “When Did I Cease to be a Person?

  1. I think it’s so easy to find ourselves lost in motherhood. Especially people like us who analyze every word we read, every feeling we feel, every moment we’re less than. You are an extraordinary person and I hope that your journey to find and remember that person smooths out for you soon.

  2. I can relate to this so much, even w/o being a mother, especially the guilt part. I have family guilt.
    I feel that your doctor is on the right track, but only feel that way after seeing it on paper (computer). I don’t know if I could have come up with that on my own (here or anywhere else).
    You’re a great person and deserve to feel happy and fulfilled in life.
    I hope this works for you and gives you some sort of peace along the way.

  3. Pingback: Radical Self-Care | Mandarin Mama

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