Internalized

I internalize everything.

Every ounce of the stress and anxiety around me goes straight to my soul.  I take every reaction and every offhanded mention as truth.  I pull every ounce of upset around me up on my shoulders and I bear it.  I assume that it’s all my fault, anyway.

I deserve punishment.

When I was younger, I was always the one consoling my mom.  For whatever reason, it came down to me to be there for her.  Maybe I just imagined it that way.  Maybe there’s some tendency towards nurturing in my nature that I just don’t even realize is there.  Whatever the reason, I always felt like I was silently bearing both of my parents’ rages and upsets, irritations and frustrations.  I always felt like it was my job to put on a brave face and take it, to rationalize that it was my fault in some way so I needed desperately to make amends.

I naturally worry about what other people think of me.  It keeps me awake at night sometimes.  This crushing weight upon my chest met my hummingbird flutters of my heart, anxiety gripping my mind as I dwell on something bad I did years, weeks, months, minutes ago.

I do dwell.  I can’t not dwell.  I’m not sure why it’s so important to me to dwell, but I’m incapable of not caring.  I’m incapable of letting go, of serving myself, of being my own woman.

I’m not quite sure I’m yet a woman at all.

When faced with anger in someone else, my stomach drops to the floor, my throat tightens up and my eyes are pricked with oncoming tears.  I grow anxious, sad and overcome with guilt.  It doesn’t matter if it’s my fault or not; from then on, in my mind, it is.  It’s as simple as that.  I have failed.  I have not provided what I should’ve been giving.  And so I feel wretched.

And I dwell.  Once a seed of anxiety has been planted with me, it stays.  I worry.  I think about it at inopportune moments and I wreck my day with anxiousness.

I spend the rest of my life believing that I am worthless for whatever I did or didn’t do.  And for that, maybe I deserve to bear the anger, the frustration, the guilt and the worry.  Maybe?

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