I am about to enter the 2nd anniversary of the start of the pandemic’s impact. For me, the impact started in early March 2020, and I have to say that I’ve perfected the art of isolation since then. On a positive note, I think it has made me a better employee as it is easier to conceal my DID and PTSD as a remote worker. It’s certainly easier to cope with a difficult day working remotely. I can get it together enough for a video meeting, but then exhale and just let myself be as soon as it is over, instead of having to contend with colleagues and managers seeing me look out of sorts. Ironically, I received my best performance rating ever during the pandemic. It has felt strange to achieve professional success during a global pandemic, especially with the knowledge that the pandemic may have helped me achieve that success.
However, I’ve never been good at keeping in touch with friends. It’s always been a struggle for me, and I don’t fully understand why. As I approach year two of this pandemic, I see that the impact for me personally has been less consistent connections with friends. I want to be better, yet I am aware that I become frozen with the thought of even starting to reach out to friends. I had a therapist once who theorized that this reluctance could come from the feeling of safety that comes from being alone. It’s lonely, but it’s safe. In the past, people were not safe, and it can be hard to undo that lesson because not all people are unsafe.
I thought I would start with posting on this blog for the first time in a very long time, over a year, in fact. I am going to keep trying to keep, or rather, pick up those connections with friends. Here’s to a new year!
Since Saturday afternoon, I have seen my hometown in print every day. I grew up in El Paso, and was stunned to have the city pushed into my awareness by a tragic event. And I can’t help but wonder if tragedy is a feedback loop onto itself because this tragic event has thrown me back into my own trauma history with the daily reminder of where I lived as a child. It is not lost on me that an argument can be made that this can be seen as self-centered with the real loss of life that just happened.
And, yet, I still find myself stuck in some way every time I see the news since the weekend. I’ve lived in the Northwest and the Northeast of this country since I left El Paso many years ago. By design, I’ve endeavored to be as far away as possible. It’s truly not the city’s fault that I am not a fan. Though I can’t help but associate my feelings with El Paso as it is where a lot of stuff happened. To be clear, I am not aware of the entirety of my experience. But I know enough to know that it was traumatic.
This past weekend I was at an event where I was asked about my family with insistence that I must have support from family members. I responded by saying, “Certain family members-I regularly look up their arrest record to keep track of them as it is public information in Texas.” That put an abrupt end to the inquiry.
And now I have to stop writing because it is too much.
I’ve been in a roulette of parts moving in and out of my system very quickly. This makes me tired, and fuzzy. It’s not a trigger free world that we live in, and therein lies the challenge. I get triggered very easily some days. Sometimes it’s predictable. Other times, it isn’t. I’m forgetting entire conversations with my partner. Though I know they happen because slivers of them will float back to me when she tries to help me recount them. Sometimes I do not know which part of me is doing what. It leaves me feeling broken and unfixable. I get intense feelings that make little sense to me. It scares me when I do not understand the intensity of my feelings. Today, among other things, I’m triggered by someone that I perceive as needy. Yet, they’ve made no demands of me. However, even from my place as a spectator I’ve become triggered and annoyed just by observing from afar. I am not proud of this, and I wish I did not have these feelings. It is my greatest desire to eradicate these feelings as having them feels like wasted energy. Yet, here I sit thoroughly annoyed by this person. Neediness must remind of something from my past that left a deep imprint on me because I flee at the first sight of it. And when I cannot flee, I resent being in its presence. My brain comes to a full stop with neediness, and has trouble chugging past it.