I hurt those around me who love me

by Gor Rivenshield

hurting

Author’s note: this is neither wholly irrational nor rational. There is a method to my madness, and madness to my method. This is a perspective, a state of mind; not a statement of fact but a report from the shadows most dare not report on.

I am a monster. I am a burden. I hurt those around me who love me. I hurt those around me who don’t even know I exist. I hurt myself. I hurt.

The previous paragraph is not rational in an objective sense. I know this, intellectually. I can and have run rings around it with my intellect. But…

I am a monster. I am a burden. By being a burden I hurt those around me who love me. I hurt those around me who don’t even know I exist. I hurt myself. I hurt.

When I was 22 I fought hard to end Nuclear Proliferation. I fought for a cleaner environment, unbridled greed, casual rudeness, discrimination against other people, abuse of all kinds, hate, and fear. I wanted a better world, not for myself, but for our children and the future generations of creatures on this planet. I fought suicidal depression that told me I wasn’t good enough, I was worthless.

I didn’t think of it as noble

I fought to give myself worth. I could see and remember when the demons closed in to destroy me. Something to tell me I’m still good, but it was selfishness, not selflessness. I did it because… I am a monster. I am a burden. I hurt those around me who love me. I hurt those around me who don’t even know I exist. I hurt myself. I hurt.

I hate my friends and family. I love my friends and family. The people I love are telling me to endure unspeakable pain. Sure, they’ll put a pet down who is in pain, but me? A real burden on them? Someone who can no longer smile without it being false, who can no longer make plans beyond the immediate moment, who can no longer return their love without feeling selfish? No, I have to endure.

I am a monster. I am a burden. I hurt those around me who love me. I hurt those around me who don’t even know I exist. I hurt myself. I hurt.

I love my family and friends. I hate my family and friends. It’s not cognitive dissonance, it’s systemic, not confined to my intellect. It’s psychological dissonance. It hurts. It hurts me. It hurts those around me who don’t know I exist. It hurts those around me who love me. It is a burden. It is a monster… that is part of me.

I’m 58 now

I’ve done bad things, I’ve done good things. I can recall just about all of the former, very little of the latter. The best thing I ever did is now the source of the worst emotions and thoughts.

I love my son, Arthur, deeply. He is gone these past five years because he lost the struggle. I still fight. He fought it and. I. Did. Not. Know.

We were estranged because after the divorce his mother kept intruding herself into our communication and I just couldn’t handle her constant put-downs after my attempt. We reconnected, without my ex intruding, about six months before he left us. We re-established our relationship with the added dimension of being friends. Emails and texts flew back and forth on all sorts of subjects, with debates and discussions and a heapful of our weird humor. Then, it was gone.

I went to stay with my ex in Maine afterward

Heck, we were the only two people who understood how the other felt, as much as one person can another. We talked about Arthur, his friends, his accomplishments, his life.

I read things he had written, looked at his art, smelt his clothing, and cried. I went out into the middle of the forest and screamed so loud that neighbors two miles away called to find out if everything was alright.

Then, because I’m an intellectually-inclined suicidal depressive, I re-read everything, re-examined everything, collated everything. I saw all the signs then, signs I had missed because I was so focused on myself. Because I was selfish.

I gave him those genes, the ones that mess up our neuro-chemistry, the ones that make us think: I am a monster. I am a burden. I hurt those around me who love me. I hurt those around me who don’t even know I exist. I hurt myself. I hurt.

When I was being guided in a shamanic tradition over 30 years ago, I was told a story:

Two she-bears with cubs got caught in bear traps. One chewed her leg off in desperation to get back to her cubs who had to take up hunting not just for themselves, but her as well. The other lay down as if dead. The trappers came across her ‘lifeless’ body and removed the trap. With her last strength, she eliminated the threat to her cubs and her species.

It hurts. It hurts me. It hurts those around me who don’t know I exist. It hurts those around me who love me. It is a burden. It is a monster… that is part of me. I chewed my leg off instead of eliminating the threat and I’m still in a trap.

So, I endure. Maybe someone will see and avoid the trap. Maybe I can eliminate the threat. Maybe none of this. But, I endure.

6 thoughts on “I hurt those around me who love me”

  1. I can read and read this over and over again. The pain is perfectly expressed… I have suffered with depression since my early teens… But it took it until my mid 30s to recognize that’s what it was.
    I deeply regret the pain it has caused me, my family, and friends over my lifetime thus far. Never fully suicidal, but deeply hopeless, unworthy, broken, undeserving, weak, and selfish. I never wanted to leave those I love, but felt my “being” hurt them more than it ever helped them and for awhile felt they’d be better off without me. And I hated myself for hurting them. I hate my genes passed to my child I’ve now lost.
    I hate that I understood her pain because I KNEW elements of it first hand. I KNEW never feeling good enough. I am grateful I could relate in a way to her that most couldn’t and took every opportunity she gave me to tell her she could fight this, it wasn’t WHO she is…it doesn’t have to take all your energy, you mustn’t believe the lies….and on and on. The pain of passing it on right now overwhelms the gratefulness of “sharing” because I am here and she is not!!
    The “monster” has brought me to my knees many times in life. It still lingers in my closet. Sometimes I let it out. But it’s smaller at times, doesn’t suffocate me anymore. And I can return it much faster than I used to.
    I still hate it. But it’s not WHO I am.

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me. It took me a long time to be able to write about being a monster, partly because I had to overcome the idea that it is just me and I shouldn’t announce this about me. We’re not alone…

      1. No, we’re not alone. I see it everyday that I go to my office.
        Calling it a monster makes me want to fight against it. I can’t let it win. It almost did once and I’ve never let it be that strong again. I’ve had to go through illness, losing my mother and dealing with other tough issues but I refused to let it ever get to that point again. It scared me too much. I never wanted to put my children through that ever again. We’ve talked about it and they, all 3, hold no grudge. I made amends like the step says to.

        And I’ve never been that overtaken again. Not even now after being dealt the hardest thing I ever imagined could happen. Burying one of my children at age 22. This kind of grief could easily take anyone down. I want to be with her but I’m not ready to die. My grief is overwhelming. My depression steals joy. Steals energy and motivation, clarity, and even memory…. and so does grief. So together they are quite the pair. But I don’t fight my grief and ironically that helps. Yes, I learned very well how to fake a smile in public…many years ago. But not anymore at home. And don’t ask me to smile if you see I’m upset. I might take your head off or leave you in cold silence.
        Thank you Gor for opening this door.
        I’m so sorry about your son. I’m sorry this monster lives with many of us in different forms.
        No one fights alone …one of Jilly’s friends gave me a bracelet that is engraved with this. I cling to that… remembering the love of God, my children, all 3. My family. Friends. Strangers. Fellow blog readers and writers.

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