Where does Empathy Apply?

Here’s what happened today – o.k., I have to back up and create some context first: Home folks. Didn’t want to do anything with them after the demise of my former “career” and their lousy ways to respond to that. You’d (want to) think: They’re your former caretakers. Understanding. Empathy. That sort of thing. Didn’t really happen. Ok. Got it. So I threatened a lawsuit, should they try to contact me without my prior consent.

Fast forward to the living situation: I’ve been suffering from severe PTSD from multiple trauma in my very early and early childhood for all-my-freagging-life! (49 years and counting…). Save the “boo-hoo” for someone else. I’m just saying. The living situation turned out to be triggering all old – as in: unprocessed, untreated – trauma. Tried to adjust to what it was for years. Bottomed out on trying. Went almost postal and decided that I had to move or else, I’d probably run amok at some point. Didn’t feel like giving my obnoxious neighbour that amount of attention and had to think of a plan B. Friends. As in: Well-to-do friends, who were able to front me one grand for an indefinite amount of time until I had recollected my bearings. That “friend” – let me down. Had to think of a plan C – that plan C – to much chagrin – was home folks. So I did it. I bowed to the situation and asked them to be good for the realtor’s commission. I knew, this would make them feel entitled to mess with my mind and life again. I felt that I had no other choice back then, so I felt I had to comply and just do the darn thing. What can I say? Big mistake. Anyway, that’s history.

Now – what now? I’ve been living in this place that gave me uninterrupted sleep for a change – and in decades so. In other words: I have caught up on sleep I’ve been missing in decades. Can you imagine that? Never getting enough sleep for decades? Waking up groggy and grouchy every fucking day? Do you see it? Can you feel it? If you’re a parent, you’ve been doing that for the past – I don’t know what – five years? Maybe ten on the outside, if you’re the typical DITK (double income, two kids) type of couple. Ten years out of your life for something you chose for. Make that fifty years – and for something you haven’t exactly chosen. Get the picture? Think, it’s enough to make anyone go postal? I would think so.

But still… I can be obnoxiously persevering. Yes, obnoxiously, because I have come to hate myself for simply holding out this long. And for exactly what? Ok, that’s food for some other discussion. Enough of my digressing: Lo and behold, home folks delivered on my assumption and felt entitled to mess with how to go about my life and its (special) challenges. I thought I was able to put up with it – for some time -, but had to find out to the contrary. So now I’m putting as much silence and distance between them and I as possible. Do they respect boundaries? You think, they would after all that went down. But no. (and a good part of it is my own fault, as I’m beginning to become aware of again).

Phone call today. “I wonder how you were doing”. Translate to: “I wanna share, how I was doing, with you.” Have I asked for this amount of confiding? No, Sir. Did it matter? No, Ma’am. So I more or less freak out. (What a liberation! My landlady is gone for a week, so I felt at liberty to actually express my genuine feelings!). And I draw the line where the line was before. Tears and sobbing on the other end of the line. As in: We’re approaching death and want to make peace.

Fair enough! Here’s your peace: “I understand, you did the best you could. You have to make your peace with it. And so do I.” Treatment options, them being good for treatment and almost begging to pay – not an option. I seriously don’t know, just what place I derive the collectedness from to explain that accepting their money for treatment ruins the very idea of treatment in the first place. If my feelings had the say – I better not go there… It isn’t even only me thinking or saying this – I’m actually echoing potential therapists on this one.

Gah. What a mess. What a fucking mess! As if I didn’t have enough to take care of. Now I’m the expert on their – as in: Perpetrators’ – feelings? Give me fucking break!

I’m awarding myself a lifetime award of impulse control. DBT/CBT – you got nothing for me!


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