Letter about emptiness and missing meaning, about my saviour complex, and about not trying to skip parts of the process just because they hurt.

14th of February 2020

Dear no one or anyone or whoever is out there.

There is a lot of loneliness and emptiness in my life right now. My feelings alternate between a deep feeling of meaninglessness and the question “How do I save the people in my life who are not okay?” as if I do have a purpose, and that purpose is helping the people I care about get better. I am trying to keep my saviour complex under control, but the utter meaninglessness of everything makes it flare up and gives logic to its reasoning. I try to ask if these people, their lives, their pain and their healing are really my responsibility, and the only answer I find in myself is “of cause, that I why I am here.”And by here I mean alive. Like finding a way to help guide these people out of their darkness is the only reason I could possibly have for being and staying alive. I am that desperate for purpose and meaning.

My feelings of self worth and being allowed to be in this world are at a low I haven’t seen in a while. I so feel that I can only achieve worth and permission to exist if I earn it. And a part of me sees a truth in this, that my lying mind is so willing to abuse. Maybe because that is all there is right now. There is no future, there is no hope, there is nothing I believe in or look forward to, there is only the emptiness of now and the desperate need to make the world a little less painful and empty for the people I care about. And so many of the people I care about are in bad places right now. And their pain overwhelms me, and yet my answer to these things have always been to ask, “so what do I do about it”. The pain I see and feel in the world are calls to action, and yet I feel so small and so powerless against a world of pain, injustice and suffering. I want to fight. I want to act. I want to make it better. I just do not know where to start or what to do. Why was I given this urge to care and act and heal, to fight and give and face all the things that hurt if I am not meant to do something with it? I might be weak and powerless and small, but I am also a kind of resilient and headstrong and so incredibly stubborn. The odds are not going to stop me. When I am told the world just isn’t fair, my instinct is to ask how we make it fair. When things are not okay I ask how do we change that or how do I change that. I think this way both about my own pain and about the pain I see around me. It took me a long time to realise just how unusual a way of thinking that is.

Of my friends four out of six are currently not doing well and the other two are working their way away from their own dark places. That is a lot. Sometimes it feels like everything inside me has been replaced with worry, and there is nothing I can do. I so want to help and at the same time I am so worried about being too much if I reach out. And I know that their struggles aren’t mine and that there isn’t much I can do. I know it’s the emptiness and loneliness in my life making me desperate to make sure no one else has to feel that. But maybe I just need to sit with my loneliness and emptiness and stop thinking about how to make a difference for anyone else. It’s just that there isn’t any more to do about my life than I already do. The emptiness kills me. Slowly. But still it’s killing me. Death crept its way back into my mind, suicide became the only option again, and I have not believed in a future for so long I cannot remember the last time I could stand the thought of what comes next. I don’t meet that kind of thoughts with acceptance and open arms. To my surprise I never really did. I always thought I did, but now I see just how much I have always met those things with the same kind of “how do I fight this” attitude as any other kind of pain. It’s just that there are no more weapons, no more resources, no more ways out. And yes I can survive on stubbornness and patience and spite. But I am so tired of surviving. So tired of not being alive in a deep and meaningful way.

I‘ve been thinking about just that lately. The being alive and having meaning and purpose part. I am also working a lot with old trauma around my parents. So naturally I finally managed to out words on the way I ask for purpose and meaning and feeling alive, and how my mom answer is that I need to do the dishes every day and vacuum clean and tidy up my home. She doesn’t see the disconnect. And honestly it took me a while to put the right words together to understand just why her answer was so painful to me. She doesn’t care if I am alive, if my life has meaning and purpose. She cares if I clean and cook and takes care of all the practical stuff, and I fail at that so she things that must be the problem. To me it’s the other way around. I fail at dishes and laundry and vacuum cleaning because life has no meaning and I have no purpose and surviving like a little machine isn’t enough for me. It feels too small and too empty, and I don’t want empty or small. I want big and adventurous and calm and exciting and full of all the emotions and experiences. She wants clean and tidy, and I am a mess in every way. I’ll never fit into any of her expectations of me.

I almost wrote I don’t fit into any of her boxes. Which is an unexpected sentence bringing unexpected memories and feelings. When I was first sent to see all those therapists my mom told me the reason the psychologists didn’t like me was because I didn’t fit into any of the books or boxes they believed children should fit into. She always talked like she was proud of who I am and of my choice to just be me, and yet she always acted like I did something wrong by not conforming. I never realised (till just now) how much she wanted and still wants me to conform to her boxes and her idea, even when she knows that she is supposed to tell me I am good enough for who I am. I am not. Not to her. Not to my dad. I am just not. And I am digging a lot into that at the moment with all the grieving, crying, sadness, hurt and sometimes anger that that entails. I feel very unloved. I am probably not as unloved as I feel. But I feel it anyway. And I am not in the mood to convince myself of anything else at the moment. I am always too much in a hurry to find next step. Right now I need to be here, in this step, in this part of the journey, in this grief and sadness. It’s all part of the process, Trying to skip ahead will not help me get there. It’ll only mean I’ll have to go back to this step over and over again. And 5 and a half year ago (tomorrow) I took a decision to get better. Real better. The kind of better that takes a long time and hurts a lot to get to. The kind that lasts and works. And so I need to feel this step, before moving on to the next. I know it and I try. But wow this step hurts.

I think this is it for today. Writing was difficult and painful today. As if the words didn’t want to leave my mind. My body is full of shame these days. There are only so many fights I can fight at a time. I’m not sure which ones I am leaving behind at the moment. All I know is I am not leaving any of the people I care about behind, I am here for them and I will keep doing what I can for them. And as for my journey and process, it’s long. It’s going to take years and years and years before I am something I’ll call done and something I’ll consider certain. I am allowed as many steps and detours as I need. And there is time enough for all my stubbornness to let me get stuck somewhere on a step. I’ve spent so much of my life in a hurry, to get better, to get out of the pain. People have always told me to look ahead and try to be open for the possibility of change and of other perspectives. I am finding so much power and empowerment in saying no to that, in letting myself be at this exact step and not looking at the next one till I am ready. And right now that means grieving and feeling unloved and being sad, before being open to the idea that maybe I am not unloved,  maybe the love just gets lost in translation, since no one in my life speaks my love language.

Thank you for your time. I hope where ever and whoever you are that you are in a better place than me. And if not just know you are not alone and that I don’t want you to be left behind either. Even if I don’t know who you are, I know that.