SorryFrom pretty early on I learnt the word 'sorry'. In my younger years it was my violent behaviour that made me say it but even back then I used to feel extremely frustrated at people not understanding why I had flown off the handle. To be totally honest I didn't understand either as was too young and used to believe I was an awful individual.
An example of the build up to 'loosing it' would be a sound or a feeling that would overwhelm me.
Unable to process the invading stress would result in me launching myself at whoever or whatever was creating the problem and attacking it.
By the age of four I had scarred my sisters face and thrown her down the stairs and, quite rightly, both my sisters we're scared of me and kept their distance. Now I'm not talking about obvious stresses that everyone can understand creating this behaviour; my stresses, built out of nothing, escalated rapidly and left all involved in shock. let me give another example. Once aged five I had been put to bed excited, my mum had told me she was going to the shops to buy us all new pillows and was leaving us in the care of my dad. This you must understand was extremely rare, I felt scared in the dark and she would not be there. I also wanted a new pillow. So I started to act up and in the end my mum came into the room I shared with my little sister. She said "If your not asleep when I'm back then you won't get a pillow". I cried more, the threat, my brain processed it as an unsolvable problem. "If I sleep, how will I know when you come back to get the pillow???". So I tried holding my breath to look asleep which also failed and gradually the dispare gremlins arrived playing in my head with no ability to get out of the loop, couldn't get to a new view or thought that I could get my reward the next day. Neither did I believe that the situat could ever be ok as it seemed impossible to be asleep and awake at the same time. I took my mums words literally. My brain even at that age was over thinking and became overwhelmed by all the possibilities It came up with to solve its predicament. My body got wound up and full of anger as each thought or action failed.
The next day it was questioned as to weather my behaviour had been 'good' enough to have my pillow. I remember getting even angrier at myself and everyone else, because as it turned out, I had been asleep when she returned home,\ so in my eyes I had done what was required even though it had been really hard to achieve and still made no sense. I remember thinking "you should be calling me a good girl".
My head interpreted the whole thing as, "you all lie, you are all unsafe, cannot be trusted and you are confusing". This view point extended to not just me but all the people around me.
Now I'm not trying to justify my behaviour or blame anyone. As soon as I was old enough to I completely detested my actions and their consequences. I hated being around people and always 'let myself down'. Being on my own was the only time i felt 'safe'. (I often wonder if it was that hatred for myself that created the first episodes of disassociation as a way of coping).
The golden word 'sorry' I pretty quickly learnt made every thing ok. I learnt that if you say sorry bad situations can end and essentially 'sorry' with looking sorry can pretty much stop anything. I also learnt that you must appear remorseful for a period of time to complete the process.
Back to present day and one thing that has remained as a permanent thread through my life is the problem of understanding others. What are they saying? What do they mean? I look at their mouths moving like a babbling water. I know that if I can find the process of behaviour they are talking about, I can see were they are going. This ability people actually find very helpful. Quite often I hear the words "Carwen your so clever", it makes me smile because to me its not being clever and still don't understand why the clear patterns are unseen by others. I think, "but it's logical, if this happens it will lead to that. That will produce this outcome! Logical".
Along with the good also remains some problems, what if you are given a situation that is new? or no logical process can found for? or if my vision of the situation is blurred by wrong reflection? So the struggle with overwhelmed and frustration remain.
Frustration that still boils over far too often; now older I am happy to say I no longer get physical.
I mostly swear or touch things because there potential 'feel' intoxicating. I repeat sounds people make or cant cope with certain sounds peoples body movements make and comment on them at the wrong times. I still, up until recently, would after being inappropriate (usually verbally) look all confident on the outside but inside be in bewilderment and just immediately say "sorry" thinking "I'll try to work out what had happened later". I learnt by giving an apology first and assuming I had got it wrong 'again' was the safest most socially acceptable way to deal with things.
Looking back does that mean all the saying 'sorrys' were lies. Not at all! Under the behaviour, the loosing it, the jumbled words and swearing; I hope those that know me know I am not someone who enjoys causing problems. I'm not someone who can bear having any kind of relational issues with anyone.
It would be great at this point to move swiftly on to a lovely ending, but that would make this blog a half truth. I must point out that being someone who can't instantly interpret situations and can 'appear to acting badly', also left me vulnerable to influence. Not all the world is kind and forgiving. Without having a proper understanding of of peoples intent I ended up in quite a few situations that I should never have been in. The habit of assuming I must be in the wrong meant people could easily manipulate me. The years were unsafe and at times incredibly painful. However it is also in dealing with the repercussions of those years that I have been able to understand and to learn to trust humanity again. To see not all people are not dangerous; controlling or full of bad intent. For the first time in my life I can now look at people with less fear than I ever have done and enjoy more connection to relationships than originally thought possible.
Most people just need to know you struggle and then they are very accommodating. There are and always will be those who just think you are badly behaved or unequal to them but for those that stumble with me through the maze of complicated human interactions, I find it all rather rewarding and very much like being part of the weave of human existence . Thank you to all my friends, you know who you are!
And to my sisters I love you very much and look forward to seeing you both at little mans birthday in couple of weeks.