It’s Not Your Fault

I failed my board exam. I had spent months studying, and done everything I thought I could and I should. I bombed it.

I have to retake it in June, and hope to still graduate residency in time. I’m really upset about it.

I pray that it’s a glitch, a electronic error on the part of the testing administrator, and this will all be a bad dream. But it brings me back to dark places.

I’ve spent the past few months writing reflective journal entries about my life. I am starting to recognize how many harmful patterns in my life are the result of what I went through as a kid, terrified and humiliated and neglected, beaten by my brother and verbally abused and sometimes physically abused by my dad, neglected by my mom, and made to watch her have sex when she and her boyfriend were drunk, and all the kids were in one hotel room together.

I was starting to heal, as difficult as it all was. Now I’m questioning myself all over again. And I have to go back into study mode, where I have to sit at a computer all day, mentally roasting myself while trying to stay focused.

I thought I had gotten to a place where I could get back to my writing, creative and spiritual interests, and move past all the hurt and shame and pain of the past. But it’s still here, and I have to live in that pit for another three months.

I’m reminded of this gut wrenching scene, Matt Damon and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting: https://youtu.be/ZQht2yOX9Js

For all the internalizers out there, the ones who always had to be strong, smile and say that nothing was wrong, they were fine and didn’t need anything. For those who saw what no one else saw, and bore what no one should bear. For the lonely and the devastated, for all who suffer in silence when they want to scream. For the marks that don’t show and the wounds that won’t heal.

Being an abused and neglected kid, you never leave the pit. It stays in you. I relate to this sequence from Tom Kong’s Mister Miracle, because I always want someone to see the good in me, accept the hurt I’ve felt, and help me to move through it. I have to become that person for myself. I have to hug that boy, and tell him he’s loved and wanted and doesn’t have to prove anything.

My Self Talk

The part of me that says, “I wish I’d never been born,”

I’m teaching to say, “I wish my hair had never been shorn.”

That said, “I wish I was dead,” to say, “I wish I had dreads.”

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

That says, “I should just kill myself,” to say,

“I should just thrill myself. Thrill everybody.”

Photos: The Making of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Video - Rolling Stone

Brothers

I trigger you and

You trigger me. We compete

And re-enact our

Parent’s drama. You

Are jealous of me, lash out.

I am stung, speak true

Vitriol, withdraw,

To rehearse the battle, time

And again. I swear

To never speak to

You, but crave your amusement

At my wit. I want

You to accept me,

But you can’t, because I am

What you are not. I

Am wise in ways that

You can’t be, and diminish

You by my presence.

We are not equals.

I am better. And so when

I offer you my

Warm embrace, you spurn

It, and power trip with your

Dubious stolen

Authority. I

Want you only to act like

A person, but you

Can only bully

And escalate. I withdraw,

Seek to shame you with

My silence. I make

Myself bigger and stronger

And louder and more

Proficient, useful

By the world’s standards, but

To no avail, still

You reject me. I

Cannot be other than what

I am. I am wise,

Articulate, well

Loved. A good brother would cheer

Me, not feel upstaged.

This becomes dusty

Death, another loss for me

To grieve, you won’t pull

Me down with you. I

Am alive and free and light.

A star, I must shine.