I’m back in Sofia. It’s been three weeks since we came back from the country and a seaside holiday. I feel that as soon as I stepped into the city, the wheel started turning at light speed. Each day is filled with work and responsibilities and I barely have any time for myself. I’m sure you’re probably experiencing something similar – I mean, ain’t that life today?
Personally, my life changed (differently) since the beginning of the pandemic. Around that time last year, I started working as a freelance translator and my work has been increasing and intensifying ever since. This is something good considering that I hadn’t been working since around the time I got pregnant. But it really took everything.
At the beginning of the lockdowns, I gave myself some rest from blogging and posting on Instagram. I wanted to focus on spending some quality time with my son who was at home all the time. He was also only in a pre-school year and needed a lot of help with his school work.
Then my work took over and that’s when I didn’t have the time for my interests and passions anymore. I stopped reading and researching the field of trauma and focused completely on translation work. That was good because, again, I was making some money for myself and also developing my skills and expanding my knowledge and experience.
But it really took everything of me and still is, to a big extent. I literally didn’t have the energy to do anything else. That is until recently though. This summer I almost forced myself to do some tidying up of my blog. And I started writing again.
Now that I’m in the city, I feel somewhat sad and not ready for what’s to come next. We’re busily preparing for the school year and everything it brings with itself and I can’t stop thinking that I’m not ready yet. I miss the summer and I don’t want to let go of certain feelings.
It’s hard to put it into words but this summer for the first time in a very long time I felt I have a family again. Spending time with my father and grandmother is never easy and is always full of surprises. But as my healing has progressed and as I have made peace with certain things about my childhood, I’ve been able to enjoy myself while spending time with them.
It was the first time in a long time when I was able to drop some of my defences – I was able to reveal some very hurt and abandoned parts of myself and open up for receiving love and care. I can assure you this is a herculean task for somebody who has experienced attachment trauma and emotional neglect in their childhood. But nevertheless, I managed and that opened the door to recovering our relationship with my father. We spent a good few nights talking and enjoying the lost feeling of connection.
That made me realise how alone I have felt all those years, how much I’ve missed the love and affection from my father. I mean, he is the only parent I have left and pretty much most of the family I have left. All these years after my son was born and my sister got sick, I’ve been coping by myself. And the burden I was carrying was huge – no one else could really help with it very much.
The thing is, when you’ve had a traumatic childhood and, especially, when the single most important person in your life – your mother – isn’t there for you during difficult moments – that hole, that void just stays there. And when you experience more difficulties throughout your life and that person is still not there, and there aren’t any others, or they’re preoccupied with something else – then you really feel completely alone, lost, forgotten and not important.
I’ve been living with this feeling all my life and I know I’m not the only one. I know how many people struggle with the same feelings and how crippling that is. Because you have “expectations” of almost every person you meet to fulfil this need, to fill the void, but, of course, they can’t and that hole only gets bigger and bigger.
Reconnecting with my father showed me that he does love me but, at the same time, he has different needs and can’t necessarily meet mine. In fact, there isn’t anyone who can meet my needs but myself.
Nobody can replace the missing mother but ourselves. We’re the ones who must take care of our inner child and make everything to meet his/her needs.
Coming back to the city and being overwhelmed with duties and responsibilities is almost instantly triggering this childhood wound. I’m already beginning to feel the burden, being alone and not having support, and the anxiety and panic are kicking in.
For people like me, it is crucial to remind ourselves of the fact that we are not alone, that there are people who care and can and are willing to help, and that we can ask for help/support when we need it.
It takes practice and it takes courage, it does. But don’t forget it is true and in the moment when you feel most alone, you need to shift your thoughts in that direction. What we also need to get good at is recognising our needs and find out how we can meet them and express them. And again – practice and courage.
Personally, I’ve decided to make the time for my interests and passions again. Which means you’ll probably hear from me more often from now on. Also, I’ve already signed up for some trauma training as a birthday gift to myself and plan to travel a little bit more before we “batten down the hatches” in the city for the winter.
So this is from me for now and I’ll talk to you soon again! xx0