I think I finally figured out what it is that causes the panic. This came to me at about 2 a.m. this morning. It’s the idea that if my space is clean, it’s easier to get rid of me.
Yes, I know this makes little if any sense. But whatever the panic piece is, it was set up by a 3-4 year old. I’ve learned that in dealing with the causes/reasoning/”logic” that pertains to my very old stuff that what seems reasonable to an adult just wasn’t to the trapped, swamped with pain, and confused little girl I was.
I typed this and got a tear in my eye, this feels right. It may not be the only piece, or it may indeed be the end of the string which will unravel to reveal a huge trauma. Whatever it is, it’s a piece.
I felt that if I lived in a messy space that I was “making my mark,” that it would be harder to dismiss me into nothingness, that it would be harder to send me away forever.
The sending away thing was one of the Abuser’s oft-repeated bits. That I was such a horrible “brat” that my Father would send me away to boarding school for the rest of my life, because he couldn’t stand to live with me, especially without the Abuser to intercede on my behalf.
As an adult, I see the “job security” portion there. But as a little girl whose “Mother” was telling her this, for her own good supposedly, it was devastating and confusing, as I didn’t think I was all that horrible.
It is telling that for years when things got to a crisis, that what I frequently would do as a response was clean my space and scrub my personality from it. I did that or a variant of it until well after college. I stopped when as a young adult afterwards I was told once that people thought it was “nice” that I’d become so professional. (!) [The crisis had been at work.] Obviously not the response I was looking for.
I stopped that behavior and I stopped reinforcing my value by touting my family at the same time, eventually. The change ultimately was healthier, but the initial responses (scrubbing myself from my “space” and adding to my value by touting my family’s worthiness) were obviously reactions to the abuse.
Didn’t sleep well last night. This sort of thing accompanies a disturbed sleep: restless movements and any little noise setting me off and/or another panicked awakening. The last time I looked at a clock this a.m. I think it was 3.
If this “breakthrough” is enough info, if indeed I can see/cherish and let the trapped little girl inside me know that it’s okay to let go of this, then the panic will eventually stop. If this is just the end of the string, then I have more to unravel/discover.