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Anneka – Anxiety - Why can't I Escape?

Anneka – Anxiety

Why can't I Escape?  - Anneka

 Why can’t I escape my own head? To the outside world I am an outgoing, funny, empathetic and wise knowledgeable women. On the inside I am a broken little girl doing anything and everything to gain her parents approval and unconditional love. 

For a long time, I have worked myself to the bone.  Made myself vulnerable and even begged for my parents to treat me right.  I needed to be loved nurtured and protected by the people who gave me life. I wasn’t! I was put through numerous lawyers’ visits, psychologists’ assessments and personally invasive doctors’ appointments for no logical or real reason. 

My parents split when I was around 2 years old. For the most part of 17 years I was used as a pawn in a very messed up game of tug a war between two very bitter selfish people.

Forever under the spotlight of professionals’ eyes.  Always being prompted on what to say by one parent and when I did what they said, I received what I knew then as love or left emotionally unfulfilled by the other, as they chased new relationships or what made them feel and look good to the outside world or as I was manipulated to believe was best for me.  I felt I never had a voice I was forever worried I would be punished for not saying the right thing or not behaving in a certain way or god forbid I asked for what I needed. 

Stemming from all the uncertainty manipulation and lack of protection from both parents, I developed anxiety. The little voice in my head grew stronger the older I got. The more pressure to please and earn their so-called love, the louder and more aggressive they got. You’re not good enough! You’re not worth loving!  Your parents don’t love you, why would anyone else!

Why couldn’t I escape these voices and why can’t I escape them now!

As I grew older, I started noticing the difference between what I had been taught love was to what unconditional love actually is! Seeing my friend’s parents love them regardless of what they had done good or bad. Their mums and dads forever on their side. As it should be.

They had rules for behaviour. I had rules to earn love. I noticed the little things, my friends’ parents coming to sports or school gatherings, to the child being in trouble and the parents still picking them up regardless of the time or distance. Mine were never there. Mine never protected me. My parents put their pride ahead of the vulnerable broken child. My parents choose to keep hurting each other by using me and my sibling against the other parent.

Why couldn’t you choose what's best for us? Why couldn’t you be the example? Why couldn’t I escape these never-ending rules?  why wasn’t I worth the right love?

Maybe if I got into the top sports teams or maybe if I got better grades and maybe they might come. Maybe if I clean the whole house or cook a yummy meal.  Maybe I'll get a hug.  Maybe if I say something mean about the other parent, they would be happy.  I loved them "more" either way I just wanted to be noticed by them. The voices grew sucking every last ounce of pride and confidence I could muster.

As a 17-year-old girl I had enough of these rules for love and moved into my first flat with the help of my grandparents and aunty.  But still the voices grew strong, as if the more I failed at beating the rules was a steroid to their growth. Maybe if I made more money and had nicer things, they'd be proud maybe.  If I got a better education, they would tell the friends with pride or maybe they would notice me?  I love you mum and dad.  Why am I not enough for you to love? Why can I not escape this? Why are the voices ruling my life?

Drugs anything, I could get my hands on. Drugs became my escape. Drugs love me.  Drugs make me feel numb to my pain.  Drugs filled the whole I had in my soul.  Drugs didn't judge or pick at my every wrong doing. Drugs were always there.

I fell pregnant and my constant state of numb came to a screeching halt!  That pain!  The heartbreak came flying back as if I'd been hit by a bus!  The panic attacks started; the voices were louder than ever as if saving their breath for the moments I'd feel them the most. Leaving the house for maternity appointments that I knew I needed to go to became pretty much impossible. I'd go sweating, stuttering and trembling at the knees because I new that was best for my tiny light growing inside me.  As she grew, I knew I had to sort myself out.  But the more I tried the harder those voices gripped my every thought and move. You’re too young to have a child!  You’re not a going to be a good mum! You’re have no job!  You’re single!  Your kids gunna be just like you!  You don’t know what love is!

My baby girl arrived! I was on cloud nine, this tiny wee human had saved me from drugs, a life of failing and nothing to show for it.  However, those voice the ones that had weakened with the love I had for my new baby girl.  Had thought of a new strategy to break me! Why wasn’t I worth being protected from the back and forth tit for tat bullshit that was my childhood?

I looked at my baby girl for hours and even now with my youngest and think, how could anyone ever put their pride, ego or even what the world thought of them, ahead of their innocent child? It will never sit right with me, but acceptance is a great thing and through the love of my children, extended family and friends I have learned I am enough! I am worth loving! I am a good person and the voices have now become weak enough that I can talk more shit than them! Convince them that I'm nothing like what they try to convince me to believe! Most days they don’t even bother to stop by and have a say.

 My childhood has taken its toll, especially the anxiety! But I vow to my baby’s and family who love me unconditionally (which I am more grateful than I can ever describe or show) to forever fight and overcome those voices and I will be my best version of me because yes anxiety is part of who I am but does not define me!

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