“For years mental health professionals taught people that they could be psychologically healthy without social support, that ‘unless you love yourself, no one else will love you’ … The truth it, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built on isolation.”
-Bruce D. Perry
I don’t feel as though everything starts all over in the fall as Fitzgerald tells us: “‘Don’t be morbid,’ Jordan said. ‘Everything starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.’” Jordan, that ever lackadaisical character in The Great Gatsby, who can neither be bothered with surface worries nor deeper feelings about the oncoming minutes, hours, days, months, years. I, however, seem to find worry in each blink of an eye. It is a trait passed down from the Funks. We are all nail biting chain smoking circular thinking women. Non-Funks have asked me my whole life why I cannot just release myself from the spinning wheel in my brain. The truth is in the memory of blood. The truth is in the history of our genes. The truth locks us, cyclically, even if we take a step out of the circle. So here we exist, passing the worry from daughter to daughter to daughter.
I keep this space for myself even after tending to the many weeds that once grew in my psyche. I keep my worry for a few reasons. One reason is because it is simply who I am. I am an extroverted intuitive thinking perceiver, an ENTP, according to the Myers-Briggs personality typing. As such, I am psychoanalytical with no formal training, constantly asking the questions of why was this done, why do they act this way, what kind of person are you. I expect answers to these questions. Even taking in the endless creativity of the universe, I expect to find out what why and how humans are the way they are. I am exhausting in this way, to myself and to those I voice these ideas. But it is what makes me me.
Another reason I keep my worry is because I don’t know how to rid myself of it. Those former weeds of mine, those that rooted themselves so ferociously within me, they were harmful. They gave me endless pain that manifested in anger towards others and me, deep depression, and flippant behavior. These were difficult weeds to pull. Stubborn, just like the Funks. And yet, I pulled them. I yanked and yanked, others helped me, and with all the strength of a human race the weeds were removed. I find them growing a bit here and there, but with all the muscles built from pulling the original invaders, I can easily tend to them. These worry weeds, however, are not so easy. These weeds are spiked. They are dark and twisty, they cover my whole heart save for one little patch. I cannot remove them, and, in fact, I don’t much try anymore. I’m at a loss for what to do.
Generations of the worry wheel. Of the worry weeds growing like chains around our hearts. Blood memory. The collective unconscious that controls us all. I do not know if I will ever drain myself of this aspect we hold so close. But naming it is the first step.