It's my list of reasons why I love the discovery of the black hole. The one caused by the absence of parental love that will never be filled.
1) I've always known it was there. I was just never allowed to feel it, acknowledge it, know about it. See, my life and family and everything was perfect. But now I consciously know the black hole is part of who I am.
2) I finally have a right to who I am and what I feel. I've been angsty, dark, cynical, depressed, black, at different points in my life. I was not just being an ungrateful poser. It was me.
3) Pain, sadness, loneliness, anything, feels better than the empty denial of it. Much better.
4) We're all different and have different crosses to bear. We don't have to be happy or fulfilled or fucking perfect. That's what the narcs demanded from us. That's not what being human is all about. I never have to be happy or whole or perfectly content. Just truly honest and human, thank you.
5) Everybody hurts.
It's OK to hurt and feel sad and incomplete and like you're missing something. It's part of being human. I feel like I need to make this point again, even after 4)
Even people from wonderful families have thorns in their sides. It's what being human entails. It's kind of beautiful, really.
6) Finally seeing that black hole face to face, being broken and vulnerable - leaves you open to the really good things in life. You're a Christian, right? Leonard Cohen has some of my favorite lyrics about Christ:
And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them"
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
only drowning men could see him
he himself was broken
It makes me shiver, every time.
7) My favorite insight: the real me doesn't need or want perfect, non-messed-up parents now. No, they wouldn't truly get the real me. Nor would my actual dysfunctional still-messed-up parents.
What the real me now wants and needs and gets is other ACoNs - the ones who've been there and understand and offer support and empathy.
How I got myself to finally cry: I imagined asking my therapist if he'd been loved by his parents; I imagined him replying, calmly, slightly sadly, but mostly with empathy: "No". And I felt like someone could understand the hell inside and not judge me. Know it's real and I'm not a wimpy liar making it up. That gave me the permission to feel it and own it.
And that's me and that's really OK.