Off Kilter

Standard

It seems that my world was knocked off kilter. I was employed with a company where I witnessed behaviors that did not align with my own morals, it regularly pushed against my integrity, and often made me question my purpose in the career I had chosen. It was so far from the my choice to pursue this path I am unsure why I stayed for as long as I did but I held on well past the expiration date. Part of it is possibly this is the only existence I have known, since I was six years old I have been involved at some level in education, my world has primarily consisted of learning in some form or another. I have worked in other areas but have always had that as a foundation. I have often contemplated switching fields, finding my way back to what fuels my passion and feeds my soul for that was how it was in the beginning.  For some reason I chose to stay and try to make a difference in a place where there was only futility and hostility; focusing on my identity and all I had known I lost sight of life and my contentment and joy with my career. Maybe I am being nudged to change and since I didn’t listen to my heart this was the only path out.  Monday when I received the call from HR I was not just let go, in that moment she stripped me of a part of my identity, the only real one I have known.

In this moment of instability I find myself fighting my insecurities, riddled with doubt, and at moment crippled with anxiety. I am perfectly aware the only control we have in life is over our reaction to it, how we respond to the situation, how we treat the people we see along our journey, how well we love those in our life, how kind, compassionate, and empathetic we are.  But this has brought forth a memory, a time when I fought so very hard to find my own financial stability; where I had control to ensure my children had their needs met. That was a dark time where I was truly alone; the reason I try so hard to be there for those I love because I know what it feels like to have no one. That is the fear that seems to overshadow my thoughts right now. For I have seen people leave, when a storm comes in, they seek shelter because no one wants to see the agony of struggle and tragedy. Trying to look beyond my fear, for it will only be conquered by time and validation I try to find my new path.

I understand that often times, letting go of what you held so tightly too is painful, at time casting away what we believe about yourself may feel like we are cutting away at who we are but maybe that is no longer my truth.  If I can open my hands to the possibility what does the world hold? What possibility of greatness is waiting for me that I cannot imagine because I am looking at the fear of some past that in all likelihood may not repeat itself. While I am a tough old cat and always seem to land on my feet, there are at times that little voice of doubt is what I need to silence. If I could trust in my strength one more day.  Thank you to my friend that has sent wonderful words of encouragement; I hope you never face struggle but know I will be there with the same kindness in your hour of need.

So in this darkness I need to hold to the things I believe, the truth as it still exists.  I am not what I used to do nor what others have said; in my heart I am kind, compassionate, a nurturer, a teacher. While I am fighting to right myself and balance my world I know I am blessed beyond words. I may not always have what I want but I shall have all I need. I have the financial wherewithal to withstand this shift. It may not be an easy path to traverse but it never has been and I suppose anything worth having is worth the effort. I need to trust in my journey! I have riches beyond monetary wealth; beautiful, happy, healthy children, family and friends that rally when I need them, a good meal with laughter, friends that understand and accept me, as well as a few material blessings. Those moments, the deep laughter with a friend, the warmth of my cat on my lap while drinking a good cup of coffee, fun with my children, getting lost in a good book, cooking for my loved ones….those have always fueled my soul and will always be my purpose.

 

“Be sure that whatever you are is you.”  ― Theodore Roethke

The Pain of Realization

Standard

Realizations can be magnificent, when you solve some great perplexing problem, when your research makes an impact, when you find some inner truth that guides your path yet they can also be quite a painful slap in the face. Over the past several weeks, I have been asked the same question in different forms, essentially how I view myself, something related to my self-esteem and worth to which I reply I really don’t know for I never look at myself in that manner. So therein lies a question that has been bouncing around in my thoughts. Why do I never look at myself? Why do I avoid considering my value, my beauty, my worthiness…..?

This has perplexed me off and on for some time. I never look at myself in a manner that others may see me. By saying that I am not implying I walk through the world self-centered saying to hell with you and all your opinions. I do consider how my interaction will impact others, try to analyze things from all sides to ensure my living with kindness and compassion has only a positive impact. It is more like I never consider the light others may see me in, for instance I do not consider if I am pretty enough, smart enough, caring enough, or attractive enough; I usually only consider if I am giving enough, loving enough, kind enough. While that may be considered liberating to some, after the recent questions I have arrived at the conclusion I do not consider this out of fear it would validate the word others have thrown at me, as if looking at my abilities and attributes may confirm the painful cruel things that have been said. I suppose not considering is a coping mechanism that I have carried through my entire life, this avoidance as a means to maintain since my childhood. Words hurt and the closer to your heart the person saying them is the more pain they inflict;

I have arrived at a realization which bears a herculean weight.  Trying to learn to consider myself, I now understand my worth it. I work so diligently to be supportive of those I care about, try so very hard to always be there, to be kind, loving, and generous. Since I was blessed with my life, my freedom to live as I want I have strived to give the people in my life things I have gone without for I know the pain of having no one when you need it the most, the struggle to face another hopeless day without care, to feel so lonely when you struggle to gain your footing after the world knocks you down. I cannot think of but a very few times I wished for a place to take respite, I do not need some knight in shining armor but having arms to give a supportive hug, a gentle voice to offer a few kind words, or even a hand to help me up would be the reassuring blessing I need. This week I fell into the muck of life and it is just too much to try and stand up, too difficult to move forward in that moment so I just stayed there. Crying myself to sleep last night I arrived at the realization whose weight crushed my soul.  I may not be worthy, not worth the effort for someone to care, not worth the time for someone to offer a hand up, not worth being loved because of all my sharp edges and missing pieces.  I suppose this is something I have known for most of my life, the reason I avoided looking.

 

 

 

“A person who truly loves you is someone who sees the pain in your eyes while everyone else believes in the smile on your face.” ~ Anonymous

 

Crisis of Faith

Standard

I am felling the weight of my brokenness much more than normal as of late. I don’t know how else to describe it. I feel like all the piece of me I have fought so long to keep up with are becoming too difficult to carry, some of them are jagged and painful and keep gouging me…

I believe we are all broken, we all have some crack or ding, some scar. Maybe we caused the damage ourselves, maybe it is something we have been carrying since childhood, maybe it was caused by someone else and quite possibly there are many of them. Sometimes I think that is where our beauty grows from the courage to continue in our brokenness. I often wonder if that is the source of our empathy and compassion. I believe our imperfection is what makes us impeccably suitable for life, for one another; from our damage we can heal, from our mistakes we can learn, and from shortcomings we can grow.

So why do we fight so hard to keep our brokenness concealed, why do we chose to not embrace our vulnerability but strive to hide our struggles? In my heart and soul I believe you are the exact right person in this moment, you are who you need to be for the purpose of now, you are who you were intended to be. So why am I struggling with that belief? Why this crisis of faith?

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” –Ernest Hemingway

This Is Where I Leave You

Standard

I am tired, it feels as if I have fought for everything my entire life. I have fought to keep myself intact, to maintain my financial stability, to progress in my career… I am tired of it all. When I found my freedom to pursue a different life, my life I made myself some promises. I promised I would not make myself small again, that I would embrace myself, that I would ensure I was true to my convictions, to my needs. I found myself editing, not speaking for myself when I need something and I panicked. In that moment I wondered if I need to tell the world.  ‘this is where I leave you”, step back and find my center. How can I continue to navigate when I was not speaking my truth, not advocating for myself? Is this one of those times where I need to navigate the storm alone to define myself? I am tired of holding it all together, but is there another choice?

“She never stumbles, she’s got no place to fall.” –Bob Dylan

Unnoticed

Standard

 

When the only choice you have is to be strong, is that real strength? If the only choice you have left is to move forward, is that really following your journey? I feel like I have arrived at a point where I must choose to walk away from it all, step back from the world or continue what feels like constantly fighting against the current. Can one sit down responsibilities that cannot be discarded? Can I leave my studies when I have fought so hard to get this far? Can I leave behind the world that seems to take much more than it gives?  When I go, will my imprint remain? Will my absence go unnoticed?

 

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.” -Kurt Vonnegut

Major Faux Pas

Standard

So I really messed up, big time! I have been pretty emotionally raw for the past ten days or so. My anxiety levels are all over the place and nothing is predictable or controllable. On top of that I had an awful dream, the type where you wake up in a sweat, shaking, heart racing…I actually heard myself screaming as I was waking up on this one. In the dream old friends, a couple I have known for over twenty years, came to visit and we were reminiscing then out of nowhere my ex storms into the room, screaming, all those painful words flying,  he pushed me backwards as the friends try to diffuse the situation I fall over something and he begins to kick me.  I didn’t sleep the rest of the night, only falling asleep in the chair as the sun was coming up.  I woke up late, rushed to the auto mechanics to get some work done on my car and then to breakfast with a friend. I tried to focus all morning, still feeling rushed and out of sorts I was blaming it on the hurried morning, my to-do list but in reality it was so much more.  As the day went on I tried to focus on others but I was quickly crumbling. I wasn’t able to complete my errands so I decided to go do some readings and get a cup of coffee.

Here is where it went to hell in a handbasket. I had been out and about more this week than I have all summer so I had my fill of noise and people. I was sitting in the coffee shop and felt it escalating so I decided to get my earphones and listen to some calm peaceful music, focus on my breathing and find my center. I left in tears only to sit in the rental car for the next hour trying to compose myself enough to get mine from the shop. On my way home I was a disaster, the twenty minute drive was filled with tears and anxiety…not as bad as it has been but nothing I can manage.  I understand what is happening and can even find the trigger for this one but still it is no easier. But oh it gets better….

I made it home. I had offered to take dinner to a friend and they declined to which I sent a hateful reply because I was hurting and needed someone, some support, but of course I didn’t explain and of that in detail. I did explain I could use a friend but still was not brave enough to share the details, to explain that dark place I was in. What would usually be considered a neutral reply really stung me. I was hurt, in that moment I needed to know I had someone to lean on, a person in my corner, and I could have used a hug but I couldn’t vocalize it quite that way…but unfortunatly I did say something. I do know I should have expressed my situation better for they are not a mind reader.

So the mess with complex-ptsd is there are triggers and emotional flashbacks, one finds themselves back in that terrifying emotional state. When I am in that place, the smallest thing can be taken the wrong way and I begin that cycle and it can make me feel hopeless, or fearful, or worthless or a hodgepodge of all three. Sprinkle in the anxiety there are good days and then those not so good. Yesterday was not so good.  Add to that the fact I have never learned to advocate for myself; doing so when emotions are so raw and I am in a bad place didn’t actually get presented in a way that it was intended. I feel so guilty, I was trying to say I need help, I need to know I have someone out there to check in because right now its pretty dark and I didn’t say it anywhere close to that. I have tried to explain and I have apologized for the delivery but I sit here afraid that I have damaged things…. I feel like I have more justification to keep to myself but I know that is not the right answer either. I hope I can rectify what I have done….

“I’m sorry.’ The two most inadequate words in the English language.”

– Beth Revis

Imminent Retreat

Standard

Being strong is feeling like a burden; you have moments where you realize others depend on you but they often do not check in to see if you are on firm footing; or at least that is how it feels. I am sure that if I were to let the façade of strength slip for a moment those in my circle would rush to my aid but I am not sure how to send out an S.O.S.  I feel myself slipping away, into the safety behind the walls I spent years to construct for all the courage I had to wander out into life has dissipated.  Maybe someday I will have the strength to stay out in the world.

 

 

“Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself.”  -C.G. Jung