This is a wonderful project. It is domestic abuse awareness month, please share to raise awareness. The data is overwhelming:
- On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.1
Amazing work to highlight survivors and their stories.
I have spent the past fifteen days floundering, reacting to life out of fear. Grasping to any reason to run from the existence I made for myself toward a painful self-imposed isolation similar to how I used to live at the same time fighting to remain present all the while being overwhelmed with dismay and anxiety. The sudden change in financial stability triggered old memories from a time where I had nothing and had started the long hard fight to a sense of security, all of which I now know is an illusion. That coupled with the fear of the unknown led me to spiral into this anxiety ridden way of thought that used to rule my days. Of course some of those are valid fears which can easily become amplified in the anxious mind. I assessed my financial security; I am fine for quite some time so how shall I proceed.
I was running around without intention or purpose. A week ago a friend saw it, reminding me that under fire, a calm mind will achieve what I never thought it could with the adage slow is smooth and smooth is fast; they observed my distress and behavior well before I could identify what I was doing. In the week since I have managed to upset them for which I feel guilty; I hope to formulate an apology which may offer them solace.
Now I begin the search for my intention. I have stepped back from life, from friendships, and am focusing solely on me; something I have never done. I took today to say my goodbye for now to those who are still around; I have one left to do which may be the hardest but I need to do that out of respect irrelevant of how painful it will be to me. I am trying to identify my purpose from which I have wandered so far. I am striving to identify a way to do what I am passionate about and still be financially viable. One thing I am sure of is as I navigate this portion of my life alone, I will ensure I do no other harm even if it was unintentional. This part of my journey must be navigated alone and I believe I will be all the stronger for it. This part of my journey allows me to find myself, to make my new life just as it should be. Although all of this was originally delivered as a painful blow it may become quite the blessing.
“The cure for pain is in the pain”-Rumi
I noticed it beginning a few weeks ago and it is proceeding with a fury. I even wrote a spot about it and thought I should begin my retreat to protect myself, my heart and spirit. But I made the decision to fight my survival instinct and stay open, to be present in the world. Having spent decades being reminded of my shortcomings, having my faults slung at me as if they were ammunition in some war, even being held accountable for things that were not mine to bear, I was adept at shutting off, at accepting the barrage of painful assault and continual condemnation. The decision to stay present went against all I have known for so long.
So now I am unsure how to proceed. Last night a close friend was enraged with her husband and began ranting, as she proceeded through this I grew increasingly uncomfortable; she clearly was struggling and in pain and I felt for her but once the name calling and belittling began, I could not remain silent. I know how detrimental that can be, the pain words can inflict can result in scars that remain forever. In her anger she said she was finished, ended the friendship in haste, deleting my from all social media and blocking my number so I cannot even check to see if she is doing alright. A few days before another friend, someone who taught me the importance of being open, someone with whom we had each shared so very much told me they were uncomfortable with me sharing what was upsetting and painful for me; having spent a lifetime filtering my needs and minimizing myself I am still unsure how to respond from me heart. So that leaves two in my circle, one of which is moving for love very soon and the other which I have not heard from in days.
Was it all some false existence, some charade? Although I struggle to hold to my empathy and compassion, have I lost all worth to these people I held close? Years spent living isolated, alone while life proceeded alongside of me, unconnected people wandering through their days with only shallow interactions I grew to believe life was meant to be lived alone until someone convinced me otherwise, taught me that we are not intended to navigate life in isolation. Was I believing in something that is not to be, something founded in hope that cannot come to fruition? How does one continue to bear the blow of disappointment that not everyone, cares as I do, is empathetic or compassionate as I try to be, nor do they value loyalty as I do. Maybe living without something makes you hold it in higher regard. I have never asked for anything from anyone other than an occasional ear, honesty, and for people to be true and authentic; self-reliance was at my foundation because I never learned to trust in the stability and consistency of others so why ask for more. I have reached out of the darkness a few times recently, trying to find something, to get my bearings, to hear a kind word, some sense of normalcy, someone to invalidate my lack of hope but have only felt the cold emptiness of nothing. Maybe it is time to draw the curtain to prepare for the next act. Let’s hope I have the courage to face the possibility of some sad monologue.
“Sometimes you have to move on without certain people. If they’re meant to be in your life, they’ll catch up.” -Mandy Hale
I have always believed you are the exact person you are supposed to be in this moment; you are who you are meant to be and you should embrace and love yourself. I have offered this wisdom to many friends at their times of struggle and self doubt. Sometimes we find it is difficult to have faith that we are as we are intended to be at this juncture; especially when we feel broken, or not enough, or it is not how we want it to be; now I am struggling with this. That faith is so difficult but there must be a plan and in those moments I hold tight to that belief or else the struggle may be for naught. So I remind myself with fervor that I am where I am needed as I am supposed to be…. and try to focus on the love….and try to give that as much of that type of care, kindness, and compassion as I feel I may need it in that moment. This morning I tried to focus on that, on my gratitude and share with those who have enriched my life over the past three years. I spread today’s love by thanking each and every person for their individual impacts on my life, by showing my gratitude for their gifts. While I am still struggling with this period of growth, struggling to see the opportunities to embrace, looking finding that door which has opened I am a bit more centered and I suppose that is more than I should ask for. I shall wander to the porch and watch the rain, listening to find my peace.
“I promise you, these storms are only trying to wash you clean”.- Jessica Katoff
It has been an incredibly difficult several months filled with some ups and many downs. Yesterday I was in a dark place, feeling quite hopeless, as if I were in the middle of this murky lake just trying to keep my head above water, and my swimming skills are atrocious at best add to that life going on ashore with no regard for my struggle. The weight of some understandings are difficult to bear; life does knock you around pretty hard sometimes.
While I am very insecure with my instability right now, I have some realities that are quite clear. The most painful of those is that I have lost one of my best friends, someone who understood so very much, who added a unique perspective, and always shared my skewed sense of humor. I am afraid they are gone from my life forever and that adds a sadness that is beyond words. I am most afraid of being without my job, it is the same career I have had for over two decades and has become somewhat part of my identity, add to that the trigger of financial instability and I have been a bit of an emotional disaster. I think my disappointment in humanity, dealing with my own challenges, and the random acts of discord has pushed my faith beyond its limits; I have felt pretty isolated, somewhat cast aside.
Sometimes those reassurances arrive at the most opportune times, just when you need a smidgen of hope to restore your strength it comes served up on the best china. Last night I had an event at the studio which was very important to me, it was to highlight an organization that supports survivors of domestic abuse and I was saddened by the fact that no one was going to be there for support. It is funny the people who surprise you in those moments, I have a gratitude for them which I am unsure how to express. This morning a friend of many years texted she was running by to drop off something; to which she arrived with hugs, a wonderful dessert, and gift card all bundled beautifully with wonderful note including words of encouragement which although made me cry but gave me a bit more hope and strength to continue. Now as I am sitting here in the afternoon sun writing, my cross-eyed stray cat came wandering out of the woods. He has filtered around in my life for the past few years, at first quite skittish but has grown accustomed to the sound of my voice. Although he still lacks the trust to allow me close enough to pet him, maybe one day. The cat has grown to remind me of many things over the time he has loitered and the lesson was not lost today. I am grateful for the hope that has been given to me the past day, so I shall focus my gratitude and enjoy the sun in my life today.
“Sometimes the strongest women are the ones who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors, and fights battles that nobody knows about!”- D.C. quote in my card today
Do you remember that first time you realized life doesn’t measure up to your expectations? Do you remember that crushing disappointment? What happens when that become a standard? A regular occurrence as if your life is the grand conspirator in the process? How many times are you supposed to pick yourself up and dust yourself off? What does life expect?
“Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.” ― William Goldman