Broken Bootstraps  

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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

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Kept in Confidence

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I am a thinker, those very few people close to me know I try to understand everything I come in contact with.  My therapist actually told me that not everyone thinks about life at the depth I do, so try not to expect people to understand it at that depth. So this weekend afforded my time to analyze my life, where I came from, what I went through, the people that are in my life, those who may weather the storm and those who are deciding to leave me at this point of my journey. I think it was a time for me to consider the gifts I have had and regrets I carry since the point my life began again.

Throughout the night my thoughts kept drifting back to what I have shared; having spent my entire life trying to hide the pain through the past few years I opened up and parceled out my past. Although I am a deeply private person having only mentioned a tiny portion to a few people, that shallow acknowledgement, I kept my stories buried deeply until a few came into my life, people who had some shared experiences, who understood the pain, who listened without judgement, and never pried for my details. Unconditional acceptance and lack of criticism did allow me to assess my past and its impact on my present; how it limits my trust, how it restricts my ability to be vulnerable, and my fear of certain closeness.I opened up and apportioned my past with the trust that it would be kept in confidence. Now I am working to collect those pieces, place those stories back into their makeshift tomb.

So as I retreat, how do I secure my stories I cannot collect? How do I approach the topic of privacy? I do not want my secrets shared in a fashion that can undermine my struggle or be used as a means to minimize me for I have spent a lifetime negated. Is this just a concern based in my struggle to trust; the time I did will it be validated or dismissed? I know when one shares their story, their struggle, their past,  I treat it with the utmost respect for I was trusted enough for one to disclose. I would never share the story, never violate the trust by besmirching their truth, in a light that be disparaging, as a means to justify my behavior or choices?  This is quite possibly a fear based in my experiences with people for I have seen this done to others, been a victim, stories used to displace accountability, vilified for no reason.  How does one even broach the topic?

“Confidentiality is a virtue of the loyal, as loyalty is the virtue of faithfulness” -Edwin Louis Cole

Crisis of Faith

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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

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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

Major Faux Pas

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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

Dancing in the Rain

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Last night I came in from an evening in the studio and was feeling more peaceful. Saw a few friends from the artist community and created a decent piece of work. I grabbed a quick shower and felt the need to go sit on the front porch and listen to the night noises, since it was pretty cool there were no bugs. As I sat down in my pj’s with a glass of water a cool misty rain began to fall but it felt so good I just decided to sit and enjoy.

I found myself gravitating back toward the topic of why I had such a difficult day. There were no obvious triggers, no bad dreams, no confrontations so what caused it? I think it was much like muscle memory, something I did not even notice caused me to return to old patterns of thinking. The further I distance myself from my former life the more difficulty I have when those moments arrive. It was explained to me that the patterns are easy to fall into and the further from the event one gets the less likely they are to recur but the ferocity of their arrival will feel greater because I am no longer acclimated to them.  I understand that, all the events this spring that aligned, and my resulting fallout but it does not make it easier when it returns in small waves. I sat there contemplating how this time it was short lived and I was concerned it would be there again in the morning, like this unwanted guest that arrives as she wishes.

As my thought meandered the rain fell harder, it was a cold rain and as it fell it began to sting a bit. Quickly I was soaked to the core, being cold and pelted by the stinging rain I realized how it felt, how I felt….I felt. I want to feel so much; to feel everything I had missed and to feel nothing painful, to feel happy, balanced, and peaceful, I want to feel loved and to love, I want to fell normal, to feel I have found my place.  In that moment I felt I found an answer on my path, I felt a bit of peace. In that moment my thoughts were dancing with a bit of joy in the rain.

 

“Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature nor do child ren as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

– Helen Keller

Project to Disprove Isolation

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This wonderful project from iknowiknow.me shows what we all go through. It is a reminder that we all are battling something that most of us never even know about. That smile can sometimes be a facade or the external trait of your internal fight to go on.

“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.” – Unknown