So I picked a fight about of all things, global warming. That wounded little girl that feels she doesn’t deserve love reared her troubled little head and couldn’t accept that things could be going as well as they are. So she stomped her feet and used her voice and started a fight. About global warming!!??? Even I am shaking my head at that one…So what was the purpose of that fight? To push him away? To keep him from getting to close? for what? He is M. He is sweet and generous and he cares for me. He respects me. He is an equal and part of me just cant accept it. Don’t get me wrong, the stubborn, confident me is beaming that I have found someone who appears to love me….but that other side, that broken, fragile side of me is looking for ways to push him away. His actions match his words. His gestures match his intent. There is no guess work, no drama, it is refreshing and welcome…but hard to accept. I am trying to push beyond this moment and see the bigger picture and allow myself to be treated exactly the way I have always imagined. There is so much resistance subconsciously. That little girl bleeds into the very fabric of who I am more times than I would like to admit. There is a certain level of comfort in chaos. It’s familiar and I can navigate my way around better. I know how to shut down and compartmentalize. I know how to survive. Now I just feel vulnerable and uncertain. I’m doing my best to push beyond this moment and leave the arguments of global warming to the professionals. It’s also a miracle that in the mist of me starting a fight over absolute nonsense that he sat patiently, talking to me, inches away, hand in mine. No raised voices, no name calling, no over the top, def-con-five anger outburst. Just M and I, talking it out, laughing later. Didn’t know it was possible….After the last 2 1/2 very violent years of my life, I had given up on such things. To deal with another individual as an adult had become foreign to me. So I am going to allow that little girl part of me to be nurtured until she no longer feels the need to make an appearance. And that is as honest as I can be.
We flipped through photographs on Easter. My grandfather’s photo albums. He meticulously organized and labeled them with a label maker he got for Christmas one year. He was so proud of that label maker. He used it on everything. It makes me smile just thinking about it. I looked through those albums and I could feel the love for our family he had. Each section had a comment in his hand writing about who’s birthday it was, which Christmas or Easter it was. I know that my childhood was difficult and painful and I endured a lot of abuse but there was also a lot of love. I am fortunate to have known both so I could appreciate how much my brother and I were loved. I have amazing memories too…it isn’t all bad. I looked through those photos and laughed with my aunt, uncle and cousin. We reminisced about our fashion blunders, who had better/bigger birthday parties, who cheated during the three-legged race and Easter egg hunts. We were a family and still are a family that loves each other very much. It made me miss the days of sitting on my grandmother’s couch, eating whatever favorite meal of mine she cooked, trying to watch a movie while she talked over it the entire time. (smile). It made me long for the days when I was sick and I would go to her house, lay on the floor with a blanket and pillow and she would cater to my every whim. She used to make cucumber sandwiches for me, cut them in fours and stand in the kitchen as I ate them, waiting for me to request more. Those times in that house I didn’t feel like an victim of abuse, I felt like a little girl loved.
Seeking out the pain of others is something I have been doing a lot of recently. Reading blogs, books, online diaries… just about everything I can think of. It makes me feel like I belong. As sad and sick as this may sound, I belong to a network of tortured souls and it makes my journey valid. I started this as a way to unload all of my painful, fragmented memories. I wanted to sort it all out and make sense of my life. I wanted to understand why I did the things I did and felt the things I felt. I needed to document a life that sometimes even I can’t believe I’ve had. Through this very dark, very disturbing process I have begun evolving into a creature that seeks the light. I have also evolved into a person who shares the experiences, no matter how painful and uncomfortable they may be. I used to keep everything inside, bottled up, shaken to the point of exploding and then I would unleash the inner turmoil on myself. Upon opening up I have been told that I am just seeking attention or drama when in fact it is the exact opposite. You see, I don’t care if a single soul clicks on my links or blogs and reads them. I started this for ME. There are a few type of people who read what I write. Some are simply curious, they know me or have known me and want to just check it out. Some are life long friends that had NO idea the story of my life and have since reached out to follow my progress and show their unwavering support. Some are nosy and could care less about me personally but they enjoy reading about my struggles, some are just plain assholes and they read to report back to others, or discuss me maliciously and then there are those like me who seek out the stories of other people who have been through similar things so we can share in our triumphs over a road less traveled.
I want to live boldly. Emphasis on LIVE. I’ve spent so long existing, so long being everyone else’s everything that I haven’t been truly living until recently. I am learning to say “NO” without feeling like I am letting someone else down or disappointing someone or being selfish. Being fearless, living fearless does not mean living without fear, it means embracing the fear and using it as fuel to push forward, headstrong into life. In the same way that I am trying to use my body as a vessel to enjoy this life as opposed to using it as punishment. I struggle everyday with choices, but I’m getting better, living better. I thought after E that I wouldn’t want to be around another man intimately (not sex, the emotional meaning of intimate) for a long, long time. I thought I was going to hang the ‘closed for business’ sign and slip into a solitary existence. I was determined to not be hurt again…but then reality set in and the bottom line is this… I LIKE people. Let me clarify, I like GOOD people and I have been fortunate enough in my life to find GOOD, quality people. I also like meeting new people. There is a world and wealth of information and knowledge and opportunity that comes from reaching out to the human experience. I don’t want to miss out on any of it. I am living fearless these days….emphasis on LIVING.
Writing from a place of pain seems easier, seems more poetic, seems universal. We all understand pain, the pain of loss, the pain of disappointment, of broken promises, missed connections, squandered dreams. It connects us. Solidifies the truth that we are all the same despite our origins. Pain unites us in understanding. For those of us with conscience, it unites us in empathy. On the days when I was in the most emotional pain, I found it easier to write and share and let everyone in, perhaps my need to be understood sharpened my ability to communicate in some way. Despite all of my “blessings” these days and despite how wonderful things are going, I still grieve for me. I have grief for the little girl with all the issues that sometimes rears her tormented head. I grieve the 2 1/2 years I wasted loving a man who never loved me. I miss my dog. My thoughts and feelings are as random as that…bouncing from one memory to the next, bringing with it waves of emotion that ebb and flow like the tides in the ocean. I grieve for friends I’ve lost through this process, for friends who disappointed me, who let me down. I get angry when I think of E doing anything at all in the name of cancer fundraising after the deplorable way he and his family treated me. Only now I am not writing from a place of pain. I am simply writing to clear space in my mind for new more pleasant memories. And I am still just writing for me.
In a quest to better understand myself and all that I have been through and perhaps to ease the boredom of certain moments, I occasionally…well ok, I often find myself taking online personality tests or quizzes knowing full well there is little to no scientific data to substantiate the findings. Sometimes I agree with the results, sometimes I snarl and laugh them off, chalking them up to ridiculous and sometimes, on rare occasions, something clicks and hits the nail right on the head. I then read and re-read the conclusion in some pathetic attempt to put a label on whatever it is I am. What am I? Today, I am a gem. Yesterday,I was violet. Who knows what tomorrow will bring….It will be nice if I can one day stop seeking the answers and just accept the question. Lately though I am enjoying the journey of discovering me.
I feel pretty damn good for pushing 40….I look pretty damn good for pushing 40…..scars and all. Every ache, every pain, every scar and every memory have shaped me. Could I feel better? absolutely. It would be nice to go a day without pain, but it’s ok. I’ve accepted that I am going to have pain. It’s part of my life and it seems it always has been. Could I look better? Sure…I could be thinner, more toned, have less wrinkles, laser away my scars (well, some of them) but who cares? I don’t. Not anymore. I am trying very hard to view my body as a tool for experiencing life, not as a vessel for punishment as I have before. I’ve been so active since losing the 220lbs of dead weight that I carried for over 2 years. By dead weight, I mean E. The cool part, that I’m fascinated with, is muscle memory. It goes beyond just the physical/biologic act. My muscles remember movement but they also remember FEELING….the chemical feeling, I’m talking endorphins. I am talking about the exhilaration that comes from doing something you love and not conceding to sit on a couch all day like I did when I had the dead weight holding me back. It feels good to go to the beach, to run, to bike, to hike, to kayak, to canoe, to camp, to dance, to play. Don’t get me wrong…it hurts too…physically. These tasks come at a price now since the accident…It’s not easy to recover. But the reward is worth the pain. I feel good pushing 40….Every year I age is triumph over adversity.