22

Twenty Two.

That is how many drafts I have sitting in a folder that I can’t finish, can’t publish, can’t get quite right.

I want to write something joyful. I want these words to not always read so dark and deep. Sometimes I wish my mind, or heart, were lighter. There is no doubt I am grateful for my life, my children and the many blessings I have. Those are the things I think of first. That’s how I start my day, grateful.

But today, being back at work during this time, is strange to say the least. The office is empty compared to normal, and there is no-one to talk to, and if there were we still wouldn’t due to social distancing protocols. The café we normally use is half operational at best. There is sanitizer EVERYWHERE. Everyone is walking away from you instead of toward you. At first it was good to catch my breath, have some adult time. I needed to have time to sit in peace and quiet to actually get things done.

I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to getting back to work today. Two weeks felt like two months without my routine. And while today I feel more grounded than I have in weeks, I wish I could sit here and tell you what an amazing day it’s been.

That I am feeling great, things are great, life is great.

But I don’t want to lie.

I needed to run errands on lunch since I haven’t been able to get out to the stores being that I have at least one of the boys with me at all times. The thing is, I don’t know when it happened, but at some point over the last several years I developed a fear or going out alone. I have mentioned it before, but today it was worse than it has been in a while. I have been on lockdown for two weeks. Maybe it only took that long to go back to being the scared little girl I started out as this summer? I don’t believe that, no. That can’t be.

I’m thinking more likely that the anxiety over current events has my regular fears heightened, escalated. It amazes me how real they feel. A quick trip to Home Depot and the Grocery Store had me lightheaded and clutching my chest to breathe by the time I pulled back into my parking spot at work. If it wasn’t absolutely essential that I get what I needed from the grocery store I would have put the car in drive and high tailed it out of there. Instead I put my head down, clutched my keys in my hands and quickly walked in and out.

I don’t always know when it’s going to hit. I freaking love the hardware store! Go figure! I know in certain environments where there are a lot of men and a lot of eyes, I will ultimately be more uncomfortable. But the thing is, I haven’t been out in the world alone in a very long time. It is so easy to forget that my ex and I did everything together. I barely left the house without the crutch of her being there. Then I could be comfortable. Then I could be in our little world and never even notice anything or anyone around me.

I hadn’t noticed the people around me for nearly a decade. And now it’s like someone walked into my head, took off the blinders, and turned the volume all the way up past ten. I can’t stop seeing people. I can’t stop hearing words I don’t want to hear. I can’t push away the uncomfortability no matter how hard I try today.

Not for long anyhow.

It always seeps back in as if it were just waiting for me to step outside of my bubble.

Fog

I look forward to this day all week.

It is set aside as this special time when I can finally breathe. Feel moderately comfortable. Completely and fully exhale.

This time it was different.

There is something dark and heavy in the air. I could tell myself I’m just imagining it. I know how to do that. But I’ve done that for too long.

I’ve ignored this exact feeling many times over, and eventually it comes back to haunt me. It rears it’s nasty two pronged head another day while I’m kicking myself, wishing I’d have headed the warning.

This fog is coming from one of two places. The traditional answer is that it’s emanating from within me. And only me. That’s the script that I’ve been trained to read. It says I messed up or missed something. I can correct it and clear the air.

The other, less palpable answer, is that it isn’t just me. I won’t be able to fix it. I can’t flip a switch and vanquish this darkness. It’s not mine to eradicate. This is the narrative I despise. In this version of the story I have to rely on faith.

Faith that somehow, some way, something else can mend this brokenness.

Hands in the air, no driving with my knees. Just allowing something else to take the wheel.

I did not do endings.

I was “Ride or die”, to a fault.

I did not do fear.

I was “Never Let Go”, for fear of the unknown.

I did not do self-care.

I was “I’ll get to it later”, until there was no more time.

I did not do alone time.

I was “Please don’t leave me”, so that I didn’t have to be with myself.

There was a lot that I didn’t do.  There were so many fears in my heart, soul, and mind that I was almost paralyzed into standing still. Please don’t be fooled; the past tense here seems to imply I feel fearless today.  That is quite distant from the truth.

Today, I feel the fear. Frankly, I’m terrified but I acknowledge it.  I don’t run from it or try to hide from it anymore.  I don’t purposefully act in any way just to avoid feeling fear.

Here, on the eve of an ending, the precipice of fear and alone-time, I choose to take care of myself.

I choose to do different.

 

Smash and Grab

We all know a Wonder Women. She is the one that you know will save you. When you are lost she will help you find your way. When you’re stuck she will build you a ramp to get you out.

You’re right, she is a Super Hero. The thing is though, even Super Heroes need a break. They need time and space to rescue their own damn selves. And that simply isn’t possible while saving you simultaneously.

These are the times when heroes need to mend. Regenerate their strength in whatever way they can. She needs to be surrounded by other strong people, places and ideas so that she can focus on her healing.

The thing is, she likes being super human. She likes being the one you need. But just because she likes it, doesn’t give you an invitation to use her.

If you have a Super person in your life, the best thing you can do is learn from them. Stop taking pieces of them. 

At the very least, don’t steal from the front register, while also ripping off the backroom.

Learn.

Grow.

Be something Super yourself.

Raise Me

The first thing I had written in years, which I wrote in 2018, was a post about seeing you. Seeing the hurt in you and recognizing it. Understanding you and being with you through those moments when life is heavy.

Fast forward two years, and low-and-behold people are doing that for me today.

They see my racing mind at 5:30 am and raise me a phone call at 5:35. To me, not from me. Because they also seem to see that although I need support, I am not the best at asking for it.

They see my tension, my anxiety, and raise me a gentle hand, or even just their presence until I can breathe again. They remind me that I am not crazy, and what I feel is real and normal.

They see my path, and raise me the gift of experience, of having been here before. They don’t tell me what to do, they guide me until I reach my own conclusions.

They see my self-doubt and raise me their reassurance and reminders of what is factual, and what is feeling. They give me the ability to trust in them until I can remember to trust in myself.

They see me.

Every time I think they won’t, or think they’ve had enough, they see that too.

Maybe I’m not too much.

Maybe I am just enough.

They see me, the me that no one else sees, and they raise me still.

Parent

I’ve never known what I wanted to be when I grew up. At least not in the typical sense. But for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom.

In my wildest, most vivid dreams I could not have imagined this life I have today. There were days, years even, that I couldn’t see past my own two feet. Let alone clearly enough to care for a family.

While going through my own trauma, I had no idea I would one day need every ounce of that strength to help me see my children for who they are and what they need. It isn’t that I think our experiences are the same, but whatever it is that I need to be their mom, I have. I have it, because of my own journey, my own lessons.

This isn’t easy though. Not by a long shot. I’ve noticed though, that to be good at something does not have to mean it nessesarily comes easy to you. It is okay to struggle, because for me, that is where the growth is.

It is natural for me to think I know what is best, and that noone else could possibly provide it for them. That I alone can protect them and keep them safe. This is ego talking to an extent.

The reality of this parenting thing is that much like most other things, I can’t control what is going to happen to them. I can give them every last shred of what I have, and every pearl of wisdom I possess. It still might not be enough. They are still going to get hurt, fall, screw up and honestly, suffer.

I have to chose to believe that if my suffering was worth it, theirs will be too.

Someone Else

I feel like a waste of space that should be held by someone greater.

Someone less black and white.

Someone with fewer plans.

Someone that doesn’t push so hard.

Someone with less need for conversation beyond the mundane.

Someone that wants to party like a Rockstar.

Someone that doesn’t need emotional and physical fidelity.

Someone with less need for growth.

Someone who will bend more without breaking the illusion of happiness.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. But, It did.

I can’t control it, but I can grow through it.

Do You Know Who You’re Sitting Next To?

I can put up with a lot of things.

As a woman who is Gay, Bipolar, and a victim of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment, I have sat at many an uncomfortable table in my day.

I’ve had to listen to my friends and acquaintances throw around words like “crazy”, “ugh, I wanna slit my wrists” and my favorite, “so-and-so belongs in a mental hospital”.  Ignorance must be bliss.

Many times, especially lately, with current events as they are, I’ve sat through parties, lunches and dinners where they are callously and ignorantly tossing out hate speech about “the gays” and “trannies”.  Both abhorrent.

What I can’t do, is sit at a table and listen to people blame a woman for being raped, assaulted or harassed. Let alone these people blaming little girls for the same.

This has happened to me twice in the past week. Honestly, I didn’t realize that I was associating with people, women even, that find a way to blame a woman’s short skirt, or online dating for her being a victim of assault.

I can’t hear that. I can barely read it on my news feed, let alone hear the sentiments uttered aloud.

Fourteen years and an exorbitant amount of therapy later, I still blame myself.

Listen, I’m smart. I know logically, factually that I didn’t cause my assault, but in my heart and soul I blame myself.

If only I wasn’t drinking.

If only I was wearing something else.

If only I had done this or done that.

Screw you, I didn’t ask for this.

If a man can’t control himself around a drunk girl at a party, maybe he isn’t quite ready to dorm at college anyway?

If a man can’t control himself around my 19-year-old self’s jean skirt, maybe he has not business being a cop?

Let’s all do the world a favor, and stop talking about things we know nothing about, eh?

He Saves Me

He saves me.

He saves me from myself when I am at my lowest.

When I can barely wake up, let alone do anything else.

He is there.

With his early morning, big- as-ever smile.

With his first little kiss of the day.

With his soft request for something eat.

Reminding me that I can’t quit. Not right now.

First I have to take care of him.

And today, that pulls me out of the dark just enough to get in the shower and get us both dressed and out the door.

He saved me today.

 

(Originally written 9-7-2018

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: