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Bracing for impact

March 11th, 2011

Right now the amount of pain that is sitting on my chest is more than I can carry.  I have no outlet for it, I have no release, and I’m tired.

It’s big, it’s heavy, and it hurts.

I keep waiting for a break, a lift; a moment when it’s not there when I don’t have to focus or operate under it’s influence.

Sometimes if I’m lucky I’m able to cry; most times I’m not lucky.  I know the tears will help ease the burden but they stay deep down tucked away.

My head keeps asking me when it will be time to stop all of this hurting nonsense, when will I get out from under this rock of despair, will there be a happy ahead, where the fuck is the carrot?

Perhaps the happy is just an illusion, something that we’ve bought and sell our souls for on a daily basis.  Happy is an overstatement, I’m just looking to feel balanced and relatively happy for longer than one day, a week even.

I’ve been emotionally running from the final impact that I know is my due.  I doubt anyone could blame me for this after the last 10 years of the up and down, heart being ripped from my chest; beat up and ripped and hung on the outside of my body to dry.

Resisted writing this, not looking for condolences, I know it’s a part of the process (I’ve come to despise those three words).  I’ve been holding it in hoping it would pass, that I would be released magically.

I know better, I do.  Yet, I never stop bracing myself for impact.  It’s a primal reaction built in to humans.  Some are lucky enough to keep it under the rug and hidden.  That’s never a choice I’ve had, or even been successful with my attempts.

Back to where I always land, writing about it and posting it here releasing it into the safe place where others understand and will sigh as they read; nodding their heads in solidarity.

This too shall pass.  I just wish it would hurry the fuck up because my heart, mind, and body are weary.

The conversation

November 27th, 2010

She said, “There is something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about”.

I immediately became uncomfortable and told her there was no need, what’s done is done.

“No”, she said.  “I need to say this”.

My head that was screaming, “NO NO NO NO” but the words that came out were, “OK”.

“Many years ago, I said something to you when I was very angry and I want to tell you that I’m sorry for that”.

I again said, “OK” wondering which time she meant.

She continued, “I said to you that I wished I’d had an abortion and I’m sorry for that.  People say things when they’re mad that they wouldn’t normally say.  Surely you can understand that now, knowing that teenagers can really push you to your limits”.

“Yes, I do understand” I replied.

I started thinking of ways that I could cheer her out of this situation.

To make it less difficult FOR HER.

I’ll never stop doing that, in my mind.  Trying to take care of her.

She needs me to do that, to help that little girl that lives deep down inside of her.

The one she’s pushed so far she can no longer even hear.  The one no one protected, the one that was abused severely and never healed.  That little girl that lives inside of her, the one that I know very well because I have one that lives inside of me too.

After it was over I started analyzing why it happened.  After all these years, why is she making amends?

It was a holiday, she’d had a few drinks, other family members put her up to it.  It wasn’t even a real apology, it was an excuse for WHY she did it.  Because I was a lousy daughter during my teenage years and it was a justified act in her mind.

None of that is important, the fact that she found the words to let me know that she was sorry for what she said was all that the little girl needed to hear.

The scar will always be there, but I’d forgiven her a long time ago.


October 1st, 2010

She has to be right, to be wrong meant too much pain for her in ways I’ll never understand.

If one piece gets out of place, the entire structure may fall into a heap.  Houses made of cards are fragile, meticulously created.  Her queen of heart locked inside, protected.

She doesn’t see the fright, or see the scars that weren’t healing in her own daughter.  She can’t reach me, she can’t try.  Not because she doesn’t love me, but to do so would be to open the lid she’s had slammed shut for 50 years.  Without knowing, she gave me the tools to fight my own battles.

For years I’ve tried to do my part, overlook the sickness, overlook my own needs.  One sided relationships are very difficult to maintain.  When it was just me, it was a lot easier.  Now that I’ve got my own family with my own heartache, there hasn’t been as much room for me to serve her.

I love her, I admire her, I am grateful for her.  I just can’t give any more of myself or I’ll have nothing left for my own life.  You can only tell someone you love them, you appreciate them so many times before you realize that it won’t make a dent and at some point you have to let go.

For years I lived by her definition of good, I followed her advice, her suggestions.  I did what she told me to do and when I wasn’t with her, I’d hear her voice in my head.  She was my internal thermometer to lead me to the right path.  Not realizing it at the time, I was trying to gain her love and acceptance.

She didn’t mean to hurt me; she froze me out because that’s the only defense she had against the things that were too hard for her to see.

As her daughter, I thought it was up to me to try and repair the sins of the past.  To be the strong woman that she aspired to be, the woman that desperately wanted to let herself feel and give love, to live her life.

Nothing was safe for her, everyone and everything had an agenda, and that agenda was to hurt her.

I’d give anything to fix that in her, anything.  I thought for years that was my purpose, to fix her.  My choice, not hers.  She never asked for help, to do so would mean defeat in her eyes.

Before I ever fully understood any of this, I’d absorbed enough of her fears and problems that eventually set me up as a candidate for the same abuse that she experienced.  This was not her goal, I know this now.  The things we try to hide are projected onto others.

I certainly don’t blame her for that.  Not now.  For a while I did, I blamed her for not loving herself enough to get out from under her mountain of abuse and mental illness.   When I became a Mother myself, I grew even angrier that she didn’t think we were worth fighting for.

She fought for us, but in her own way.  It’s good to remember that when people love us, it won’t always look the way we expect it to.  It doesn’t mean they don’t love us.  It means their way of loving just looks differently than the way we love.

When I finally realized she did the very fucking best that she could, with what she was given, I was able to see her outside of the injuries.  To see her for the beautiful, smart, creative, loving and amazing person she is.

My strength is her strength, my compassion is her compassion, my love is her love working through me.  She succeeded in making me stronger than she was, to question, to reach.  I see her more clearly now than I ever did before.  Still unable to convince her how amazing she is, no matter how many times I tell her or write to her.

Maybe she meant to cover more ground, to be more and do more.  I know I’m making mistakes that my children will one day be hate me for.

It doesn’t mean I didn’t try, or that I don’t love them.

No, that doesn’t mean that at all.

Don’t lose yourself living for them

September 11th, 2010

Maybe some day you will understand why I’ve had to do some of the things I’ve had to do.

Stop punishing me with your perceived notion of what is right, and what is wrong.  Step outside of that head of yours for a little while and ponder the vast reaching capacity of our humanity.

Or, just do the dance, receive the accolades as you were taught to know that you are loved.  Keep reaching outside of yourself to find what you think you need.  Keep staying stuck where you are when you know your capacity for greatness beckons you to meet it.

Empty buckets lined up at your door, waiting for the love you know you deserve because you did everything right.  Years gone, spent on trying to please them and not yourself.

When people hurt us, does it matter any more or less if we are biologically connected to them?  Who made that rule that we have to go down with a sinking ship just because we’re family.

I used to be as you are, loyal and blind.  The years taught me to see things differently.  My experience, my road, my decision to decide who and what I will welcome into my life.

Didn’t realize you had the choice?

Yes, you do.

Perhaps you’ll hold on to this ideal until you are old, that’s ok if you do.  Perhaps you’ll begin to turn down the road that tells you to leave behind everything you’ve ever known and loved.

I like to believe that is the road where we find our true selves.  The uncomfortable kind with rocks and pebbles, no water or a friendly familiar face.  This is the road to find out who we really are.  The answers are not always in what we find the most comfortable.

I love you and I always will.

Please try not to judge me for the things that I have to do as I travel along my path, just because you do not believe them to be good and right.  Just love me and try to understand that there is always more to a picture than what you can see, and that sometimes your eyes play tricks on you.

Lastly, I miss you.

Observations of a seeker *update*

August 29th, 2010

**I want to dedicate this post to Leah, one of the founders of this site.  And, to thank her for continuing her path to wellness and not hiding in the shadows.  She’s given us a home here at Real Mental; a place to tell our stories, a place to heal, and a beacon of light in the dark world of Mental Illness.  xoxoxo

There’s something that I’ve always known about myself, and it becomes more and more clear with each passing year.  Certain things come more in focus.  On one level it’s good to understand yourself just a little bit more, it’s comforting to snag a truth that you know you will never unlearn.

Another level is it usually means saying goodbye to a particular part of your life, a part of yourself maybe even people you love.

I would tell you that I’m a seeker, but not so that I elevate myself above others.  It’s something that chose me.  Words aren’t the matter, simply a way to try and define the condition.

Being a seeker means that you will often find yourself alone even around other people.  Alone in that your mind operates a little differently.  Or, could it be we’re just more honest and forthright about ourselves, having moved beyond the fear of being accepted.  Either you get it, or you don’t.

There are others out there that are seekers, sometimes we even find each other and cheer the other along during times of darkness when we’re fighting the knowledge that seekers always seem to find.

Changing behaviors, improving ourselves is like turning an ocean liner.  You turn but you don’t see the results of that turn for a long time.  Personally, I like to see immediate results of my turns, to know that there’s a reason for it, not that I’ve chosen to suffer for no reason.  Or wonder if the turn was just a waste of my time and I should’ve just stayed in the dark where it was safe.

Why can’t you be happy, why do you have to ask yourself all these questions, why can’t you let go of the past?

Except, I can’t stay in the dark and be content.  If I could, I wouldn’t turn in the first fucking place.  I envy those that can stay in the dark, walking along the same path they’ve walked along since they were born.

The age of blindness is behind us, it’s been turning for a long time, the masses are only now beginning to see the results of it.

I’m not built that way, I can’t honor something that isn’t true.  My eyes are open.  The duration of a new bend is the most painful, the one where I scream and become angry.  Once I move beyond it, I know once again it is as it is supposed to be.

I compare it to the air after a hurricane, clear and bright.  Debris has washed away, new things are about and old things are gone.  A cycle that I’ve walked through emotionally time and time again.

Hindsight gives me the hope and strength to do it once again.  Friends that understand offer support and love.  They don’t question the process, they just love me through it.  Either it’s because they understand, or they don’t but they trust that what we tell them is real to us.

The ones that do not understand cannot be held accountable for their ignorance.  The anger they hurl is their own, ignorantly thinking that projecting it elsewhere, it will rid them of it.  Over and over again they continue to do the same thing expecting different results.

Changing the course isn’t a process for cowards.  The ones that act in spite of their fear, demonstrating courage, are the ones that successfully turn the ocean liner leaving footprints for those that come after us, hopefully making the path a little easier.


August 18th, 2010

Darkest before the dawn, as they say.

I wonder, when will the light shine again,

when will the path be crystal clear and back on track?

I’m in charge of that, don’t want to be.

Not today, or tomorrow.  No sirree.

Suffering is a normal part of the human condition, we are not meant to be jolly all the time.  No, we are not.  The fairy tales, THEY LIE.

The sorrow, the sad, the confusion, the ick.

It lives inside of me waiting for the moment when I am weak.  It moves in, full stealth mode and brings the whole ick battalion.

Been here, done this, survived and got stronger.

Ride it out, hang on, keep my pace.

Save my face.

Being Human

July 30th, 2010

One of the definitions of betrayal is, “to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: to betray one’s friends.”

There are certain people in your life that you just assume won’t betray you.  A family member, an old friend, your parents, pick your confidant.

As I listened to you talking about me like I wasn’t even there, I felt sick to my stomach.  I wanted to run but I had no where to run to.

The things you said, they hurt my heart.

I wanted to trust you, I wanted to believe that you wouldn’t betray that trust.

I talked to my therapist about it, he said the fact that I got sick to my stomach was a sign that I’ve grown.  That most healthy people would be sickened by your behavior.

In the past I would’ve just overlooked it.  Kind of like ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room.  I learned that skill from being sexually abused, it’s a survival mechanism and came in handy.

The only way for me to get around what happened is to believe you are a very sick person.  I hold no resentment, no contempt.

It’s one of those really hard lessons that you only need to learn once, that I am unable to trust you with intimate pieces of my life.

For your own good, for my own good your secret is safe with me, along with all the others.  I won’t declare revenge and threaten you with my insider information.  That would not serve anyone, but mostly I have no desire to do that.

I’m taking that as another sign I’ve made progress on this whole being human thing.