I am learning to be a new person, in order to do that I have to quiet the mental gremlins. That is harder than it sounds. I am a survivor. And I am tired of surviving. No, I am not suicidal. But I am trying to change the direction of my life. I am trying to make it where I no longer am having the string of disasters that my life has been up till now.
What that means for me? It means for to start I let my art and my words flow. I continue to put myself out there. I consider writing the memoir that I have been told was something I need to do. That will probably be some of the hardest words I write. I have shared a few of the stories.
To ease some of the panic, I will say that I don’t know if I will publish it. If I do it will be under a pen name.
Lately, I have been trying to do an exercise for my brain in the morning called ‘morning pages ‘. Basically brain vomit put in physical form. This helps me to clear the crap that weighs me down, and recognize my problems so that I can address them. It actually is helping. I used to understand the power of keeping a diary… Unfortunately people happened. Said people used those diaries against me. So I got out of the habit. I stopped listening to the internal therapist. And the result? I have a fair amount of issues that bind my self esteem in a knot. So by starting to do this at least one time each day, I am going to see so much of what garbage is buried in my brain. And I will see what I am able to start working through. I will be improving who I am.
Today I found that I was feeling like a failure because I was not juggling the numerous hats I wear as well as I want to. Today I was kicking ass as a mom, but my writing was not going as well as I wanted it to. I rocked as a friend and I even did decent as a housewife. But I was doing poorly as a crafter and small business owner. I was an amazing artist but I felt that I was not a wonderful person…. Now… Read this again. Today I was amazing but I did not feel like it. That is the place where the exercise helps. We have to change how we see the world if we want to change the way it sees us.
What’s something that you can adjust your way of thinking about? And how can you use it to make your world brighter?
How many times have you found yourself thinking about the past? I am guilty of doing it often. We are all a collection of stories, some that we do not tell. The reason why we don’t varies some, depending upon the story. Some we are ashamed of, some we think are going to be boring to the world around us.
I am finding out that sometimes those stories are more interesting than we realize. I try to be open about my history and tell my stories, but some of them do not really sit on the mind as something that I need to tell. Yet, each of them are a part of who I am. I am a unique individual who has seen some of the darkness that lives in the heart of man. I am a survivor who has learned to make do with what I have. And I am a woman who has seen both good and bad, and came through it ready to try to tell my stories. I don’t know if I will ever be able to write all of the stories of a life survived, or even if I should. Not all of my mistakes are ones that any one would learn from… Even me. Still for now, I will attempt to continue to dribble my story in small gushes to this blog, and to my poetry. Perhaps my journey will aid those who stumble across my words.
I have many stories, I think that we all do. Some of us, the ones who have been through hard moments, we hide the stories. We have been taught to feel the shame of those stories. To feel less because of them. And I refuse.
My memory is still very fragmented. I blocked more of my story out to save my mental health than I remember. Yet, I remember enough. I am a survivor. I was abused. I was raped, multiple times. And when I asked for help I was told it never happened. I was told that I was crazy.
I might be crazy, but it did happen. I have been brave before, I told the man who abused me as a child that I would scream if he came near me again. I was eight or nine. I’m not entirely sure of the exact age. He locked me in the trunk of his car and told me I would die there. I believed him. He convinced me that no one would ever believe me. The sad part is he was right. It took me until I was thirteen to gain the courage to tell anyone. To my shame, I was told it was not true.
So much of my life I have been fighting for my sanity and my life. I am in my fourties, and for the first time in my life I am not crazy. I know my truth. I will always be the person who was made from the hell I walked through. But I will not hide my truths any longer. I am not going to let those truths break my spirit anymore.
This is the garage door that started the journey for me. I took this picture yesterday. Six days from now I will have been with my boyfriend for twenty one years. Some days that feels like a century… But I digress. When we first got together, his “grandma” (who was actually his adopted mother) let us live in her garage. She had a bathroom put in on the back porch of her house (and had him pay her back for it to teach the twenty one year old us about bills) but she never charged us for the utilities. At the time I was to headstrong to see the gift that she was giving us… She was stern and slightly scary to me. I have learned that she really was an amazing woman since.
I can say that it was a struggle to make the garage into a home. We ran gas lines for a stove. We acquired a refrigerator from a local mission. He and I slept on a large sofa we were given. I failed to appreciate the struggle then, because at twenty one I was ignorant of the way of the world. I had seen the darkness in man, but I had really never had to do the housing thing. When my family didn’t have a home I lived with my grandma. So I always had a roof over my head. The garage wasn’t even the worst place I have ever lived. I have lived ten people in a two bedroom trailer with no running water. That is another story though.
Now Joe is working on getting the house. He inherited a fourth of it and his adopted sister is giving him her share. So we have only two halves to buy before it is ours. This is a convoluted and stressful time for me. I want to keep the memories of this house. I want the stability for my family that the house will provide. But the house also has baggage. Baggage in the form from of people who are currently in the house. People who we are trying to get settled. There is a lot involved with this. Add the fact that we are not able to settle in and you have the chaos of my life.
Then I looked at the garage door and felt like it had come full circle. Which is why I took the picture. The feeling of peace came through in the picture.
So I have my entire life been unable to fit exactly any label. I was sporty, nerdy, geeky, a loner, a bookworm, social, antisocial, introvert, extroverted, a joiner…well you can see where I am going with this. It was not a true issue for me, and was all in the same breath. I always felt like I was on the outside. I laugh… I collect labels… But then I would hide the fact that it hurt. Why should I be a label? I have never been very good at limiting myself…
That being said…. My twelve year old is very much like me. She is fluid in who she is and what she does. She asked me today…. Mama why do people have to label each other? Why can’t they just accept that each person grows and change with each passing day? …….how is it that this child who has not yet reached even a decade and a half umderstands something that eludes over half the human race?
Perhaps we need to learn instead of separately labelling each other, to instead celebrate the uniqueness that is the human race.
so this time of year it is so hard for many people. I often feel like it is the worst because of the expectations we are put under to be nice to people who we can’t stand the rest of the year. Or the fact that we are separate from the ones that we love and have no way to remedy this. Sometimes it is just the weather changes and the sickness that seems to linger about making it even more difficult to be social. I just wanted to reach out and say that you are not alone. If this is a difficult time for you, reach out. There is always someone who you matter too… Whether you know it or not. And in the holidays we some times forget about telling the ones around us how much we care. For some the inner voice is not a kind thing. Trust me when I say that you are not alone. ❤