What a strange but yet familiar thing it is to open my old WordPress blog, tucked hidden away with any reminder of outside life, the last many months I have dedicated to just myself, not isolated, but secluded, in order to really listen to the loud cursor of pounding pain.
It is as familiar as my own heartbeat these days, refusing to be ignored or escaped, and so I have given it the space it required of me, certain the lessons it held would set me free.
You know how you get on a roller coaster and the first hill comes, your hands tight on the bars, heart pounding, the drop in your tummy as you poke to the top, regret and panic fills as you put your hands up and shut your eyes?
That is how I feel right now, opening it and Facebook, all of your messages pouring in, many of you worried, some angry, a few curious to why and how I dropped off planet earth.
What do I say to you? How do I begin to address my gratitude and love for all of you, the very people I didn’t want to hurt or worry, indirectly or not. And even more, what do I owe you if anything?
How do I come back to all the demands and requests the world asks when I had become slave to the very ideas I have recently freed myself? How often have I regretted fitting into the mold of expectation in hopes to receive love and acceptance?
How am I to return?
These were the nagging questions swinging me from there to here and back, and finally I am certain I am ready. I feel like a different woman almost, and so many times I wanted to write and yet that nagging thought of who would read it and what would they say clouded my head with doubt. I have never written to an audience ever, and the thoughts and feelings I needed to work out were so confusing, so lost and injured that I worried, old familiar demons of rejection made me accept that not until I wrote only for myself would it be raw or therapeutic, and so I waited.
In that waiting period, I had made up my mind to begin a new blog, or write privately, until life threw itself at me in such a shocking blinding way that I shutter to think of writing it, the truth it will reveal, and so I decided to retire my writing, adamant it was for the best.
I knew better.
The real truth is I am afraid.
I am afraid of telling the truth.
I want to run and hide from the questions and looks I will not want to face from friends and loved ones, and so much easier it would be to start fresh, to begin a new way of being.
Oh, if only I could! The truth is that I have this annoying competitive edge with myself, an adrenaline rush I receive when I do something big and brave, like going to a Photography school without a camera.
It is a love/hate relationship, me and this damn blog. I tremble at it, certain I shall be attacked out the door by undercover Ninja warriors, people who read blogs and chop me to pieces in the comments section or worse, real life.
And the last few months have been so startling in change that I can hardly understand it, so wouldn’t I need to write a book? Whose business is it anyway?
Ha. I wish I could get off so easily, the other part of my mind argues, “No one has to read it then MISSS OBVIOUSSS, big pansy scaredy cat blog freak. Put on your big girl panties and go tell it like it is, not for them, but for you. I double dog dare youuuu!
My inner voice is annoying as shit, isn’t it?
The beginning of my search was a massive hunt to gather as much information as possible to put together an outline of my life, of childhood, to research and chart the missing pieces, my confusion had become an overwhelming force that almost kept my Spirit hostage, and so the feeling of urgency never left, not for a long time.
I gathered all my childhood journals, every email, all the pictures, got an app on my phone for talking into a voice recorder, my grief and pain at all hours was being fueled into my phone, words that sounded as if they came from a stranger the very next day.
Big wholes of time were emptied, Thelma my right arm along the way more times than I can count, in exasperation would say, “Katie, I just told you that. Don’t you remember?”
I would blink, stare at her, become afraid, and realize I had not, so eery grief can be.
You are in a tunnel and where it is leading or if you return doesn’t even matter. All the energy you have is to function day by day, my arms felt like ten pound weights had laid upon them to brush my teeth, so heavy my depression had become.
I no longer tasted food, all the smells of happy things like scented soap and strawberry ice cream were gone, and although I would never take my own life, I didn’t see the point in it.
I would watch people a lot, mothers and children and families especially.
Sometimes I watched in curiosity, my mind blank and heart numb as I sat in anticipation watch Dads help little ones drop DVD rentals in a slot, a basic errand run would be scrutinized by my own curiosity.
Others would trigger me, and so I would speak my anger or pain or grief into a tape recorder and laugh at the absurdity of it, my car parked in CVS where I cried for hours so my girls wouldn’t see.
It is strange to all of your life speak and hear an echo, to one day in drastic measure speak and yell, in horror and fright and denial when no sound made it’s appearance back to you.
And now, I smile upon how much this ached then for I see I desperately needed nothing to come back, no echo to distract me from the voice so used to being heard but not reached.
In my life, silence meant loyalty, love, acceptance of other’s faults and made you a good person who loved family and didn’t create drama.
It never occurred to me my voice had nothing to do with anyone but me.
That is a terrifying thought still for me.
Bad things happen when you say what you mean, and so I hid in Barnes N Noble, or the book I had been assigned, my soul drank in the words, the self help section became my actual shrink, my eyes blurry from reading till the doors closed.
In the beginning, I had a good idea what I thought was wrong, meaning I had diagnosed myself into every horrifying personality disorder there might be, my own physician argued back and forth with me, thankfully, certain I had no disorder other than being clinically depressed.
Damn. More reading for me, I thought.
Thelma read more than me, coming up with everything she could on topics from Narcissism in families to Personality Disorders and Cognitive Therapy. I swear the girl has missed her calling, a statement she smirks at and rolls her eyes, but I stand strong in my opinion of her. She has a gift and her sharing it was God’s gift to me.
I was terrified of women, especially her, the mannerisms she used and the love I so greatly felt for her were too familiar to my own mother, and so we struggled, both uncertain how our friendship could even maintain my own confusion, her responsibility, our boundaries between friendship and work partners and sisters felt like an overwhelming weight we both did not know how to carry.
And somehow, she held on.
Somehow, I let her.
We took some well needed space as well, an important mark in my recovery to not worry what she or anyone thought. I tasted, smelled, played, and explored like a child, all my thoughts were my own, and I did not dismiss them.
I gave them permission to be heard, loved, and accepted.
This sounds like a simple easy thing but for me, a child rejected and not accepted in a full blown tide of Narcissism and Codependent Dysfunction her entire life, had to work hard, my mind pulsing with exhaustion at one more thought of another day to get through.
I had lost myself, and I see now the most important thing besides going to school was starting this blog for as in my hundreds of journals, writing is where I don’t pretend, please, defend, or hide. It is where I find salvation, breath, and healing.
It is the very thing that cost me everything I once held valuable, and everything I once thought valuable told me if I had value, acceptance, love, or worth. So, in choosing it, I chose myself, and for that, I owe it my all.
I owe it the truth.
And so I begin, this next phase will be to tackle it head on without any filter, the only thought that makes me feel a little less like vomiting is this one.
What if I had stumbled upon a blog where some chick had done the same thing? How much that thought brings me hope, for I would have been eternally grateful for anyone stumbling through the dark of dysfunction and seclusion. I would have torn their blog apart, post by post, my own wound is more about lack of validation than anything.
Just once, I wanted to hear or read, “Oh, I have been through that.”
To not be judged or accused or attacked but simply validated that another soul understood is worth maybe one, just one, feeling that way as well.
And so I press forward, in humble faith that you will love me no matter what I reveal, and then I remember, again and again, I am loved because I am.
That is enough.
I love these lyrics I saw posted on another blog,
“There’s a light at each end of this tunnel
You shout ’cause you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out
And these mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again
If you only try turning around
2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer
Inside me threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
‘Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them however you want to.