Let's face it, the state of the world today is sad. It isn't just what we see on the news, which is bad enough. It's that life is hard. Even when things go right, things don't always feel right. Something feels missing. When things go wrong it can become overwhelming. The battle is inside. The battle never seems to end. The battle is within and endless.
|Forgive the errors, please.|
This was my Facebook status yesterday. Sometimes things sneak up on me without realizing it. You see, a few years ago I suffered a few blows that rocked my world. It started with a bad relationship and ended with me meeting my husband. In between were a series of betrayals that made me question my ability to judge people and myself. But it had a happy ending. right? Yes, of course. The thing is that the fall out from the bad relationships hide there in the background and sometimes it knocks me down like a blow from a prize fighter. I have gotten good at covering up the feelings. Hiding the hurt and pain. Ignoring the bomb because my life is pretty darn good. Except this week. Maybe it is the holidays. Maybe it a combination of stress that is invading my life from outside sources. Maybe it is just the feeling that the whole world moved on without me. Nobody cares anymore except me.
We all bring our own baggage into relationships. We all have regrets. We all battle an inner demon that rears it's ugly head when we aren't looking. I have them, my husband has them, everyone has them. The feelings of not being enough. Maybe they stem from a bad relationship where you were betrayed or several. Maybe they come from loss of people, friendships, loved ones. Maybe they stem from a traumatic event that changed your life. Maybe they play on your own insecurities about not being good enough or smart enough or pretty enough. Maybe the hurt lies just below the surface but is so deep and so hard that you forget it isn't reality. It is easy to play mind games with yourself and feel like nothing you do is right. It is easy to get wrapped up in the negative hurt from the past and forget the gifts of the present. It is easy to tell yourself there is something wrong with you.
The other day I heard my stepdaughter say to my husband "I don't ever do anything right." I was sitting on my bed trying not to eavesdrop and that is the only part of the conversation I heard. It hit me like a ton of bricks. "Join the club." I thought to myself. Even when my husband compliments me I hear a "But" inside. That isn't his fault, that is mine. If I feel like I am not a good enough wife, mom, aunt, daughter, sister, employee, who's fault is that? Mine. Nobody says those things to me but me. Nobody feels those things but me. My husband goes above and beyond to tell me I am enough and my kid tries her best.
|Source: Dr Seuss|
This is my favorite quote from "Oh, the Places You'll Go" which is probably my favorite book of all time. Why? Because it is the most accurate quote I have ever seen. It is reality.
I have seen friends say things like "you never feel more single than when it's the holidays". Here is the sad truth. You can be in a room full of people, sitting there with your family, your spouse, your kids, and still feel alone. You may feel empty or broken. Nobody can fix that but you. Nobody can fill the void. Nobody should. In the end, it isn't their problem, it is yours.
Loneliness can overwhelm you. You feel like you are fighting the unknown, the unseen, the unreal. The UN. The whole world has gone on and left you sitting alone. It is a hard place to be. Nearly impossible to face.
Being Perfect or Pretending
For as long as I can remember this was the goal. Being the best daughter, friend, employee, wife, mother, aunt, sister. This was the goal. Being everything for everyone. Everyone except me. Still, I am terribly fallible. I am too quick to temper. I am too emotional. I feel things too strongly. I am way too passionate. I wear my heart on my sleeve and it gets kicked, a lot.
I am not perfect. I never will be. I see perfect people all around me and know they aren't. I see people constantly fooled by these people and wonder why can't anyone but me see the lie? It seems that some folks have everyone fooled but themselves. They fight the inner battle too, you just don't see it. They don't talk about the bad things. Maybe they are right and that is the way things are suppose to be. We all just go around pretending there is no bad so that we don't have to see it. That is exactly how my grandfather handled it. His feelings about World War II and the things he saw were wrapped up in a little box and put on a shelf somewhere inside his heart never to be brought out again. His feelings about losing my father, his first born son, were in another box somewhere. He didn't talk about them. If he thought about them, he never shared. Only once in my entire life did he ever show me his hurt at losing my father. It was a terrible moment in my life. A moment I will regret forever.
I went to visit my grandfather for one of the last times in his life when I was 30. I was emotional. I was hurt. I was feeling sad. Everywhere I went people were telling me how much I looked like my dad. Everywhere I went, I thought about how we never talk about him. Everywhere I went, I was reminded of the father I lost at 5 years old. A man who never got to see his children grow up. A daddy I never got to know as an adult. Nobody would talk about him and it made me angry. He was MY father and I wanted to know him and understand him. So I got into an argument with my grandfather about why he refused to talk about him. I threw a good old, ginger fit. My grandfather was hurting and I didn't see it. Finally he said words that I will never forget and always regret hearing: "Do you think I don't miss him? Do you think it doesn't kill me that he is gone? Do you thing I don't love him still today? He was my SON!" I can't type this without crying 15 years later.
At times like these, the only thing that pulls me through is my faith. Faith that I am loved by God. Faith that I have a husband that does his best to overlook my faults. Faith that the sun will in fact, come up tomorrow. Faith that there is a reason for everything under heaven and that even though I do not understand those reasons, God does and that is all that matters. God has this and I just need to let Him work it.
And yet, I am not beaten. I will not go down without a fight. I will not let these feelings take me over. Somewhere inside my inner voice says "Just you wait. I will show you." Who do I want to show? Not the men who passed me by, for sure. I don't actually give a damn about them. Not the people who walked in and out of my life without thinking about the fallout from their actions. Not the family and friends who love me, even though they are my entire world. No I need to show myself. I need to prove to me that I am enough. I am good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. I am worth it. I know I sound like an SNL skit but it is true. Somewhere inside of me, is the will to rise above. Somewhere is the knowledge that I will be okay. Somewhere is the reality that life is going to work out.
Some people will just say "Move on and forget it." I wish there was a magic pill that allowed all of us to move on and forget. The reality is, we would never be who we are today without the hurt, the pain, the betrayal, the loss. We wouldn't be able to grow and get stronger without those blows to our psyche, ego, and self esteem. Forgetting isn't the answer. Moving past it is.
Learning from it so that you don't repeat the same mistakes is the only way to become healthier. Between the bad relationship and my husband I talked to someone. I examined the mistakes I was making over and over again in relationships. I realized my mistakes. I was settling. I was making excuses for men who treated me poorly. I was accepting being 2nd or 3rd or 15th because I didn't know how to be 1st. I was willing to accept less than I deserved because I felt bad about myself.
When I met my husband, I was overwhelmed with the need to do things the right way or at least not repeat the same old mistakes. Not everyone in my life could see it. Some people in my life thought I was on the same old path headed for disaster. They were wrong, of course and things worked out pretty well,. Only when these old feelings show up and I start feeling like I am competing with someone I can't win against do I fall backward. That person doesn't exist except in my mind. I don't owe anyone an apology for being happy and I don't owe anyone justification for my actions. I did what was right for me. I am learning that sometimes, that is the only person you have to prove things too and sometimes, you are the hardest person in your life to please.
Forgive me for this blog. I know it is heavy and I apologize for being so stuck in the past today.
I read somewhere in a book recently something to the effect that blogs are silly. Maybe they are. For me they are a way to work things out a little. I am trying to grow and be a better me. This blog helps me do that and sometimes, just once in a blue moon, it helps someone else too. If that is silly then so be it.
From the bottom of my heart, if you made it all the way through this blog, thank you! Thank you for sticking with me and hearing the inner ramblings of my disturbed mind. You all are the best!