It’s ok to stumble and fall in the same places. It’s ok to get lost. It’s ok to not want to feel alone and it’s ok to need to be loved and wanted. In short, it’s ok to be human. To cry one moment and laugh the next. To be overwhelmed and underwhelmed and to do this over and over again.
Having my ex stay with me was deeply confusing. It was so confusing that it is hard to even wrap my head around all the ramifications. It left my head spinning and I felt raw and drained by the time he left. He seemed more mellow, he said all the right things. He was tidier, kinder, more obliging than I ever remembered. He made me feel wanted and loved and I was so confused. My mind and body wrestled with myself and themselves.
‘Was this the same man who choked me?’ ‘Can people change?’ ‘Should I give it another go (after trying a million times before) will it be different this time?’
It felt like I was drowning again, trying desperately to pull myself to the surface of the water, trying to disentangle from the dense foliage coiling around my feet and pulling them down.
Sometimes it feels like I haven’t progressed at all because it seems so easy to just repeat old patterns and give into fear. Especially now that I am facing being jobless, I feel the stress and the anger bubbling up and beneath that abject fear.
Have a little patience and trust someone said to me recently. That is not easy when everything in life was a struggle and love from your primary caregivers was not unconditional and there is a black hole and ache that is triggered over and over again. That is hard when you hardly know yourself sometimes and feel like you are split internally into different people. Integration says my counsellor. How long will this take I wonder? How many long years of therapy?
I try to be gentle with myself and not make any hasty decisions in this frame of mind. Try to see it out and wait till this feeling passes. Till I feel strong and capable again. There’s a lot going on and I discovered yesterday that my mum has been diagnosed with Lupus. She is looking very ill and it hurts me to see her like that. No matter what, she’s my mum. She won’t admit that I was abused by my ‘father’ but she is the only mother I have and I feel for her.
I take heart from the fact that feelings are temporary and that I will get through this bump like all the others before. That I will rise again. My essence, that inner strength compassion and beauty has not died. It is still there; the flames need fanning right now so that the fire within can rage and burn with light and wisdom. It is inside me even when its hard to feel its vibrance. Looking outward for answers is disappointing and futile. The answers are all within me.
Yesterday I spent the day with family, women of different generations all brought together by the death of my great aunt; a very special woman who soldiered on until the age of 96. She adopted two girls as she couldn’t have children of her own. She was a fortune-teller who read tea cups for people from all walks of society. She looked after a house full of girls (her sister’s children) and my mother was one of them. She touched the lives of so many and sitting with all those women yesterday and their children and grand-children I felt a special kinship with them all. Yes I do belong, I belong to a family of women who are strong and passionate and beautiful. It helped to fan my dampened flames. To remind me of my strength.
We all hurt, in different and similar ways, but what unites us is our ability to rise above and swim to the surface despite the dark, heavy things that try to pull us down. The dark heavy things come in all shapes and sizes; internalised parents, harsh inner critics and all forms of self-sabotage and self-destructive ways that we have learnt on our life journeys. But still we rise, we rise and we rise and we find that light within even when darkness engulfs us.
Life is a cocktail of emotions; sadness, grief, joy, ecstasy and a million other emotions all blended together, bittersweet like dark chocolate.
But we belong and we are in this together. Our psyches yearn for wholeness and for healing and we keep moving forward even when we feel like we haven’t progressed an inch. May your flames be fanned into a raging and vibrant fire that warms you and all those who pass your way!