Giving myself grace has been one of the greatest gifts I have given to myself. As I’m spending time alone, reaching out to people I love, I’m witnessing a transformation in my being. The solitude is granting me the restoration of what I lost under the yoke of responsibility. I’m beginning to witness the joy of creation again; fleeting though it may be.
Consider that grief is the deep expression of love, then how can that grief return to or be transformed from pain into love again? Love that is joyous; celebratory of breath? Grateful for the life path walked in unity, if for too short of time?
I have been self isolating (partly because of Covid and partly because I’m battling little fires around me while my house is figuratively ablaze). I’m rejecting connections because the thought of losing those I love has become a profound, nearly panicked, state of mind.
My C-PTSD has been triggered. I’ve not been sleeping well. I feel mistrust frequently, off-balanced mostly, and hyper-vigilant with a sense of detachment so I can survive the myriad of catastrophes that are cascading.
It is no secret that I’ve been struggling to make sense of a world that seems to be so dark as of late. One of the things that’s made it so upsetting is my perceived invisibility; my lack of voice. I feel like I’m burdening people who ask me how I’m doing because, as a human, I know I’m not alone with the struggles. But, trauma brain teaches how to survive, not always what is true.
Now, you may say, even out loud, “But I see you!” Not necessarily. I’ve been keeping a lot to myself because I don’t trust the world at this time. I don’t want to be a pest. I don’t want to be pitied. I don’t want to commiserate. I don’t want to be told things like: It will get better. It will be okay. There are brighter days ahead. You’re so strong or brave or something else because it’s not my truth right now. I am not able to hear it. Those things don’t reflect the world I see or how I’m experiencing it right now.
I deserve to feel vulnerable. I can doubt the sunshine even as I experience it. I can be weak. I can have doubts. I don’t have to believe in a happy ever after that just won’t happen right now. I am allowed to feel how I feel without apologies even if you don’t understand. I don’t need to be fixed. I’m not broken. I’m human. Right now I’m a gross mess of conflicting anger, sobbing, spontaneous laughter, and raw guts walking around on two legs that are wobbly from exhaustion because of abysmal grief from major events of the year.
I love you. I love me. I am not giving up or giving in. I just need to breathe. That’s really hard right now but eventually I’ll rise to the surface again where I will be able to. Thank you for being everything that you are because without you, I wouldn’t be able to survive or once again thrive.
Don’t give up on me, please. Please trust me. This isn’t my first rodeo by a long shot. I’ve survived worse than this. I know I will eventually find joy again. I may even rediscover faith, but until I do, knowing you’re out there rooting for me is so very precious.
Because of that, I became a different person, yet conversely the same. The one distinct difference is that I don’t feel lonely any more living in solitude. Well, it does and it doesn’t. It’s not the same as living with somebody who neglected me for their own comfort. It’s not the same as being in the same room with somebody and feeling invisible.
During that time three years ago, I was in a very dark place. I was told by someone I loved that I didn’t need to get help and shouldn’t have been in the hospital. I wanted to die, but my (then loved one) still discounted my experience. I was told “You don’t need to be in here, you’re fine.”
Upon my release, a couple months passed before I accepted an invitation from a friend of mine to visit my now current hometown. I spent time during the 18 day visit from the end of December through January 2020 with people who genuinely showed love and attention to me. Although hesitant, when I returned to Michigan, I decided I needed to get my shit together. I moved back to Tennessee in February 2020.
I was given unexpected catalysts to discover my own self. I did not move because of those but because of the support system that I have here.
It was confusing at first. I felt a deep sense of rejection, but again, not as bad as what I experienced in Michigan with me “loved one.” That “loved one” accused me of abandonment (ironically) with no intention of return, but I DID plan to return if conditions were met. They were not, so I began the permanent transition.
This past year has been horrific with catastrophes such as my car catching fire in February to, most recently, the death of my little dog due to malpractice. It still hasn’t been as bad as the loneliness I felt the entire time I spent in Michigan.
This year has been incredibly painful. I’ve done a lot of deep grieving. I have had legitimate reasons to do this. But, I don’t want to die like I did when I was there. I mean I don’t want to die at all. I just want to be able to live a life. My life. This doesn’t feel like the life I want to live, so I have no choice but to keep going.
My friend said, “The life you want is out there. I’m grateful you’re willing to keep going,”
I contradicted that.
The life I want is in here; in me. I am unearthing a lot of feelings of being unworthy, or a burden, or just too much. I am none of those things, but I commonly feel that way because that’s what I’ve been taught. I have been incorrectly instructed.
I started accepting these things when I woke up at 4AM. I started thinking about the incorrect messages I’ve been given for most of my life. The things I’ve been told and the way I’ve been treated by people who claim to love me. I allowed it because that’s what I knew.
My thoughts were reeling about in my head as I did dishes and swept my floors.
Then it began in earnest. Deconstruction. Revelation. Epiphanies.
It was a lot to take in at that hour of the morning but I think it had been waiting for me. Allowing me room to breathe, hear, understand, and to grieve. I came to understand that the unconditional love I have been shown here in Tennessee has been incredibly difficult to accept. It’s been difficult to even acknowledge.
I’m having complications while learning to accept that from others, but primarily from myself. I know that I am not alone. I know that solitude is completely different than loneliness. I’m not trying to fill my inadequacies with creatures that need or require my care. I’m not seeking to be accepted by others. I’m working on being accepted by myself. This is earth-shattering for me (or maybe ground-breaking) but I know it will be worth it because I am worth it.
Listen Can you hear that? It’s your intuition It’s your soul truth It’s the whisper of wisdom That only you know Woven into your bones Seething in your blood Pouring millennia of knowledge Over your life’s breath Witnessing your humanity With astute clarity Hush now. Listen. Now. Follow your gut. You’re within your inheritance You ARE worthy of your power Listen. Trust it even if you’re frightened That voice may be broken Scattered on hurricanes of trauma But it can’t be silenced Without your permission Not anymore. Listen