I was just sent a text of this nature and it cut me in two. A nice gesture was proposed in a text. that text also contained the reason that the nice gesture wasn’t going to be done, the reason and justification for nixing the nice gesture was nothing in which I myself personally had any say.
As I have recently learned, this constitutes abuse.
This. Is. Abuse. I can not believe I am admitting that. Even recognizing it as such, doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. We are so willing to forgive and forgive those we love who show us a smattering of love but lack any and all consistency. The ever present worry of stepping wrong is exhausting and unfair. This is emotional terrorism, and I continue to allow it to happen. I am making the choice to allow this torture to continue. I could ask what the fuck is wrong with me, but I continue to search out just what it is that’s pulling me back to someone whose behaviors make me feel like nothing. Perhaps it’s that I am used to the abuse? That has become my normal? As the victim always seems to do, I keepforgiving the abuser, when I’ve done nothing to deserve to be treated or made to feel this way.
The sad part is I talk to talk to friends, were I to learn they are tolerating this, would I stand for it? Hell no. I would pull them aside, give them a loving but stern talking to, and encourage them that they deserve better. For the last 5-10 minutes I’ve repeated statements such as ‘I am worthy of love’, ‘I am enough’,’I have value’. I am both shocked and appalled I am actually saying these things to myself in reference to something that should at its top priority, never make me need to say these things to myself. I’m sure others in these situations feel trapped as well. How do we know when to say when? The hammer is swinging today, and I’m keeping a hand on the handle and not doing anything to stop the beating….
What is wrong with me?
I was back home for a few days and the time away from here, and almost anything related to my day to day was a wonderful feeling. In previous posts I’ve mentioned the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Honestly until I went home I had no idea just how strong that feeling had actually become. Being around people who genuinely care and just enjoy my presence without any expectations was a feeling I haven’t had consistently in quite some time. It was a hell of a change to be crying happy tears through the weekend as opposed to the tears related to a broken spirit. Many many thoughts crossed my mind this weekend and I am still sifting through them and hope to arrange them enough to post a few things in the coming day or two. They will remain unvarnished and I’ll be as open as I can, but I feel that just dumping a hodge podge of thoughts wouldn’t help me and wouldn’t be an understandable read to anyone.
The gears of this therapeutic process begin to turn again.
I’m leaving my home today to fly home for the weekend. It’s odd to state that. It is hard to call a place I moved away from, home. I am flying back for good reason, spending time with family and perhaps even seeing a friend or two. Things haven’t been very steady here as you can easily gather from my previous posts. I say that and must immediately follow with a ‘but,’. At the moment I feel a soothing sense of ease as I leave. Things that have happened recently here have given me a shred of hope that’s thick enough to grip and hold. The fear of it unraveling and slipping from my hands is all too real, but it takes a leap of faith sometimes. A leap of faith with an expectation of needs being met feels safer than just diving headlong into a gamble. I think perhaps the best thing for me to do will be to simply cast off anything happening here and not worry about it until I touch back down on my return flight. Much the same as I have left the negative voices in the garage on my bike rides recently. We will see how successful I am.
So many things transpire in a typical day for each of us, and all we have most of the time is the way we as ourselves perceive them. Even empathy is hard to relate to when you’ve got your ego screaming and throwing a tantrum in your skull as you try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I bring this up because even though we all have an ego, some of us tend to cage that thing up and muffle its cries even in poor situations. Muffling the ego in that respect is a bad thing as this to me is evidence that we don’t feel ourselves worthy enough to be heard or respected.
Raise your hand if you’re like this…
(Slowly raising my hand)
I was alerted today that some of my unhappiness is likely related to not setting boundaries for how I will and won’t be treated. I kinda feel like complete and utter crap about myself on a fairly regular basis and here I am being told it’s my fault, awesome. In a sense I am giving people the silent go ahead to walk all over me. That was hard to hear but as soon as I heard it I knew it immediately to be true. So at least I got the whole acceptance part outta the way! The weirdest part about it is that I’ve been known to cast a pretty long shadow and exhibit almost delusional confidence at times. Lately and for a while though that’s not been the case. So then came the challenge to me to figure out what they are and where those boundary lines need to be placed. That’s something I’m still working on. I don’t necessarily think the ego is a bad thing, I think when utilized effectively it drives us toward success. Hubris is a quality however that makes me root for the demise of its possessor when I am exposed to that sort of individual.
My new task for the near future is to entrench better boundaries into my day to day life and also into my personal life. It is a challenge I don’t take lightly, but one that gives me some confidence at the outset as I know it will be a healthy thing to bring back into the persona I project to the world.
I want to say that since becoming a father my view of ‘grand’ or ‘epic’ has altered significantly. I find myself lost in the minutiae of small moments when it comes to my child or other tiny tots in the family. I suppose it’s because I see the lightning storm that is their little minds taking in every single shred of stimuli in their immediate surroundings. Little sponges as they are sometimes called. They miss nothing, and for better or worse on that one! I have been exposed to the necessity and need for grand adventures, I’m almost always up for something new and love novel personal experience. From the outside looking in many would probably say that is what my life resembles lately. I took a big giant jump into the unknown about 6 months ago and to say it has been anything but a rather huge endeavor would not be proper. Fraught with ups and downs which is typical but lately many more downs than ups. Growth is never easy, evenly paced, or comfortable. I am trying to embrace that aspect even as tectonic shifts seem to move parts of my world daily.
Lately I find myself missing the epic moments on the scale of that of a child learning, or small moments with another that the world at large will never be privy to nor would the world at large even bat an eye. The shoulder shrugging moments we take for granted all the time are what I find myself pining for lately. I realize the vacuous space where those things used to pile up and overflow. I also realize the toll it takes on one when one sees the empty place where warmth used to reside. Big happenings, magnificent goals and grand achievements are always noteworthy and fulfilling, but at the end of the day it helps to have the little things to turn to for some epic-ness of a different and just as rewarding kind.
Here is an an age old question. Which is the best to trust? On paper it’s about as simple as it gets, always actions. Words written or printed on paper don’t tend to overwhelm sense and reason like the spoken word does. The spoken word, with it’s whispered intention, crumbles even the sturdiest of walls we build around our hearts and minds. The problem only tends to lie when the actions being done to us dig away at our sense of worth as the words lift us up in what feels like an almost opiate induced euphoria. The kind of thing that sends alarm bells sounding far and wide to everyone but you. That sort of dissonance of intent and action do a mighty good job of destroying us as we sip evermore on the saltwater of good intentions trying to quench the thirst brought about by nonexistent actions. I find myself wrestling with such an issue lately. To dive in to possibility and risk being dragged to the bottom and drowned. Or do I stay on land, high and dry, wondering ‘what if’. It reminds me of a great song from the lead singer of incubus. It’s a song called ‘lady black’ where he emphatically sings ‘should I stay dry, or should I get wet, do I hang on, or should I let go? Should I let go?’. Beautiful simplicity that captures my present conundrum almost perfectly. I still don’t know. It feels like drowning at times then coming up and drinking in the sweetest air at other times. I’ll enjoy my final glass of wine before turning in and hopefully finding that answer sooner than later. But then again an answer always comes to us eventually. Hopefully it doesn’t involve lungs full of water.
The day of rest is seldom that for me. As a cyclist it’s one of the coveted days during the seven that we can exert ourselves for longer than normal, given our hectic work and life schedules during the week. The time for group rides or a long solo trek. I took a long solo ride. The ritual of a ride prep is something I’ve begun to enjoy. Breakfast and coffee to fuel you up, filling bottles, checking tire pressure, picking out and donning outlandishly colored kit, and looking forward to the sensations on the road. As I’ve alluded to lately, the day to day fight through the days is tough. But I’ve struggled mentally on the bike as well. After all the ritualistic stuff was taken care of I got on the bike. I got a rather early start today, and was able to leave the negative voices in the garage, what a relief! At the urging of the counselor a few weeks ago I was told verbatim to say to the voices, ‘I’m gonna leave you guys here for a while, I need a break, I’ll get back to you when I return’. He said even if that means saying it out loud, to just tell them that’s what I was going to do. It sounded a little off the wall at the time but as I am diving all in on the depression counseling I figured what the hell why not start. I started that practice last week, and the voices hang with me for about a mile of the ride but lately they’ve disappeared during my rides. I rode for half the day today, and the stream of thoughts and things going through my head were surprisingly positive. As the sun sets here and I take in the last rays of the day, I feel the creep of that black cloud but it’s a much slower approach tonight. Closing my eyes and feeling the breeze on my face and the sound of the wind in my ears, I feel more calm today. Perhaps it’s due to the intensity of my ride, perhaps it’s leaving the voices in the garage when I left. It’s a bit of everything I suppose. I am tired but the ache in the pit of my stomach and my heart is not there at the moment and I do hope that it doesn’t set in this evening. I am so happy to be able to sit down and write about a small ‘win’ in terms of my mental and emotional states.
It’s a nourishing morsel to my inner hope. Wait wait, wasn’t I just half-griping about hope? 🙂
Today hasn’t been what I would consider a good day so far. A few bright spots but it’s been shrouded in a fair amount of darkness and I feel as though I’m being pulled into the abyss again. The dark lenses do not want to be removed from my minds eye, try as I might to pull them free. Expectation is to blame I would think. The expectation of how things should be, and how they are. The dissonance is enough to make me tear up even as I type this. To say that things are not as I had ever hoped or expected them to be is putting it very lightly. A lot of blessings have been counted today and a few bright spots have been identified, but I feel like I’m subsisting on bread crumb sized portions of positivity. I’ve read in more than a few places that giving up expectation is the only way to true happiness. While I can see that that would probably be the case in a perfect world, in the real world it seems like a load of bullshit to me. Bullshit or not it still jumps out at me today. Mostly because I’d prefer to be expectationless, but given that for the most part expectation is a normal and healthy thing, I am unable to buy into that completely. I feel both spoiled and cursed at my present plight. My ‘bed’ is soft and for the most part comfortable, I go to sleep in a warm place and have all the amenities one could want in the western world. My family and friends are all healthy for the most part. I see these things, I do see them. Blame the western world, we are a society that craves the discovery of the self, I very much feel a product of that view lately. I have a hatred for it today. I’m not sure what’s reflecting what, the world reflecting what I am projecting, or the world projecting on me and me reflecting what is wrought upon me, who the hell knows today. Tomorrow is a new day, this one has taken a fair amount of time so far, and many hours remain. I know everything can change in an instant. I’m cleaning and straightening my living space at the moment. It’s a sense of control I can appreciate seeing as else feels like a tailspin. The ups and downs are atrocious lately. I will persevere as best I can, I say that to myself and you reader, as no one wants to be constantly barraged by pessimism. Tomorrow is a new day and another chance to change life’s arc, even the waning hours of today hold that promise. I’ll cling to that possibility, but not expect it.
I hear frequently these days, ‘you have to know when to quit.’ Perhaps that’s true, but the iron willed stalwart in me doesn’t seem to understand that, and it’s not always for poor reasoning. At least that’s what I tell myself!
I feel like lately I’m fighting a cynicism that I used to possess as a strong character trait. It’s not a good thing to look at the world as if it’s all bad and everyone is out to get you. I was raised hearing that a lot as I grew up and it took a long time to get out from under that feeling. The remedy to that view is hope. However hope can make torture all the worse. You are getting beaten with a proverbial hammer, and you hear a voice say ‘it’s over now’, a short pause, you take a breath, and to your horror the hammering begins again. It’s hard to keep that hope up sometimes, the hope that things will improve. The thing I am starting to realize is my will is becoming fused with my hope, but in a sense they are very similar to one another. I think the stubborn ability not to quit, despite all odds, can either be called Hope or Willpower.
I feel like I am rambling and I likely am. I’ll find the point I was trying to make here soon, maybe.
I bought flowers last night, in a state of furious angry emotion, I’m not completely sure why I bought them. It turns out they were a great purchase as my day unfolded today. They were given to someone, but it wasn’t the flowers that improved the day I found it, it was simply my presence, which reeks of hope! Part of me shakes my head as I walk up to the proverbial Boulder and begin to push it up the hill that seemingly has no top. I’m unsure if I will lose grip and it will roll over me as it tumbles back to flatter ground. I have no idea.
I also still have no idea where this post was going….
On my ride tonight I had a small SUV come past me from behind and miss me by about an inch. When it happens you’re so in the moment of ‘oh my god’ that you don’t really realize the underlying thoughts you had until you’re either free of the issue or later on down the line after you’ve recovered from said hit or crash. I’ve never been hit by a vehicle on my bike, thank goodness, and I hope that never comes to pass. Tonight scared me. Scared me because of what lay on the shoulder next to the road, a not so nice landing pad of concrete rubble and metal, and the thoughts that came with the near hit. The hardest part was knowing I was riding alone and it would’ve been quite some time I imagine before anyone of note that values me would know of my plight. Also with that feeling of loneliness was that the loneliness was unwanted on my part. Riding solo is great because I don’t need a group to push me hard. I have an ability to destroy myself during a workout at my own urging. This was simply a recovery ride, a ride on which I’d have loved to have had company. A few other thoughts followed that, but for the sake of my own privacy I will refrain from sharing further. Regardless, they weren’t the happiest of thoughts and realizations. I turned around and headed back to the garage shortly after the close call, I had had enough. I got to see my child via FaceTime shortly after returning and it caused quite a few tears. Mostly because I realize I may not have gotten to do this, FaceTime that is, or perhaps ever again had things gone a different way. I also felt how quiet I became internally whilst watching a Disney umbrella be spun, play-doh be rolled into balls, and hearing ‘don’t cry daddy, I love you’. Watching my world on a screen enjoy themselves and be a toddler was the best part of my whole day, and I am thankful it was able to happen.
I’ll be on my bike again tomorrow, I hope. It helps to have a short memory with these sorts of ordeals and not think every vehicle is piloted by an imbecile. I have to say, the negative voice has been quiet tonight. It’s refreshing, but the gravity of the other thoughts has been a bit burdensome. However, I can’t complain about FaceTime or any waterworks on my part it invoked. The gravity of thoughts that feel productive is a nice burden to bear, if I can even call it a burden.
What a shakeup.