New perspective 

I’ve been away from this for a while. Those problems discussed in previous posts continue to haunt me, but due to a series of very hard decisions I will finally agree with the counselor I was seeing that I Indeed saved my own life.  Saving in the sense that I’ve decided the slow painful emotional and spiritual death I would have undoubtedly endured from the abuser were not In line with the promises I had made to myself a long time ago.  I’m no longer in the beautiful location I was before, and truth be told, it’s a good thing.  A place is just a place as I’ve explained to many friends and concerned individuals regarding the circumstances I’ve dealt with the last number of months. It’s hard to actually see the beauty in anything when you’re so fucking sad and hopeless that the mere act of meeting the next day fills you with more sadness and more hopelessness.  A beautiful place is the stuff of nightmares when you feel that way. No amount of awe inspiring sights can remove that black veil covering everything. 

I do not wish to give in depth details into what all transpired. A very long trip back home with my belongings in a moving van gave a lot of time to recount everything that had happened.  To break it down simply I had a good month and a half, and the following five were unbearable.  

When you’re gaslighted often, your good nature and intentions frequently manipulated, and abused both emotionally and verbally with no known perspective to measure ‘normal’ against, it is terrifying what you will tolerate from someone who says ‘I love you’.  

What I have found more terrifying is the pervsere pattern of behavior of this individual and the insanity of what I walked away from as it pertains to myself and as I know now, many others from the past. To say the version of the world I was made to believe existed was warped is putting it lightly.   I’m yet another casualty in a rather long line. It fucking sucks and it fucking hurts but I gave it my best shot, I gave it everything I had, and no amount of my giving was ever going to fill that black hole inside of them. 
The amount of anger that had to rise up to gain the necessary traction to put the rubber to the road has continued to leave me feeling rather blunted emotionally. I went from crying nearly every day for 4 months, to being blindingly angry, and now to simply feeling somewhat numb.  It’s an old feeling I knew well for a very long time. I see the cracks forming in the emotional armoring of it, for which I am thankful. I will shed it one day, I hope sooner than later.  

The feeling of being back in a place where I am valued for exactly who I am has been a breath of fresh air and has given new looks to old things.  Glimmers of hope and rays of light shine on a spirit that was hanging on a razors edge. It feels good.   I have changed, I am not the same person that left. How I choose to embody that change and give it back to the world is up to me. I can choose to be bitter or choose to be better. My choices these days bring more smiles than tears and that’s a great feeling too.  

Taking a moment

I am in between work tasks and decided to take a few minutes to come outside and enjoy the sunshine.  The heat, and the subtle smells of spring feel full of hope and promise. It’s a far cry from the feelings I’ve been writing on lately.  I talked with a friend for some time last evening, a friend I haven’t spoken with in months.  It was an incredibly easy catch-up for the two of us.  The way friends can go so long without speaking and then pick up as if a day hadn’t passed is incredibly comforting. To exchange compliments on what we’ve seen from the others ‘life’ in social media was fun as well, because it turned out neither of us quite had a proper bead on how the other was actually doing.  We assume because we see, we know absolutely. What fools we are in that sort of assumption.  A lot of kind and caring things were said to me, and it’s made a difference.  I tend to take narrow views when things get difficult and it takes the outsiders perspective to knock me out of that at times.  Mostly it was my narrow view that if I fail at the tasks that are set before me, I’ll be judged mercilessly by the masses. It was encouraging to hear this friend state that not only was I nuts to feel that way, but they were already proud of me, and that they aren’t the only ones who feel blessed to call me a friend.  I sound like a blowhard at the moment but it came as a revelation of sorts. Even in ‘failure’ I have value to those that really care.  I love my friends and those I value whether they fall flat on their faces or fly like birds. It’s been harder to feel that I am worthy of the same treatment and love mostly because of the amount of isolation I’ve been experiencing the couple few months.  I’m convinced good friends will save your life. To give is a great thing and to have that giving given back is a phenomenal feeling.  Like Tony Robbins said, ‘it’s not about me, it’s about we’.  It felt good to exchange happiness yesterday, really really good.  

Eye contact 

They’ve done multiple studies related to depression and eye contact, or more to the point, the lack of eye contact initiated by depressed individuals.  Speaking of myself lately,  I will seat myself next to those folks doing a less than stellar job of maintaining even fleeting eye contact.  

It stems from what I am dealing with at the moment I have no doubt.  What I have been trying to understand is what factors are playing into that feeling of not being confident enough in myself to look people in the eye.  The most odd discovery is my inability to even look at myself in the mirror without feeling a sense of shame. Thinking about that, considering what’s going on, and what I’ve been finding, I’ve arrived at two big things and I will explain their impact.

-missing my daughter

-not living in a home I own

The first one, missing my daughter, is absolutely no shock to me at all. The shock comes in that because I miss her, I find myself afraid to speak of her.  Perhaps because it forces me to acknowledge inwardly how much I miss her.  Her name comes up, or children are discussed, and I feel this swell of love, pride, pain, and sadness.  It’s an odd mix, and given so much of my days lately are spent simply trying to stay level, I tend to fall into a feeling of despair because it hits me with such force. 

 The second issue I’ve identified is the lack of owning the home I currently live in at this time.  I own the home I lived in previously but due to my recent move, it is now being rented to a wonderful family. 

 I used to gripe about the stuff of homeownership, but I find myself missing that content feeling of ‘this is mine’.  Lately it’s a feeling of wanting to make a change to the home, or seeing something that could be fixed or improved etc, and knowing it’s pointless because I am a resident in the home but have no right to alter this place.

 I suppose it boils down to missing the feeling of control I experienced with owning my home, I could make any change I wanted, and I often did. I remember painting numerous walls, refinishing probably half the floors in the home due to my hatred for carpet, yard work, a paver brick patio, and countless other little home ownership memories.  

  I have control over a fair number of aspects of my life but none feel quite as concrete as having the controls experienced with the above two.  Control is the wrong word to use in Regards to my daughter, perhaps it’s that control of knowing I was only a short drive away. Now that short drive is a few hour plane flight, it’s quite an adjustment. 

Identifying those two things and their influence on me was a bit of a surprise for me. I’ve been forcing eye contact more the last few days, and it’s a task, I feel completely exposed.  Normalcy feeling uncomfortable is an oddity for sure. That’s the normalcy I want though, eye contact, confidence and ease. Fake it till ya make it, right?

That’s enough musing for the time being.  It feels good to express it, even though I likely know none of you that will read this.  I hope you, reader, are well and happiness keeps hold of your spirit. 

A short break 

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.  

A bit too close 

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. 

Inner voice, please hush

There is an entity lately that invades my days and succeeds in wringing the happiness from my heart, and it lives within me.  It’s the negative inner voice, a quiet whisper that darkens your vision and wrenches the joy from your weakening grasp with every sentence it purrs.  The level at which I battle this bastard of a voice is both alarming and frustrating.  We live in a world where negativity primes almost every decision we make, so in a way it’s understandable. However, being understandable doesn’t make it okay.  I’ve sought out many avenues for getting a chokehold on it, first and foremost being mindful and, this is the hardest one, being thankful.  We lack perspective outside of ourselves until we get punched in the face by it.  I am guilty of it, I list and list positive things and count my blessings. It still persists, it boggles me how a voice in my own head, something I either consciously or subconsciously created, is able to abuse me with impunity.  I will dare say that in the last number of weeks with an obscene amount of focus, both tough and tender love from friends and family, I’m realizing my value again.  Do I struggle nearly minute by minute some days? You betcha.  I think the hardest part was recognizing it, which I did. Next came the acceptance of it, which was even harder.  Also realizing you’re not as alone as you think was quite an epiphany too, in desperation I began throwing out ‘lifelines’ to friends and family.  Be it a hello text, a ‘how are you’ text, or a frank ‘I need some help’ text did wonders. I didn’t realize just how big an impact it had on me. The surprising thing about the lifeline metaphor is that almost all of the lines began to grow taut with an immense amount of strength and support pulling me up out of the depths. The other benefit of the support was that it also reinforces the value you have in yourself because you think ‘well, I couldn’t have been a total sack of shit. These people think I am worth their time and energy, wow.’   I think it helps to have enough loud positive voices in your ear that help to stem to poison you’ve become so adept at feeding your soul.  They say if you want to help yourself, help someone else. I’m working on trying to give back, and hell, just give more of myself to the world. Even if at times I feel like I offer all of nothing, I’m realizing the value in thrusting out against that despair and basically giving it the middle finger.  We are obsessed as a society about control of every single aspect of our lives, it’s sad we assume such little control over the streaming consciousness in our minds. I am guilty as charged,  but perhaps on the way to healing.