I went away on a girls’ trip this weekend with a good friend. It was a great way to refresh and take it easy. The scenery was beautiful, the accommodations were beyond comfortable, and the camaraderie was welcomed and needed.
The downside was that I had too much time to reflect and overthink.There for awhile, I was doing a really great job of reminding myself to live in the present moment. Letting things go and just looking around and appreciating where I am RIGHT NOW.
But, I quickly revert back to my old habits.
When I am alone, thinking to myself, I constantly feel lonely. I want, so badly, to just have someone to reach out to and talk to.
I want to connect.
In these moments, I am vulnerable.
Connection is such a hard topic for me.
Something in my past has completely convinced my brain that I am not worthy of connection and love.
The ironic thing is…I am starving for it.
I want to be enough the way I am. I don’t want to come home and fight for an audience with the person who is supposed to be there for me. I don’t want to call and check in and hear frustration and annoyance in his voice.
I don’t want to feel like I am constantly doing something wrong.
I just want happiness. I want him to be happy. I want to be happy.
But, that is not enough.
…I am not enough.
So, I end up lying alone in a bed, looking for someone to connect to. Looking for someone to tell me that I am worthy and good and smart and fun. I text friends. I reach out.
I reach in…but I can’t reach deep enough. Not deep enough to discover my true value.
Why is that?
Why is my value more easily assessed through other people?
Why do I not understand it myself?
As a child, I was frequently dismissed by the people who should have listened to me. I was belittled for the emotions that I shared. So, I learned to shove it all in deep.
I became a pleaser. An achiever. Anything to make someone show me some affection, support, or acknowledgement.
I did very little to cause waves. And, if I did, I panicked and did whatever I could to blame myself and repair the situation.
I did not worry about many of the things that normal kids worried about. And, until recently, I never really even realized that–despite the fact that I continue the same pattern of worry and I see normal children every single day.
Lately, small things trigger my emotions. The news. The “Me Too” phenomenon of Facebook. My desire to stand up and share my story is always there…but it is also deeply hidden behind a facade of “I’m fine.” Does it really matter if I share my story? I shared it with one person who should have cared….my own mother….and was, yet again, dismissed. Later, I discovered that she thought I was remembering wrong.
Calls to forgive and calls to let it go are all around me. And yet, I find myself unwilling and unable to do so. In doing so, it feels as if I would be saying that none of it mattered.
I can’t find it in myself to dismiss me too. Not now that, after all these years, I have finally stopped and acknowledged my pain for what it is.
People say, “But it only punishes you. It will set you free.”
Maybe they are right. But I can’t make sense of that.
Last week my therapist told me to think of it differently. Rather than forgiving and forgetting, I should turn it around and allow myself the power to think about it when I am ready to….not when it is permeating my being and causing anxiety.
That thought is new to me. And it does make sense.
If only I could make my mind more of a fortress and stop the thoughts as they come.
Maybe then…maybe, I could feel like enough. Maybe then I could discover that I am okay. Maybe then I could finally work through the last of all my issues and become less driven to figure it all out. Maybe then all the anxiety and the shame and the depression would stop ruling my life.