Happily Ever Where?

I was born into a sturdy family of six. My growing pains included being pushed away from my siblings because I was much younger than them, living in an area with not a lot of people and being extremely shy and living with busy parents with a lot of personal emotional damage.

I remember being alone a lot.

But I was blessed with a vivid imagination. I built my own little world. I made little dolls out of either grass or string, made them houses and clothes. I’d spent hour upon hour just being there with those little creatures. I locked myself away from the screaming and the ever present sense of lack and failure. My parents had a tense relationship. There was a lot of emotional terror I simply couldn’t understand as a child.

I could acutely feel them all. I’ve always been able to tap into other people’s emotional climate. I’ve always felt the need to help fix it and I could never find peace until I felt them feel better. Over time I found that I could be of assistance to the broken-down way my parents chose to deal with life: if I played a happy little clown, I’d make them laugh and forget about the silence of emotional blackmail created by my mother. So that’s what I did for many years. Sometimes it was easier and other times I went to sleep crying because nothing seemed to work. I felt personally responsible for that.

I wanted to make them proud, especially my father. He always wanted me to become a translator. So I chose my future profession at the age of nine. I went for it blindly. And it made me happy to see him smile when we spoke of the future. I never even considered really thinking of myself.

I did that every day and for everyone I ever loved. The feeling of them being happy with me and being happy themselves was all I ever strived for. I swaddled myself in a false sense of happiness that was never mine. I did that with my parents, with my sisters and brother, with the man I married, his family and my friends.

I played my part so well: the house was spotless, we got a little doggy, I cooked elaborate meals for my family and friends … and was completely void of self and immersed into what I thought would make me happy: other people’s happiness.

The result was a seemingly content home. And me: riddled with anxiety attacks, depression, extremely low self-esteem and a huge void in my chest. I was a miserable ball of a perfect wife.

It took a quite a few blows to see all that: the primary source of the person I mostly wanted to be proud of me is gone. His death showed me that we live and die alone and with the choices we’ve made. Pride has much to do with living and its day-to-day proceedings, but very little with life on a grand scale. All you are left with is the primal self: my dad loved me. We never spoke of pride during those last days. Only love. So why strive for the meaningless when you can go for meaningful?

And I can’t do that anymore. I cannot only be what others want me to be. I was put here for a reason, I have to believe that. And I cannot imagine this reason being to only look out for others. I take full responsibility for my past. No one ever forced me into being who I was, I made my own choices. But there’s very little left of the woman from before. I now find myself exploring my very personal likes and dislikes, I get surprised by my reactions and the more I do that the more I realise how much of myself I’ve chosen to forsake.

Where do I go now?

My life is stacked-full of love in all shapes and sizes. So much so I feel myself getting lost in it again. All I want to do is give again and just fall. It’s a wonderful feeling because somehow this time it doesn’t seem like a forced fall against gravity and that I’m going against myself, but it’s like I’m falling towards the real me. This fall would be as easy as breathing.

But I am terrified of the out-of-the-comfort-zone life I’m headed for. There seems to be only so much I can handle and I’ve found myself putting pressure on the choices I make. I cannot give into it because I’ll only end up hurting myself again. I’ll be back to square one with a heart: already shattered, now also getting pulverised into nothing.

I have to take my time. I’m completely raw and I have to heal. I have to find love. Not for others, but this time, for myself. I don’t know where my Happily Ever After is, but this time I’ll take my time finding out.



Here and There and Everywhere!

That’s where I’ve been.

Yeah. I was mostly at home, licking my wounds, getting new ones and basically discovering that life is sometimes a really shitty state of mind and state of being and all you have is what you make of all of it.

So I’ve been making something out of myself: trying, succeeding and also failing. Sometimes this craftsmanship-of-self means celebrating getting out of bed and putting my pants on the right way, sometimes it means eating a shit-tone of chocolate until I become sick and other times it means getting up at ungodly hours to start work. I have been known to squeeze all three into one day- frequently and without premeditation.

Work and some little respiteful moments of joy have basically been what I’ve been doing for the past few months. I have pilled up a load of projects in the hopes of escaping, but it only made me more tired and angry. Instead of looking at the real issues and doing my best to face them, I focused on being pissed at the work load and not at the truth.

There is no escaping oneself, though. Not really. And I’m not the sort of person to run from a challenge anyway- at least not for very long. So when my escape methods failed (and failed gloriously they did!), I had no choice but to feel it all: the loss, the disappointment, the hurt, the void, self-loathing, anger, feelings of never being good enough, regrets. All of it, right there and then. In my face.

I tried to clean it all up. Desperately so. I tried to convince myself I can brave through it all. No one would have to notice and it would be as easy as weathering through a light summer’s storm. So I tried. I faked my way through life as best i could and tried to storm the storms, cast the great evil from my head and resume my life as I had before. Courage, Happiness, Joy, Kindness and Gratitude- the pillars of my old life were now buried under the rubble I had no intention or will to clean up. It was just too hard. I couldn’t see how.

Since I was obviously reluctant to stop and smell the proverbial roses, my body made the call for me. I got ill. I hopped from one health problem to the other and it started to get worse and worse. At that point I felt raw from the inside out and from the outside in. I was sleep-deprived, tired and dead sad. There were very few victories and a lot more losses. Pain was something that became acutely mine; both physical and emotional. I grew weaker by the day.

Then came a Saturday in the middle of October. A snapping point occurred with I person I care for greatly.

I broke.

My foundations collapsed, I collapsed into myself, trying to minimise the damage to my surroundings, knowing full well that only I can fix myself and imploding was better than exploding. What was the point of hurting anyone else?

So I let it hurt. I let it all in. There was nowhere to hide anymore. I shut off.

Sunday wasn’t much better, nor were the next few days. There was nothing about me that felt like a functioning part. I worked, took care of things as well as I could and tried to build walls of paper in order to hide the wreckage- paper was all I could lift. I simply couldn’t handle explaining myself or being on the receiving end of worrying glances, so went into hiding.

But those days when I couldn’t even listen to music with lyrics also gave me perspective. I realised I let it all happen. I let myself fall into a pattern which did not serve me and I made choices which hurt me. I let my self-esteem go and I let myself feel worthless and used. No one else could have done that.

But another realisation also struck: they all came from love. All the agony for anyone and anything I’ve loved and lost came from love. I am obviously not as broken as I thought if I was able to love this entire time. And love I did. I still do.

Hope swelled.

Hope swells still. I’ve had to build walls and have had to substitute those of paper with those of brick. Just for a little. Just so I can see it all clearer. I’ve had to take a few steps back in order to gain a better vision of where I am. I’ve had to protect my little place of ruin with just a little force. Just so that I can prove to myself that I’m strong enough to begin the rebuild.

Nothing can kill the spark in me. Not a person, not a thing, not a circumstance and not anything. I have so much. I get so much and I am able to give even more.