Collecting Angels

Words of goodbye wet my eyes.
Your eyes, I miss. I always will.
Now not just one pair. 
There now are two:
Dark brown has joined light blue.

I’ll collect angels on your grave.
To keep you safe. To help you rest. 
I now have angels of my own. 
Where there was one:
There now are two.

She’s a Bitch!

We inherit a lot from our ancestors. Not only the material or behavioural patterns and the way we see the world, but also things we’d never consider an inheritance.

I inherited a house. I inherited a love for my land, for my country. I inherited some pretty crappy ways of dealing with emotions. I inherited some of my knee-jerk reactions.

And I inherited my parents’ neighbourly quarrels.I never thought that was even a possibility until a valuable lesson came along.

Here’s what happened.

I became the owner of my family house a few years ago. I also became the owner of the road we use to get to to our house and it is a road also used by our neighbours. When it comes to interaction with my neighbours I follow the “less is more” rule. I greet them kindly, help the elderly out with the snow in winter and that’s that. I don’t attend any social gatherings or talk about myself too much. I try to keep to myself. I have known most of these people since I was a child and from what I saw growing up and what my parents went through with them, I am happy to just keep to myself.

The only problem is that when they want to make changes to the road or whatever clever idea they might have, they have to ask me for permission. And that has always been a liiiitle bit of a challenge for them. I usually don’t complicate and let them do whatever they want, but I sometimes have to draw the line and say: “Nope, ain’t gonna happen.”

One of my neighbours had huge problems with my dad. I don’t completely understand how and why, but the argument became so bad that lawsuits were filed. Nothing got resolved, though. Then my dad died.

And by the looks of it, they now want to continue picking fights with me. This is a person who has threatened my family, told my dad he was going to kill his children, sued him and so on and so on … pretty messy and super complicated. And this person decided that, since my father is gone, I’m the inherited guilty party for all his troubles.

This person has, in fact, acted like a complete a-hole. And now he needs something from me. You see, he needs me to sign a piece of paper where I grant him permission to use the road. If I don’t do that, he cannot get a building permit in our country. And he’s trying to build a house. Sucks for him.

My parents already granted him that, but mistakes were made and the paperwork wasn’t properly processed … and now there you have it. I’m the owner and the one he needs. Granted: this is something I’d have to sign over anyway, but I’m pretty sure it must hurt his ego terribly to have to ask for anything.

Long story short: I could make his life complicated. I could draw this out and be the voice of karma (who is, as they say, a bitch).

But I won’t.

I have inherited this problem and it stops with me. I am letting go of whatever negativity trickled down from my parents and am stopping the flow. Not for him, but for me. I’ll let him have what he needs to continue with his life and keep it at that. I’ll instead focus on the good and on making my goals come true. Making someone’s life harder (even if his actions are completely assholish) will not be something I will be pursuing.

I won’t react to things the way my parents potentially would, I will not be petty, I will not accumulate negativity. I’ll be the kind of person I am most comfortable being: loving, nurturing and kind. Not for the sake of the assholes in my life, but for the sake of greater good, positivity and self-love.

Some seem to think that when dealing with negative people, they themselves have to become negative and retaliate. Harm was done to them and so harm must be given back. It’s a vicious cycle. The problem is that most of the harm isn’t really going anywhere. We internalise it and it sits in our mind and is toxic for our souls. We fester in ways of getting back at someone. What good is that?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you should be a push-over. All I am saying is that what you think matters, what you say matter and how you choose to deal with negativity matters. Choose the kind of reaction that will serve you and will help resolve things for you. Then go on your merry way and let people have the bullshit they choose to live with. Who knows, maybe they’ll learn a little something from you …

The Ultimate Healer

Our lives are a mixture of experiences. Some satisfyingly good, some explosively great and other minutely uncomfortable or catastrophically painful. We all create our own stories of good fortune and bad luck, of beautiful self-expression and self-torture, of happy endings and cruel fable-like lessons. Life is good, it is great and it is extremely painful.

I, like all of us, have had a little of everything. I have learnt that, when it comes to negative experiences, I tend to categorise how to deal with them. There are things which come up in my life and they suck. But I can definitely do something to improve them. I can always choose another career path, I can try to improve the relationships in my life, I can always try to do better. I can succeed, there is a possibility for a happy ending.

Then there are things which come up and they suck. But there is nothing to do. I cannot bring loved ones back to life, I cannot fix relationships long broken and those with unwilling participants on the other side, I cannot mend what is permanently gone. There is no success in trying to change the past. A wrenching feeling of being lost, alone and completely powerless seems to then take over everything. It is a feeling only being deepened by the knowledge of finality. There is absolutely nothing you can do. These sort of changes only have one solution, they only have one healer: TIME.

You always hear that time heals everything. I never actually gave it a real thought until my dad died. For weeks and months I couldn’t take the hurt. It felt like that was all I was and I’ll never recover. His illness and death were all that ever existed and all that ever would be. I felt so alone, so desperate, so depressed. How was I ever to live like this? How does anyone live like this?

Then I heard something a friend’s grandmother once said:

“The best thing about life is that everything passes.”

I found such solace in those words for some reason. Older and elderly people posses such wisdom and I respect that immensely. I know this lady had a tough life and if that’s what she got out of her 80+ experience in life, who am I to disagree?

Sometimes life brings crappy stuff which you cannot change. Some things are finite. They’re never coming back. All you can do is slowly try to accept. You not only have to accept the thing that has happened, but also accept that you’ll need time. Those sharp edges of hurt you now feel in your stomach and heart will ebb away, I promise. They’ll never fully go away, but they will become bearable and, if you choose so, will become a valuable lesson.

I have learned to recognise the type of pain I’m in. I decide whether it’s the kind of situation I can try to change with my action or it is something finished and out of my reach. If it’s the latter, I recognise the pain, try to accept it and try to be patient with myself through the sensations. Some things are easier to cope with than others. Especially when we feel guilty or feel like there is something unresolved coming up and resurfacing. Those are the things we have to resolve. We have to resolve ourselves from the trauma. Detach from things we’ve done or have been done to us and simply let them become a story we learn from for the future. What good is an experience if you failed to learn?

I know it sucks. TIME! Of all things! When we’re in pain, we want it to go away now(!) and we wish we could just bridge the gap and let it be over with. Time is a solution both bitter and sweet. It means you’ll have to be patient when all you want to do is crawl out of your skin. But remember: it also means you have something to rely on. You can always rely on the fact that things will get easier. What you are feeling now will soften, will change and will mend. And know that the best things in life are usually always simple, but they’re not always easy. Just know they’re always worth it and here for you when you need them.

 

 

Hectic Peace

I took some time off during the weekend and went to see Rome. It was only a four day trip and half of that was mostly spent on driving. It was indeed a short, sweet little vacation and it was a reminder that my life is most certainly not the standard for … anything.

Rome really is awe-inspiring. It is so in so many ways and most of the time I spent there I was shocked by something. I was shocked by the state of their roads. I was shocked by the surprising amount of garbage by the side of those roads. And I was most definitely shocked by their amazing history and architecture. I was shocked by how they drive. I was shocked by how little fu** they give about anything. I was shocked at how many polar-opposites they live with and do so comfortably. I was shocked at how fully they seem to choose to live.

I am a person who likes to understand. I am also someone who likes structure. Rules help me with all of that and I guess that’s why I’ve come to like and respect them. I’ve been to Italy before and I saw what their driving is like, but I guess my memory mellowed it out a little. It’s probably good it did. I don’t think I could have returned otherwise. You see, rules, on which I so much rely on, seem to vanish as soon as you cross the border. As soon as we came into Italy, all I was able to be aware off is complete and utter chaos.

Rules and structure are not just something I like. They are also what helps me cope with anxiety and depression. I focus a lot on what is firm and on what I can rely on to prevent panic attacks, to help with social anxiety and to stay centred. When driving through Italy I felt the outside threads of reliability melt off and suddenly there was only fear. Those otherwise lovely people drive like complete maniacs! I couldn’t get a grasp on reality long enough to observe what the rules were and what to go by. I felt there was nothing to cling on to at moments.  Everywhere I looked there was a car, a motorbike, a cyclist, a pedestrian … going, going, going. They surpass you on your left, then someone else surpasses you on the right, someone else is honking like crazy, and another is verbally sending you off to where the Sun don’t shine. Or they send your mother there. Or both.

We walked everywhere. When I say “walked”, I mean “ran for our lives” most of the time. We ran so much it became a running joke (sorry, I had to slap that one in there).

It took a little bit of a toll on my psyche, I won’t lie. I couldn’t catch my breath, it was just go, go, go. After all this walking, running, running away from something and so on and so forth, we finally gave up and took a cab to where we were staying. It would have otherwise been a one hour walk to our place and we just simply too tired.

It was a ten minute ride. The taxi driver was a nice enough guy, in his early forties. We strapped in and laughed at what we knew was going to happen. He, of course, drove like the rest of them: like a complete lunatic. All the while he was doing that, I heard him softly speaking on his phone to someone. He drove like a maniac, but spoke like he was relaxing. Just chillin’. If I’d have seen him in his cab from the outside, I would have figured this guy’s blood-pressure was through the roof and he was on the verge of having a stroke. But no. He was as cool as a cucumber.

This got me thinking: I always internalise stuff too much. Why can’t I be more like the taxi driver … or all drivers in Italy? Why can’t I be the calm in the storm? I know it’s up to me to react and I tend to react sometimes in the most self-stabbing manner. Sure, I don’t want to cause any sort of storms and make other people’s lives harder. but I also want to be at peace when storms hit. And hit they do.

So thank you, you crazy, lovely people of Italy. You have reminded me that I can be a little hustler of hectic peace: just ride out the storm and not get caught up in it. Well done, Italy!

 

 

 

Angels Wear Fur. Part 2.

I named her Neža. She was black with spots of white on her neck and belly. She had beautiful green and yellow eyes. She was here and she was loved.

About four years ago I was working outside when a small black cat came and sat quite a far way away from me. She sat and I spoke to her. She listened, but said nothing. Then she left. She came back the next day. I spoke softly to her again. She meowed back and looked at me. I went inside to get some fish I had in the fridge. I left it open for her and she ate the whole thing. She was starving, the poor little thing. If there is something I cannot take, it’s a helpless creature hungry. I started feeding her regularly. My family was (of course) against it. But she grew on them, too.

My neighbours started feeding her as well, but she never let herself be touched. I enticed her to come closer and closer. Used all my patience and really tried to radiate love. She was so tiny, suspicious, but I sensed she wanted nothing more than to be cuddled. So I persevered. I kept on feeding her, kept on kneeling as close and as far away from her as she would allow. I got closer and closer. One day she took a treat from me directly when I extended my arm out as far as I could.  After a month or so of that, she ate directly from mu hand.

Six months later, I again fed her and stuck out mu finger to cuddle the side of her little face. She felt the touch and I thought for a second I overstepped the mark and went too far. But instead she fell into my hand as if it was relief to her.

Three years went by like that. She let me cuddle her and I gained enough trust for her to crawl into my lap in the mornings, eat and snuggle with me. We made her a little house outside and my neighbour made her shelter as well.

I wished I could keep keep her inside, but I have a terrifying little terrier who only kind of tolerated her. She chased the poor black thing and I’d be angry at her, but I didn’t really get anywhere with that particular relationship.

I called her in the mornings and I usually heard her before I saw her. She had this very specific singing meow which always made me laugh. She crawled onto my lap and purred, snuggled and massaged my legs with her sharp little claws. I didn’t care. I just wanted her t get as many cuddles from me as possible. She never wanted them to stop. And I never wanted to either.

I’ll never be able to repay her for the trust she showed me, for the love she gave and for those warm minutes and hours with her when I knew she felt safe because she was in my arms.

One day she came to the house with a bad limp. I thought she fell and that it would get better. It didn’t. We managed to get her to the vet and they said the limp was from her spine and that nothing was broken. She would never fully walk again.

In the end, my mom kept her and took care of her. She finally became an inside cat. We gave her medicine to help with inflammation and pain. Kept her loved and cuddled. But that only lasted for three months. She started to be in a lot of pain and was dragging her hind legs behind. We put her to rest just two days ago. And it was agony.

I miss her little heart so much. She taught me so much and gave an amount of love I can only hope to have repaid somehow and in some way. So I want to say thank you to the tiniest of silent teachers and a goodbye. She was loved and she will be missed. I hope there is a better place on the other side and that she’s getting plenty of cuddles from my dad and wet doggy licks form my big boy. Rest easy, my little love.

 

Change of Scenery For a Change of P(e)ace

Wow … it has been a hot minute since my last post. This little blog has always been a way for me to express myself and hopefully offer a little change of perspective for anyone who’d happen to stumble upon my writings. Writing always brought me clarity, even when all else failed.

These past few months have had a huge impact on my life and the way I see the world. My depression has taken me to new depths, my social anxiety has left me with a number of friends I could count on one hand (and chop a few fingers off at that), my self-esteem and the feeling of self-worth were lost. Sure, I’d get a little better, but then it came up again. I was in constant turmoil and battling myself and my surroundings.

One night in January, I thought I’d loose it. My marbles and my life. I managed to survive myself and the workings of my brain. One night a month later I was shown it could get worse. I couldn’t understand it. I have so much knowledge, so many tools to work with. Nothing helped. Writing was the last thing on my mind. The only thing I honestly wanted to write was my suicide letter.

But I survived. I clung to the thought of the very few that love me and I chose minute by minute to stay here and wait for the pain to be over. And it came: the silence. A minute of peace. If I could find one, I’ll surely be able to find another, right? Yes. They came. And so did my resolve and determination. I can change my life. I can be better. Depression, fear and anxiety are just signs of where I am. Nothing else, nothing more. I have so much to give and this part of my life right now is just another way of finding new depths of myself, of discovering my true power and a way to help others with my experience.

In the last few months I was also shown that I need a change of scenery. I always thought I could never live anywhere else. I look out the window to find the comfort of the trees I have known my whole life, the lines of hills which have helped shape me and a smell of  damp, deep green comfort. But now I know they have also brought me a lack of clarity, have restricted me and have suffocated me.

I am waking up to the fact that a change of scenery is not a failure. I always thought it would be for my life. Why would I want to leave this place I have known all my life? I have so desperately loved it- why would I ever want to leave? I now realise I have to. I have let myself be defined by something which grows and changes whether I like it or not. I have no control over my past. It has happened. I’d like to look at it from a different perspective. I feel I can only achieve that somewhere … not here.

I went for a walk today. I wasn’t planning on anything or actually even thinking of anything special. But something inspired me to stop. I looked up at the forest I spent my entire life observing and suddenly said goodbye. It just came out of me: I said goodbye to the scent of my broken-hearted childhood. I wished for the resentment to be blown away with a gust of wind. I asked for a dry leaf rolling about in the wind to roll away the fear and hurt of never being good enough to be loved. I finally told my trees that I’ll always love them, but I will soon have to go. I want to love my trees because I feel free to do so, not because I am helplessly clinging to a past which is long gone.

I write this as tears stream down my face. I am so afraid. Taking the steps which will ensure a future away from my hills and my forest are actually heart-breaking. I feel as though I am letting my father down. He was in love with his hills and his forest. I can still hear his voice when I sit outside. I know I will never hear it again and that makes those trees another way of missing him even more. I know in my heart he wouldn’t want me to cling to what he loved just because I miss him. His creations are not my own. I realise that now. All he’d ever want is for his children to find happiness. And so I will.

 

 

Trauma = Opportunity

Depression. Anxiety. Fear. Fear of crowds. Fear of relationships. Fear. More anxiety. Caving into it all. Failing. Giving up. Not being able to breathe. Constant self-judgement and so much pressure. Tormenting yourself about every little or big thing. It never seems to stop. And there is no one to be able to console you and tell you it will all be okay. You wouldn’t believe them even if they told you a million times. And they probably have.

Sometimes all you have is that pit. But just try to look up …

There is so much power left in you.

Do the stress, anxiety and pain overwhelm you? Do you feel like it’s all you have? Maybe it is. Sometimes that’s just the only truth we find daily for our lives. Others might find so much more, but they don’t feel what you feel and what you experience is very much your own. So if there is nothing else left, use those feelings. Use whatever it is you have to create. Create little-by-little. Let those negative things shine through whatever you like to do or enjoy doing. Try to find just a little pleasure. Do you like to write? Write a little something. Just for yourself. Do you like to craft? Make something. Even if it’s just a paper plane you then watch fly across the room. And if you think there’s absolutely nothing you’re good at: ask someone who knows you about what they think you could be good at and try that. Just don’t give up. You are good at something. You are worth trying just by being.

It’s never too late.

Yes, this shit-fest is what it feels like to be alive today, but it doesn’t have to be your tomorrow. I read somewhere this morning that if you feel like you’ve been buried, it’s only because you’ve been planted to grow into greatness. It’s a beautiful thought. And today, for me, when I got up into another day of fear, anxiety, feelings of not being good enough, feeling unwanted and betrayed, it got me up and telling the Universe that I’m still here. Still looking up, sending love and light from my little heart out to anyone who needs a little encouragement and support.

 

Pain means you’re growing. Fear means you’re risking. Tears mean it mattered. Take what hurts you and let it help you. 

(Mandy Hale)

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Master of None

It was 2014. I woke up one summer’s day and decided that enough was enough: no more mental walls, no more negativism, no more excuses. I worked hard to see myself become smarter and stronger over the next few months. The manifestation of the brand-spankin’ new me was a much lighter version of myself with nothing but optimism in the bag. I walked with confidence, I felt powerful, I felt like I had awoken from a passive dream of dread. I was happy.

The peak of all that was last summer: for the first time in my life I felt like I knew where I was going and what my purpose was and I liked the prospects of my future-self. The relationships I’ve helped build were strong and getting better and I found myself finally and for once looking forward to the future.

December came and took it all away. The tears I have yet to cry have pooled in my insides and have now flushed out all the terrors of my past.

Now, for the fist time in my life, I find myself more lost than I’ve ever been. It’s not an easy thing to admit and to put in writing. I am very-well aware of all the blessings of my life, but still feel empty a lot of the times: I’ve spend all my life taking care of others and have failed to see that I matter and I, too, can have hopes and dreams. I’ve been so busy accommodating everyone else and failing to make sure I fit into myself. I’ve shrunken my ideas to the point of little droplets with no particular form to them. I let myself be led because I have no power to speak my mind and am afraid of more people walking out of my life. I keep on asking myself: Who’s next?

I’m afraid of letting new people in because I’m afraid of seeing them leave and I’m having a tough time letting the ones I care about come closer. Closing the gates to my inner world is what I’ve done to survive. Solitude has once again become my blanket of comfort. At the same time, I don’t like it. I know I have people around me who care for my well-being, but I feel like I don’t deserve their attention and I don’t understand why anyone would want to spend time with me. So I just shut off. There’s so much I want to say, but it all gets stuck in my throat. There are emotions I’d like to express, but I feel are unworthy of reciprocation. Last week a friend asked me to name 5 positive traits of mine and all I came up with is that I’m sometimes kind. That was it, that was all I came up with. We then simply stared at each other while I had the depths of my depravity on my lap like a dirty coffee mug.

I’ve always been hard on myself as I’m sure most of us are. This harshness has helped me tear through sleepless nights, it has helped me shield myself from daggers being thrown and it has protected me from breaking down and shutting off completely. But maybe it’s time to simply allow myself to say that I’ve been through some pretty tough stuff and that maybe it’s okay not to have it all figured out all at once:

Yes. My father passed away. I walked with him as he was dying and now he’s gone. I miss him. It isn’t getting any easier, it’s getting tougher. 

Yes. I’ve had to let my fluffy, smelly ball of fur go. I still wonder if I’ve made the right decision. I miss his warm hazel eyes and the truest of all unconditional loves.

Yes. I’m re-calibrating some of the longest- standing relationships of my life. It’s hard and I am lost. The confusion here is endless.

Yes. One of the people who should, in theory, love me most, blames me for their losses and are working very to make me feel them, too. 

Yes. I have a though time with some of the new relationships in my life. I don’t know where I stand and feel I have very little control over the situation. I’m afraid of losing them and have a hard time expressing myself. 

Yes. I’m ill and have been for a while now. I’ve been taking care of myself as best as possible, but my body simply won’t cooperate. I’m tired and I’m tired of always feeling tired. 

Yes. The list does not end here. 

Maybe it’s okay to admit I need a little time to think things over and maybe it’s okay to admit that I need a damn vacation. Maybe it’s okay to let myself be taken care of sometimes. And just maybe it’s okay to let people in- even if they choose not to stay. Maybe it’s okay to sometimes say no. Maybe it’s okay to think of myself first sometimes.

But the little monster of love within me is still here and waiting, purring ever so gently. It’s a little fluffy critter who loves the world, loves jumping in puddles, loves to laugh, is silly and playful. It’s a tough little cookie and it won’t  go away no matter what. This little monster helps me get up every morning and try to be better, do better and see myself just a little clearer. I know I’ll get through this somehow: it’s a little hard to drive through life right now, but it won’t be like this forever. I’m getting stronger each day. I’m not only learning to live with just myself, but am learning to like it.

So it stands that my heart has a banner with the tag “fragile” on it.

Because of that, darling Universe, if you can see this, thread lightly over it. I’ll try to do the same.

 

1 2 3 6