Posts Tagged With: self healing

grief is a dick punch

My mom’s been gone ten years this week.
I have more feels about this than I’d like.
It’s simpler to just kind of know intrinsically that she’s dead and not really think about it. Because when I do think about it, I mostly feel anger.
Ten years later and I’m still so fucking angry!
I’m angry she was sick and kept the secret. I’m angry at her for choosing to die.

Seventeen days between finding out she was sick to finding out she was dead.
Like, why am I surprised she was selfish? Why am I surprised she kept her declining health a secret? She was nothing but secrets.
Knowing she was who she was doesn’t make the anger any less.

I’m angry I barely got to see her.
I’m angry I had to rush to say goodbye.
I’m angry that helping her ridiculous husband manage his grief kept me from helping my daughters manage their grief.
I’m angry that my grief is more anger than anything.

I’ve worked through so many things in therapy.
Cleary this is not one of them…

TBPH though, most days I’m just a girl with no parents. And I’m OK with that. My anger spends the majority of my life taking a nap. But when it wakes, we just kind of fuel each other and feed off each other and I simply cannot believe things she said and did are still manipulating me. (Perhaps it’s that I’m letting them manipulate me…?)
Either way, I’m not feeling love for her. I’m not feeling sad she’s gone. I’m not nostalgic about her.
I’m feeling really fucking mad.

Feeling all this anger can’t possibly be good for me.
But I’m over here up to my ass in it.

My logical brain understands I need to let it go. (y’all hear Elsa too, right?) Send that anger on it’s way. Even if it’s replaced with nothing, that’s most likely better for me. To feel anything instead of anger, I’m here for it.
My feelings place understands I don’t feel that anger the majority of my life. That it flares up when I do stop to think about my mother’s death.

Our relationship, her life, neither of those had to end the way they did.
Her mom died suddenly when she was only twenty three years old.
My mom chose to die in secret and I found out suddenly when I was forty years old.
She knew what that was like. To lose her mom without warning. Why would she do that to her own daughter?
I don’t understand that kind of selfishness.
She was controlling the situation (and us in it) even as she was dying.
Talk about needing to let it go.
Just fucking be real with your children. We’re adults. We can handle it.

That’s not who she was.
She was a tyrannical dictator who ran her world with an iron fist.
She wasn’t about to give that up at the end of her life.

How disappointing.
She could have done it differently and we all could have felt our feels as we went.
Of course she wasn’t interested in us feeling our feels. To be fair, she wasn’t interested in feeling her own feels either.
It just occurred to me that she’d probably enjoy that I’m angry about her death.
That’s nearly enough to make me choose to never be angry about it again. Why in the fuck would I give her the posthumous satisfaction?

Interestingly enough, simply writing about it helped me feel less angry. (must journal more frequently)
I’m an orphan in this world. An adult child of deceased parents.
Most days I’m cool with it. I adapted. This is my life now.
But the anniversary of my mom’s death got me thinking.
And feeling.
That anger didn’t bubble up in a manageable way, it erupted like a volcano and I was simultaneously burning and drowning in the lava flow.
Somehow I survived and the lava is cooling.
I find myself wondering if this anger volcano can move from dormant to extinct.
I mean, time and work-of-self moved it from active to dormant…so that’s moving in the right direction, yeah?

I don’t know.
I can’t help but wonder if feeling angry is better than feeling unloved.

Grief is weird.
Sometimes it’s just a normal state of being.
Sometimes it’s a straight up dick punch.
I’m choosing to move back into ‘normal state of being’, this ‘dick punch anger’ is painful and exhausting.

That’s what life’s about though, right?
The choices we make.
I choose to feel my feels.
I choose to figure out how to process those feels.
I choose to acknowledge, accept-don’t-judge, and release those feels.

I do think it’s OK that I’m angry about the way my mom died.
I don’t think I need to let it consume me.
Look at me, over here growing.
Huzzah!

Categories: death | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

feeling hopeful with Plato

Last week I read about someone’s journey as they do the work of self. I read about how they faltered, how the work is so much harder when the pain becomes so great they need to escape it. Oftentimes that involves crawling to the bottom of a bottle.
This got me thinking…
The pain is so great that stopping seems the only answer. The problem there is the constant stopping and starting again only serves the cycle of pain, and actually makes it worse.
By stopping the hard work of self when it becomes difficult or painful, it becomes even harder to begin again each time.
I believe working through the pain when it seems most difficult and unbearable is better for you. The only way out is through. And when you come out the other side, the pain is less acute, and you find it easier to breathe for a while.

I think it can be something as simple as learning yourself. Knowing your triggers. Knowing that at some point you’re going to feel so much pain you simply cannot go on. What you do then is how successful you’ll be on that journey.

Knowing oneself can be the most powerful tool in one’s bag
I do believe it’s as simple as that.
To know who you are.
To know why you are.
To be able to look at your choices and realize why you made them.
So many people can’t actually do that!
You’re where you are because of every single choice you’ve ever made. Sometimes choices are unconsciously made. We often ‘autopilot’ through our days.

What seems normal to you isn’t to someone who didn’t live your experiences. Those normal-seeming things create the way you view life, the way you move through life. How you treat others, how you permit others to treat you.
If your upbringing is skewed, your idea of normal is equally skewed.
Therefore, you behave, and accept others behavior based upon these norms.
Sometimes it isn’t until you have some life under your belt that you learn to see things from all perspectives…and then you realize your sense of normal is not, in fact, normal.

For some that happens sooner in life, for some later.
Working out those kinks is a tricky situation. And you’re bound to falter occasionally.
Figuring out who you actually are, who you want to be, and how to do that without taking into account all that seemingly normal…
You’re on a dark and difficult path. You’re going to fall. You’re going to get the shit kicked out of you, even if you’re actually kicking the shit out of yourself.
But, there is precious learning in this journey. And when you decide who you are based upon your own truth, and work to become that with every fiber of your being, it will be so worth it.

At least that’s my experience.
I’m on that journey, perhaps I’m further along than some, less than others. Perhaps I realized sooner, or later, or through different pain, that the seemingly normal was not at all right.
I’ve fought tooth and nail to get where I am in my own personal development. I’ve faltered. I’ve fallen. I’ve temporarily given up. But I get back up dust myself off and keep working.

The me I am now is nothing like the me they taught me to be.
I am the gift I gave myself.
The most sacred and precious gift of my life.

It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done.
And I cried.
And I bled.
And I completely shut down.
I had moments when it didn’t feel worth it, or I didn’t have any fight left in me.
But each time I got back up.

That spark of truth in me was too strong to extinguish with my ennui, or defeatist attitude, or simple exhaustion.
I’m not finished with that work, it just comes a little bit easier now than when I first started.
I may never be finished. I may do this work the rest of my days.
I owe that to myself.
I want to be the truest me. I want to share that me with the world.
I will work to be the truest me until the last breath leaves this body.
That sounds exhausting, but it also sounds hopeful.

Categories: mental health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

the power of forgiveness

As far as I can tell, this holds true for each and every one of us.
It’s easy to want to rid yourself of the ‘bad things’. It’s actually rather simple to begin the process. But what happens when you just destroy your monsters without really examining them? I agree with Erin. I think you have to really understand your monsters before you can kick them in the ass. With examination comes the ability to truly understand. Understand not only your monsters, but yourself.
Knowing and understanding oneself is a pretty scary concept. I think that’s why it’s simpler to choose to destroy that which we don’t like about our selves. Destroying those monsters (or demons, or whatever you like to call them) is freeing! We’re so strong! To rid yourself of the absolute worst bits is a truly empowering experience.
But it’s fleeting, y’all.

Let’s be real, the majority of the monsters inside you originated externally. They were formed in childhood, they exist as part of your belief system. But at some point these monsters are nourished by you. You’ve grown accustomed to them. Sometimes so much so that your belief system becomes dependent upon them.
The most elaborately designed catch 22 in the history of all catch 22s. You and the monsters are trapped together, woven into one curious being because of mutually conflicting and dependent conditions.

Once (most of us) realize we’re dependent upon these monsters that conflict with our concept of self our simplest solution is to rid ourselves of our monsters for good.
Destroying your monsters without accepting and releasing them leads to more chaos down the road. To know the monsters, to really know them is hard and scary work. Most folks aren’t brave enough to tackle that.
Here’s whats tricky. That bravery is really reactivity in disguise.
As humans, we tend to be reactive.
What we need to be is mindful.
I get it, y’all! It really does feel brave to destroy those monsters. But going about it all willy-nilly, slashing and stabbing and standing over your (seemingly) dead monsters is a delusion!
They’re not really gone.
Sure, you may feel victorious, bathing in their heart’s blood as empowered as you’ve ever been, but I promise you they’ll be back. It may seem different versions, but it’s the same old monsters dressed up all shiny and new. And because they exist based on rigid belief systems they come back stronger and meaner than before. This fight will never end.

This is where being mindful comes in.
Until you understand and make peace with your monsters, you’re destined to lather, rinse and repeat for your entire life. (And after bathing in heart’s blood, you better be washing that gore right out of your hair!)

The monsters don’t function from their own cognition. They function from the oldest patterns. The monsters aren’t actively malevolent. They’re just doing what they’ve always done. What they were trained to do by others before we learned to take over that job.
Destroying your monsters will ultimately destroy the precious me inside you.
We cannot truly embrace the me inside us unless and until we accept and understand our monsters.
It’s the most difficult work you’ll ever do.
That is what makes one brave.
It’s easy to slay dragons (monsters)! That’s just a bit of blood, sweat and tears with a sharp blade at the end.

But to examine those monsters, to do the hard work to understand their very existence, that is real bravery. By being mindful and doing the most difficult work, we can accept and release our monsters.
Forgiveness is harder than slaying.
The monsters didn’t create themselves. They simply exist.
We must forgive those who may have created the monsters in the first place. We must forgive that part of ourselves that fostered the monsters growth.

The most precious part of who I am is that me. By learning to embrace and celebrate that me, I was able to understand and accept my monsters. I work each day to forgive them, even though it’s not their fault.
I promise you, I’m a better me for it.
A better human for it.

My bravest moments are ones of forgiveness. (even though I didn’t feel particularly brave)
Yours can be too.

Stop looking outward. Stop pointing fingers and laying blame. Stop picking up your sword.
Forgive your monsters and set them free. They’re just as much prisoners of the belief system as you are.
Forgive yourself and accept that your me wouldn’t exist without your monsters.
Embrace and celebrate the me.
Be the me inside you with grace and humility, and as much love as humanly possible.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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