Today’s post is for those who are suffering; doubting their worthiness. Nothing like special occasions to revive the myth that we, the unlovable, must hustle for our worth- that there are pre-requisites for unconditional belonging and nurturing love. There are those among us who understand and embrace our responsibility to share our experience and courage to Change the Things We Can.
Holidays, birthdays, and my wedding too, were times of dread, anxiety, and despair, and of course shame for not being a more happy and light-hearted and good person. “What is her problem?” “Why does she have to ruin everything? Why must she be impossible?” “Why cant she just smile for the picture?” Un-ironically(Is that even a word?), I knowingly entered into a marriage equally nurturing, mirroring that dynamic, which for the first 32 years of my life, made me long for death. Call me dramatic, whatever. This is my story.
Looking back, I see that I was ill for most occasions. Vomiting has always been my natural and given response to stress and an immense source of relief for me. My body knows the truth–keeps the score.
I amuse myself and others by sharing how my mother, with a glimpse of nausea, in her second cycle of chemo reported, “I can count on one hand, the number of times I have vomited in my life”. Laughing I responded, “I can count on one hand, the number of times I vomited since breakfast”. We differ at a cellular level. To say that we do not relate, is an understatement.
After my recent and open crucification, for my direct request to face our issues, I am condemned for now refusing to assume my rightful place— on cue. Recent words and behaviors have confirmed what my lil body and mind knew from an early age. I am not accepted. It is ok to be cruel to me, who burdens you with things too inconvenient to understand. I am grateful for the clarity provided by overtly diminishing behaviors.
Today’s Thanksgiving is a gathering of belonging and connection, terms which are mutually agreeable. WE are together(not just in the same location–but together) my darleeeeng boyfriend, his son and my boys. This is not my first choice reality, but it is a great choice and a great reality!
“Blood is thicker than water??” But blood does not justify or resolve the affects of untreated addiction and mental illness. Today, I know that we are each worthy of love and connection…no matter what. Life is too short and too difficult to spend time with anyone suggesting otherwise. Special Occasions Together/sharing proximity,food, and photo opps no longer serve as a place-holder for loving connection. We will never have more than we are willing to settle for. If for no other reason, I do this for my children. I model connection and kindness and self preservation.
PS—A girl dropped from the bridge yesterday into traffic. The only thing, I can know for certain, that separates me from her- is that I never did it. Sometimes when people are left with no sense of connection or a single loyal ally, death seems better than the pain of living. I totally get that. I ache for the girl, for her family, for the person whose car she landed on, and for those who suffer in silence, shame, and solitude. The efforts to diminish and silence those in pain is unacceptable to me. I can never pay back the nurturing and love of those who have sustained me…I will pay it forward. Sharing difficult truths is paying it forward and 100% BadAss!Much Love,
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9 Replies to “Thanksgiving Thoughts for Those Contemplating No Contact”
Amen. Changing conditioned patterns takes time and we may indeed experience a change in this reaction patterns that allow us to ” match calamity with serenity.” My program has restored my peace of mind, given me purpose and the opportunity to be of service to God and others.
“Spend time with the right people”? That quote came from over to the right and a little below. I’d say, spend time with the people you love. I am spending time with my daughter today, as on most days. I’d like to be spending time with some other relatives, too, but decided it would be too much – of everything. My dogs will substitute for them.
It took ever so long to get to the place where I’d rather have less than too much – or ANY – of bad things and people around me. Going to someone’s house for a holiday used to cause such stress, fears of – what if he makes me so mad I start screaming? What if he up and leaves and goes out to get drunk? Some kind person will take me and the kids home, and everyone will FEEL SORRY for me!
Kate reminded me last night of some of the fights he and I got into – they were incessant. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I’d forgotten smashing a telephone to smithereens. Those babies were tough, too. And I wouldn’t replace it. The poor kids had to use all sorts of clever ploys to get it to function at all. POOR KIDS. Yes, my poor kids.
Way too much, huh? So I’ll stop now. Be happy, don’t worry, be thankful…
You are a total badass always sharing with so much courage and humility of all the ways the holidays can be difficult and all the behaviors and feelings that aren’t great for sharing for photographing but essential for healing and connection from the madness. I love you! Please keep sharing with me. It means the world to me!
Leigh, Thank you for showing up and blessing my choice. As you know, it is not without grief that I move through this. With faith I have chosen serenity and service to the God of My Understanding. I am grateful that I no longer try to serve and worship those whose words and behaviors toward me are diminishing. Those who love me authentically will naturally want better for my precious children and their mother.
Love is always the answer. I just doesn’t always look the way we think it will.
Service always brings relief! I just have to make sure I am bing of service only with a glad-heart, and to those in need.
Thank you for putting untreated mental illness & addiction together!
I see it over and over as a contributor to the sadness and confusion of others. Living with someone who is affected by it, but not knowing it makes us feel broken and crazy…and makes people want to drop from bridges into traffic because that makes more sense than the behaviors of the untreated, especially when they are in charge of us. Raising us, teaching us our place in the world. So much unlearning to do—it is the only way to recover.
Thank you for stopping by and connecting!
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