I’d like to paint a picture…
It’s 1:00 AM and I am awake. I know that I will have to be up and conscious in about 5 hours for work. The thought of which only causes me to stress more about why I’m not asleep. I close my eyes, and imagine sleeping… 20 minutes later… nothing. Still awake.
What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just go to sleep?
My mind starts to wander. Wandering is bad. At least at this time of night. I start thinking about my life, how I got here, the choices that I have made, things that I regret. This list continues to grow. I’m rewinding my life in my head… earlier that day…last week… 2 years ago… 5 years ago….
There are parts of me that will forever stay back about 6-8 years ago, and parts that I will never get back. I have been okay with that fact. Lately, I feel that some of these demons I thought I had put to bed are slowly resurfacing. It’s almost like in the horror movies, when the eerie music starts to play, the innocent girl is watching T.V. while her killer slowly inches closer and closer behind. You want to yell at the girl, LOOK! HE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU! But you know that she can’t hear you and it won’t make a difference.
In this time frame of about 6-8 years ago, I was married and divorced (See Post divorce Appreciations blog). I’m not really sure why these demons are rearing their ugly heads but when I think about possible reasons, what pops into my head is recalling one of my ex-husband’s brutal rants, “You will always be a spoiled little Daddy’s girl and you will never find someone who will want to marry you!!“.
There’s much much more to that repetitive rant but that’s the line that stands out in my mind. Now, I understand that the words of an alcoholic and abuser should really mean as much to me as a random person off the street, but for some reason these words still ring in my head sometimes. My ex-husband told me I would never graduate college, I accomplished that and by myself, FOR myself. I may be a Daddy’s girl, but I know that I am far from spoiled. I know that. I know that someone can truly love me. I know that.
When it comes to the thought of marriage, I can truly say that since my divorce the thought had never seriously crossed my mind. Sure, I kept my own hopes up and told myself I would get married again one day, but if the subject came up with whoever I was dating, the actual thought was very exhausting or unattractive and I pretty much gave all efforts to avoid the conversation. While I was single, I imagined adopting children, because I really do want children. If I couldn’t find a suitable mate, then I would have children on my own, no problem.
Things are changing now, and the thought of marriage does not seem so exhausting… it’s exciting. I daydream about where I would get married, the kind of dress I would have, what colors I would choose. It’s almost as if something within me transformed and there’s this new vision I have for certain things. There are things I don’t want to do on my own if I know that someone is there to do them with me, as a true partner. Whether or not my current relationship works out the way I feel it is going to, I am thankful for this revelation. Some things which were black and gray are now full of life and color.
At the same time, I believe this is how my old demons are coming back to haunt me. Despite this gain in beauty for things which I viewed as dull and unsightly, I believe at the same time there are evils that I must fully deal with.
So, what now? How do you handle these feelings? These demons?
In my experiences dealing with some of these evils already, I believe that finding positive outlets for your feelings is one of the top most healthy things you can do. Everyone deals with past experiences at their pace and in their own way so ultimately you have to do what is right for yourself. Some people heavily engage in exercise, writing, painting, and any other hobbies that provide a sense of security or relief. Sometimes, that is just not enough and that is when it is good to recognize that perhaps seeking professional help as another option. I am a HUGE advocate for therapy of any kind. As a former avid ‘therapy-goer’, I believe that talking to a third party, completely unrelated to any part of your life could be an essential part to moving on completely. As I am writing this, I realize that possibly it is about time that I return back to my own regular therapy sessions. One last means of being equipped to dealing with the past is being honest with yourself about your feelings. Other people cannot tell you how to feel nor can they take your pains or anxiety away. This is hard to accept on both sides of the equation, because people who care about you want to help you and you would love for them to help you, but only you can help yourself here. The first step in confronting certain evils is to acknowledge that they are present and alive within your mind as well as your soul.
Writing has significantly helped me to get a handle on these thoughts and when they manifest into nightmares at times as well. I’d like to close and share this poem that I wrote not too long ago that helped release some of those feelings I fear were pent up.
1 in Three
1 in Three,
That’s what I’ll be,
I thought, hiding in the bathroom,
Too ashamed, too scared to face my untimely doom,
“Marriage is forever, & Divorce is a sin” they say,
But do they know when he raises a fist to punch me in the face?
As he shouts, “Shut the fuck up — you made me do this!!”
Perhaps I did, by deciding to exist.
1 in Three,
That’s all I’ll be,
I close my eyes, to run and hide and remember the song by Mary J. Blige
“No more pain…no more pain, no more pain, No more pain, No drama…”
You can say you understand but you really don’t,
Because it’s the individual shame that haunts me the most,
Looked in the mirror, what did I see?
I saw me, another 1 in Three,
Then one day, God came to me,
Showed me the strength of what I could be,
I walked out that door and took back my life,
That’s the only reason I’m standing here right now and not in the afterlife,
I’m thankful for every day I wake up and breathe,
Thankful for no longer living in such misery,
To the man who used to beat me, I pray for you too,
I pray that one day you get help and actually follow through,
I may live with many many scars,
But my heart is no longer made up of heavy, hardened, tar,
I’m finding new light, and new love,
And all the happiness I could possibly dream of,
Today I looked in the mirror, what did I see?
Na, not 1 in Three,
I saw me,
The strongest woman I could ever be. ~
Until next time…
-Master and Commander, FjB