We all have our “story” and our beliefs. What we know to be true about who we are and what we are…a story that is crafted and honed to solid and held to with fierce determination at times as truth. But what happens when the story we have always carried with us, the story that has shaped our actions and continues to is faulty? What do you do when you realize that you’re not happy and you’re not able to enact the changes you know you want to and need to in order to facilitate a healthy direction in your life? What do you do when you come to the truth that the only thing that is stopping you is your “story”?
I have spent my whole life taking emotions and feelings and controlling them. Making them go away or be muted so that I can function and be strong and do what I need to do. Starting with a temper that I was told I had to learn how to control in my early teens. A well-meaning discussion that set the groundwork for me. The rage inside me that was from something else… untouched and even unacknowledged… it came up as an uncontrollable temper in my pre-teens and continued to get worse as I got older. By the time I was 13 or 14 I had kicked holes in walls, bitten through pillows and destroyed more belongings in my fits than I wanted to think about. Always followed by remorse and hating myself for what I had done. Regret, So when I was told I had to get it under control I did just that. I would seethe and pace and see red but I wouldn’t lash out physically or verbally. It took a while but I learned to control it. I still felt it but I didn’t express it.
So it began. The rage turned inwards. I became anorexic, then bulimic when I realized that starving myself might actually kill me. My Dad passed away when I was 14. I had to be strong and supportive for my Mom. So I was. My relationship with her fell apart and I moved out at 15. I needed to be self-reliant. So I was. The years passed and I went from a sloppy teenager to a married woman with an almost compulsive organizational streak. Sexually assaulted shortly into my first marriage I took that experience and pushed it down. I wasn’t going to be someone who was changed or “damaged” by that… It wouldn’t affect me. So it didn’t. Outwardly.
Highly structured and detail oriented. List making, budgeting and meal planning to perfection. I did it all… worked around my husbands schedule, made all the meals at home, baking from scratch…always “yes” to every volunteer request at school. PAC president, hot lunch coordinator, scout leader, walking school bus and crossing guard – you name it, I was involved. Single parenting through most of it. People asked me how I did it all and made it look so easy. My answer was always the same “I just do – I love it”. And I did. My boys were, and are, my driving force and my greatest joy. I loved it all.
Every now and then through cracks would appear. Nights of tears that wouldn’t stop. Old behaviours that would rear up and I would have to struggle to control again. Eating habits always barely held in check. Compulsive exercising to try to achieve a body that I wouldn’t despise in the mirror.
Two marriages down. The constant in my life always being that my boys were my life to me. Oddly enough, I didn’t strive to control them ever. Instead, wanting to instill and impart in them a strength and a self-reliance so that I would know they would be ok. Raising them to question and ask and not just accept norms at face value. I wanted them to be independent of me and to even question my directions and guidance for them.
Then losing Willie.
My “story” that I am strong enough to get through anything, that I am in control of my emotions and that I can deal with it is shattered.
The walls of my house of cards, held together by sheer will that I want them there tumble.
As the months flit past the structure of my life unravels
Leaving only the foundation I started with – me.
Bare and raw and flawed.
The foundation that my life and my beliefs have been built on is cracked and unstable.
Now open to be seen. My “story” laid before me to see finally. The base belief that has shaped my actions and the story that I have lived with my whole life apparent to me. A consciousness that in order to move forward, this is what needs to be processed and what needs to be examined.
Awareness that the groundwork needs to be done to ensure that as I rebuild, it’s with a core that’s strong and whole and healthy.
The rest of my life to be lived without boundaries. Undefined by limitations place by myself or others.
I am not my story. I am simply….Me.