February 6th, 2012
At least…my life is.
I have highs…
And then I have lows. Unfortunately for me, my lows are pretty effing low. I mean, dig down 6 feet into the ground low.
My aunt recently had a birthday party, and I was all gung-ho to help her celebrate but then when the party actually happened…
I hit one of my lows. A very, very bad low.
I think the worst part, the absolute worst part when it all hit me, was after we blew out the candles, and I hugged her, and we hugged and hugged and hugged and she just…knew. I started to cry a little right there on her shoulder and she wouldn’t let me go and I knew that…she just knew.
This was two weeks ago; I didn’t want to write about it yet because I was still dealing with it internally. Again, I am amazed at how you think you have dealt with something and put it behind you, only to have it come and SMACK you upside the head all over again. And it doesn’t hurt any less the second time. Or the third, or the fourth. It’s just the same ass-whupping.
But I have started to realize ONE very very important thing and this has been so major for me: the pain hurts, oh yes indeedy, it does. But…
The recovery…is getting faster.
Now, I don’t know that the Tech Guru would agree. He has to deal with me during the aftermath of my regressions, when I’m moping and miserable and snapping and chugging away at bottles of medicine like they’re candy. And God bless him, because… he doesn’t snap back. He doesn’t get angry. He doesn’t pull away from me and make it two of us stewing in our own pots of confusion. Really, we can’t have two people being crazy and insecure and mental up in here. That shit will NOT WORK. So I feel incredibly blessed that I have someone who gets me, who understands my freakouts and knows when to let shit ride, and when to draw me in and hug me and tell me how fucking awesome I am.
And maybe it’s in great part due to that, that the recovery is getting faster. I spiral…but I stop. I need less anxiety meds. Oh, I needed some at my aunt’s party and drove home rather high, but…overall, I feel my mental and emotional state improving.
I hesitate to even write this here, because whenever I do, whenever I make note of my progress, SOMETHING fucks up my equilibrium. A photo, a memory, a song – and I feel myself losing it again.
But although I realize that I cannot suppress my feelings, I have decided that it is just not worth it to go down that road of self-doubt and anger and pain. Anyone who makes me go down that road is not worth my emotional tribute. Anyone. And you get to the point where you realize that there are people you love dearly…but you just don’t get along, or you just don’t understand each other. I realized that about my mother in high school. Loved her to death but me and her, without anyone else in our family to act as buffers between us, was a lethal freaking combo. Then I realized in my 20s that although I love her to death…I didn’t really LIKE her very much. I know…it sounds terrible. I know. But the further and further into my adulthood I have gone, the more and more she has treated me like shit. There are people like that. You love them, but you need to let them GO before they make you insane. Because as much as you love them…your life is actually better, without them.
It can be really really hard to admit that, especially about people you love and care about very deeply. When my mother first stopped speaking to me in 2004, I was a wreck. She wrote me a terribly nasty letter that I still have, and I will never forget going to pick up Punksin from nursery school, right after receiving this toxic letter and reading it, and sitting out front in the car crying for about half an hour before I could gather my shit together to go inside. How could the woman who had given birth to me speak to me this way? What had I done to warrant such cruelty, to be told she wanted absolutely nothing to do with me?
So…I tried to pick up the pieces and move on. But it hurt like hell to feel that utter rejection, that betrayal of that bond, that loss of someone you thought would love you FOREVER. It hurt, oh yes, it hurt.
But then…sometime, several months later, it dawned on me…that now that I was no longer having the tense conversations and the misunderstandings and the walking around on eggshells, my quality of life had actually…IMPROVED.
I remember feeling guilty about admitting that to myself, that life was actually BETTER. I mean, she was my mother, for God’s sake. She was supposed to be in my life.
Now…I don’t know. Maybe she did me a favor cutting me off. It still hurts, but you know what? If she were AROUND, I wouldn’t be hurting any less. Probably more, as a matter of fact. So either way, this relationship is going to be painful for me, that’s clear. But, because I am NOT dealing with her, it hurts me only at those times when the loss seeps in once again – which is often enough, but still a lot less than if I were speaking to her weekly or daily. Eventually, with time, pain fades. We’ve all seen that.
So there’s my lesson for you, people. There may be some people you love dearly, be it family, boyfriend, best friend, whatever, about whom you realize that as much as you LOVE them, you just are… better off without them as a presence in your life. Maybe they bring too much drama. Maybe they cause YOU to bring drama and act completely unlike yourself because of how fucked up they make you feel. Or maybe you don’t bring the drama, but you keep the tension inside and it’s just festering there because you are stifling your feelings in order to keep this person happy. People that make you feel like this can be so hard to let go of because you care about them, because you love them, because you feel obligated, because they’re family, or because you feel like you don’t just walk out on someone that is so important to you.
And that’s all true. Relationships are important, and worth fostering and working on, especially familial ones. But you can’t be the only one doing the work. If you are constantly being made to feel unimportant, constantly having to swallow your thoughts and feelings, constantly putting yourself out there to make someone else feel good while they do little to reciprocate, constantly reaching out only to be rebuffed or ignored, constantly riding a roller coaster of emotions wondering IF you are loved and appreciated and respected, then at some point, you have to SAVE YOURSELF. This doesn’t mean you have to stop loving the person, or that you should start holding anger or negativity towards them, because even that will eat away at you. What it IS about, is loving yourself enough to SAVE yourself from whatever is not benefiting you or bringing you peace and happiness. No matter WHAT, or WHO, that is.
It is okay to LOVE yourself, and SAVE yourself. Sometimes you have to do the saving, and walk away. Sometimes the universe will help out and make something happen to sever the relationship and you fight it until you wake up and realize that this is actually what’s better for you. SAVE YOURSELF. SAVE YOUR HEART, SAVE YOUR SPIRIT, and SAVE YOUR LOVE for those who LOVE YOU BACK, not just in words, but in how they TREAT YOU.
Love is like show and tell: it’s not just words, but actions, that prove love. Take a long hard look at whatever relationship you are thinking about: take away whatever they’ve said about loving you, and pretend it’s a mime show. Have their ACTIONS said love? Do they DO things to show you they love you? When you try to communicate your feelings, do they respond? And how? And after all of that has been answered, how do you feel about those answers? Overall, when all is said and done, do you FEEL loved? Or ignored? Or disrespected? Or afraid? Or unsure? Or used? Or dominated? Fuck what they say to you – how does this person make you FEEL?
I have such a beautiful life. I have a husband that adores me even now, 15 years into our relationship. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been that long because he looks at me with the same love, affection and lust that I saw in his eyes 15 years ago. His eyes and his actions tell me that I am loved, that I am sexy, that I am intelligent, that I am appreciated, that I am adored. He tells me…he tells me I’m special – and he makes me believe it, that I’m special to HIM and I’m special as a person and that if other people can’t see it and appreciate it, they are crazy. He truly fucking believes this shit. (I know, he’s crazy, isn’t he?) My two sisters from another mother, God knows how much closer I have become to them these days as I have poured out my heart and frustrations, and THEY make me feel loved, listening, understanding, consoling, advising, BEING THERE. They SHOW me love. I know they love me. Today one of them said to me, “I wish you could see what other people see – that you are so strong and beautiful.” And it made me want to cry. Because I’d like to think so, not in a conceited way but I’d like to think that I am a beautiful, very loving person, but some people just take and take and give so little back that it just fucks with your head and makes you feel anything BUT strong. They sap your strength and make you wonder what is wrong with you that they can’t or won’t love you.
But only for a time, as my grandmother says – only for a time. Because that’s not fair to the people that DO love me. My husband loves me. My sisters love me. My aunt loves me. My nana loves me. My kids love me. And I am not going to let ANYONE FUCK UP THE KIND OF LOVE I CAN GIVE to these people. I demand a lot, because I GIVE a lot. But I’m only giving it to those who GIVE IT BACK, and I’m only giving my emotional energy to those who GIVE IT BACK. POSITIVELY.
This rollercoaster is a hell of a ride, let me tell you. But with each go around, I’m cowering less and less and coming back into who I used to be and who I really really AM – the crazy chick in the front seat, laughing loudly, hair flying, hands waving in the air, enjoying her life and the people in it. The one that LOVES THE PEOPLE WHO DESERVE IT, AND LOVES LIFE, LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW. The one – that feels loved. Because by some people…
she truly truly is.