i’m feeling weirdly grateful as i sit in a coffee shop playing hooky from life.
i don’t want to be at home planning my holiday dinner to make everyone else feel as if we have all met some crazy criteria and checked off some box of “there, that’s done”. its not making me feel good at all and am wondering why do i’m doing this to myself. i have to stop the planning that is making me feel crazy and get in touch with what is making me feel mean instead of just saying no, this is not what i want. there are so many layers of issues here and i must go somewhere to sort them out, so here i am figuring out what hurts before i can find gratitude. and to top it off, i don’t feel eloquent. i’m not inspirational right now and my essence isn’t shining through. the words aren’t really flowing, they feel stuck in my throat and i want to cry.
first and foremost, i miss my daughter. i haven’t completely adjusted to not having her in my life, she is forever angry at me and even if she shows up to the holiday gathering, it won’t be like she is really there in spirit or with love. that is the part that i miss. the sweet little girl who drew cards for me for my birthday and shopped for my christmas gift on the sly, the tiniest of gestures that i recall as monumental. slowly rotating that thought, i’m grateful to have the most wonderful of daughters and for the moment of balance where i surround her with love during her time of confusion and questioning. a huge gift for the both of us.
second to that, i miss my family. not my husband’s family but mine. my tribe, the ones who have the same blood running through their veins. i appreciate and am grateful to my husband’s family. they have provided me with a security and a comfort that i have never known. their longstanding history of stability and enough money has benefitted me greatly and for the most part, that is where i want to be. but sometimes, i want my own people. even though i know that they aren’t good for me, that most of them are in a seriously amount of denial about the incidents of abuse in our family and even though that i have to look hard to find anything in common with them. many of my family are smart and have bright, sharp minds and wit. but what they do with their god given talents is where the true sadness of the story lies. they can’t see their gifts, they can’t love themselves enough to stop perpetuating the cycle of isolation and ignorance that was handed to us. i was the one who got angry and got out of there and not only handed that cycle back, i threw it at their faces and shot it from a gun aimed directly at their hearts. so, i’m grateful for my family that i grew up with and the ability to know what is good for me. kind of the serenity prayer of the wisdom to know the difference.
next, i miss my tribe of women, the alice’s of my life. marianne and i were ruminating over this last night on the phone about how life changes and moves forward and we lose some friends/husbands/lovers/children, hold onto some and gain some new ones. a bittersweet movement that we have become accustomed to its comings and goings, noting that it doesn’t sting like it used to. the first time i experienced that kind of rejection, betrayal, loss, it knocked me to my knees, i couldn’t breathe for weeks and felt my legs were made of jello. i didn’t know what to do with that crazy amount of hurt, it suffocated me.
but now, i’ve weathered divorce, parental deaths, injury, loss of health, recovered memories of abuse and a daughter who finds me intolerable and while this all sucks big time and often sends me the bed to pull the covers up over my head, it doesn’t suffocate me any longer. i can breathe, not great, not strong or not deeply, but i still function. for that i am weirdly grateful. now i know the difference between regular-i’m-human kind of hurt and trauma that cripples and maims because i’ve survived it.
so i sit here and force myself to write about feelings. it helps to know that one of my heroes, Martha Beck, isn’t a party person either. her post today reveals something i would have never suspected about such an successful and together woman as herself; she struggles with social anxiety. wow. i would never in a million years judge her as less than because of this, yet continue to judge myself for needing solitude at this time in my life.
can i be grateful just to have learned this for today and begin to start knowing myself well enough to accept this? can i be grateful for the courage to write my words while stammering and awkward?