Exquisitly Tender, Beautiful, Bittersweet Life

Let me preface this by saying I really do not feel like writing right now. It is eleven o’clock on Monday night, and I am tired. I am also being subjected to Doc McStuffins, when I would way rather be watching New Adventures of Old Christine,  or something else fluffy and comforting, that would overshadow the never ending babble in my head enough to lull me to sleep. But I am afraid that if I don’t write this down now, tomorrow, the feelings will be faded and I won’t be able to access the words I want to get down…and also, I am learning to push a little harder to find space and time in my life for the things I really love (writing), and to relinquish a little control, to compromise sometimes (the Doc McStuffins thing).

So, here I sit. I don’t know if you noticed or not, but I am a little erratic, a little mercurial, and perhaps wound up just a wee bit tight. If you can sense it in my writing, imagine what it might be like living with me. No, seriously, imagine it, for a minute. Actually, never mind, stop imagining it, it upsets me. I want you to like me. I can joke about it all day long, but the reality is, I am a tyrant around here. Or, as I told my sister on the phone today, it crossed my mind that I am a bully. I use noise and menace and flat out threats of physical harm to keep things in line at home, and this extends to EVERY member of the household, right down to the animals. Now, this was never my intention, of course- as a matter of fact, I didn’t even realize the terrible extent of it until the other day.

Have you ever had something happen to you that forced you to suddenly see yourself the way you actually are, rather than the version of yourself that yourself allows you to see? Like, not the you that your coworkers think you are because when YOU tell the stories of your life to them, they get the benefit of your calm, and the things that you felt that led you to react to your husband/ child/ dog the way you did…not just your banshee screams and tantrum, barely intelligible tirade, slammed door, cold, dead silence? Because this has been my routine, this has been a pretty regular thing around here-REALLY regular- and I am betting that most of the time, my people here didn’t really know WHAT the fuck was wrong with me (now), or WHY I was so pissed off all the time. I didn’t even know. I feel like I have been upset for like two years, and it would fade for a while, but never actually resolve.

The other day, I was just miserable (again) and I had that gnawing, anxious, tense knot, right dead center in my stomach. When I feel that way, I get so antsy and unsettled, and it HURTS, but not just physically. It hurts emotionally, like, my feelings are on edge and crazy, achy. I don’t know what to do with that pain, or why it is even there, so I start looking for the source, or plausible stand in. Long story short, I heaped it somewhere it didn’t belong, and I think it was nearly the last straw. I looked at this person I love, deeply, and saw for the first time the strain loving me was causing them. And it horrified me. In that one tiny little moment, my entire perspective completely shifted, and I saw all of it- how caustic and awful I have been, and how totally self absorbed. I don’t want to totally bash myself, either, because I think that is a big part of the problem- when we aren’t happy with ourselves, we find fault everywhere we look. But I understood that my behavior has been TOTALLY unacceptable. Totally.

When this happened, and my perspective changed just like that, my pain changed, also. It was still there, but the quality was different. It wasn’t a spite driven pain anymore, it was a sorrowful one. I was standing at my dresser, trying to process it all, and the self loathing and sadness were sort of duking in out, and I closed my eyes and tried to breathe, Out of nowhere, my mind began to think of every single person who loved me, one by one- I could see each person like they were in front of me, and I could feel their love for me ( I guess this was my subconscious ploy to prove to myself that I wasn’t all that bad), and it hit me that not only could I feel their energy as clearly as if they were actually there, but each of them had a totally unique feeling love. Every love from every person feels totally different. This blew my mind. Then I began to think of people that were not even alive anymore- my grandparents, friends I’ve lost…guess what? Whether they were around or not, I could feel the love they had for me. It didn’t matter what dimension they existed in- that love was forever, period. Once it was given to me, it was mine forever.

This was a comfort to me, but it got me thinking. What kind of love was I putting out for people to take? Was I giving something worth having? And what if I wasn’t loving anyone at all, not really? Like, if you know you love someone, but all of you they get is tension, resentment, frustration…then that is what you are leaving them with. If you die tomorrow, that is your legacy. It isn’t enough to just know you love people. You have to give it to them, too. You need to hand it to them willingly, and show it to them by the way you treat them, the things you say, the quality of your attention. Maybe you do this already, maybe I am just an asshole with problems. But in case you do make people try to pull a little to get some of your love or attention, in case you are an overwhelmed mom who isn’t thrilled with life and doesn’t realize she is taking it out on her kids…in case you are a human being who acts a little fucked up sometimes just know you aren’t alone. I have been out of control. I am really sad about it, but I am glad I am seeing it now, painful as it is. Because now I can change.

I have been terribly sensitive since all of this began a few days ago- the way a boo-boo always is after the hard scab comes off and exposes the shiny, pink, brand new skin beneath. But it’s a great kind of tenderness, because I can HEAR myself, and I can SEE the people all around me, and how important who I am is in a MUCH bigger picture- how important ALL of us are to each other, in a way that I really never, ever even would have guessed before. Everywhere you go, you are radiating your energy, and effecting the energy of everyone around you. The closer they are to you, the more closely tied, the more they are going to feel and be effected by you. I was hurting everyone around me, the ones I love most, worst of all.

I have made my mind up that I will be better, NO MATTER WHAT. I will start from a good place every day, and no matter how many times I falter, I will start over. I am not going to make the people I love bear my love like a weight. I want to lift them up, to lighten them. How could I not have always done this. or even understood that I needed to? I’m not sure how I didn’t understand how to love another human being, but I missed it by a mile. I have to forgive myself to move forward, but mark my words- these kids, this dude, my friends, my family- they are going to know they are loved, they are heard, they are cherished, and that they have my undivided attention. And they are going to think of me and smile…long after I am gone, they will feel the great and deep love I have for them.

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