The past couple of weeks have been quite incredible. Actually, I could say that about this past year. I have this strength, that others very close to me are confident I have always had. I can't say I ever really thought so. Looking back, I should admit that I have always been strong. In the past that strength was used where I needed it most, without me realizing. It is what made me who I am today, what saw me through many rough times. That strength was what made me stand and not crumble in the face of life's awful realities. It has always been there. I just needed to shake the crap off of it.
I constantly find myself conflicted, about who I am. At the core of that are the unpleasant things that have been said to me in my life. Harsh, sometimes hateful things no child should ever have to hear. Those words stick with you and echo in your mind. In those moments, it is hard to believe anything else to be true. Mostly because they came from a source that was supposed to be of unconditional love. I have to work very hard to shake those words and sometimes relive what was really going on to remind myself that those words should have NEVER been spoken. You would think that was enough. It's not. I am so blessed to have many around me, who think a lot of me. I am sometimes so uncomfortable with their compliments, because as each kind word pours out, the harsh echoes in my head bounce relentlessly as if I am not to forget who I really am.
The words will always be there. It is the power I struggle to take from them. Because they were delivered by someone that I sought much needed approval from, for years. I can honestly say I no longer require approval or praise from that source. I have forgiven, but my heart still hurts. That is OK. That hurt makes me a more compassionate person and sometimes, I think, really good at examining all sides of a situation. I have been told I am a great listener, I think my experience has lended to that attribute as well. Not being heard, is an awful feeling. So I forgive. Forgetting is a whole other experience. You simply cannot control what your mind recalls. I look at it as a defense mechanism; remember, so this doesn't happen again.
Now, it's not that I think there are people out to get me, or anything like that. However, I have a tendency to want to fix and shield others from hurt. In the past, I was able to help some, but I also got burned. We all do. Life's lessons, I guess. There are things about all of us that draw certain others to us. I am loyal and honest. I am compassionate. I am a hard worker that will do whatever I can to help you. I want you to be happy. I want everyone to be happy. Sometimes these traits are a huge target. I have been hit many times. And I stand up for more. I am sorry, but I am not a fool, not any more.
Don't ask me to engage in your games because you know that I "understand" what you are going through. I am not responsible for your choices. Please don't try to make me feel guilty about that. I am done taking one for the team. It was a lousy team anyhow. Understand that I do love you, because that is who I am, but I am unsure that you truly deserve my love. I will continue to give it because I cannot control my heart and I don't have it in me to be anything but loving to you. Appreciate that and be proud of me for it. Know that this has to be incredibly hard for me. Understand me. Don't come to me, even though you know I'll most likely say yes. Because I will try very hard not to. Step back, look at what is happening here and show some compassion. I am more than fair to you, please be the same to me. Stop being so selfish. Listen, as I have listened to you. With an open mind please. I no longer have the desire to engage with a closed mind. I don't care how long you have been on this earth, there is always something to learn. Stop being so critical. Walk a mile, baby...or less. Know that I am fully aware of all that you have going on (and extend the same to me/us). I am sorry for that, but it is not for me to fix. Please stop being angry with me because of it. Stop. Look. See that it hasn't been easy and there will most likely more rough spots ahead. I will do the best I can to deal with them, will you? Lastly, (know that this is hard for me to write because I am not good at self praise) LOOK AT ME! Look at all I have come through and who I am. There are many who have been through less and come out far worse. Give me some credit. Stop trying to break me down. I no longer care if it makes you feel better about yourself (the only reason I can think someone would do these things). Find something else to make you feel better about yourself. It can no longer come at my expense.
The numbness has faded. The guilt no longer works. My focus remains on my family and those truly in need of what I have to offer. I find it funny how this seems to anger some. Oh well. I guess I would be upset too, if an old reliable toy broke down after years of abuse. The difference is, I would look at it and think about why it stopped working and maybe realize had I taken better care of it...I'd still have it. Others see it as a stupid broken toy. That's their perspective.
It is a hard thing for a person like me to say, "I don't care". But, for the most part, I don't. I know that things do, will and are going to get to me. The hope is not as much as they used to.
Right now, I feel like I have lost a good ten pounds, physically. Emotionally...immeasurable!