Memories confirmed, a night of sleep and quietly processing and a year ago today, I woke with a choice to make. One choice I had already done before, ignore it. This choice was a good option as I could still keep it within and it wouldn't have to be talked about and most of all it wouldn't hurt others. I knew instantly that this was no longer an option. I had spent most of my life in an effort to protect others feelings hurting myself (and them) and for the first time... I consciously chose me. I chose my feelings, my thoughts, my hurts, my pains. I chose the path that in the past, I wasn't ready for...I chose to walk through the door.
I have to admit, I really thought that what I had to do was remember every detail of the events, how many times, how did I keep quiet. I didn't care though, the door opened and I knew deep down that there was freedom on the other side. I didn't know what it would look like, how far the distance was going to be--the only thing I knew is that it opened and I was going THROUGH it. No more around, under, above... straight into it and whatever it offered me.
To be honest, it would have been easier to deal with what I thought it was going to be like, because had I realized what it was really going to be--I probably would have run to my bed, covered my head and once again worked to escape the reality. There were times this past year, that the pain was so great that I did have to retreat to my bed and cover my head. There were times that breaking down the walls and removing the rubble brought the most gut wrenching pain that caused me to want to give up, turn around, run back out the door, shut it, lock it, padlock it and never open it again. There were times that in my opinion, I had been in this hallway too long, the pain was too great, people were not happy with my choices, and thought, "I am done walking, forget it, it is not worth it! I will stay right here and be happy... right in the middle of the self-destruction and freedom."
When those times came, so did someone (through a call, text, visit, or social media) to offer a word, laughter, a compliment, a hand or a reminder of who I was and often times without them even knowing it, they caused me to continue to walk through it. When I was weakest they gave me the strength and courage so that I could endure the battle within myself a little longer and experience another victory of overcoming some type of my self-destructive behavior.
You would probably be surprised and laugh just as I have been at what I truly had to learn. Some you can figure, but here are some examples of my giants that I had to face this past year.
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Now that I was becoming in touch with me, I couldn't believe the things about myself that I was so uncertain about--downright clueless. I have had a great ability to understand others, yet I had no ability to understand myself. There were so many things that my mind trained me to believe and do to keep "safe" all the while disconnecting me from my soul. My soul was sick and on top of it, it had finally become sick and tired of being sick.
Ignoring led to forgetting which was the way I coped to keep me "safe" or so I thought for many years. The truth, it kept me a victim to the world around me. By learning to ignore, I allowed myself to continue to be abused in many different ways, by many different people, throughout many different experiences, over many, many years. Ignoring allowed me not to confront or stand up for myself which I liked but along the way, I lost my soul, my GPS system, my connection and easily put,--I lost ME. It worked for many years (or so I thought) and through a lot of pain, I always managed to ignore those hurting me and find happiness. I was happy, maybe not to someone else's standard, but I was the happiest I could be at those times.
Just two days before remembering, thanks to conversations with a friend, I had accepted that being an author was the next step in my life. It was a hard thing for me to accept, as I saw no "value" in being a writer. I was certain that people would laugh at me, I didn't know what they would think of me. You see, I write about my life, the good, the bad and the ugly. I have always shared one on one or in groups, but exposing this to paper for anyone to read that was a new level of exposure. I was now going to boldly proclaim and sign my name to it. Not to mention my high school English teacher had let me know with each "D" she placed on my paper in red ink, that I was not good enough to do this. However, the fear of not doing it had become greater than the fear of doing it.
Just three days before remembering, I finally looked in the mirror and was proud of the girl looking back at me. I was so proud of her that I have dated her for the past year--I cared about what she liked, how she felt, what she thought, what she wanted, her dreams, her goals--and along the way I fell in love with her--her mistakes, her accomplishments, her weaknesses, and her strengths. The awesome part, along the way I fell in deeper love and understanding with the people in the world around me.
I have started working a little more, accepting another step and today I woke with a choice to ignore or walk.
Once again, I am choosing to walk so it is with great pleasure to announce that not only will I continue to write and share as I have in the past, but I am ready to begin to share boldly and passionately every bit of me for every voiceless victim to move toward the life of a voiced survivor.
"Seek the good in every person and every situation.
Enjoy the beauty of what grows."