“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
It’s funny the things that can trigger memories and bring them to the fore.
A song. A word. An action.
Sometimes the memories are incredible. My friends and I on the beach. Sun glinting in my eyes, the smell of freshwater, the laughing, the ability to just be.
Sometimes the memories are just that – memories. A smell, a sense of déjà vu. A heartbeat skipped in a moment, breath caught up in the wind.
Sometimes, though, sometimes the memories are dark. Lost loved ones – buried six feet under, never to be seen in this life again. Harsh words. Regrets of actions not taken. An ache in the chest so deep it bears witness to the emptiness that lies within. It can be put aside, forced to lay dormant until that moment – a song comes on the radio, sudden intake of breath, burning in the eyes, memories of loss, hurt, anguish.
Why do the hurtful ones seem the strongest? What is it about anguish?
I sit here typing, Hurt on repeat. It is trapped in a loop, just as I am. I missed a step somewhere along the way. I’ve had others tell me that I need to be in the moment. I need to move on. Mindfulness, they say, is the way to let go of that ache, that stress, that hurt.
But how? How does one forget and move on? Maybe forget is the wrong word, but as awful as my short term memory is, my long term memory is strong, sometimes too strong…
I’ve let myself down. I really don’t know what I’ve become or who I am anymore. I put on a good show, I act like I know. But I don’t, and I can’t start over, I can’t keep myself from falling away. Everything feels surreal, and yet so incredibly, solidly real.
I have an adopted child with FASD who has gone downhill in recent years to the point of us losing hope.
If you know what Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is, than you know what I’m feeling right now. You know why I chose the Rowling quote and the song below.
I love my child with every fibre of my being
My heart is broken.
I no longer know how to help my child. There’s so much to their story that I wouldn’t know where to start nor would I want it aired for everyone. The nuances and complexities of the familial arrangements surrounding us all both add and reduce the turmoil.
“I wish could tie you up in my shoes Make you feel unpretty too I was told I was beautiful But what does that mean to you Look into the mirror who’s inside there The one with the long hair Same old me again today (yeah)
My outsides look cool My insides are blue Every time I think I’m through It’s because of you I’ve tried different ways But it’s all the same At the end of the day I have myself to blame I’m just trippin’
You can buy your hair if it won’t grow You can fix your nose if he says so You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make But if you can’t look inside you Find out who am I too Be in the position to make me feel so Damn unpretty (Yeah) I’ll make you feel unpretty too
Never insecure until I met you Now I’m bein’ stupid I used to be so cute to me Just a little bit skinny Why do I look to all these things To keep you happy Maybe get rid of you and then I’ll get back to me (hey)
My outsides look cool My insides are blue Every time I think I’m through It’s because of you I’ve tried different ways but it’s all the same At the end of the day I have myself to blame Believe I’m just trippin’ yeah
You can buy your hair if it won’t grow You can fix your nose if he says so You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make But if you can’t look inside you Find out who am I too Be in the position to make me feel so Damn unpretty I’ll make you feel unpretty too
I’ll make you feel unpretty
You can buy your hair if it won’t grow You can fix your nose if he says so You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make But if you can’t look inside you Find out who am I too Be in the position to make me feel so Damn unpretty
You can buy your hair if it won’t grow You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make”
-Writer/s: Francine Vicki Golde, Dennis Lambert, Dallas L. Austin, Duane S. Hitchings, Tionne Tenese Watkins. Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
It’s funny how so much external and internal ‘junk’ can make us feel. I’ve always had low self-esteem. Why did I quote the whole song? Because, after all this time, it still rings true.
I’m always telling my friends that I have a laundry list of plastic surgery I would get if I could afford to. Liposuction, tummy tuck, butt lift, breasts reduction/lift (actually, that one is more medical since I have arthritis in my back), arm and thigh tucks, get that damn turkey neck gone. Yes, that really is my list. Oh, and electrolysis so I can permanent get rid of the hair I hate.
I can in all honestly say that I don’t like myself – probably detest myself. Everyone says that in order to really love, you need to love yourself first. If that were true, I would never love anything – but it’s not. I love my children. I love my husband. I love my family, my pets, my friends. I just don’t love myself and I really can’t see how I could.
Is that sad? I don’t think so – I think it’s realistic. I’m not one who resorts to such types realism often but in this case, it is a must. My MS has in a way made it worse. My inability to lose weight, to focus, to sleep well. My inability to even go for a decent walk without needing to rest for days afterwards. My inability to do things others take for granted – it all impacts my self-image. I full and well know it is an image of my creation. No one can see me the way I do. It’s been formulated over 44 years of horrid self-talk, bullying, verbal, mental and other forms of abuse.
Have I sought therapy? Yes, many times over. I’m tired of the platitudes that truly do nothing for me. I’ve tried all the exercises, I’ve tried journalling, I’ve tried meditation, I’ve quite literally tried it all. The biggest issue – if you can’t focus all of those things are for naught.
I love this song. To me, the other person in the song is just me on the inside. It’s two sides of the same coin – feeling like you look amazing only to have those inner voices tell you how much shit you are and that you are only fooling yourself. I’m sure it was written about a person who is thinking a significant other who is abusive; but to me it’s about self-abuse, self-denigration.
I’ve stopped wearing make-up, it takes too long. I’ve stopped trying to look stylish – I feel like I look like an old bat even trying. My social life is limited and I prefer hiding in my cave (home). I try to force myself out, but I always feel like my family is embarrassed to be with me in public even when logically I know they aren’t. I never wanted to be that fat mom. I never wanted to be that stupid person. More and more that’s exactly how I feel. My friends used to tease me over my jokes as I often thought the funny ones involved puns and large words and double entendres. Now, I’m lucky if I can remember how to spell, let alone get the jokes I used to love.
I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling unpretty. I’m tired of feeling stupid. I’m tired of never being enough. I’m just tired.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher
Some days I feel like a little mouse. I wander through my day, nary disturbing a soul. Other days, I feel like a muted lion. I’m roaring, roaring so loud my ears are ringing and yet no one hears me.
When I was young, I was bullied. The bullying stopped when I changed schools, but the low self-esteem and extreme shyness didn’t.
As I grew older, I tried harder and harder to break out of that shell, but succeeded mostly in feeling worthless and acting happy. My relationships didn’t last – I was too busy doing what others thought I should do, but pretending to do ‘my thing’.
That combination of low self-esteem, losing someone I loved, and keeping up appearances landed me straight into a marriage that I didn’t really want. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? I need to clarify – I thought I was in love. I had left someone I loved dearly due to what others said I should do and fell into the arms of a man I would never have normally even looked at. He could sweat talk anyone and even though his controlling ways grew over our engagement, I thought I couldn’t say no anymore because I had already said yes and it was expected.
Years later, after we divorced (I won’t get into the details of our marriage, I have two beautiful older children who don’t deserve to read that online), I spent a few months trying to find ‘me’. I thought I knew me, but I didn’t. It was tumultuous, emotionally draining, and a hugely stressful time.
Out of that time I met my current husband. We met online playing World of Warcraft. We were friends first and foremost. I never even considered sparking anything with him until one day I asked if he was on Facebook. He was – and the rest is history.
I thought I had finally found myself with him. I love myself husband deeply. He stood by me when I was diagnosed with MS. He stood by my little family when my kids became harder and harder to cope with due to disabilities. He still stands by me and now our three children (we had one little guy together). I feel like I will never be able to tell him or express to him how much gratitude I have for him in my life.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016. Our lives never seem easy.
I thought I knew me by now. But I don’t. At 44 years old, I am roaring to myself and no one hears. I have an inner anarchist that is never let loose due to propriety. I have to work full-time, I have to be a good mother, I have to be a good wife, I have to be a good care-taker, I have to be a good worker, I have to be a good everything.
I have been eating really well, until the last two weeks. My world imploded into even more stress and I spiralled.
I feel a gaping hole inside my chest that grows and grows. I need to fix it, but fixing it means letting go of many, many things that I’m not sure I’m ready to.
I spend, and have spent, so much time making sure my children’s lives were as amazing as I could make them that I forgot to live as well. It’s the trap of the motherhood – we give and give and give until our lives have been sucked out and there is nothing left but a deep hole.
I’m not giving up though. I’m fighting it kicking and screaming. It may not look that way, but I am.
I WILL SUCCEED.
A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera – Say Something
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