Journal, 6/20; The Greatest Estrangement

I transcribed this verbatim from a journal I just discovered. I wrote these two entries a little over a year before I started my blog here. I think this older writing proves I’ve gained much ground in the areas of freedom, peace, and joy. I’m still confused, but believe all will be revealed…

6/27/20

Dear God:

I have to admit I don’t understand you anymore. I used to think I did, but I totally don’t anymore. What I can’t wrap myself around is why – when I loved you so much – you’d allow me to get so broken, ruined, and hopeless.

Where WERE you? And why didn’t you step in when everything in my life fell apart [over and over and over again]?

I know I have disappointed you. That I’m stuck in a prison I partially made. But I didn’t make it entirely on my own. If anyone knows this, it’s you. But now that I’m here, you’re going to judge me when I die and say I gave up on You and didn’t use the gifts you gave me?

Let me point out: I think it was you that left me first. I’m telling you how I really feel because you can take it and I obviously can’t. I can’t “take” much of anything anymore. The only thing I feel is pain. Just pain and only pain. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I am the walking dead. No joy, no laughter, no hope, no faith, no anything. Certainly no charismatic “fruits of the spirit.” I’m dry and hollow from the inside out.

So does this mean I’m not a “real” Christian? Because it doesn’t feel like I’m one of your Chosen. Chosen by the devil for torture and suffering, maybe. But surely not chosen for “life and life abundant!”

6/30/20

I can’t get through more than 3 sentences of my letter from Saturday without feeling cowed. I’m hanging my head in shame. You are holy and sacred and righteous and true and you don’t deserve my accusations.

I guess I just really need to FEEL your love – and it seems I only feel pain. I realize I was the one who turned away [because you say it was me], but it’s getting hard to turn back. And I miss you! So very much! But I need to know the TRUE YOU and not someone’s interpretation of you. I know you say your word is all we need, but it can be vexing to read. It makes me feel that if I don’t understand parts of it, I’m not really yours.

These reformed theologians have me doubting my salvation every moment of every day. Do you still love me? Did you ever? Will you not choose me if I’m not written in your book of life? Even though you’ve always known me, would you abandon me over a technicality?

It doesn’t matter much because I can’t imagine a hell much worse than my life as it now is. I’m sure if I’m to spend eternity tortured by demons, it will be much worse, though. I’m sure I’ll be screaming in agony for all of eternity future.

The thing is: I don’t understand why you’d let anyone do that to me.

I know I’m selfish and ugly and evil, but I thought you saw my beauty? Was I wrong all this time? Or did you un-see it one day?

I’ve served you, repressed myself, lived in fear, and felt like a disappointment to you my whole life, and in response? Are you really going to allow my already-shredded soul to be ripped to shreds all over again, every day for forever?

I Was Wrong (Once)!

I need to apologize to my father because I thought there were no photos of just the two of us. There are many, but my ex-husband had them for the last 13 years.

It turns out he has had, in his possession, the only set of our wedding photos (that I paid for at the time!) for the last 13 years.

Why didn’t I badger him about them? I was just trying to get by, brothers and sisters. Those were “one foot in front of the other” days. Surely you’ve experienced those?

Also, to be fair, I somehow forgot about them. Forgot about the complete and utter existence of these photos. Or possibly even thought I had forgotten them. It happens. A 9-year-marriage full of heartache followed by a 250-mile move, 13 years of silence between us, and a bunch of new heartache will leave gaps in a person’s memory (thank goodness).

Anyway, said ex-husband was decent enough to scan and copy a set of the photos for me. I could make lots of snarky little comments here, but honestly, I’m so grateful for the photos, my “higher self” is taking over.

It makes me tear up a little to see the images of my father and me, smiling and happy that day. They actually make me miss him and the way he almost used to be.

You can’t deny he was handsome. I can’t say “he was so nice,” “he loved me so much,” or “we shared such great times.” But I can definitively say “he was a nice-looking man!”

So, maybe that’s where I got it? Only partially, if I’m honest. The photos of my Mom prove it was definitely a team effort.

I think these images also demonstrate what a “normal”, outwardly-together, seemingly-privileged person I used to be.

I don’t know whether to celebrate or not, but those days have definitely passed.

My Dad & Me
DNA all over my face
My mother and father
Bride and siblings, stepmother
The bride and her Grandaddy

Actually, I’m thankful. Now is better than Then, even though it doesn’t always feel like it. Now has to be better than Then, or else how would we keep going?

It Makes Me Mad my Bride Price has Dropped…

I get mad when people mistake self-deprecating humor and vulnerability for weakness instead strength.

What kind of insecurity places a bullseye on itself? Projection is the preferred ego defense of the “unexamined mind.”

When I make fun of myself or “tell on myself” (as some say in the South), I’m usually doing it to put my companion[s] at ease. It comes out of a desire to magnify the other; to make them feel confident about themselves. I’m an empath, and I pick up on a lot of what others are saying and showing, even if I don’t directly mention it.

Instead, I try to take what stressors I perceive they’re feeling and try to make them “un feel” them by communicating my understanding of their suffering.

I confess that I used to have to be the smartest person in the room. I wouldn’t stop until everybody knew it (or, one time at a business conference in Switzerland, until one fellow British VP thought I was a complete asshole!).

This behavior is from my striving, highly “successful” period – when my “bride price” was probably much higher than it is now.

I think I’ve finally learned, grown, and realized I prefer underpromising and overdelivering to showing off.

Sadly, despite all the work (mental, interpersonal, emotional) I had to do to get to this, my wisest and strongest place in life, I sense I’m perceived as the Chauncey Gardner/Peter Sellers character in Being There. Without the incorrect recognition of “his genius.”

So my question is this:

Am I full of bullshit, still desperately needing to be the smartest person in the room by complaining I feel misunderstood since no one realizes I’m the smartest person in the room anymore (even though I know I still clearly am)?

#isthisnarcissism?

🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

Cresting Clouds

CRESTING CLOUDS

You kept me on a heavy, tight leash my entire life.

I bear the deep scars around my neck to prove it.

Of course they healed over after I gave up,

no longer bucking against your imprisonment.

By confining me early, you confined me for life;

or at least long after you broke me.

You didn’t break me, though, did you?

I learned to venture out and live again.

I still bear the scars, but I finally escaped when you turned away.

Now I’m bouncing back high, higher, highest…

weightless to the point of cresting Heaven itself.

Any second now; I’m so close,

I can almost feel it…

For My Next Love

Is there room in my life for you?
Is there room in your life for me?
You know I don't come to you pristine, newly minted, or shiny and new.
I have felt hurt and caused hurt,
I have been broken by the random and the cruel - and by my own choices.
My body has been ravaged, charting atrocities visited on it by plague and progress.
Yet you love it - even desire it - all the same.
You don't love what I once was; you love me now, scars and all.
Of this much I am certain: where our lives intersect
There's a special space; a pocket of air, a sea of calm, a place of rest
That quickens the war-torn and restores its vigor.
You've fixed your circle on me:
Rounding out my sharp angles and smoothing the rough edges,
Like a balm against chafing.
Like sand against glass.
All without any intention of "fixing" me.
In answer to this gift, I will fight my baser self to love you back, with honor and devotion. I know myself; know this will surely be a struggle.
But I am committed to it.
And in the giving and receiving, I will be transformed into the beauty visible to your heart's eye.
Thank you. Bless you. I love you.

http://deeporshallowthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/07/for-my-new-husband.html

2014

What I’d Tell My 7-Year-Old Self

You are beautiful and worthy and perfect just as you are. Follow your heart and don’t lose your passion.
ALWAYS choose feeling over numbing, no matter how terrifying.

Don’t let your tears frighten you, Little One. They are a gift from God Himself.

These efforts will require more bravery than you can imagine or even comprehend right now.

SO LET’S MAKE A PACT:

YOU promise ME you’ll never give up, and I can promise YOU we’re going to be okay.

I’ve seen and lived our future: we survive, but it doesn’t turn out the way we planned.
I’m sorry about that.
I tried very hard, but I just wasn’t strong enough.
It’s called Failure.
Failure” happens when, as a Big Girl, you realize all of those happy, hopeful movies you made in your mind are never going to happen.
In that moment of Despair, when you notice your Dreams are slipping away,
LET THEM GO!!
Unfulfilled Dreams don’t hurt as much once you’ve learned to forget them.

Lastly, and this is what the dictionary calls a “cliché,”:

Life is SO short, Little One.

Every moment feels forever when you’re young.
Somewhere along the line, the pace picks up and Life starts playing in fast-forward.
Time attempts to escape our grasp, and we never have enough of it.
People often behave strangely when they recognize this truth.
I know us well enough by now that I can assure you we don’t deliberately treat others badly.
Instead, we’re more haunted by the risks and chances we DIDN’T take than by the poor choices we DID.

So please, I beg you:
STOP worrying about all the things you should, shouldn’t, could, couldn’t, can, can’t, will, won’t, or might do and…
JUST DO
❣️


PS. You’ll be DOing us both a huge existential favor
(try to remember to “Google” ‘existential” one day; I know you’ll find the topic interesting)

REPOST

C’mon Y’all Let’s Exorcise!

C’mon Y’all, Let’s Exercise!
Let’s Exorcise that Voice that’s in our Minds
That Voice that Loops all through our Heads
That scolds our every move and says:
You’re not enough: You Should be Dead
Well, I say: You must go Instead
I’ve sold for cheap Your words of Dread
Now Get the Hell out of my Head!!


Don’t come back and bring your friends!
Your time with Me is at an End
I’m so sick of the Words You Say
The Words that never let me Play
I’ve told you you must pack your Bags
You’ve turned into a TOTAL DRAG
I want you out; I want to Sing
I want to be Authentic Me
All I’m Asking’s to be Free
To not Feel Shame or Misery
And Show the Truest Part of Me

C’mon Y’all, Let’s Exercise!
Let’s Exorcise that Voice that’s in our Minds
That Voice that Loops all through our Heads
That scolds our every move and says:
You’re not enough: You Should be Dead
Well, I say: You must go Instead
I’ve sold for cheap Your words of Dread

Now Get the Hell out of my Head!!

We’re really done; I swear it’s true
Those words so often said by you
No longer welcome Here are They
So find another place to Stay
I hate your voice and all it wants
Go find another soul to haunt!
I want you out; I want to Sing
I want to be Authentic Me
All I’m Asking’s to be Free

To not Feel Shame or Misery
And Show the Truest Part of Me

C’mon Y’all, Let’s Exercise!
Let’s Exorcise that Voice that’s in our Minds
That Voice that Loops all through our Heads
That scolds our every move and says:
You’re not enough: You Should be Dead
Well, I say: You must go Instead
I’ve sold for cheap Your words of Dread

Now Get the Hell out of my Head!!

When the Heart-Soul Breaks

When the soul breaks, it tells us we’ve lost our missing puzzle piece – it’s human manifestation represents a unique shape – the ONLY shape which can return us to wholeness. We will reject people who don’t conform to the missing negative-electron-pull of that void into our Adult lives. This wound-activated expulsion of others doesn’t result in the relief we seek because it does so by what our brains are able to understand at the times when our heart was broken; at the young age we made those decisions. Puzzle Pattern Recognition at young ages doesn’t allow us to consider alternate shapes, other options all together. Since we’re closed off to these other mental paths and self-protective limitations, we stay trapped and enprisoned, jerked around by the terrifying cries from our inner Little Child – and trust me: she lives in you whether you believe it or not!

After a lifetime of consciously or subconsciously forcing other individuals to conform or leave, we die, lonely and alone.

If you want to avoid this fate, MY fate, you have to go back to the original wound, even if it isn’t a single traumatic experience. Expecting children to remember the specific events behind the heartbreaking emotions is unnecessary in my opinion. You know what first broke your heart. First and foremost, let me tell you I’m so very, very sorry that you suffered that way as a child. It wasn’t your fault, and it was wrong. I wish I could’ve comforted you then, and I know there are many decent adults out there who wish they could’ve as well. I’m sure if they heard your story, they would want to rush in and scoop you up, dry your tears, and listen as you told why you were sad or afraid. Afterwards, we’d try our very best to keep you safe from harm. If you were failed before, let’s try to heal it here and now.

You are loved, you are treasured, you are infinitely beautiful and huge-hearted. You are whole and perfect just as you are. You have individual worth and value. You are precious. You are a pearl beyond all price.

Surely you can understand we are not feeding an entitlement mentality if any human adult has never heard these words from another living soul. So you will have to be your own Another Living Soul.

In this role, you will be the Adult who then must unapologetically love, nurture, and re-parent Your Little Child to achieve the emotional stability you desire, require, and truly need to grow into the kind of Adult you want to be.

It may sound circular or ‘fluffy’, but it’s what is working for me. As long as you are seeking external solutions to this now-very concerning internal source of distress, you’ll never be free from the haunting of Your Little Child. You can INVITE the Guide, the Helper, the Guru, or even the Consultant to help, but you will always be the General Contractor for the job. No: make that the Owner Footing the Bill.

So spend your money well, do your research, document it, celebrate it, and don’t let Anyone or Anything deter your commitment, other than basic self-care. Remember: place the oxygen mask on Your Adult Self before you place it on Your Little Child.

The Biggest Loser

First and foremost, I’m not looking to marry you, so PLEASE get over yourself.  
All I want is one last torrid, passionate love affair before I die - or at least while I can still enjoy it.

Should we meet, I won’t be auditioning for a role; I will be interviewing you for one.

I don’t really care if you think I’m beautiful. I’ve fought in many wars and have the scars to prove it. I happen to find them beautiful and unique (p.s. why aren’t we talking about your body here?).

I don’t need your help. C’mon, Dude, I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor. Do You honestly think I need your help??

I don’t need your money, I’m fine in that department, thank you very much.

I don’t need a supervisor, but I would enjoy spending time with (one or more) fellow travelers and/or adventurers.

I don’t need your advice, though I know you love to give it. I’m actually far more resourceful than you apparently think.

I’m not looking for Someone To Take Care of Me, thank you very much. I’ve pretty much done that my entire life. Do you honestly think I abandoned my sensibilities when I met you?

I never asked you to tell me I’m “an amazing woman” while breaking up with me by text. I only asked you to tell me over the phone. Was that really such an unreasonable request?

I never asked you to fix me. I only asked you to accept me as I am.
(Oh, and I almost completely forgot about this part and had to add it later)…
We are both broken people: if we haven’t made some horrible choices by this age, then we haven’t lived at all.

I never asked you to love me. I only asked for a temporary oasis; an emotionally safe place where Little Jennifer could occasionally come out and play. Loving her is all that matters to me, because she’s been hurt enough.

Last and most importantly, I NEVER asked you to pity me! I refuse to allow another human being to turn me into a victim again. So you go right ahead and pretend like WE never happened. I’m fulfilled by being alive enough to have made such a bad impression in the first place!

Let’s Change Topics Now and Take a Little Inventory of What I DO Have to Offer:

•I’ve got my own car and my own money.
•I’ve got a bucket list of sexual fantasies I’ve yet to fulfill.
•I’ve got an entire wardrobe of fluffy, frilly, and sexy lingerie.
•I’ve got a scary high IQ
•I have no small children, adolescent children, adult children, or grandchildren.
•I’ve got a dirty mind and
•Too much time on my hands.

So in the End,
Who was the Biggest Loser?

Poem for A Hero During the Pandemic

To keep us safe, we follow rules
Like wearing masks and closing schools.
Some even force good friends apart,
But they can’t keep you from my heart!
I plan to use some words that rhyme
To cheer you in this trying time.
I’ll start by writing down a list
Of the things about you I have missed:
The things that make you so unique,
Your “adjectives” (or so to speak).
Let’s start with Feature Number One:
It’s your kindness and your com-pash-un!
Not a single soul has got you beat,
No one on earth is half as sweet.
This special trait leads to the next:
You’re very patient; rarely vexed.
You keep your cool when temps arise,
Your calm can even neutralize
Drama, chaos, much amiss
Still you don’t discount,
dismiss
Others’ feelings in such states
You simply help folks regulate
Thoughts and passions out of whack,
You settle folks with still feedback.
Let’s venture now to Number Three:
Of course it’s gener-o-sit-tee.
When this specific trait’s assessed,
You’re head and shoulders from the rest.
I have the proof to claim this fact:
You’ve always been there, had my back.
Which takes us on to Feature Four:
Your LOYALTY is much adored
By all those folks who call you “friend”,
We’ll all stay true until the end.
I’m blessed to know that I am one
Of a lucky group who You have known
The super-special man that’s YOU,
Of this I’m sure, for its quite true.
So Mr. G, heed my request:
Stay real sage and get some rest.
For once this Covid mess is through,
I’ll finally lay my eyes on You!

Sadly, Mr. Gordon Wilkinson, WW2 and Vietnam veteran, passed away in Spring of 2021. I will be sharing more about this amazing man.

Textpectations & Blocking

I’ve noticed there’s a certain type of divorced, middle-aged man who will block you as soon as you start asking bitchy and extreme questions like:

“Why are you breaking up with me by text?”

“Is something wrong?”

“Why aren’t you replying anymore?”

Are you okay?, and the ever-fatal

“Can you call me so we can discuss it?”

I’m proud to report I’ve been officially “blocked twice.”

Do I Know You?

Unlike other people on Facebook, I cannot share photos of my children and their children.

Because I could not have children.

I can only share my heart.

I write these words for the ONE PERSON who has felt my pain.

I want that ONE PERSON to know he or she is not alone.

I don’t care who I offend: my passion is for that ONE PERSON only.

That in the recognition of their pain in my expression of mine, our burdens are momentarily reduced. ❤️‍🔥

Thank you for Loving Me Not

Thank you dear Steven for loving me Not.
For if you had, I might not have met Scott.
You never did meet My Most Precious Self.
To keep her secure, she remained on the shelf.
I made the decision to follow my feelings
And found the conclusions to be quite revealing:
To start you must find a fully grown male,
Who’s brave enough to be Willing To Fail.
Someone who knows just fast Time is fading,
Someone who’s sick of damned Internet Dating!
Without any conflict, I hadn’t a clue
Whatever I did that so “unfulfilled” you.
My only regret’s that I wasted my time
On someone who‘s neither “Christian” nor kind.
So let’s end on Goodbye, but you MUST listen well:
Do take good care but then
GO FUCK YOURSELF!

Spring 2021, Edited October

Why Do Women?

Why do WOMEN:

- [ ] Spend a small fortune on cosmetics, camouflaging our natural beauty?
- [ ] Spend a large fortune on gyms, diets, and whatever undergarments are necessary so that we can tolerate looking at ourselves in the mirror?
- [ ] Get big brown caterpillars tattooed onto our eyebrows?
- [ ] Wear false eyelashes (including the magnetic type which literally burns our eyeballs?)
- [ ] Inject Botulinum Toxin into our faces to “blur” the wrinkles?
- [ ] Inject Dermal fillers to “plump back up” the natural baby fat we’ve lost in our cheeks and our lips?
- [ ] Pay for professional facials, microdermabrasion treatments, laser skin refinement, eyebrow lifts, breast implants, tummy tucks, and other forms of cosmetic enhancement?
- [ ] Spend up to $100 per month getting hair removed from the places deemed “un-hair-worthy” in 2021?
- [ ] Think we need, purchase books about, and then relentlessly execute vagina-tightening and/or vagina-loosening exercises, depending on the way we personally feel insufficient (and by aged 54, we only have two options: the droopy post-childbirth vagina and the dried-up, post-menopausal vagina: if I’ve failed to consider a third option, by all means please do let me know below).
- [ ] Suffer the indignity of the stirrups in middle age to get prescriptions for hormones we no longer produce, some of which can be very dangerous to us, in order to be “as feminine as possible”?
- [ ] Get therapy to process our issues because the last thing we ever want to do is to HURT SOMEONE ELSE?
- [ ] Immediately blame ourselves if anything goes wrong in one of our friendships or romantic relationships?
- [ ] NOT tell the whole world how smart we actually ARE? As in: all day long?
- [ ] Not say what we’re really thinking (example: “It actually scares me how much I’m dumbing myself down to be with you”)?
- [ ] Stick around in abusive, unfulfilling, unsatisfying, and/or unsupportive long-term relationships, all the while buying books like “How to Be Present for Your Partner’s Inner Child” and “How To Be Smoking Hot in The Bedroom”?
- [ ] Feel compelled to share our failures, catalogue our flaws, and admit to our shortcomings?

When MEN:

- [ ] Will gladly repeat that list of failures to us, lest we forget it,
- [ ] Won’t get therapy, and
- [ ] Won’t even consider getting a prescription for Viagra?

No wonder these new generations of women are going “Rogue Lesbian”: if you don’t have something to bring to the party, well… it’s a really boring party, okay? And I’m REALLY tired of pretending like it’s not and then blaming MYSELF for the fact that YOUR PARTY IS BORING!!

Saving One’s Own Life

Pulling oneself up and out of the downward trajectory of death requires Enjoyment, Endurance, and Effort, all of which demand copious amounts of fuel.  Sometimes this fuel is mined from deeply-buried Anger or Rebellion.  Sometimes it’s sourced from unshed tears, forsaken dreams, and hopes  long-abandoned. Sometimes it looks irrational or immature.  Sometimes it involves rash decisions later cried over.  

A person actively involved in saving her own life might engage in “risky” behaviors like falling too quickly and deeply for the most inappropriate person, only to have him reject her exactly as she always knew he would, then she goes out and dances into the wee hours, starting the whole cycle all over again the following week. Her family might begin to pray for her in earnest or worry she’s having a mental breakdown. But she knows how important the Enjoyment component of the equation is, so she must persevere (Endurance) and FORCE herself to have fun. Does she remember what it feels like to laugh? From the belly? I’m sorry to inform her, but she’s going to have to invoke her Muscle Memory Rights and practice laughing and dancing again. If she has to have someone along for the ride, she could ask family or friends, but if she can’t, she needs to make some fucking new ones! Those negative influences are partially responsible for the reason her soul is now dying! She can’t afford to be too picky - she just needs someone along for the next adventure. She doesn’t have to get into a relationship with the person and should try to keep thing as lite as possible. Oh, she didn’t? Well, so what!? It’s HER life and HER choice. I just hope she’s kind to herself when she makes these “mistakes”. For the first time in decades, little shoots of green are sprouting up on the ancient and bent branches of her very old tree, and it’s a spectacular anomaly to behold; like the once-in-300-years neon flight of a Comet set into motion during Light Years Past.


The only forces powerful enough to bring back the downward trajectory at this point are of the everyday but lethal variety. They’re the murder weapons from a nearby toolbox: overthinking, over analyzing, shame, self-loathing, embarrassment, self-second-guessing, and unhealthy regret. Notice the emphasis on “over” and “self”: she must literally get OVER herself!! As in CLIMBING over herself to get away from the words Herself is telling Her.


Here is the advice I would share with Her:

“Never forget the beautiful, trusting, innocent 7-year-old child who still lives inside you. Would you say the same corrosive, damaging, and soul-crushing things to HER that you say to yourself? Would you deliberately clip her little-girl wings, binding/blinding/ confining/ paring down/and condemning her to a Life Lived In Miniature?
Of course you wouldn’t! Instead, you’d whisper into her ear over and over and over again that she is worthy, deserving, and capable of Love, Loving, and All Things Beautiful.

	

Ruminations on Being a Young Child, Divorced by Many Adults

One of my greatest fears is that I’m so damaged at my core that I’ll never be whole or “good enough.” This sense of defect comes from very early survival-level fears of being abandoned. This all began when my parents divorced when I was a baby, and my mom, older sister and I moved across country to be near my grandparents 4 states east of where I was born and my father lived. My mother remarried when I was 3 years old (the first of my three stepfathers), and I was instructed to call my new stepfather “Daddy.” So when at 4 I was told I was going to FLY to go visit my “real daddy,” I was very confused. I only knew my mother and only caregiver had just placed me on a commercial airline jet to go see someone I didn’t know as an unaccompanied minor, told to say I was 5 (since that was the minimum age required to fly alone), and instructed to “be a good girl.” But I wasn’t because I wet my pants waiting for my real daddy to reach the gate and he didn’t know what to do with me (and I was certain he wanted to send me to someone else for “messing up.”)

What parents would leave a 4-year-old to deal with that alone in this day and age? I didn’t even ask myself that question until I was 54 years old and trying to understand my “anxious” attachment style. Because it didn’t just happen once. No, I did this every summer and at least one holiday a year. I was constantly saying goodbye to people I loved at airports… throughout the entirety of my childhood and college years.

This early pattern of being flown from one family to another resulted in a grasping panic at the moment of leaving my current parent, preceded by a increasing tension and sense of dread and sadness about the impending goodbye. These goodbyes were ALWAYS hard because I ALWAYS bonded with whichever family I was with at the time. My dream all the way through high school was that my WHOLE family had a giant palace somewhere so that we could all live together. It’s laughable now that i never thought about their lives in their separate cities – and that I actually thought they would live together, essentially, because of ME. As if the concept of ME ever kept my parents under the same roof!

But I don’t want to go down my “rabbit hole” here. I want to think of all of the benefits I’ve received from being born to my parents when I was, where I was, and having the childhood and upbringing I had. It’s in my ENFP optimistic nature to have to find the sweet in the bitter, so these are the BENEFITS I believe I received from my chaotic formative years:

1. I was born as a sensitive child to begin with (not a ‘HSC’ highly sensitive child, just more sensitive than most). I realize if this trait had been absent, I probably wouldn’t have imprinted everything so deeply and suffered so much pain. Yet I would never change this part of me. Why? It’s ESSENTIAL to my personhood, wrapped around the double-helixes of my emotional DNA. I can’t imagine being me without my more heightened emotional responses to the stimuli of life.

2. That grabbing, clutching fear when leaving each parent at the airport is a major driver of my fear of abandonment machine that I have allowed to drive all OVER my adult life! And I think the reason I get that panicky and UNBEARABLE ‘what did I do wrong NOW?’ feeling when a relationship goes South is rooted in this SPECIFIC childhood trauma. It’s always ugly when it rears its head, and it always leads to the opposite outcome (push away) of what I intended in the moment (please draw near). I throw out these angry-seeming or equally gushing words in my begs for reassurance, and I’ve got the cringe-worthy texts to prove it. But the goal here is to look at what benefit, if any, I experienced from these traumatic experiences. And the main one that was fed by these in particular is my RESILIENCE; my survivability. I was always terrified that my heart would literally explode with anguish each and every time I said goodbye to my parents at an airport gate. I could never stop the tears as I boarded that long walkway to the plane. I remember one flight where I actually cried until halfway through the flight, but that was the exception rather than the rule. Usually I was no longer crying by the time I reached the cockpit, and each flight I completed proved I could survive the separation from my caregivers. I had to experience the pain of the separation in the moment; and in that moment, walk away anyway. Such bravery was expected from this scared cryer of a little girl who WAS and IS great big strong me! And just look at what a force I am now, people!

3. This is really a re-statement of #2, but here goes anyway: I learned at a very young age to adapt to my surroundings in order to survive. I believe this is why I’m still here – if not yet fully thriving, I’m at least energetically growing, learning, and becoming a better version of myself every day. And that’s not nothing!

July 30, 2021