I wasn’t even sure how to start this post because it seems to me that I write about the same things over and over. And then it seems that I confuse my writing with my thoughts because, for me, they are so closely linked. What has been smack-dab in front of my face lately is that as I heal some wounds, others open up- almost immediately- in their stead.
Two very recent examples….
The first happened just a few days ago. I was complaining to my boyfriend about something and I really just wanted to vent. He let me and then the next day he innocently asked, “Why don’t you just tell them how you feel?”. Before I even spoke, my brain came up with half a dozen reasons why I didn’t. My chest tightened and my throat closed up: a clear-cut sign that he had struck a nerve. And then I had to be honest with him and myself; I said: “I find it really hard to be vulnerable with them.”
As I said the words, I had trouble believing them. They didn’t fit with my little self-concept of being this raw, wide-open, big hearted blogger, poet, blah blah blah. But here I was, face-to-face with a challenge of being honest with someone in my life. I was fully prepared to ignore this issue and- to be honest- I’m not entirely sure that I won’t still ignore it. I’m not sure whether to address the surface issue first or the obvious hurt, pain and misguided beliefs beneath it. This is something I have to pray on.
The second happened last week as I embarked on what I thought was simply a journey of support. A friend of mine had recently confided about how much difficulty she was having dealing with strong feelings over some events that had happened in her past. She was concerned about the way she was handling the feelings- in that she wasn’t. She was quicker to anger and found herself wanting to numb most of the time. I had heard a counsellor friend of mine extol the virtues of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills and so I told her what little I knew about it and offered to go through the workbook with her as support.
When I cracked open my workbook, feeling like such a good friend and praising myself for going through this with her despite the fact that I didn’t need it, I was surprised at my own reaction upon reading the first paragraph.
I teared up.
I kept reading and a few pages later found myself checking off six of the twelve criteria that fit a person who would need this book.
Well, hot damn.
I’m on the verge of tears as I write this and that’s partly hormonal (thanks, estrogen.) and partly the result of being profoundly humbled. I am still wrestling demons from a disease five-years-healed and am coming to realize it was, perhaps, the manifestation of something with deeper roots than the ones I had seen. Perhaps bulimia was the way I handled emotions that overwhelmed me and so ceasing and healing those behaviours may not have addressed everything. There is, it seems, much that has gone unfelt.
The only thing to do now is to remember that I do not do this alone. So I bring all of it: the fear, the guilt, the projection, the shame and I offer it to that Inner Kindness Teacher whom we all carry with us. I’m trying to get to a place of feeling grateful for uncovering something unhealed that can now be brought to the light. I’ll get there.
lay down your shields.
Safe beneath the hurt,
safe above the pain.
Smile with me,
breathe with me
and allow yourself to feel.