So apparently, I’ve been avoiding some stuff. There’s been some ginormous pink polka dotted elephant has been following me everywhere that everyone could see, yet no one dare mention. My daily life has been facing all of the tasks head-on, conquering single parenthood, multitasking and juggling life with the precision of a octopus clown while singing “this is me” on key from the Greatest Showman” soundtrack, showing the world what a “strong widow” I can be. Fooled you!
Truth is this dumb ass polka dotted elephant is very apparent to me as well, but I have consciously chosen to ignore it. Because facing it, the pink elephant, known to me as my life’s troubles, has got me scared to death. Avoiding my grief and my past and the abuse I suffered as an adolescent, the stresses of my marriage and parenthood and now being single, the eating disorders, the depression and self loathing sounds so much easier. Facing it seems so daunting and exhausting it’s just easier to put on a brave face and dress up the elephant in something pretty and call it a day. However, it was starting to interfere in my everyday- so I decided to start therapy. And therapy has been torture because this nice lady has decided that I HAVE to deal with my past, I have to talk about Andre, I have to open Pandora’s box, and holy shit is there a lot in there. Years and years of smiling through the tears, accepting everyone’s judgement as truth, not sticking up for myself in order to keep the peace or out of fear of losing people has taken its toll and this box where I have been putting everything is busting at the seams- and my therapist sits across from me weekly telling me that I need to deal with it, and the sooner I do, the happier I’ll be. And she will accept nothing less. She drags out of me the anger and the tears. The resentment and the fear. She makes me face the small girl who never really felt loved as a child but like more of a burden, and god dammit it hurts like hell.
Feeling things hurts.
It hurts in a way that it takes me a few days to recover from each session. It hurts in a way that I have begun to see things in a harsh new light. It hurts because I have begun to see people for who they are as a whole and not the parts they have chosen to present to me. It hurts because I truly wanted to believe in the goodness of people and the reality is that not everyone is a good person.
Don’t get me wrong, along the way I have collected the most incredible, strong, amazingly supportive and patient people I could ask for, but I have also had to let quite a few go. I had to chose my happiness over keeping the peace, and for some people it was so out of character for me to stand up for myself that they told me how much I’ve changed or how they don’t agree with my life, and as much as I know I have to rid myself of the toxic people, it’s heartbreaking to let them go.
So, this was the hardest step for me so far- they always say the first step is the hardest and admitting that I cannot sort through almost forty years of damage on my own was a huge step for me in the journey to self love or self appreciation or whatever nonsense you want to call it. There is such an uphill battle ahead but this step will hopefully help me to begin to heal and allow me to be the parent, the friend, the employee and the partner I want to be.
So, yea, therapy. And I also started a consistent skin care regimen, so there’s that.