Saturday, July 19, 2014

Notes Along the Journey: On Hiding, Fear, and Vulnerability

I'm trying something new. Attempting to allow my brokenness to be seen and honoured, without devolving into living out of that space where I can only see myself as "broken girl".  My heart is filled with emotions that I can't quite connect to. I see them as a swarm of bees. They might give me honey; it's more likely I'll get stung half to death.

The aftermath of my parent's visit is daunting. Between the grief and the hard realizations I don't want to get out of bed ever again. I'm a little kid who is hiding under the table, hoping someone will come find me because I don't know that I'm allowed to stop hiding. I don't know yet that I can take my own hand and leave my hiding places behind. This is so damn scary. I don't acknowledge that for myself nearly enough. Sharing myself, getting vulnerable, it's a BIG deal.

In sharing myself, in being vulnerable, I'm breaking every rule, spoken and unspoken from my growing up years. Every fear comes back to being seen, to someone finding out. Keep silent, keep still, don't draw attention to yourself because then someone might question what's going on and investigate the family.

I forget to give myself grace in this process. I forget the fear that I was born into. The many ways that fear has shaped and moulded who I am. It's been a constant drumming in my blood. Even after I left and was handed freedom. I'm still learning to live out that freedom.

And living out that freedom, it starts with connecting to that swarm of bees. Because those are MY feelings and my feelings, they matter. It matters that I'm grieving the lack of warmth and connection with my Mom. It matters that I'm angry at being required to show love to someone who has shattered me with years of abuse. It matters that I'm triggered and scared still that I will turn around and find them here still. Those feelings, they matter. They aren't pesky flies that need to be shooed away.

I want to throw myself back into day to day life, to pick up where I left off before their visit. I can't seem to do that. It's all I can do to crawl out of bed and survive through another day. It's all I can do to choose the next right thing, to take one step forward and not focus on the bathrooms that still haven't been cleaned, the piles of art journalling things all over the floor, the stacks of books that I want to read, but just haven't had the focus to settle in with, the dishes stacked and piled competing with the plants for counter-space. Because my next right thing for this moment is to give myself all the permission to sit here and write. It is enough. The other things, those will get done, but in this moment, I don't need to hide my feelings behind cleaning.


  1. Yes, sometimes we need to take time to write and process not worrying about all the chores lined up waiting to be done. They will still be there when we are finished, but we may be in a better frame of mind to tackle them. Hugs and prayers for you.

    1. Taking time to invest in my well being, it always changes how I approach the rest of my day and the people in it. It's easy to deem things that don't have measurable results as a waste of my time and limited energy, but it never fails to energize me to get the rest of the things accomplished. It's funny how that works, and how I quickly forget and need to relearn the lesson. Thanks for being here Gayl.