I don’t remember when I stopped talking or if I just never did ever talk to anyone about how I felt. The kind of sharing that everyone else seems to do so easily and used to make me physically uncomfortable. I think I learned way too young how much people I trusted could hurt me and after we learn that one we seem to have a hard time learning to avoid more people who will hurt us, like it gets to be “normal” and we do not know how to expect or hope for anything different?
I feel fortunate in that I did have a handful of people I could be as close as I knew how to be with, who are remarkably good people. I failed to appreciate them at the time of course. Mostly I chose not to participate with people for as long as I can remember. I read far more than anyone I ever knew and that would be a form of escape. I actually walked around school reading.
I always related to animals. They are honest maybe because they do not have words to use to hide behind? Except our cockatoo Syd does have some words and she cannot seem to use them to lie. She can withold words as in when I ask if she knows where my coffee cup is and she does not answer, though she DOES know because it is funny for her to see me look for it. Or that time I asked her if I had food on my face and she said no words but gave me a little half-rise of her feather crest like kind of yes and made me go look. And then she laughed and laughed but that is not a lie like I mean here. That is a cockatoo joke. Animals do not pretend about how they feel and people have always been confusing for me because they sometimes do.
Three years ago I started that thread about what it is like to have a house fire on a public forum and I promised me I would share about how it felt because I figured out pretty quick it was a fairly common and really traumatic life event. A lot happened very fast after that. Again it was mostly pretty common to the human experience but I have long noticed we tend to not talk about how we are dealing with them so I kept sharing. And when the horrors happened I kept right on talking out of habit maybe.
It looks like the habit stuck. From where I stand today I highly recommend it too. It might be hard to share and it might be harder to be fully honest to the best of our ability. It still feels scary sometimes. I think it helped though and I also think maybe it changed the world around me just a little bit. People who are not comfortable to confront what IS and willing to try to deal with it tend to slip back while those who are comfortable, or maybe want to be, start to open up more. I am SURE I have seen a growing level of sharing about the things that actually matter from the people in our lives and I try to be sure and thank them. Because I know how hard it is.
It is easier for me if I am not WITH others, to share. I never liked or really understood eye contact, and the whole body language thing is a language I still don’t understand very well though I have studied everything I can find about it. Or maybe I get it on the level it is spoken and I just short-circuit when it says different things than the words that come with it? I am not comfortable with it and used hand-work to avoid it most of my life. Yeah, I DO see the trend in avoidance over my life;) I am trying still to learn to use my body language and eye contact so others will be comfortable.
There are other hazards interacting not in person. I do try to give it more thought before interacting. What I think comes right out my mouth in person and that is not always helpful… I have to guess here if I might have said or done something that others are not comfortable with and I am still pretty likely to say what I really think. Often, proofing something before I post it gives me a chance to see if I might say it more diplomatically and that helps. I still mess up. I make mistakes. I try to see it when it happens and go back to make it right. No doubt I miss it sometimes.
Blanket apology officially offered here and now if I have stepped on your toes and I have to be told most of the time so if I have been inadvertently unkind to you, you can just tell me. I will feel terrible about it and I will apologize, do what I can to set it right and not do it again. Lot of folks don’t give others that opportunity even in person. Some folks just stop speaking to someone and never let on why. I suppose everyone gets to decide for themselves on that one.
I was going to share publicly for a year. That was the deal I made with me. So many traumatic things kept happening and I did choose to keep sharing at the year mark because we had so many followers we could not believe it. We came to think this meant our experiences might be meaningful to others and we found so much comfort in that. If you have been through the whole journey with us, we appreciate your presence and we treasure you for not turning away when it got REALLY hard. Thank you again and again.
I am thinking after all we shared maybe people were waiting to see if we would be ok again. We tried to be as ok as we could all along and the point of it all was about choosing how to think about what we experience. What we think often determines how we feel and mostly people don’t seem to notice this so we wanted to talk about it. We learned that there are some things we just get to feel too. Well, we can choose to feel them so we are not crippled by choosing to try to not feel them. That one has been the hardest part for me.
I see I have continued to distract myself from it all some. I think that is why I am sometimes absent online for fairly long periods of time. Not avoiding, just trying to balance living in the now with working through it all. I need a lot of alone time. I need some “normal” to have solid ground to stand on to do the work dealing with it all. Sometimes I just need a break. I keep coming back and I mean to keep doing that. I want to reach a point where we can just share about life now but we are still not quite done dealing with then and it is still a fair amount of work. Looks like our lives are now forever divided into “before” and “after” on a number of really hard life event hits and maybe that is just a thing that is, not something we can work through?
Kind of rambling along here. It has felt like a long journey in a foreign land and it still does to some extent. But it is starting to feel like I am learning the language a little bit. I am not feeling like I am very good at it and I am still not entirely comfortable with it. Most of my life I have experienced things other people do not seem to be comfortable to hear about. And I could not read their “I am uncomfortable” signs. That seems to alienate people. I might be a little better at that. Or I might be choosing people who are more comfortable with my directness?
I shared that we were not able to get excited for a long time, like our get excited chemicals in our brains were all cooked out. And the was no joy either for what felt like forever. We worked hard to be satisfied with being gratified in having done our best but that was not the same. I shared recently that I noticed it scares me a little bit to feel joy because we were so very happy and hopeful and had so many good things happening right before it all came crashing down and life as we knew and loved it was just gone. Seeing that it scares me frees me to choose to feel that fear. Because the joy is right on the other side of my fear and I want ALL of my joy back. Not just the smaller amount that feels safer.
We think we are pretty much ok now. Been a lot to process and we are learning that does not seem to have an end, it just keeps getting a little bit easier. The thing about life altering events is that it will never be the same. We are working with that. Maybe we can just make what we can as much better as we are able to and go on to find a new kind of happiness? We do seem to be well on the way. That might be as close to ok as it gets? It is enough. We are thankful.
Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun May 14, 2017 10:30 am