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Friday, April 25, 2008


Naturally, stories don't end. They simply shift directions. The interesting ones are those in which history does not repeat itself and the protagonist learns new lessons and skills which propel the journey forward. The most difficult stories are those which allow a story line to repeat, to loop indefinitely. The predictability becomes aggravating and we find ourselves wishing to intervene, to change the outcome, to give the desperately ambivalent character a firm push forward--or a kick in the backside, depending on our emotional involvement.

I received an email not long ago from a person who wanted to make it clear to me that I just needed to stop allowing my personal insecurities, stop questioning the abundant blessings I've been given, trust that everyone in the world loves me and wants me to heal, and get on with my life. Such good advice.

The problem with advice, especially when unsolicited, is that it doesn't help. Obviously, if I keep circling back, I need to learn more about whatever it is I'm returning to. I haven't figured out how to navigate that particular aspect of my life and I need more information. When I began this blog, one of its main purposes was to give me a forum in which to talk about therapy visits and assignments, past memories and issues, emotional distress, and also to provide a place for me to simply vent--something I seem to have difficulty doing out loud. Therefore, if anyone has followed my writing for the past couple of years, no doubt there has been abundant repetition as I try to learn and become whole again. My story has not been set forth to inspire, entertain, or persuade. It simply is. And there won't be a happily ever after, because my life is not over. And I am getting on with my life.

I find myself returning with less frequency to the negative feelings and false beliefs about myself. Occasionally they crop up, especially when my security within a relationship feels threatened. My biggest weakness right now is my feeling that I must not bind myself to anyone. Many friends offer me love and acceptance--but those friends can also withhold love and acceptance from me--so I cannot become comfortable accepting those things.

A series of recent events in my life have caused me to question the one place where I have felt absolutely safe. It no longer feels a haven to me. I fight to remember that trust is essential if I plan to have relationships of any kind. I told Tolkien Boy earlier this week, "I hate trust. A lot." That translates to, "I've been hurt in a place I believed I was always protected. I'm afraid."

So, dear email person, thank you for your concern. I understand that you just want the story to go forward, and you'd like me to be all better. Believe me, I'd like that, too. But life has a way of teaching us lessons through repetition. I have learned in the past two years, that I truly can trust people, that I can have rewarding relationships with people I love and who love me, and that I don't have to keep protecting myself and preparing for hurt. But right now I'm dealing with an experience which has called into question all that I have learned and I have to go back and try again. I'll probably do it several times before I'm dead.

Also, I understand that you've suffered abuse in your life similar to mine and that you've healed and continued beautifully. I envy you. And I'm truly happy for you. But the problem with comparison is that one of us will inevitably end up feeling inadequate, helpless, and frustrated--and it will probably be me. I'm so sorry for the things that were done to you. I'm very grateful that you've found healing. I will continue my circuitous route until I, too, find resolution of the residual effects which permeate so many vital aspects of my life.

In the meantime, if you truly wish to help, these are the things I could use right now:
1. Strength.
2. Rest.
3. Restoration of my belief in human beings.
4. A sunny day.
5. Flowers.
6. A smile.
7. A hug from anyone who loves me--maybe a really long hug and even a kiss on the cheek. DJ usually supplies those for me, and he's in California this week.
8. A pat on the back for trying when I'd really like to quit.
9. A box of tissues and an arm around my shoulder while I cry out the sadness that's suffocating me.
10. A funny joke.

And if you can't supply any of those things, that's okay. Just don't try to write my story for me. That's my job. And even if I'm not doing it you your satisfaction, I think I'm doing just fine. Give me time, I'll be back on track. Even at my age one is allowed occasional setbacks.

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