“What would you like for Christmas?” she asks.
A pause happens as my mind races,
A silence fills the room. My mouth feels dry and my eyes fall to the floor.
How about this ache to disappear? This hollow, dull ache that constantly throbs of emptiness and hurt. How can something so small create this feeling?
Can we turn back time to a point that this isn’t happening? Can I do something different?
Can I just have my words back, and stop feeling so lost? I’m at such a loss.
Can I have the ability to stop feeling numb? Anything would be better than this. Can the avalanche of emotions and thoughts, that I know are waiting to overpower me, just happen already?
Can the tears just fall? My eyes are often stinging with fiery tears but refuse to fall. When did I become such a cold hearted bitch? Is this karma? Am I not a good person?
Can I scream that although you never took a breath you were real and mattered? Or does my grief not count? Should I just get on with life, the way others expect me to?
Can I sob into a pillow that your days may have been short, but you were mine.
You were mine and I failed you.
I couldn’t do my job and keep you safe. My one job.
My heart was all for loving but my body let us down. Let you down.
And now my heart will forever be sorry.
Can I just have the future that we were momentarily anticipating?
Can I just have you back?
I take a breath, and raise my head
“Just get me some bubble bath for Christmas, that will be enough.”
Please bear with me – i’m just typing my thoughts out, because I need to put them somewhere, and suddenly in a world full of people I feel like I’m on my own. Anxiety has been sitting, taking residence in my chest, my stomach for the past few days and I knew this moment would come. There was a calm before the storm, and now that storm has rocked up and sent me flying.
I’m scared of living. (I’m scared of dying too, but thats for another blog.)
I AM SCARED OF LIVING. How stupid is that?
Now that isn’t to say I’m not living right now – of course I am and I have a life that is worthy of pride and love. Yet I’m scared of living. All my adult life, almost half of my existence has been intertwined with gut wrenching pain – that knot in your stomach that eats away at you, and absolute fear. Fear of happiness, fear of success, fear of going back to being a free spirit. Fear of the thing I crave. Fear of living.
Believe it or not, teenage Laura was an optimist, a happy go lucky kind of person albeit sensible. Yet that didn’t stand me in good stead like it was supposed to. And so I learned how to live in the shadows of my own former self and let this version of me evolve. The version that was supposed to stay and provide protection long enough to get me back on my feet. And instead stuck around. Because I didnt have the guts to face and sort out my life. So what do I do now? I crave and need to live, and yet it terrifies me.
Many times over the years I have heard the phrase “Don’t blame yourself.” Those three words always said with the kindest and sincerest meanings, and yet they would often make me feel like I had more reason to let shame and blame eat me up in one big gulp.
Blame? What is this word – is it who is at fault? Who is to take responsibility? Who is at the core of the negative event? It seems to be a ‘blanket’ word slapped over the unfortunates and all circumstances that just don’t turn out quite right. So, no wonder for the longest of times blame lay heavy on my shoulders. For I am not one to shirk away from responsibility and often will take on that which belongs to others. I will often take ‘fault’ because surely someone being held accountable in some sense is better than none. And that is the issue with trauma and abuse of all sorts, we the survivors, take the shame and blame of others and manifest it into our own.
The other day I had a conversation with a good friend, and we talked about choice in life, and it led into talking about blame. And for the first time someone, this friend, took the time to explain blame and its responsibility and choice in life. How we are not in control of our life, just our egos and how we let them impact our existence. And for the first time in over half my life, I could put clarity on the big, happily flashing neon sign that was blame. I could switch that sign off. Heal that scar. In that conversation I understood blame, and I saw it shift. I saw it shift away from me. And onto them and their egos. Unburdened.
My heart feels lighter and there is a calm presence in me that was not there before. However, I’ve this empty feeling where that blame used to sit. I guess I used the shame and blame of it all to keep me ‘in my place’ and to give more reason to be unkind to myself. Not anymore though. This is my healing journey. Now I just need to find something to fill that empty space. I’m hoping it’s inner peace and love.
I often say this blog is more of a brain blurb because invariably I just type what is on my mind and in my heart. This is normally why I post here as opposed to other sites – my thoughts here never feel valid/good enough to be seen by many. This post is a real brain blurb where I am just typing out my thoughts – so if you manage to stick at it and see it to the end – well done you. And thank you.
I tweeted the other day that “I was ready for healing, whatever that may be” and the word and idea of ‘healing’ has been rolling around my head ever since. Healing – to fix, to mend what is broken, to become healthy again. What a thought! Healthy again. In a sense I don’t think I remember what healthy actually looks like. And yet, here I am striving to get to that point of being healed. Or at least on the journey to it. And isn’t the journey just as important as the end goal?
Healing myself means finding myself and maybe I wasn’t ready to do that. Something has changed within me though, and I want to find myself. I want to move on, but moving on means looking back., and that is the scary concept about truly healing. Delving into the past. To stand strong and yet break. To allow myself to break. To allow myself to find reasons and to allow myself to not find reasons. To grow and work through things. This utterly terrifies me, and at the same time the thought of feeling better about myself and my life, to be healed, fills my heart with hope.
I know this road i’m on, embarking on, is going to be like none I have ever walked before. Pick me up and dust me off if I stumble.
They say the best way to write is to write what you know, and despite my mind drawing blanks this is what I do know. My heart is hurting. I’m not even sure, at this precise moment in time that it is all together. I feel fragmented, jaded, and for lack of a better word, broken. Broken into a million little pieces, of which many are forever lost. Truth be told, I could list the many exhausting reasons for this but it’s not going to really matter, because in essence this is who I am.
How can a heart that loves so fiercely, so passionately and freely, be so damaged? It doesn’t make sense. And yet here I am. Sitting here on a Friday night, prosecco to hand, loved by others and so wrought with all the hurt imaginable.
Maybe my heart isn’t hurting but rather is grieving. Grieving for all the things lost, for all the things unsaid and undone. For me, and myself, and who I am and who I could/should be. I don’t know but I’d like to switch off my heart almost as much as I would like to switch my brain off. Just for a little rest.
Don’t throw me a pity party though. I do not wish for that, and in a funny way, I do not deserve that. My heart is a reflection of my life and it’s scars. Of which many I have put on myself. I imagine my heart to have originally been a beautiful thing, only now it bears the mark of all the bad words thrown in my direction, every harsh action sent my way and with every unwanted finger on my skin. Bruises fade and bones heal, bodies rejuvenate and I ‘moved forward’, and yet the marks on my heart remain.
They say it all lingers in your head, and maybe that is true but what if the heart is where it all takes up residence. Maybe how your heart feels matters more than what your head is saying. In a way that makes more sense to me, in a way that fills me with more hope. My heart albeit, in the depths of absolute destruction is calling to love and be loved. Truly. Maybe that’s why you are still alive until your heart stops beating.
I hate breathing. Strange, I know, but I hate it all the same. That sound that people can relax to. That in and out motion that calms most, sends me into a complete spin. Even typing this, has set me on edge and I’ve had to take a break. It’s that ridiculous and yet here I am.
The natural thing, the go to phrase people use when I say I feel anxious or panicky, is “just breathe” or/and “deep breaths.” Harmless and full of good intent, and yet those simple well meant phrases transport me to a place I do not ever wish to be. A time where my airway was not mine, and also a time where hands were placed on my neck. A time where breathing was obstructed. And so to survive, after the panic had worn me down and I needed to find a way through, I shut down and focused on slowing my breathing. On focusing on my chest rising up and down. If I could slow and steady myself down I could control the amount entering my lungs, and survive longer. And so that’s what I did.
And since that day I get troubled (at the least), full blown attack (at the worst) by my own breathing. Put headphones in, and I will hold my breath until I near pass out because it all gets too much. Lying in bed when the silence fills the room and all that is left is the focus on breathing, I hold my breath and have to consciously distract myself on something else. Having my child when midwives told me to just breathe, and when I sobbed “I cant” – it wasn’t that the pain was too much or having a child was too much, it was that simply breathing was destroying me.
Breathing may come easy to everyone else, to most. Just know some find, possibly the most natural thing to do, extremely difficult, once the emphasis is shifted onto it.
Breaking the egg to make the omelette.
It’s a phrase I say often when things don’t go to plan, a shrug of the shoulders – got to make some mess to get to the end result. Invariably it is such an applicable quote to so much in life. Isn’t it true that more often than not, it’s once something hurts or has gone wrong – and then the healing process, the next stage, takes place and we end up with the brighter, better outcome?
I’m crossing my fingers that this is what all this is. I’ve broken that egg. Smashed it. The month of May did it for me, I think without my realising it. May damn near killed me, and I’m not one for exaggeration.
And yet now it is June, and I’m here working it out. Working it all out. And I knew it would be difficult (since when is anything ever easy), but wow, it’s a lot more complicated than I thought it to be. I’ve spent the last 3 days completely on edge, triggered by too much, and feeling like I was in quicksand and no one could pull me out. I wanted to be sick or pass out or something. I was jumping at the tiniest noise, certain scents made me want to cry and even the shower wouldn’t make me feel clean. And yet somehow in amongst all of it, I’m here typing this, and my mind is a complete and utter mess, but my heart is calm (well calmer).
I’m taking this journey, for others. For my daughter, and husband. For family. For the friends who stick by me through thick and thin. The ones who know when to be kind and loving, but also know when to call me out and give me a boot up the backside. More importantly though, I’m doing this for me, because finally, I have this weird notion that maybe I’m worth it afterall.