What I Didn’t Say

I really enjoy writing—it’s a passion of mine: my creativity, my art and my release. Generally the topics I write about are inspired by some of the work I’ve done, and continue to do, in my life. Several people have been encouraging me to get deeper and to really delve into what I write about and I have been trying to do that. Sometimes I think I do a pretty good job. Other times I try and miss the mark, either because I’m wanting to post and not quite ready, or because a post topic hits a little too close to home and I clam up.

I feel I should go back to my last post to expand upon it. I chickened out, frankly, and left quite a lot unsaid.

What I didn’t say, is that this concept of changing relationships has been a really hard thing for me to manage in my life. It’s almost like the roller coaster of weight management. It feels so good when you’re losing, but gaining doesn’t feel so great and even maintaining is a frustration at times. It has almost been similar for me with relationships. Establishing a new relationship feels good. When it deepens it feels great, though can feel scary as well. When the relationship changes, or ends, it doesn’t feel good. A part of me often feels rejected even if the change has nothing to do with me. Then I seek solace with my friends Ben and Jerry, but that’s another post..

I have wanted to work on this, especially as I haven’t always handled it well. That’s an understatement, though I think, and I hope, I’ve gotten better with it. I have been working a lot on communication, both sharing how I am feeling and being open to the feelings of others when shared. It’s a learning process for sure, and while I’m proud of where I’m at now, I still have those “facepalm” moments where I want to bow my head and just smack my forehead with my palm.

I also really struggle when other people choose to not share their feelings and I have a tendency to take things personally. Growing up in an abusive home, I developed a strong antenna: I learned to sense the vibe in the house around me to know if I was safe. Any whiff of tension set my radar in a tizzy and I was on watch for what might come next. I look to interpret people’s actions as a way of understanding how they are feeling, and that’s often not a good indicator at all.

Fight or flight.

Image

11-20-09 © mikkelwilliam

What served so well to keep me safe as a child doesn’t serve me as well now, and often leads me to feel concern or panic. I assume what got my radar in a tizzy is either due to me, or going to impact me and my adrenaline kicks in. I have a tendency to take things personally, as I am interpreting actions as thoughts and feelings and reacting, instead of connecting with my adult self to think instead of feel.

Only now, twenty-five years after I left my house, am I able to ask the question, “What is going on here?” Sometimes, and it’s a real effort to do. I have to work through the panic that bubbles up in my chest, wrestle with it to reduce it to a level where I am capable of stepping outside of the fear and the trauma and be in the moment to handle the current situation as the confident adult that I am learning to be.

Sometimes.. and I’m still learning. I’m grateful to my friends and family for sharing this journey with me, and for helping me on my clunky baby steps through this process of learning and growth.

Maybe I should have titled this, “How to write something that makes you feel like you’re walking down Main St. in your panties.”

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