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Just Another Layer

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

'And I gotta admit, at this point, I am getting a bit apprehensive over when those tears might come. My guess, as is true for my life, is that they will come at the most 'perfect' in-opportune, in-convenient, in-appropriate moment (smh!). And most likely, once those tears start rolling... they won't want to stop (insert ugly cry Emoji). My goal for today is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, to enjoy the moments as they come, and to be open to whatever life swings my way! And when those tears do come... hopefully I will be holding that weed high in the air with its long roots dangling (insert triumphant Emoji)... and not with it's roots snapped off (insert horrified Emoji)'.


So, it happened. Friday July 24th just prior to 3:02 pm. I answered the call that my mobile sold. I'll tell you what, I had spent months waiting for this moment, preparing myself to feel this great sense of relief knowing that finally (finally) it was not my problem any longer. No more broken down walls, or rotting-off siding, or incessant leaky roof above the add-on, or the oh-so-fun to sweep or walk on particle board flooring, or the years-past-needing-to-be-replaced roof, or the single pane (more like royal pain in the arse) windows. Heck, I even expected to do a boogie dance the very second it registered in my brain that I would no longer have to force open the older-than-dirt heavy front slider door that never seemed to lock right. But instead of relief, or elation, or even a hint of glad... I cried. Then I was angry that I was crying. I mean, shouldn't this be the moment I had been waiting for? My chance to finally kiss (and kick) this trailer goodbye for good?! Well, instead of feeling any or even just the tiniest fraction of one of those anticipated emotions... I felt grief. Instant.Overwhelming.Rob the words right from your soul... grief. This one thing that had been weighing down my life, limiting my ability to live life to it's fullest, cycling so much unnecessary stress and worry, and causing me to remain ill... and I felt grief. Of all the emotions in this entire world to surface in those very moments, and it was the one emotion I didn't expect.


When I look back over my life I am able to pin-point many situations and circumstances (let's just say it... endings) that felt very similar and eerily painful. The ending of my first long-term relationship with the father of my baby. Why was it so hard to let go of? Because I still held onto a shred of hope believing that this relationship could somehow still survive after over two years of addiction, infidelity, and abandonment. The ending of my first marriage that I invested all of me and almost 11 years into. Why was it so hard to let go of? That same damned shred of hope. I somehow believed the relationship could still survive after all those long years of addiction, abuse, violence, infidelity, and hardship. The ending of my second marriage that I poured myself into for close to five years. Why was it so hard to let go of? That same shitty shred of hope. The ending of my almost-third marriage I had somehow lost myself in for close to three years. That same mother truck'n shred of hope. Although each relationship was different and unique, each one had that same gold thread woven in of addiction, abuse, infidelity, and abandonment. And when they ended, I came undone. I literally unraveled at the seams. Instead of relief, elation, or even a hint of glad... I cried. And I was overcome by grief. Endings have way more to do with soaking (or should I say near-drowning) in the waters of pain in what was lost than in embracing the excitement and newness of what is coming now that you finally have your life back. If you have ever taken the time to watch Hope Floats you will resonate with the infamous quote spoken by Sandra Bullock, 'Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it is the middle that counts the most. You need to remember that when you find yourself at the beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up'. I just got a visual of hope floating to the surface- and I am a very visual person since that is me and God's love language (insert winking Emoji). You know when you are trapped underwater (near-drowning in the waters of pain) and you are holding your breath wishing death to come take you, but a little bubble of air escapes from deep down inside you against your will and just floats to the surface signaling life... well, that is hope floating to the surface. That little bubble that escaped is that tiny part of you that still wants to live, that still wants to try again- even if you are starting over from scratch with a cracked- or even shattered, heart. It never ceases to amaze me that God speaks to me most often with water analogies since I have such a love-hate relationship with water. Oh, what a sense of humor He has (Ha!).


So here I am, crying tears of pain when I get the news that my mobile has finally sold. Instead of relief, elation, or a hint of glad... I feel pain. I feel the ending of a relationship and that familiar inability to just let go simply because I still somehow believed, even if buried deep down inside, that we could survive (damn it!) even after almost three years of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial agony and suffering. And sure, just like with any relationship, there were honeymoon phases that helped me cling on, but the pain (the bad times) definitely outweighed the pleasure (the good times). So why was I sitting in tears after literally months of emotional numbness? Because I hadn't realized yet that I had been sitting at the bottom of the lake wishing for death to come take me. Those tears... they were that little bubble of air that escaped against my will that floated to the surface signaling life. Even though I couldn't see it myself, or much less feel it, a tiny part of me still wanted to live, wanted to try again even though I would be starting from scratch with a broken heart. You may find it ridiculous or absurd that I would suffer a broken heart from a broken down single-wide (hmmm... sounds like a good country song to me), but there are a lot of things in this life that will break your heart, and not all of them begin and end with a man (Shocking! I know... hehe). Well, that single-wide broke my heart. When I first moved in I knew I was taking on a project. I knew it was sold to me 'as is' and would require a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I just had no idea that first day just how much of me it would cost. That little single-wide, well it was that root from childhood still clinging on even though I couldn't see it (just like those relationships I shared above). That obsession to go back and fix what was broken, to recreate the outcome so that this time I would be lovable, and perfect, and wanted (to avoid feeling the abuse, rejection, and abandonment). That single-wide felt familiar to me. I knew what to expect from it since my self-esteem had somehow managed to become depleted which in turn allowed that old shame and blame to surface leaving me to believe that emotional pain, abuse, and suffering were what I deserved. Even from a single-wide trailer! So if you have kept up with my recovery journey thus far, you know that recovery for me was all about facing that shame and blame head-on. Making peace with my past. Forgiving my abusers. But mostly it was about learning to forgive myself so that I could learn to love me, just as I am, flaws and all (which is no easy endeavor and that's putting it mildly). So, how did I go from the pit to the mountaintop and back to that damned pit again after all those years of hard heart and soul work? Because God wasn't done with me yet. Remember that weed that you can either pull completely out by the roots... or the roots snap off inviting that weed, to invite a friend of his, to invite a friend of his back? Well, that is a good picture of what happened to me. Instead of pulling that MoFo completely out before returning to Oregon, that root had snapped off and I was left with not only that original weed happily growing back, but also the friend he brought, and his friend, and his friend. Sure, I had kept my resolve to not get involved again with an addicted, abusive, controlling man (short of a temporary moment of insanity when I got involved with that dead-end dude in my blog entitled All of Who I Am) but I had lost my resolve and became involved instead with an addictive, controlling, falling-apart single-wide trailer.


It's funny how the two can even be compared, a living breathing human man with an old green single-wide trailer, but they can. It was love at first sight when I saw the single-wide listing on Craigslist. It was unloved, in rough shape, the price was low, and it just needed someone special (namely me) to come along to see its value. Someone (again, namely me) who had both the determination and desire to love on it and bring it back to life. (Sound familiar?) And who better than me to step up and claim this lonely, rejected, piece of scrap?! In the months prior to making this life-altering decision I had suffered an emotional set back (which looked and felt a lot more like PTSD and panic attacks), I had a near nervous breakdown (thanks to an incorrect dose of anxiety meds), I lost my older brother in an automobile accident (no words for that kind of pain), I had to resign from my job I had just spent five years climbing the ladder for, I had to painfully part states with my daughter and her family (Insert broken heart Emoji), and I moved 854 miles from perpetual sunshine in Southern California back to the oh-so familiar four seasons of Oregon, (intake of air), I walked and waited through over three months with no job and zero income (Thank You St Joe for denying me unemployment while I tried to find my balance), I moved from the Willamette Valley clear to the other side of the Central Oregon Cascades, I settled back in where I grew up (and when I say grew up I am not referring to the stomping grounds of my youth), I applied to a ridiculous number of jobs before landing a seat in a call center (I know, right?! Insert crying Emoji), and I slept on my sister's couch for close to a month (grateful with heart Emoji) before becoming FaceBook official with this neglected, broken down, crying out to me green single-wide trailer. As you can probably imagine, the best time to make a life-altering decision is NOT following an emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, financial breakdown- all tied together with a beautiful grief bow. In fact, that is the worst time possible! You are not in your right mind ... not even close. And.I.definitely.was.not. Instead of seeing something that threatened to drain the very life from my soul, the very last penny from my bank account, and destroy my already fragile self-esteem- not to mention further decline my physical health and well being, I saw (and maybe even felt) first love. Barf! Barf! Barf! Instead of setting my sights on a living breathing human man in need... I had instead set my sights on "fixing" this single-wide that was crying out to the parts of me that I had worked so hard to repair (insert Emoji hitting head repeatedly against brick wall). I believed with everything in me that I had been watering the flower garden of my life when if fact, I had been pouring my love, time, devotion, attention, affection, and hope... into a weed garden (Insert horrified Emoji). Funny thing is, this realization did not come to me the moment those tears started falling. That realization came to me as I was in the middle of writing this, my move from emotional numbness to painful victory, in selling that single-wide.


You might ask about now, 'What the hell ya gon' do with all that junk... all that junk inside that trunk (and I know you're not talk'n bout my ass right now)? Well, I am going to do what any 51 year old woman would do when she realizes she has slid right back into that fuck'n pit. I am going to feel my feelings (which sucks balls!). I am going to cry if I need to. Hell, I am going to break something if I need to (insert angry Emoji). I am going to return to Step 1 in my tool belt and admit that I am powerless over the past, and as a result, my life has become unmanageable. And next I am going to believe that God can restore me to sanity, and realize that this power can always be trusted to bring healing and wholeness into my life. I will continue through each step renouncing the lie that that past abuse was my fault. My hope and intention is to fall back in love with the Definition of Sobriety for survivors of abuse so that I can remember who the fuck I am... and to whom I belong. "THERFORE, our definition of sobriety is to discover our talents, to build our self-esteem, and to repair any damage done. We will allow ourselves to feel our feelings, to accept them and learn to express them appropriately. We will not partake in any addictive or self-destructive behaviors that so easily entangle us. We will not allow the pains of our past to keep us as victims but grow from God's healing. We will not harbor anger, resentment, bitterness or unforgiveness for our abusers, nor have we used the actions of others as a justification for inappropriate actions, attitudes, isolating ourselves from God or others. We will progress in our recovery to become survivors of abuse! In fact, we have survived and can offer the experience, strength and hope of recovery that we have received to other women! When we have begun those tasks, we will move forward from our past and get on with the business of our life" (Credit Celebrate Recovery).


Pain has a way of diminishing our power, our courage, our self-love, even our desire to be seen. Pain can take the strongest woman (or man) and cause her (or him) to sink into the deepest water waiting for death to come. Pain can make you forget who the fuck you are... and to whom you belong. Pain can be a powerful but deadly force. Pain in my life started gradually with that emotional setback caused by a manager at my workplace who was bullying me behind closed doors, then that pain began to seep into other areas of my life while my guard was down, so to speak. It seeped in and took over the ground I had covered (and worked damned hard at) in discovering my talents, building my self-esteem, and repairing any damage done (from childhood clear to the age of 43 when I started my recovery journey). Pain robbed me of my ability to move forward from my past and to get on with the business of life. Well, F*ck that! It is up to me to say 'No More!' and where I am, at this point in my life, pain is not going to have the last word! I have so many beautiful years ahead of me. I have the most wonderful people God has placed in my life. There are so many magical moments still coming- even if I can't see them just yet. You might think I am back to Square One with going back to Step One... but that is not the case at all (Insert winking Emoji). This is noth'n more than another layer of that onion of life. Another layer means that I am progressing forward- not back. And just maybe, those tears I have been cry'n, are coming from that new onion layer (Insert contemplating Emoji). If you find yourself in my story, hugs! If you feel like your life just might be slanting that direction... Hugs! Helpful words of advice, remember who the F*ck you are and to whom you belong! And get on with the business of life (Insert kissing Emoji).


Source:

Celebrate Recovery

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