Saturday, January 29, 2011

Letting Go of My Lead Balloon

Feeling a little grateful today.  I'm happiest in life, up to date, when I am learning.  I am voracious when I want to learn, and have something I feel the passion to know more of.   I started with reading my new friend Chaz's blog and he had a very insightful post relating to the barriers to learning.  I had never considered for a moment that the biggest challenge I feel isn't the utter absence of any healthy self-esteem, but rather my rampant self-pity.  I am not being critical of myself, too much, but I know that I wallow in my agony.   It is comfortable, like an old friend, or a faithful black dog.  I know I can not will it away, but somehow, some way, I do feel that a little of the weight of the ballast is lessened in awareness.  

Next, I heard from an old friend who had asked me to not contact them anymore.  It seems that the horror of my life, my past in my abuse, my suicidal thoughts/actions, my repeated traumas and the general gruesomeness of my history had just become more than she could imagine anyone holding their sanity against. She said she had nightmares about the things I shared with her, and she couldn't deal with that.  I wasn't ever intending to try to scare or impress, though I have done that in the past, I was just relishing in the interaction.  I'll be honest and say that her reaction hurt me, and it struck a deep nerve in my heart and left me feeling rejected at the very moment I had opened up to someone.  But my perspective is so skewed that what I take for granted, as it is my history, that "normal" people can handle it.  I am glad she's returned, though I am not sure for how long.

Finally, I drove all of 5 blocks in my Big Black Truck (I so love my BBT :)), to attend an Al-Anon meeting.  I haven't attended this meeting before, so I walked into the church basement, a moment or two late ( I was playing mini-sticks with my son), and the meeting had already started.  So I sat down and it quickly dawned on me that I was in the "wrong" meeting.  Quotes are for effect at this point, because it turns out that I was totally in the right place for what I needed in that moment.  I was sitting in an Open AA meeting, celebrating the 29th birthday of one of its members.  They had a speaker, who spoke of all the craziness of the disease of addiction.  He spoke so well of the impact on everyone around the addict, the spouses, the children, the friends.  But what he said about the disease leaving him never having felt connected to other people until he got into recovery and learned the skills of connecting left me very drained in feeling that he spoke of what I've known.  It drains me even now to realize the impact that having been surrounded by mental illness and addiction in my formatives left me with so few skills in relating.  I am very fortunate that I went downstairs in the church hall and not upstairs.  Someone/something was looking out for me tonight.  

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