Today was a good day. I am feeling much better today than I felt yesterday. Yesterday I felt much better than I felt the day before. We like that. Had a bit of a breakdown on Monday but was determined not to stay there. I called Janice and she listened. I loved myself enough to call her. I am thankful for her voice and her words. Her loving words that did not judge me or my thoughts or my space. She lovingly began with "You gotta get back on the meds" and she's right. For those of you who don't know, Janice is my aunt. I needed her voice. But mostly her listening. I needed to be heard by someone who has always known me. KNOWN me. GOTTEN me. You know? Priceless.
Thing about being in therapy this year is that all of these stories from forever ago are resurfacing. Stories and experiences I thought I was beyond. Beyond because I swept under the rug or because I had slapped some positive "Too blessed to be stressed" bumper sticker on top of and set it over there, wherever there, to majestically disappear into the ethers. Some stories I knew I wasn't "over" but judged myself for still being affected by them this long after the statute of limitations had expired. I'm cool / I'm fine / It's all good - God / I'm blessed. I know all the sayings, test me. Still, when I wake up from time to time remembering my grandmother telling me to wear a wig if I was gonna stand in front of the church and say a poem for my grandfather's funeral, I still feel some kinda way. And that was seventeen years ago. We were never overtly dysfunctional enough to be given credit as abusive, but it's lowkey digs like that throughout a girl's life that keep her questioning her enoughness.
There was no one major "DAYUUM! THAT WAS FUUUUUUCKED UP" that happened. I've had a few squeaky wheel dramas that called for grease and then for most of my life, specifically my childhood, a whole lotta pin pricks that hurt like shit to sit on but never made a hole big enough to be sent to the nurse's office. My self esteem issues come from the pricks. Not the rape (either one of them). Not the fall I took from falling off of a garage door as an eight year old that landed me in ICU with a fractured skull and concussion. But the feeling I got that I wasn't expected to be more than a good, polite Christian girl that some godly man would take care of. A girl who would grow up to live forever in the same city I was reared in, be successful enough at some city / county / state job, wear my hair straight and black girl long (just past my shoulders), then have a daughter and "train up a child..." Yeah, well. Instead I became the bald, artistic, bipolar sheep of the lot who will not be convinced that purple, green and kinte cloth do not go together.
The point of this entry is not to enumerate the pricks or the prickers or make myself victim of the year for surviving my awful life. I am victim of no one. No thing. My life was not awful. My life was my life. I was surrounded by people who did what they knew how to do. They loved me and I felt their love. AND they made mistakes that hurt for a very long time. I'm a parent now and I've made mistakes too. My prayer is that I am always open to hear my son's heart and his words. I pray that I have lived and live a life in front of him that leave him comfortable enough to have adult conversations with me about his feelings, places he was hurt, his pricks and prickers. The point is to look and notice that particular stories keep coming back up. Despite all the work I've done on myself. The prayer, courses, books, therapy. All the stuff. The point is to look at the why. I keep denying the why. I keep spiritual lying to myself. The way I have always moved past any kind of abuse was to somehow make it my fault. Good church girls like me just didn't make anybody else the bad guy. I blamed myself for things that couldn't have been my fault if I tried to make them my fault. I was a kid. But so what. Details. Kid, shmid. I carried shit I had no business. Bless my warped heart.
I believe the reason that some of my junk keeps coming up like plastic balls in a backyard pool is because life is giving me an opportunity to look at the what's so of those events through the lens of an adult and take them off of my card. To forgive myself for being so ridiculously hard on myself as a child and still. To let the nine year old girl who lives inside of me, trying to protect me and run my life, go play. Go be nine somewhere. Go swing on bars or beat somebody in the fifty yard dash or something. To let her know, the Robin who lives inside of me, that I've got this. That I'm real grown now and I get to create what I want for my life. That I don't have to seek the approval of any human being. I do not have to attach myself to anyone's dream for my life. I can thank the grace of God and acknowledge myself for getting this far, for being this amazing a being in the face of every put down, every negative thought and mean word delivered to me like a box of roses.
Where am I now? Well, my therapist, my aunt, my other aunt, cousin, uncle, cousin, about six or seven friends and one or two people I barely know on Facebook all agree that while I've come a long way in releasing a lot of pain, I still won't make any statement about any way I have ever been hurt without immediately protecting the person who caused the pain. Whoever they are. And THAT, let all them tell it, is not healthy. I should not tell a story about being a child and a preacher in my church sticking his tongue in my mouth every single solitary time he saw me, then confiding as a grown woman to an elder, former member of the church who responded, "I know. We all knew." THAT should not be followed with my hands waving and speaking in my nine year old voice words like, "No, I understand. She couldn't say nothin' 'cause she was scared. I mean, at that time women wasn't confrontin'..." Somebody please tell me to shut up.
I'm still working on myself. Letting the stories come, even memories that I had blocked and sometimes leave me numb and afraid in brand new ways. I told my friend Yuri that I was just gonna let myself heal by releasing stories one at a time and her response was what I needed, "That's how they got in there." That's where I am. Getting the junk out, loving the good times and creating what I want for my future. I didn't grow up to be what folks expected. I didn't. I grew up to be who I am. And I am not an apology. I am not someone to be side eyed and tolerated. I have a loving heart so gigantic in me I try to fit the world into it. I made huge mistakes. HUGE! And I honor myself for the mis steps I took. Because only someone willing to put herself out there to risk big, fail big could turn the lefts I turned. Still, at forty-three years old, my romantic life has not set the world, or my block (or my apartment building) on fire, but dammit if I don't show up for love like nobody's business. I'm a weeble. I wobble but I don't fall down. Bitches! I'm snarky. I'm beautiful (even if only in a "she gotta cool personality and a pretty face" kinda way). I love my son in every way I know how. I'm fly (say I ain't), generous. I am kind and a good friend. A good daughter, sister, aunt. I am. My organizing skills are boss thanna mug. I am talented. I put words and sentences together that serve as balm to ails ain't even been named yet. I do. All that AND I make a mean omelette. I am blessed, baby. I am. And more is still to come. Baby. Watch.