Currently sitting in the dining room of my grandparents house with a cup of coffee and a belated Christmas dinner in the works. It’s been awhile since I’ve shared publicly what life has entailed, probably because it hasn’t been daisies and roses and I’ve been struggling with how to handle my self.
I was reminded by my friend who was reminded by my previous writing, that when we take a fall, or we don’t reach an expectation we had for ourselves, to have grace. Yes it can be humiliating, to admit to fault or imperfection, but we choose how we treat ourselves at the end of the day. No matter how terribly we are treated by others, or how they see us, it’s how we value ourselves and what we decide to hold ourselves accountable to.
Back in August I was still fresh, freshly within the loss and I was ready to go. I turned it all into fuel and I propelled myself forward into the situation I am in now. I was sad on every level, but I was determined to prove myself strong and capable, but to who? I stayed in Colorado for 3 weeks before flying back to Canada to quarantine for two weeks, whilst doing so acquiring my small aircrafts license, and finding someone to sublet my room. I packed up my life, and my pup into my ever reliable dodge grand caravan, and I set off back to Colorado.
It took me 5 days to get from Vancouver, Canada to Colorado. I followed my intuition and stayed at places that brought me joy. In the middle of nowhere with big open skies at the outskirts of the Northern Cascades, nestled up the river’s edge surrounded by Montana’s lush green hills, in a chilly parking lot stealth camping just out of Yellowstone after passing herds of buffalo, mustang, elk, and even a couple moose, and lastly on top of the viewpoints within the Flaming Gorge.
When I arrived back at my grandparents house, everything quickly became very solemn. The house was torn apart, my mother and her best friend hardly had a moment to say hello at my arrival. So it began.
These are the more difficult details to get into, but here goes, that first night I was here, my mother’s best friend, my once godmother, fell into a drunken rage. It was still warm enough for me to sleep out in my van, but I couldn’t get away from the yelling that went on throughout the night. My body went into a state of anxiety and in the morning when I went to ask her if she was okay I was met with a cold and closed response. So this constant anger and cruelness was what we all had to put up with. I felt like there wasn’t anything I could do besides put my head down and get lost in the work. It was tolerable to an extent and when it wasn’t I would retreat to my van and rest until it was the next day. I didn’t want to be present, and I started struggling with the craving to numb my mind out. I listened to podcast that helped me remember self awareness, I used them to drown out the aggression.
It was when the anger started being directed at me that I started to break down. Quietly, and unusually so, I lost my voice. I began to notice a strange parallel playing itself out. My godmother, or the woman I use to see as that, someone I looked up to my entire life, began to tear me down. She told me that I was just an overly privileged white girl, that my mother raised me wrong, that I didn’t stand a chance in the real world, that I needed to fuck off, and go vote. Now obviously this isn’t exactly what I had heard before, but my nana would tell me very similar things. Your mother raised you wrong. Which meant that I was a failure of a child, and now having that repeated at me 17 years later, I felt like a failure of a human being and basically a waste of life. I was one foot in the present and one foot in the past and both of them were telling me that I was worthless.
I fell into a dark depression in my mind. I slipped into flashbacks of being lectured and punished. I felt like my life had no purpose or meaning and that everyone saw me as a failure. I had nothing to show for myself, maybe they were all right. I had a hard time getting myself motivated to work everyday. When I would, I constantly fell into holes in my mind, and when I stopped I was shamed, and so nothing would ever be good enough and that was just something I had to accept.
We tried to have a confrontational conversation, I had been so good at holding space before, but now my confidence was gone and I was fully in the pain of my past and present. I needed someone to hold space for me, but I was getting shut down when I needed to speak. So I stopped speaking. Finally we managed to establish that I was in a vulnerable place and couldn’t handle the harshness without shutting down. We managed to keep the peace for a few days, but it wasn’t long until she was back at the drink and expelling her disdain.
I couldn’t handle it anymore, being spoken to like your a good for nothing over privileged piece of shit really wasn’t doing it for me. I was starting to worry I would leave and never come back. So I got mad, I woke up early fully aware of the damning hangover that was sure to be hanging over her head in the morning, and I starting working hard and loud and cursing under my breath. Until it wasn’t so much under my breath and I blasted my music and acted like a fucking maniac. I finished up as much work as I could and then I left. I told my mother that it was time for her friend to leave and found peace in my resolve. Her friend, my once godmother, told me that being my godmother was never really real. So I decided I would only see her as my mothers friend from there on. I was over it, I said I would resume working after her departure, and a few days later she was gone.
I loved my godmother, and I looked up to her for my entire life, but that woman was not the woman I once knew. Boundaries are difficult, cutting people off is unfortunate, but relationships like that aren’t worth having if at the end of the day you feel like you’d be better off never born.
I haven’t had someone challenge my self worth to that extent in a long time, and in some ways I feel like I let myself down by not being able to stand up for myself more efficiently. The compassionate person in me understands that only people that are in pain can serve pain, and that those words are just make believe stories that we either give power to or we don’t. I gave it power and then I pulled away. I set my boundaries even when the shame and guilt of not being better constantly nudged me.
The truth is, we are all together sharing the same experience through different scopes. If we allow for others perspectives to become our own, we are doing everyone a disservice even those that seem pleased with their feats. It’s so much easier for us to point a finger and blame one another, but it takes courage to own our downfalls. And we need to, because we live in a world where we are starting to lose our connection to each other because of our righteousness. It’s okay to be wrong, its okay to let others be right, especially when they need a win, and it’s okay to take pride in our humility. Please, be less right. Fail more. Fall more. Because over time, it makes it more acceptable for the greater whole to be not okay.
In a world where we are all facing such uncertainty, give each other a break. Give yourself a break, have grace, be kind and forgiving.
I managed to go three moths cold turkey sober, even throughout the turmoil, I wanted to feel everything. I didn’t want to try to bypass my emotions, and I definitely felt A LOT. I started to think about how nice it would be to have a toke or a drink and it wasn’t until I thought about it for a week that I allowed my curiosity a taste. It tasted great, and a week later I tasted it again. And a few days later I was back at it. Now it’s been over a month and I have felt ashamed that I broke my streak. Until today I was reminded to embrace the humility, have grace, and keep trying. Don’t give up on yourself you are the creator of your reality.
So I am remembering which dragon to feed. Who to cheer on in the ever going battles of the internal and external world. And to always stand by my side. There is a limitless source of unconditional love waiting to embrace your awareness behind the eyes, it’s always there for you to step into. So take this time of isolation to dive deep in to those emotions we are all told to suppress, this is where your creativity lies, find some stillness to observe the stirrings in your cup. Let yourself find a place of peace and tranquility. Remember the warmth of yesterday and let your mind adrift. The world is full of such noise and bustle, find the time to listen to your breath. Now is the time to contemplate what tomorrow you will choose to create.