Unbroken

I started a post on Monday with the intention to come back to it, but instead I got plagued with a violet stomach bug. I wasn’t entirely recovered from the flu and, bam, I had a gruesome (and unwanted) total body cleanse throughout the night.

When I finally tried to get out of bed the next day, I felt like I had gotten run over by a semi-truck. I stumbled back to bed for the better part of the day trying to regain my senses.

Yesterday I still felt depleted, but at least I had food back in my system and was able to get the kids out the door and run some errands.

This morning, I slowly jogged for a bit because it has been over two weeks since I’ve had the strength or time. It wasn’t a stellar performance, but I needed the run to get myself “back” from these dark places and sick places that I have been recently. I am ready to turn this thing, that is my life, around.

I wasn’t going to go to yoga last night, but my husband encouraged me because he knows how much I benefit from it mentally. So I went. With little expectation, I followed the instructor’s lead and breathed deep and looked within my frail self. I thought about how I recently wrote about going through an emotional cleanse as I am digging into my past and trying to make sense of my life to catapult myself into the future.

During a balance pose, I suddenly felt in the zone. I felt this unbelievable strength in my mind and body as I stood there on one foot, my hands high above my head. I felt powerful and I felt rooted, though skinny and pale on the outside. In my mind I thought, I can fucking stand here all day I am so strong. Take that mental illness, take that flu, take that stomach bug.

It was empowering to stay the least.

When I was involuntarily puking my brains out on Monday night, I couldn’t help but try to find something poetic to the fact that I literally had nothing left to give when it was all over. NOTHING. TO ANYONE. I was completely tapped out after the eight-hour ordeal.

But I am a fighter and I am resilient and I knew I would bounce back. And I am. Stronger. More determined.

I am trying to change my internal thought processes from focusing on the hard times to focusing on the good times. Trying to turn sickness into health. Trying to sort out what I need to let go (in terms of my relationship with my father) and what I need to salvage and repair.

It’s funny thinking about my Dad and how negative, within the confines of our home, he was about life and how verbally abusive he was. I realize now that all of his abuse, that infiltrated my mind from a very early age, turned me into a really positive person. I cheerlead my friends, I champion acquaintances, I rally troops, I praise my kids with positivity, and it’s only recently occurred to me that I do this because my Dad never did this for me.

Realizing this also helped me understand that even though I am so positive toward the rest of the world, I don’t encourage myself enough. I struggle with my self-esteem and confidence to write the stories I want to write. To say the things I want to say, regardless of whether they are well received.

I am trying to change that and let my true voice be heard. I am continuing to make sense of my life, and I want to break the chain of the past. My Dad’s father was absent when he was growing up. My Dad did a good job in that he wasn’t absent in my life, but he was often angry. He’s changed since then, but I haven’t. I am still a little puppy dog around him, just vying for his love.

I am realizing that after all of these years I DO have his love. At no cost. (At least I think I do, some of this is very confusing yet). I need to break the unhealthy bonds I have to him, secure in my relationship with him and knowing that I can live my life without emotional punishment or financial gain from him. (My Dad was an amazing provider for my family).

Subconsciously I know my Dad never meant to inflict all these damages on me, but consciously I have concluded that it is up to me to move on. To stop letting him dictate so many of my thoughts and choices. He is certainly not free himself either. I know his own childhood battle wounds are still there. I can only hope that if I go first, and let go of mine, that maybe he’ll follow suit. Wouldn’t that be great? Maybe he’s waiting for me to do this? I have no idea.

What I do know is that I am doing a decent job as a parent. Not free of mistakes, but I have taken damn good care of meeting the needs of my children. Although suddenly, as they are getting older and are picking up on more emotional cues from me, I feel urgency to get myself together for them. I don’t want to repeat my Dad’s way of parenting where my love to them comes with a cost. I love my kids because they are my kids. Because they are alive and because they live and breathe. I don’t want to burden them with my baggage and for my shortcomings and anxiety to fall on their plates.

With that comes a responsibly on my part to be a strong leader for them. To teach them an emotional language that will serve them well. To find a way to understand my past pain and confusion and separate that from how I treat them. To not inflict my issues on them the way my Dad did on me, even if unknowingly.

My kids are a priority in my life. Some say, that your kids should be your first priority. I can understand that, but lately I have been my first priority and damn it, thank God for that.

As much as I love my Dad, I still blame him for some of my dissatisfaction and I harbor resentment. My goal is to rid myself of all that. To forgive. To let go. My Dad is a flawed human being, like all of us, and I need to stop wishing that he would have been stronger or better or nicer to me. I can’t change the past, but I can make sense of it and move on. I can focus on all the amazing attributes, like grit, that I have because of him.

This is an exciting time for me, but it will take time and patience and faith.

***

Side bar: I am almost finished reading Jewel’s book “Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story.” In fact, I am certain I’ll finish it tonight. The book rocks my world. I love Jewel more than ever. I’ve bought and listened to every one of her albums since 1995. What’s best is that tomorrow night, I am going to see her in concert!! Talk about a tipping point in the right direction of my life. I admire Jewel because she is authentic and honest and openly wrote/sang her way through troubled times, sharing the pain and the valuable lessons she learned. She dared to be vulnerable and it paid off for her. Jewel, my hero!

 

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