An Adjustment Period

It’s been over a month since I got back from Texas, and things haven’t gone the way I thought they would. I don’t feel like the same woman I was before our trip, yet everything around me remains unchanged. It’s brought about feelings of frustration and surprisingly, guilt too. I thought I was done with guilt, but…yeah.

I honestly don’t know what I expected when I got back home. It’s like the courage I mustered up to do what I did was left behind. I don’t feel any braver. Having confronted my past made a whole other set of issues, bubble up to the surface, which brought on new fear. Some of these are new, but most of them old. Before leaving Texas I made a mental list of things I wanted to start addressing as soon as I got home. I’ve only checked off one so far. I feel like I’m chipping away on a rock the size of a mountain, with a spoon! Not going as planned!

For the first couple of weeks I couldn’t understand why I was so frustrated. First with myself, then with my husband, and finally my kids. I hadn’t given any thought to the process I would go through after the whole ordeal was over and done with. I was so focused on being ready to face my family, that I assumed everything would be fine if I survived it. I would be fine. I remembered feeling this way before…after giving birth to my children. 

When I had my first child, the toughest part for me wasn’t the labor, it was the emotional turmoil that came afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, the physical pain is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, but not understanding why I was sad, made me feel like a terrible mom. Although I was holding a beautiful, tiny being in my arms, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of emptiness and sadness. This wasn’t what I was supposed to be feeling! It felt like my body was grieving. It had nourished and protected this little invader for nine months. So when it was finally gone, the feeling of loneliness was overwhelming. So how does this tie in with this past month? 

I realize how I had “carried” the memories of trauma up until that moment of confrontation. They weren’t there because I found delight in them. They had remained with me all these years because I didn’t know how to purge them. I had never liked the thought of being labeled a “victim” and receiving pity from others, but this kind of thinking is what led to the silence that kept all those memories trapped inside me. Finally ridding myself of them left a space I’d never experienced before. It was new, and yeah, scary. It was a signal for me to keep growing, and growth is one thing I resisted too long. Now that I wasn’t resisting, I was puzzled by these feelings, which weren’t new, but the situation definitely was. 

My family may not be going at my pace, but this isn’t their journey. I did begin it with them in mind, thinking about how much happier they would be if I was “okay”. It was a good incentive to start, but in order to keep going I had to think about myself too. That’s where some of the guilt came in. As a mom and wife, weren’t their needs supposed to be above my own? But I too needed (need) nurturing. I had denied myself the self care I needed for too long. And since I was moving along, I also wanted them to join me. They may,…but when they’re ready. I also had to remind myself that this kind of journey isn’t about leaving anyone behind. Its more like replacing old decor, with beautiful new decor. They may not think much of it right now, but it’ll still be there when they’re ready to appreciate it. That’s all I can do.

It’s time time to shake it off! The frustration needs to go! 

Love you guys ; )