“It’s a journey”, I repeatedly tell myself, “A journey I need to take if I am ever going to rid myself of this debilitating pain of shame and loneliness.”
It’s been a while since I last posted and I wanted to share some of the substantial milestones I have been hurdling. I have been on a journey of self-discovery for most of my adult life and my most recent significant change has sparked an immediate deluge of familiar and unsettling feelings. For those that have been following the portion of my blog, ‘My Personal Journey in Life ’, know my marital status has changed. Not to sound cynical, but it has been one of the best and most significant changes for me. It has allowed me to break free from a life that was not meant for me and in return is helping me to transform into the individual I want to be and meant to be. Without change there is no progress and as I grow older in years I have come to welcome change with open arms, no matter what form it appears in. Change means renewing and a renewing of one’s spirit is a beautiful thing.
I have always carried a feeling of loneliness and shame deep within me for as long as I can remember. I came to understand these feelings as I got older as the absence of a relationship, the scarcity of acceptance and lack of love from my biological father. Little did I know how long and how bitterly it would affect my life.
Thinking back I believe I started showing outward signs of his physical and emotional absence in my early 20’s. My dating relationships were affected by my clinginess. Not all of them, just particular ones that possessed a quality that brought about insecurities I didn’t quite understand at that time. These chosen few would touch a cord within me that would bring to the forefront my deep wounds. I would inwardly and outwardly feel scared, alone, abandoned and shameful. The relationship would end because I would self-destruct unknowingly and unaware of what I was truly doing.
My mid 20’s brought about the introduction of panic attacks and an eating disorder as I was wildly grasping for control in my life; at this point I had no clue how to heal myself or really what was fueling me to feel that I might be mildly insane. Always having such a deep need to understand myself and a desire for peace within my soul, I finally sought out counseling. After several visits with several counselors I found a wonderful woman that helped me begin my journey of self-discovery and healing.
It was about a couple years later when I met my husband at my place of employment. He was 9 years younger than I. At this time in my life I was feeling pretty darn good. I had purchased my own home and was feeling quite independent and happy. We began dating and it wasn’t too long after that we were engaged and getting married. When he proposed I was neither ready nor sure that I wanted to take this monumental step with him, but I did. I didn’t want to crush him, he was very fragile and in retrospect that made me feel strong. He needed someone to take care of him and I unknowingly fell into the role of needing to take care of someone. This was proof that my journey of healing my wounds was long from over. For thirteen years I covered up my wounds and hid them where they were not visible and I created a strong facade. This is what my husband needed and this was a way for me to avoid dealing with the pain within me that I was not yet ready to face. To further my denial, I crafted a shield so thick and strong it could not be penetrated by him or even me. I learned early on before I said, “I do”, that I needed to guard myself from my husband. My inner conscience knew that if I left myself vulnerable and exposed to him, he would rip me to shreds (to his credit – he too had open exposed wounds and never meant me any harm), so I protected myself never allowing him to see my most vulnerable side. I had already endured enough pain and that was the best and only way I knew to protect and heal myself at that time.
Here I am fourteen years later, picking up where I left off. I am still learning how to heal these open and exposed wounds that were formed from the very beginning of my existence. I have just recently been introduced to my inner child; she has decided it is safe to come out from hiding. She is one scared, lonely, shameful little girl. It saddens me that the bright spirit of this beautiful little girl would be so weighted down by things she never had control over, things that were never her fault. How horrible for anyone to experience such anxious, distressed feelings. She has reached out to me so many times, but I have repeatedly ignored her and this made her retreat. She didn’t trust me enough to show me her pain or trust I would accept her and believe her and protect her. I am so relieved to have finally gained her trust and we are working together to heal these open wounds.
I have learned these wounds cannot be healed by any friend or romantic relationship, meaning there is not one person that can fill the gaping hole that was left within me. This took me 24 years to understand and accept. Trying to find someone or something to fill this emptiness was just another way of avoiding the pain and acceptance I needed to face. I now accept that my soul is wounded, that I unnecessarily feel ashamed and guilty for things I never did, that I am angry, truly angry for such an injustice, and for the deep sense of loneliness I have endured. The only way for me to heal these wounds is to become a parent of this little girl that was left to feel abandoned by someone that was supposed to love her unconditionally. I will now insure she knows that she is no longer alone, she no longer needs to feel ashamed for being left alone, and that she did nothing wrong.
I am not sure how much longer my journey will take, but I’m not giving up, I have gotten this far and that little girl is depending on me and I refuse to let her down. I feel like I have climbed a mountain and have reached the top, “I made it! I pushed through! What a sense of accomplishment! I know I can continue and I will.”
Life is beautiful but there are some not so beautiful things that happen in life. It is up to us to push through the things that are not so beautiful and to create beauty where there once was not. The feeling of freedom of a life lived without armor, without fear or shame is attainable if you continue to push through the uncomfortable, painful barriers until you reach the finish.
I share these overwhelmingly very personal trials, experiences, and moments with the world in hopes it will benefit and support others that may be going through similar journeys. I am not embarrassed by my journey because it was meant for me to take ……..and I truly believe, to share as well.
“Share what you know, be generative and pass it on” Joan Erikson
Before I end, I want to thank some very giving, loving, and selfless people that have supported and ministered me to continue to push forward and through – for encouraging me and ensuring me that I deserved understanding, and never lost faith that I would never give up.
Thank you Mommy, Aunt Patty, Vivian, my belated Nanny for loving me like every Grandmother should love their grandchild- as if they are flawless, and to my new friend that has been an amazing support, a breath of fresh air and who came into my life just at the right moment– your friendship is one I will cherish always ~ xo
Aunt Patty- Nanny- and my Mommy
Me and my Nanny
Maureen ~ xo