“I danced to the rythm
And moved by myself
No one could see through me
Or hear the words I felt..”
I’m sitting on the porch the way you used to. I’m trying to slowly feel the sadness that is overflowing inside of me, without allowing myself to become lost in it. It is a constant power struggle to maintain balance in all aspects of my life. My problem has been that I feel way too much or find myself on the other end of the spectrum at indifference. Black or White. All in or Not at all. Go Big or go home. No happy medium, just pure unbridled passion or total emptiness.
I’ve always been this way. It’s an aspect of myself I strongly dislike.This has been a quality about myself that I have found to be my blessing and a curse all at the same time. It has crippled me feeling one way or another and it has enabled me to wound others and myself in ways that have destroyed relationships forever. Someone once told me that I have a way of making someone feel undeniably loved and accepted. My support and companionship could bring others to new heights they’d never imagined possible for themselves. But I also have witnessed the tears of others, the words of heartbreak that have escaped the lips of some that I have wounded, and the depths of pain I’ve brought them terrifies me. How can an “angel” for one person, be a total “devil” to the next? How can my touch heal and yet also destroy? It blows my mind. It’s caused me to re-evaluate myself in ways that have brought on immense new changes. I refuse to hurt another the same ways I have hurt others in the past. I am done repeating old mistakes, and I’m learning ways to overcome my own insecurities that have caused hurts in the lives of others. It’s a beautiful, painful, uncomfortable yet exciting journey I have found myself on. Recovery and healing is a daily decision and some days I drag more than others. I try to end the days doing something I’d always denied myself for so long, and that is forgiving myself, as well as others. No more ball and chain or heavy burdens to carry. I’ve set myself free and found peace in letting go. The key to doing such a tedious task has come with understanding where my thinking and emotions first developed. Why have I been the way I’ve been for so long? Like a puzzle, I’ve began bringing each piece together, one by one, unveiling the bigger picture I just couldn’t see before.
Since childhood, I’ve always had three voices talking at me, sort of internal voices in my head that were constantly vying for my complete attention and devotion. Two of those three screaming and demanding to be heard, while the other a still small whisper, somehow able to be present amongst the chaos.
The first voice is my logical mind, which I know is full of knowledge and wisdom. She knows reality and truth. Her voice is deep and stern, reiterating the facts of life, even when i try to avoid hearing it. My head says things like “you’re an idiot! What are you thinking? Walk away, you deserve more.” Often it is fueled by guilt and shame in her attempts to get her point across. She likes to remind me of all the mistakes I’ve made, then dictate to me the ways I should live my life each day. My over analytical mind haunts me with horrible memories I wish I could erase. She replays scenarios, arguments, specifically words that have wounded and destroyed me over time. You’d think she’d let up and have some sympathy considering all the shit I’ve been through, but she she feels no remorse, only anger. She believes all of it I brought upon myself, for not listening to her. I wish she could be more empathetic but that is not her role, which she often chimes in quickly to remind me. Her thoughts consistently at war at all times with the second voice inside me demanding to be heard.
The second voice, more appealing and high pitched, often likes to taunt me with questions like “what if?” and “And maybe this one’s different?” Her voice so charming and full of compassion, she is the voice i tend to listen to most, and she is my super sensitive heart. She is completely broken and in pieces, yet somehow feels entitled to try and mend in others, what she cannot mend within herself quite yet. Her voice has coaxed me into the arms of manipulative men, telling me that somehow maybe she can change them. She’s gotten me to open up to friends that weren’t healthy or uplifting, only to try and prove that second chances bring new behaviors. She lives off hope and the goodness that exists in others, even when there may be no goodness in them to be found. She clings passionately to beautiful ideas that are only gusts of wind, meant to only to be breezes passing through. She doesn’t want anything to do with my mind because she says it goes against everything she dreams of and desires. She asks “Where is the passion in logic? How will you find contentment in the mundane? You know you can’t. Even if all I ever cause you is pain, the truth is, I’m the only thing that makes you feel alive!” She likes to hide mostly behind humor and dry sarcasm, wishing for someone to come along and expose her, but no one ever does. No one realizes she’s the one usually speaking most of the time, but when she gets mistreated and hurt, which is often, she recoils back into her shell. She despises injustice and mistreatment and does not know how to cope with it. Now a days she is a hermit living under the watchful eye of my logic, still dreaming of breathing life into her fantasies and making them realities, but since her last heartbreak she’s not as in control as she used to be. Although she never ages, no matter the time, place or person, she fails to accept the harshness of tainted love. She wants what she wants, when she wants it, but 9 times out of 10, what she wants isn’t what she needs. And when it comes to needs, logic quickly swoops back in to try and take over yet again.
And last but not least, there is that quiet whisper that often twists my insides and robs me of all peace and sleep in the night. She hums lullabies from my childhood and is the essence of the very soul that I am. She is the first inner voice I remember hearing even as a little girl. She lives in the core of my gut, she is my intuition. She somehow knows everything before my logic and my heart, and senses the energy of others I come into contact with. Her spirit is based in my fundamental truths, morals and beliefs. She tells me when things are wrong or right regardless of what my logic and heart may argue. She is tactful, subtle and soft spoken. She does not sway from one way to another as the other two voices do, for she remains planted firm in faith. She is the one I once centered all things around but now we barely speak. For awhile I thought she left me and got tired of being neglected and ignored. She probably didn’t want to stick around for yet another “I told you so.” but her silence terrified me. It wasn’t until I stopped the pills, removed the alcohol, parties, men and so called friends, that I slowly began to hear the small rumblings of the familiar voice that used to guide and protect me. She was still here inside me, but hidden and drowned out beneath the distractions. She knew all I was doing was trying to numb all my senses and emotions. I’ve been in so much pain, no one knows how deep and dark it’s gotten, but She did. She knew and understood why I was doing, all I was doing. When I hit rock bottom, it was her voice that gently whispered to me, “You’re in pain and you need to stop. You’re only making it worse.” She had stood silent for a long time, while listening to my logic and heart have ongoing screaming matches with each other. She was hurting badly for me and her honesty brought my chaos to a screeching halt. I wasn’t myself anymore. And to be honest, I hadn’t been for a really long time.
Rock bottom was a kind of pain that almost seemed unbearable. I eventually decided to stop trying to handle it all alone. The hurting was enough to get me to seek out the help I needed to get better. It took months to just be able to look myself in the mirror and not feel anger or disgust. It took countless hours of crying into my pillow and surrendering my will back to God, over and over again, admitting how lost and alone i felt. I spoke my truth and asked my sisters to be my pillars of strength and carry me, because I couldn’t do it anymore. I was done with the act of pretending and needed my family to be the crutch I needed to fully heal. I needed to forgive myself and everyone else, but what they don’t tell you is that forgiveness is a decision you have to choose to make everyday. Some days I got it right, while others I struggled to simply keep my mouth shut.
Even now, I am learning the power we have in the words we choose. I know this even more so today, because others have spoken such horrible words to me and against me. I really do hope you “gossip folks” realize that all you have done is help further kill my spirit in those moments you chose to make MY struggles, YOUR random topics of discussion. I pray such insensitivity will never be shown to you when your time comes to walk through your own valleys in life. I can honestly say, I have forgiven you, even in the midst of you treating me so poorly. I don’t expect you to understand or feel pity for me. If anything, I feel sorry for you, and it is you I am fearful for. I know first hand, that in the way you judge others, you will also be judged. Maybe one day you will be in the same valley of death I found myself in, or maybe it’ll be your significant other, your sibling, your parent, your friend, maybe even your child, and through them you will come to understand what you couldn’t before in me. Just because you cannot relate to my pain now, doesn’t mean you never will. My voice of intuition reminds me that people will reap what they have sown. Injustice done to me, or anyone for that matter, never goes unnoticed or unpunished. I’ve made my bed and have slept in it. Some of you have made yours and have yet to.
Now all that is left for me, is learning to seek out that small familiar inner voice that wants to lead me out of this hell and into the life I always dreamed of having. Fairy tales are nice, but my dream is to find fulfillment, purpose and happiness in all things, most importantly in myself. I’ve loved monsters and demons over the years who have done nothing but use and abuse me. If I’ve been capable of all that, how much more than am I capable of learning to love myself; the whole pieces, the messy bits, all that make me the intricate tapestry of colors, moments and experiences.
I’ve accepted that I’ll always have three voices pulling me in different directions, but for now they all seem to agree that, listening to them for the time being is all I need to do.
Be still. Simply listen. Just be.