Tag Archives: relationships

Inner Voices


I keep using the phrase, “ebb and flow” lately, when referring to my life…my healing…my whatever. I’m over a year and a half into this “work” I’ve been doing, and lately… I have more days than not where I feel I haven’t made much progress at all. I can’t even bring myself to read my posts from last year, back when I was badass. Back when I was fixing appliances and taking names. Back when I spoke my truth and became empowered. Back when I learned what brought me joy and I did it.  Back when I knew my worth.

OK, I suppose that last sentence is a bit misleading. It’s not that I don’t know my worth. I know it. I’m just having a hard time feeling it. Yes, there’s a difference. Feeling it, (or not feeling it, in this case), is that inner voice. My inner critic. My superego. The one who laughs at my intellectual self, who is the one who tells me I’m worthy. My intellectual self uses all the new language I’ve learned, all the research and knowledge I’ve gained, and says it to my inner self. Over and over and over. But my inner self is ebbing….or is it flowing? I’m never sure which is which, when talking about life’s highs and lows. Anyway, my inner voice isn’t matching up to my intellectual voice anymore. And I hate it.

God, I was so freaking strong when they matched up. I was powerful. Even I wouldn’t have messed with me back then. Hell hath no fury like an empowered woman who knows her worth! I became that way by removing all of my triggers. Easy! Live in a bubble and all is well…tra, la la….

My bubble was so perfect, so believable…I didn’t think I needed it anymore. That’s a core dilemma, isn’t it? Stay in the bubble so you don’t get hurt, or go out of the bubble so you can attempt to live a real life? TOUGH decision! In the words of my future boyfriend, Garth Brooks,

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance”.  

I swear, sometimes I think Garth is the male country version of Oprah…speaks to my heart. Anyway,  I’ll save you the details, but right now…I’m outside the bubble. I can’t even get back in, because the only way out is to pop it and hope for the best. And well, the best didn’t happen. I know, I know…that’s how life goes. Trust me, my intellectual self has been telling me that for weeks now. That’s what’s interesting about being outside the bubble this time. The first time, which just so happened to be right after I realized I had been living in a cocoon my entire life, well that first time was so raw and eye opening, I didn’t really mind it. I liked it. For the first time in my life, as painful as it was, I felt like I was living.  I saw life and felt experiences, painful or not, with a new clarity…from a new perspective. My inner self and my intellectual self matched up quickly. The puzzle pieces started falling into place and my year of “work” paid off.

Of course, I didn’t completely realize that in order to stay in that place, I had to live in the bubble. Bubbles are transparent, and you don’t even notice them if you stay busy enough. But I’m not so busy anymore. I sold my company. I have a much less stressful job. I’ve been separated long enough that it feels normal now. The kids are busy and off conquering the world, now that one of them has a car. I don’t need to journal 10 times a day anymore. I have time. And when you’ve got time on your hands, and your inner voice is telling you you’re not worthy, life gets difficult.

So, I’m spending my time flip flopping between the two voices. One saying, “Other people get those things, Jami. You don’t. That’s just how it is.” And the other is saying, “You are worthy and things will come when they are supposed to. Trust the process.” They say a lot of other things, but I’m trying to make a long story a little less long (sorry). I spent my entire life listening to that first inner voice, the one who knew I wasn’t supposed to have the things I long for in life. I never even asked for them, because I knew. That’s toxic shame for ya…it’s a bitch. I had no clue that another voice even existed, let alone knew the things it would say to be true. And I feel blessed to have been able to figure out a way to listen to that second voice last year. Not only listen to it, but believe it. I believed it right up until about two months ago. That’s when I hit the ebb, (or flow?)  and started to realize that I had been wrong all along. “Other people get those things, Jami. You don’t. That’s just how it is.” Right now, most of me feels like maybe I was just faking it all last year, because this is what feels real right now. My empowered self feels like an act. Fooled you, suckers! And guess what? Even admitting that makes me feel ashamed. Gosh! (read that like Napoleon Dynamite). Staying miserable is easier…

My saving grace in all of this is that the difference between this time…the difference between hearing that voice now and when I heard it my entire life before, is that I have that intellectual voice now. My tool box is at least over halfway full.  I never had a counter voice before. I never flip flopped. I was just unworthy, plain and simple. No argument to be made, as the opposing side did not exist to me. At least now, I have an argument. And even though my inner voice is kicking ass right now, I am holding on to a thin thread of hope that if I focus on the process, my intellectual voice will prevail.

That’s what faith is, right?

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Vulnerability: Part 2

Well, you know shit’s going down when I write two posts in a week…

My last post was about the power and beauty of being vulnerable. I talked about how that’s the only way to truly connect with people…to be real, open and honest about who you are and how you feel. I talked about how it’s so hard to do, because it’s risky. You risk having your heart stepped on if you hold it out to someone in wide open vulnerability. But, if you want someone to hold your heart and nurture it, then you gotta pull it out and cross your fingers.  It’s the only way to feel love…by being vulnerable and putting it out there.

Yeah, it’s risky for sure. It takes courage, no doubt about it. You actually have to be pretty damn brave to be vulnerable. Well, to consciously be vulnerable.  You don’t see weak sissies holding their hearts out there, all exposed, all vulnerable and shit. Nah, they wall off their hearts like a fortress. No one’s getting anywhere NEAR that tender spot.  And if they do become vulnerable, it wasn’t on purpose. Someone snuck up on them. It’s easy to protect yourself by not holding out hope to avoid disappointment. Who wants to feel the pain of a broken heart? Well, apparently…I do. Over and over and over again.

Jesus, then that must mean I’m a fucking warrior.

I don’t feel like a warrior right now. I feel like a baby deer that got hit in the middle of a dark road, and the driver stopped, but didn’t take it to the vet. He just looked at that broken, damaged deer…feeling sorry for it, but at the same time, blaming it for running in front of his car like that. I mean, why would someone take a deer to the vet? It’s just a deer. There’s millions of deer out there, and they get hurt and die slow deaths every day. Why go out of your way to save this one? Sure, the driver might start to feel a little guilty, but he pushes it out of his mind fairly easily. Come one now, all he was doing was driving along. It’s not his fault the deer got in the way.  Deer are stupid…

OK, that analogy got a bit off track, but you get the gist…

So, I’m walking that oh so thin tightrope right now, where one side is me falling into the pit of despair. You know, the place of shame and self-doubt, the place where I realize it’s not all these other people who have the problem…it’s me. I’m the damaged one.  The place where I feel pretty damn comfortable admitting that I’m not good enough. That I’m too needy. That if I just say it a different way, or if I just act a different way, then the person I just handed my heart to will pick it up and love it. And the other side of the tightrope is where I feel empowered and worthy of someone taking me to the damn vet after they accidentally run me over. Or maybe I’ll just take myself to the damn vet. Maybe I don’t need a driver at all! My problem is that I can’t consistently stay on either side. I just keep swinging back and forth between the two, and if you don’t pay close enough attention to what I’m doing, you might think I’m bat-shit crazy. So pay attention.

Tonight, I had a revelation. I thought about how I work so hard to heal people. How I have these amazing experiences where I make people feel like they matter, where I don’t judge, where I accept things for what they are.  People tell me all the time how compassionate and loving I am when they hear these stories, or get to experience them first hand. They tell me I am special, loved and worthy. But I’m wondering tonight…am I only doing those amazing things with people to overcompensate for what’s wrong with me? If I create these experiences with my patients, with strangers on the street, with my friends…experiences that result in people accepting my love and giving it back in return…does that make up for the other people in my life who don’t want my love, the people who can’t seem  love me? Is that why I’m doing it all? Am I trying to create love in places it wouldn’t normally exist, in order to ease the pain of it not existing where it should? Do I think this will make me feel less “less than”? Does it even matter? I think it might. Or maybe not. Lately, I’ve been asking what it is about me that keeps love just out of reach. It must be something about me, as I end up repeating the same scenario over and over and over. Sure, these people like me. They actually think I’m kind of great, in certain scenarios. But, as soon as I ask for too much, I’m not so great anymore. Maybe I want that kind of connection so badly, people just can’t handle the amount of love I have to give. I really do have a lot of love to give. Maybe too much. Maybe I’m too intense, and that type of connection I’m craving really doesn’t exist anywhere, so I’m setting myself up for failure by even wishing for it. Maybe I really am too demanding. Maybe I should tone it down a bit. All of it. My expectations. My passion. My needs. My wants. My desires. My love. If I did that, then maybe I could get something, and maybe getting something is better than getting nothing. Does anyone ever really get more than something? Does that really exist?

Wow, that’s almost kind of easy to talk myself into. Of course it is…that’s how I’ve rolled my entire life. How’d that work out for me so far? Not so good. Yet, I’m finding myself leaning towards doing it again tonight…

Yeah….I think maybe I’ll hold out hope for a little bit longer. At least, that’s how I feel right this minute. Tomorrow, I might beat myself up again, but right now I think I want to hold on to the idea that I’m not craving something that’s just a fairy tale. Sure, I still feel like that baby deer, alone, bleeding and crying in the middle of a dark road. The driver has since moved on to wherever he was going. People feel bad when they hit a deer, but they tend to forget about it once they go back to their daily routine. Oh, and you know, there’s more than one driver in my life, by the way. One who just keeps circling me from time to time. “Oh, here he comes….oh, nope…he’s leaving again….” I’m just going to have to get used to the fact that he isn’t ever going to stop long enough for me. It sucks, but it is what it is. All I can do is feel the pain, for as long as I need to, and hopefully find myself dancing in the woods again. Ha ha…that’s so easy to SAY, isn’t it???  Just get used to it. Good one, Jami….

The good thing is, I’ve lied in this road before. I know I will stop bleeding. Eventually, I always do. How do you think I got all these scars? Warriors have scars, they say. So yes, I will try to hold out hope for a little bit longer. Faith is taking that first step, even when you can’t see the staircase. God has a bigger plan for me, and this, right now, bleeding in the road alone…is not it. There’s got to be someone out there who’s searching for an intensely loving, previously traumatized, tightrope walking deer, right?

 

 

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Things turn icky

I’m messy. I just can’t help it. I think it’s genetic. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to live in a clean and organized home, but I just can’t do it. I hold on to things and they pile up. Things get buried in the fridge and turn icky. I put things down where they don’t belong, thinking I’ll put it away later…which never happens. I don’t know why. I guess I just get distracted with other things and before you know it, another day has gone by and the pile of clean laundry I threw in the corner of my closet (because I was having company and everyone who knows me knows they are not allowed in my room because that’s where I pile everything when I “clean up” and they know damn well not to push me on that ) is still there. Buried under two other piles of clean laundry I tossed in there. And the floor is lined with stacks of mail and papers and kids report cards and school projects and photos and books and…. Ugh.

Not to mention, I live on Cape Cod and I’ve got so many better things to do with my free time during our oh so short summer…

Sometimes, though…I get motivated. Not the kind of motivated I get when I’m having company and I need to hide things, but the kind of motivated where I am ready to tackle one of those projects.  Unfortunately, it usually takes me feeling frustrated or pissed off to find this motivation. I’m dealing with a bit of an emotional speed bump right now, which makes me feel things I’ve been trying to shed from my soul all year…so I found myself cleaning out my pantry this evening. I filled up a full-sized trash bag, throwing out expired crackers, stale cereal, empty boxes (why my boys can’t comprehend how tricky it is when they leave an empty box in there…how am I supposed to know we need more? I don’t have x-ray vision.) I also ran a few loads of laundry and hung up all those piles of clothes in my closet. I felt accomplished. As I scurried around, I had to chuckle a bit. All I could think of was my marriage. Every time my ex-husband made me feel bad, I found myself filled with a powerful frustration which, of course, never got validated and never had anywhere to go. So, I would clean. After a while, he knew if he saw me cleaning at eight o’clock at night, he knew he was in trouble. Hell hath no fury like a scorned woman, I said to myself tonight. And that made me laugh, so there’s my sliver lining.

As I hung up my clothes, I stopped laughing. I came across a few items that reminded me of feelings I hate. I saw what used to be one of my favorite skirts. It’s a blue and white striped maxi, kind of nautical looking. As I looked at it, I remembered the last time I wore it. I had participated on a town committee last year and the local paper printed a photo of the members. I was the only female on the board. I paired the skirt with a navy blouse and thought it made a great business-casual look. I was excited to be on the board, even though it didn’t turn out quite as I had imagined (which is a misogynistic post for another day), and was also excited to have my photo in the paper. This was during the time when my husband and I were negotiating about getting a divorce. We were being fairly nice to each other, as he didn’t want to move out. I had sort of stopped sharing things with him at that point, as he had no clue on how to validate me and I had been through so much that spring that I just felt it was easier to keep things to myself. For some reason, I decided to share that day. I suppose it’s because he had been being so nice to me. I mentioned I made “the front page”, jokingly, as it’s just a tiny, local town paper. We both smiled at the joke. He picked up the paper and said, “Well, there she is!”  It seemed like it was a pleasant interaction between us, which I easily welcomed, after all we had been going through. He then held the paper up and followed with, “Well, it’s not the most flattering photo of you, now, is it...” with an expression on his face that I probably can’t describe, but just trust me…it matched his words. And just like that, I felt small again. God, I hate feeling small. I felt myself shrinking, trying to disappear. However, I did just go through several months of therapy, and had been working so very hard on myself, going to meditation, working on opening my Chakras…so I found my voice and used it. “You’re so rude”, I said, calmly. He got defensive and said something like, “Oh, so now you’re going to be mad at me?  You’re so sensitive. It’s just a comment, Jami. People say these things, you know.” We went back and forth about it, with me telling him how small he makes me feel and how people certainly do not say things like that, and him telling me how it’s all my fault for being so sensitive. I held my ground and he held his, and we kept that argument going until the next day, when he finally apologized (an apology I did not accept, FYI). Needless to say, I haven’t worn it since.

I know, you’re all going to tell me I should say “Screw him” and wear that skirt, but I just can’t. Maybe some day, but I just don’t like being reminded of feeling small, because when I’m reminded…I feel it. It fills me up and is real. It comes back so easily…like riding a bike.

So, the skirt will stay in there, along with the hat I bought on vacation and only wore once because he laughed at it all afternoon. I won’t throw them away, because I want to get to the point where I can wear them and not feel small. I know I’ll get there, some day….

 

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 8/17

 

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