In my last post–– the one that marked my first baby step out of the hole I’ve been in, I acknowledged that I’ve been depressed. I shared that writing and blogging has been hard. I wrote a post to restart my engine and move forward, even if I’m not sure how much gas I have in the tank.
I generally share my posts on both my personal Facebook page and the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page. I was taken aback by the friends who left comments, many sharing love and support, and letting me know they can relate to the sense of depression and stagnation that’s held me back. You all responded with so much love and support. Honestly, it was a bit overwhelming. Humbling and touching.
I also found myself a little startled. I felt naked. I forget that my invisibility cloak doesn’t actually work. When I put myself out there, well… I’m out there. Exposed. Vulnerable. Raw.
I’m not good at accepting help, support or loving words. It’s part of the reason I’m in this hole in the first place. My mother left me with a non-stick, life-time guaranteed Teflon™ coating, that deflects compliments, reassurances, loving words of support–– the kind of incredibly supportive words that so many of you have shared with me, since I put myself out there.
But the reality is not as uplifting. I read your words, and they slide right off. They linger for a moment, and then dissipate.
Don’t take it personally. It’s my shit. I deflect instantly, because I don’t know how to absorb that good stuff. I learned a long time ago, not to count on good things, and despite all the enormous positive in my life, I get stuck in a hole.
I deflect with sarcasm.
I deflect with thank yous and praise-back-at-you.
I deflect because my self-esteem is on life-support, and stats are low.
I deflect because I am taking baby steps, and figuring out how to process and absorb the positivity you all sent my way–– the positivity that surrounds me. But it’s just too much.
I’m grateful; don’t get me wrong.
I deflect because I’m hard wired to do that.
Pay no attention to that (woman) behind the curtain! I am the great and powerful Oz!
What you see, is not who limps along, digging out of the hole. Second guessing every compliment and kind word that comes my way.
I’m plagued by insecurity and dark thoughts. This isn’t something new, it’s me for as long as I’ve known me. Putting on a confident face, that hides the real stuff. Making jokes and filling up space, to hide.
Blogging has been my safety net for a long time now. But it also comes with lots of personal potholes, and I trip a lot. If you don’t read me; I feel like I’m not good enough. If you don’t hit like; I’m questioning why. If you used to follow me, and now you don’t; I take it personally. I second-guess it all. It’s a sticky, dark, internal game that messes with my head. And it isn’t about you; you can’t change it for me.
It’s my shit.
Please don’t reassure me, or tell me otherwise. Please don’t try to explain that I’ve got it all wrong. Please don’t try to assuage my internal shit-maker. This is my head and I know it’s a mess. I’m working on it. Just be patient with me.
I’m working on letting go of the Teflon™. When I hit bottom in May–– and it was a dark, self-destructive bottom which I’d assured myself I would never see again, I was really shaken. I was disappointed in myself for not pulling the parachute sooner. I was embarrassed by my own fragility. I felt shaken by the sense that I may never purge the dark stuff and really live in the light.
I shared it all with my kids, for the first time ever. Really shared. I told each one of them (and this is edited, because some things are still private): “I am wired differently. I’m acknowledging my childhood traumas make it hard for me to interact and connect in the ways I want to. I know I don’t respond and react the way others want. I have broken pieces (they) can’t understand, because we come from such very different places. I’m working on it. I keep working on it. But it’s exhausting, and I slip sometimes… into a dark space, where I feel infinitely hopeless. And climbing out is hard.” I told them I love them, and I am in it to win it.
I wanted my now (mostly) adult children (one with a child of her own) to know me not just as “Mom,” but as a person who sees her flaws and vulnerabilities and is asking for help. My kids responded with love and acceptance, and more shocking: they each thanked me for sharing all of this.
I was deeply moved. Inspired. Loved.
And I felt a similar sense of hope and support in the responses to my last post. Watching all the comments come in the other day, and all kind words–– so many thoughtful, truly inspiring words, I also saw my stats jump for the first time in months. And the image of those colorful bars reminded me of a heart-rate monitor, blipping out my writing days. My emotional pulse, visually represented by my blog life.
Beep, beep beep Beep Beep Beep!
Flatlining, and then getting a jolt, when I took that step back in to the world of blogging and writing. The bright orange line, there on the right of the graph–– that’s you! And you nudged me forward.
I shared all of this with my kids, and now with many of you, because I’m acknowledging I can’t do it alone… but baby steps require patience all around. I’m owning my shit, and asking for grace. I don’t want pity. And kind reassurances only bounce off, because, well… Teflon™.
I know you all mean well, your words have really touched me these past few days. But for now, I’m really just grateful you’re here. I’ve always said this: I write to be read. I write to reach out. I write to connect. That my words connected with many of you this week, means a lot. It means everything, at a given moment.
My flat-line stats jumped this week, when I wrote something that connected with many of you. And while I’m not good at taking in the love and support you sent my way, I’m grateful for it.
Thanks for being here. Thanks for the support. For now, just say:
Beep Beep Beep Beep
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And now for the marketing part of the show!
KAPOW! I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, no spam.
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