Yesterday went very well. I’m not sure how much “progress” I made but “Joe” (we’ll call him that for the blog), says that’s okay. The process is supposed to go at my pace and in my time. I have some new homework and I’m good for another couple of weeks. I’ll think and process and think and…did I say think? Yeah think.
The thing that is absolutely blowing me away is the fact that something that happened almost 50 years ago still has such an impact on me and can reduce me to tears in a matter of seconds. It’s really not about the abuse so much as it is that feeling of not being protected; of not being safe; of not being loved.
I have no memory of being held by either of my parents to feel comforted and safe. The memories I have of being held are uncomfortable – like I just wanted to get away as soon as I was on someone’s lap. Hugs and kisses were frequent (we’re Italian so…well it’s what we do) but I never remember them feeling the way they do when I hug and kiss my own children. They were perfunctory. Mechanical.
On the way home yesterday, I told the hubs that until my children were born, I had my heart walled off. He came the closest of anyone to breaking down those walls but it wasn’t until the kids came along (nieces, nephews, steps and bios) that the wall was truly destroyed…but only for them. They get that part of my heart that I believed would never see the light of day. It exists purely to love and provide for them, unconditionally and always.
What I’m learning is that it’s time to open that place in my heart to myself as well. It’s time to love myself unconditionally – the way I love my children. But that’s not an easy thing. The exercise of speaking to my little girl, of parenting her, reduces me to tears in a way that few things can. It touches my soul and awakens a yearning that I didn’t even know existed. It makes me profoundly sad.
I still feel a little weird about this – like I’m whining and complaining about shit that I should be over. Like I’m self indulgent and overly dramatic. But I let those feelings go because I know that if I’m every going to be truly free, I have to get through all of this and learn to love myself.
Thank you all for your kindness and support. This blog is my way of processing not only my recovery from alcoholism but from the rest of my life as well. I’m honored that you read and take the time to comment. You all rock and I am forever grateful.
That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph: and that which make our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness. The only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve: which could not happen unless we had commence with error, ignorance, and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light. –Albert Pike