People often tell me I am brave. But it is not something I have ever felt, not for one moment.
Today, I am, as so often before, scared. Adrenaline is pumping. Each decision with regard to writing, seeing others, talking on the phone, comes with trembling and fear and an inner certainty that I am not equal to the task.
Last night dipped into a Hell I thought I had left behind me. This morning burst into the kind of toxicity I have spent so much time and energy trying to exorcise. I slept little and felt profoundly unsafe.
I am, to be frank, too frightened to share details. My courage, along with my confidence, has wilted. All the nasty words my ex threw at me relating to my lack of performing ability (and general uselessness as a human being) have come flooding back.
I had to write, to revisit the deep wounds and rip them open once more so that healing could occur. I wanted to do the decent thing, however, and so wrote the post as fiction.
In so-doing, I was allowing myself to be silenced and intimidated once again. The purgatory that is being honest and told I am being disloyal, or lying, or crazy, has reared its repulsive head once more.
I may not be brave, but I am not a liar or a bitch. If I write about negative stuff, it is because I feel the need to do so. Often, it is part of my ‘Know Thyself’ Path and the worst of the criticism is concentrated upon my own character. Such pieces are not easy to write and often I am tempted to take an easier path and to engage only at the love-and-light level.
But that would not be true to my experience. It would not be honest. It would make me even more of a coward than I already am.
I am often blamed when other people are unwilling to examine their own motives or face up to their inner darkness. It is called projection – and, over the past five years, I have received more than my fair share of it. The bottom line is ALWAYS, ‘YOU are the problem…’
I am blamed because certain individuals in my life have been too scared to look within, to see the pit of envy and anger and spite and resentment and competitiveness that is staring everyone other than them in the face. I, lacking filters and vulnerable as a result, become the obvious receptacle for the nasties no one else wishes to own.
I am not perfect. I have never, not once, tried to pretend that I am. In fact, many people claim that I am far too hard on myself. I have a temper; I can be passive-aggressive; I am not always diplomatic or nice or kind or thoughtful; I can easily say the wrong thing (usually through nervousness) or give an impression of being stronger and more confident than is the case.
My base confidence level is extremely shallow and fragile. It takes little to knock it. I can revert to believing that I am worthless, ugly, untalented and unpleasant at the blink of an eye.
The road to recovery (as anyone who has been abused can attest) is not a straight one, nor is it an effortless ascent with no tumbles along the way. Triggers happen. Flash-backs are frequent and painful. Feeling unsafe is common. Feeling cowardly and sad happens too. Sudden loss of confidence, when specific abusive situations are inadvertently mentioned, can set us back several paces. Cracking the shell of years of mind control is painful and very, very hard to do, so used are we to seeing ourselves as the pathetic, selfish, wicked, insane waste of space we have been told for so long that we are.
Setbacks, like this one, are inevitable. All we can do is to gather up the tattered fragments of our autonomy, get back on the metaphorical horse and try to look brave, even if we are weeping and shaking inside.
Brave? Me? No…