WARNING: extremely raw emotions are discussed in this post. The individuals discussed in this post do not share any genetic ties with me, so all you family members are off the hook!
As I have shed inches and few pounds, I have found some other stuff. I mentioned there was a lot of emotional things going on this cycle. I did not write about it here, as I was still processing things emotionally, but back in March we almost lost my dad. I wrote about it on FaceBook, and put on a “happy face”, but it was one of the scariest moments in my life and his health continues to be precarious, though he is making strides towards feeling better. My dad, as I have said before, is battling cancer. We are at a point in the disease where the only cure is going to be a miraculous cure and not one from a medical treatment. He has faced so much, been through so much, and has managed to come out the other side with a positive attitude. I know mom has a lot to do with that. I want their marriage when I grow up!!!! But I digress. As an adult (we won’t talk about my teen years) I tend not to complain about the big stuff. A hang nail I will whine about for days, but something like my dad fighting for his life, I pretty much don’t draw attention to how it is affecting me. Part of that is just who I am. Part of that is because my experience is that no one really cares what I am feeling or what I need. Subsequently, I don’t reach out for help. If I can’t do it myself, it just does not get done unless it is something that is for the good of my family. But then, in my mind, everyone is very concerned about Bear and the Cubs and my parents. One of the things that I have recently found again is my voice. I have found things that I am passionate about and for which I am willing to take a stand. I am learning that I do have things to say and what I say does make a difference sometimes. I am learning to speak about my needs and desires. But I have also learned that some very special relationships, developed during the time when my self-esteem was at it’s lowest, are going through some painful growing pains. I have no idea if they will survive the changes that are going on with me. The expectations that others have of me I am no longer willing to live up to. These people don’t seem to know what to do with me when I become assertive and make my needs known. And it hurts. It hurts that no one has reached out to learn what the changes in me are all about. It hurts that during some really, really, really stressful times in the last few months I did not get any phone calls or e-mails asking how I was and was there any way they could help. It hurt that when I reached out for some help I was told to call back if I could not find anyone else to help. While I realize this may have been a bad time for others, that they may have been dealing with their own “stuff”, I felt abandoned. I am still working through those emotions. They are emotions that I don’t like to face – anger, hurt, loneliness, powerlessness, inferiority. All things that I have felt for so many years, that I thought I was finally moving past, have come rushing back to overwhelm me. There are times that I feel like the “me” I have worked so hard on over the last 7 months is going to become lost. I am afraid that I am going to be washed away and drown. So I walk a balance beam again, trying to maintain the growth that I have done while trying to determine exactly what the future is for these relationships while I am being flooded by all those negative habits and emotions that have been the foundation of my self-perception and self-esteem for so many years. I am finally at a point in my life where I don’t have to put on a happy face all the time – I can have negative emotions, I can be needy at times, I can be b*%^hy (in a nice way) and assertive. I have the right to feel those emotions and to let others know that I have those feelings as well. No, I don’t have the right to be mean and hateful, but I also don’t have to be sunshine and posies all the time either. I have the right to expect that others will care about my feelings and needs and to occasionally put those needs in front of their own when my needs are a bit more urgent than theirs are. I have the right to expect others to offer me a helping hand as often as I offer mine. I have earned those rights, I have done all I can to earn the respect of others. Now it is my turn, it is my time.
Wow – did I really just write that? That is amazingly freeing! Now if I can only drill it through my own emotional walls and live it…….