Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hiding in the Shadows.

"But to love me, I have to accept that I am more than fear and shadow, I have to accept that there are things within me that can make me happy, that can make someone else happy, that there truly is something about me that is lovable, likable. Because when I set all outside influences aside, and just "be me" I am so content, and there are people who want to be with me, want to spend time with me, want me...they want me in their life, in whatever form that takes. On those days, when I can accept that....the joy I feel is so wonderful, so freeing." ~Quoting Myself~

"...just step inside my heart and walk around these rooms, where the shadows used to be..." ~Mary Chapin Carpenter~

Recently, several older blog entries of mine were brought to my attention, I reread one, then another, and reread them. Pondering, have I come very far since then? Am I worse off? Better?

In the past few weeks, I have been feeling lost, alone, needing to make a change, but out of fear, or guilt, or both, I have not accomplished it. In that process I begin the self-flagellation process, a continuing downward spiral. Wanting to hide, but forcing myself not to, forcing myself to come out of hiding, if only for a moment or two before I ease back into the shadows.

Never before in my life, have I heard these words directed toward me, "You look so sad", until now.

There are times, when life doesn't really make sense, when things happen. And, they seem to happen at the perfect time......when we need them to happen. Karma, maybe? I don't know. I don't really care why they happen. I am content to know they do happen.

I have been hiding from myself, from the needful things to be done in my life.

Hiding in shadows, hiding in fear, hiding in sorrow and tears, hiding in depression, hiding in guilt.

I look at my life......at what I have to do......and......I.......freeze.

Twenty-seven years. It repeats in my head, twenty-seven years, twenty-seven years married. Then I add the other three years we were together before marriage, thirty years of my life, almost two-thirds of my life invested (was it? invested I ask myself), in a relationship, in a marriage, in creating, nurturing a family. Two-thirds of my life........(OK, vain enough to state it is not quite two-thirds, but close).

And, I want to, need to, have to, walk away from that. Every part of me shouts out.....go, Go, GO!!! Yet, I am still here.

Even though I have taken many of the initial steps, even though I now have a plan, and know, that my children, my family, my friends, support me.

I stay here.
Buried in guilt.
Buried in fears.
Buried in sorrow.
Hiding in the shadowed recesses of my mind.

Something keeps happening though, as these seemingly infinitesimal increments of time pass, as I allow myself to express how I am feeling, without hiding in the shadows.

People, old friends, new friends, strangers, all give me a gift.
These gifts, may be a few words of encouragement, a listening ear, a quote, a poem, a bouquet of flowers (thank you Fi *s*). Or, a few simple phrases........"I wish I could hold you and tell you everything is going to be OK."......"We sleep under the same moon."......"I love you, I am here." Simple words, or gestures, that allow me to know that I am not alone.

Each helping, each shining more light into the shadows. Each at a time, when I need these shadows of mine illuminated, when I need the fears brought out into the open again.

I am very good at rebuffing people, very good at not returning phone calls, very good at hiding. I often have to force myself to be open, to allow my feelings to emerge. Each time forcing myself out of the shadows, to let someone in. So many times in the past, someone has attempted a deeper friendship, and I have discouraged them, by keeping the conversation on the lighter side, changing the subject, refocusing the conversation in another direction........

Thinking, they did not need to see, or deal with my boring, little problems, did not want to hear my whining, did not want to hear my fears, guilts, sadness........(yeah, still battling that self-esteem problem).

Yet, these thoughtful people do not give up on me.....so I have learned to speak, learned to allow one more person in, even though there are times, when I think I say too much. But, whenever I do allow my feelings to be expressed, the most AMAZING things happen! They support me, they hug me, they give me smiles, laughter, and affection. Best of all, a few give me little gems of wisdom........or just when I think I have thought something through, and can come up with no answers.......one of my new found supporters.......comes up with the most brilliant answer to the current predicament.

When I find myself retreating, which is often, when I realize I am hiding, once again hovering in the shadows of my mind. I wallow for a while, then when the hot tears well up, and no matter how hard I try to keep them from sliding down my face, they overflow my eyes. I realize, I have say it, or I have to write it in an email, not just in the anonymity of the blog. I say it to people who know me, who stand by my side, and show me, they are here, now, and will be there for me in two days, or two months.........they.....will.....be.....here......as long as I continue to reach out.

These friends, these angels of life, they cast a light on me, to illuminate my hidden heart. They pluck at the tattered edges of my soul, helping me, caring for me, just being there. Brightening my world, and I then can see.........I see the answers I was so hopelessly seeking.

Then, in the midst of wallowing, in the midst of sinking into the bleak abyss, wonder of wonders, I hear these amazing, fantastic people tell me.......they believe in me. They share their strength with me, they gift me with the self-knowledge, that I do have the strength, to do what I must do.

I take a good look at these wonderful people, these jewels of light that are attached to the fabric of my soul, and I have to acknowledge their specialness, I have to know with no doubts. If these beautiful beings, these spirited loving messengers, care about me, then I am doing something right in this world, to have them in my life.

And, I smile, through the tears in my heart.

*this blog entry started out as a way for me to ease some pain, an attempt to freely write out my deepest fears and guilts......but somehow in the writing, it changed, it became an awakening, I began to be grateful, instead of sorrowful.


Fiona said...

Is it hiding, or pulling the shell back over for a while? Regrouping? Refocussing?

I still do the shell thing from time to time. If I don't want to think about something, or talk about something. It helps being swallowed up beneath the impenetrable covering of aloneness.

But don't forget, if you're under there too long, we're gonna come a'tapping!

Sunny Delight said...

I don't feel as if it is a shell, too much hiding has been going on....time for me to open up and get moving! And, I will.....someone recently reminded me of my deadline *S*

Keep tapping, I need it!

P.S. I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Fiona said...

tapping on your shell....

.. ._.. ___ ..._ . _.__ ___ .._

I love you!

X. Dell said...

I'm now at the age where a good number of my friends are in their second or third marriages. I don't really know if that's bad or good in the grand scheme of things.

But I do know that divorce usually hurts. Real bad. I've never seen an amicable divorce (although I've heard they exist) in which both partners see the separation as a chance to grow, an experience as positive as the marriage. Most of the time, though, either one partner is relieved, while the other suffers, or they both suffer.

I feel at a loss for words. I wish that I could say something that would make it all better. But I can't. All I can do is offer my best wishes for your future in the hopes that your good times (and you should expect those) are just as rewarding as they have ever been.

The Savage said...

You have a friend in Kansas.. or wherevere I attempt a move to....

wreckless said...

I used to write a journal when I was younger. Blogging is that for many people now. It is such a cathartic, healing, and transforming experience. So many of my entries exposed and confrontee my deepest feelings. I argued and explored though this process just like you did. So much of what you write sounds like what I have written.
I think the more you explore, honestly, the better you will be. Don't discount God in all that you go through. I don't know your thoughts or feelings on this last sentence, but please let me know.

deb said...

Have you been reading my mind lately? What you write is what I'm feeling as well. Most of the time it's just too scary to look at properly so I slide away from it, tell a joke, pretend, try.

I'm sure glad I found your blog.

Sunny Delight said...

Keep tapping.....it helps. *S*

I too, know many people that are in 2nd,or 3rd marriages, good, bad? Poor choices?......
Over these many months, I have entertained many theories on the question of why so many marriages end.
So many of us marry very young, before we are fully formed in character and personality, a part of it? Life expectancy is longer, perhaps, many people are just not able to devote more than 25-40 years to a day-in-day-out relationship. Or, is it our generation? So many of those in the one preceding us, have been married for 50-60 years, and are happy, but then again, there are also, many that are married that long, and have never been happy. Boomers themselves, are a very large group (something like 70,000,000 of us), many of which are searchers, seekers, ever in a quest to find inner contentment.....a more selfish generation? There are times I feel as if I am just being selfish. Other times, I know, I helped create the problem, and now I don't like it, and I want/need to find my own peace and contentment in life, a feeling I have never known, thinking this will aid me in that search.
Or, all of those theories are just BUNK!

Can you tell, I am one confused puppy?

Your best wishes, are gratefully accepted.

Thank you.

Journaling in one form or another has always helped me. I do not think I will ever stop. I still keep hard copy journals too, where I write quotes, or one word sentences that jog my memory. I originally switched to anonymous blogging because a blog is not as easily found, and my inner thoughts and feelings couldn't be thrown in my face, by someone who does not try to understand. Sigh.

There seem to be many of us feeling the same things of late. In the past, I have taken comfort in the novels of Kris Raddish, she sometimes seemed to be speaking directly to me/us women of middle-age. Maybe it is time I picked one up again.
I have spent years sliding away.....lately, it seems I can no longer do that....it is here for me to face, live with, learn from, and grow from.

I have a new mantra for myself....

"I determine my destiny, not the words of another."

Sigh...now I just have to live it.

And, I too am glad I found your blog....a hug for you.