Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gratitude

I'm finding this process much more difficult than I had expected.  To go back through distant memories and process through the emotions that seem to have been waiting with open arms is not an easy task.  And though, I know it is necessary, I have had to distance myself from writing more than I thought I would need to.  A daunting task, considering I'm floating somewhere in my early childhood!  I will plunge ahead, but felt that today would be a good day to surround myself with gratitude and the blessings that this life that I have lead, though marred periodically, has made me the woman I am today.  My childhood, even with its difficulties was supplemented with many happy times.  I inherited an incredible imagination and love of the outdoors and nature that I am so grateful for today.  I recall spending hours outside making up incredible adventures that would take me to far away places and time.  I could make a hanging branch, a wall of leaves into a magical castle and kingdom in an instance.  In my world, I was always the star.  I believe that this helped prepare me for my future,  to possess confidence that I didn't ever really know that I had.  I am able to walk into almost any situation and have ownership of it.  This has proven to be an asset as I navigate through my career.  I owe my childhood for that.

And my family, my incredibly gregarious family.  I was blessed with this melting pot, hundreds strong, of uncles, aunts, cousins, grand mothers, grandfathers, sisters and brothers that have taught me so much over the years.  I could not be more proud of who I am and where I come from.  One day, with any spare time, I would like to trace this amazing family tree and create something incredible to pass along to my own children.  I want them to know that through their mom, through their grandparents, my parents, they have a history that is strong and filled with the best and most courageous people that I ever known.

And finally, from my father--- loyalty, a brave heart, commitment, drive to always give back to those that can not always fight for themselves, kindness, laughter, fun and dare I say it, intelligence!  From my mother--- creativity, courage, the ability to never give up, honor, strength, spirituality and ultimate will.  These are the best of all that they passed along to me with oh, so much more.  From them both, their tragically, beautiful, broken souls.  If I could swim to the heart of that, past all of the human imperfections, I believe I would be as close to God as I've ever been.  My future acceptance speech (don't we all have one of those?!) always ends with...  Thank you mom and dad.  For bestowing to me that I am who I am today not because of anything that has ever "happened" to me, but in spite of it all.  I owe that to each of you.

So, today, it is with gratitude that I pause in this moment before I press on through this journey.  Without all that I came from, I would not have what I have today.  A glorious life surrounded by the very best in friends and family that consistently bring out the best in me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Trapped

Something startles me awake.  My eyes are wide open but there is not light enough to adjust to any kind of sight.  My small body wriggles beneath some kind of constraint.  Above me there is a wall.   As I move my hands to each side of me the realization begins to sink in that I'm in a box?  It is hard and very quiet.  Unnervingly quiet.  I can't hear anything, nor see anything.  There is a faint odor of pine and my fingers can lightly brush and sense that this must be what has become my tomb.  I am trapped.  As I lie there my mind moves from panic, to exhaustion, to anger, to fear.  I scream, but I can't tell if anything is coming out.  I feel like it is my voice, but I can't recognize the tone or intonation.  The voices creep in, silently, then more bravely and with conviction.  They replay themselves over and over again.  They start as a whisper, but get louder as my mind begins to race.

"slut", "bitch", "fat", "whore", "ungrateful", "liar", "spoiled", "selfish", "mean", "loveless", "lazy", "irresponsible", "ugly", "vacant", "entitled", "crazy", "delusional", "bad", "wrong", "broken", "loser", "failure", "dirty", "nothing", "rotten", "insecure"....   over and over and on and on.

I begin to pray silently, my mouth is moving and I assume there is something coming out.  I pray to Jesus.  I have not been baptized.  I don't know who He is or what He can do for me, but I don't know what else to do.  Jesus, God, Lord Almighty, please stop these voices from destroying what is left of my mind.  I don't know where I am.  I don't know what to do.  I am too small.  Help me.  Don't leave me here to listen to this.  Please save me.  Do something. Anything.  I will die.  I can die. Just. Let. Me. Die.  Amen

I scream.  In an instant I wake up and look around.  My eyes transition with the light of the morning sun shining down on me from the window above my bed.  I hear my husband showering in the bathroom.  Someone rustling around in the pantry, most likely on the search for some breakfast treat.  The dog whining from the living room to be let outside and the cats scratching to get in.  The hum of the computer next to the bedroom anticipating my daily morning check-in.  All familiar sounds.  All familiar noises.  It was just a dream.  I am not trapped.  There. Are. No. Voices.  There are no voices.  I am (not) trapped.