I don’t feel like I was entirely honest in my last non Baby Me blog post and I want to talk about why, because a big part of this project for me (sidenote: that last blog post was my ONE HUNDREDTH POST on this blog, how ridiculous is that?) is trying to be transparent and honest in a way that is helpful and good for me and hopefully for those around me.
I wasn’t trying to be dishonest, although I didn’t feel totally comfortable with what I was writing. See, here’s what actually happened. I wrote that thing and I sent my message back to my aunt (who did respond the next day but to be honest, that’s neither here nor there. I’ll just say it was fine, boundaries are established) and then I was really sad. I felt threatened and angry and I really struggle with being angry. Later that night David cuddled me before bed and I cried and tried to explain that this felt unfair to me. That I have worked so hard to get to a place in my life where I don’t have to constantly be careful, to constantly feel that sense of looking over my shoulder and here this woman who means absolutely nothing to me can come into my life and make me feel bad and make me feel frightened. Not because I think I’m doing anything wrong but because I forgot what being careful felt like. It was hard for a few hours there and I didn’t talk about that; I tried to make it something else.
I want to talk about why I didn’t talk about that because I feel like that’s important. See, I really want to be better. Some days it seems like the stakes are increasingly high and I worry about what happens if I am not getting better. I feel like I need to be able to show proof of my progress, like I need to have something to hold up to show I am a maturing adult even when, maybe especially when, things suck. I mean, I’ve done a lot to get here. I made a lot of choices and I believe they were right but there are still days I feel like I have to prove it. I walked away from my family, my faith, my entire life. I built something from the ground up and according to every single thing I was taught my whole life, I’m heading straight to hell now. And even though I don’t believe in hell anymore, except in those weird moments where programming kicks in, even though I believe that I have done the best I can, that pretty much every choice I’ve made has been the one I’ve needed to make for my health and sanity… it still feels like the stakes are high and it’s on me to prove that it was worth it.
The primary way that I find to prove that it was all worth it is to tell a story. Not a lie, just a story. It’s not that what I’m saying isn’t true; everything I said in the last entry was true. It was just a nicer version of the truth. It was the easy part. It’s the narrative that gives a moral to the problem, that makes sense of what’s happening. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes it does, but not always. Sometimes there is a moral and a lesson but it doesn’t show up till way down the line. Sometimes I can’t find one at all. Sometimes it just hurts and I need to cry for a while and get it out of my system. Someday I will learn that none of those things mean that what I have been through or fought for is less meaningful.
I just really love a story and I want mine to be a good one. But I don’t know what the lesson from all this is right now. I don’t know what all the ripples with my family will be or how wide they might spread. I am still surprised by things and sometimes those things are upsetting and unexpectedly painful. And I don’t need to pretend to be pragmatically okay with the lessons I learn from that. It’s okay to be sad for a while before moving forward. One doesn’t negate the other. Someday I’ll be able to remember that. Sometimes the stories I tell are intended to clarify things for myself or for the people I’m explaining to but sometimes I sacrifice important details for the sake of clarity. My life isn’t a movie and it doesn’t really work to try and boil it down to the salient plot points. I just hope that in the middle of all the mess it can still be a story worth telling.