How have you been? Apparently I have been absent since July, so my expected readership is ZERO. That isn’t really true, I expect 5 people to read this. 5 is a good number, not round, but full nonetheless. I am not exactly sure where this post is going to take me, if it will be a one and done or so lengthy that it has to become a series. Here is what I will tell you though, it will not include any photos or visual gems, it will be all words instead. So, if verbose people being authentic telling their story isn’t your thing, then you are probably not 1 of those 5 people.
So, where have I been since July? I have been taking care of myself, and I don’t have any plans to stop that, at all. You see, I did not take care of myself for the longest time. I never went to the doctor, not even annual appointments, I put myself last for everything, or didn’t even consider myself as important enough to care for, in any way. This post is not meant to be a downer, nor a bid for attention, but to be an honest wake up for someone out there. I needed a wake up, and I got one in July, apparently after hitting snooze one too many times!!
In July, I really wasn’t certain I was going to survive, but I am a survivor and a fighter, and patient and observant, so I just kept pressing on, but not really living, nor enjoying life. I had been living a nightmare for years, YEARS!! As I have mentioned before, I had Bell’s Palsy last year, which in my opinion was a result of all of the stress I had been under for years, that reached a major breaking point. After Bell’s, I thought(ha ha) that I was on my way to better, which I was not, I was just under slightly less stress. I did invest in myself by going to yoga, and by being very vocal about the bs I was dealing with in the ways I was, but it was not as alleviating as I had hoped it all would be. To be honest, that left me feeling angry all the time, which, I was already angry at everything all the time anyhow, so it was truthfully compounding the problem, not helping it.
If you read my post from May titled “Challenging My Femininity”, then you know that I was having an issue with a friend that felt they knew me, better than I knew myself. They had all of these preconceived notions about me, and honestly, some of those things were perceptions based upon my behavior, but some of those things were projections as well. I can say this now, having done 6 months of deep soul retrieval, which this is not my first go round with soul retrieval, but my most recent, and probably what I feel is my most profound. On a side note, I did open my heart to this friend, and realized this fall out was not all her fault, but I owned some of it too.
You see, she was just an embodiment of what was a deeper issue for me. She always remarked about my masculinity showing as most dominant. At the time, I was pissed, I am a very feminine person! So why would she think this? I seriously pondered, obsessed, and hurt over this. Now, I always like to delve in to psychological growth, what am I covering, what am I projecting, what are my flaws and issues that hold me back, sabotage me/my life, because I want to live my best life for me and those around me, which we established I was not. Anyhow, after doing a lot of psychological work, I realized why I was showing her that side of me, pretty much all the time. I felt very threatened, like she was just one more person to not actually hear me and see me, even though I wasn’t being my whole self, not even close!! It was also my way of being heard and seen. It worked with her personal trauma, which I did not even recognize at the time. Honestly, I think we both wanted a friendship with each other, we just happened to bring out not good things in each other due to our personal traumas. I never told anyone the toxic life I was living, and I expected her to see through the facades to the real me that I was hiding, so I was angry with her for not seeing me, for bringing out this defensive side of me, and for her projecting or having a false opinion of me, but it was really my fault because that is what I showed her, right?
Not exactly. I don’t deny that my behavior showed one side of me, but her opinions and discussion of me with others and strangers that didn’t know me, was the thing that made me see that we couldn’t be close. When you form an opinion, based upon limited knowledge, and then seek validation from others on that opinion, you are not being objective to what you are seeing, so then you start projecting your own issues/traumas on people. See, people never truly show you all of themselves, at least not in an acquaintance or early friendship, but I never thought I knew all of her, or a fraction. I was just curious to see it all unfold, because that is how I am, a part of who I am.
Back to evolving. I realized that yes, I was in a very craptastic situation in life, but how was I being a contributor of my own problems? This is not the same as saying “It’s all my fault.” and being a victim of sorts, I had already been there before too, this was different. What traumas or even more so, what changes had I made to my behavior(s), what acommodations did I make for others, and just disguised those things as character traits, beliefs, or “responsibilities”? I started delving in to archetypes, how those applied to me in all areas of life, how those affected me, how that affected those around me…I was doing a bunch of Shadow work, the dark side of self that isn’t like an evil side of your light/white side, but of the deep things I lied to myself about, that I wasn’t aware of , or that I felt I had dealt with already, but clearly had not.
Once I broke these archetypes down, something was still missing. I still felt something wasn’t right, I was missing something huge and I was hiding it from myself…and one thing kept playing in my mind. Someone commented on my “Challenging My Femininity” post, to open my throat chakra and speak my truth. This kept ringing a bell, but of what kind, I wasn’t so sure. I mean, I am a very vocal person. I can tell you my likes, dislikes, my opinions, my experiences, words, words words…but was I really open to saying things I needed to say, very specific things? And was there a connection between the friend mentioned above and my sad ass situation? YES.
I have always allowed other people to feel more superior to me. Especially when I see they need to be the dominant one, to be in charge, to have the power. Personally, I know who I am, I know my strengths(and weaknesses), I know my capabilities, I know what I know, and I know how to know what I know. Cryptic, sure, but the point is, I don’t have to have power, dominance or control, mainly because I know I can be the power in the room, I know I can be the dominant one, I know I can be in control…but that doesn’t make me those things. Being open to all does. Being welcoming and all inclusive does. Being authentic does. Providing space for others to test their wings, to be seen and heard does. Having the utmost of ethics and integrity does. BUT, being HUMBLE, serving in humility, with an understanding of others’ situations, traumas and needs allows me to comfortably shift to a minor role in things, not the dominant power role that is easy and anyone can do.
This is a me issue. This is me being too accomodating at times. This is me appearing as something I am not and allowing room for erroneous judments and opinions. And this also allows for certain people/personalities to think they can run roughshod on me, subsequently me feeling hurt, bitter and angry. So what is a person to do? Well, sometimes you have to shut up, observe and listen to understand. And other times, you have to show your true self. The situation with that friend showed me where I was screwing up in so many ways, that my ability to hide myself to let others shine was actually causing me to lose myself, and thus causing a whole host of other problems.
So, I told my husband that I wanted a divorce because he did not hear me and see me. This was not the first time I had said this to him, but this time I actually meant it. Our relationship was so damn toxic, he was a pretty shitty human in a lot of ways, as he had been shown to be, as he had been reinforced to be, and as he had been enabled to be. THIS was what I was hiding from-myself and my situation-and I had been doing it for years. I was completely lost in his baggage, in his past, in his trauma which became my own. My own self lack lead me to that point. Feeling that I couldn’t be my own confident self for feeling that others needed it more than me was and is WRONG. Shrinking myself for others to such a point of self sacrifice was ludicrous, but it was what was expected of me, it was what I thought someone that felt unworthy and unloved needed, I thought it made him feel safe, and maybe in some small way it did, but it also blew up to epic proportions, fostering the lack in his soul, and the stall of growth in my own.
Some of you may be wondering why I am airing dirty laundry, and I will tell you this. Piss off, I am speaking my truth, the thing I have hid from for years, the thing I pretended didn’t exist, the thing I put a happy face on for others’ sake. No I am not telling you all of the things that have transpired, that is none of your business, but I am telling you that I have lived a very dark, isolated, lonely life for a very long time. I have had beautiful things in my life, my children, my friends, my experiences, and my memories, but dammit, I lost my magic, I lost my zest for life, and that was not worth staying in a horrible situation for. And in case you are wondering, I am not divorced nor getting one.
Everything works in it’s own timing, all things lead you to where you are supposed to be. When I told my husband I was leaving, and he saw that I wasn’t angry, but calm, resolved and clear headed, I think it dawned on him that everything I had been telling him about his own baggage was true. He received several confirmations of this in a multitude of ways, and I think he would even tell you that a light bulb went off. He has since started counseling, and he has become the person I always saw underneath. A good man whose soul has evolved, a man who loves the little boy inside of him, a man that feels worthy and knows that our past and our mistakes don’t define us if we choose for them to not define us, but that if we hold ourselves accountable and responsible, if we communicate with openness, and love from an unconditional heart, then we can live and lead a life worthy of us.
My soul is free to resume it’s own evolution. No one freed me, no one saved me, no one did those things because I did, I did those things by being willing to look at the ugliness, and my Shadow self. We only limit ourselves by choice, consciously or not, but always ultimately by our own choice. My husband and I both have a lot of room for growth, individually, and together in our relationship. We both are providing space for each other, we are both working towards a better self for a better us. No relationship is perfect, as we are proof of, but when you truly love and care about another person, you figure out how to walk a path together, for the betterment of all. We both feel like our marriage is actually just starting, and honestly, it feels terrific!
Stay tuned, my husband Bill will be contributing his own piece to The Photographist Life!