I notice as my dreams slowly start to become reality there is a part of me that wants to slow everything down. I start to turn apathetic, and devalue my accomplishments. No one is telling me to slow down, I am not getting negative feedback, it is a voice within me. The way I view my goal of writing a book next year starts to become muddied and blurry. I compare myself to others and I come to the conclusion that what I am doing is silly. I see women my age that seem more successful. They have bigger houses, they are taking better vacations, they are wearing better clothes. I start to question everything. What do I want out of all this writing? Are all of these hours I spend at the computer a waste of my time?
I am trying to be positive, encouraging and an inspiration to others, but sometimes I feel confused and selfish.
Right now, I am making no income from my writing. So my ambitious, materialistic side wants to know what the hell I am doing. That side of me that is never satisfied and always searching for more looks me over and rolls her eyes. She says ‘Why don’t you stop all that writing and get me some more things?’ She makes me want to slow everything down so I can pay attention to her. She is the side of me that is still childish in many ways and is always asking ‘what is in it for me?’ She doesn’t like uncertainty, and she doesn’t like that I am using so much of my energy on something that has no clear path to monetary return. She used to be able to control me. I am taking away her power and she is putting up a fight. It used to be her way or the highway. I used to do everything she said with little regard for the softer side of me, or other people. She can be ruthless. But she is what I needed when I was trying to survive on my own. She always puts me first and makes sure I am getting more than my fair share, and I love her for that. She took care of me and believed in me when no one else did. She is that voice that tells me that what I am doing is silly because it doesn’t directly help my physical survival. She wants me to have more of everything because if I do, my chances of survival increase. But what she doesn’t see is that I have already survived.
She is not going to be happy in 2019 because I am going to be spending even more time writing.
She will try to distract me and tell me I am wasting my time. But I have learned enough about her to know that when I accomplish what I set out to do she eventually respects me. She becomes quiet and admires me. And then she looks at me and says, ‘Oh, I see what you are doing and where you are going’. When that happens my survival side and my artistic side become one, and I feel whole. That feeling of wholeness is the most beautiful feeling in the world. The search for more of that feeling is why I continue writing with no clear path to financial gain. There is no monetary reward for me that can equal that feeling.
Writing saved my life.
Writing in my journal helped me to express myself and try to make sense of the world around me. But more than my own writing, other people’s writing saved and inspired me. When I was a young girl and I read poetry that expressed exactly what I was feeling, a part of me knew that I was going to be okay. My family may not have understood me, but this person that wrote this poem understood exactly how I felt. So, I knew that there were people in the world that would understand me. All I had to do was find them. I want to write about what I went through so that maybe you will find my writing and know that you are going to be ok. I want you to know that it is okay to leave a family that abuses and humiliates you. That it is ok to care enough about yourself to take the journey to find the love you deserve. And that 25 years after you have left your family and been away from the abuse, it is ok to write about it and share. That you don’t have to ever ‘get over’ it. I want to share with you that I spent a Christmas eating potato chips for dinner with a person that I barely knew because that was better than going home. If you are doing that this Christmas I want to let you know that it is going to be okay. Life gets better, and aloneness is temporary.
I am a completely different person than I was at the beginning of this year.
Revealing my truth in such a public way was one of the scariest things I have ever done. But the love and understanding I have received from my husband, daughter, my friends, my coworkers, and all my new friends fills up my heart. The encouragement that you have given me motivates me to push even more boundaries. As I start this new year, I know at the end of 2019 I will again be completely different than I am right now. And I am so curious and excited to see what will happen to me, what I will learn, who I will meet, and how I will grow. My journey of survival cannot be summed up in a word, a sentence or even a book. My survival journey is a living breathing entity that changes daily and will continue as long as I am here. But now I start the journey to wholeness. This journey is where my survival side and my soul meet, speak their truth, and become one.