sadness and fear

I don’t want to give these two things anymore room than they already have, so i’m not going to use capital letters in the title.

This has been a rough week.  A really rough week.  A situation I can’t avoid has caused me a lot of stress and I had to choose: do I face this and stand strong to keep the boundary line in place or do I listen to the fear?  Acknowledging my fear unnerves me.  It’s so easy to call it other things: stress, worry, anger — those are all easy scapegoats, but at the root is fear.  So what am I afraid of?

I’m afraid of being hurt.  Whether it’s my body or my soul, I’m afraid of being hurt because I have been hurt.  A lot. I was routinely hurt by my mother when I was growing up.  Body, mind, and soul, Nothing was exempt.  I was hurt by my husband in every way you can imagine.  My husband — the man who was supposed to be my ally, my friend, my protector.  Instead, he hurt me.  Sometimes accidentally and sometimes intentionally.  The worst part about it was that more often than not, it was couched in humor.  Let me say this clearly: it is never, ever funny to make fun of or belittle someone.  It is never, ever OK to use your relationship with someone as a butt of a joke.  Ever.

So when people get loud and verbally hostile, I shut down.  I get afraid.  I would rather absorb the situation than confront it.  Also, in an attempt to not be that person, it’s hard for me to set boundaries and stick with them.  I don’t want to come across as bossy or controlling because I don’t want to be that hurtful person in someone else’s life.

So this week — when I had to set boundaries and the response was yelling, accusations, and extreme physical agitation, I was physically overwhelmed.  I craved processed carbs and sugar.  I just wanted to sleep or curl up on a couch and watch movies.  I seem to have clenched my teeth all through the night because I woke up with extreme tension in my jaw, neck, and shoulders.

And I cried.  I don’t cry a lot, but I cried.  I cried for the little girl who felt like she was too much and I cried for the mom who feels like she can never be enough.

I don’t want to be ruled by those two things though: sadness and fear.  I don’t want to be defined by them.

I want to be that girl in the picture.  Who isn’t afraid to laugh out loud at the world and all its craziness.  The girl who knows she’s loved beyond all doubt.  The girl who knows she’s doing the right thing for herself and her family even when other people have doubts.  Not sadness girl.  Not worry girl.  Strong, happy girl.  That’s me.

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