I used to wake each morning ready to go at 5 a.m. I would kiss my husband goodbye, take my shower and then move through my routine like a professional mother and wife. Everyone up. Check. Everyone dressed. Check. Breakfast cooked and served. Check. Lunches packed. Check. Everyone has what they need for the day. Check. Load of laundry done. Check. Dishes done. Check. Coffee. Check. Let’s do this.
Lately I’ve been hitting the snooze button until I’m in panic mode. Rush around. Check. Yell at the kids. Check. Forget all kinds of shit. Check.
The responsibilities of life are the same. I have not started a new job. I did not have another baby. I’m not taking college courses. Nope. Things are the same as they have been for years. Everything is the same. Except for me. I’m different. I’m broken and doing everything wrong.
I can barely keep groceries in the house. My yard has not been mowed in over a month. The kids haven’t been to karate in several months. I’m forgetting to call friends. I am not volunteering at the school much because I don’t want to.
So what AM I doing?
The answer is something I’m just now ready to admit.
We all carry around so much hurt and pain. Not just our own, but others as well. It just sits in us. Some are better at coping, masking or even releasing that pain. Others, like me, just let it fester and eat away at us.
I eat and drink my pain all day. I mask it with sugar, caffeine and alcohol. I drown it out by blaring music in my car and singing at the top of my lungs. I try to chase it away with “fun” things, like shopping, festivals and movies.
But the truth is, it needs to be acknowledged if I want to heal.
My mom has had some tremendous pain in her life. She had to put a baby up for adoption against her will as a teen. Her mother treated her like an emotional punching bag, giving her blow after blow of anger and pain. That woman, my grandmother, was/is so damaged. She has been in treatment off and on her entire life, but she still continues to spew forth anger and resentment toward everyone. I have no idea the horror story of her life, but I can imagine.
My mom married young to get away from all that. Her husband, my father, was not mean. He did not beat her or yell at her. He did, however, stay emotionally closed off. Checked out. So she poured herself into my brother and me. She wanted to shield us from all the pain she has endured. She wanted to heal our wounds before they even formed. She would gladly keep it all for herself.
It didn’t work.
My brother and I both carry lots of sadness and depression. We both are dealing in different ways, but it’s clear we both have this load on our shoulders that she could not help but pass along.
A new friend told me yesterday about something she called “ancestral pain.” It’s a concept I had not thought about before. It makes so much sense to me. The pain that is in me is so much deeper than just me. It goes back generations.
I believe it’s time to stop the pain. To acknowledge the depths of it and allow myself this time to cry, rage and release it all. This process is slow. Oh, so slow. The dancing is helping. Writing is helping. Crying is helping. It’s all part of it.
But I will not mask it any longer. I want it out there. I want to see all the angles of it. Examine every inch of this pain. Tear it apart and look at it. Then I want to let it go and move forward.
I know my mom will read this and immediately feel guilt. Please, mom, DO NOT! There is no place for that. You are a wonderful, beautiful, amazing spirit that deserves happiness. You did not choose this pain that has been passed down to you. You did nothing wrong. NOTHING.
I don’t have answers. I have no timeline or plan. All of that is hard for me. I like to make check lists and just get shit done. Deal with emotions. Check. Heal. Check. Be happy. Check.
But that isn’t how this works.
So, here I go. Deeper and deeper into this pain. I’m going to try to give up some of those ways that I cover it up and just let it be felt. It’s gonna suck, but I have to do it. I have no choice.
As I left the house this morning I looked at my yard and felt the guilt and shame of all the weeds growing. Here is the physical manifestation of my pain right out for all my neighbors to see. But then a little purple weed caught my eye and I quickly snapped this picture of it:
There is beauty in the pain and weeds. I will find it and things are going to be better. They are.