I was washing up the dishes just now and reflecting on a few things. Suddenly I had the urge to write, so here I am.
I was thinking about how I go to see my therapist on Friday and what we might talk about.
1. How unbelievably angry I felt a few days ago at being treated rudely by the stylist who was supposed to cut my hair that day. Not my usual stylist, so I left and came back on another day when my favorite woman was in.
2. How unbelievably angry I felt this week that a well-meaning person's ignorance cost me 20.00 that I can't get back. I know it's not the money that makes me mad; there's something else at the heart of it. Having to pay the consequence for someone else's action? Now there's a theme in my life.
3. How panicky and upset I felt last week in church. Our pastor spoke on anger, and at the beginning of his sermon, he played a sound clip of Alec Baldwin abusing his eleven-year-old daughter Ireland over her cell phone. I understand this item has been a major news-cycle hit for the last few weeks. When I heard his voice and his words, I was instantly transported back into my three-year-old, five-year-old, fifteen-year-old (you get the picture) self. Me standing helpless and terrified while my dad screamed such things into my face, often with threatening gestures, and even with terrifying physical roughness.
4. And, I reflected at the kitchen sink, it is That time of year. What time of year? The time of year when my body knows that something terrible is going to happen soon, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Every year for the past five years, since I started working on all the crap in my head, I have this awful recurring body memory that starts about three weeks before Mother's Day. Somewhere in the April 20's my body feels tight, tense, and packed with fear about the thing that will go wrong. The thing went wrong 28 years ago, but try telling my body that. My body remembers, and every year it reminds me that I was the last person to see my 18-year-old sister alive, about two or three weeks before Mother's Day, and that on May 14 -- Mother's Day -- she hung herself.
I was standing at the sink, thinking about these things, thinking about how much more I know about myself now than I did five years ago. How I know what these feelings mean. I know that they won't kill me, and they don't have to send me into a dark depression for the next three weeks. I just need to notice them, acknowledge and feel them, and experience them for what they are.
It still feels like crap, and I am NOT an every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining kind of person. Life is sometimes shitty. And it can be full of joy. Both things are true, and I try hard not to forget that. Life is full of mystery.
At the sink, I was aware of how gloriously sunny and beautiful it is outside today. A good day for a walk, and I want to get my chores done, so that I can go out in total freedom. I thought about how great it is that I get to work as an artist. How great that I am this far along on my journey of discovery, and I'm not trapped in the old terror and panic attacks. How nice it was to have lunch yesterday with a long-time dear friend.
I want to laugh and cry at the same time.