Love is the Answer Addendum
I woke up this morning after staying up late last night to finish the Love is the Answer post. Writing the post took me back through the feelings evoked and I woke up feeling drained and sad. Even as I finished the post, something felt a little “off.” In thinking through what was going on this morning, I realized that what I said in the post and the conclusions I came to are the truth as I see it. I meant everything I wrote, but sometimes when trying to distill the meaning from the confusion of experience, things get missed or overlooked in order for the arc of writing to follow a true path, so that the truth you are groping after can be expressed.
It is important to me that I am honest with you, dear readers. I have spent too much of my life not being honest and had to work too hard to learn how, to not exercise it now. And the last thing I would want to do is add to anyone’s burden by making them wonder why they are struggling so hard when someone else, dealing with the same issues, seems so “clear” about what is going on. Please don’t ever think that. My journey has been long and messy, it has wandered and circled, there have been blind spots, and cul de sacs, nuclear powered defense mechanisms, and lovingly nurtured periods of denial.
So in that spirit, I want to add that I am very sad today. I am still sad that I cannot be more to BN and hold a more important part in his life, even while I am truly, deeply grateful for what I do have with him. I believe, deeply, what I say about the boundaries and their necessity, but that does not protect me from feeling the pain when my longings are thwarted by them. I am also still grieving for what happened to me. No child should have to experience the kind of riptide of emotion that I did in seeking care. Nor should I have been taught to be so deeply ashamed of who I was and what I wanted. Sometimes I avoid speaking of the grief because I no longer want to be grieving. Sometimes it can feel like I have spent a lifetime doing so.
But it’s important to speak about the grief and the sadness and the anger alongside the hope and the joy and the healing. I know how long I clung to a picture of healing as finding the place that would allow me to leave behind pain, grief and sadness. I would finally be safe and loved and never hurt again. But it doesn’t exist (which is another sadness, in and of itself.) But there is a strength and safety in accepting that grief, sadness and pain will come, but will not overcome my sense of self. There is a consistent “I” having these feelings. And this “I” that I am, is strong enough to experience those feelings and let them flow through me to make room for joy, and growth, healing, happiness and laughter. And then, in turn, those will give way again, life being what is, to pain, grief and sadness.
So it’s really ok that I am sad today, it’s ok that I’m feeling a little weary and it’s ok that I’m missing BN. I could call or email him, but right now it feels right for me to sit with these feelings. They’re being quiet and well-behaved, all things considered. 🙂 And they won’t stay forever, so there’s no need to bar the gates and make them fight to get in. A lesson I still struggle to remember at times, and wanted to share with you.