I'm Still Standing
As I embark on the next phase of my life I am struck by how little I know and how slow I am to learn and/or stubborn to open my mind up to understand even myself and what makes me beneath the surface. I am, in fact, mortified by my own biases that have been exposed when I least expect. I always considered myself to be “woke” - yes, I am trying to sound “woke” - God, I think I might be getting that wrong. Is there anything worse than an older woman trying to sound relevant?
I am on a new path and the one I took to get here was extremely painful and will leave a permanence that I am unwilling to describe for if I peel it back I don’t think my fingers will work on the keys.
I am at my most vulnerable presently. Even working through so much goddamn loss and heartache, even with the resilience that comes from being tormented at so many turns…I am still at my most sensitive.
Earlier on in life I was slapped repeatedly with unfortunate occurrences that really fucked me up pretty good and for a long time. All types of losses. Death, sexual, emotional, verbal and physical abuse - all by age 12. At a certain point you just come to expect that the worse is going to happen. And when you live like this it gets in the way of all relationships - it destroys trust. You live in constant fear that the one(s) you love will leave you due to some tragedy or merely for somebody that isn’t as mentally unstable. The constant need to check in and be reassured that you are loved and the one(s) that you love are safe is burdensome to even the most patient people. It’s a job. It is exhausting for both sides.
I was in what I thought would be a forever lasting relationship. I married my friend. We wanted the same things. We identified with each other and bonded over our pasts that were both marked by similar circumstances. I could tell him anything and not feel judged or threatened. We now have gorgeous, smart, funny and kind children together. This was it! He got me. He loved me. He gave me what I needed - my children - the loves of my life. I never felt like I had to check in because he was my constant. I was finally safe.