Because it bears repeating…

25 09 2009
August 1986

August 1986

I grew up in an extremely uncertain environment. An environment where the lines between personal boundaries were blurred, responsibility was not required, and your feelings were always under the ever judgmental eye of my mother. From this, besides amazing survival skills, I developed a sense that the world could end at any minute, that I could trust no one, that I needed to be taking care of someone else to be happy. So to say that I had problems with relationships is an understatement. Not only I was not happy, I just didn’t know how to manage. My perception was fogged by the countless filters I inherited from my parents.

Occasionally, and without warning, I tend to revert to those old habits. It is amazing how even little similitudes can trigger a chain of events, full of thoughts and feelings and reactions that have absolutely nothing to do with who I am today, with the person I want to become. My skewed perception of the world, and my inability to trust no one made me see things in such a bad light that I would allow thoughts to take over my day, obsessing over them and the reasons behind them. Thoughts that would create a general sense of feeling a wide range of emotions, from confusion, to anger, in a few hours. Reactions to those feelings that went from pretending this wasn’t real, and let’s move on, to a full on confrontation, which more often than not ended in me storming out of the room, or the country, or their lives.

Then everything changed. I was living a completely different life. Suddenly, I am an adult, and I have huge responsibilities, which I have to attend to wether I feel like it or not. I found myself forced to deal with reality in order to survive. Something I wasn’t happy with was with my relationships in general. I was not the friend I expected my friends to be. And don’t even get me started on boys. So I decided to spend time with myself, thinking about what I could do to make it better. Things were rough in the beginning. It was a huge learning process. But they improved, I improved. I got to a place where I can say that I have very strong relationships with a lot of people that are very important to me. And regarding boys, well. I tried to avoid them for a while, maybe unknowingly. Deep down inside I knew that I wasn’t ready.

Lately I have been spending a lot of time with someone. Someone funny and complicated and creative and inspiring. Someone that has pushed my limits, who makes me want to be better, someone who, so far, has managed my outbursts. Someone who is not afraid to tell me things as they are, to call me out when I am crossing the line, to tell me I am right when I am. Amazingly, I’ve handled this better than what I thought.

But, because I am constantly working on improving all these learned mechanisms to deal with life that limit me, I have to be honest. It still happens, I still get those thoughts. The main difference is that now I am aware. Awareness has made it all good. What used to be a never ending chain reaction of events has become a fleeting moment. Being aware, of the moment, of who I am, of what I want, of what is really happening, and sometimes, aware of if it is even worth getting caught up in a mess. Being aware helps me stop, think and then act.

Yes, the old filters are still around, and they show up from time to time, will all the questions, the doubts, the extremely unmerited reactions from my part. It has been hard to identify what triggers them now, but in the past they were mostly brought upon by uncertainty, or when I was caught up in the wide space that was between what I expected and reality. So I learned to let go of expectations, implementing a wait and see approach, working on developing patience, so that, ultimately, I could be comfortable with uncertainty.

I don’t know where this new adventure will lead me. But for the first time in my life, I am enjoying it for what it is. And whenever I make a mistake, and fall into the traps of my old self, I acknowledge it, and move on.

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One response

20 10 2009
Michaela

Girl! Reading this makes me realize soooo many things about my life and how screwed up our family is. Love You!

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