Decision Made

The Goddess hasn’t brought you all this way to make a fool of you, nor of her plans for you.

 

I saw that in a book I got from the library last week. I didn’t know why I got it at the time, but I think now it must have been for that sentence.

Like I mentioned, I am thinking about getting a minister’s license. I’ve spent a lot of time this last little while in thought, meditation and contemplation over taking this step. I’ve had dreams and other things about this.

Even with all of these things happening, I had doubt. What do I know? How can I even think that I have the authority or the spiritual chops to take on the title minister?

But today I opened that book and saw that sentence, and something snapped into place.

Sure, I may not know enough, or have whatever it is that ministers are supposed to have, but if I wasn’t supposed to do this, why would the Goddess put it in my path? The Goddess is not stupid. I believe that she knows what I’m supposed to do, even if I don’t.

So, with that, my decision is made. I’m going to do it. I’m going to apply for a minister’s license, and I trust that the Goddess has what’s to come after well in hand.

 

Looking Back

Today I feel yucky. I feel like I have a low grade flu, or like I’m just coming off of a long illness. Nothing really bad; just general malaise. I know what this is, though, and it will pass in a few days.

My emotions also feel teeter-y. I spent some time with my nieces and nephew today and it helped some. They are all 5 years old and under, and they had fun asking me all sorts of questions.

I’m thinking about when I was growing up. People tell me that what happened to me wasn’t my fault, but when I look at it, all I can see is what I didn’t do, what I didn’t say.

I was never really strong. My mother was always telling me that she could read me like a book. I never developed the knack of hiding how I was feeling, and so anybody who sees my face knows exactly what I think. I don’t mind being open, but I don’t like being made fun of because of it.

I keep thinking that if I were a different person, none of this would have happened. If I had tried harder to be my mother’s idea of a good daughter, even if I had been able to stand my ground and say no or stop,  none of this would have happened, and I wouldn’t have to feel like my parents wish I had never been born.

 

Inadequacy

One of the things I’m trying to work through right now is the feeling of inadequacy. I know that I can’t do all things well; I know that perfection is impossible.  But still, I feel like I will never be enough to accomplish anything I want to do.

I’m contemplating getting a minister’s license. I don’t feel like I qualify for it. I don’t know enough; I’m not such a charismatic person that I can hold forth for hours on any subject. I don’t feel like I have anything to offer anyone. I’m shocked that I’m even considering it. It doesn’t matter that I feel like I need to take this step, or that it might even be a good thing for me. I just feel like there’s not enough here for me to do it.

I read that one of the effects of abuse is this feeling like you can never be enough. But how do you start to combat the feeling? Can you talk yourself out of it? Does it ever really go away?

What I Heard and What I Learned from Last Night

My mother and I had words last night. She was in pain and we’d been sitting in the ER for a few hours, and I suppose that her defenses were down pretty low.

She said some pretty hurtful things to me, but in the course of listening to all of that, I heard a few things that surprised me.

1.  I heard my mother’s real feelings. Not that I’d never heard them before, but with the pain I heard them in a new way. I don’t know how to describe it; it was like she was determined to make me see how she felt since I was there and couldn’t leave her alone. Maybe she was trying to drive me away so she could muster her resources and deal with the pain.

2. I heard my mother’s fear. When she was ranting at me, I heard the anger and expected it. What surprised me to hear was the fear.

Now, fear of what? I don’t know. Of losing authority maybe, though she’s not had that for a decade and more. Of losing power over me? That’s a strong possible. I haven’t given her reason to fear me as a person (at least I hope not; it’s a hell of a thing to think your own mother is afraid of you).

I also heard her jealousy, but we’ve covered that, so I won’t belabor it.

So what did your teller of tales learn from the blasting she took?

I learned that I’m pretty strong. My mother was less than flattering in the things she was saying, and it was pretty clear she wanted some reaction from me. But I didn’t give her the reaction she wanted. I didn’t back down and I didn’t fold over. I stood my ground. I’m pretty proud of myself.

I also learned that I can stand up to some pretty bad things and not let it bother me much. Usually after something like that, I worry over it for days and days, trying to find out how I could have done it differently. Granted, last night I did go over it–but after I looked at it and could find nothing wrong that I had done, I was able to step back from it and actually get a pretty decent night’s sleep.  I’m able to look at it and laugh a little.

I feel like that’s something to be proud of.

Jealousy

I made a sort of vague reference in yesterday’s post about jealousy, so I’m going to try to expand on that.

I think my family is jealous of the things I’ve told my friends, and that I haven’t told them.

It’s pretty well established in this blog by now that I don’t talk to my family overmuch about anything.  You learn pretty quickly to keep your opinions to yourself when you’re bound to be told how stupid or ill-thought out or plain weird they are the second you open your mouth.

The truth is that I just don’t trust my family with anything especially deep that concerns me. I would love for them to actually understand and accept me and my feelings, but it’s becoming pretty clear that it’s a stupid thing to hope for.

So I’m a pretty private person, according to my family. They say that I’m secretive and don’t tell them anything. Knowing what you know, can you blame me?

I’m very open with those I consider my friends. I daresay that my friends know more about me than my family does. My friends know very deep, personal stuff about me–stuff I’d never tell my family in a million years.

For some reason, this doesn’t make my family (namely the Keeper of the Holograms and the Bestower of Righteous Silliness) very happy.

Example: I speak with my teacher weekly. This is no secret in my house, though the nature of our talks is. When it became known that I was setting aside several hours a week for this, the questions began.

Who was I talking to? Why was I talking to them? What did we talk about, and why did I think it was so important that I couldn’t tell them (the family, that is) about it?

When I declined to state the answers to these questions, they got more insistent.

My mother’s favorite method is the injured victim tone. She’s my mother; why can’t I talk to her for hours the way I do with this lady I barely know? What do I say to this woman that’s so important that I guard the time spent with her like I’m hoarding precious treasure? Above all, what the heck do I talk about? Do I know how much I’m hurting her (my mother) by being all secretive like this? How dare I?

My sister likes to present solutions that all have to do with my lack of belief in Christianity.  I wouldn’t have to have long conversations with people if I believed in Jesus. Don’t I know that Jesus is the answer for whatever problems I have (and they must not be real problems anyway, since what do I have to worry me)? Jesus is the answer to everything, and if I went back to the church and allowed Jesus to work within me, all would be well and I wouldn’t need to associate with crazy ladies who’ve reeled me in with lies and fantasies!  (Note: this is my sister being nice.)

Do they hear me when I say that a) talking to them is like ramming my head into a brick wall and b) does not help?  Ha! No, the problem is that, get this: I don’t want them to know anything about me.

Yes, you read that right, ladies and gents! I don’t want to talk to them because I like not talking to them!

…Yeah. It makes my head hurt too.

Why this jealousy? I’m a rational, thinking woman, well over the age where I can choose my own friends. If I choose not to have my family among those I talk to beyond basic pleasantries, why is it a cause for interrogation worthy of the Inquisition?  I certainly don’t care who my mother and sister choose to confide in. Why can’t they give me the same courtesy?

Invisible Me

Another one-act play! Don’t you love these?

Background: On Friday, the Bestower of Righteous Silliness took the Keeper of the Holograms and I out for lunch.  During the meal, KotH started talking about how she was tired of having to deal with my father and his issues.

Cast: Me, BoRS, KotH.

Scene: Restaurant

KotH: I’m really tired of [Volcano’s] crap. I mean, what is his problem? I’m just tired.

Me: Now you know how I feel. Welcome to the club.

KotH: What are you talking about? You have no reason to be tired.

BoRS: Yeah, Nyght Mist, what do you do all day?

KotH: You don’t work every day like I do, you don’t have to deal with crazy people constantly.

Me: (giving her a WTF look) I don’t? Really?

KotH (missing the look totally): No, you don’t. You’re not stressing out over bills all the time. You’re not worried about where the food’s coming from, or how we’re going to have money for gas next week, or anything like that.

BoRS: Yeah, you don’t understand what stress is.

Me: You think I don’t stress? I buy the food; I cook 99% of the time. Do you think I don’t stress about what we have to eat every day? I have to keep track of every major foodstuff, plus other stuff that comes with cooking it.  Do you think it’s easy to have to find something to make that won’t be complained about or else inhaled at supersonic rates before everybody has a chance to get some? As far as work, you don’t think cleaning that house every day is work? And no, I don’t make the money for the bills, but I bet I know what’s due and when it’s due and roughly how much is due. You think that’s not stressful?

KotH (makes a dismissing gesture with her hands): That’s not the same thing. That’s not real stress. That’s just family stuff. I’m talking about real world stuff. Anyway…(at this point, she and BoRS turn to another topic of conversation).

And scene.

Yes, I really did say all that. And yes, they really said all that stuff.

I feel like they stomped all over my experience. Like making sure grown adults have food to eat and don’t live in squalor in the dark isn’t real stress.

If I was ever in doubt that they just don’t care about what I do, I’m not anymore. I would never tell a chef or a housekeeper or an accountant that what they do isn’t important or really stressful. Why do they feel they can do it to me?

How can I counteract the effects of such constant marginalization? And then they wonder why I don’t talk to them so very often and seem jealous of those I do talk to. That’s another post.

Recovery is a Fair Dream

There are some days when I think recovery is possible. There are days when I think recovery is just a dream.  Today is one of the latter days.

I feel like I’m mired in this life. I feel like I’ll always be here, the maid, the encyclopedia, the walking information center and convenient babysitter. I don’t know how to get beyond this feeling that I’ll still be here ten years from now.

My grandmother is thinking of moving here from Louisiana, and while I have no problem with that, I’m afraid that my mother will use her as another means to keep me here. I’m afraid that “Grandma’s companion” will be added to my list of spoken and unspoken jobs.

Maybe that’s a baseless fear and this entire thing isn’t something I should worry about until my grandmother decides she’s going to move.

I wonder if the day will come that I can focus on healing rather than on just surviving.