What hurts the most…

As quickly as she could flinch, facing the anger she’d seen so many times before, he raised his arm and threw the glass of whiskey across the room, striking her in the side of the head, tearing her skin less than a fingertip’s distance shy of her right eye.

‘How about you take a long walk off a short cliff!’ he exclaimed as blood trickled down the side of her face. ‘You’re a perfectly good waste of a human life. Nobody needs or wants you here.’

She bent down to start picking up the pieces of glass that had shattered across the floor. Attempting to hide her tears, she couldn’t help but think there had to be more to life than this, that she deserved better than this. That this was the last birthday she’d spend at the helm of such a monster.

People have scars in all sorts of unexpected places, like secret road maps of their personal histories, diagrams of all their old wounds. Often times the hardest part is not knowing what we’ve been through or how far we’ve come, the hardest part is how people react. What hurts the most? I’m not sure. It’s a toss up between people not believing you, or people downplaying what happened as though it wasn’t anything at all.

That’s why people stay silent for so long.

That’s why people get away with it for so long.

Letter to a struggling soul

Dear Self,

The struggle is real.

It really doesn’t matter what others might say or think about what you’re going through, what matters is what you say and think. And truth be told, they’re not you so expecting them to understand what is happening is, in itself, a bit of a lost cause.

Remember that age old wisdom that says ‘Don’t fix a temporary problem with rash decisions’? Listen to that. You know it’s right. You know that quick thinking, or perhaps even no thinking, isn’t going to fix this for you.

The universe is testing you. And let me tell you IT SUCKS. I know it sucks. Every second of it. But, how you react, here and now, to what is happening, this will have a ripple effect throughout the rest of your life. Act wisely. Accept help where you can, give help where you can and keep going, always.

The hardest part of being in this time and place is that you don’t know when this test will end, when things will fix themselves, when things will be normal. Will they ever be normal? There’s no crystal ball to tell you for certain, all you can use for a guide is hard work and hope. Hope for a better world for you and everyone else who lives in it.

When you really stop to think about it, it’s important to be thankful for the things that you do have. You’re not starving. You’re not on the street somewhere, struggling to stay warm. You have a lot of blessings in your life that are very easy to overlook if you allow yourself to. So just remember, as bad as it might seem, you are one of the lucky ones. Because you are.

Remember how far you’ve come. Remember that this is all for a purpose. And, when it’s over, remember that you’re going to be stronger because of it. Scratch that, you already are stronger because of it. Silver linings, self, you need to remember them more often. Struggle teaches us just how strong we are. Struggle teaches us just how far we can bend without breaking. And last time I checked you were still standing, in one piece and all.

Hold on, self. I promise you better is coming. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can feel it. Better is coming. I need you to believe that. This struggle won’t last forever. It can’t. You’re stronger than it.

Sincerely,
Me

Real thoughts

I’m scared.
I’m sad.
I’m anxious.
I don’t know how to fix any of it.

Winter is weighing on me. The darkness is weighing on me. The cold, making it hard to be outside for any length of time, is weighing on me. Looking after sick people is weighing on me. Rejection is weighing on me. Not having a plan for life is weighing on me. Feeling lonely is weighing on me. Lack of steady income is weighing on me. People telling me ‘just do it, it’s easy’ is weighing on me. People saying ‘stop worrying so much’ is weighing on me. Feeling like a disappointment is weighing on me. Feeling like my problems aren’t real problems is weighing on me. Everything is weighing on me.

These thoughts, while I invariably avoid them day-to-day, every once in a while tend to pop up all at once and consume my brain to the point where I can’t do anything but worry.

And so I sit here, trying to distract myself, but inevitably, worrying more than anything else.

Christmas and anxiety

If you’re anything like me, Christmas and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Being around family is extremely stressful on the regular, even more so when they have heightened expectations of the holiday at the front of their minds.

I’m proud to have survived yesterday. I kept it cool, calm and collected the entire day. I wanted to set some people straight, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I knew the fight it would start would not be worth it. I wanted to remind people of expectation versus reality, but I didn’t. When their reality doesn’t live up to expectations, that’ll be for them to figure out. I don’t have to tell them about it.

I took a brief, one hour hiatus to hide in my room and calm down. Family is stressful, and I’m a firm believer that if you need to take a break, you should take a break.

I survived. No one fought. No one left in a fit. No one broke any dishes or threw away any presents or any of the other things that have happened in previous years in my family’s home. Everyone just existed, cohesively.

Next year, though… next year I’m taking Knight and we’re going to Mexico. Or, somewhere far, far away.

Hope everyone had a wonderful, stress-free or least-stress-possible Christmas!

Insecurities

Perhaps instead of telling people their insecurities are stupid, or to just ‘not worry about it’, we could try to help them. Perhaps we could try to empower them.

You don’t just ‘get over’ an insecurity because someone tells you to stop worrying about it. We all know our insecurities are irrational. That doesn’t stop them from being very real and very present. It takes, coping, encouragement, confidence… it takes effort. So, if someone is strong enough to admit their insecurity to you, offer help instead of your own opinions.

Sometimes there really are ways in which you an help and you might not even know it. You really don’t know what kind of a difference you could have in someone’s life until you try. So just try.

More empowerment less judgment.