Thursday, 18 December 2014

100 Days Today

It's today. I promised myself 100 days ago that I was going to create a space of Solitude around me that would help me heal and work all the really tough things I am dealing. I was getting myself into a deep and confusing hole, not to mention all the boys that were coming into my space and messing with my very VERY fragile heart. I needed to protect my space better than I was capable of doing just in my ordinary course of life. When I set it up I thought I might never be able to see it through - I felt so very lonely and lost at that time and I was so hoping that someone would swoop in and rescue me from all my pain. But of course it's my job to do. Only mine. And I do feel like I actually know that now - deep inside me I know I am the one who must save me.

So here I am. 100 days and 87 blogs later. I've done some serious serious work. A lot of that has happened here, in cyberspace, with you. And a lot more in thoughts and conversations and therapy sessions with the people of my Tribe.

I'm staying with my family at my dear friend, Nesta's place. My son graduated yesterday at Cape Town University and now we are all with Nesta and her family just all powering down and being together. Even my husband is here, and since I sent him my two blogs about his behaviour towards me in our family, he has really been making a huge effort to be kind. So peace is around me, and that's just an awesome outcome for now.

So Nesta and I sat on the beach together while our kids played and talked through the themes of the last 100 days and what has evolved. She started the conversation by reminding me of the Carols by Candlelight event we went to a year ago here in a beautiful botanical garden called Kirstenbosch. I had just Google-diagnosed myself with RA, and was starting to get my head around how to manage it. I had 6 more months to wait before I could actually see a Rheumatologist. My husband and I were in a terribly sad place, and had also already negotiated our open marriage. I was deeply in love with John the Narc and had no idea that he was such a con-man, stealing money from me or cheating on me with other women. My company was performing beautifully and I thought we were in for another brilliant year. Besides my autoimmune issues, my health was great.

So what are the themes of recovery I have shifted over the past 100 days?

Learning how to express my needs: my hospital crash taught me how isolated I have become. How unuseful my behaviour was of keeping people out when I'm struggling, only to tell them later how bad it got. I've learned about telling people of my Tribe when I'm not OK. And allowing them to hold and care for me when that happens. Letting them in when I haven't yet found the resolution to an issue rather than carrying all the stress of the problem until I take it to resolution alone. My parents taught me that I would be alone when I most needed people. They were wrong. I am unlearning that lesson.

That is connected to another theme that is nurturing and shifting my girlfriend relationships. I have expressed to them all this sickness of mine, and committed myself to bringing them in when I need them, staying much closer to them in our daily lives, and going to them to be with them when they need me. All of my close girlfriend relationships are blooming in richness because of this, with even more of that to come. I'm so pleased. These beautiful women will walk with me through seasons and life issues and we will love one another through that.

I CAN SEE THROUGH NARCS: the most destructive force that has themed itself throughout my life has been bringing these people close to my heart and making myself very very vulnerable to their destructive forces. I'm nowhere near healed enough to be able to tolerate them near me and they still scare me a lot, and I have not yet reached that place where I can tolerate and enjoy their charming fun-guyness. So for now I'm just happy that I will know them. And protect myself from them. And not let them into my heart. No more human hand grenades for me for now.

I am learning to take my life back for myself. To start to ask myself what pleases ME. I can see that I really don't often have an answer to that question, but seeing that, and remembering to ask, is such an important milestone. I love my children, and my work. And I will continue to support and facilitate the lives of my children, and lead and manage the people I work with. But I will no longer live for them and through them. I will need to find how to live for me.

I am learning how to keep my heart intact when dealing with boys. I can see clearly how keen I am to 'give the baby' away to any man who glances in my direction. But I can now feel what a bad idea that is. And recognise it when it begins to happen. And catch myself in the middle of the 'pick me' siren song, and remind myself - "Do Not Give the Baby Away".

I know I am on the right spiritual path towards healing my body. Living a healthy and vital life will mean walking very carefully and making healthy decisions about how I spend my living and even thinking time. Build a strong body. Manage what I eat. Choose my activities mindfully. Catch myself stressing, even in my thoughts, and find different ways to manage that.

I am not obsessing daily about my husband, or about John-the-narc: they were men I chose to be with. They are flawed and broken people, just like me, on their own paths. I do not need either of them, or anyone else to be me. Being me involves learning how to love this person that I am. I think  may be getting some glimpses of that. Finding compassion. Finding care. Finding love. In me. For me.

I have climbed many real mountains in my life. One thing every one of them has had in common, is that when you begin at the bottom, the top looks like it's just ahead. And when you get there, the next part appears, and more effort is needed to get there. And then the next appears. Climbing mountains always seems to happen in stages. And at each stage one should pause, and sit, and turn around to see the path already walked. And look out at the view for you will never see again quite like this. Breathe in deeply. And then face the mountain again.

I think I'm in that place today. Looking back. Looking out. Looking up. Breathing. I know for sure that there is a lot more climbing to do before I conquer this particular mountain. But today is just that day. The day to remember.

How far I've come.

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