I set the alarm for both five and five-thirty. I’m eating Greek yogurt and drinking rewarmed coffee and wondering why I didn’t go to med school. A friend recently posted on her Facebook page that she’s now retired from practicing medicine, a vocation she pursued after years as an attorney. I don’t want to complain but that seems like a better career move right now than solo practice.
My life seems to have come full-circle in the sense that I get some of my best advice about human interaction from my twenty-four-year-old son. Better versed in NVC than I am, he often helps me figure out ways to carry on conversations which result in successful communication and no hurt feelings. As I nurse this luke-warm coffee, I’m mulling over some sticky issues that I want to resolve and wondering how Patrick would suggest that I phrase my observations. Though I’m tired and wishing that I could just crawl back under my antique quilt, I think to myself that the day holds promise.
There are some feelings that I hold unexpressed inside of me and no amount of nonviolent communication will make them suitable for the light of day. These I examine in the silence of the house, wondering if I should send them aloft. I’m torn between penning e-mails with their brutal edges and writing them on pieces of paper to burn on a mountain-top for my ancestors to handle. These feelings stay suppressed except when I am tired or when the constant drone of tinnitus is the only noise I hear. Though I know they should be left unsaid, the words crowd and climb to the top of my consciousness.
The emotions which I suppress all relate to my general feeling of unworthiness. That conviction lies at the root of all the complaining that I’ve ever done. In all of it, that tight little nub festers. I don’t feel entitled to love, money, comfort, or happiness. These pre-dawn hours find me scrolling through social media memes for the words of poets, of other women who have struggled with these same thoughts, searching for truths that will soothe me.
I used to think that I would feel better about myself if I could just change my behavior towards others. But the easier such change comes, the less I believe that it will really make a difference in how I feel about myself. I don’t know why some people grow to adulthood certain that life is a surprise party and they are the guest of honor while others, such as myself, reverse words on a computer screen to correct grammar lest those who read what I’ve written will roll their eyes and chuckle over yet another example of my essential failing.
My (second) ex-husband told me that this blog of mine represents a public journey that he himself would not take in the quiet of his inner soul. He asked why I was keen on exposing my self-exploration and growth. I told him then, and meant it, that I hoped someone, anyone, maybe several someones, would read what I write and spare themselves the agony in which I wade trying to reach a restful shore. Today over Greek yogurt, my quest seems laughable. Another day, I might feel stronger, more rested, and more optimistic about myself. I understand both moods have value, both points of view contribute to my path to healing and joy.
And the sharing of them, the acknowledgment that I have both a dark side and a half filled with light — this, too, means something. And so — I’ve given it to you, to those who read these entries, so that perhaps you will see your own dark side and give it voice, which I am hoping will take away its power.