There is a fine line before me, and I set one foot carefully before the other. Sometimes my movements are confident, other times I am hesitant. But I must keep my eyes on the goal ahead, for where I look, the rest of me will follow. Focusing on what is behind me, or below me, may set my feet in places that send me tumbling to the ground.
One of the things I’ve noticed, cruising around the blogosphere, are the different ways that people use to cope with hardship and grief. Some focus on the present. Others on their thoughts. There are blogs that focus on understanding the things or people that have caused the author harm. Still others, seek to inform and educate.
Sometimes I am not sure why I am here, my words are often somewhat unfocused, and I veer from self-help, to streams of consciousness, to random thoughts. I’ve spent a lot of time following the stories of fellow bloggers, reading and considering their insights, and pains, and the validation that comes from knowing you are not alone in this experience.
We all have different coping skills, different ways to pursue healing, however. And at the beginning of this experience, I read everything I could about domestic violence, survivors, emotional abuse. I would spend hours cruising online content and wondering, Is he more narcissistic? Or more Borderline Personality Disorder? Even on good days, every so often, I had, and have, little voices rising up to whisper, “Are you sure your ex isn’t right? Are you really the crazy one, and so crazy that you are fooling yourself and everyone else?” Those are the days that are most likely to send me scouring the blog-o-sphere and the internet for validation. To hear people share dumb-founding things like:
Silvergirl: (Quoting Patricia Evans from ‘The Verbally Abusive Relationship’) “The great tragedy in a verbally abusive relationship is that the partner’s efforts to bring reconciliation, mutual understanding and intimacy are rejected out of hand by the abuser because to him they are adversarial.”
Maybe for normal people that isn’t as startling a truth to read as it was to me, but I identify with it so intimately. After reading those types of comments, posts, and others’ experiences, I always feel the ground solidifying beneath my feet again. Stability begins to return and I can say once again with confidence I am not the crazy one.
Apart from those lapses, I read mostly to share in other peoples’ journeys. Sometimes, I will even avoid posts that speak too intimately about abuse, or PTSD, or Narcissitic spouses, or mental illness and marriage.
One of the folks following my blog (apensiveheart) commented recently with a suggestion to help me from stalking my ex’s facebook. ( Having dealt with an abusive spouse of his own, he found it helpful to journal about the pain and damage she had caused. A way to keep some perspective on what had happened in his own relationship. I hope that is an accurate reflection, but that was my takeaway, apensiveheart, feel free to correct if I am wrong!) It started me thinking more deeply on why I blog, and write, and what I hope to achieve, and how I choose what to share. As I mentioned in the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers, this is mostly a place where I wanted to share my journey, the good moments, the hard moments. The feelings in each stage of my process. Revelations (even if those things are obvious to ‘normal’ people, sometimes simple truths seem like revelations to me.)
Sometimes I wonder if, by putting my silver-lining spin on my experiences, if I am softening reality too much. If I am sugar-coating the tough things in life to try and make them more palatable. There is a lot of fear, that if I dwell too much in the darkness of the past decade, that I will not be able to rise above it. That tendrils will reach up out of that dark, boundless sea of pain and drag me back under.
Maybe it is my way of trying to deal with the tough moments, but not trigger myself. That realization just came to me, as I was writing this post. My hope for the future and relative well-being are a product of how much healing I’ve been able to accomplish this past year, but sometimes I still feel very fragile. It’s like that first, fresh layer of skin over a broad, once-bloody injury. The kind of fresh skin that will tear or break if you bump it too hard or rub it up against something without the bandage on.
At any rate, how do you cope with the hard moments of life? Do you need the reminders of your past to keep you from repeating those mistakes of history? How do you balance the tough stuff with the pieces of hope on your pathway to healing? What have been your stumbling blocks?
I would love to hear from some of you. Maybe, if your thoughts are longer than a comment, it’s something you could write your own blog post on. If you do, please share the link below so I don’t miss it. 🙂