Looking back and thinking forward

Month: January, 2016

After the storm

What with one thing and another, I have been thinking about storms. Perhaps it was the frenzy in the supermarket last Friday as everyone stocked up with food, milk, water – anything – in preparation for the impending power outages as snow would start to fall early evening of the same day. It was predicted to last for tens of hours, and who knew what might happen.

Maybe it was watching at the window as sheets of snow fell endlessly under dark grey skies. It brought out the best in us: Cooking up a large pot of nutritious and delicious soup; or neighbors teaming up to dig each other out of piles of snow in driveways and on sidewalks. Forced to stay indoors I met new challenges: Like how to just do nothing; or finding myself like a robotic, zombie sitting on the couch in front of the television screen staring at hours of weather reports. 

Last night I dreamt of high seas and rolling waves. Especially the kind of tsunami like wave that rises up high suddenly and crashes over walls swallowing up crowds. I woke up and lay quietly in bed wondering about storms. The calm or frenzy before, and picking up the pieces to return to old routines after. Are we always just the same after a storm? Or have we learned anything? Did the trauma or exhilaration change us? Or do we pick ourselves up and move on as if nothing happened? 

I am always amazed at how I survive over and over again. I have lived through snow, rain and thunder storms; divorce and death storms; health scare storms; breaking up with darling friends; or losing people I never thought I would lose. Storms within and without. Each time picking up the pieces has a different feel. Sometimes I limp for awhile or stretch out bruised hands from bashing at piles of ice blocking access to our driveway. There have been times when my heart felt broken, and I feared I would never smile again.

After the storm there are torn and broken azalea plants or trees with shattered limbs, and yet when the sun shines feebly through the weakening clouds, I seem to rise up over and over again, returning to old, familiar routines … feeding the cats, watering plants, answering telephones and texts … and face the new day with some small, renewed sense of patience, understanding, or, even wisdom.

Although all that becomes clear much later … 

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Living the rewrite: Part II


This morning I remembered that I have been writing this blog for a decade, and as I reread some of the posts written these past ten years, I realize the theme has been constant: Deciphering behaviors, interactions and feelings, and understanding the emotional script I developed about myself since I was a child.

In a blog post about "rewriting my script" a year ago, I did not realize how challenging it would be in practice. Awareness is one of the first steps toward any kind of change. But, with awareness comes an awakening of emotions I had held in check for a long time – repressing feelings that as a child were dangerous to express, or even to experience. 

As I look back over this past year I see that the more I have been allowing myself to feel some of those hidden emotions, the more my indoctrinated brain has done all kinds of antics as it tried to warn me of imminent danger. What a conflict! Experiencing the feelings are almost always accompanied by fear, or uncontrollable weeping at unexpected moments. For example, a couple of days ago we were having breakfast in our favorite restaurant. I noticed a small child sitting between her parents. She was alert and curious, her eyes searching the room as all the while she babbled to them as if reporting what she was seeing. I could not take my eyes off her. Her father was quick to respond and engaged her in gentle conversations. At one point he took her on his lap and they gazed into each others eyes lovingly. Suddenly I felt an overwhelming sense of loss and longing as I realized I had not experienced those kinds of interactions when I was a child, and felt the lack of being loved like that deep within. Tears streamed down my cheeks uncontrollably surprising me as if coming out of nowhere. Emotional pain was unbearable for those few moments. Shortly after that brief cathartic experience I felt angry that I was robbed of my childhood. I experienced a whirlwind of emotion, which passed as quickly as it came, leaving me feeling both released and empowered. There was no need to express any of it openly to anyone, nor did I want to act on it. Just allowing myself to feel the feelings was a revelation. 

As I become aware of my emotional life script, and allow myself to feel repressed childhood emotions, there is no turning back. It's real, and yes, I am actually gradually moving out of the darkness and into the light. What a sensation.

Of course, my psychological journey is nowhere near over, but the foundation on which to continue my uncoveries feels solid. And so at this juncture all I want to say is: happy 10th blogaversary to me.