When I look south
Point me north my love,
For you are my northern star.
When I look south
Point me north my love,
For you are my northern star.
So there is this thing about me that I don’t like, but it is part of me, and just like everything else I don’t like about me I’m working on it. I don’t like to speak up and ask for the same thing I give others. I definitely don’t do it for something in return, but I mean when it’s a birthday mantle countdown I want to be included in that.
So it’s okay to speak up and say, “hey don’t forget that mantle thing I started last year through the pandemic for everyone’s birthday, Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day”, right? Well yes. You see I know that and I would tell you or anyone else that “it is fine”, and I would go on to say, “People can’t possible know what you want if you don’t tell them, so if you’re left out it’s because you didn’t speak up.” You see I know reality, but what I don’t know is how to be okay with applying it myself.
This year I did though. I felt awkward and guilty. I felt as if the lives might think that the only reason I do this for them is so they can do it for me. I was afraid that they’d call me spoiled. I was so anxious immediately after I said something, that I began to have a panic attack.
You know what though I’m so glad I spoke up. And even as they loaded it with very thoughtful me gifts I felt what they do when I do it for them, or at least I assume it is the same feeling. You know I’m not exactly sure how to describe the feeling. It’s a huge problem I’m still having is putting names to my feelings. I’m pretty certain it was happiness, joy, or love. Maybe all 3, I don’t know 🤷🏼♀️, I’m sure we will walk through it and put names to the feelings I was having in counseling next week.
Counseling has been trigger days so I asked my counselor to add relaxation therapy at the end of each session from now on and also asked if it was okay to see him after my birthday and this weekend because I didn’t want to be triggered and spend 3 days manic, panicked, or depressed. He agreed that it was the best for me so that I could maybe enjoy this time. And you know what I am certain that this was the right call. This is one of those times where the best therapy is to not do therapy. The best healing sometimes happens in those break moments.
So back to therapy next week and I am so excited to report that besides some tears because I was worried about my fiancé’s safety, driving in the snow storm on Monday (my birthday), I had a good weekend leading up to, including Valentine’s Day, and a good birthday. I can only hope that by this time next year there are no panic attacks surrounding the holidays and my birthday and all the gifts and love coming at me. This year better than last. Last better than the last. If that pattern continues then logic tells us that next year can only be better. It is the year of the Ox , so it is my year!
I was challenged to do a black and white photo so here it is. It also gave me the perfect opportunity to write this blog. I was going to do it B-29 Days, but life happens and I’m not one of those hands-off parents and partners, so I definitely got distracted. So here it is, B-25 Days.
In 25 days I will be 36. I cannot believe that I’m going to 36. This past year even though has been difficult and hard and any other word that is a synonym for ‘shitty’ will work. Any word and I mean any is what this 1 year of pandemic.
I have been joking about how last year was the first year I let my fiancé take me out for my birthday. Ugh! I have this whole issue with money being spent on me that I just cannot seem to kick; I mean I did grow up hearing, “get a job” anytime I wanted or even needed something, so I guess it’s no shock that I’d be this hung up on money being spent on me. But, anyway he and our sons said, “the world wouldn’t collapse”. Next thing we know we’re being locked down and the world literally came to a halt.
Now I clearly don’t believe that it had to do with me going out for my birthday, but joking this way about it is somehow making it a little less “bad” to be celebrated. It’s like finding that irony in the situation I guess. That laughable moment; I guess.
As I’ve stated before it’s hard to go through the Holiday season and this past Thanksgiving it was rough, but Christmas/NYE were way better for me than years past. I had a few hiccups, but no major incidents and that is a huge victory for me! Getting through those times are so hard, I did it though. So much so that I didn’t want wait to open more gifts that were delivered (if you know me it’s usually quite the opposite reaction; fear, terror, a feeling of I don’t deserve this). So I’d say huge progress in 2020.
Getting through my birthday and the days leading up to my birthday can be real hard. There are lots of emotions. There’s a lot of grief (at least there was). There’s weird feelings in being celebrated. I desire it like anyone else does, but I fear it so much. Because I don’t want to get used to liking the feeling of being celebrated and loved just for it all to go away. I’m so scared to let myself fully be loved, because I’m scared this love will just up and go away, and I don’t want to live a life without love.
So I’m counting down the days and hoping that I can get to a place of enjoyment of my 36th birthday because I really do love my new life and I want to get myself to a place where I am willing to be loved again. I don’t want to freak out and run when someone gets “too close” to me. I don’t want to “push them away before they can push me away”, I want to be willing be loved and feel love again.
This damn trip down memory lane has been a real hell of a ride. I’m glad I’ve went on it because I’m feeling freedom from things, at the same time I feel some guilt and remorse for how I’ve been the last couple years. I know it’s “normal and completely necessary in order to heal and move forward from all the pain and hurt”, but it doesn’t mean I can’t feel remorse for some of the things I’ve said and ways I’ve acted.
I know that my Bipolar has a lot to do with how I handle stress, and now because of therapy today that I’m just, “…stuck in a loop again because of exposure to a trigger over the last few weeks”, and I’m completely confident that my therapist can break this “loop” again. I’m so much stronger than the other times we’ve had to break it. I hate hypomania, it really is a really twisty windy bumpy road.
I’m going to work really hard to snap myself out of this depressed state, because I’m only depressed because I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable, I’ve chosen to walk away from the people who created/raised me, I’ve left the toxic behind…I’ve allowed myself to grieve what didn’t have and what I had and lost. So I feel like I’m stuck in this depression and I don’t know how to get out.
I’m going to fight real hard to break it before my birthday because I want to enjoy it like I did last year, even if the end of the world came and it was a lot of effort to get me out of the house, I still enjoyed myself once we did leave.
I celebrate everyone I love and I realize that I am robbing them of the chance love me the way I love them…it’s not okay to rob someone of the chance to love. So I have to fight hard this year to get over this and through this birthday.
Maybe it would help if Valentine’s Day wasn’t the day before.
I have ALWAYS been in love with Tiffany & Co., I have two designers I had always wanted to own a product by; Michael Kors and Tiffany.
As little girl and teen I would often bring up wanting to just visit a Tiffany store. I mean Tiffany Blue is like the perfect color, it’s my favorite. It’s got the perfect levels of green and blue mixed together to give it that beautiful romantic soft blue color. I just love the color of Tiffany Blue!
When I would bring this up I would hear, “Kelly you better find a man that can take care of you.” I didn’t understand what that meant. I would also hear it when I would mention that I wanted to wear more dresses, or I’d hear, “Who are you trying to impress? You better hope and pray someone can afford you some day.” It made me feel terrible about being me. It made me feel like liking nice things was this bad thing. Liking wearing a dress and maybe a tiny bit of makeup or doing my hair was just to gain someone’s attention. That wearing and liking nice things was a bad thing.
And here I am today scared to death to be me. To like Tiffany, to like wearing dresses, to like being “dressed up” even with no where to go. I feel like being “girly” is a bad thing. It was literally bad thing for me to be a girl in my family. It wasn’t embraced at all.
I was made fun of, disciplined for normal emotions and I still struggle today with being okay with normal emotions (I punish myself for having normal emotions now, no one needs to do it for me), made to fend for myself “survival of the fittest” it was in our house, that was thrown around a lot.
I was a sexually abused child who had some mental health problems that no one even cared to deal with, just laugh at me and make fun of me. Tell me that I was, “too girly, too sensitive, too…” there is too much to even write here.
My main point of this is I’m too scared to be me, to like what I like without apologies, without hesitation. I just can’t though even though I know the truth is, that I would “dress up” nearly every day if I thought it wouldn’t get me made fun of, someone wouldn’t assume I’m seeking the attention of people, if I could guarantee that I won’t hear any of the stuff I heard growing up.
I just want to be comfortable with the one Michael Kors bag I bought myself and the desire to own more and the desire to own Tiffany (more than just this piece, this is just my favorite. My love actually had a custom made infinity necklace for me one year for my birthday, I love it too!), nice clothes, wear makeup, do my hair, or whatever it is I want to do. I just want to be confident and be the woman I feel I am. I’m want to do it confidently and without fear.
I just don’t know how too.
I have to start somewhere. Why not day 1?
First time I am taking medication for anxiety. First time it’s during the day. I hope this isn’t a placebo effect. I haven’t woke up feeling this well in a long time.
I diffused two situations with my boys this morning all before 9 am. And guess what I didn’t raise my voice. I used a technique that I was taught in therapy to use little words. I actually did it.
I kept it together twice. The second time more tense than the first, but I did it. I shut down the behavior, diffused the situation, and kept my cool.
I really hope this isn’ a temporary thing. I haven’t felt this relaxed in a very long time.
Last night I actually slept.
Not only did I sleep I dreamt.
No only did I dream I remembered my dream.
Not only did I remember my dream, I awoke with a smile.
Whoever said, “sleep is overrated”, has never walked a day in my shoes.
Sleep is not “overrated” it’s a beautiful wonderful thing, when it doesn’t torture you.
How can I see that others deserve it?
How can I not think I do?
How can it not be okay for someone else to go through but okay for me?
How can I not see that what I would fight for someone else for I myself am worthy of?
How come I was not only shown but told that I wasn’t worth my basic rights?
How come I’m failure?
How come I’m a loser?
How come I’ll never be anything more than, “a lazy fat bitch”?
That phrase, “you’re bringing out the inner child in me”, is familiar and usually said when something is making you giddy and excited and happy. We know that when we hear these words someone really likes what is happening. What if I told you that your inner child is not just something sparked by a fun filled exciting moment, but for many people their inner child is a direct result of childhood trauma of some kind.
Maybe this person was in a bad car accident or was injured in some kind of way. Maybe a parent or loved one died and that child was traumatized by that loss. Maybe for some like me that trauma was long, hidden, and multiple different forms. Whatever the trauma was it is still trauma nonetheless. What is traumatic to you might not be traumatic to me and what’s traumatic to me not be traumatic to you. Trauma is just as unique as being an individual is; it comes in many different sizes, shapes, and forms and is open to interpretation by the person or person experiencing it.
For me my inner child is independent and fierce. She takes no shit from anyone because she has taken too much already. My inner child is less insecure than before, but still insecure. She is scared. She is loud. She is stubborn. She is her own person. Sometimes a word or a color or a smell or a show or a song, or any number of things can trigger her. She begins to panic and she has no clue what to do. She just talk and cries and tries to make sense of it all. Not only is my inner child scared, but she in confused.
She is waiting and expecting someone to tell her to, “shut” her “loud mouth and just be quiet. You are to be seen not heard and I keep hearing you when I should just be seeing you”. She expects that every word that comes out of her mouth will be disregarded and laughed at. She fears if she says, “No” then she won’t be liked. She fears that if she says that, “I don’t like that” or, “I don’t enjoy that”, or any number of things that convey that convey she isn’t liking something that she will automatically be called a “complainer” and told to, “just stay home next time” or to, “just play by your damn self, fuck!”
She feels that she is everyone’s burden and that no one could ever really want to take care of her or to help her out without expecting something in return, so she strives to be even more independent and self-sufficient. She doesn’t even know who she is besides Kelly. Her name is her identity. She really finds her peace and joy in what everyone else loves, even if she doesn’t particularly find it interesting, she was taught to enjoy it, or else no more…ever. She makes a mess of things.
I never had anyone really parent me. I was hit with brushes, had cigarettes put out on my skin, I was beat with a dog leash (blog post on that), I was hungry, I was made to stand in the corner for 8+ hours (without food or beverage or bathroom breaks), I was sexually assaulted repeatedly and for the most part it was allowable my mom knew she say “stop”, but yeah, “we all” had “to live here, Kelly” was a popular thing to say. You see there was so much. When I’d get birthday money they’d take it. When I got a job, I paid their bills I heard, “please KellBell buy my this I love you”…I was a 12 you assholes, 12!
When I got a bigger paychecks, when I upgraded from babysitting to a tax paying job I transitioned into paying their bills. When I turned 18 I found out that they had used my name, DOB, and SSN for utilities and satellite and I had bad credit and terrible debt before I had even turned 18 and I am 35 ad I am still paying for it. Not fair. Not cool. Don’t like. But what can I do? Pay it or remain in their debt and control for the rest of my life? Fuck that shit! I have dreams. I have goals. I am almost out of debt (minus student loans, which don’t even get me started on that). I was always home alone or trying to find a friend to stay with.
We didn’t have a working land-line phone so I never was one of those girls or teenagers that would get phone calls or be on the phone. I actually hate being on the phone it causes me so much anxiety. We didn’t have the internet. We didn’t always have gas for heat, cooking, and hot water. We didn’t always have food. We didn’t always have toilet paper. We didn’t always have electricity. We didn’t get new clothes (well my brother did). We had roaches galore, not because we were dirty, but it’s a real problem when you live that close to neighbors. My mom was a clean freak.
We had mice. Mice so bad I would hear them in my ceiling of my room in the basement while I was sleeping. I would wake up to dead roaches and once a mouse in my water or beverage I had on my night stand. I have woke up with mice on my pillow next to me. The flea problem was terrible too. Oh my goodness the fleas and all the freaking animals we had.
I did not have a childhood like most people do. It was chaotic and stressful and so hard to get through. It was painful. It hurt. I was made fun of and picked on and hurt by the very people I trusted to keep me safe from all those things. The people that I wanted to love on me when someone at school was so mean to me, not tell me “wha wha wha everybody hates me, nobody likes me, going to the garden, going to eat some worms”…yep whenever I was hurting that was the response. My other favorite responses to my pain and suffering was, “here’s a quarter why don’t you call someone who cares?” You know what happens when your bullies are your parents too? You learn to shut your fucking mouth because what you feel or have to say means jack diddly squat and you just figure it out on your own. Because you were already shown that if you aren’t silent you might have cigarettes put out on your skin (my parents didn’t smoke another trusted adult or two did though) or be made fun of.
I’m parenting her though now. It is so hard to try and be 35 and an adult and also be a child in so many ways. I have tried so hard to teach her and correct her. I realize now that my love is kind of parenting her too. I mean lets be honest here if he wasn’t brave enough to deal with the consequences of telling me, “No”, or what he thinks it is I should be or not be doing (no one ever has) just so I am happy, healthy, and safe (literally my best interest at heart) then I wouldn’t be growing. You see no one has ever told me what I should do. What I should eat. What I should wear. I was just pretty much left to fend for myself, like way more than I could ever express with the word “a” and “lot”. I was abandoned and a show put on in front of people.
My inner child has needed a lot of molding and shaping. There is one area still that I am finding myself childlike and that is how I handle frustration. I have panic disorder and oh boy do I panic quick. I go 0-100 in no time some times. I have medicated with the guidance of my doctor and it does help. I now can go sometimes a whole week without an episode. Usually at least one day a week I panic about something. I am working on correcting this in me. This is still the one area I am growing. My love is amazingly patient and helpful. Even when I cannot see what it is he does for me or how much he loves me, because I think in those moments everyone hates me and is going to hurt me and leave me. He, even though hard on him, gets me through it.
You know I keep reminding him how sorry I am for all the bumps in the road and how hard I am to love. I am not sure I can ever apologize enough for being me. I am messed up and through no fault of my own. I literally taught myself everything I know. I watched people in the distance and decided what I liked and didn’t like. I knew that I needed to be less like my mom and more like the woman who opened her home to me so much. I needed to be like the women at church that I admired. No one showed me how to do any of it though. No one even showed me how to be a girl, but they did try to make me a man, which I am not. I am actually really gentle and kind and loving and warm, and I kind of like feeling like a princess (but I won’t let anyone treat me like a princess).
I am going to keep parenting this last hurdle I have with my inner child. She is going to learn that it is 100% okay for her to be loved the way she loves. She is going to learn that she is worthy and wanted and respected. She is going to learn that she can do it all just because of the man who stepped up to love her and to help her parent her inner child. It will never fall short on me just how big of a had my love has played in the growth in me. I didn’t need him to save me, but he did and he still is. For the first time in my life he isn’t the only one saving me though…I am saving me. i