I’ve sent the email; the one that makes me feel like Hamlet.
It’s just three lines long, but has been the cause of a week’s worth of sleepless nights. Last night however, after I blogged about how I was feeling, I slept beautifully. That particular rant had obviously done me the world of good.
My blog serves several purposes for me, I find. The one it served last night was pure therapy. Just expressing your thoughts in enough of an order to have the public read it is an excellent way to order your mind at the same time. Writing about my feelings and opinions in my blog is more powerful than the journal I’ve kept for so many years because nobody is going to read my journal. It gets away with being as muddled and random as my thoughts and fears and so does little to help. My blog, on the other hand is now being followed by a significant number of people who may actually read what I’ve written. I owe them quality and structure – well, that’s what I try to do anyway. It is having the same effect on my thinking.
So, by the end of the blog last night, I’d exorcised enough fear to be able to do what I needed to do and stand up for myself. I let the mouse hover over the send button for a little too long maybe, but eventually it went, and the ‘whoosh’ noise that accompanies an outgoing email was particularly satisfying. We’ll see what happens next.
The email, as well as so many other things in my life right now, represents a significant change in who I am. It’s a little embarrassing, truth be told. I hate to admit that I’ve had a difficult childhood, and covered the resulting low self-esteem with a false mask of confidence. Since I’ve admitted to myself and others that the home I grew up in was problematic to say the least, and has damaged me, so much of that damage has healed, and now that I’m not carrying a false confidence, a new real self-confidence has taken it’s place.
Today I’ve met so many new interesting people, some famous in their field – writers, poets, artists – as it was the first session of my MA class. I’ve had phone and text conversations with several friends throughout the day and experienced so much joy and laughter with my children once I’d got us all home again. I’m a vastly better friend and parent as a result of my ‘owning’ my childhood, and a better writer.
That victim mentality I’ve unknowingly had seems to be a thing of the past, but I’m not going to be complacent, not for a moment. I’ll be taking up arms again if I have to.
I urge anyone who has suffered the problems of an alcoholic home to really ‘own’ it. Talk about it. Remember it. Face up to it. I’d forgotten, or blocked out, so much of my past and it’s that burying of our damage that can cause the real problems in later life.
I’ve blogged in the past about how adult children of alcoholic parents have to guess at what ‘normal’ is. That’s been true for me for a long time, but I’m not sure it has been today. I’ve felt comfortable and happy all day, even though it was full of new people and places.
So this is what ‘normal’ feels like? I like it.