Path

My purpose and my path have changed over the years.  My core values have always stayed the same though. My heart and my soul are me. My thoughts, my emotions, my footsteps, have varied. As everyone goes through the ups and downs of life it is normal to have our emotions mimick our circumstance. It takes a great amount of strength to change our internal dialogue when our external circumstances want to dictate them. 

My life has been quite the journey. Right now reflection is a big part of where I am. I have moved through the stages of grief in a ragged and painful way. Grief over the past, the present, and even the possibilities of the future that were squelched out by things out of my control. 

My life was that of silence. In that silence I learned to listen. It led me to being a chaplain and gave me the capacity to fully engage and give the power of presence. So in that silence, there was so me beauty and I used that silver lining. But underneath was my voice that needed to be heard. I have spoken it. I have spoken every word that I was always afraid to speak. I have spoken every word that I was always stopped from speaking. I have spoken from the wounded parts of myself, the angry parts of myself, and the victorious parts of myself. My path and my purpose led my to my voice. And I have used it. I have called out, I have named names, I have confronted bullies in ways I never thought I would. I used my rage to give me my voice. My rage is gone but my voice remains.

Currently, I am at a standstill as I have fallen into a deep depression. Depression is not often spoken of. I don’t see it written in many places. I don’t hear the words spoken very often. Anxiety and panic I have spoken and read other’s experiences with. Even PTSD has been more openly talked about, although for me it took me some time to reach acceptance for that topic. Depression is different. Even in anxiety, I had fight. Even in panic, I had fight, after. I may have been paralyzed in the moment but I still felt my will was there. With depression it feels like my will is dead. When I was angry, that anger fueled my passion to persevere. I’m not angry anymore. I am sad. But beyond sad. I am stopped. In my depression I need to still speak my truth. I need to not lose my voice.  So I am writing here, connecting with others, sharing the truth of where I am right now. 

I will keep speaking the truth. I will keep using my voice and my words. They have to be released from my head where they rattled around going stir crazy for 30 years. But I feel my focus has shifted. I’ve thought a great deal about who I wanted my words to be heard by and who I hoped they would reach and what the outcome would be. My original intention was just to speak and help others who had been abused. That led me to releasing secrets that had been stored. Which led me to accepting the things that had been done to me and releasing the shame that came along with them. But there is a small percentage in my brain that hoped my words would change the bad people who have hurt me. That they would have an aha moment and come running with their apologies. In all of my reflection, I now understand, that I cannot change a person. I cannot make a person love me, feel compassion for me, feel remorse for what they did for me. I cannot hope that my writing will change a rotten soul. My healing cannot be contingent on an abuser’s acceptance of what he/she did to me. That cannot be part of my purpose for speaking my truth. Even if all of those people that hurt me DID apologize, it would not heal me. My healing cannot be dependent on anyone else. My speaking cannot anyhow be linked to a hoped response. And so in that, my purpose has changed. And my writing will change as my audience is not who I perceived (unhealthily) it would be. 

The people who read my blog are who I truly write for. I want to connect and give unconditional love and compassion and understanding to those who have felt alone in this journey. I want my story to help the good people and that is my 100% focus. 

The bad people,  that hurt me are now outside the fence. They may wave or yell things or try to break the gate, but they aren’t getting in. I don’t have room for them to take up any space in my brain anymore. So I have a boundary. A fence. It’s pretty tall and wide and stretches a good 20 mile radius. And everyone who has hurt me has been put outside the fence. They cannot keep mattering. I know this now. I didn’t matter to them. So they must stop mattering to me. In every aspect. In my writing, in my thinking, in my emotions, in my path, they need to be removed. I don’t know how to get rid of them completely, I can just put them outside the fence for now.

This is a process. Recovery from trauma is a process. My intention needs to be set during that recovery. What is my intention? What is my purpose? What is my new goal? What is my new path? I can answer only one part of those questions. When I speak my truth, from now on, it will be solely about me and about those who have been through trauma/depression/ptsd/anxiety/chronic illness/loss to relate. From me, to you. From my heart to the hearts of others. I have had more support and love from those who have read my blog than from any one who I had hoped, in my imaginary world( where all the bad guys and my family would see the ere of their ways),would reach out and give me peace. I have been uplifted though in the good souls that read my blog and that has been a life saver for me. 

I now completely get that peace must come from within. Right now I am too depressed to feel any sense of peace. But I know it exists and the longer I keep the bad guys outside of the fence the closer I will get to the peace. My circumstances right now are downright dreadful. I have to find a way to not let my emotions mimick the dread of my circumstances. It is a work in progress but today I have to be honest and say I am at a standstill.  I know the coping skills. I don’t have a therapist for nothing. But with depression…my will feels gone. Without your will it is hard to use a coping skill as that takes effort. There is no “buck up….cheer up….go watch the birds….do something that makes you laugh.” But if I have learned one valuable lesson through a life of adversity it is to let myself be. So I am here. I just hope I don’t stay here too long. 

13 thoughts on “Path

  1. Yes, that’s depression all right, a thief that robs you of your will. It is so hard. One of the many hard things about is that it makes it so difficult to do the things that can help you feel better (socialize, exercise, get out and do things you love). It’s also very hard to have faith, when you are in the middle of it, that things will get better.

    You are absolutely right to accept it and not rail against it. Put your arms around it and say, “Okay, Depression, what do you have to teach me?” Then perhaps it can pass you its lesson and move on. I hope it won’t stay too long.

    We’re all here, your readers, thinking about you and caring. xxoo, Q.

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  2. You have moved from talking outloud about what happened. That’s the first big step. You moved on to anger, another upward step. Now, you have stepped up to depression. This step is the hardest step.

    What helped me through this was making a scrapbook about my life. #1. How I felt as a child. #2. How I feel now. #3. Where I wanted to be. This book helped me transform into who I wanted to be. I used pictures from magazines and the internet. Also poems, quotes and my own writing. I also wrote Bible verses that were helpful to my feelings.

    You will come out of this. I believe in you. God will help you.

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    • Thank you so much for understanding. And your suggestions are fantastic. My therapist told me to think this week on where I want to be, goals, dreams, purpose, path. I decided a few days ago to just start with my bible. And every morning before I do anything else, read a page.
      Thank you so much for your support. This is…well difficult is too small a word…scary, exhausting, straight up just depressed. Hoping i move forward from this soon. Pictures are a great idea. Thanks.

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  3. Bethany I want to thank you. You have helped so many people , some who I bet never leave a word, by sharing your struggle here on your blog. I have enjoyed the joys you have shared, I have cried when you were hurt, I was angered when I read of your abuse, and I was sad at the limitations your health put on you, and I was so impressed with how deeply you care for others. You give of yourself, which most people won’t do. You struggle and yet you never ask for pity. Your sharing what you have gone through has helped so many who have yet to find their voice, so you in effect gave them a voice. I know you care deeply because you reached out to me, spent time reading and responding to my issues, fears, and needs. Thank you. I wanted you to know how I see you and I think how others do. Be well. Hugs

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  4. Hi. I hope you are feeling better, but if not remember that this, too, shall pass. Sometimes what we call ‘depression’ is really grieving. You have a lot to grieve. I’m really glad to read that you are not trying to force yourself out of this. In any event, take good care of yourself and know that we care, even if the people from our past don’t. {{{{{Hugs}}}}}

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