Authenticity Part 1

I find authenticity to be imperative in survival in this world. If we stuff our emotions, put on a show, act the way others impose on us, we will never know our true colors. Choosing authenticity is not always what our society labels pretty. I have found true authenticity to be beautiful.

Today, I went out to dinner by myself. I woke up feeling very sad. I had nightmares once again. I hoped that feeling independent and eating at a restaurant by myself would feel somehow empowering. I ordered my food. I sat and waited I was alone which I typically embrace. Sitting there alone tonight made me feel utterly alone though. I felt empty inside. I tried to connect to why. It was partially fear. I was out of my safe zone. I felt vulnerable. I wanted a friend to be with me, to be present. No one was available at the time that worked for me. So I sat. I ate. Then I had to pee. Things went quickly downhill. I’ve been there before. I knew I could not open that bathroom door. I tried anyway. I tried every angle but could not open it. I had to ask someone to please open the door and please wait for one minute then let me out. After I peed, I went to use my own soap that is unscented that I keep in my pocket. I dropped it behind the toilet. I could not reach it. Then the automatic scent dispenser sprayed. I had a panic. LET ME OUTTTTTTT. I started banging on the door. No one heard me. Finally the girl came back to let me out. I didn’t finish my food, I didn’t take my left overs. I held my tears and asked for her to please open the front door for me to leave.

I felt disabled. I did not feel independent because in truth I am not. I was not being authentic with my self. I was trying to be normal in a world that does not include anyone with PTSD, muscle diseases, or chemical sensitivities. I just wanted…something that was no longer my authentic self any longer. I failed as I should have imagined I would. One cannot be authentic if they are pretending to be what they are not.

I thought, as I sat in the car about my daughter. How much I wanted to just be normal for her. I wanted to not need time alone at night, breaks from outside stimuli so my brain can calm down, and I wish she never saw me have a seizure, anxiety attack, etc. I started thinking about what other people must think of me having a daughter and the stigma that my mental health and physical health diagnosis put on me. I felt judged because I know that I am. I have been outwardly judged for how my past affects me.

I am authentic with my daughter though. I always have been. I always will be.

My daughter does see the bad. But my daughter also sees the good. She has a mother with her twenty four hours a day seven days a week. I listen until 3 am. I stay up with her so she is not awake alone. I love her unconditionally. I accept her. I may have some challenges that she does witness but I cannot hide this from her nor do I want to. I want her to see that I still persevere. I still go to therapy. I still seek the good. She sees my daily victories along with my daily frustrations. I have taught her mindfulness. I have taught her it is okay to feel. She sees me feel. I allow her to feel and validate those feelings.

After my restaurant debacle I told her I had to go to the prairie. I could not come home feeling so defeated. I headed to the prairie hoping to find my authentic self.

6 thoughts on “Authenticity Part 1

  1. I had a brother 1 year younger than me. He had severe asthma. He was in the hospital a lot. Many times we would go on a family outing and have to leave because he couldn’t stop coughing. I don’t ever remember feeling upset about it. I loved my brother and learned about what it was like to live with someone with a chronic illness. He died when he was 21.

    My granddaughter, Faith, has OCD. It started when she was 4. Many times family outings were cancelled or cut short. She would pace all night long. She was violent with her mother. She was terrified. She once tried to leave the car while her mom was driving. Her sister grabbed her and saved her. Both of her sisters are afraid to have children in case the gene is passed on. Faith’s father had OCD as a child also. But those sisters never complained. They learned how to help Faith and loved her and still love her very much. In fact, someone asked Hope who her best friend was and she said, “My sister, Faith.” Her older sister was in Europe when one of the girls in the group had a terrible panic attack. Cherish knew just what to do and stayed up with her in the bathroom for hours.

    Your daughter is learning compassion, patience, love, and an understanding of chronic illness. She is blessed to have such a wonderful mother as you and you are blessed to have her. I have noticed the teens in my girl’s school who came from rich families with no problems were usually not very nice. It takes challenges to make us into nice people, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh I am so so sorry to hear of your brother’s passing.
      Thank you for sharing your experiences.
      I never felt my daughter was being short changed in any way since I compensate all I cannot give with love. It wasn’t until a few comments on my blog did I ever even think that she had a “lesser” mom because of my struggles.
      But…who to better to take care of her during her chronic illness because I know EVERY part and aspect of that life. I know she was meant in every way to be my daughter. She appreciates the flowers, the bugs, the sky, the wind, the everything nature just like I do. She understands me and I understand her.
      In my weak moments I wish I could be more for her but I think that is only because other’s have made me feel that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Bethany. I will see him again and I’m sure looking forward to that. It must be people who haven’t had experience with these things who made you feel guilty. We all feel guilt at times. That’s a part of life, I guess.

        Liked by 2 people

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