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.