I’ve been thinking, again, about what the recent changes in my life MEAN. They seem to have sprung up rather all at once, after a long long loooong time of almost no action at all. Within six months I made two trips to visit my father (I’d been afraid to go see him for years before that); I moved to my own place; and my job situation changed (again!). At the same time that I was bringing my father and brother back into my life, I was working to keep my mother out. This was as much a matter of will power as it was a matter of planning, because I felt the old all-too-familiar pull of old guilt and a sense of responsibility for her well-being.
But these months of change have gone smoothly, for the most part. That is to say, the children have responded with an astounding lack of – well, of anything that would seem to indicate that their lives have gone off the rails in any way. They just keep being themselves.
It’s not really fair to base my entire sense of how the transition has gone on the children, since that’s not an accurate reading of the entire situation or all the players involved – but it’s the first one that comes to mind. When it comes to the extended family, those others who also love and care for the children, they have done well with the changes too.
And then there’s me. I have been on a sort of auto pilot, I think, since I came back from my first trip to see my father back in the early fall. It was then that the big change, the move, happened. And so many things have just kind of fallen into place since then.
So now I am looking around and wondering what’s next? And I think what’s next is, as the title says, losing it. I’m not talking about losing my mind or losing my shit or whathaveyou, though I don’t rule out the possibility. Heh. I’m thinking of losing some baggage that I brought along on this big transition.
When I look back, I think the big transition really started when two big things happened a year ago: I started working on my divorce; and simultaneously my mother moved nearby to rescue me from whatever her explanation-du-jour was that I needed rescuing from. So on the one hand I spent several months becoming more and more and more myself; while on the other hand I spent several months working harder and harder to simultaneously relate to and protect my children from my mother.
It was in the midst of the most intense part of this that I began connecting more with my father, so there was that new element of family relationships going on as well.
During those months, when I was changing so much, I took on some strong protective behaviors. I felt so much stress that I ate a lot more, especially at night. I had some anxiety medication that my doctor had told me was designed to be taken as needed (unlike many of the medications which need to be taken regularly and monitored regularly as well) – and I started taking it every single day. I had been feeling myself to be a loving, lovable, and (dare I say it here? eh why not) even sexy sort of a person – and that all pretty much went out the window as I dealt with the continuous onslaught of my mother’s presence and verbal abuse.
Nevertheless, I had the euphoria of finishing up my divorce, of reconnecting with my dad, traveling with the children, singing more and more, and finding my own place – and I found stability too, in standing my ground and holding a large perimeter beyond which no one who mistreated me could pass.
Now here I sit, wondering what’s next. I look back at the years I spent daydreaming about where I am now, and believing it could not possibly be, and simultaneously feeling so sad about that belief while berating myself for ever dreaming. So I look ahead and feel the big dreams emerging again, waiting to be dreamed… and I feel that old familiar guilt/self-berating pattern again.
And I wonder – can I lose it? Can I lose the guilt and shame and just dream? Can I lose the physical protection that the overeating and the medication gave me? Can I lose the baggage?
I wonder what it would be like to just dream and not judge my dreams. What would it be like to allow any thought or feeling to pass through my mind unjudged? What would it be like to let myself feel good even if the dream that’s making me feel good seems in this or that or the other way completely impossible, or unrealistic, or (worse yet!) would seem to impose on someone else if it came true? Because goddess forbid any portion of my existence should impose upon someone, or even be noticed. Lordy! What a tragedy that would be. Ha.
What would it be like to just eat until I’m full, and sleep when I’m tired, and dream whatever dreams are in there waiting to be dreamed?
What would it be like to lose the feeling that I have to eat until I’m uncomfortable, sleep only when I’m completely exhausted, and forget about dreaming because I’ve had my lifetime quotient of dreams come true already?
I’ve been trying the eating and medication/sleeping thing recently, and it’s felt good. For some reason, eating and sleeping according to my body’s natural inclinations makes my daydreams bigger and brighter and happier and more immediate, like they are just over there within arm’s reach or a short drive away and I can see and almost touch them.
So I think the biggest thing for me to lose is the sense that there’s a limit on how much I can dream. I’m well aware that not all dreams come true. I’m all too well aware of this fact. I think I’m probably a person who needs to practice, over and over, the belief that some dreams do come true, so it’s worth dreaming a whole bunch of them – not just to see which ones will come true, but in order to feel really really good in any given moment.
Yeah. I’m gonna lose it. I am. You watch.