Sunday, October 4, 2020

Shadow Work Sunday: Journal Entry 5


Hello everyone! The Unleashed One here. The Bitmoji is actually way more enthusiastic than what I feel. Before we enter into the next episode of Shadow Work Sunday, I want to fill you in on what's been occurring in the backdrop.

I have taken a pledge to be more proactive as it pertains to my health. In the past, I would chalk up to not having certain maladies addressed due to not really having the time (due to being overworked, life,  or not having sick pay or vacation pay) or having crappy insurance. Those reasons were not a lie, but it gave justification to put things off that over time would need to be taken care of.

I recognize that I use my hands quite frequently. Not just in the normal scheme of things, but my "9 to 5" is hand intensive, and my passion is hand intensive. Although my carpal tunnel was initially classified as mild, the medication regiment the hand specialist put me on was not highly effective. We graduated to the next step, which was attempting the injections. I have had two rounds of injections put in my knee joints to counter the arthritis that has developed. However, I never had shots in my wrists before.

It is not as much the shots that are painful as when the lidocaine wears off. He did warn me that it would come, but I underestimated how debilitating the day after would be. My fingers were still okay, but trying to do anything which involved wrist movement was horrendous. As some would say, this is the worst part before it gets better, right?

We shall see. Even getting this journal entry together is a challenge, because the usual placement of my wrists I cannot do because it causes discomfort. So, functional wise, I am about seventy percent, give or take. I haven't fully tested my ability to do any lifting (weights or whatnot). The doctor says it's best to give it a few more days and see what happens.

If I opt for the carpal tunnel surgery, it won't be until next year. One wrist gets operated on at a time, and then I have to allow for two-three weeks recovery. I have to factor in how that will impact workflow as well as having the proper amount of sick time allotted for such. 

In any event, I would like to thank those who checked up on me or tried to keep me in good spirits to keep my mind off the pain. I don't fuss about pain much, but this mess was a son of a gun. I'd also like to thank some of the anti-inflammatories, despite not liking how they throw off my natural rhythm or routine.

Now that I've covered everything, on with the Shadow Work.

Have you ever badly hurt someone unintentionally? Could you have been more responsible/compassionate to them?

The Unleashed One

I had to give this question a lot of thought, for I always do my best to not hurt people with my thoughts or actions. Over time, I have learned there are situations where it is unavoidable, no matter how carefully I word statements or how proactive I am to get ahead of disaster before disaster strikes.

I made quite a few errors in life when I was younger. One had to do with being in a relationship that my grandma was against. I was struggling with a few things emotionally, primarily the hurt regarding my tumultuous situations with my mother and seeing my peers having experiences that shaped them into becoming adults. I had a perception that I was missing out because my grandparents, particularly my grandma, was so protective of me. At the time, I was feeling trapped, and this person I was entangled with gave off enough "bad boy" vibes to cause lots of alarm. Not just to my grandma, but to other people who were invested in my educational success. 

I did not mean to hurt my grandma. She has been there for me consistently, no matter what. There is something to be said about what can happen if one doesn't know one's family history or narrative. Had I known my family's narrative, I would have recognized what trauma was being re-activated by my actions and would have made smarter choices.

During my time at college, I went through events that catapulted me in an emotionally dark place. Although I was still highly functional academically, I was on autopilot with everything else. I had this hunger to feel good, by any means necessary. That perhaps finding the right person could heal the bruises that were in my heart and soul.

There was this man who was slightly older than me who entered my life at about the start of my junior year in college. For the most part, the relationship was long-distance and began online. He had the perfect ingredients for what I sought in a companion. A great listener. A sense of humor. Articulate. Great at planning our meetings. Chivalrous. Overall, he just had wonderful energy. He was a light that was missing in all the other experiences I'd went through. But, unfortunately, there were other discoveries I was making about myself that clashed with some of his beliefs.

Once I came to terms with this, I made the difficult decision to end the romance. Yes, it was one of the few that was positive. But, I believed that I was doing him a disservice if I was to remain in the relationship, knowing that I wouldn't be able to fully compromise on one of his requests. Maybe, in hindsight, I should have let him make that decision. I honestly thought I was doing what was the best thing, the responsible thing.

Many years later, I was finally able to have a conversation with him and apologize. I am thankful that he was understanding but I do wonder what impact that breakup had/has on how he perceives women.

It took many years for me to realize that it does no good to get into a relationship when one is "walking wounded". What I mean is that going into another romantic relationship is pointless if one doesn't take time to heal what occurred in the previous one.

There was a blip of time where there were only a few months between one relationship and the next, so whoever says that the best way to get over one person is to immediately get with another ... it's bullshit. All I was doing was putting gauze over a wound that would scab and bust open repeatedly.

Some of the bonds I didn't really classify as relationships because of their brevity. I believe some may call those "situationships". I admit, some of those situationships I vaguely remember because they occurred when I was pretty toxic and careless with feelings, particularly theirs. Like, if the person were to cross my path, I would know him right away. But it's not a topic that would be up for discussion.

I did have a heartless, careless era. But it's an era I don't ever want to go back to. It makes me feel detached and icky. Besides, my darkness can be scary. But, I suppose without the darkness, one cannot have the building blocks to fortify and maintain one's light.

Now ... onto Mini Truth.

Mini Truth

I’d like to think that throughout my life I’ve done my best to treat people with kindness and respect. And, although for the most part I have, I do admit that I am not perfect. Nor, do I pretend to be.

I did, at one point in my life, live a reckless lifestyle. During that time, I am sure that I hurt many people intentionally, albeit superficially by practicing petty-payback.

I’ve long since made amends with that time in my life, but there was a time when I hurt someone I love very much unintentionally. However, it’s a long story to tell. I’ll do my best to tell it in the shortest and most efficient way possible.

Family dysfunction can do things to an individual that causes unwanted character alterations in that person’s personality. Such was my reality at the time.

Most of you already know me well enough to know a little bit about what my life has been like; the ups, downs and all arounds of it.

Suffice it to say, that in my younger adult years I held on to pain. A lot of it. Since I had no effective tools to help me deal with the pain, I used anger to translate it. Specifically aimed towards my mother. While I was angry at my dad, the anger towards my mom was three-fold. I loved her, yes, but I also hated her. It was that enigma that bewildered me daily. How could I love someone so much and hate them to pieces at the same time?

Thus, in time I found myself unintentionally causing her undue pain in the attempts to protect myself. The folly in it all was that I told myself I was trying to keep myself out of harm’s way but in actuality, there was a part of me that liked seeing her hurt. Why? Because then she would understand my pain.

This eventually turned into intentionally causing her pain.

It all started with the decision to detach myself from her completely. One day, in the most opportune of moments, I packed my shit and my kids and disappeared.

We did not speak to each other for three years. They were the longest three years of my life. And, of hers, I’m sure.

I know my disappearance hurt her deeply. Why? Because she was attached to me at the hip. I was her world, and although her behavioral patterns were toxic and she was intensely mentally disturbed, it was me and my kids’ presence in her life that gave her stability. No matter how terrible it was. And I can assure you that it was terrible.

After those three years I wrote her a letter. It was long. In that letter I delineated all of the things she’d done during my existence that had broken me. I explained how much hate I held towards her for that. How she failed as a mother. How she was the devil dressed as an angel. How she was a monster, cloaked in the garb of a saint. That, maybe her church friends believed she was good, but I knew the real her. I went on to say that I hoped she died because her death and the knowledge that she would never be able to hurt me and my kids again, would give me peace. I concluded the letter by saying, “You will never hear from us or see us again.”

At the time, I truly meant it.

I was tired of the pain, but what was worse was how I felt during the separation. You see, while part of me believed every word there was a part of me that didn’t. There was a part of me that wanted my mommy. A part that deeply wanted to be held by my mom in a loving way. A part of me that needed to hear her voice and the words, “I love you.” There was a little girl inside of me that yearned to be accepted unconditionally by her mommy; wanted to feel pampered in a way that only a mom can do. No one could give me that … no one BUT her.

After two years of holding true to my promise, I broke down. I couldn’t take it anymore. I reached out to her.

It took a loooong time for us to be where we are now. A long time, apologies, conversations, lots and lots of work, and growth on my behalf.

I learned something … my mother could only do as good as she was capable of doing. I was the one that needed to supersede the chaos.

This isn’t to say that I am perfect. I still get mad sometimes about certain things but I have learned a lot. More than anything, I have learned to not impose pain on someone in response to my own pain.

This concludes another installment of Shadow Work Sunday. If you missed out on any previous entries, please click here to get caught up.

Later. 😊

No comments: