The Journals

7:49 AM Edit This 18 Comments »
The good doctor nicknamed me "4.0" shortly after I started working for him - as a compliment of my smarty-pants-ness that he recognized. I am smart. I know an awful lot and I love to learn and soak in new information - turning it around and around like pulling taffy in my brain. But being smart and being able to assimilate mounds of information in a short amount of time does not presuppose common sense. I don't have much of that.

One of the things my therapist says alot is this. "Your parents did the best they could with what they knew AND it wasn't enough. Your job is to fill in the blanks as an adult." Well - here's the thing. I didn't know there were blanks. And that's what led to my somewhat alternate existence with the dead guy.

When I was 18, I started journaling. My book shelves house a lifetime of existence. I rarely re-read them, but there are two journals that bear reviewing. My therapist keeps them at her office. It is not such a good idea for me to have them here. They are weapons to re-open wounds when I'm feeling sorry for myself. And when I've shown that I'm in a pretty good place emotionally, she gets them out and we read a few pages and talk. Only to fill in the blanks. It's not a lesson in masochism - it is so I understand what happened and what I can do differently in the future. It's a painful thing and it's what we did last Tuesday. She reads aloud, I cringe on the couch and she often says to me, "You know that's considered abuse. Right?" And I say something like this, "But I liked it." or "I asked for it." And we start the process of dismantling the thoughts that led me to say such things.

And now? I've got a new radar that is somewhat crippling at times and at other times, refreshing. Because I am starting to see the subtle manipulation that others use to make me do what they want me to whether I want to or not. It scares me. It frightens my core that I bought all those lies for so long, but this is now. This is my time to learn. I may have to learn late, but I'm learning and it's worth every painful moment for me to understand these lessons.

So when I got up on Wednesday morning and noticed fingerprints on my forearm, I panicked just a little bit. See? I am still not very good at this dancing thing and learning means that I make mistakes. I kept missing a turn and my partner had to grab me several times to keep me from careening into the dining room table, enchiladas in my hair and fork in my back. Those fingerprints represent fun and experience. They don't mean that I let someone hurt me again. The panic was momentary, but it does remind me that I am learning a new way of life today.

18 comments:

BrianAlt said...

It's normal for every day things to remind us of troubled things in our past. That's what happens. It happens to protect us. But you have the ability, as you did, to sort out the good from the bad.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

What I appreciate about your reaction to those fingerprints is that you recognize it as a sign of trouble. This time, you know it's far from trouble. But, the idea that you now know the signs and can do something about them is impressive!

JoLee said...

woo hoo for happy bruises! there is such a thing. really.

Matt said...

4.0 is an awesome nickname.

unfortunately I would be more around 2.5...

Kristen said...

Enchiladas are a bitch to get out of your hair.

Don't ask me how I know.

justjp said...

Hmm let me marinate on "finger prints on Kate." Bad thought JP, bad thoughts...

Summer said...

You're coming along very nicely, but seeing you careen into some enchiladas would have been nice too. ;) I threw away my journals from my dark and desperate times. Sometimes I wish that I had kept them.

buffalodick said...

I've sat through many a sales seminar that taught you how to manipulate people... I know how, but refused to do it on my ethical standards..Before you take that wrong- my morals need serious work!

GreenCanary said...

I love your therapist.

f.B said...

I've still got the stuff I wrote during my worst of times. But re-reading it is hard. It's too familiar.

lacochran said...

How easily do you bruise? I'm thinking dancing shouldn't leave marks. Even in the early stages.

melissalion said...

Interesting. That's all I have. Mainly because this is something I want to think about today.

LiLu said...

I'm with SoMi's Nilsa. The fact that you noticed them and it raised a red flag? Huge progress.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Opening the wounds of the past is the only way to leave them behind. I'm a big believer in the importance of understanding "how I got here", because that helps me to figure out where I belong, and where I might be headed.

I enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks.

Jeff
My blog

Oxen Cox said...

So glad to hear you are still dancing. I really want to take lessons.

Twinkie said...

I'm curious to know if it was the bruises that made you think or the "it hurts so good" feeling that made you revert back a little and flinch until you realized it's a totally different experience?

Sparkling Red said...

That's powerful stuff. You're very brave to work your way through those journals. The results will be worth the struggle.

Meg Kathleen said...

It is so important yet so hard to learn from past mistakes. I can't imagine how hard it is to reread those journals - but good for you!