I wanted to say something before I go. I have received comments that I haven’t accepted my situation. Accepted what is happening in my life.
I just want to say those comments are incorrect. Trust me, I have accepted everything in my life. I came from a poor family with a dad who would call me stupid when I pissed him off. I accepted that he didn’t have a perfect life growing up. That he was flawed, as was I. He did the best he could. I know my childhood wasn’t ideal, but it had very good moments. Call it denial or high-functioning mental illness if you will. I prefer to focus on the good points rather than the bad even if I see and accept it for what it was.
I’m not going to detail my entire life. I’ve had to accept a lot of things in my life. This past year, I thought someone cared about me. Maybe even a couple of people. Turns out they didn’t. Oh, I’ve accepted that. I always have. Every man or boy when I was younger that I’ve ever liked has never liked me. Trust me, I have accepted that. That’s why I had given up on finding love … until l thought a possibility was presenting itself to me. But it wasn’t. Still, I accepted it.
Yes, I lost my job. I was let go as part of a layoff. It wasn’t just me, but did I help my situation there? Not necessarily. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t love my job. When asked what I was proud of at work, I couldn’t offer anything. Unfortunately, that was the truth. I was never allowed to do my best work there. My morale suffered. So, did I play a part in it? Probably so.
But two days later, I sat on my sofa and I told myself, “OK, you’re unemployed. You were let go … for the first time in your life. That’s OK. You’re not the only one to go through this.” And I’m not. Millions of people have been let go. So I began my job search.
Do I suffer from depression? Yes, I suppose I do. I’ve never been diagnosed, but I know I get down. And yes, I have done so more in the last few years. Yes, I was told by a therapist that I had suffered some sort of trauma in my childhood. It surprised me. It took me a minute or two to process that. I thought and I thought what could have possibly caused the trauma, and I had no idea. At least not in the traditional sense. No big event or anything. There were little things like being called stupid. Seeing my dad’s anger do harm to other people and pets. Car accidents. A close family member dying when I was a child. So I determined it was that. Just a lot of small ongoing things. I accepted it and moved on.
Yes, I have accepted all of these things. This is my life. It is not perfect, but it is mine. And I can choose to wallow in the bad stuff, or I can choose to pick myself up and move on. Two days after being laid off, I started applying for jobs. And I kept applying and I have done many, many interviews. And I’m still applying. I’m still looking. I’ve accepted I may not find the same kind of job I had before at the same pay rate. So, I’m going to retailers and gyms and applying to their jobs. I’m OK with that. I just need to pay my bills. I’m practical like that.
I’m looking at different ways to make a living. Like getting certified in yoga and teaching yoga while working part-time somewhere else. Maybe I’ll write a book. Maybe I won’t. Maybe it will all change three weeks into starting it.
But to those who say I haven’t accepted it. Trust me, I have. I have sat on my sofa and cried for hours. I have gone to bed crying. I have slept for 12 hours straight some days. I have reached out for professional help. I’ve talked to psychics.
And this blog. My meditation and yoga. My applying for jobs — even those that don’t pay near what I’m accustomed to earning. My understanding that no one has or more than likely ever will love me. All of it means I have accepted it and now I’m trying to move forward. To walk away. There is nothing else I can do with it. I can sit here and do nothing. I can sit here and bemoan how my life has fallen apart. The blog has let me do that to some degree. But it has also let me work through my feelings about some of it so I can move forward and walk away.
I have accepted and I am moving forward. It’s not always pretty. Sometimes I get sad, but I keep moving forward. Otherwise, you will get stuck and stay there. I’m not staying there. If that’s what you consider accepting, then no, I won’t be accepting.
Despite all of these things. Despite being at the lowest point in my life. I fight. I get up and I keep swinging. Sometimes it’s messy. And others watching just want me to stay down. Don’t want me to get up and get hit again. But that’s not life. And although my choices and how I handle it may not look the way you want it to look, I’m accepting and I’m dealing with it. But what I do and the way it looks is not for you, now is it? It’s for me. Is it the right way? Is it perfect? No, it is not. But it has gotten me through my life so far.
And you can call that high-functioning PTSD. High-functioning anxiety. High-functioning depression. Whatever you want to call it. But it is me moving forward. It is me taking responsibility for my life. It is me trying to improve my situation. I wouldn’t be doing any of those things if I had not accepted my life and what is happening in it. You can’t move forward without accepting. That’s just the way it is.
Perhaps I have all of those disorders. All of them. It’s unfortunate. It may be true. But what am I supposed to do? Stop living? Give up my home and everything I’ve earned in life? Is that what accepting is? I guess I don’t even understand why someone would say I’ve not accepted it. I also don’t understand how taking steps to change my life is not accepting it and moving forward.
There are so many things that have happened to me this past year that I don’t understand. Things people have said. Things that have hurt me. Things I have tried to use to better myself, only to fail. I have asked for answers. Explanations. Confronted a lot of things. I haven’t received any answers. And I’m told that my looking for answers is part of the problem. That I’m not accepting.
Well, to that I say I realize you don’t always get closure. There are things in my life, especially this past year, that I will never understand. I will never get answers to. I have accepted that. As painful as it is, I have accepted it.
And you want me to walk away? OK. I will walk away.
But here is one piece of advice that I offer to some of you. If you don’t care about someone. If you are just pretending to care for someone to teach them a life lesson. Or to drive them in a direction you think they should be heading. Or any other reason other than actually sincerely caring about them. Don’t. Even if you think it is the right thing to do. Don’t break someone’s heart unnecessarily. Never lead anybody on for any reason.
You don’t know what someone has been through. You don’t know how they think and feel. You don’t know how they will react. I don’t care if you have some of the best therapists in the world working with you. You can’t fully predict human nature or human experience. You just can’t.
I did this once to a boy in fourth grade. He was my friend. His name was Bernie. We were good friends. He had a crush on me, but I didn’t feel the same about him. Of course, I had a crush on someone else who didn’t know I existed.
Bernie was smitten and I felt badly because I didn’t feel the same. I thought I would help him. I decided that I would agree to be his girlfriend and then break up with him. That way he would move on and start liking someone else. Eventaully we could go back to just being friends.
He played football. He wasn’t a tough guy but he wasn’t one of the softer ones either. Just normal. After I broke up with him, he started crying. I saw tears running down his face. The look he gave me devastated me. It wasn’t the result I had expected.
I had the best intentions. I truly did. I thought it was the best thing to do. It wasn’t. In fact, that was one of the worst things I have ever done. It doesn’t sound like much, I suppose. But it was. I have never forgiven myself for that. I probably never will. I didn’t mean to hurt him. My fourth grade brain didn’t undestand that it would hurt him. I just thought he would like someone else.
That look. To this day, I can still see it. He had on his football jersey and tears hanging onto his eyelashes. I had never seen a boy cry … or not like that. Not for that reason. I never wanted to see that again. I didn’t want to hurt anyone ever again. I have tried my best to never hurt anyone again.
I have, of course, but I try not to. People think that makes me fake. Or something. No. I just don’t want to unintentionally hurt someone. My intention with Bernie wasn’t to hurt him. It was to direct him elsewhere. But it was the wrong thing to do. I shouldn’t have done it and it has impacted my life every since.
Funny how something that small – or in the grand scheme of things is small – can affect you. So yes, I’m conscious of how I interact with others. Yes, maybe I err on the side of not being myself in order to not hurt someone. But I’d rather be alone and not myself than to hurt someone like that again.
So that’s one of the things I’ve dealt with this year. Someone pretending to like me in order to move me in a different direction. Or, as best I can tell, that’s what was happening. Again, I have no answers.
Maybe that’s what this whole thing has been about. Bringing me back around full circle. To that time I hurt Bernie. It was the wrong thing to do. I accept that. Forgiving myself for it? I don’t know yet. It was fourth grade. I was dumb. But I should have never intentially hurt someone — although that wasn’t exactly my intention. I meant to help.
Anyway, there is no point to all of this. It’s a ramble before I close. The death throes of a fucked up year.
I guess in the spirit of this blog my point is to be kind to one another. Be honest. If can avoid hurting someone, avoid it. If you must, try to be honest and caring. Never deceive anyone. And even when you don’t have answers, accept it. Accept it all. Then dust yourself off and carry on.