You Are Not Alone…
That was pretty much the overall sentiment today… It was great reconnecting with folks whom I haven’t spoken to in some time.
Today, I used my time to reconnect, to refocus, recenter and to realize that even though sometimes I feel like I am all alone right now in these moment, I am constantly reminded that I am not alone. By chance I was reconnected with an old elementary school buddy. Mainly because I asked my Facebook community if they knew of a life coach they could recommend. And the other way we connected more was over a conversation on organized religion and her helping me to find a different metaphysical store in this area. I will have to Thank her for that later, I found all of the smudging sage I am in need of. But anyways, I know we met in middle school, yes, it was middle school. 6th grade to be exact. This was when I lived in Madison, WI for a while and we went to school together. We hung out together a group of us, and we did this up until I moved to MN in my 10th grade year. She dated the guy I fell in love with later, the first guy who ever purposed to me. She was so funny after the two of us started dating, she was like… “Oh, look at you taking my seconds.” That really pissed me off, but I knew she was only joking because we were all really, really good friends and they had only dated for like a couple of weeks. But that’s besides the point. She said some of the harshest shit, but all of it true and thats why we were the best of friends.
Or maybe it had something to do with the fact we are only a few weeks apart in age, both of us Sagittarius. My birthday in late November, hers in early December. We were almost like two peas in a pod, the energy between the two of us was always so intense and hot and full. We had so many similarities, which is what I believe drew us together growing up. But it was also the driving force around why we stopped talking for a while. She was my saving grace in middle school, we had this sort of weird type of relationship. I knew I could trust her with the secret of my sister and I being physically abused, I knew she would never tell because she too was being abused at home. She knew what would happen if the boat was rocked and so we did everything we could to keep that bitch steady and afloat. We spent almost every waking moment together in middle school, she at my house, me at hers. We would stay up until the crack of dawn talking about life, what it meant, why we were dealt the shitty hand and how we could possibly kill our parents and not get busted. We plotted and we planned, we came up with master plans and then scratched them and thought of something else. We whispered, we giggled, we laughed, we cried, we yelled.. together. We knew we were each others survival and lord knows we needed it. We had other friends, but you can only tell so many folks about your life at home before someone tells a grown up and rocks the boat. So, we begged them to stay silent for us, for our safety and then refused to talk about it with them. We would change the topic, make it light, crack a joke, say something snarky and sarcastic, or just plain laugh at something they would say, anything to throw the light off of us and the obvious issues we were having. Mines on occasion would become visible to the naked eye, a bruise here, a scratch there, a faint black eye, a busted lip. All those things and they protected our secret something awful, as an adult, I feel sorry for the children we were and what we begged and pleaded with our friends to hide for us. As an adult, I know it was what had to happen to keep us alive, as a child… life sucked big time, except for my calm within the storm.
I don’t know who needed who more, me to laugh away the pain and hurt I had trapped inside or her to laugh away some of the same things. Being the smart ass, sarcastic, loud and obnoxious girls became our motto in 9th grade year. But before that, we spent much of our time trying to survive. I started smoking cigarettes in middle school. To this day I still can’t remember who got me my first one, or even how I was able to come across some every day. I just know by 8th grade i was fully addicted to smoking cigarettes. It helped to calm me down, because on so many, many occasions our relationship would implode on itself and we would end up in an all out physical fight, yelling and screaming at each other, cracking yo mamma jokes, all while trying not to cry in front of everyone else. One fight was so stupid, we were just both so frustrated and upset with life that the only thing we could do was take it out on each other. Because we were so similar our energies played off of each other, our explosive personalities and bodies couldn’t handle the same space anymore and so we stopped talking and just started swinging. I had, had a horrible morning and we had gotten on the bus together and our energies were off and I could feel it. I tried to stay away, but I was always so drawn to her and so we started bickering and picking at each other. Well, one thing led to another and she called me Kool-Aid and I called her Band-Aid and that was literally the end of the conversation. I grabbed her shirt and she mines and we started fighting. She let go of me and told me I wasn’t fighting fair because I had on a back brace and I couldn’t feel anything, and I told her she wasn’t fighting fair because she knew I had the back brace on and could barely move. So we stopped long enough for me to take it off and then we were at it again, it took all of our friends to stop us from killing each other.
The sad thing is the fight was with our parents, not each other. But we knew we couldn’t fight them and so we did the next obvious thing. Fight each other. By the end of the day we were fine and back in each others faces, cracking jokes, being smart asses. But for that brief moment, I realized that we could self-destruct together if we spent too much time in each others presence. I guess lucky for us, I was forced to move to MN. We remained friends, talked infrequently, lost touch, found each other and here we are again today. Reconnecting.
If you can’t tell, she too was from an abusive home and so our friendship was sealed over the knowledge that we both could take a severe ass whooping and still come to school with a smile on our faces. Sometimes we spent countless hours talking about how much the last ass whooping we got really hurt or who got it worse, or what was the object they used to beat us with that time, LOL! Its not even remotely funny, but yet here I am laughing about it. This friend of mines was the yang to my yin, I needed her as much as she needed me. We helped each other cope and deal with being in abusive homes. The main difference was she grew up in a more “stable” home then myself, but that too is subjective.
As we were talking, I couldn’t do anything but chuckle remembering the last goodbye we had when we were in high school. It was the end of freshman year, and I was on a high. I had just gotten asked out by the boy of my dreams, it was my first ever boyfriend and I had also just made the Junior Varsity Pom squad for the next year. Tryouts were a beast, but I kicked ass! And that night I got home I was told we would be moving from WI to MN at the end of the school year. I’m pretty positive I cried all night and every night after that for weeks. I told my friends and my boyfriend and we all had a good ole snot fest. We promised each other that we wouldn’t lose touch, but we were in high school and I just knew that was going to be the end. I did stay in pretty close contact with most of them, the guy and I dated on and off throughout high school. Got engaged and then finally realized we weren’t meant for each other and broke it off, human relationships are for the birds sometimes. I had never experienced heartache like that. And I wanted never to experience anything like it again, so I adjusted and fixed the ways those things went down.
I mean don’t we all, you are hurt by someone and so you adjust to avoid being hurt like that again. You are betrayed by someone and so to fix that you keep to yourself instead of just being yourself. I know, when I finally moved back to WI after I had graduated from high school. I had a few moments where the people I trusted and thought I knew the most, cut me so deep I wasn’t sure if I would be able to come back from it. I was the walking dead, I refused to eat or drink. I contemplated suicide and then I planned it out. I had been a cutter previously, and so it didn’t seem far fetched to just end it all. I didn’t want to use a gun or a knife, because that would hurt. I just wanted it all to be peaceful. So I did some research and planned it out, I stocked up on a slew of different pills and figured out the day and time. I knew no one would miss me for days so no one would be able to burst in and save me. Anyways, lucky for me my attempt didn’t work and here I am some odd years later able to say I’m happy it didn’t work. I woke up the next day with the worst feelings in the world, got up and went to work. And after work I found the cutest guy to get under and spent the next few weeks feeling my way through life slowly.
I realize I have a lot of coping mechanisms in place, some I’m not even registering that they are in fact a coping mechanism. Because of the things I’ve gone through that is how I was able to make it out alive. Now the next step is to realize that I am alive and I can either live in the past with all of those feelings (which have no place here anymore) or I can live in the present and live fully. I’m not even going to lie, the last 4 days have been really hard to focus, but I’m getting better at taking deep breaths, acknowledging & accepting the feelings and thoughts there and then moving forward. It also helps that every now and then I have a fake cry session (and it really is a fake cry session, its funny and my sister thinks I’m absolutely bonkers) and then I move on as if it were all normal. I swear human interactions or lack of them can make a person go nuts, but I keep being told that they are all worth it in the end… We’ll see…
I’m also really excited because my photo series Life in Black and White is going so well lately. It’s amazing the things that can happen when you let your creative side take over for a while.
Anyways, I’m interested to hear some of your stories and how you’ve managed to cope. And what are some ways you’ve been able to live fully in the now.