I have always loved stories. I have loved to hear them and read them. When I was little we had this really large stereo. It had a radio, phonograph and a reel to reel tape player. There was one reel that I loved. It was filled with children’s stories. Everything from Jack and the Beanstalk to Cinderella. It was fabulous. I learned how to load a reel to reel when I was four and could set it up myself. I would listen to that tape all the time. My mother had some of Shakespeare’s plays on albums and would listen to those sometimes. I liked the rhythm of the language. The way things flowed. The importance of the story.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has a story that they tell the world and that they tell themselves. Sometimes those two stories match. And sometimes those stories do not match. Growing up I had one story that I told to people about the bruises or the other things I was struggling with. And then there was the true story. The one that I did not share with anyone. The story that I kept secret and hidden. The pain and emotions that I always kept hidden and locked away.
Lately I have been struggling with the emotions and feelings brought up by people. There are times in life when you encounter someone that just sets your teeth on edge. Someone that no matter what you do just annoys you so much you have no way to respond. There is a person in my life right now that does that for me. I can sit there and say to myself that they behave the way they do because they need attention and they need to be acknowledged and validated. But it does not matter. I still feel my blood pressure boil when I see them. Not so much now as say three weeks ago, but still it makes me want to avoid them all together.
Someone whose opinion I value very much told me that “she just fakes it till she makes it” when it comes to these things. But that is something I struggle with. For so many years I faked my way through life. Faked the smile. Faked the normal life. Faked the fact that I could barely stand sometimes. Now I have trouble being anything but honest to myself. I put my emotions out there. If I am confused I say so. If something makes me nervous, I say it does. I don’t lie to myself anymore. I have begun to make my inner and outer stories match.
Sometimes I feel like that makes me very vulnerable. I also wonder if it makes me appear to be less competent. I do know one thing. I can not keep faking it any more. I have begun to resolve my feelings about this one person. And I am glad that I am doing it in a way that I feel is honest to myself.
The story that I told myself when I was in the midst of the abuse was one of that said I must somehow have done something wrong. Why else would those that were to take care of me do this much harm. But it was never about me. It was never about anything I said or did. And my story now is about me. And that the only thing I can change is me. I can’t change this person that drives me nuts. I can change my behaviors and the story that I tell myself. I can be honest in my story. I can tell my story with honesty. Because I am a good story teller. And I am a good listener,even to my own story.