Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Home Within

Hello, dear friends,

Once again, it has been a while. All the life changes have taken me away from this blog and from sharing. Most of my days are filled with job search, interviews, online and paper applications, and talking to various workers. Add to that public bus system to rely on, stitching at night and on weekends, plus cleaning and cooking - and you have the picture. A swirl of new experiences...

On May 1st, it will be three months since my husband and I separated. All the news - and changes that come with it - hit me all at once, so I had to focus on immediate survival needs first. My soul went into shock, and every time I wanted to think about what happened - and what I learned - the voice inside my head would say, "Not now, a little later, when the basics are out of the way." I did not cry - or, at least, not in plain view. Occasionally, I would start tearing up in the shower - but those "waterfalls" did not last long. I would not let myself dwell on "all that" because, frankly, I was afraid to come unglued. I suspected that, once I started "addressing" everything that went on, I would start crying, screaming, cursing, and  then - who knows when I would stop... Nervous breakdowns need to be handled in a controlled atmosphere, such as the therapist's office, mental health clinic etc... Coming unglued in the middle of a work day - or a job interview - is not beneficial to anyone.

Eventually, I found a good therapist. I expected for things to start pouring out of me, but - they did not. I still have not cried, although sometimes I felt like it. Perhaps, my body does not want to switch from "defense" mode - after all, I don't know that person very well yet, it has only been - what? - two weeks.. He is just another guy with an opinion. So, even reactions to his suggestions are delayed; I noticed that I would say, " I will think about it," store his suggestion somewhere in the back of my mind, and then, about 24-48 hours later, my actual response would start forming... Sometimes it's as simple as "you've got a point," other times my response is "mind your own business." I know one thing: if I make any permanent changes to my situation, it will come from me, and I will do it if and when I am ready.. (Currently, it feels like "when" rather than "if", but I am certainly going to take it one step at a time - because in the end, I am the one who will have to deal with the consequences).

One realization has hit me through the whole experience: in all this, I am all alone. Especially I feel it when people tell me that I can rely on them, that I am not alone, that I have support. Don't get me wrong, I do have support and help - from Social Services programs, from the Job Center, from my therapist, - and I am grateful. I get professional help. On a personal level, though, I am a lone warrior. And it feels like in this aspect, I am different from anyone else I know.

Most of my "friends" and acquaintances - here in town - have family and friends. That means, if the proverbial shit hits the fan and they feel they can't deal with life any more at some particular moment - they have a safe place to go to. If life gets to be too much, they can hide from it. Not me. I don't have a place like that in my life, come to think of that, I am not sure I ever had. Last time I felt I could "go somewhere safe" was when I was about 3 years old, and the place was (of course) Grandma's. Since then, I have felt on my own. There is no unconditional love in my life; I may feel it (for my children, although I try not to get carried away), but I doubt anyone feels it for me. If I "lose my cool," no one will run to the rescue. If they do, they will have their own - often deeply hidden - reasons. "When the rabbit cries, the fox comes a-running - but not to help."

Perhaps, that is one single reason I keep myself together: I know that deep inside, nobody really cares. The people that do care - my children - will get affected by my "meltdown" in such a way that may be irreparable.. and it won't help anyone, especially not me.

I am alone, and that is a fact. I don't have a home - I live in a house, but it's not mine, and has never been. Most importantly - I don't have a safe place in this world, a place to call home. On the inside, I am homeless. And that is, unfortunately, also a fact.

Perhaps, when I am ready, I can start working on building that safe place for myself - on the inside, and (who knows?) - on the outside, too. It's all a process.. One step at a time.

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

It was fun while it lasted...

Hello, dear friends,

Well, today came with a blow: I was released from my (semi)-perfect job. Apparently, my multi-tasking skills are not as high as the job requires. Oh well, I tried. I did my best.

I know I should be panicked, shocked, dismayed - but, surprisingly, I am not. At least, not as much as I would expect from myself. Perhaps, it's because I did not have a chance to get "attached" to this job yet, or some other reason, - after I realized that the supervisor's mind was made up, I started feeling better. I thought: perhaps, the purpose of this job was to pay this month's rent, to learn that I was able to function in this type of setting, and - to experience a let go. I have not changed. I am still the same person. So maybe it was not a good fit after all. I have not had a chance to get bored - or tired of - this job. I guess that's a plus.

Finally, my past experience has taught me that, when something drastic happens - whether it's my professional life, or personal one - it always brings new opportunities and changes for the better. Perhaps, this situation means that there is something better out there for me - something that I am better suited for, perhaps.

Life has been a roller coaster these past three months. Everything always changes, nothing stays the same long enough for me to get used to it. Maybe it's Life's way of telling me not to get complacent. Not to get "comfortable." To be ready for new things to come.

I do hope they are good things.

Until next time,

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Life goes on, and so does the stitching...

Hello, dear friends,

It has been about two weeks since my last post, so it feels like a good time for another update.

When I start thinking about it, I really don't know where to start: my job? my life? my stitching? So many things changed so quickly in my life - and still keep changing - that two weeks feel like two months - or even longer. One steady feeling, though, that has been growing in me - and me - is Self-Confidence. The more I go through things, the more I face these challenges - big and small - the more I feel, " I can do this!" I can do this - all by myself.

Then again, I am not "all by myself." My daughters are with me, and they are a great comfort. For the first time in many years, I feel like I can talk to them - and they to me - without pretense. We say it like it is. There is no need for false and fake "niceties," forced expressions of respect. If they are unhappy or they disagree with me - they tell me. If - or when - I need to say something - I do. No long speeches, no put downs, no theatrics... And it works. I feel, finally, that we are on the same team. We understand each other - at least as much as it is possible between two teenage daughters and their mother. And, finally - I feel like we have our privacy. Nobody is watching. This is not  Cinema Verite, there are no hidden cameras. (Not that there ever actually were cameras, but in my marriage, I often felt like I was in a sitcom, cast for a supporting role. I cannot tell you how much relief it brings to drop that kind of pretense.)

Next week will be the seventh week (already?) of my new job. I am starting to feel a bit more confident in my position - that is, I don't have to ask every five minutes for directions, - but now, I feel, the challenge is not to become over confident. I have a lot to learn here, and sometimes being silent and listening is better and more productive than talking and trying to "get things done." Often, that is a very good approach to life in general, too.

With all the work and chores, there is very limited time left for stitching - but my Aquarius has grown arms since the last time I posted. Slow and steady, it grows....

"Aquarius" WIP

 Until next time,