My Significant Six.
For Mark, thank you for your guidance and for keeping it real.
I haven’t written in months, call it writers block, I don’t know…I kept hearing my sweet Gramma Lil whisper in my ear…..”If you don’t have anything nice to say then…” Well, you know the rest.
Sharing my personal journey will be the last hurdle of my recovery.
I have been silent while in my isolation. For the most part, I have held my tongue and cried my tears alone, trying to spare my family, parents, friends and readers from yet another emotional roller coaster ride involving “Yours Truly”. I guarantee that anyone who I did share my tears with was only given a tiny glimpse of my grief and desperation.
A few months ago, ironically about Six, my very existence was rendered insignificant by a small group of people whose love and respect I value. Not all Six had a voice in this decision but the decision was made and effectively, I was disowned and abandoned by those I trusted during what I would describe as “my darkest hour of need”.
I played a part in the creation of the scene that set my stage, but I begged for a different ending to be written.
I have never begged before.
If you want to feel true humiliation, beg for something and then have it refused.
I have never felt insignificant before.
Realizing I didn’t matter to My Significant Six was a life changer. You see, even though I am irrelevant to them, those Six will forever be Significant to me. Even after all this, I would still give my life for any of them, without question.
How do you let a love like that go? This is where my life becomes difficult, because I can not let that love go.
I couldn’t sleep, I cried all the time. I couldn’t function in public. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t function at all. I couldn’t play my piano or my guitar. I couldn’t sing and I couldn’t write. I couldn’t take care of myself or my family. Everything made me sad. I had nothing left inside.
What was the point?
I was completely incapacitated. For months, everyday I wanted to die because my heartache was so bad. After all my years of muddling through life – loss, guilt, shame, fear, regret, bitterness and despair finally caught up with me. Stuck between wanting to die and being overwhelmed with sadness, I was officially at my lowest.
I give my First Thank You of Six to My Significant Six, who very effectively taught me how it feels to be suicidal.
I’ve said for two years that suicide is my worst enemy. It has attacked many of my friends, my family, but I never thought it would attack me personally. I don’t fit the profile. I’m well adjusted, happy, outgoing, positive…..yet I was plagued with darkness. The farther down I spiralled on the inside, on the outside – the self I portrayed to others, ironically, showed a steady incline. All my loved ones that were worried about me were tricked into submission. Don’t ask me how I am, because I will never tell you the truth. Why? Because you can’t handle it.
Suicide will forever be my shadow. This silent stalker never goes away.
You know how they say you can’t really understand something until you experience it yourself. It’s true. I was given a small glimpse of what my son and so many others feel every single day and at 53, with all my life experience and maturity behind me, I could not deal with it. Nobody is safe from suicide. I completely understand dread now and for that insight….I am very thankful.
I had previously dealt with my guilt and shame as we transitioned with our son over the past couple of years. During my own counselling sessions I could immediately recognize those behaviours and with a little work I was able to keep those feelings under control. I can’t be guilty about something I didn’t choose, but I certainly was ashamed.
Shame is another silent stalker. I felt shame for things I did when I was 10 years old. If I forgot to take out the garbage I was ashamed of myself. I was ashamed that I was unable to silence my dark stalkers. I had to find some professional help…and I was ashamed of that too. Shame weighed me down.
How could this happen to me?
My Second Thank You of Six is for helping me to realize IT IS OK TO ASK FOR HELP. Ironically, I had reached out for support, but I had turned to the wrong people which in the end left me broken and deeply scarred.
Trust is everything isn’t it?
As I worked through my sessions, I learned a new term. Rumination.
Rumination became my best friend and my worst enemy…..either way I kept it close. For months, every second of every day, I silently re-played my past over and over in my mind.
I couldn’t stop!
What if I had done things differently? How could I change this? How could I fix that? What if I wouldn’t have said this? What if, what if, what if……Even though I had not made the decisions that devastated me, I blamed myself and I tortured myself every day.
Once I realized what ruminating was, I actually used it to help me free myself. The outcome of my months of ruminating led me full circle to the conclusions I already know.
I have tried my best. I am only human. I am certainly not perfect.
During this process, I also discovered something amazing about myself. Even though I was taught a lesson in the most vicious way possible. I discovered I am able to forgive. I had forgotten that I have love in my heart. But my biggest discovery of all….
I like who I am…. I’ll say it again. I LIKE WHO I AM.
This is my Third Thank You of Six. I am thankful I could embrace my past and remind myself that at 53 I love my life, my family, my husband but most importantly, I love myself.
My relationship with those who abandoned me is lost and I mourned that loss. I will continue to mourn until I draw my last breath. I will especially miss what could have been with the Significant Two who didn’t have a say, but I will cherish the memories I already have. For now, those memories will have to be my lifeline.
Number Four of Six is a huge for me. Thank You My Significant Six, for reminding me that my heart is full of love and hope and compassion and understanding. I could have chosen to travel with my dark stalker…..I could have chosen to turn bitter, sour and spiteful, but that is not in my nature or in my future, ever.
As I left my Counsellors office for the last time and the door closed behind me, I also closed another door. I closed the door to my past. I will no longer revisit or question my personal history as I am good with it. Today my weight is lifted and I hold my head high.
I am ok with where I came from and I am definitely ok with how I got here!
My Fifth Thank You of Six. Thank you for giving me a reason to allow myself to leave my past behind. It feels fabulous and I am forever grateful and I am moving on.
I will survive this. You see I was scared that I would lose hope. I was terrified that I would lose my love and interest in others. I was afraid I would never recover my zest for life……my significance.
Instead the exact opposite happened. I looked into my past, I faced my shame and my demons head on. I realized my past experiences are where my strengths and my inner beauty originated and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank You Six of Six is for reminding me of the one thing I had let myself forget in my grief….
I am a strong woman.
Today as I share my story, I realize that although I was rendered insignificant by a few, I have something of value to share about life and my heart is in the right place. My life is full of love and I feel it every day. Finding the good in life is what I do, and when that ability was lost to me, I was lost myself.
My journey back wasn’t easy, life never is, but I did the work. I faced each of my challenges head on and slowly and surely I came back to life. I was able to sit at my piano and find my song again. I cried for four days, but it did it. I picked up my guitar. I cleaned my house, balance my books. I cooked my family their favourite meal. I talked to my friends. I tackled every job that I had let slide while I was in my abyss.
I still hurt everyday. The loss and grief I feel will never go away. It is a situation I can’t resolve and it will haunt me forever, but when I look at myself in the mirror at the end of each day….I like who I see.
With or without My Significant Six…..somehow….
I STILL AM.