A Significant End To A Significant Year


Well Christmas is over, and 2010 is nearly gone.  I’ve found myself almost without words as the accumulated pressures of a challenging year have come to a head in this strange season.  It’s  supposed to be about love and celebration of family and community.  For some people it is, but for many it really isn’t.

So many people seem to be having fun, but so many others have either committed suicide, or longed to have the courage to do it, or have just buried their head in the sand and hoped with all their might that tomorrow, next week, next year will be better.

I didn’t contemplate suicide, nor did I bury my head in the sand, but I did something this year I’ve never done before: I said to myself it’s enough now.  Enough of the pressure, enough of pretending I’m doing okay when I haven’t been, enough of trying to be brave and cheerful when really I’ve been terrified.  Enough of letting other people’s view of me determine who I am, and of trying with all my might to pass some kind of unarticulated test with impossible standards that nobody in the world succeeds in living up to.

Enough of worrying what people will think of me if I don’t “achieve”.  Definitely enough explaining myself and apologizing for who I am.   Enough of not taking my life into my own hands and making decisions that I know are right for me.  Enough of letting other people take the power in a relationship.  Enough of hoping my mother will stop hurting me.  Enough saying “do I have the right to seek the backup I know I need?”  Enough fighting debating am I right, am I wrong?

Well Christmas is over, and 2010 is nearly gone.  I’ve found myself almost without words as the accumulated pressures of a challenging year have come to a head in this strange season.  It’s supposed to be about love and celebration of family and community.  For some people it is, but for many it really isn’t.  For many it’s just about pretense.

So many people seem to be having fun, but so many others have either committed suicide, or longed to have the courage to do it, or have just buried their head in the sand and hoped with all their might that tomorrow, next week, next year will be better.

I didn’t seriously contemplate suicide, nor did I bury my head in the sand, but I did something this year I’ve never done before: I said to myself it’s enough now.  Enough of the pressure, enough of pretending I’m doing okay when I haven’t been, enough of trying to be brave and cheerful when really I’ve been terrified.  Enough of letting other people’s view of me determine who I am, and of trying with all my might to pass some kind of unarticulated test in my head with impossible standards that nobody in the world succeeds in living up to.

Enough of worrying what people will think of me if I don’t “achieve”.  Definitely enough explaining myself and apologizing for who I am.   Enough of not taking my life into my own hands and making decisions that I know are right for me.  Enough of letting other people take the power in a relationship.  Enough of hoping my mother will stop hurting me, stop manipulating my financial vulnerability.  Enough saying “do I have the right to seek the backup I know I need?”  Enough fighting and debating am I right, am I wrong?

2010 marks the year of me being the poorest in about 15 years.  My prospects have seemed to have gotten dimmer and dimmer, my dreams have seemed very far from being achievable.  I’ve tried hard to resuscitate them, and at times they’ve flickered with a spurt of brightness.

But I haven’t been able to sustain those dreams, and I’ve been getting increasingly desperate about it as I’ve got more and more frantic about money and the passage of time until they’ve become like some far away country I once visited a million years ago.   Now at the end of the year I’ve no creative energy left at all.

It feels like the lowest point, which is a painful place, but it’s also the one where you face the truth of all the things you’ve clung to that are actually killing you.  Things like beliefs that you don’t have entitlement to meet your needs, to put boundaries down, to draw your line in the sand,  whatever it is.   In this low place I’ve suddenly faced the stark reality of how much energy these beliefs (and my acting on them) take out of me and that I can’t generate it any more.  Ever again.  I can’t come back here. People can’t always see from the outside when you’ve hit your limit.  But you can, and that’s all that matters.

I’ve been waiting for people to tell me it’s okay to claim my boundaries, my life, what I need.  I’ve been waiting for my mother to realize what she’s doing and to want to stop because she loves me.   It doesn’t work like that.  I have to say it’s enough, this is my line in the sand, especially with those who don’t want me to draw it.   You can’t wait for them to give you permission, because they’re never going to.

I’ve said it’s enough before, but never in this way.  I’ve never felt so completely and utterly sure that what’s exhausting me isn’t my circumstances alone, it’s that I haven’t believed I had the right to a solution that made sense to me.   I’ve always either been kind of pleading with God, my mother, my family, the Universe, or I’ve been raging in disempowered protest.  But now I can feel that I’ve hit the core within myself, a place where I’m saying if I don’t change this, it’s over.

It’s a kind of quiet thing within, neither a protest nor begging nor pleading.  I guess it’s just saying here, to me,  in this moment of being with myself as 2010 draws to a close and I stop trying to please a merciless God and instead I let life embrace me, it’s okay to be real about what you need, it really is.  Whether it’s emotional or material.  Just claim what you need.  It’s yours for the taking, it’s your birthright.

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