Some days just start out hard. I found myself in a marathon of meetings yesterday where I needed to be active and engaged, but instead struggled to just be there. Its like this dull disconnected feeling settles in and pervades everything. Sitting in the conference room with people who look to me to be a leader and an expert in our discipline and all I can think about is how hard it is to just be present. My mind settling into this whole world no one sees inside me where I wrestle with feeling worthless and wonder if this is ever going to get better. I hate that this stuff from back there can still get to me. Will I always feel this way? I hate that I have to do this. I feel isolated from everyone.
I think... Thank goodness I dissociated and minimized for so many years, I could never have become successful if I had felt like this on a regular basis. I wonder how I can find my way back and when I do, what will be left.
During a brief walk I kept coming back to the same thought .... how can I allow my past to have happened if I don't want that past? I still have this thread of guilt that somehow I was responsible for the abuse at home and for the sexual abuse later. I know, not reasonable. But I still wonder if there was some inherent thing wrong about me from the start. I think this will always make me less as a man. Every accomplishment, goal attained, summit reached, race won, promotion earned, award received..... it is always just there below the surface and thats during the good moments. I am never going to leave this behind. Then I catch myself. Reminded these down cycles aren't constant, at least they haven't been in the past. But I still feel it, fear it.
Back in the office I check the news to distract myself. DOMA was just found unconstitutional by the Supremes. My only son is gay, according to a 5 to 4 majority he and his partner are no longer second class citizens. I am feeling better reminded its not always about me. Just another storm and now a rainbow breaking out.
I talk to my wife. Send my son a text. Engage a few employees on some public policy questions they have on wild and scenic rivers. Ask another how her son did at the swim meet on Saturday. And then I notice by surprise that I am back. As I write this I try to tell myself... next time I feel like that.... next time remember to connect. Its good medicine.
Maybe that's what healing this will be like. I have healed broken ribs and legs, worked through grief, patched broken hearts, let go of dreams, faced life threatening disease in those close to me.....lived. There were times when these all hurt in an all consuming way. Every now and then I am reminded they are still a part of me in some way. They are a part of my story. But somehow this is different, but maybe similar too. Pain in the moment seems to have this way of taking away the concept of a future. I am finding that connecting here or in person seems to dull it somehow and connect me to the next moment, hour, day.... a future. Abuse and the shame it spawned isolated me. Made me hurt alone. Fuck that! I don't have to keep repeating the same strategies I learned as a boy. I just have to remember to connect that next time the storm settles in and then do it again and again and again...... Dave