The original plan here was to work through some old memories. It's a technique Rick and I learned in counseling (you could call it 'pre-marital counseling', or you could call it, 'two people who both came from abusive households want to get married and think they're going to need a lot of counseling on both sides of the wedding, so let's start now!') - "reparenting." Going back into a memory as a third-party observer, who can talk to the kid-you about what just happened.
For example, I'm in the den, having just brought home another testament to my dismal efforts at school. She's furious with me and on the tail-end of a tirade, spits out, "You know what, Dawn? If you don't do your best, you won't like the life you make for yourself." Storms upstairs. I believed this for over ten years. Reparenting, I'm now an adult, someone that fifteen-year-old Dawn would respect and listen to. And I can go into that memory, and talk to her, and tell her that her mom is scared for her, and that's why she's angry. And that even as a baby, I was always the happy one. I don't need to be scared. Yes, doing my best is important, but things are going to happen in life that are God's control, not mine, and I need to understand that they didn't just happen because I didn't do my best. More than that, I can like my life - I can be happy and thankful for what God has given me, every day. It's not a bad thing to do so - it's a GOOD thing, and God wants me to have a thankful heart, not a scared one.
Reparenting. Good stuff.
So, I was going to use this to work through some of the pieces. There are a lot of them. Also as a place to collect some of the pieces - my friend Denker ended up having to rebuild my psyche when I shattered around sixteen, and we realized then that it was irresponsible to have one person hold all the pieces. That's when I started giving more of myself to each friend. More recently, I've realized it's also not okay to have someone else be responsible for putting me back together - even several someones. (Four years ago, I was going into a psychological meat-grinder, that my sister Stormie knew might leave very little left of me. She promised to sing me back to myself when I had forgotten the words. This is wonderful of her to do if she can, but I need her to not think she's the only hope.)
Well, this week there's been something of a crisis of faith. Actually, this month. Maybe the last two months. And what's actually been going on has been a slow build over YEARS, realizing that I'm depending on a scaffolding rather than the Rock. It's just in the last two months, with Rick overseas, taking on a lot of adult challenges, and spending more time by myself than I ever have (and that takes some doing - I'm usually a pretty independent person), I've realized that for all that I ridicule "prosperity gospel," I've completely bought into it.
I have the concept that if I follow Christ, doing things His way will make me successful at work. Will make me devastatingly attractive to my husband. Will give me a good reputation, make people admire me, I will be the kind of person that no longer fails at anything, if I just follow Christ.
Rick's aunt J had a chat with me last night, and asked me what I would do if I knew that following Christ would get me fired. I have one of those jobs where, if I get fired, it's a black mark on my record for life. I also know that it's entirely possible for this to happen - I don't work for a Christ-following organization. It's one that's honorable and even somewhat prestigious by the world's standards - people admire me for this job. And I know there are times when I've done things in line with how my work wants them done, that isn't in line with how Christ would do them.
J is so gentle, and patient to talk the hard things through. Her husband, Doc, is my husband's closest friend, and he's the one who goes hard-hitting for what needs to be pushed out, like pus from a wound. J's been there for every conversation I've had with Doc, and she sees what I hadn't - I've raised my reputation to a higher pedestal than Christ.
Everything I want to do at work, in fitness, in caring for the house, and almost everything in my marriage - they're all things I want to do to make people like me, approve of me. I have not been considering God's approval a priority at all. There are several areas where I was kind of hoping that I could have both - that it would just work out that if I made people happy, then God would be happy with me, too.
Stormie is one of a very short list of people who realize how tremendously selfish, self-absorbed, I am. The actions and words that cause most people think I'm so nice, kind, and sweet, come from the motivation that I really really want their approval - I feel validated as a person when people like me, and I feel like a failure when they're disappointed in me. So I do things that I think will make people like me.
J has been patient with me since last summer or more about the concept of finding my identity in Christ. It's a phrase I've heard dozens of times, but not understood. Part of it, I'm starting to see, is finding my VALUE in Christ - because right now, I find it in other people's opinions - so much so that I will lash out in nasty passive-aggressive ways when I think I've earned someone's good opinion and they don't give it to me.
I'm planning to take a week off - I can't swing it this week or next, but soon - and go up into the mountains with my Bible, and ask God what HE thinks of me. Read it cover-to-cover if I can, take notes on that question. I feel so shallow now - and the odd thing is, I know a time when there was so much more depth to my spirit, my motivations - I didn't have the kind of job, prospects, or living situation that I do now. I was single, didn't dress in a feminine fashion, paid almost no attention to developing my abs or any other muscle group, and I had no idea where to go with my life. I thought I was at a dead end on that one, actually.
I now have a steady paycheck, and a sweet little house to work on. I have a wonderful husband, several options for where I could go with work, know how to train my body, manage my depression, flirt or not flirt with confidence, stand my ground against someone who would push me down. While I'm not batting 100% in any of these, I actually do have just about everything the world says I need. And I'm shallow, manipulating, self-absorbed, and my foundation is flimsy at best.
I really can't serve both. I thought I could. I'm desperately grateful that He showed me this before it was too late, but now...I only know a little bit of what to do. It's like learning to walk again.
I expect there will be notes from this process here, possibly mixed in with pieces that shaped everything. I don't have any solid answers, just what I've learned, and am learning.
Maybe I should be writing this up on my other blog since it is DIRECTLY related to my teaching career, but I am logged on here, and everyone is just going to have to deal with it (or...just not read it).
I've been feeling REALLY down and lousy lately. There, I said it. I LOVE being a teacher and being around kids and not having a job is really painful. Not just financially. It has really shaken me up, really made me question how I can be 'such a great teacher' in my perspective and then with everyone who's ever observed me teach (classroom teachers, the principal of the school, aides, the director of special education...) ... and then continuously not get my job back. I know that I'm not a fighter or super loud, but I would like to think that my work, the fact that my kids, even the 'tough' ones FUCKING LOVE ME and come to me and learn from me and the crazy hours I put in would speak for themselves (I lost sense of tense with that run-on, it should probably be 'speak for ITself'; sue me). But apparently, they don't, because this is the second time a school year has started without me being a teacher in any capacity, and it just... it's a huge blow to an already ridiculously fragile self-esteem.
I got a letter today. My last day of tutoring, the girl's mother asked me for my address, which I readily gave.
There was a note from the parents (well, the mom signed it from both) ((and 30 dollars in gift cards! so unnecessary!)). There was also a letter from my girl. I am changing NOTHING from the letter minus her name.
Dear Emily, I just want to tell you what a great teacher you were. You were very funny, smart, and silly. I won't think of anyone better then you. All of those other helpers almost killed me expept [sic] you. You were my favorite one.
We might not see each other for a long time, but I still think of you sometimes.
I hope you enjoy my letter.
If my house catches fire when I'm 80, THIS is what I'm rushing to save. I'm debating putting this into my portfolio with the fancy adult references. Because though I have to deal with all the bureaucratic shit with adults, I am there FOR THE KIDS. To be a positive influence in THEIR lives. This is not a child who is super huggy or affectionate; she's more like a 15 year old trapped in a 10 year old's body when it comes to attitude; easily embarrassed by my dancing, super interested in her clothes (not boys yet, though). For this to come from her ... that's pretty incredible. It means I actually got in there.
For anyone who's been following me all these years, you know I have never changed my blog design.
Well, I decided to. I feel like I'm no longer in a cave. Which might mean darkness, restriction, the past.
Or at least I'm trying not to be.
I've been even surprising myself in my courage to be more social, and fight my anxiety. It's definately been difficult. Sometimes I'm still afraid to come out of my room, but I've been forcing myself to more and more.
And I have this wonderful friend, Tito, who treats me so good and makes me very happy.
He's finally explained everything! He says that he was trying to fight liking me, because I was in love with someone else. And it made him angry, so he got annoyed with me more and more about little things.
He apologized for keeping me in the dark, and hurting me, saying the mean things he did. And I apologized for having confused and hurt him. We both agree that we're both at fault.
He says he's not ready for a relationship yet, considering how things have turned out and his communication, but I don't know if I am either, so I think that's good.
I told him that I don't know if I want a relationship either, but I know that I really like him and would be sad and jealous if he was with anyone else. He said the same about me :3
So things are finally good again with him, and that is such a relief. <3
I don't know if I love him. I don't know if I love anyone. I don't know if I want to love anyone right now, or again. I don't know if I can. I just don't know.
But I do have hope that things will get better soon. I don't need to figure it all out right now. I'll just try to have fun.
Though, I don't know what fun I'll have with my friends who are all busy with their other halves. Since I've gotten back from university, my friends havent even talked to me. :/
One friend did, and invited me to a party but I was sick. And he hasnt called since, even though he said he would.
And another friend said he'd take me out for a drink to celebrate my birthday which was a bit ago, but he never called.
I can hope to make new friends, I guess.
I've made some acquaintances at university, besides Tito. I had made some friends, and they decided to start ignoring me. And some friends I made just don't have time for me any more, and seem to be trying to faze me out.
Making friends seems to be easy, but keeping them is completely different...
I'm so glad Tito has stayed. He's so mature. And really, he had more reason than any of them to stop being my friend. He probably thought I was leading him on, which is just cruel. But he was understanding...
My "good" friend lied to me. He keeps saying he'll do things and then goes back on it.
I said I was going to Tim Hortons. Then he said "well if you're gonna go anyway, I'll go, get a hot chocolate" and then I was like, "alright I'll go put my laundry in the dryer and go". Then he said he'd see me later. And I asked him if he was going, and he said he was just gonna read his book. Like WTF.
And then on my way out, I saw him in a friend's room playing guitar.
He's such a bad liar.
Fuck him. Fuck people.
He could have just said he didnt wanna go, and wanted to hang with his friends. But no.
So I went alone.
It just hurts a lot, because everyone has a group of friends and what do I have?
I don't have anyone. I have an ex boyfriend who's "thinking", a "best" friend who's lying to me, online ghosts and that's about it.
I hate people. I have for a long time, but every now and then I get hope, that maybe they're not all like that.
That maybe I can make a friend and keep it. That it's possible for one not to be a fuckin' liar. To actually care about me.