michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 71)
i was just tired but again, i cannot sleep... i've been writing myself to sleep as of late, as my body is still becoming used to this ever-altering schedule i am working with. i was on my way home, ready to resort to an evening of coconut yogurt eating and nap-taking (with possibly a short bicycle ride), and i see a friend of mine, who yells out my name from his car. it was a nice surprise to see him, as we made plans to do something together later this week. i always love these moments of spontaneity; i don't have them as much in my life these days, and as i said to you some time ago i miss those moments greatly.
we ended up going to eat a very nice dinner (at one of the few places i go out to eat- i love those people, and they appreciate you too! they always put on your music/lessons for me when i come in, it's very sweet); and we talked for many hours, watching the sun descend by the lake.
it is bewildering to me... we have known each other for a number of years and consider ourselves to be friends (friendship carries varying degrees but you know it when you see it), and this is the first time we've actually related to each other on such an intense level. as intense a person as i am, i must say that this frightened me. i realise this is an extreme word for the experience, but this is the only word i feel which can accurately describe my emotions surrounding this interaction.
i have an intense fear of these moments... everything i am saying is a contradiction. intensity is an aspect of spontaneity. for any sort of relationship to pro-actively grow, spontaneity is imperative. however, vulnerability frightens me. rejection frightens me. i hate getting too close to people because i always expect something bad to happen. that people will use or shun me. even though i share friendships with people of 15 years, either geography or gradual life events (like marriage) have given way to distance. my constant need for connection dominates the situation, and so i dive in. and then i realize what i then got myself into. and i become very tense.
this intensity leads to flashbacks, and the sad realization that i still have so much work to do on myself. and sometimes i hate it because it's as if i will never get better. i'm so much older, and i'm still like this frightened little girl who hates herself, and can't look at herself. why can't i just accept peoples' compliments? the back of my mind still reads the opposite. it digs at me that i have gotten so much better at so many other things in my life, and that is the one thing that is most difficult to accept, that someone can say something nice about me.
"if i did this i'd look/feel so much better..." it's not even about impressing people or trying to please anyone; if i did these certain things i would feel much better FOR ME. i hate when people look at me and sometimes i want to disappear. this is what vulnerability is like for me. it's as if everyone is ogling me. i remember always hiding my face when i was younger, never looking at people, my head poised downward. i still retain some of that to this day. i get uncomfortable when people look at me, in intense conversation.
in the midst of this intense conversation this evening i was near tears. i realize that, even though i have healed from much of what happened to me in some ways; it's extremely difficult to return to that space. without reverting back to that frightened little girl. it makes me realize i haven't healed as much as i think, or would like to. and so i sort of avoid going into details about certain events in my life, in order not to return to this space. i feel so trapped in my experience sometimes, and i truly hate it. it keeps me up at night sometimes. it guides how i view relationships in some ways as well.
it makes me think of when bashir interviewed you, pleading you to return to that space. it was painful to watch you describe what your father did to you. no child should ever have to go through that.
in so many ways though, as i shared aspects of myself with him (and allowed the vulnerability to occur), as he shared aspects of himself with me; simultaneously i felt your energy. i felt a closeness with you and in your teachings. again, i am thinking about your speech at oxford; in particular the part in which you speak on forgiveness.
the dilemma is, even though i have essentially forgiven my mother for what's happened over the years i still have yet to truly forgive myself. vulnerability is also a huge factor in the act of forgiveness.
i need to learn/know to. forgive. myself. thanks for giving me these moments to remind me.