This last year has been electric. I got into a relationship, went into lockdown, quit my job, became part of a new family, moved across the country, lost some old family members, lost a sister, gained more foster siblings, gained friends and lost friends. Then my wonderful partner and I split up.
Thing is though, as turbulent as that may sound, its life. Life won’t give you a break. And at the end of the day, I allowed life to take the wheel and leave me unable to recognise myself. I need to take accountability for that. I wasn’t there for me when I needed me.
Looking back on old blogs, that is something I said I would never do.
I am grateful for everything about this person. I am even grateful for the way them leaving my life forced a mirror in to my face and said ‘deal with your shit’. Without the consequence of losing someone I loved the most, I would not have recognised that something was wrong.
It’s a lesson.
In March 2020, I wrote a blog titled ‘how do you not care’ and I spoke about the ways I consciously integrated life lessons. How I turned the ouchy experiences into a personality I was proud of.
In the interest of remembering who I am, I made timeline of March 2020- now, and I wrote all the things that happened in each of those months. And I have gone through each month and relived everything. I experienced insane highs and crippling lows while I was reliving it. Here are my new big lessons. Going forward, I give myself space and time to respond to things in new ways.
- The turmoil I feel when someone makes me wait is something only I can soothe.
I have a wound of being ghosted and abandoned. It comes from not having a role model who set an example of saying ‘enough is enough’ and keeping me grounded, and it comes from the inner child who wonders why she is not enough.
In life, I have always been waiting for people to take me away. That means I never learned to be still and ask myself ‘what do I need’.
The initial fear which comes when someone is leaving me hanging is ‘they have forgotten about me’. Well that’s okay, because I haven’t forgotten about me, and this is my life.
All the times I was meant to meet a friend but have been running late, and they text me eventually and say ‘bit on the drag’ I have breathed a sigh of relief because it gives me more space to get ready.
I just have more space to get ready.
My fear is then ‘I will be ghosted’. Well that is a dramatic and fearful response, though the feelings are valid. This is an opportunity to see that wound and nurse it. I set a boundary with myself. ‘If they don’t respond in x amount of days or x amount of hours with an explanation as to why they didn’t show up, then I have been ghosted. In the meantime, I will get on with MY life as though I didn’t have plans in the first place’.
If I show up for myself, I will be okay when someone leaves. I love souls, it’s the personalities I learn to put up with. I will love another soul with a personality that does not ghost me one day.
But not everyone is ghosting you. People go through their own stuff, and sometimes you have to surrender to the fact that you don’t know what’s going on.
All you know, is that you are relying on people to settle your inner storms, and that will leave you lost and heartbroken.
2. Holding space for another person involves enforcing boundaries.
When I am in turmoil, I want nothing more than to know there is someone on the other end of the phone who loves me unconditionally and will put up with my poor coping mechanisms, because they have faith that I will see the light and come out a better person.
That other person needs to allow me that time and set boundaries with me, so they don’t resent me. That other person needs to tell me that they are not going to speak to me for x amount of hours, or x amount of days, and they will check on me when that amount of hours/ days go by.
I need to be that person for other people too.
I have always been the friend in chaos, I have never been the person called upon to calm somebody else.
When a person is in turmoil, I need to recognise that they are purging a lot of feelings and have faith that they know exactly what they are doing.
I also need to know my limits and understand that speaking to a person in turmoil is likely to trigger me. It will also trigger my fear of being ghosted.
So the most loving thing to do, would be to say ‘I will check on you in x amount of days. Let me know if you need anything’.
The specific amount of days sets a boundary, and I have this time to practice overcoming my abandonment wound.
I spend the next few days living my life working on me. And I am secure in the knowledge that I am being the most loving person I can be while this person is working through their turmoil.
I need to make sure I am safe to love someone, it is not anybody else’s responsibility to ensure I am safe to love them.
3. People’s actions do not reflect to me that I am not enough.
If I love someone, it is because I love the way they conduct themselves and live their life.
I have trust issues which tell me that I need to control the way people take care of themselves. This comes from having an absent parent who did not take care of themselves well enough to care for me.
The inner child loves a person but feels they can never trust a person because they are waiting for the person to lose themselves in something else. Be it a substance or a person.
I am not a child anymore.
I parent my inner child, I set boundaries, I take care of myself. I allow people to come and go based on how much they impress me. Naturally, that means I am attracted to people who have a level of self-control. If someone has managed to impress me despite going away and doing things that trigger my inner child, it is not my inner child’s responsibility to try and stop the person doing that again.
To allow myself to trust, I need to be there for the inner child and say ‘it’s okay for them to do these things, because I am here, and I make it safe’.
It is okay for people to come and go, because I make my life stable and grounded enough for that to be okay. I will never abandon myself.
- I need space, time, and solitude to process things. This is my responsibility.
My inner child becomes upset at the idea of being rejected and excluded, so when I should really give myself a time out, I become someone that other people would like to be around. I perform for people, and it drains my energy.
Time out is not the punishment I was made to feel it was. Children are given time out when they need to calm down. You calm down by loving yourself. Time out is me recognising the child inside of me crying and going ‘it’s okay if they leave because I’m here’.
When there is a child in front of me crying, there is no way in hell I would tell them to go away until they were numb enough to not speak. No way. I would be there for them. I would hug them and I would let them know they weren’t alone, and they would be taken care of. Its what I do with all the foster kids. Therefore, when the child inside me is crying- it is my responsibility to parent that inner child and go ‘I got you’.
If I am able to do this for myself, then I will be able to do this for others as well. When I am kind to myself I attract more opportunities to be kind to others.
I won’t perform anymore. I will be sad when I need to be sad, and I will have my time out, and I will come out with a blog or a piece of work when I am a new person.
I am intense. It’s a gift of mine. I am able to feel everything. I keel over in pain when I am heartbroken and I stim to the high heavens when I am happy. I have been denying people my authenticity because I am scared that they will reject it; but surely if they reject my authenticity, it will mean I want them a little less.
I am taking this opportunity to be as I am, always.
- If I am not included in things, but I am still held in high regard in a person’s life; trust that I am their peace. Trust that I serve a different purpose.
My relationships with people are between myself and that person. Other people do not interfere with that, and that is why I value my relationships.
I have wonderful and deep connections. I am not a ‘big’ group of friends type of person. I have learned to accept this in the last month. This has always made me think there’s something wrong with me, but there isn’t. I have relationships that go deep. Deeper than people are willing to share with others. I can only really be goofy and funny when I know someone will go deep with me.
I work in partnership with everyone else a person has in their life.
I teach people a different lesson to what their other friends teach them.
I might teach them how to be nurtured while their friends teach them how to release and have an outlet.
It is okay to separate tasks. It is okay for them to leave because they will be back.
If I was invited to sit in a big group of friends, I would feel uncomfortable and like I was a disappointment for not having much to say anyway. It’s just not for me. And that doesn’t mean to say I am any less worthy than the next person.
My loved ones can be group people, and it isn’t a threat to me.
At the end of it all, if I love a person enough to be with them, then I am making the commitment to love everything about them in one way or another. I love their lessons and I love the way they exist.
I give them my love, and it is theirs. Chances are, I love them because of their discernment.