I have been struggling for awhile. Writing hasn’t come easy, or at all, dreams have turned to nightmares and I have lost a part of me and I miss her. I want to know what’s normal?? I want to know if it is “normal” to take two full sessions to dump your junk? I want to know if I have made the abnormal things seem normal just so I can appear to be normal? What the hell is normal??
So it goes….
I am thankful for the place I call Lizzie’s closet. When I was a little girl I spent a load of time hiding. I would hide, imagining that intruders would come into the house and they would never find me because I had the safest, best hiding spot in the entire house! After all, no one ever found me during hide and seek. I hid in the same place every time and would always come out the winner because they would give up. Of course they would ridicule me, tell me I cheated and never allow me to win because admitting defeat would put us on equal turf and God knows I have never been allowed on that level!
That closet was perfect. Perfect for me. There was no separation between the two closets and my mom’s dresses hung down to the floor in the middle behind the outside wall. Mom’s clothes on one side and Dad’s on the other. I fit perfectly in there and it was dark, smelled of perfume and dirty shoes and I loved it. I felt the safest I ever would in my life in that closet, breathing ever so quietly blocking out the events of my life that hurt. Most especially brothers who beat me up mentally and physically, and I don’t mean the “rite of passage “ stuff, I mean would beat me up for no reason, sticker patches they would drag me through, Exlax that he would grind between my lips and into my teeth as I was tied to the pole of the treehouse, numerous other times, even in adulthood that were plain mean. They disliked me so much that no matter how hard I would try to fit in, I didn’t. That is still my reality in adulthood As a child I hated them. As an adult, I actually feel pity for them. But in that time, in that closet they couldn’t belittle and ridicule me as I was quietly hiding and stayed out of their way. They couldn’t reach me. Sometimes I would fall asleep and I would wake to my mom calling my name. Even that didn’t bring safety.
That closet has lived within me for 50 years. Each and every time something or someone would hurt me, I would visualize myself opening my closet door and shoving the hurts into that closet and slamming the door and move along. I would turn the key, not to be reminded of the hurt again because it was too much. I have literally done that gig my entire life. I still tend to my closet. I appears that I didn’t organize my closet very well and it looks much like my closet in my bedroom now, bursting at the seams. I can’t reach the top shelf, so I fold my clothes and toss them up there. At least twice a year I am forced to re-fold the crap because it falls out ever time I try to put it back. There in lies the problem.
I am 53 years old. I am an only child for all intents and purposes. There is no point in trying to hide it to protect them. They know that I am an unimportant speed bump in their lives and if I were gone it would not bother them anymore than it does today. It took a long time to accept that I wasn’t meant to be a part of their lives. My own mom asked me why I keep trying! I am ok with it. I am alone on my journey and always have been. My oldest brother has spent 18 years of my adult life not speaking to me and acting like I don’t exist. I used to be worthy of an occasional conversation if I pretended to agree with him, or if he needed me to side with him. I was never good enough to be an Aunt, or shown any other respect. I was the butt of the jokes, the one they talked about, not to. I am only good enough when he needs something, which you can see isn’t often. My middle brother has martyred himself on the cross of, “I deserve it all because I stayed” bullshit. Not only did he stay but refuses to move on. Both like to try to hold childhood behavior over my head because my growth irritates them. We don’t speak either but that is more my choice. I won’t beg to be in anyone’s life… nope. He feels better when he is talking to people who love to tell me what was said… whatever. So it goes. They have been put in the closet and I am sure at some point I will have to refold them so they stay on the shelf. That’s ok, we all deal with things differently and mine has to be amputation. Love shouldn’t hurt like that. Or at least that is not the love I am looking for.
Trauma has caused Lizzie’s closet to have a latch malfunction. Childhood trauma, sibling trauma, death trauma, shunning trauma, illness trauma, surgery after surgery trauma, more death, all of which I deal with mostly in my own heart. Mike and my family are good but even they run out of WD40 to fix my latch. Quite frankly, it’s my job to put it away, after all, they didn’t get it out, or put their junk in my closet. The people guilty of that are not in my life for a reason. Mean is mean at any age and it hurts. I am in need of a survivor time up!
Today I realize that my closet didn’t accidentally pop open, there are reasons that I must address some things in order to continue my growth. None of the past can lay in peace if the edges continue to curl up and trip me. I’m tripping. I’m struggling. I’m hurting. I’m confused and I am working on me. I think Covid has helped push me to the point that I have to admit that I don’t want to do it alone. Maybe the past few years of change after change have helped me see that I don’t have to feel like this anymore? I have forgotten how good “working it out” can feel. I am at a stage where I feel as if my entire identity is being challenged because for so many years I had big jobs!! I was a mother to children who needed me, I was a wife to a husband who walked with me into my dark closet and helped me pick out a gold sparkly dress so I could shine again, I was a friend to many and now I am finding that my super social side has become really reclusive. I spin in my own mind and I’m tired. It’s true that we come into the world alone and we go out of the world alone. It’s the junk in the middle that requires love, patience, forgiveness, faith, more love, and self worth. I have lost mine. I am on a quest to close my closet and get back to living. The key doesn’t fit just yet, but with help, I am going to reorganize my stuff. I am thankful that I got an awakening and asked for help before I allowed myself to fall behind. I also realize that this life is nothing more than continual maintenance and self examination to try to understand the ever evolving human I am. Who you are, too! Just like the old pair of jeans you have hung on to thinking you will fit into them again, you will find that you are not going to be supported by those with whom you outgrew. They are not on your journey. They are on their own, and chances are they could stand to clean out their closet and throw out the jeans from 1985. But that’s not my problem, my jeans are all new, but I have to remember to put them on.
Get your hangers out.
I love you