I don’t want to hide behind fear anymore. Fear of disappointing myself because somebody told me I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t worthy enough, wasn’t pretty enough to be embraced. So tired of living in the shadow of a ghost who tried to destroy my spirit in order to mold it into the image of who he had determined I would be, or was more comfortable with me being. Not allowed to breath my own breath, always holding it out of fear of it being the catalyst that pushed the abuser to unleash his disapproval of me with words that became the tears I refused to cry. The tears I bullied back into hiding because I did not know how to survive in a world where his words hurt me so much that I learned not to feel.
I learned not to hear, I learned how to tune out anything that threatened my survival. I learned that in order to survive in the safe world I’d created to block any feelings of closeness that tried to creep into my being. I pushed away all hugs and kisses designed to try to weaken me. Designed to pull me into a false sense of feeling. A false sense of feeling protected and appreciated, a false sense of feeling loved, which wasn’t an option for me because the abuser had me convinced that no one would ever love me, except of course my Mother. Who he probably believed loved me only because he felt she did not know the truth about me. It was as if he believed that she was being duped by me into thinking I was worthy of love. That’s a horrible thing for me to believe, hopefully it wasn’t the case.
I don’t want to hide behind fear anymore. I want to be whomever God prepared me to be. I don’t want to sacrifice my mind’s thoughts anymore, I don’t want to examine every thought I have before finding the courage to release the thoughts within earshot of folk. I don’t want to wonder if what I said was stupid or ridiculous merely because an abuser said so. I don’t want to be so afraid of losing a dear friend of mine because I doubt his sincerity when he says he cares about me. Afraid that at some point he’s going to discover what the abuser saw in me and break my heart by siding with him even though he is no longer in this world.
I am afraid of love, afraid that if I relax and let it wash over me I will drown. I will spiral downward out of control, and dissolve into a nothingness of my own making. I will begin to fade away, then back into the corner I used to occupy as a child and disappear. I know this sounds ridiculous but these are my early morning thoughts.
Over the years the corner was my comfort zone, kept me cool, calm and collected. Kept me safe and content. I was a slave, my fears were the whip that kept me in line, kept me quiet. And then a friend started caring about me, he saw past my mask and came face to face with the who of who I am, not the who of who an abuser had defined me as being. This friend liked me and slowly fed the who of who I truly am into my own consciousness and ever so often I panic and try to break back into the corner I used to occupy so I can curl up in a fetal position and rock myself back into my own embrace.
And so like a fish out of water I find it difficult at times to breath, so anxiety sets in. An anxiety that manipulates me into stuffing myself in order to appease it. But, I am tired of running scared, I am tired of hiding behind fear. I want to be whomever God prepared me to be. Intimacy is not easy, it is so intimidating, but I am tired of fearing intimidation, I don’t want to retreat and run backwards. Life is short, I don’t want to waste anymore of my precious time on this earth being afraid.
These past couple of days I have reached a monumental point in life where I can no longer expend anymore energy talking about me and my issues. I have exhausted myself. I do not want to talk about my Dad and how he fucked me up anymore either. I have to give up his ghost in order for me to survive. I must release him and allow him and my mind to rest-in-peace. I can’t spar with his memory anymore. It is done.
Recently backing out on a commitment I made to help you with the send off for your spiritually adopted son caused me an overwhelming amount of mental anguish and pain. But being too weak to come through for you was what hurt me the most. For me, it was the intense pain I imagine was how I would have felt if I’d ever disappointed my Mother who was counting on me for something. That’s the only way I can describe how devastated I was by my own actions. Actions which totally caught me off guard because I wasn’t expecting that kind of behavior from me.
It seems that intimacy, be it family, friends, or otherwise, sometimes causes me to act in ways that totally catch me off guard, ways that are foreign to me. When I consented to helping you I had no idea that I would change my mind and in a cowardly manner, in a sense, bury my head in the sand.
Believe me when I say I am sorry. And trust me when I say that I understand why you have to do what is best for you and adjust our friendship to one where you don’t put yourself at risk. I understand how I could exhaust you, because I have exhausted even me. It won’t be easy adjusting to this change in our friendship, but I am strong enough to do it. I’m serious when I say that I can no longer expend anymore energy on the subject of my flaws and my Dad’s influence, after all these years, intruding into my life.
My goal has become to continue growing emotionally, and if I get knocked down a time or two, to brush myself off, and continue pushing towards continued growth. My cowardly decision a few days ago was a set-back in my determination to grow forward, but I’ve brushed myself off and stood back up. Hopefully you can find it in your heart to forgive me for that punk ass move. It took a couple of days, but this morning I have actually forgiven myself.
I’m sure I will regret having sent this because it’s my first thoughts this morning which I haven’t edited. Nor am I going to give into the urge to delete this email. I did read what you wrote about the event in your post Empty Nest. I loved what you wrote about him. I haven’t been to sleep yet, so I’m gonna try to get some sleep.
NAME WITHHELD FOR PRIVACY
The main reason that you have my trust is that you have never hidden your demons. You have never made excuses for them. You have never used them to try to manipulate me. You have never used them in any self serving effort to get what you want.
I don’t look for perfect friendships, just honest ones. And your honesty with yourself has allowed me to prepare for the contingency that some days your demons will get the best of you. I accepted that when I accepted your friendship.
I was able to do that because the spirit of who you are has been the redeeming grace against any disappointment that I may be tempted to allow myself to suffer when you struggle. Out of all your fears, you have never feared to tell me the truth and that has given me a clear view of who you are and to offer you that clarity when your world becomes clouded.
The enemy is the author of confusion and confusion does not seek reconciliation, but war- beginning first with words to yourself, and then feeds off the words of others. Thus, when it becomes necessary that I am silent with you, it is always in prayerful support lending you what measure of spiritual strength I have where words are not sufficient or cannot be heard through the noise.
As you well know, I have traveled this road many times at varying levels of intimacy ranging from a friendship like ours, to family, and marital. I am more than capable of being a friend to flaws and failings, but I will never be in debt to denial. I just can’t co-sign on that deal with the devil for anyone.
Your actions did not cause me pain. They caused me to pray. That is the difference when there is sincerity between friends. I am moved by the volumes in which the spirit has spoken to you in the absence of my words and it is only confirmation of that which I have grown over the years to understand- and that is when to stay out of the way and allow faith and wisdom to complete its work in you. I am merely part of the supporting cast.
The story of your life is far from over. Even this letter you have written is a beautiful testimony that blessed me, so I am sure its reading will bless others as well. Love has but one objective, and that is to pull us ever closer to the light.
Enjoy the light my friend. Because those of us committed to loving you will never allow you to live within the dark of doubt. And if I know my readers like I think I do, the light of your world has just gotten brighter.