I talk a lot about the importance of reclaiming ourselves. About the healing qualities of accepting who we are in our totality. For me, it hasn’t been an easy journey. It’s taken focus and a stubbornly held belief that I deserved a better life to push me through the fear and uncertainty and allow me to embrace who I am to the full. But boy it’s been worth it!
Just last night I was with a fellow delegate, who asked me on a scale of one to ten how happy I was with my life at the moment. I thought about it – not for long – before answering with a confident “nine and three quarters!”
At the time of writing this post, I had no real ‘proof’ of how my life was going to turn out. I had no ‘guarantees’ that things would work out well. But I DID have a deep down feeling (cultivated over months of telling myself that all is well despite the external circumstances) that there was something much better waiting for me. At the same time, I was terrified. I was heading in to unchartered territories, and the feelings of fear were sometimes overwhelming. But I did it – and I’m so very glad. Because now, less than 18 months since that post, my life has changed beyond recognition.
Yes it took courage. Yes I had to stand strong. Yes I had times of doubt. But you know what? In hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing. I hope this piece is helpful.
The Mouse That Squeaked
…because I sure don’t feel like roaring. I’m scared, you see. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not scared of what’s happened – nor of the battles I know are ahead of me or the constant waves of challenges that face me on a daily basis.
No – I’m not afraid of those, because I’ve faced things like that before. You see I know how to deal with them. I know how to be. I know how to act. I know what’s expected. I know how to get through. So no, I’m not afraid of those.
But there is something else that is building. Something else that is gathering strength. Becoming real. Demanding attention. Developing an identity. Something I have ignored – or perhaps been all too acutely aware of – for longer than I care to remember.
And now this thing. This energy. This entity (is it any wonder I was so terrified at the film Poltergeist for goodness sake?) seems now to be demanding space. It’s gathering form. Sound. Expression. And suddenly, those around me are echoing its very essence. Which frightens me. Because it tells me that this internal fear… this hidden doppelganger… this hideous nightmare that lives within me is about to be exposed and exorcised.
Bloody hell. I am about to be in the position where I HAVE to face my fears – whatever they might be. And you know what? Deep down I already KNOW what they are. Perhaps we all do. I can’t know that for sure. I DO know, however, that with each passing experience, each month, each year, each day, each living moment… I know I’m moving closer to freedom I’ve craved for so long. And I also know that this particular fear is the one that’s most debilitating.
Because I’ve discovered through this long journey, that the one thing that I have allowed to hold me back, the one fear that I’ve so far failed to overcome, the one thing that I’m actually afraid of…. is…. me!
I’ve realised I’ve spent so many years protecting myself – starting with the first time my world shattered when I was just four years old and gaining more and more strength with each additional body-blow, that I’ve forgotten who the real Melanie is. And over the past year or so as each of my barriers have been falling down (well, annihilated would be a more accurate description – with a full demolition gang and explosives in actual fact) well then the real me has been getting closer and closer to the surface. And I’m now at the point of no return, because the little vulnerable me that has been buried away for so long will no longer be ignored. It’s her time now. She’s gaining strength and is demanding to be noticed.
And I’m scared. Because I don’t know who she is. I don’t even know whether I’ll like her. I don’t know whether she’ll like ME either. And I don’t know how she’s going to impact on my life, and what new changes it will mean. Because surely this is indeed the herald of yet more change.
I had built her a castle you see. A fortress. To keep her safe and protect her from harm. I trained the best soldiers to fight for her, and dug the deepest widest moat to keep harm away. And it worked very well. People admired the strength and beauty of the castle I’d built – it’s served me well and I’ve been perfecting it for over 40 years. But now it’s crumbling, and now the princess, my precious little girl who lives inside, wants to come out and live in the real world. And I cannot stop her – and I’m scared.
I’m scared in case she’s not ready. In case it’s too soon. In case she gets hurt – or worse. How will she survive?
I’m scared because I think she may feel I’ve abandoned her. That I’ve betrayed her trust. I worry that although I locked her away so long ago for her own safety, she might be very angry with me. She might be furious in fact! Do you think she’ll ever forgive me? I don’t know…
And I don’t know how to welcome her either. I don’t know how to let her in – or let her out. And I don’t know where to turn. I just know that the increasing restlessness within my soul, the physical churning in my stomach and the constant electrical fizzing in my mind means that the time is near when I can no longer put off the inevitable.
My friends know what’s happening – I can sense it in the way they’re responding to me. The little nudges forward, the reassurances that I’m on the right track, together with the exploration of new connections – deepening of existing friendships and the influx of new ones. They are all guiding me forwards. For they are now my army of soldiers.
So now I must give up my castle. I must walk forwards, move free from the rubble and trust that this new world is ready for me.
I’m scared. But I’m doing it. Please catch me if I fall.
(With love and blessings to everyone here on Lovefraud – Mel xx)