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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Survival

sur⋅viv⋅al

–noun
1. the act or fact of surviving, esp. under adverse or unusual circumstances.
2. a person or thing that survives or endures, esp. an ancient custom, observance, belief, or the like.
3. Anthropology. (no longer in technical use) the persistence of a cultural trait, practice, or the like long after it has lost its original meaning or usefulness.


I had written a note to myself to remind me to blog about survival.
I think it's funny, now that I've noticed it, when people ask me how I'm doing, my usual answer is "Oh, I'm surviving".
I'm good at surviving, but I'm not much good at doing more than that.
Real life experiences scare me.
Surviving is taking care of basic needs. Sometimes I can do more than that, when I shove my thoughts away. Sometimes it's really all I can do.
I've written before about how my memories assault me. I find that when I feel depressed that they immerse me. I'm tormented minute by minute, to where I have a hard time getting off the couch to look at what cool thing my children want to show me, or to interact with my husband, or to just take care of my basic needs. There are some days where I don't feel like eating, but instead pick a little during the day, and eat at night because someone says I should.
All my life I've been surviving.
All my life, I've been afraid to take any steps that would take me someplace but away from my memories. I've always wanted to run. I've always wanted to forget. I've always stopped because I never wanted to look back at the god awful things in my past.
Now I find myself in a rut. I take the same steps over and over again, never going anywhere, never staying in one spot. I survive by never letting go, because I've held on to this for so long that I'm unsure what it would be like to be free of it.
I was asked what I would do with my life differently if given the choice. I answered "Nothing". "Well, maybe I would apologize to those I've hurt". After a moment of thought, "Maybe I should include myself in there".
That was a profound moment for me.
Maybe I should say "I'm sorry, amber. I'm sorry for all of the things I've put you through. I'm sorry that we were so promiscuous, I'm sorry that we drank so much, I'm sorry we ran so far away and were disappointed when distance didn't take care of the matter."
How does one begin to accept and forgive these transgressions?
How do I let go of all that ugly?
I've worked for so many years to make my outside as ugly, dirty, and used as I felt inside that I hardly have a clue what it would be like to be a whole person.
I'm fragmented. I'm a puzzle, waiting to be put back together. If my 3 year old can do a 35 piece puzzle, I'm sure I can do this...right?
I'm terrified folks. What happens if I actually succeed? I'll no longer have a reason to mope. I'll no longer have a reason to just survive. I'll have a reason to thrive.
The only problem is, once you get yourself into a rut, it can be difficult to accept the new.
I remember when my Step-father had left, and I was back home, how all of the things I wrote about were centered around Change, and just how terrified I was of it then. Adolescence is a tough thing to go through as it is, but throw in that some serious self image issues, and some familial disputes, and you got one mega pot of something that is barely survivable.
It's so bad, I haven't been able to kick myself out of that mode.
I'm still a terrified young lady. Awkward in my body, afraid of what I see in the mirror, socially stumped, and really good at pretending on the surface that everything is ok.
I'm broken. I need to be repaired. Those steps are so baby right now that they aren't even registering as moving...but I'm taking them. And by god, they will be acknowledged because any effort is better than no effort. Any effort is better than the god damned cowering I've been doing my whole life.
I'm fucking well sick of surviving. I just want to live, and breathe, and not feel guilty about it. I want to believe that my life is worth something. I want to believe that no one wants life to go on without me. I want. And it's damned well time I believe that that's ok.

4 thoughtful remarks:

Southern Sage said...

Well all you can do is fight it. Good luck girl. We'll be pulling for you.

only a movie said...

What an amazing thing to write in the early days of a new year.
Your writing and reflection shows that you are wise beyond your years, Amber.
You're doing better than surviving right now - you just don't know it yet.
xo

Janet said...

Baby steps are steps in the right direction. You know...right before I visited your blog, I was over on facebook and someone said this, which struck a chord with me:

"today is going to be whatever i make it,,, and today is gonna be a FANTASTIC day.. "

So I'm giving it to you in hopes it helps a bit.

HUGS!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!