26 May 2014


I keep wanting to write about fears but I feel like I have a whole long and dragged out story that has to go along with it. And I don't want to discuss the story here. It's too personal.

It's funny how we get so used to running our lives a certain way that we don't realize that there are certain feelings we've learned how to block. Of course they're not really blocked, they just manifest in certain behaviours. Like the survival behaviours.

I've been saying that April was a month of anxiety but that's not entirely true. It was actually a month of discovering that I was in fear mode and what my racket was, how I react when I am in fear mode. I was anxious, no doubt and my breathing was that adrenalized breathing, fast and panicky. I was doing everything to get off that roller coaster of feeling embarrassed for hoping and having the upper hand in the situation. Oh and I assumed I knew what was going on. I knew the story, this is why you are doing this and saying that and well, I have to win at all costs.

So I'm anxious, embarrassed, feeling like I'm being laughed at and thinking that I know the full story. And I'm reacting and I'm not breathing. That's a disaster waiting to happen.

Breathe. Thank God I journal because everything I know about taking care of myself went out the window.
Breathe. I wanted to flee the scene, never to be heard from again.
But I couldn't escape. Holy cow, what kind of a Girlfish am I when I can't swim away from my troubles?
Breathe. All is well in my world.
BREATHE. Oh My God, this feeling is fear. What am I scared of? Shoot, I'm scared of not getting want I want and even worse I'm scared of getting what I want. And this feeling is fear?

I'm so fascinated by what we bring along with us from childhood. There is so much that I've healed and I'm proud of that. I've worked hard. But it surprises me still how deep it goes. And now my work, my healing, my focus gets into feelings. Growing up with violence doesn't allow for feelings. You can't get emotional when the father figure comes home ready to beat up the people who love him. You have to be ready to react. You have to be focused on the sliver of an opportunity. And believe me, it's a sliver.

I was five years old and I was trained to wake up at the first sign of his violence. I was trained to get dressed in the dark and be ready for when my brother or mother would open my bedroom door, turn on the light and say, "Come on , let's go."
It was usually while he was having a pee so truly a sliver of opportunity. I didn't cry. I didn't have emotions. I wasn't a baby. I couldn't afford to be a baby. I was trained.

I've held on to that training for 45 years because that was all I knew.
In an ironic twist, I think I've healed enough and feel safe enough to actually feel. Safe and fear. Safe with fear?

So you're fear? Take a seat and let me get to know you. How do I look at you face to face? Breathe? Breathe.

As I retell the story of April in my mind I constantly tell myself, I was scared. If I'm going to move forward I need to actually know how to identify what I am feeling. I know anger oh so well. Anger and I have walked hand in hand, it's in that invisible knapsack of weapons I carry on my left shoulder. It sits snugly beside the dagger eyes I've been known to use.

Fear. Can't say I like you but I'm sure glad to know that I know you.



Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing this. Your words are powerful and lyrical and deep. Your honesty helps me grapple with my own fear and the legacy of violence. Wishing you cessation from all fear!

Shelley-Lynne Domingue said...

Thank you.
And cessation from all fear to you too,sweet, supportive Sarah!