Things I’ve Learned

I will be 52 years old Monday, and I realize I have learned a lot in those years, yet learned nothing much at all. What I mean by that is I can learn and/or know the right way, the healthy way, the good way but, in the end, I don’t always use those guidelines. Woe is me, especially when I know I should, regardless of any backlash.

Lesson #1. Pay attention to your friends/family that really know you. Why is that, you ask? Because they are the one’s who will tell you when something isn’t right or you’re off kilter as compared to your usual self. The perfect example was six years ago and came from a few close friends that I was working with. I ‘bounced’ everywhere but it stopped and I didn’t realize it. Some of them would come and ask me if I felt all right. According to them, I didn’t ‘bounce’ anymore. That led to the doc and all that transpired to get to this very day. I still don’t bounce but I appreciate the guts it took for some of my friends and co-workers to tell me that. Pay attention.

Lesson #2. I’m not crazy. However, there were times when I thought I was. Refer back to friends/family. People only know what you choose to tell them and if you tell them nothing, I’m afraid some will make up the rest to suit whatever their purpose is. Worse yet, those same people choose to pass said untrue information along to the next person who is willing to listen. That is known as gossip, and the next thing you hear is you’re the crazy lady. Very few trusted folks know the whole story of the past few years or the medical reasons as to why this happened. Like I said, friends are the best when they can tell you something is wrong and I need to pass that information along to the medical professionals. I’m grateful every morning that I wake up because there were a lot of nights when I thought there wouldn’t be a next morning. I act differently now. Not bad, just different. I’m not laughing all the time, I’m more subdued unless I’m completely comfortable with my people and surroundings, my patience level is zero to none when it comes to listening to someone’s tale of someone else’s woe that I don’t care to hear. I refuse to sit through gossip, which doesn’t give me much opportunity to make new friends or acquaintances in my hometown. Basically and in a nutshell, I view people realistically instead of having rose colored glasses on. On the other hand, if you talk to me, what you say will go with me to the grave. The way it should be. I’m more compassionate, loving, generous towards others even if it doesn’t show on the outside. Although the circle of friends/family is small, I’m appreciative of them and all they do or have done to help me make it through these tough years. It might have been a crazy ride but the ride didn’t make me crazy.

Lesson # 3. Fear will kill you. I’m not talking about the mouse in the house or the snake in the grass; I’m talking about honest to goodness life-threatening fear for your safety and life. If there’s one thing that disrupted my life more than anything, it is fear. Alcohol, drugs, death threats, attempted break-ins, being bigger than me and using that as an advantage. And nobody to help. Literally. The law wouldn’t do anything and I couldn’t and wouldn’t involve family/friends. We had a three person, co-dependent relationship and one of the three died. It was no holds barred then. I didn’t go any where, I didn’t leave the house because I didn’t know when the sneak attack would happen. I lived on boxed mashed potatoes because my friend would hang them on the back door. This is the part where I couldn’t hang much any longer. I know you had to eat and drink at least every 3 days and most times, that’s exactly what I did. I wouldn’t eat or drink for 3 days. I just didn’t see the point anymore. Being a fruit loop from fear is completely different from a medical condition where people think you’re crazy. People didn’t see me during this time. I was a hermit and saw no way out until my kiddo called and said to go to his house; he had Gypsy ~ The Airstream set up in his yard. I would be safe and could get out of that awful and scary situation to regroup. This one has taken a long while but the paralyzing fear is gone; I go about business as normal and couldn’t care any less about what happened before. Fear is a terrible game and I understand how it can harm someone. I would hazard a guess this is one thing that would make a person end their own life but, thank goodness, I never had that want or need. I wanted to live except there was no life for me when I was so scared for my life. Suffice it to say when I was grabbed and slammed to the sand on Mother’s Day one year and told nobody thinks or cares about you, you’re adopted, remember?, I said to hell with the whole kit and kaboodle. Yep, bigger than me. I walked away, literally and physically walked away. My established guidelines had been crossed and it wasn’t going to be a part of my life. Hence a lot of other ‘bad actions and attitudes’ but fear had taken a hike. Somehow, I must have done something right.

I’m sure lots of people can figure out all this stuff, have it done and taken care of in a day or a week or so. It took me close to 3 years. I believe we live in a selfish, self-centered world where we always come first but I don’t want to live that way. I’d rather think about and do good for other people, and I’m having to relearn all of that. It’s not about me is one thing but I still have to do the right thing, or follow what my heart and head says. I’m not as good as I once was but I’m better than ever before at other things. Too bad the stigma is still attached.

I do wish, with all the time I spend alone, that I could smile more.




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