I could feel the energy of it bearing down on me a few days before it completely got here. My attention had been drawn in directions that I could tell was leading me some place that I'd have to learn a lesson from or stall out in moving forward in the process of gradual awakening.
Earlier in the week I was listening to an audio book as I drove between offices. In this book the author/narrator said that the need to always feel strong and in charge was not a good thing. That this could be something that could hamper your spiritual growth. I listened to those words and I knew this message was for me but I could not see a way that I could change this thing in me that has been here so long I don't know who I am without it. I do not let people support me. My grandfather was the only person I ever let my guard down with and that was because I was a chip off of his ol' block. We both can shoulder other's burdens like no two people you've ever seen. When he left I think I took it all on. I felt like I had to make sure my mother had what she needed. I gave her a car, I've helped her when she had no money, I've tried to help her see how to be happy even though she told me that she had not been happy since she left high school. I have to keep myself at arms length with her just so she doesn't zap all of my energy by making me feel like I'm her parent and not her child. I shouldn't be made to feel that way by a woman who never wanted me to start with.
I raised my two boys with practically no help from their fathers. I made every decision about their life until they were old enough to be on their own. I still try to help my children when they get into a jam. B helps with this too. I'm not alone in that.
When I was in my early 20's I was living in Georgia and I nearly had a nervous breakdown because I didn't know who would look after my sister, who is 8 years younger, if I wasn't here to do it. I ended up leaving a relationship behind that was very important to me to come home and make sure she was okay when my mother was going through a breakdown after finding out my stepfather had been cheating on her for 10 years with the same woman.
My life has not been hard when you compare it to the things that are going on in the world but for some reason, without anyone asking me to, I've carried the hardships of my family on my back like Atlas. When Dr Barrett could not relieve the tension in my neck, back and shoulders during my chiropractic visits he asked me if I was under stress. For the life of me I could not think of a thing about my life that is stressful. I even told him how I try to manage tension with meditation. With all he was doing for me and with my own efforts it seemed like I wasn't getting better. I'd leave his office with a tighter back than I came in with. He gave me suggestions of natural medicinal type things he thought might help. I tried them and after a week I was feeling better.
I think that when that tension started to be released it opened up a window to my soul and to the other things I needed to release. It didn't happen in a way that just calmly shifted. I had to fall into the muck to make it happen.
We kayaked this weekend and my people were messing with me in the way they always do but this time it struck a bad cord. When I heard B, who is never anything but loving, say "She can't take a joke." I felt crushed. When it happened we were looking for a place to beach ourselves to have a fire and I knew I couldn't sit with them. I've always ran from feeling hurt. If I feel backed into a corner I will immediately feel the need to leave like your knee's reflex. All I wanted to do was leave. So, I rowed to the boat ramp without saying a word.
I spent the next 12ish hours hardly speaking to a man I never have a cross word with. I knew that my out of control reaction to such a small slight meant a tender part of me had been drawn to the surface. I sat in my room crying for 1/3 of the next day. I asked my soul what was driving this and searched myself for ways in my past that I'd been made to feel like that tiny moment on the lake had made me feel.
Before we kayaked Saturday night I watched a documentary and a movie. The documentary was about a man whose manly father made him feel small. I felt more compassion for how it made the father feel than I did for the man who didn't feel masculine enough. In the movie I watched a couple's relationship story. I watched how the man would rap this lady in such a strong embrace that I knew must have left her to feel so safe and supported. I thought if I had someone to do that for me then I wouldn't feel like I'm the dome that shelters my family all of the time. Maybe I'd feel like I had my own dome that could shelter me.
I laid in my bed and I thought on all of this. I thought about the book that told me I needed to let down my need to be strong. I thought about my back and neck that the best chiropractor in the state couldn't help. I thought about how alone I felt when granddaddy wasn't here anymore to make me feel supported. I thought about how he was the only one who ever made me feel safe. I thought about how it might hurt B if I said any of this. And then I thought about how he might have just been waiting the whole time he's known for me to finally drop my fists.
So, today they are down, I don't know how things will transpire going forward. I don't know if I can live my life without feeling like I'm holding the world up to make my family feel safe but I'm hoping that this lesson is on the books and it will stay that way. I don't want Granddaddy's legacy of shouldering the stress of the world. It's probably what killed him in the long run.