Life on life’s terms

My life has changed tremendously since I last blogged. I married my lovely wife in May, and I’ve moved to a different part of the country so that we can live together. The hardest part has been quitting a job, a job I loved, that was in a toxic place. So here I sit in Starbucks in a new city with no job. Of my own accord I quit my job to be with my wife. It’s wonderful sharing daily life with her, rather than one of us getting on an airplane every month, sometimes twice a month, to be together.

Though it is stunning to voluntarily place myself among the unemployed. I didn’t plan it this way. I’ve been actively applying for jobs since May, yet this is where I am. It’s rather humbling, and scary. For many years, my identity was wrapped up in my career. I stayed at terrible places for a multitude of reasons: too scared to leave, cared too much about my cases or people I worked with, resignation that nothing out there was better, etc. It was sobering to realize that my place of employment was not worth the suffering.

Even with the disastrous workplace that it was, it was still hard to leave. In any work environment, there are always good people to be found. I will miss the gals I worked with, and the accidental mentors that materialized for me.

Who knows what comes next for me. It could be something completely different. I’ll try to be open to it, and not let my trauma history take over my actions and mind-set. Sending out a prayer to the universe that work will come my way when my bank account needs it.

a little hope

I woke up this morning to a message from a friend who asked if I was still blogging. And to my further stunned surprise, she said she missed it. It was another one of those many life moments for me where my perception of myself and what others may perceive do not match. I am infinitely stunned by moments where my presence in this universe is not something to avoid, like ticks on a hike.

After countless months I still feel the cold fear of writing. But I want to move through it.

Life has taken a turn for hope and slivers of sunshine. And the bizarre thing is that though I’ve always wanted these blessings, a job that won’t destroy my soul and a partner I adore, they feel fleeting. It’s as if they will slip out of my hands if I allow myself to be too happy, let my guard down in the laughter and serenity. I used to think if I could just have one of these things, a job that wasn’t toxic or a loving partner, my life would even out, the bumpy roads would be fewer, and my swaths of time spent in dire sadness and anxiety would largely cease. There are fewer bumpy roads, and life has shown me lovely peeks of sunshine; however, the sadness and anxiety have a trigger that’s a different side of the same coin -fear of loss.

I freeze and get stuck in moments that are genuinely happy, like the time my partner and I danced to Lady of the Harbor by Brother Sun. That is so not a dancing song, but it felt so right to dance and sing to the hope and love for humanity in that song with my favorite human being on the planet. And in that moment, all I can think is, “I do not deserve this beautiful, kind soul who can gently hear me out when I get upset, and will say to me, “You’re entitled to your feelings.” She will say this to me,  grouchy me with my too-hard-on-people ways. In that beautiful moment we shared that song, the prominent thought in my brain was, “Will I mess this up? Don’t mess this up. Don’t be a jerk, drop that stupid defense mechanism.

Before we admitted our feelings to each other my now partner asked me, “How did we get to our age and not find people we could be our true selves with?” I said to her, “The DID was a wall for me with people.” And then we both got teary after that.

And here’s the moment when I thought that maybe, just maybe, she also had feelings for me, she said this to me one night via text before we were together, “You’re a whole messy human who’s willing to let us in. I’ll take the bad with the good. It makes you you.” She won my heart in that moment.

And when I find myself losing hope I think back to our text conversation about me sleeping on the back of my family’s gold Montego when I was a kid, with my blanket in the desert night, the long back of the Montego was perfect for sleeping under the stars. The stars gave me hope for a better tomorrow. I said to her, “The stars are full of hope.” And she replied, “They are – they burn bright for millions of years. Beacons of hope.”

Faith is a Formless Thing

My faith is like a small bouncing ball out of a vending machine. It bounces up and down and then I have to chase after it. And now that I just wrote those two sentences I have a further realization that perhaps that’s not faith after all because if I had it wouldn’t it be more static? And I certainly wouldn’t have to chase it down.

I see people all around me in support groups that have strong faith. They don’t lose sleep over whether they will have the wolf at their door kicking them to the street. Nor do they worry about losing a job, or becoming too ill to work. They have faith that their Higher Power has a plan for them.

For me, I’ve had too many bad things happen that I feel like I always have to ready for the next bit of bad. Faith feels scary to me, like I’m giving up the 24 hour watch, like I will miss something big.

I don’t know what else to say about this. The subject stumps me completely. Full stop. I know nothing. I only know that having it will likely bring me more inner peace because people that seem to have it appear that way.

About a year ago a good friend made a suggestion that worked for him. He suggested that I choose a person to trust. He said that as I start to trust this person more with sharing things about me it will be easier to contemplate having faith in a Higher Power. I’ve done that, found someone to trust. However, I’ve not experienced having that trust rollover into full-on faith in a Higher Power. My faith is intermittent, like bad wifi in a cafe. For now, that will have to be enough. I can’t eke out what isn’t there.