I feel as thought I'm rebuilding my life, one brick at a time, and putting extra care and time into making a strong foundation. Before this I was adding layers to my life, but those extras were built on a house of cards which could (and did) blow over at any time. This time around I'm building with a long term goal in mind, and this kind of construction involves looking at behaviours which were learned in childhood. Now that I know better ways of functioning, I'm trying to replace the old with the new.
It's hard most of the time, but I saw the same counselor this week who helped me so much in my relationship with William early this fall, and I realized again in the session how powerful counseling is. I've spent a fair number of hours over my lifetime working through the obvious struggles I experienced with a mentally ill and substance-dependent father, but this time around I needed to work in some areas which are subtle and difficult to define and identify. I told her that I was stuck in a few places on this journey, and needed to slide some puzzle pieces around until they clicked into place so I could stand back and see a more complete picture.
Talking over some of these things with a trained professional is a beautiful experience. She held no judgement, or preconceived ideas, or isn't on anyone's side. She simply listened, and encouraged me by nodding and "hmm-ing", and offered a few insights which were right on the mark. The most profound change comes from the simplest observation, but when we are emotionally wrapped up in the problem, it can be very hard to see the solution. A psychologist doesn't have that problem. She has heard this kind of thing before, and nothing shocks her, so what feels huge to me can be quite ordinary to her. That sense of "it's no big deal" helped to move me forward where I was mired in my own confusion.
I feel stronger now. More sure of what I'm actually doing, and why I'm doing it. I'm still sorry for hurting anyone inadvertently while I re-build my foundation, but I can't let the fear of making someone else uncomfortable get in my way. Real feels so much better than pretend to me, and I only want to deal in the currency of the genuine from this point forward. I love that my kids have learned this lesson much better than I have, and they are not yet eight and not yet five. They will breathe the air of who they are and be accepted for that in a way that I couldn't conceive of at those ages. That alone is worth every moment of indecision and fear I've experienced as I work through these personal issues.
Any of us can change at any moment we are alive. We can go from broken to healed, and insecure to confident, or angry to forgiving. We are all passing through stages, thousands of them, on our way from birth to death, and I am grateful to be looking at my shaky foundation now instead of later or possibly never. I have time to appreciate this new person I am becoming, who is really the person I've always been but couldn't recognize before this point. I am learning to see her, and to love her for who she is, with no strings attached or rewards for good behaviour. Just love, and acceptance, and the belief that one day, if she truly believes in herself, she will be able to do anything she wants with nothing to stop her.