“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.”-RUMI
From Elizabeth Gilbert: Question of the day: IS YOUR SOUL APPALLED?
When I first read Liz’s Facebook post “Is Your Soul Appalled” three years ago today, it scared me. My soul was so appalled, I knew I was slowly dying inside, and still it took me another entire year+ to change my life. It wasn’t until January of 2019 that I said “NO NOT THIS.”
My soul is no longer appalled at the life I am living. I am aligned with my soul’s purpose and everything negative I experience doesn’t come back to me as a reason to not like myself. I hated myself more than I hated myself when I was a teenager back then. Hated.
October is an awareness month for many causes. It is breast cancer and domestic violence awareness month to name two. Breast cancer gets the most $$, so it it more visible. I can truly say that being the me I am now makes kicking cancer’s ass highly possible. Being the me I was when I posted this essay of Liz’s on Facebook in 2017, not so much. Two years ago I had a panic attack that looked like a seizure in my sleep. My body was losing the war against the life I was in.
Domestic violence is not always physically violent. The link above to another blogger has a great visual called the “violence wheel” that explains it really well. I was experiencing isolation, intimidation, emotional abuse, gaslighting, using children, minimizing. I still can’t believe how long it took me to reject what was happening. And THAT IS WHY I AM WRITING ABOUT THIS. I am a very intelligent woman, I have professional degrees and a successful career, and I still was experiencing domestic abuse. The isolation and gaslighting were extreme sports in that life. Slowly I never I hung out with my friends anymore, and if I did the guilt was laid on thick. Was I verbal and active about my political beliefs? Did I volunteer for organizations I believed in? No.
The truth is, we can be in love with someone that is deeply wrong for us. They can be in love with us and still hurt us. In response to the emotional abuse I recieved, I was also manipulative and gave some emotional abuse back. It was not good, but we were very good at making it look good to the world. I did learn things and overcome some past trauma due to the circumstances of our relationship, so I also hold on to those memories with gratitude toward him. Relationships are very complicated. I am not calling him a bad person. I am saying he was bad for me, that’s it. I wish him peace.
Writing about cancer or writing about domestic abuse are not things I write about because I want to get more people to my blog. I am a writer. I write memoir and write about my personal experience.
It is impossible not to process what I experienced in the life I was living from 2016-2018, and this election cycle is bringing up a lot of stored feelings about it. I was gaslighted so hard by him that I didn’t vote for Clinton. We made an agreement to vote 3rd party. I did. He voted for Trump. Every time I wanted to talk about it, it wasn’t ok, and everytime something happened in the news before and after the election that I knew he wouldn’t agree with, (but I did), my entire body braced. Any politics that I cared about came up, I had to remain silent or risk massive arguments. THAT IS NOT OKAY. As I have watched all the rhetoric and commentary from the 45 campaign, it has been hard not to remember what this was like for me four years ago.
Life is not always pretty. You can have more than one emotion at once. In fact, dozens can be coursing through you at a time. Right now I feel so many, so it’s a good plan that I’m home until November 2 recovering. Having your body cut into can make the emotions go haywire.
I have some very ugly memories. Some darkness is deep. I also have gratitude and happiness to have done houses and learned construction skills that made it possible to do Lucy.
We can do all the things, hard and easy.