Brick By Brick
Very methodically, I have built a wall. It's not really to keep people out; I'm an extrovert. I need people. It's more of a way to keep everything inside. Mostly my emotions.
Early on in this journey I realized my capacity for acknowledging and subsequently processing things was limited. I wasn't the priority. I was not the focus. And that was ok. I didn't need to be. John did. And in fact, in the beginning, I preferred it that way. Because I wasn't ready.
But slowly, over the last two and a half years, my wall has begun to crack. The pieces that fell away started to allow the people closest to me to realize I wasn't as "good" as I had said I was. As I write that last sentence I laugh because I'm pretty sure the people closest to me always knew I wasn't as good as I said I was.
Taking the wall down would prove to be a difficult endeavour. Was I ready to truly face all the things I had tried to bury? Did I really want to admit to all the feelings? Feelings that I didn't know yet how to work through or where to put them after I was done admitting to them.
When I finally decided that I wanted to jump into this blogging adventure, I had to come to terms with the fact that if I wasn't honest in my writing, there would be no point to starting it. One of the reasons that I wanted to start this in the first place was because I wasn't finding anything online that I could really relate to. It was my hope that through honesty and transparency, someone out there WOULD be able to relate to my words.
I also struggled with feeling like I had a right to share. In trying to find resources for support, I read so many stories from other first responder and military spouses that were so much "worse" than mine. Stories of physical abuse, alcoholism, drugs, infidelity...you get the idea. I felt like sharing my journey made me somewhat of an imposter. So instead of taking a brick off the wall, I would just loosen it enough to be able to take it out but put it back if I felt too exposed.
Holding that wall up is exhausting. It was really fucking lonely. And it wasn't serving anyone. The act of hiding away my feelings, my resentments, my experience was making me a person I didn't want to be.
In writing this blog, I have not only stepped into vulnerability (Type 8 - don't like that V word), but I have started acknowledge myself. I didn't anticipate the level of healing and belonging that I would receive. The path of this journey has been paved with some beautiful souls who have helped remind me that my words and experience were valuable.
I can finally give myself the permission to feel and accept things that I have tried to (and in reality failed to) suppress all this time.
I still have my wall up. I still struggle with what I want/need to share and what I want to share but remain constantly wondering if it's ok to. But the difference between now and a year ago is that I feel like I have realized that I am truly surrounded by safe and supportive love that will be there to hold the bricks as I slowly take them down.
Take care and be kind,