I am in many ways a weird mother. I tend to have moments where I will make all my children’s hopes come true for no reason than I am in a good mood. And there are other times that I am literally sprawled out on my bed begging my children not to disturb me for at least one minute. This is pretty normal for people, we want to share our joy and we want to try and protect our love ones from our unhappiness.
I also like to share with my children knowledge. I am the mother that never answers the question with a yes or no, but instead a discourse on what something is. I am the mother that pushes my children; I am the kind of mother who when going on a family field trip quiz my children about where we are going. I honestly love little bits of knowledge and I am going to make sure my children find those bits, whether willingly or unwillingly. It should come as no surprise that I spend time each morning with workbooks and flash cards readying my children for the next school year.
Yesterday, my daughter learned about cause and effect. If you think about it in a five year olds eyes this is a difficult concept. The idea that what we do causes some other thing to happen, is not easy to explain. Sure, I can go with the throw the banana on the floor and someone slipping on it, but even then there is a disconnect for a long time between the two events.
Adults are the same. We see two random events and we spend years denying that what we did that one time caused consequences beyond our comprehension. I would say the lack of knowledge regarding cause and effect is so ingrained in us we truly believe that every trophy is ours and every award is well deserved. This is the nature of who we are as a society, what we have from the beginning taught ourselves. Deny, deny, deny the reasons why.
This week’s therapy lesson, and I am sorry that I didn’t post on Monday when it actually happened, was another step in this journey I am taking to figure out the person I am beyond this disease (if you don’t know what I am talking about read past posts, you’ll get it.) This week’s therapy lesson regarded anger. It was husband that pointed out that I am very angry, and it was my therapist who taught me the value of it.
Yeah, I am angry. Yep, I have anger so deep in my soul that the ability to truly let go would be nearly impossible. Until I recognize and in some way understand what this anger has come from and what it has done to me, I can’t cross that imaginary finish line. Don’t get me wrong this is only one thing that I am going to have to figure out, the list of things that I am going to have to settle or at least put to bed would scare a lessor person.
In order to understand my anger I have to travel deep into my past and try to piece the moments together. This is difficult because after fifteen years of medication that changes the very essence of how my brain works many of my memories are either skewed – meaning they aren’t actually what happened – or they are gone. The anger is still there but the memory is gone.
If you are wondering who it is I am angry at, never fear, this was one of the easiest questions to answer. The only person I am really, deeply angry at is myself.
Is it because somewhere along the way I stopped fighting for who I am and became what my family and that powerful society decided I should be? Is it because I let my dreams go because they told me that with this disease I can’t do it? Is it because so many therapists told me I was interesting and different that I allowed myself to believe it? Is it because I could have become so much more than I will now ever be? Is it because I finally realized my future is so tainted with the illusions I allowed others to believe that I don’t know if it isn’t too late to be me?
This journey I am trying to explore is all about finding who I am beyond others, their opinions, theirs thoughts, their fascinations. I find myself slowly actually taking steps to learn who and what I am.
The other day I went to a school parking lot, deserted for the summer, so that my children could ride their bikes. As they took off, I put a wonderful playlist onto my phone and began grabbing some exercise for myself. All I was doing was walking in a large oval like shape, watching for cars and my children, and minding my own busy mind. And then one of those songs came on. Those songs that you can’t help but to air drum to, or rock out with your imaginary guitar. So I found myself not only playing air guitar but also dancing. The dances moves I would later feel worked my abs and hips, not to mention my arms but at the time all I knew was that I needed to dance.
And once I started dancing, I had to keep going. My children were probably mortified but it felt so good. It felt so good to look at that blue sky and feel free. It felt so good to allow my heart to beat to the wonderful songs. It felt good.
And as I made my trips around that oval I kept dancing until I grabbed the notice of the summer janitors in the school. There would have been a day when I would have run to my car and literally hid. There would have been a day when I was so mortified I would have had a panic attack. There would have been a day when my existence would have been wrapped up in what a perfect stranger thought of my choices.
A couple of days ago I could feel my embarrassment, but whether it is this journey or simply me having a good day, I kept dancing. For literally the first time in my life I decided to do something I enjoyed despite the fact I probably looked ridiculous. I can’t dance to save my life, but I can dance just to feel. And I did.
Was it progress or just something that I did? I guess we will find out. But if it was a step I will allow myself to be proud of. I did something out of the norm, my norm, and I survived. Was the dancing the cause or the effect? What allowed me to effectively embarrass myself? What caused me to finally simply step off the sidelines and for one moment enter my real existence? Cause and effect isn’t only difficult for the kids but at the end of the day really, really difficult for our own selves to see.