Ugly Cry, or, My Awakening: The Tension Between Cultivating Joy and Feeling Heard

Lately, I have been feeling like a ping pong ball in my own head. I’m learning a lot about a lot of things, but the problem is they all seem to contradict each other. I am learning how to cultivate joy, but I am also learning how to give myself space to be sad, I am learning about how to let good things in, and bad things out, I am learning about how anger is a secondary emotion, and about whether or not acting it out in some way helps, I am learning about healing, and I am learning about how much hurt can hurt, and I am learning to love and trust myself, and I am learning all of my weak spots all at the same time. I read an article that talked about how ugly real-life awakenings are, and if that’s the truth, it makes a lot of goddamn sense.

I’m so pissed off about this awakening. I’m humiliated and angry and frustrated, oh and presently actually literally sick. I am so aware of every single one of my flaws and yet it seems like every day someone thinks of a new one to add, not that they are even meaning too. I’m as sensitive as a porcelain doll right now because I feel like I’m trying to become this new person and every single move I make could change the world or end it. And to be fair, I don’t blame them, I can’t stand being in my own head anymore than they can stand what a mess I am.

I’m bouncing between all of the things I’m learning at the highest extremes of each trying to figure out who I am and where I stand inside, and just knowing I don’t belong on any of the sides I see. I see flaws everywhere on everything and everyone especially myself, but I am also seeing beauty in a way I haven’t in a long time, and for the first time in a long time, when I see the flaws I am doing something about it, or at least trying to. Sometimes I feel literally on fire because I’m so angry when I see someone else get talked down to, when I see anyone being ganged up on or feeling isolated. I’ve become, possibly a little too much, intense about standing up for the people who feel alone in that particular way.

I want to be a crusader for the lonely, and the misfits. That’s how I see who Christ was, and that’s who I have always wanted to be. I want to heal broken hearts, I want to hold those I can’t heal in my figurative or literal arms, I want to wipe away tears, I want to scream as loud as I can with people who need space to be angry, I want to pull dreams out of people who are afraid to dream, I want to answer despair with hope, I want to dive into their mud and muck and I want them to breathe again.

The problem is, I’m not big enough yet. I feel like a three year old looking at my life and realizing I’m not a grown up, and I keep throwing tantrums that humble me beyond what I thought was possible. I am so deeply angry at fate for whatever it has dealt everyone who is in pain including myself. I don’t want just answers to my problems, I want my answers to be the answers for everyone. I want to revolutionize how the world does life right now, because people are hurting so freaking bad. So the problem is, again, I’m not big enough to do all the things I want to do.

My answer to this, that bothers some people around me, is to complain. To live the truth of my struggle instead of sucking it up and pretending everything is ok. There’s been several articles out lately about society keeps giving “self-care” advice to people who really just need HELP. A prophets/artists job in life is to state the truth, and I am living that curse right now. There are things in our society and culture that are seriously fucked up. There are things in our Church that are horrifying. There are things in our world that are disastrous. I am a ball of positivity sometimes and I love to see the good in people and in the world, but let me tell you, there are some awful things happening right now, and the only space for my positively right now is my all-consuming hunger for helping to change it all, so I write, and sometimes I hate my negative confusing messy scribbles, but I’m not writing them for me. I am writing them for the little girl who wishes she was dead, so she knows she’s not alone. I am writing them for the mom who can’t stand up another day, so she knows someone else is fighting the war with her, I am writing them for the people who think the Church hates them, so they know they matter too. There is beauty in the truth even when the truth is ugly.

I catch myself sometimes feeling like I am trying to excuse the fact that I’m having a hard time. When I do that, I try to just stop writing right there, because it gets insincere real quick. Sometimes, I have to just push through it to get to the other side, and sometimes the other side is excusing the fact that everyone in my situation is having a hard time. I try to write letters for those who are struggling, or write comforting words to them, or write about their struggle, but sometimes it seems like the most powerful way I am able to struggle with someone is to stand with them and say, “Yeah, this fucking sucks. I’m here.” I catch myself defending people from themselves, other people, even myself sometimes, saying, “What you have been through is really hard, it’s ok to have a hard time.”

And ok, that is partially selfish, because when I am sad that’s all I want-my loved ones to see that I’m struggling and accept me through it, but it’s not just selfish, because I think the whole world needs that. Mother Teresa said that the people in America were suffering more than the people starving in Calcutta because they are lonely. That hasn’t changed, if anything, it’s gotten worse, and I believe one reason why is that we have this standard of perfectionism that no one can ever attain, but everyone is expected to, so no one is accepted for who they really are because everyone is so desperately trying to keep their mask on. Even the women who share their makeup free selfies are sometimes hiding how insecure they really are about it, and how scary it is to put themselves out there.

The thing is, that cultivating joy and choosing the good and all of that, do matter. I am not great at them and I am practicing, and failing, a lot, but sometimes, when someone is going through something really hard, just choosing joy isn’t enough. Sometimes the whirlwind of problems are so much that choosing joy seems completely impossible, and the litany of different medical and physical and emotional things that could be wrong with you are so overwhelming that all you know is that you are all wrong. Everyone else is happy and you aren’t, so something is horribly wrong with you. I am here to tell you, it’s okay to have a hard time. It’s even okay to have a hard time if you are STILL having a hard time. Recovery from grief is not an easy process, recovery from abuse takes titanic strength, recovery from addiction takes insane amounts only effort, recovery from anger at fate for what your life looks like seems almost impossible. It is ok to struggle.

If you are reading this, and you are not having a hard time, try to remember a time when you felt completely helpless and powerless, and if that’s never happened in your life, thank God and the people who have made that happen for you. If, though, you are reading this and you are having a hard time, know, you are not alone. We are here for you, all of the other silent people longing to be heard, we are here for you and we love you. It is ok that you are having a hard time, you will see better days. Try to get there, cultivate joy where you can, but let our love hold you while you struggle to get there. You are loved, completely, accepted completely, somewhere, we just have to find the place where we belong. Until then, we love you.

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Anger

Ive never been an angry person. In fact, for most of my life I never got angry no matter what anyone did to me- just hurt or maybe upset but never angry. Now last night I caught myself calming myself down at work by imagining different ways to kill the person who made me mad. I would never do anything but it scares me that that is part of who I am now.

A few things happened that broke my faith in humanity and life, and I think that was the first step to my excessive anger. First, my one and only real best friend that I had ever had got so angry at me for a rule my boyfriend(her ex/other best friend and my now husband) and I made that when we were married we wouldn’t hang out alone with the opposite sex. She flipped out told me HE was her best friend(not me) and our friendship went out the window. All she cared about was him after that. Recently we started talking again but only after a year and in some ways I have forgiven her, but in some ways I don’t know if what she said will ever stop hurting. 

Then, I finally got married. My parents and his parents made the preparations a complete nightmare and made me cave on everything I wanted. The day itself ended up being lovely, but it is so hard for me that my wedding day is over and none of my dreams came true at it. 

Then we lost two babies, within 4 months of each other, both such early losses that I still don’t know how to grieve them. After that I started having sudden rages at the tiniest thing. I’ll never forget hubby looking at me like I was crazy when I accidentally ripped over and empty cup and screamed “God fucking damnit! What the fuck?!” In what must have been the angriest tone he had ever heard.

Then, a week after the first loss his mom kicked us out of the family’s house saying that I never belonged there. My parents house was not much better, my brother is engaged and I always had family problems but they had never been so completely cruel until this engagement. We finally moved out of there because they made my birthday absolute hell.

Now I’ve been stuck in retail for going on two years and I have been applying for jobs that whole time. I feel so stuck like a lion back into a corner. I am so sick of being treated like a kindergartener or a number, mocked in front of everyone, yelled at in front of everyone or even worse yelled at in the back room, almost every single day I go to work. Its not like I’m lazy! It’s silly things that other people do too, or sometimes little forgetting things but it’s not like I’m this horrible leech on the environment, but that’s how they are treating me. 

Anyway this combo has given me such a dark outlook on life. It’s not like I hadn’t been through hell before I mean everything before college was a nightmare too, but my 20’s were supposed to be when I finally felt free and now? It just feels like there is no hope. Like nothing will ever be ok.

So I am terrifying levels of angry, and I am getting professional help so that hopefully I never snap and carry out any of the horrifying visions I have for myself. Or even now the ones I occasionally have of other people. But I am so discouraged with life right now. I am going back to my college for the first time in 5 years tonight, and I will be there a week. I am so scared of what I will find there, will God be there and heal me, or will I find that the world is empty and He has never really been here? That’s my greatest fear. What if Gods not here? 

A Day Off’s Rant

Another job rejection today. I asked Wells Fargo for any more job openings because I didn’t get the job because there was someone with more experience. The email back said that I need to take another 6 months to gain the background they need. The old cliche, you can’t have this job until you get more experience, but guess what? You need the job to get the damn experience.

I feel like a caged animal. I get scared at why I am so angry, why I can never rest, why I never feel ok. Why? Because I am trapped, solidly and completely. I am married-that’s a good trap and I’m ok with that one. I am trapped in Colorado indefinitely, this dry, ugly, unfriendly, horrible state will never let me the fuck go. And I am trapped in retail. A job where the schedule bounces back and forth and goes crazy with no warning, where I have to beg for two days off in a row, where I am a number and a statistic but not a human being, where I do not matter and will not ever matter, where I am stupid, where I am never allowed to let my guard down for one fucking second, where I can’t rest ever. 

I want out and I’ve been begging God for an out, please let me out of my cages, please God. And everytime I ask I end up in a worse cage. I am pounding on the silver bars begging for just one more chance at happiness. I will never get it. Why was I born a person who will never be given a chance to be ok?

Today’s my day off well fuck that. Tomorrow is one of the worst kinds of days at work. And I got rejected today. I’m suffocating. I have no right to want to commit suicide because my life is not that bad, but God I just need to breathe for one second.

Days when there is nothing to say

sometimes there is just nothing to say-

When the day wasn’t that bad

And good wasn’t the name for it either

Sometimes you live the day not dying

And that’s enough to make it better than ok

But not enough to make it great.

Reaching out

so, a couple days ago I finally reached out to a yoga teacher who I really thought might be able to help me figure out how to take the next step in feeling better. She works with pregnant women and I was told she could relate to the miscarriage and stuff. So I finally wrote to her. And she told me I need to see a therapist.

Ok so I know it’s true and I seriously need some help, but ouch! That’s just harsh. And impersonal too. Just makes me feel like a pariah, when I really just genuinely thought she would have some insight or guidance or even resources. 

It just makes me feel like I’m not good enough for her yoga community. Or for any community. I have already struggled with not feeling good enough in every community I have ever been in, but yoga was the one that still accepted me. I knew I wasn’t good at yoga yet or really part of the community, but I was starting to feel like maybe I could be. 

I don’t know. Have you ever felt like you don’t belong and never will belong? How do you go on with life if you will never really live? 

Reminiscence 

I painted this one night in the midst of my engagement to my now husband. An engagement which was a special kind of hell in the hells I have endured in my life.

That is something I still struggle with is just how awful our engagement was-not him and I-but our colossally controlling and sometimes cruel families. I lost my wedding to my mother’s power hunger, and now I can never get it back. I’m too young for renewing vows and when I’ll be able to I’ll be too old for it to be the same. 

Anyway, I have always struggled with thoughts of suicide, and in so many ways I had hit a point where it was going to happen or I had to get it out somehow. So, here is my suicide. The only way I could get it out, bleeding my heart out so I could breathe again. I haven’t decided whether it belongs this direction or another because it has something different to say depending on which angle you put it at.

I love it personally. For the revelation of just how dark I get in my head. That is my everyday struggle-being someone so completely different on the inside. This was me crying out “this is what I’m thinking! Stop acting like I don’t know pain!” 

I hope you like it. It may not be a hopeful message, but it’s an honest one. And I have to start giving out the honest ones in hopes that a truly hopeful one can come out.

 

The Yoga of Me

Yoga is doing something to me. Everytime I come to yoga class something comes alive in me, or maybe it doesn’t come alive- maybe it just turns its head ever so slightly, like a sleeping dragon. 

I have not written here in so long. So much has happened. I moved back in with my parents to get ready to move to LA, and instead I got married. We are planning on moving to Austin to get into indie film because LA is so expensive but I long for the beach, so who knows where we will end up. 

We got married and everything was crazy getting ready between in laws and friend drama. Then, we lost two babies in the first year. Plus I have been trying to find a better job than retail for two years and my artistic side is starving. So, post partum depression, self esteem blows, and bitterness about losing important people in my life has changed me so much.

We finally moved out of our parents houses(his first then mine) and now I’m starting to breathe again, but most importantly I am now volunteering at a Yoga studio and I get free yoga. That’s when I breathe.

Also, suddenly I have left the Church I guess. Not on purpose, really. I never wanted to leave the faith, but in so many ways the religion has told me I am worthless and intrinsically evil and I cannot take it anymore. Now I’m exploring myself, may God forgive me or better, not be offended. I love Him to the end- but I need Him to love the real me.

Anyway, this is some manner of my apology for disappearing for what must have been a year except for some frightening posts. I will try to do better. I love you for reading, thank you for giving my writing a reader.

Love,

Suzanna

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