Have you ever had to make a decision which went against your grain and wish it could be so very much different?
I was met with such an emotional upheaval this week. And that is probably an understatement.
When it comes to making extremely hard decisions, a lot of thought and turmoil goes into it. It’s not made on a whim and it is usually after a bit of time of tormenting over it.
Much confusion swam around in my head unendingly and emotional yo-yoing was my daily companion. I was either seeing things which weren’t there or thinking something sinister was around the corner nearly every day. Fight as I did, but I couldn’t make it stop. My countering wasn’t working after a while. And because it wouldn’t stop, it interfered with all the emotional and mental levels that existed within me. One minute everything was ok and I loved life. Then the next it wasn’t and all I wanted to do was run away. Or die.
And around and around it went.
Do you know what it is like to think in one moment you know what you are feeling only to turn around and walk out the door and suddenly feel the polar opposite?
Well, that’s me. All the time. It’s heightened in times of stress, uncertainty and/or fear. The minute my security is threatened, its talons dig deeper and more painfully until everything is a smudge and I can’t see, or feel clearly. When this happens, I feel the intensity in my head and chest, and my mind’s eye goes into overdrive showing me pictures at lightning speed. I can’t really see the pictures but I know what they are and they circulate around me, with me trying to get away. But I can’t get away. No matter what direction I turn, those pictures are spinning past me and I can’t escape. It’s a little like being in the eye of a tornado – the wind is spinning at speed around you but it’s not touching you where you are standing in the middle.
I wrote a poem about it once, only it wasn’t about my mind, but my life’s experiences and the fake sense of security you have from staying where you are and not facing the craziness around you.
By the end of last week, when I realised what was going on and why, I couldn’t allow it to continue. I had already hurt this person, and to pretend it wasn’t happening was only going to make it bigger down the track. It would also mean that I would be lying and misleading. And that’s not who I am. I am not cruel.
One of the things I try to live by, and have tried to teach my children is to always tell the truth – “even if it hurts or you get into trouble because lies hurt more and the damage is greater. I might be mad when you tell me, but it would be worse if I was lied to.”
It wouldn’t surprise me if anyone reading this thinks to themselves, “yes, so true, I try to do that too.” But honestly, most of us don’t always tell the truth. Doing what is right despite the pain it causes is so much harder than just pretending it isn’t there. I have had to make such decisions a couple of times in my life. Thankfully though, they aren’t ones which are made regularly and for good reason. For one, it is extremely draining.
When anyone of us has to make a decision, it is usually with a compromise in mind wherever possible. The other person is taken into consideration, along with other factors, and it determines the outcome a lot of the time. However, with these ones, the other person’s hurt, or your own, can’t be avoided so there are no winners. Compromises do not exist in this. A decision is made which will hurt one or all involved. If you have ever had to fire someone, or tell them they’ve been made redundant, that would fall under this category of decision making.
On one of the occasions previously in my life where I had to make a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking decision, it involved hurting myself more than the other person. My desires were greater than reality. Once it dawned on me, I had to tear myself away to avoid further hurt and disappointment down the track. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.
This time, it wasn’t as much about me as it was about the other person. I know the past is the past and to leave it there, but tell that to my PTSD. As horrible as it sounds, there was no violence and no other evil factors but I made the decision anyway due to my interpretation of little things which normal people wouldn’t see as an issue, and which ultimately led me to the muddy waters of my mind and emotions. Paranoia.
Let me tell you, it was not a popular decision, but to do anything different would have been nasty of me. And you may agree with the people who have called me selfish and commitment-phobic. But then those people aren’t in my head or in my body. They don’t understand. Even this blog isn’t quite right in explaining what happened, and is happening, for me. Though it’s the closest I’ve got. While writing the blog, my feelings about this whole situation has changed about ten times. It yo-yos between having made the right decision and the worst decision of my life. And that alone tells me mountains. It tells me I have no idea what is going on and cannot expose another’s heart to it for another second.
I need more time to heal. And that was really, really hard to admit. And really, really hard to say. And really, really hard to let others know. And really, really hard to cop their very fiercely vocal and descriptive opinions. But would they prefer me to pretend all was fine just to keep them happy about my life? I would like to think they would rather me be honest, come what may.
Life is much more lonely. And I miss this person so very much. The future is not set in concrete, so you never know what it could bring, but friendship would be a fantastic place to be.
Remember, no matter what others might think, the most important person for you to be honest with is yourself.
WHERE I AM
Where I am sitting
It is dark.
It is cold.
I am sitting in
The eye of a tornado.
It is peaceful here.
It is still.
It is silent.
But my thoughts,
They entertain me.
Comfort keeps me grounded.
I close my eyes.
Safety is felt.
Danger masquerades itself
As happiness and truth.
Chaos surrounds me.
It is angry.
It is sad.
Raw emotions manifest
Until my body hurts.
Break out from here is risky.
Heart is pounding.
Panic creeps in.
Determination takes over me.
Rising up, I leap into the wind.
Written by © Allison Rose Clark, 2014