As I type this, I am on a Southwest Airlines flight to Panama City, FL, via Houston,TX, from Indianapolis, IN. Look at a map of the United States and figure out how that makes sense at all. If you figure it out, please let me know. I have never quite understood airline flight plans. Anyway, above is a picture from my window seat. This is the kind of white fluffy stuff I like underneath me. I am on my way to spend five days with my sister friend. I didn’t realize until yesterday how much I needed it.
I have driven everywhere over the last couple of days. On Monday, my Town and Country hit a milestone of 100,000 miles. Tuesday I filled the tank up, got the oil changed and got a tire fixed on it. By the time I got to the airport today (Wednesday), there was a quarter of the tank of gas left and an extra 240 miles on my odometer! Crazy! No wonder I’ve found it so hard to concentrate lately.
While I was doing all of my running yesterday, I actually took the time to think about the trip and time with my friend. I was shocked when, each time, tears came to my eyes and all that I have held inside me since these nightmares began hit me. I figured out what was happening was when I thought of the time with my friend, where all the responsibilities of my life will be somewhat suspended, I started to let go. In doing so, all the walls, protections or whatever you want to call them, started to come down and all the fatigue and feelings (even if I can’t label those feelings) all rushed to the surface. It was a chore to keep it all together. It became clear that this trip, that has been a couple of months in the making, came at just the time that I needed it.
Last night, as I was packing (which almost always takes me an hour or longer to do – I’m not a light packer, but I actually do work very hard to not pack too much), the feeling came over me like I would never be happy again. For you Harry Potter (*) fans out there, I felt like I was in Azkaban (the wizarding prison). It was a horrible feeling and one I’m not sure I’ve ever felt to that degree before, or, at least, I didn’t think about it that way.
It’s scary to me that I can hold in so many rough feelings for so long yet function and not even realize all that’s going on inside my mind for so long, but the complexity and amount of feelings vying for attention are overwhelming. The abuse is still a loud echo in my head. I’ve learned to live this way so that I could get the most out of life when the abuse and pain were still happening and continue to this day because I don’t know how to do it anyway else yet. I’m so thankful of these protections God has allowed me to develop so I am able to look back and see how I’ve truly lived despite the circumstances. At the same time, I also realize that because these protections are always up, I go through most of my days without feeling much of anything.
Yesterday, I was given the task to try to take the time, when life is not demanding so much of me, and try to feel and identify those feelings. So, that’s going to have to happen when I’m in nature or during walks. It sounds like a lot of work, especially since it will have to happen during the times I usually decompress. However, I don’t want to continue to live like a robot. I want to be able to fully engage in life every single moment. That’s something I’ve never really known, but I’m at a point where I’ve found freedom from being abused. This is evidently the next step.
I am so lucky to have those in my life who laugh with me. Humor can almost always crack through the pain and sadness. This has been one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given. I mention it often in my writings because it is something that speaks to my soul. I love to laugh and I surround myself with people who laugh with me. They are my human safe places. They are my heart. I’m looking forward to all those times of laughter this weekend and am looking forward to this respite with my friend so much. I thank God and my family for making it possible. I needed it.
~ Joanna Lynn
* I know there are some who believe Harry Potter is evil, but I find the story so entertaining. I look at it this way, I loved and still love most of the Disney animated movies, and others like them, which, to some degree, almost all include magic, both good and evil magic. Because of this, though, I haven’t turned to witchcraft or become a satanist. These stories are just fun. They are imagination and creativity. They are smart. I love all of those things. When you think about it, wouldn’t we all love a little magic in our lives. Don’t we all wish we could look at life with the magic wonder of a child, where all things are possible and we can all be princesses or heroes? I know I do.
(My oldest and I are actually listening to the audio version of the series for the third time – it is read by Jim Dale and is SPECTACULAR – if you get the chance to listen to it then definitely do so – I would even suggest that you go out of your way to borrow the audiobooks from the library – which is what we have done – to try them out. Jim Dale does all the voices, and there are a LOT of voices – and it’s mind-blowing. We love it so much that we haven’t ever read the books – so imagine our surprise when we saw how Gryffindor, Slytherin, etc., were spelled!)