2017 was the year of dreams deferred.
I came to grips with a lot. My own limitations for one thing.
My partner’s illness is not about me, to center myself in his pain is selfish but, I am trying to be real and honest about it. I do have to admit we are changed, our dynamic has changed. Care giving and care needing is a delicate, delicate balance. It is a dance between two lovers where a third person insists on cutting in. We do our best to politely decline but, persistence wins out. We find ourselves separate on the dance floor. Lost.
He is ill and he isn’t going to stop being ill. This was so painful and I sunk into that pain for a good while. It wasn’t pretty. I hate his illness, I hate myself, sometimes I hate him but that’s just me projecting my own self loathing. All that I am lacking as a wife and mother is revealed. As true as has always been with us, my vulnerability is revealed.
I have so much rage in me over this.
In 2017 I drew lines in the sand and I stood my ground. I set boundaries and accepted my limitations. I used my righteous anger to do it and I did not back down. I moved swiftly to protect my vulnerable family, while we made changes, and adjusted.
I recognized the life I was living. I let go of the expectations and though I may never stop grieving what we lose to this illness, we are finding our way through in the most beautiful ways possible.
I have never been more proud of us. We are getting through some pretty low lows and it is always raw and ugly. There are no fairy tale happy endings here but there is love.
I am strong, yes, but I am not like, unrelenting steel, I am hard like the earth. There are places in me that are rock but there are spaces in me that do not solidify. There are places still fertile and in need of nurturing. My work in 2018 is to grow in those spaces and heal.
As I began recommitting to our family and accepting where I was most needed. I also realized that running a household of 8 is exhausting work and my own needs are often pushed to the wayside. I do not run on imaginary energy. I am a human being and I require care.
I am relearning the basics like eating well, drinking plenty of water, making doctor appointments, finding ways to stay organized. I am re-committing to myself for better or for worse. Loving myself this way is harder than I ever imagined.
Surviving has come at a cost. There is pain, firmly rooted and bitterness grows. These parts of me I would like to make barren and petrify. Healing isn’t pretty. I’ve got a lot of reckoning to do but I am worthy and I am worth it.
I think we are all growing ourselves and each other up as we go. Not always on purpose. I think I want to be whole again. For me, this is how healing begins. I didn’t find grace until I was sure I deserved it and I didn’t find my softness until I accepted my strength. I am working through the what and the how of it. I am going to be softer with myself. More devoted to me. I wish this for all of us. Especially, Brown Girls.
So here’s to taking our mental, emotional, and physical health seriously so we can live out loud and be well.
It matters that we care for ourselves. We matter Brown Girls.
If no one has told you today, this week, or lately…You are love and loved!