“You discover that you cannot do it all. You are simply not your most productive at all times… You hunt for the in-between, which seems to effortlessly evade you.
And just like that, you’re drowning.
The world demands of you what you promised you could give to it. You lie there, paralyzed, in the dark and quiet corners of your bedroom. It approaches, all of it. You’d shrink away in fear if you could move.” – Bry LeBerthon
Fiction. Based on true self-imposing limitations.
By Annabelle Lennox
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
I have been scared to even go out front sometimes, let alone go in public for long periods of time. I am scared in a way that isn’t always inside my mind. It’s a physical symptom of fear. It’s racing heartbeat. It’s adrenaline. It’s sweating. It’s cottonmouth and tingles in my extremities. It’s paralyzing fear that is felt in the form of pain and tightness in the chest. By the time these symptoms all surface, my mind starts to catch up and race with intrusive thoughts that rapid fire with the strength of a missile.
I can’t process how small I had to make myself in order for my exes to not feel intimidated by me. And even then, they always were. This frustrates and infuriates me. I am not so exceptional that you have to find my intelligence off putting. I am not using the words I use in an effort to brand my alma mater as the one to strive for.
I am not trying to do anything except be fucking heard.
I want to be heard. This shouldn’t be so hard to come by. I realized finally that it isn’t about me at all. Not whether I am exceptional or not. It is about the fact that I am a woman and can make waves. Men only want women where they can control them. Those men find women who will betray their own in order to stay in good graces with the patriarchy. Makes me sick. That’s a lame pigeon hole.
I had a reading, by a friend, and she told me my guides say that I need to speak freely. I need to stop filtering myself and speak what is on my mind.
I have literally been saying this for days. Weeks. Months. Years…I don’t know when I was ever truly myself without having an intense amount of anxiety following that. I was so much more free when I was that other version of myself, before him. I am so different now. I am so changed.
I am so still me. There are so many broken parts of my heart that I need to fix. I am listening to Ocean by JBT right now. And I am so glad that even though I shared this with him, it is not ruined for me. I have almost forgiven him. I am really struggling though. I can’t lie.
Speak the things…say the words.
The tears roll down my cheeks and my heart gets so tight and I think it speeds up over the course of the song. I loved him so much. I wanted to believe in him so much. I could not tell myself the truth of who he was because it was too horrendous. I see him clearly now. The trauma is so heavy though that no matter how strong I used to be, I am no longer that strong anymore. The more I poured belief into him, I lost faith in myself. This makes sense now because I was giving it away and he was throwing it away. It never was cultivated and returned. That’s why relationships like this are detrimentally depleting. I may never fully recover from this in the way I originally intended or wanted to heal. I think I am on to something so much bigger. And better. I will free myselves of the chains I tied us to. I imagine moments where I free myself, eventually, from my own mind. I will free my soul to be weightless. I challenge my fingers to type the truth. I believe in my heart to hold the line to truth, even when my heart starts bleeding right there in front of them all.
So, I am fine-tuning the way I speak. I say that as if it is new information. I have been tailoring the way I speak to people as far back as I can recall. I have been trying to make sure that I never caused the ripple in the energy of the room. Of the environment. I didn’t even know that it was the energy I was feeling all those years ago. People don’t talk about that. BUt now they want to when they want to tell me to tone down my energy because I am making them uncomfortable. Well, perhaps, if this had been nurtured when I was a child, instead of diminished and dismissed and shattered into little pieces, well, then, maybe, I wouldn’t have tortured myself for the last 30 fucking years. 30 years I have been in unsatisfying relationships. Wait. Wait…Almost 30…3rd grade hand holding doesn’t count.
Say the words…speak the things…
…the truth will set us all free. Is that even true? How? Why do I spend so much time trying to convince myself and others that I am good? Is that a question or a statement? Literally, everyone in my life is because I allow them to be. I have banished the ex and he knows that. I do wonder if he knows deep down in his soul what he did. I don’t think he lets anything creep up that close to his “knowing.” Either way…I have to forgive myself.
How do I do that? I need to work out. I need to move my body.
I am having an internal revolution. Shed the weight. Purge the toxins. I am living a life I create rather than a life that happens to me. In the past, it indirectly created a life that I suffered and strived through. Now, it’s a life I live inside myself and outward. I have to be kinder to myself in every way possible. Self care…I am missing something with this. I keep getting this message but is that really mine? Is that something we all just assume that we aren’t each doing enough of? I feel like I am lazy. I am literally having to convince myself to take a moment and do stuff I want to do. In a way, I am shamed for it. I don’t know what I am supposed to do with myself sometimes. I am so glad I don’t have to struggle through the first year of sobriety right now. If I seriously had to brave that shit like it was the first time and try to recover from that nightmare also, I don’t think I would have my 9 months plus right now.
Baby girl’s middle name is after a person, whom now I don’t know was her Dad’s “best-friend” like he said he was. She is over 2. He still hasn’t notified his parents of what we chose to do with her name. The exact reason I agreed to this was because it was a tribute to this late person who was lost young, loved and is missed. This, to me, feels like a piece of him can now live on in her. His parents should know this. It is a gift. I am by no means looking for anything in return. What I am saying is that I believe it would make these people happy, warm, and relieved to know this. It would lift some forever grief, maybe. He hasn’t given them this gift. He’s had two years and he is withholding it. That’s what he does…
I just can’t with that guy…
I am the phoenix. I am rising from the ashes of my old self, old life, old beliefs, and I am morphing into the butterfly I came here to be.
…I am good. I am kind. I am love. I am light…