Monday, October 13, 2008


My mind has been working overtime. When I haven't been working it seems my mind is not content to rest. It seems that just because things happened in the past, my mind treats time quite differently, recalling events and bending time so that things that should be in the past are in fact very much of the now. It makes it difficult to move on. It is hard to go forward when the past is anchoring you to another time like an umbilical cord reaching back. It makes it impossible to forget.

This last year has not been particularly traumatic. It has been very stressful, but not traumatic. An outsider could even say I have had a successful year as I gained my Masters degree and got promoted at work. These events passed by uncelebrated however with no congratulations from my family and somehow the the wind was knocked out of my sails.

Some of you know that I have been through a couple of traumatic years prior to the last 12 months. I have been through surgery, divorce where I lost not just a husband but friends and security, the loss of my niece in a car accident, and the additional stress of carrying extra work while my boss was ill for 9 months (not to mention my mothers illness and hospitilisation). Hot on the heals of all of this came the personal attack from my brother followed by the closing of ranks from the rest of my family. I felt like I lost them all. I am not being dramatic when I say a piece of me shrivelled and died because that is exactly how it felt. So much loss.

A year on and I have realised that my mind has been trying to work things out. Analysing what has happened, trying to make sense of it. In short I have been looking for closure (awful phrase but so very apt). The truth is I don't really know why my brother launched such a personal attack on me at a time when I was so very vulnerable. I don't really know why my family turned their backs when I asked for help (because I have gone over it and over it and I did not deserve it). I don't know why my marriage ended with so much bile and why the person who once promised to cherish me let everything go with no attempt at reconciliation and no discussion. No closure.

I have been trying to second guess because no-one would talk to me. Every time I tried I met a brick wall, so my mind has been patiently beavering away for over a year now, trying to figure it out. That's a long time to be living in the past.

Of course, me being me I have blamed myself for everything. I felt unlovable and so it must have been something wrong with me, right? Wrong. The problem comes because I have no other explanation. Sure I have guesses and suspicions. I suspect my brother was hurting from the loss of our niece and took it out on me, I suspect his pride stops him from apologising (though this doesn't explain his other mean behaviour), I suspect my ex and I were going different ways. I suspect my surgery and other events placed a strain on my marriage. I suspect my family would rather avoid an emotionally difficult situation and hope it goes away. Truth is I just don't really know and the most awful thing about living through all of this crap is that I have been left to try and figure all this out on my own. To try and put it behind me and move on.

So, I have to accept not knowing (very difficult for someone whose favourite question since being a child is 'why?'). It is time to snip that umbilical chord to the past events and just deal with things as they are now. My new estranged relationship with my family makes me sad but when I look at it I realise that they haven't changed, just my perception of them has (though this was my world and so it's not surprising that it has felt like it has shifted on it's axis). I think I should stop being so hard on myself and if no-one else wants to celebrate my recent achievements then it's up to me. I hereby give myself permission to pat myself on the back and say 'well done. You did good kid, despite everything you still came through'.


kenju said...

Make this your mantra:

"I think I should stop being so hard on myself and if no-one else wants to celebrate my recent achievements then it's up to me. I hereby give myself permission to pat myself on the back and say 'well done. You did good kid, despite everything you still came through'."

I celebrate you, Bob-kat, and all that you have accomplished in the face of terrible stress!! Try to forget the past - butlearn from it.

Linda said...

You have nailed it squarely on the head. These things have been out of your control. There was a time in y life where my family thought I was nuts, my mom said I should never have children as I would be a horrid mother; my divorce from my 1st husband was all my fault, he was a good guy and I was stupid for letting him go. My entire family turned their backs on me as well. But I went on with life, without them. And they realized that I could survive without them...and they came back, eventually. Oh, they were still bitter about my getting remarried (my dad told me that he wasn't coming to my 2nd wedding since he came to my first and that should be good enough) other family had "things to do" that were more important. But fast-forward 10 years and we are all okay. I don't harbor the bitterness and anger anymore, and they have moved on away from the ex (they now know he was a drunk and drug addict and I couldn't have fixed him even if I had stayed) mother has seen me in action with my kids and knows that I'm a better mother than she was...and has told me as much.

You've found your track...stay on it, and eventually, those in your life who are missing you will re-connect to the road you are on. Cyber hugs to you!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

As Shakespeare said.."This Above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow--as the night, the day---Thou canst not then be false to any man"....Lonely thou it may be, my dear Bob-Kat, you must be true to yourself and if part of that is letting go of the past...Do It!
So much is out of our control, but how you function in the world and who you are IS in your contol my dear B-K. So, just stay on your path and all good things will come. Sometimes as we travel on our true path, many things that had been impeeding(?) us are, out of neccessity, left behind. Those that cannot see you for the wonderful special person that you are, should be left behind. Many people DO see you, and love you....I keep thinking about that saying: 'You can choose your friends but not your family'. And this is so very true. The most important thing is that you stay on your true path, my dear, and be true to yourself. I really believe that from that, all good things WILL happen. Sometimes it is very painful to forge ahead, are doing that and like the Butterfly coming out of the cacoon, you are dropping the non-essentials and coming into your own. BRAVO TO YOU, MY DEAR!

Melody said...

It is always good to get things out in the air and well done to you on doing so... At least now you can 'move on' - forgive but don't forget. That is the best way to get on with life, this is what I do.

Well done to you on all your achievements. It is a pity we are all 'blog' friends here in the blogosphere because, if truth be told, we'd all probably be good friends if we did always meet up. Gee, does that make sense? All I am trying to say is that I consider you my friend, not just my blog-friend.

Mar said...

Very, very well done, Bobkat. You came through with flying colors and you should be proud of yourself and your achievements!

Dianne said...

this helped me to read this!!

isn't it funny how we always assume all the blame is ours - kind of arrogant in a way lol
I'm so central that eveyone is focused on me!!

In reality I have come to understand, not always accept, but understand that the way people treat me has so much more to do with them than me

I'm having some bad times now health wise and I am so disappointed in my family in terms of their lack of response. For a while I was telling myself how unworthy I was BUT really they are the problem - thoughtless, lazy, selfish, limited - whatever keeps them from being responsive people. It's not me

You better celebrate your masters and your promotion, and your wonderful photographs. I do!! I'm very proud of you.

rashbre said...

Not surprising it takes time to process so much that has happened.


You are wonderful.

Sarch said...

BK I feel totally inadequate to offer advice here. However I do know a couple of things...

One - Don't forget about God's role in this. I have found that giving Him my "unsurmountable" problems / issues is a sure fire way of getting the load off of my shoulders and into the hands of someone able to "fix" things.

Two - I'm VERY proud of you....and DO care about what you've managed to accomplish my friend.

God bless and know you're in the thoughts of many!

Smiler said...

Sounds to me like you're actually working things through for yourself, as opposed to just dwelling on the past for it's own sake. Sometimes we need to create our own sense of closure before we can fully appreciate the present and look forward to the future. Ugh. I'm sounding like a greeting card. You've been through a lot in the recent past. That gives you every right to kvetch and complain and feel sorry for yourself. Because if you don't, who will? :-)

Bob-kat said...

Smiler - You've hit the nail on the head. The whole point of this post was getting closure for myself. It was recently the anniversary of my neice's death and of my divorce. I have been working things through and trying to find answers and that fact is that I have some pretty good theories but nothing concrete. This post was about dumping that mental baggage and not dwelling on it any more but then you totally got that didn't you? :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I know we've yet to meet face to face, but you're NOT alone. It may take me a bit to catch up to something you posted days ago, but I'm here. I'm in your corner.

Don't feel alone. You're right: You've kicked the trouble to the curb and come out smelling like a rose.

R. Sherman said...

I've been away with busy-ness and am now trying to catch up.

Of course, it's difficult to see what the rest of your friends see, as you're in the midst of it. Suffice it to say, you deserve salutes for having weathered the storms you have over the last several years. Fortunately, you have and have had the inner strength to carry through.


Carmi said...

I relate all too well to this, as I come from a family that's never quite been able to share happies. I don't understand the coldness, as no one has ever taken the time to explain it to me. Parents, siblings...I may as well not exist to any of them. It's sad, really, but I can't beat myself up forever over it. Just need to focus on my wife and children - the center of my world - and move on.

Please know that you're surrounded by folks like us who appreciate you for the incredibly kind, accomplished person that you are.

Gwynne said...

Surround yourself with the people (and animals) that love you and celebrate! You have worked hard to rise above. Keep your chin up, kid!

Smiler said...

Of course I 'got' it... in case you haven't noticed, I do that all the time! It's healthy to spread that stuff around, makes for a lighter load! lol

Shephard said...

I'd say you're one smart cookie.