Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Break Throughs

Don't you love it when a thought occurs in your skull that had never been there before?  When a problem, long gnawed over and thoroughly chewed, gets a fresh perspective from an unlikely source?  Break throughs, no matter what, seem to always come from a view askew.

I'm reading the final version of my memoir with a fresh eye, seeing it from the place I'm at now, where I'm no longer surrounded by flesh-eating vampires and haven't been for a year.  And I've come to a simple conclusion: I was a real weenie.  Sure, there are moments where I was cool and impressive, brave and protective of cherished loved ones, but I was mostly...a weenie.  I just put on a good show of being brave.  And therein lies the break through.

As recently as three years ago, I would have attacked myself like a pit bull over my own fears and cowardice, my uncertainties and misplaced loyalties to people who'd done little more than hurt me all my life.  I would have seen only my faults and none of the positives.  But time, coupled with the support of friends and loved ones, makes all the difference.  Environment is everything.  I was in an environment of cruelty, abuse, contempt and prejudice for the vast majority of my existence.  I recognized that cruelty and abuse were wrong but they were all I'd ever known.  I knew I could live in such an environment because I always had.  I was comfortable there, even in my misery.  So I stayed.  I'd become prejudiced about my own possibilities and sabotaged my own positive future, over and over.

But I also did something monumental.  With all the negative lessons, all the fists and fucks and violent endings I grew up with, something inside of me stayed kind.  I still love my mother.  I even still love my father.  I just recognize that he's not good for me to be around so I stay away.  What a thing to recognize in oneself: the ability to remain a good person when everything is blocking such a noble path.  My best friend is the same way; she grew up in shit and vicious abuse but stayed kind.  There are more of us out there than people think but few of us recognize what a great achievement that truly is.  Make sure you see that goodness in yourself when you begin dog-kicking your inner child.  Take off those steel-toed boots and stop the chain of self-abuse.  The only way to do that is to love the one who hurt you.  Especially if it is you, yourself.  I was a jelly gutted, weak-kneed bigmouth but I was also a good person.  I just did dumbass chickenshit things.  But then I stopped.  I embraced my own courage and I got away.  I began to nurture myself.  I cut negative people out of my life and that fertilizer began to help me take root in the world I'm in today.  A strange, break through world of self love and even a bit of maternal pride for that broken kid I used to be...and always will be.  But that's only one aspect of Rebecca O'Donnell.  There are a thousand and one multi-colored layers to my persona and only a few of them are grey and listless, broken or bitter.  I will concentrate on myself as a whole instead of the two dimensional loser that I saw in the mirror for so many years.  Moody and happy, sad and joyous, pissy and belligerent, thoughtful and kind.  I'm all of those things and a lot more.  So are you.  Give yourself a kiss and a break and be nice.  I'll do the same.   

Love, R

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