Monday, November 7, 2016

It all takes time.

I already know what I need. 

My first clue that a need is not being met is resistance and anxiety – what am I resisting? When do I become anxious? Processing what I am feeling about something takes longer than the awareness of resistance.

It has taken time to learn the words and phrases to articulate why the space I create and hold for myself is valid.

It has taken time to learn that, much like in the body, stretching one's comfort zone too far too fast results in injury. Growth must be gentle, and the mind will tell you what you can handle as the body responds to damage potential with pain.

It has taken time to learn that the shitty jobs I worked as a teenager and the shitty “sense of urgency” those bosses drilled into me increased my anxiety which led me to be less effective, less creative, more stressed, and less natural in my own skin.

It has taken time for me to be able to label those positions (minimum wage; in fast food, in corporations, in temp positions; being told I should feel grateful for being allowed to exchange my humanity and sanity, piece-by-piece and minute-by-minute, for $8.25 an hour) abusive. That's what they were. That's what they are.

It has taken time to give myself permission to let myself feel what I feel, and learning to express those feelings without framing them apologetically is an ongoing lesson.

It has taken time to figure out how to fit meeting my needs into meeting others' expectations. (Pro Tip: oftentimes, you can't. Hold the line anyway. This is what doctor's notes and diagnoses are for – to “prove” to others what one shouldn't have to prove – that one's experience is one's experience. To qualify what what cannot quantify.)

It has taken time to realize that I wasn't so broken when people started treating me like I was. It was being treated that way that broke me. Luckily, I heal really well and can regrow bits like a lizard.

It has taken time for me to learn that it is okay to resist something and figure out why later. That saying “I don't want to,” saying “no” is reasonable. The why doesn't have to be obvious if I can identify I don't want to do something.

It has taken me a long time to be able to integrate into my daily life the truth that discomfort and danger are not the same thing.

It has taken time for me to forgive myself for not noticing the passage of time, for being a “freak,” for being unable to focus or, alternately, unfocus. 

It has taken time to discover my superpowers. This happens when they are mislabelled as disabilities.

It is taking time for me to believe myself when I defiantly shout that I am worthy.

It is taking time for me to unlearn internalizing the abuse I have experienced and unconsciously reinforcing and repeating it.

It has taken time to learn that my living space and my internal, mental and emotional space reflect one another and a feedback loop of chaos and destruction is far too easily triggered.

It takes time to heal, takes time simply to be.

I already know what I need. I need patience for myself, the love and patience of others, and time.

Just give me time.

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