I’ve been absent for a long time here. I’d like to say I was endlessly busy and conquering the world, but I wasn’t.
I’d like to say I was out having fun and meeting new people of all kinds and walks of life, but I wasn’t.
I’d even like to say that I was out saving mankind, but… I kinda.. well no.. I wasn’t.
Mostly I have been avoiding writing because I have absolutely nothing to say about dating. Mine or anyone elses. I completely stopped dating at all in any form for quite a while. It just felt like a lost cause, and partly I just dived into a depression that I am just now coming back out of.
I’ve had moments of wanting to date, but I’m extremely gunshy. I know that I am awesome. I just am so used to others not seeing it that I can barely bring myself to try.
Then there’s my issues. Emotional/Mental issues aside, I have restrictions on my health and environment which makes living with someone… even just long enough for sex.. a problem.
And so … I gave up.
Then I came across some photos of a family vacation that we took when I was 5. My parents had stuffed us kids (4) into a station wagon, with the family dog, and towing a camper.. all over the western US for two weeks.
My memories of the trip before seeing the photos were not good ones. I remembered fights and anger and disappointment. I remembered resenting my sisters for being able to do things on the trip that I couldn’t, and that I had been tied to by my Mom the entire time. I remember being miserable. I remembered hating my cousins that we visited on the trip. I remembered a lot of things and none of them positive.
So when I saw the photos, I thought I’d see a lot of unhappy faces. I thought I’d see me frowning or upset. Teary eyed.
Instead what I saw was a happy kid. I was smiling ear to ear in every photo. Even photos that I clearly remember not having a lot of fun in. There are photos of me putting my arm around my cousin and smiling. There’s a photo of me posing for the camera and obviously having a blast. In the photos, I look like a happy extroverted kid.
And as I looked into the eyes of my former self, I wondered how did that kid become this old crotchety woman?
That smiling little me was pre-kindergarden. She was sheltered and had a small world. She hadn’t even gone to any kind of school yet. She hadn’t learned how cruel people could be. Yet.
Those years of cruelty built one upon each other. Endless years of other’s viewpoints of who she is, and who she ought to be, and what sorts of things she deserved.
Years and years.. upon years. And masks started to build. Patterns of hiding and escape started to be learned and practiced.
Focusing on the negative and how to prevent it became so prevalent that the skill to enjoy the good times for the moments that they were was nearly all but forgotten.
I look back and see these photos of this little girl, who could block out the bad stuff long enough to enjoy those moments of happy.. and I see that I have done her a HUGE disservice.
I’m now working on being the adult that little girl would be proud to be. It’s going to take time, but I owe it to myself to try.