I start this new year with a terrible cold and a sense of dis-ease. I had plans for these two free days — days in which my son would be at school and I would be home. Plans to make insurance companies pay me what’s due, plans to organize all my financials and draw a bottom line of what my new life in my new house costs me on a monthly basis, plans to spend two days deep in thought on my book proposal, to define an outline of what I can realistically expect myself to finish when.
So of course, I get knocked on my butt with a cough, a cold, a headache, body aches, and the sneaky feeling that I am going to come up short on what seemed like pretty simple goals. And of top of that, it’s a gorgeous, stunning snow day, and I am too sick to go out and play. Fooey.
It’s interesting, and not altogether pleasant, to have this be my entryway to the new year.
Interesting because I am feeling like these failures to achieve are my fault, that they are representative of my character, that they are proof that I contain suckitude. But, you know, I’m sick, so why reel out all that nasty internal invective?
It’s a glimpse into the central deal I made with myself as a very young girl: Fight like hell, work your ass off, ignore your corporeal desires and needs. Do that, and you just might get to the safe place.
But that dream of the safe place was false (though please know that I understand that fervent dream is what made it possible for me to survive a violent and volatile home), and I know that now, deep in my bones.
And yet, my bones still want to tell me that story.
Poor me. Poor sick me. Poor little-girl me, putting on such incredible armor and fighting my way through.
I am only now just learning—feeling—all that the young and precocious me never felt when I was growing up, and it’s, just…. I don’t quite have words for it, the feeling of actually seeing with clear, adult eyes for the first time what it was that I lived. There was a lot of terrible, and those terrible feelings were very big and all got pushed far, far away into a bottled and boxed-up history the younger me thought she could run faster than. (It’s a terrible mixed metaphor, and yet, it captures exactly what I want to say.)
But no, I couldn’t leave those feelings behind. I lie here in my bed, with a bad cold… and a sense of foreboding that is related to events and agonies from long, long ago.
No bills today, no financial plans, no orderly adult existence. Today I will have hot chocolate, and a box of tissues, and my warm kitty kat and a book or two to entertain me. And I will feel those bad feelings and know that even though they feel like failure, even still, that I am as close to well and healed as I have ever been.
Interesting that this is what the universe divined as the necessary lesson for me for the beginning of this year.
I am listening, yes, I am listening. And I am safe and whole.