So I have been completely exhausted, and to top it all off...the wrath of the red lady as appeared. Which means even lesser sleep than I'm getting. That is all okay though, as I'm getting ready to play an amazing set at the Roxy in LA. Along with 2 other people...which will be a blast! I really cannot wait. It'll be a nice break and distraction from everything that is going on here.
So I finally got to sit down and think today now that everyone is home, and sleeping soundly. Not back to normal by any means, and not even the least bit better...but home nonetheless...for now anyway.
All parents respect and look in awe upon their children and all younger siblings are taught to look up to and respect their older siblings. But parents should never lean on a child for support, or see their old-soul wisdom as an equivalent to adulthood--an excuse to check-out of the parenthood they didn't sign up for.
I have to check myself often...especially during these emotional hangovers when I am tempted to feel sorry for myself and give bitterness a foothold.
"It's not fair."
All of these things I have to fight against at all costs. And when I fight against them, I have to be careful: I can't do it for them...in order to not let them have their way, to not let them have the last word. I have to do it for the Lord's blessing, myself, and those that depend on me.
I will not feel sorry for myself because I will not let myself give in to Satan's desire to see me crawl up inside myself away from my children and die like that.
I will not complain about justice because if I got what I deserved in this life, I'd be lost...and far be it from me to be as ungrateful as telling God he dealt me the wrong hand.
I will not depend on the praise of man, nor will I ask for recognition for decency.
And I will not let arrogance infect my soul and draw me further from Christ.
It's just difficult, that's all. It's hard not to let all the ugliness and anger and rage and bitterness and injustice overtake you and make you one of them. It's unbelievably difficult.
I guess it's pretty unrealistic to say I don't do it for them in some small way--more to not be like them. But maybe that isn't such a bad reason to try--it just can't be the whole reason, I think. I'll have to sort through that one a little more before I can cast my anchor either way.
I've always prided myself on being good at processing things, but now I was being caught of guard with an accusation of the opposite. If I truly am having trouble letting it go, then I needed to be honest with myself. If it's true, then why can't I just let it all go? Why does it all still affect me so much? More importantly, why at 24 years old, am I still having these damned emotional hangovers?
My mom thinks it is so easy...but you see, I don't get a choice to pick up and move on--they are my family, and I am connected for life whether I like it or not. It was all I knew, and once I figured it all out and tried to move on (by moving out), the aftermath of it is all I have known.
I'm like a veteran of a war everyone pretends never happened. But not in the way you think of most war veterans-- I, on the other hand, was born with my name already signed. The war was my home and will always be my roots (if not my home anymore, thank God). I was a soldier from the moment I was born--hell, from the womb! I fought for life against my mother while nicotene and alcohol and tears and suffering and wishing I was gone coursed from her soul and into the skin and sinew of my forming peanut body. I was born knit together by the thread of regret, then breathed my first breath in the thickness of scandal and shame and pain and betrayal.
I had just to live to be hurt. Just to breathe to be resented. Just to exist to be an enemy.
I am made up of invisible scars--some still open in spite of my best attempts, some healing in spite of their best attempts, and some already healed (but not without much effort to keep them closed).
I guess the reason people think I have such a heard time letting go may be that it's true. I think what is closer to the truth is that I just have a hard time pretending. Things do still affect me. My family feels and thinks that if they think that pretending a part of them doesn't exist will make it disappear, or that being somebody else in the present erases who they were in the past. But the truth is that you can't erase anything in life once it's been written down in the history books. We are not made of pencil, but pen. We can't dictate what we have drawn ourselves as in the past--only what we will draw ourselves as in the future. We can only build on that ugliness and shame, drawing layer after layer after layer over that former awful version of ourselves until it's form is lost under the new self we create. And before you know it, that new drawing is beautiful and lovely and smiling, and it's still just as true and real as what hurts you to admit is under it all.
I think it's a shame when people try to forget that old outline, because then they never truly see it clearly enough to re-draw it well. And in the end, it just sticks out all over and sneaks out from the background to show itself when they aren't ready to see it.
And I think that's just the reason why I'm here right now, today, sitting in front of my computer after coming home, coming up quietly on the end of an emotional hangover. Because my family knows only the ugly and shameful lines that make up my self. Before I was old enough to draw for myself, they were the ones drawing me that shameful way. And when they handed over the pen, it was all I knew how to draw for myself until I left them and learned how to draw all over again.
It makes me sad for them that they may never see the truth about the new wonderful and beautiful and lovable picture that I am because they are afraid it will erase the old me they knew how to draw--and taught me how to draw--so well.
If only they could see the new lines I have drawn over theirs and accept them. If only they could admit I was better at drawing myself than they were. If only they could forgive themselves for handing me the pen at such an early age.
Maybe I do have a hard time letting go. But I think that it may be what has saved me more than what will destroy me. I think that knowing the truth--I mean knowing it: taking a good hard look at it and not being afraid of what you see--and having the strength to put it in the middle of the road (where anybody who walks along your life can find it) and step over it is more important than dropping it into the black hole of your psyche because it's too painful for you to look at. I think that's how they all got to be so good at drawing ugliness and so bad at drawing love--cause they never stopped to look at what their pen was drawing before they took another stab-stroke at the page.
And if leaving it all in the middle of my life's road means that they--or even I--can run back to it to try to make me feel bad or ashamed with it all over again, then so be it. If it means I have to have the occasional quick-fading hangover because of it, then so be it. If it means I have to spend my whole life seeing all the lines instead of some, then so be it. If it means I have to depend that much more on the Lord to nurse every last wound to healing, then so be it.
Just a little more venting, just a little more talking, just a little more writing--and I know I'll be off this hangover and back on my feet.
All in all, I'm not convinced that having an emotional hangover is such a bad thing. It's just the time you need to re-adjust your vision to what's really in front of your eyes--to help your eyes stop seeing only the lines they've convinced you to focus and begin to see the whole picture again.
So I'll drink this bitter drink now--as cutting and stinging as it may be going down--and I will start my next moment fresh. I'll put my pen down, roll my shoulders and stretch my fingers, say a prayer to the Lord for Him to guide my hand, and promise to let my children have their pens now, that I feel I have done already. And when I pick up my pen again I will know full well what it is capable of...and what I am capable of with it held firmly at the mercy of my fingers. I will be responsible for what it draws, and I will never pretend I have not drawn something that I wish I could erase.
And if that means I never let go, then so be it.