Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stepping out from behind my own shadow

Tomorrow, Thursday April 8th, I will have two years of sobriety – crazy right? I was what you would call “a high functioning drunk”. I had most people fooled, while all the while I was dying inside. Looking out from the veil of pain, wondering “how do they do it?”. The simplest things baffled me – shopping for groceries, having lunch with a friend, paying rent. Somehow I did it… I managed to act as if I knew exactly what I was doing, hoping to God no one would call my bluff.

The one thing I knew I could always count on was my ability to reach the young people I work with. I could identify and access their wounds as easily as I could access my own. Derry and the kids say “don’t let her close the door, cause she’ll make you cry”. Not in a bad way though… I swear!

As the fog has been lifting and my role in this amazing organization has been developing, the committee decided to hold court in an unusually loud and abusive way, making me question everything about who I thought I was. I had been acting for so long that I wasn’t sure who I was, or am today. Am I really the “Velvet Hammer” or just a wanna be mama? Who am I to pretend to know what these beautiful young people need? Or how to work with them? Do I deserve the love and respect of my kids, co-workers, family and friends?

I was used to living in panic and self loathing. I knew how to take care of it. I self medicated. I knew I wasn’t worthy, so I didn’t have to live up to anybody’s expectations. If I let you down, oh well, I told you I wasn’t worthy…

When you live in a lie long enough you believe that lie, so now I am trying to figure out what the truth about me is, because I am determined to live in my truth today. I am not hiding any more, and sometimes it isn’t pretty. It’s full of weird dreams , (like taking mud baths (not like spa mud, but nasty, dirty mud) and then trying to sneak into a hotel to get clean in their pool, and then losing the cash deposit I was supposed to take to the bank because I left it near the mud bath – seriously that was my dream last night) chest pounding moments of self doubt, screaming matches with my committee, breakdowns watching commercials, and facing the wreckage of my past. I want to be able to live the rest of my life being able to look at my self in the mirror and like who I see.

So I really had to check in with my self – Do I truly have a gift? Am I meant to help our youth heal from their wounds, while healing mine? The answer is a resounding YES!!!! Whew! My truth is that the bliss that I found 18 years ago, still stirs my soul. The love that held me in the darkest moments is the love that awakens my spirit every day.

There are still days that I fear and uncertainty creeps in, and that is when the universe smiles and shows me once again why I am exactly where and who I need to be. In the past couple of weeks, without invitation or notice, on separate times, I had some of my “og” babies (ha! They are all in their 30s) come to visit me. The first visitors were Black (Kerstan), Dez and Intro (Cory). These were my crew of boys that protected me fiercely, made me laugh til my stomach hurt and who not matter what always told me they loved me…. As they did when they left. The following week, Dez’s brother Vern came with his wife Martha and their beautiful daughter Giselle. They were all teens when I met them!

A couple of days ago I received this email from Martha:


On our way out of your office, Vern & I looked at each other

and both said, "Man, it feels good to see her." " I missed her"

I told him, "I know exactly what you mean."

For some reason, you seem to fill our hearts

with joy "like a motherly warmth". I know, it sounds corny.

I just had to say it...

Love you, Hoolie Boo

Vern & tita & Giselle

By the way, you looked fabulous!

I guess I still got it! And I get to know it! And remember it! Life is good.

From the bottom of my very grateful heart –

Thank you to all of you who loved me before I could feel it, to those who still love my in spite of me, and who will love me for always.



rissa said...

You are inspiring. You are wonderful. You are filled with so much love that I'm surprised you're not as tall as me!

Thank you for sharing you and your truth.

I love love love you!

Tony said...

of course you are inspirational! keep telling your story. the world is so much better for it. only love.