The Abyss and Why I’m Still Alive

Mount-Huashan-The-narrow-path-most-dangerous-trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My entire life I’ve carried an image in my head; an image that very much represents the picture I have chosen above. I have always called it “the abyss,” and it represents life and death, sanity and insanity. I remember becoming aware of it the first time when I was in 3rd grade. But, before I continue, I want to make it clear that this isn’t a cry for help, because I feel suicidal and it isn’t a cry for attention either. I am writing this, because I know that there are other “abyss walkers” and I want to let them know that they are not alone and that you can somewhat live with this. Lastly, I’d like to extend a slight warning – the material is brutally honest and may even be uncomfortable for some.

How does one end up at the abyss? I don’t know about others, but I was dragged there by years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse that started when I was about 4 and ended when I was about 18. The trauma I experienced, due to the long period of time it occurred, caused my fibromyalgia, because my brain has “dialed up” all sensory perceptions to super high, at all times, and therefore misfires, interpreting nerve signals as pain and making any type of stimuli, like loud voices/music and sounds, as well as heat, cold or emotional responses stronger, amplifying them and often making them almost unbearable. The inability to no longer “dial it down” but being incapable of registering stress and hence, the ability to walk away or avoid, makes life as if I am living with a giant antenna on my head; one that never sleeps, never stops and has turned me into a recluse, who finds any type of prolonged interaction with most people painful, frustrating, overwhelming and difficult. But the physical, emotional and mental pain are not necessarily the ongoing building blocks to form the abyss; no, what causes the abyss is the overwhelming feeling of not belonging here, on this planet.

When one feels as deeply as I do, nothing is easy. When one lacks the ability to let go and stop “looping,” life becomes an ongoing cycle of torment, trying to stop it, then succumbing to it and starting all over again. Years of therapy and studies in philosophy, psychology and religion helped me get better, but my brain chemistry is permanently altered and trying to change it is what is so incredibly daunting and leaves me feeling defeated and exhausted.

My relationships have been predominantly bad. Not all of them, but the vast majority of them. Fear of intimacy, severe anxiety about being abandoned and the constant doubts I have in myself have been relationship killers. Nothing, though, beats the fact that I send out a signal, a very powerful one I might add, that keeps attracting men who actually confirm my deepest fears. I attract superficial men, who criticize my exterior, sometimes vocally, sometimes in a subtle, passive way, and/or find me otherwise inadequate. I attract commitment phobes, who cannot commit, don’t know what they want and are quick to leave or cheat. I attract a lot of selfish, cruel, severely damaged and cold-hearted men, who cannot feel and usually numb with alcohol, computer games, work, porn and other ways that keep them from truly connecting; men who mercilessly lash out and strike when I speak up or attempt to explain my feelings. Men who judge me worse than I could ever judge myself or others. I attract my father and I attract my mother’s boyfriends, over and over and over and over. So the majority of my life I have felt alone, lonely and abandoned, especially in my relationships. And this dance, this dance of attracting people who cannot love me, then push me away and lash out at me, as well as attracting the same type of selfish, backstabbing and unpredictable people in the companies I often work for, this is what pushes me closer to the abyss.

Everything I do, no matter when, where and how, is near the abyss. I walk as close to the wall as I can, carefully setting one foot ahead of the next, until I get pushed. Then I start slipping. I claw my way to the top again, then slip some more, feeling overwhelmed and rendered powerless when the feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing and fear wash over me. The feelings are so strong that all I can think of is dying, because I am not sure how much longer I can hold on and how much longer I can be the tower of strength the majority of people in my life believe me to be. The absolute fear of potentially being alone forever, because I cannot attract anyone who feels as deeply as I do, leaves me feeling with despair. Was I supposed to have children? Was I supposed to be alone? Maybe I should devote my life to helping others; but isn’t that what I am doing and have been doing anyway? Why are people so shallow, ignorant and selfish? Why…

I know that it is all about loving myself. It’s been a challenge but I don’t stop trying and going for it. I know that I can change the frequency, even though I have failed so far in doing just that. I have, however, deleted any and all dating profiles. My exterior, which misleads people into thinking that I am a wild, crazy party animal who also numbs (I’ve never gotten into drugs or alcohol) cannot be overwritten by a sincere and honest profile that no one reads. My pictures, my looks are misleading, not just in the dating arena, but in all other areas, too. When you live in a society that puts almost all stock in appearances only (the essence of California), it makes it hard for me and all of those who refuse to look mainstream to be “seen.” Why haven’t I simply “conformed” and blended in? Because this look started when I had no identity and had to protect myself from other predators, back when I was a teenager. Asking me to change my look is the same as asking a person with dark skin to be more white.

The abyss is a part of me. I have managed to stay more on the inside by the wall, and less by the edge that would make me fall. It has taught me to avoid severe danger of slipping, by not abusing substances or becoming addicted. The abyss also reminds me how far I have come and teaches me to not be selfish and exercise compassion. For were it not for said lack of selfishness and compassion, I would have jumped a long time ago, instead of keep on balancing, carefully, one foot in front of the other.

I sadly feel incredibly unloved, unwanted and misunderstood. But as a friend of mine just told me “just because you feel that way doesn’t make it so!” I know this, why else would I still be here to talk about it? I ask but one thing of people “don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t assume by looks and appearances and remember that your actions and especially your words can make or break another; especially an abyss walker.”

 


Deja Vu – The Power of Change

 

 

Change

I have this feeling of deja vu – a lot! I find myself in various situations – jobs, people, relationships, friendships, places, etc. and can’t shake the feeling that I have been here before. The reason for this, most of the time, is that I have actually been there before!

There is something truly awfully amazing about the fact that we, as human beings, have the tendency to choose the same stuff over and over, even if it hurts us, even if it doesn’t serve us and even if we feel with all our heart that we don’t want it. Oh, but we do!

From a pure neurological standpoint, our brain maps all the time. We are hardwired to choose what seems familiar, even if we don’t actually like that familiar thing! And yet, we flock to it like moths to the light and this is how we keep repeating our cycles, over and over and over. All the while claiming that we are innocent and that it wasn’t our fault or our doing. We mourn the loss of something or someone, we regret the wrong choice, we turn around and bam! choose the same thing or person again; and then again.

I have paid close attention to my cycles, my choices and my life and found that I am an absolute expert and master in not only choosing the same, but insisting that I didn’t. Until I find myself again, hit with the proverbial universal 2×4, going “OUCH!” that’ll leave a scar. Technically speaking, there is nothing wrong with that, were it not for the fact that it makes me feel so incredibly miserable when I find myself yet again in another s***storm of my own making. Were it not for me again feeling despair, sadness, anger, hopelessness, rage, disappointment…well, you get the point.

The truth is that nothing changes. Not a damn thing changes, as long as you cannot change who you are being in the world! As long as I cannot get a grip on my underlying, not so subconscious choices anymore, I will keep getting what I choose and sadly, deserve. Nothing changes until I change and I won’t change until it costs too much to not change. What a mouthful, huh?

Sometimes, you just have to make a 911 call to that higher self of yours, no matter if it is in form of talking to a higher power, talking to yourself, talking to your inauthentic conscious mind, a friend, a therapist or whatever else you want to talk to; but you just have to do it. You have to pick up that receiver and you have to make the call, because otherwise, you are and will always remain a slave. There has to be a declaration, a commitment if you will, with your spoken word. There has to be accountability in order to manifest the change, or it’s just going to be another empty promise.

I’ve made a call. I’ve made a promise. I’ve made a declaration to stand for myself and to stop choosing more of the same. I’ve got the message pretty clear and I’m declaring my commitment to change myself. To change my perspective and to change my choices. I am choosing happiness. I’m choosing me and I’m choosing the life I want to have. Off come the shackles and off comes all the bondage and the cage that are attached to them. Deja vu, you suck. Change, I embrace you my new friend! Time to form a few new neural pathways. Yeehaaw!


Love – Just is…Not What We Thought?

Love

 

 

 

I recently realized that my understanding of love and what it truly is has changed; and keeps changing as I get older and wiser. While some may wonder now if I have gotten cynical, bitter, disillusioned or “sad,” I would argue that quite the contrary has occurred.

Like most girls, I grew up hoping for, what Hollywood at least, sold as the perfect love. You’ll meet your soulmate, usually by some amazing divine intervention, you lay eyes on each other and everything else around you stops moving. And from that moment on you are one, forever. You have kids and a family and you buy a house and you grow into the amazing unit of unwavering unity we were all taught we are entitled to have. Then I grew up and things changed.

So, I wanted to share how I evolved from a wide-eyed romantic, to someone who still believes in love above all with all her heart, but merely adjusted what the meaning of such love truly is and most importantly, how it comes about.

See, even as a child I wondered if undying love and everlasting bond exist. Being the product of a mother who was married five times and a dad who was also married five times, along with an aunt who is currently on her third, miserable marriage, all I ever saw is that love fails. Until I realized that it isn’t love that fails, but our expectations and our very being as we grow older and define what is important to us. This is also when I learned that love, in itself, is not enough when it comes to the real world. The real world which requires us to pay bills, have jobs (sometimes jobs we didn’t want, but jobs that paid the bills) and a certain willingness to conform, if we want to be somewhat successful. I learned that human beings are much more complex. I learned that feelings change, especially when you add emotional baggage, addiction, fear, anger issues and other unforeseen forces into the equation, such as basic compatibility! Yes, I’ve learned that love is not unconditional at all. Love is quite conditional, because love depends on so much more than just a warm fuzzy feeling.

Love, I have learned, is not a chemical reaction. You know, this crazy “in-love” feeling you have, when nothing else matters and you literally do see the world through rose colored glasses and stubbornly refuse seeing who a person truly is. This is when you accept and settle for things that you would otherwise never tolerate, such as the fact that someone may have severe issues with being honest. Or the fact that they drink too much, feel too little, do drugs, lie, have no ambition, and on the list goes. No, you stubbornly refuse to listen and to see, because you are in love! And this is also when you learn that this chemical, all powerful attraction lasts an average of 6 to mostly 12 months. Then reality sets in and you are stuck with whom they truly are; which is when the issues begin.

As I grow wiser, I have learned to understand love as a true appreciation and deep respect for another and who they are – short-comings included! Out the window went the expectation for someone else to complete me and be nearly perfect. I realized that looks and attraction fade, but that character and being generally do not. I set out to find someone who I can respect, genuinely like, sit and talk to, spend time and space with and someone who helps me grow and accepts me for all that I am, just the way I am. I realized that love is still an attraction, so yes, initially I still need to find the person attractive, but what constitutes this attraction and in order for me to stay attracted, there are traits that overwrite the original expectation and wishful thinking of the tall, dark haired, probably slightly “bad” boy who would sweep me off my feet. Instead, I found that the key to my heart takes a different set of skills these days. The key is through intellect and my mind first – can he hold a conversation about anything and especially the things that are important to me/interest me, can he make me laugh, can he challenge my beliefs and opinions and does he have the ability to listen and speak? Is he honest, self-aware and kind, or does he numb, distract, run and pretend? Does he look at me and think “blah, blah,” I just want to have sex already/watch TV, etc., or does he share his thoughts with me?

I have found that all I truly want is a best friend and true partner in crime. I have read studies who claim that your man should never serve as your friend and I couldn’t disagree more. While I don’t want him to be my only friend (I sure as hell don’t want to discuss my PMS with him), I want him to be my closest friend and confidant, because if he can’t be that, he can’t be my lover either. Yes, the saying that the largest sex organ is the brain is true. If he can’t stimulate my brain, he can’t stimulate my heart and if he fails in that, he won’t stimulate my body for long either. As a person who never was truly interested or capable of one-night-stands, this holds even more true.

I am finding that being able to form a friendship first may be the key for me to build a loving relationship. Because if I don’t have to censor, which I won’t when I don’t feel I need to be “on,” like I do when I am dating, and if he still loves being around the true and raw me, chances are, we can, are you ready, grow in love.

I have learned that I grow in love, I don’t fall in love anymore. My heart is not closed. My heart is open, it’s just that it takes a different and probably larger key to get to it these days and I think that’s OK and will keep me from settling for mad chemistry and lack of substance. The best bond is that we choose to have, not the one we are forced to have because we are addicted to someone, can’t be alone, feel miserable, lonely or otherwise inadequate. And I happen to make that choice easier if I find that being around someone makes me happy and feel at ease – just the way I do when I am around my best friends.

So here is a cheer to being with your best friend, lover and partner in crime, versus your prince charming and opposite that is supposedly so attractive.