Going out, I found, was really going in – John Muir
I’m on the Nanaimo-Tsawwassen ferry, sitting comfortably in a lounge chair, with my MacBook on my lap, writing this piece, listening to some Jon Hopkins tunes that I love so much on Spotify, life is comfortable and good. I’m happy and I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude for the life I’m living. I’m looking out of the window every now and then. Snowcapped mountains in the distance, so beautiful. Soon, I’ll be up there. In survival mode. But you know what, that’s easy for me. I’ve been in that mode for the majority of my life.
Growing up as a child, I felt lonely and misunderstood, there was no room to express myself. I tiptoed my way through childhood. I felt like I didn’t have the right to exist. And I remember I was always in this alert, anxious state.
Because I never knew when it was safe at home.
I was always reluctant to go home from school, or after visiting a friend. It feels kind of weird for me to be so raw and honest with you, carefully telling what growing up was like for me. In a way, it feels like I’m betraying my parents. Despite the fact that it is hard I feel the need to speak up now, to finally raise my voice saying things out loud so that the wounds, that are so deep, can heal. So that I can finally start living my life, instead of surviving, which has been my default state for so long. You have no idea how much I long for this.
It’s my fucking time now.
I used to think that I was a very bad kid. That I was this demon, causing my family all this pain. And that I deserved to be treated badly. I kept believing this conviction throughout my adult life. Can you imagine the devastating effect it can have? On a career, on relationships? When you are convinced that you’re a bad person, not good enough to do your work, not worthy enough to be loved. Even in my adult life, I walked on eggshells, all the time. In my jobs, in my relationships, I mean all the freakin’ time. A few times I was ready to give up, ready to leave this body, to pull the plug because the pain was too intense. Lost my own GPS signal. So much shame for who I thought I was. I was not good enough, never ever good enough.
Therapy around the clock in my 20’s. Pills. I was even institutionalized once, long-term. This made the shame even bigger. It only confirmed the fact that I was bad even more.
It’s insane how much pain a person can take.
My pain threshold is freakin’ high. I can take a huge amount of physical pain no problem. It even feels good sometimes. Because when I feel physical pain the mental pain is less intense.
The reason why I’m here is this. I feel like I have to do this once more, push myself to my very limits once more, hike until I cannot hike anymore, survive on my own, so that I can finally start living again. Live my life, be myself, have the relationship I desire, an honest, open and deep relationship, maybe even start a family of my own one day. For the first time in my life I’m open to that possibility and I’m even daring to say it out loud, fuck yeah. I do not know the impact of these words but that’s okay with me.
I hid myself for so long. I have been so scared to shine my light but I want to shine it so badly now. I can’t hold it in any longer.
Yes, it feels super scary to write this, but I’m open, more than I’ve ever been.
On my headphones: “How I live now” – Jon Hopkins.