feelings

Touched

I need to write this now to capture what I feel and use this post as a reminder of why I choose to do the work I do, or even be the person I want to be.

Last month, I attended a 3-day training for WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan). There was an individual, R, in one of my groups. We were writing our responses on a topic on a large piece of paper. R shared with us that he had some difficulty writing due to his anxieties and fearing that his handwriting would be judged. I remember acknowledging him and his courage to share such information with us. From there, I remember I did what I could to support him, whether it was asking if he wanted  someone to write on his behalf or encourage him to share out to the large group. It was a short 3 days, but I remembered him and I remembered how much power he had in the sharing of his vulnerabilities.

This week, I started the 5-day training for the same program. Lo and behold, R was here too! This whole week, I have been utterly amazed by him. He has been sharing more during large group discussions, he’s been sharing in small and large groups, and today, he wrote in front of the large group on the poster paper. He even signed up for a role playing part and I was just so blown away by how much he was challenging himself to do things that made him uneasy. I am amazed and inspired.

Today (Thursday), as we were both leaving the training, he shared with me how he felt. He said that I would forever be in his mind as he is continuing his growth process. He said that when we make eye contact, he feels warm, he feels good. He told me that he was appreciative of me and what I had done for him. In that moment, I felt so much joy for him. I felt so much pride that he had pushed himself so much, even with sharing his feelings and thoughts with me. I felt so touched, so deeply touched, that I had been able to play a part in his life, a part I didn’t even realize I was playing.

I want to capture this feeling. I got to my car and I cried a little out of joy and out of happiness. I felt so validated in being the person I want to be and doing the work I want to do. I have this really good and really warm feeling in my heart because I get to be a part of this process, I get to be a part of his process. I don’t know where life will take us, but I’m glad that we were able to share these moments together.

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As I am continuing this post today (Friday), I am again touched by the warmth of others. Yesterday, one of the training participants was having a really challenging day. I had serendipitously walked into a space where she was visibly and emotionally upset. I offered my support and stayed with her for a bit before she requested time for herself. Today, she shared her appreciation for my actions and gifted me a rock she had painted. I’m usually not one for touchy-feely gifts, but this one really touches my feelies.

With any large group, I am usually apprehensive and reluctant to throw myself completely into the group. I still am and I acknowledge that is my piece and when I choose to show up and participate, it is meaningful and part of my own process. But the gifts, physical and not, that I have received this week have really touched my heart. I am so deeply moved to be here in this space and so deeply grateful that I was given the opportunity to be in this specific group. I came into the training thinking that I would be learning about the material, how to facilitate, etc – all the mechanics of the program. Instead, I am left with the warmth and kindness and while sometimes it totally bugs me that everyone is so positive all the time, I am grateful for the unconditional positive regard everyone has for one another.

This week was a great example of: You won’t remember what was said, but you’ll always remember how you felt.

Feeling Loved

There is something really magical about that. It’s such a simple feeling: to feel loved. It can come from just about anywhere.

This week, I have been definitely feeling it. My little cat, Lily, who was brought in as a stray when she was 4 months old, slept on my lap. Granted, it was uncomfortable for me since I have to cross my legs while sitting on a computer chair, but she did it anyway. This is a cat who used to run away from me, hide, hated hugs or closed quarters, still runs away from me, and hates strangers (and babies). But she loves me enough, trusts me enough, to know that my lap is a safe and warm space for her.

Kayla, my cute little niece, developed stranger anxiety. She would cry or feel uncomfortable if I held her or took her away from her parents or my mom (caretaker). This morning, she raised her arms toward me even though my mother was feeding her.

Nate, is a million miles away in Japan and even though we talk and connect a lot less since he’s been gone, not once did I ever wonder or feel insecure about our relationship.

Work has been amazing and such a great learning space. I really feel like I can be a part of this space and be encouraged to grow and make my blunders a learning opportunity.

Friends, while I haven’t seen some of them in quite some time, I’ve appreciated all of their presences’ in my life. Everyone had a place and a space in my life and I could not be anymore grateful for them and the experiences I’ve shared with people.

Maybe it’s just today, but that’s how I’m feeling. And it’s amazing and I wish everyone would be able to feel as loved as I feel.

House is not a Home

I feel like this is a recurring mantra and more specifically, to a specific house.

Earlier this week, we had an in-class exercise. We needed to talk with another person about something that bothered us, something small. I picked the weather and how cold it was. Somehow, during that talk, it lead to my discovery that while I dislike the cold, I dislike the fact that I am cold and freezing in my own house and how that is a product of a specific person in that house: mother.

I don’t know how many people truly understand how much I detest mother. Her interests are backwards and wayward. I could relay all of the despicable things she does, but I don’t want to be that person. Just trust me – she’s terrible.

I’ve been thinking about it more today and since Monday. Have I ever felt at home in this house? Have I ever felt truly comfortable? To be honest? I don’t think so. Our house is practically its own apartment home. There is a lady who lives in our garage. There is a man who lives in the room adjacent to mine. I know none of these people. About two months ago, she decided to let her friend live in our shed. Yes, the shed. The shed that still has all of our stuff in it.

This house is crowded in terms of its occupants and also things. I just want to take a week and go through everything in this house, toss the things we don’t need and the things that she says she’ll “use one day” but hasn’t in the last decade. There are so many things and I just don’t understand their purpose. Everything is a mess. Everything is dirty. Nothing is clean.

I don’t feel at ease in my own home. During this winter frost, I have to use two heaters because a spike in the electric bill is more desirable than a spike in the gas bill. Because the solution to my problem is just to layer up, not make sure the house is a comfortable temperature.

This is not a home. It’s a living space. It is my temporary stop until I can leave this godforsaken hell hole. I want to be able to place things down and not worry that someone will move it, or “clean” things up without knowing what needs to be clean. I want to be able to throw old expired food out and not have to worry about keeping it a secret. I want to be able to eat my bambu and throw it away in the kitchen trash, not my own, because if I throw it in the kitchen trash, rest assured, that cup will be “saved” and put to another use.

I just want to be comfortable. In my own space. In my own “home.”

And while I should probably stay on topic, I’m not. What I also want? To be able to say these things freely without having someone else minimize how I feel. Yes, there are dying children in another areas. There are children on the streets. My problems are #firstworldproblems, but they are mine. This is how I feel and that is important, no matter how trivial. I get to be in that space and I get to have people listen to it and sympathize. I don’t want to be compared. I don’t want to be told that my problems are nothing and that I need to be grateful for what I have. I may be more vocal about my complaints than I am about my blessings, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel blessed everyday to have what I have. But in that moment when I am feeling like it’s been a crap week, I just need someone to listen and not judge how I feel.

I need to move out. Soon. Probably before I kill someone. Or hurt someone. #angerissues.