(Good Day on a Bad Day – Fish Tales – see the video of this song I found on youtube…not the highest quality video, but probably way cuter than an actual performance quality version of it…so whatev…)
I think I should probably add a disclaimer that I realized when I got to the end of writing this post that I probably shouldn’t post it…but I am doing it anyway, because, yes I do know that I should be careful about when I share my words, but I also was silenced for a long time and do not want to ever feel like I am not allowed to have a voice.
Today last year I was at my last on site residency interview for that residency season. I cried on my way there. I cried that night. I cried on the way home. Any residency would be better than no residency and I was drowning. The first failure to match was too much and my life was falling apart and I was trying again so fervently but at the same time knowing even getting a residency in phase II wouldn’t end my pain. It wouldn’t take away the grief. It wouldn’t be enough to re-label me. I was too far gone. I knew too deeply that I was a failure that no one would want.
The abuse was too raw. I never really had an opportunity to process the abuse because at first I didn’t understand for a long time that it wasn’t okay. Then I kind of went in and out of thinking maybe there was a problem, but y’all, gaslighting is for real and I would start to think again that maybe I was wrong and this is what was supposed to happen. There were signs something was wrong and I needed out, but while a few people tried, no one had enough pieces put together at the right time to create an escape. When I’m still standing my ground on the sand and you tell me not to go swimming but can’t explain why not, I feel like you don’t understand that I am a swimmer and I won’t know there is a riptide waiting to pull me under regardless of how strong I am now. When I am actively drowning holding onto a log that doesn’t quite support my weight and you tell me there is a kickboard a couple yards away that would be better for me, I feel like you don’t understand that I think I will drown if I let go of my log, and I won’t know that the seconds of fear it takes to get the kickboard will be worth it to save my life. So anyway, I finally escaped the in person one on one abuse and broke free, but I still couldn’t process because I was too busy proving to everyone else how okay I was and…okay yeah, still trying to protect the person who hurt me and feeling like a failure because I couldn’t save us both. If maybe even a week sooner I’d been willing to even kind of sort of let someone in and hint at what had been happening for the past two years I realize now there might have been discipline on her side instead of mine…but I didn’t. I couldn’t. My fierce protective nature refuses to hurt anyone or give up on anyone. I want to believe people can change and become good if they get enough love and support, even the person who was abusing me. And when the abuse was still ongoing because the little princess could do whatever she wanted including and not limited to sitting next to me in the cafeteria or following me to the parking garage and then hanging out at the entrance so I have to get past her to leave, I was finally ready to talk but forbidden from doing so under threats of losing my schooling. Was the contract I signed even valid, not really since I didn’t have the capacity to contract at the time of signing, but was I willing to test out what would happen if I boldly refused to follow the guidelines, certainly not. She had a lot of power and I didn’t so I was stuck just enduring it for the next three years.
Umm yeah, that was actually not at all what I sat down to write about. The pain of the abuse still is raw, and last year’s failure to match did bring it closer to the forefront again…but I was trying to write a positive post…I guess that’s my mind’s little reminder that these things don’t disappear. I can’t put an expiration date on pain and grief and I can’t outrun it. Like Maria says in the sound of music, you can’t run from your problems, you have to face them!
Last year I went to a Good Friday service and was just trying to survive. Afterwards I was walking around the block and doing whatever I could trying to figure out how I was going to get myself home. The next day I was back greeting. Apparently I met someone that day. I was so focused on going through the motions and greeting people and being okay that I honestly have no idea who that person was, which I felt really bad about, but y’know, that is the brain on grief.
Last year though Easter was a turning point. That Saturday evening (technically the day before Easter I suppose), I don’t know what happened, but somehow that week I was able to eat a little more easily. Note that I didn’t say easily, just more easily, but considering I’d been fighting for calories and fluids like my life depended on it because I was at a point where it really did depend on it, it was a huge blessing, and I gained a pretty good amount of weight that week. I was super proud of myself. Even if it was water weight, getting fluids in was a huge positive. When not too long before you’d gone more than an entire day without peeing because you weren’t drinking enough, you can’t really deny that even getting calorie free water in is a success.
This year my goal was for the year to be better, not bitter. On Tuesday I am doing part of what I was doing last year today – interviewing on site in phase II. There are a lot of parallels or similarities. At that one by the time I was done interviewing I wanted the position because I just really really wanted any position by that point, but there were multiple things I really didn’t like. At this one, I do really really want the position…but at the same time I am not even sure I want the position. It isn’t an idea fit for my interests and pays pretty poorly, but I worked so hard and paid so much for the opportunity that I feel like I need to have the position, and it would be a lot better than what I have now – the problem being that I am not sure it would set me up for success in moving from plan triple Z to anywhere closer to what I really wanted to do. And once I expressed my interest in this position, suddenly I was being offered all the things that had been explained as part of the position when I interviewed for the position I am in now that I have wanted so badly and been denied. So even if I don’t get a residency, I might still end up with a job that is better than the one I have now. I might be able to be happy again. I might be able to not hate my job even if I do not actually have the job I want. This is thrilling! This is a huge step forward.
I don’t know what the future will hold, but I am starting to think that maybe applying was good just to give me an opportunity to find something better than what I have whether I get the residency or not. I am starting to think that maybe this will help to decrease the pain of the residency season…which in reality is pretty much all year, especially with the way my story has played out. My story holds a lot of pain, but God can redeem any story if I let go and give him a chance…maybe I can go on a trip in a couple weeks. We’ll see.
Well, this is going to sound super out of place now since this post went in a completely different direction for the most part than I originally planned, but it was in my head as part of this post, so I’m gonna write it here anyway…lol…
Food for thought: Do we anxiously await for the reminder of Christ’s return to life Easter morning as anxiously as we awaited as children for our chocolate crosses and ziplocks of jelly beans and pastel m&m’s and skittles and whatever other sugary treats we got in our baskets?
If I am being honest, holidays to me are hard. I live very much in the concrete here and now. Life works best for me with every day being essentially the same. Tying some extra meaning to a particular day is an abstract that I don’t always do well with. Sometimes I use prepositions to end sentences with…lol. So yeah, it is hard for me to anticipate a randomly selected day as if something big is going to happen when that something big actually happened a couple thousand years ago. I get that this is an important part of our history, but you know what I also get? I also get that this part of our history isn’t any more important tomorrow on Easter than it was a month ago. To me, it is still just another day, not more important than any other day. If I were still little enough for an Easter basket, I am not ashamed to say that yes, I would be more excited for my yummy chocolate cross than for the abstract concept of remembering when Christ rose from the dead. Sorry if that offends you, but I am my own person and I am entitled to my own opinions just as much as you are entitled to yours.