Monday, January 11, 2010

5 years

As I was writing my last post, something struck me. It was this sentence in particular:

"I still struggle daily with many of the things that have happened to me over the last 5 years, and yet, I am still able to find joy and happiness in many parts of my life."

5 years. I have spent 5 years of my life grieving for my dad, for regretting things I did after he passed, for hating myself for the hurt I caused people I loved and holding grudges against people that hurt me.

5 years is a really long time to spend angry at oneself, angry at God, and angry at members of your family. And what I have come to realize in thinking about my life the last few weeks/months (been doing a lot of thinking since I found out I was pregnant), is that I've spent far too long in this rut. My anger and sadness have impacted my life in ways that I cannot possibly describe, and in ways that I never would have thought...and I let it continue to do so for far too long.

After my dad passed, I was a terrible mess. I was so terribly unhappy and haunted by what he had gone through and losing him that all I can remember doing during that time period is making trips to the farm on weekends and spending the week days in bed watching seasons of "Friends." I think I really just made my way through in a zombie-like state. I latched on to anything that brought me any form of "happiness," regardless of what it meant to those around me. There were some people that took advantage of this. And others who I hurt terribly in the process. I became a person I did not recognize, but could not find my way back to the person I once knew. Granted, that person would never be the same, but I could not even find some modicum of her in me, even though I wanted to.

Eventually, I worked my way through my grief...it was still there, of course, and I know it will always be there, but I was able to manage my life and function again with a halfway sense of normalcy. I did the best I could to right wrongs I had made...although I could not change them, and the people I hurt forgave me. Yet, I could not forgive myself, and I could not forgive the people that hurt me. I would think about things I did and cringe. I was ashamed and embarrassed.

There have been many times over the last few years as I struggled through a bad period of depression, and felt myself lack motivation and direction in life, that I wondered why? Why did I continue to feel so awful and why could I not pull myself out of the feeling that life just wasn't that enjoyable most of the time? I often let myself wallow in pity for myself, and I can't say it was fun. But even though I had a desire to change, I didn't really want to change. I have gotten better in the last year or so, but not to the point I should be at. And I have come to realize through my reflection, that unless I release my anger, shame and embarrassment, I will never fully get past those things that once happened. I need to forgive myself. I need to forgive the people that hurt me. I need to write a letter to my uncle and move past the hurt that is there. I need to move on and live in the present. The very wonderful present that God has blessed me with...my husband, the baby in my belly, our farm and our families. Yes, the past hurt. It will still hurt at times, but without those experiences, I wouldn't be where I am today. It is time to move on.

5 years is long enough to beat myself up for things that happened. 5 years is long enough to punish others for things they did to me. And starting today, I'm going to make the necessary steps to forgive myself and others. It won't be easy, but I'm going to stop living in the past and move forward.

22 comments:

ann ominous said...

i like this.

Donn24g said...

there is no day but today...

FROGGITY! said...

that's awesome ... i agree, no time like today. :)

Megan Parker said...

The Heather I know best is the Heather that was always giving herself to her friends, fellow staff members, and residents. Granted, I may not have seen other sides of you, but the person I saw was amazing, and I know that is the true you!

Blue said...

perhaps it's just winter blah, but i haven't been blogging much lately. just writing in my journal, and bumbling along on my own. but yesterday when i was bemoaning the lack of "progress" in my life in overcoming various things, i stumbled upon a talk that really helped me see the journey i've been on in a completely new way. it's 17 pages long (would be shorter without pictures) printed out, but i was so happy to have found it. i'm attaching a link to it in case you'd like to read it sometime. might help you reframe the path you've been on, and the road ahead too.

the talk

hang in there m'dear! ♥

"And so our stories go..." said...

ah, your blog today is so poignant. Five years is a long time but a blink of the eye in the big picture. Your words made me think about a lot of my life, too.
Chin up and march on--that's all we can do.
Mary

momentsinaneye said...

Good morning, I too had a hard time getting into this web site. Glad to Know that I wassn't the only one. Hope you have a great day. Coming to you by way of SITS. Thanks for letting me visit.

MONICA-LnP said...

great post!chin up march on!!
thanks for sharing.
stopping by from SITS

Kimberly said...

You are only going to get better! I am a new follower.

Jenn said...

Stopping by from SITS

Your post today is so inspiring. My dad passed away 4 1/2 years ago, and I've been thinking about him a lot lately. Thank you for letting us share in your own journey of healing!

Debbie in Nashville said...

Very inspiring! I hope things get better for you!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm so glad to know you're moving forward.

blueviolet said...

You're finally starting to heal and that's a very good thing!

I was right behind you at SITS this morning and I'm glad I came over!

Zoomingmamma said...

Live for today, tomorrow will come all by itself! Very thought provoking blog!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Stopping by from SITS! What a piece!

The Mommyologist said...

Having almost lost both of my parents in the past three years, I know how you have to appreciate each and every day for what it is! I hope that things continue to improve for you!

Happy SITS Sharefest!

Molly said...

I wish you peace as you work through all this!

stopping by from SITS, great blog.

Melissa B. said...

Sending positive vibes your way...SITS sent me by, and I'm glad they did!

Word Vomit Extraordinaire

Yaya said...

5 years is a long time to be carrying around this weight. (((hugs))) that you are able to overcome!

Aleta said...

A lot of truth to your post. It brought back a story that helps me to keep things in perspective....

A man is given a sack to carry on his shoulders. He is told that for every time that someone does something to him that upset him, to put a rock in the sack. And he does so. You can imagine the sack gets very heavy to carry, a big burden of all the hurts done to him.

Then, the man is told, "Every time that you forgive a person for the wrongs they did to you, remove a rock from the sack." And yes, the sack was easier to carry.

When we forgive, we don't just do it for the other person... we do this to unburden ourselves as well. To forgive is to free us of the harm.

hellosweetworld said...

You can do it girl! I have faith in you. Life can be hard sometimes but one has to just pick themselves up and stay positive. I know it's easier said than done but life is always better when there's a positive outlook. Write down a few things each night that you loved about the day and that's a sure way to help!

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Nothing but good can come out of such positive thinking.

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