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As I get further in honesty and respect for myself, I am realizing that a lot of what my hands do is out of feelings of fear. I am often fearful of the not doing, so I do to ward off fear. Not doing a thing makes me question what I should be doing instead. I have the urgency to rush to do something else then, if I can’t do the other. Yes, I get that priorities could be discussed; but I want to stick with the idea of not doing and the mind’s scramble to understand how that could possibly be. I am going to stick with not warding off fear by doing. Today, the not doing, the not running, will have to be okay; although I am still doing my doing something else probably out of at least a little fear. Darn it!

After grounding in the sun against the refrigerator, it occurred to me to look again at the previous week. I had to think all the way back to the 25th to get a handle on today. Well, duh! It had been nine days since I could really rest. Okay, I require down-time after six days. I was three days overdue being left the heck alone by outside forces. Now, I did have days off work, so I wasn’t super tired or murderous. I think this is partly how I missed just letting myself chill for the day without internal drama. I was busy everyday even without work. Oh, yeah, I was, wasn’t I? This is normal life for most people. Not so for me over the last three years. I have posted before that I suck at remembering what I have just been through. Yup, extreme ups and downs, already forgotten. Duh, you are worn out. The body remembers, but the mind does not. WTH? (Well, unless it is huge or repetitive, then ya, I don’t forget even when I should.)

I am going to briefly back up to Tuesday, January 26th. I promise to get back to why what my hands do is so important to my survival. This part is foundation for that behavior. In this case my body and my mind were screaming bloody murder: silently.

I have had my job for 14 years. I have known almost everyone I work with for that long. When I came to this place of employment I was not super forth coming about myself on personal things. I was not, had not, been married nor had any children. I presented younger than I was and never indicated my educational level nor my aspirations. I had recently relocated to the state to care for my grandmother.

Almost nothing that people thought about me on personal things were true. I had been married. I had a child. I was much older than I looked. I was educated and my grandmother wanted to keep an eye on me. I was full of shame, pain, fear, loss, and doubt. The worst was that I had left my child behind. I wouldn’t have let him, given safe options, but there weren’t any. To this day, close to 14 years later, neither my child nor I see how I could have done it any differently.

About three years into my time there, I brought him to see where I worked and introduce him to everyone. Literally EVERYONE I could find that I worked with. He met maybe 100 people that day. My co-workers fell over seeing me coming toward them with a 10 year old looking exactly like me. Yes, I was divorced and this is my child.

There are still a few who give me the business about that. Over the years as relationships developed they learned why I kept it secret. Until a few years ago, like 4 or 5, they were gracious to not ask or talk about him much.  I was fine to talk divorce, but not children except for theirs. My recent history came to light little by little with a few here and there. My education came out somewhere along the line. After my grandmother died I opened up about my aspirations.

Then came cancer. I was in my current position about nine months when the diagnosis came. Let me tell you, was that divine intervention. No doubt about it. God gave me the family that I would need for the next 7, 8, maybe 9 years. My co-workers saw me through all of the cancer stuff, a year and a half of schooling, and then a mental health break down. I am emerging from a three year recovery from the biggest crash of my life. I’ve been difficult. Letting loose of the things that can kill you almost does.

My last secret was innocently outed on a celebratory bulletin board. I was horrified. I almost removed it. I hoped no one would notice. I hoped no one would make anything about it. I cursed myself for not taking time off. I considered calling in sick. I nearly WAS sick. I didn’t sleep the night before. I could barely get out of bed in the morning. It took all I had to get in the shower. I cried loudly in the shower. I howled. I begged for something to happen. Me liquefying and going down the drain, a migraine, a fire, a bomb scare, a call-off, dying would have worked.

None of these things happened. I sobbed my way out of the shower, into clothes, into the car, into the garage, into the building, into the locker room, into my work space, and looked a wreck all day. Everyone went out-of-their-friggin-way to be absolutely wonderful. My mobile pinged all day from comments on social media. Pink flowers, cards, gifts, food (in the form of ordering out just for me), cake, hugs, and meal sharing were bestowed upon me. I nearly died a thousand deaths.

Maybe those thousand deaths did really occur. Maybe they needed to. Maybe my birthday got outed so that I could have a major freak out with nowhere to go and have to verbalize that I am not entitled something so nice, that is was dangerous to want to celebrate me, that is was bad to expect or hope for such attention, and certainly not every year, or just for me. How dare I. I was terrified for days. I still feel a little shocky and I cry as I type.

Everyone was wonderful. I hope their affection worked to break this horrible terror, acute sadness, and soul-murdering shame I feel on this day every year.