I have changed and I am the first person to admit it. I changed because life happened and it happened to me all at once. Lately and in the past few months, I feel like I am detached from the rest of the world and everything around me. I feel I am not really living my life but I am watching it happen in front of my eyes like a stranger looking in. Everything around me is moving and spinning and I am in a daze but standing still. I feel like I don’t have a grasp on life and I don’t know how reach for that grasp.
When I try to reach out, I feel all my emotions spinning me around and I am not able to contain myself. Sometimes, it is sadness, sometimes anger, sometimes fear, and sometimes happiness. But I still can’t get a grasp on what is happening. I also feel that I am invisible to everyone around me. They can see me but they cannot even begin to understand my emotions, my numbness and my emptiness.
Sometimes, I am not even sure where I am at. Is it a dream or is it real? I have been dealt some really tough blows in recent months and sometimes all I want to do is cry even though the tears won’t come. Other times, I just want to lash out and I don’t know who to lash out at. I am angry and sad about a lot of things including the things I wish didn’t happen, for things that can’t make me feel whole again, for the emotions that I know have, for the things I have tried to change but couldn’t, for all I have lost, for the things I can’t fix about myself, and for the areas in my life where I failed. It is like I can’t remember who I am and how I got lost.
The fact is I really know, without a doubt, who I am. I am a person who keeps going despite the hard times and the blows. I am stronger than most people I know and I endure. I thought that after my brother died I couldn’t be that person anymore. The truth is, I have been that person all along. The difference is that it has been awkward trying to find that person again and I have found myself stumbling more often than I would have in past. The thing is I can’t help who I am. I am always running 50 steps ahead of everyone in my life. I sometimes forget that not everyone is like me. I don’t stop to rest and by the time I have made it to the top, I am too tired to celebrate my victory. I wish that I could change that about me but it is who I am.
While people in my life look at that person with admiration, I don’t know whether I can admire myself or feel sorry for myself. All I know, I go forward because I have to, not because I want to. Half the time, I don’t know whether I am coming or going. That is what it has been like for the past few months. So much has happened and I am trying to be a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend to everybody in my life. I am sad for the things I have lost but can be happy for the things I have gained. I have learned to hold my own, I have a better relationship with my mother and siblings than I have ever did in the past, and I have learned to focus on the present and to let go of the past.
This past week has been pretty busy for me as well. Mom left overseas on Sunday and since Thursday, I have been dealing with a huge tree in her backyard that fell after the past storm. It is an interesting story to say the least. The most interesting part is trying to figure out whether it is her tree or not. She did not want to leave and I told her too promising I would take care of it because I know if my brother were alive, he would have told her the same thing. As a family, we also made a decision to move forward for a lawsuit related to my brother’s illness. It was not an easy choice but after many months of pondering, the answer finally came. That is another project for me to deal with. My master’s degree is will be complete in eight weeks. I don’t have any plans for further educational pursuits. I am happy where I am at in my job so I am just going to focus from this point forward. I am focusing on my kids, my family, my career and my advocacy work. As far as where I am at when it comes to marriage – that is up in the air. I don’t know what is going to happen. I just know that I walked away a changed person and the person I am now isn’t going to make the same mistakes I made before.
I am learning everyday how to find myself, to love myself, and to be truly happy and I don’t want to go backwards. After my brother passed away, I found myself in a dark place but I understood (and still do) that what happened was a part of life that finds us all. Sometimes, we need a little help getting up and I was fortunate to find that help and ironically, not in the people and places I had expected to find it. I am forever changed to the point from these experiences to a point where I sometimes don’t know who I am.