Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Be Closer than They Appear
I had the opportunity to speak again this week. Speaking to strangers. I always question if it’s worth doing that. The story. My story.
To be known. We all desire this in our soul. I deny this need a lot. I tell myself I don’t need it. That it’s better and safer to just put up a big wall. Keep people at a significant arms length. That no one really cares to know the whole story.
But then someone else took the lead and shared before me. A very different story then my own. None of the components of theirs really matched mine, but I still really connected with it. I have learned a deep and meaningful lesson about people that have the “perfect” look on the outside. From the surface, you would never guess their story.
That was this situation as well. There was a whole life underneath the marriage, the children, the successful job at a Fortune 500 company and the “connected” friends and social circle.
But what I really came here to say is how surprised I am that so much of that story is still “alive”. I can retell some of these stories from close to twenty years ago now (and some even longer than that) like it was yesterday. There are parts of it that feel like it was yesterday as well. And while I keep it absolutely contained and professional, I feel like those days are just feet away from me as I tell it.
Tones of voice, conversations, tensions in the air, inflections still feel like I can reach out and touch them.
Is that the way it’s supposed to be? After thousands of dollar in therapy and years of my life? if not, then what should it be? I’ve heard people use a metaphor of “Instead of vivid living color, it diminishes to black and white”
For the next day and and a half, I felt that haunting feeling again. And this was post Halloween if that’s what you’re thinking. Like all day at work, it was trying to just sneak up on me and tap me on the shoulder. I laid in the dark that night, waiting to fall asleep, feeling vigilant. With those old haunted conversations still replaying in my head.
For today, I think it was worth the opportunity to be known. To share what I have learned. To educate other people. To prove to myself that others can still love me despite how unloved and unlovable I once was. That people don’t view me with a scarlet letter, and horror, or fleeing out of their inability to understand.