I moved to the US when I was a small child, Spanish was my first language, and English was my second. A part of the English language I have never mastered is idioms, phrases, and expressions. A week before the New Year was coming about, I was having a helluva day and as tough as it was, what I thought was “Two steps forward, one step back.” I stopped and thought to myself, “Is that the right way to say it?” I believe the more common expression is, “One step forward, two steps back.” The former us dealing with the story of a frog trying to get out of a well and the later more well known as being used by Lenin in his work “The Crisis in Our Party”. The day I was having a week or so ago, as bad as it was, I still felt that overall my life was moving in the right direction and that I was making progress like the frog in the well. Life is sometimes about getting up, brushing our dirty knees off, and taking those small steps.
I’ve got a lot of good things happening in my life. I have a new job with good benefits, where I am treated with respect and valued, I have a new home and regained privacy, and I have my family and friends who love me and support and encourage me during hard times. The first time in over three years I had both of my daughters with me at the same time and we spent the entire last week of December exploring New York City together. Some people talk about family, biological and chosen, and too often there is the either/or and not both. Worse is that there are some people who have neither, but hold onto a façade. I think how sad it is that a person has to create a false truth surrounding their family, biological or other. It is when I think of this that I feel so deeply and see so clearly how very much I have to be grateful for in my life right now. I hear my leather sister’s voice and it says, “You have to make space in your life for good to happen.” It’s not always easy, but I do it anyway. I’ve been taking steps forward.
As much as I have to be grateful for I also believe in allowing myself to feel sadness when it comes in my life. I understand part of what makes me beautiful is my vulnerability. Part of my healing is remembering that I am whole hearted and that my goodness is not a flaw. It is a work in progress to trust again, because someone hurt me, tried to destroy the little girl in me, and… you know it is like their world was dark and they wanted to steal my light. I was something new, shiny, sparkly, and I have a unique way of connecting to the world that is quiet, yet vibrant all at once. A Daddy understands that about a girl, but scary stuff is that so do predators… Finding a Leather Daddy in M/s who can care for and nurture a girl is a very rare thing. What brought all these feelings, and one step backward was The Journal. I was in my new home and all was going great, then I decided to take a break from unpacking. I felt so good that I had managed to assemble my bed all on my own, so I thought I would lay on it and watch a video on my pc. I opened a box marked “books” thinking that I didn’t have many dvd’s, so I must have packed them in with the books. Instead what I found was that journal. The one he gave me, “The Angry Book.” Instead of putting it down I held it and read the only two pages left behind with any writing.
January 15, 2014
The Angry Book (an excerpt)
Sadness overwhelms me.
This is the house of tears.
Sorrow, so much sorrow.
This is the house of tired & weary.
Why don’t I leave?
It is finally bad enough.
He wants me gone.
He wants me out.
I wish I had strength.
He is a disappointment.
I am his disappointment.
He makes his exit plan.
I make mine.
I cried in my new room and it was okay. I sat there and thought how long it has been that I was able to cry and let go. It’s a hard thing to do when you have no privacy. I felt the two steps forward, the one step back. I have my own room, privacy, a place to let myself go, to cry. The one step back, the holding on to the book and reading it.
At work that same week I had my phone stolen. I was rather upset because I have every reason to believe a co-worker most likely stole it. This happened literally right after I got off work and was heading to The Center to meet with my therapist Christine. I walked to my therapist’s office and I suddenly became emotional during the process of explaining why I was 20 minutes late. Telling her about the stolen phone made me cry. I puzzled myself as I thought out loud about, “Why would a stupid phone upset me so much? It’s just a phone, its material, it can be replaced!” After a few minutes I realize it’s not about a stolen phone and that it’s about someone yet again shattering my belief that people are inherently & generally good… like me! I keep coming across people I can’t trust that I thought I should have been able to trust. I get some perspective and realize not all people are unworthy of trust. Again a step forward.
Then I tell Christine about The Angry Book. She asked me why I still feel the need to keep it. I tried to explain it’s to help me remember why I can never be this person’s friend. I told my leather sister jade about the book incident and she stopped me in my tracks and took over the conversation. I listened to her as she told me why I needed The Angry Book. I found comfort in hearing her speak, because without my saying much of anything she knew exactly why I kept it. Some people will never understand emotional abuse. The physical abuse has been easy to put behind me, but the physiological and emotional abuse is a struggle. It rears up even when I am taking two steps forward. I made a deal with my therapist about the book. I said I would wrap it in brown shipping paper and place it on a shelf. This way I have it to remember, but also I don’t have to read it anymore. I don’t have to forget, but I don’t have to bring myself that sorrow either.
I thought about not sharing this entry in my blog. There is that part of me that wants to “only write about happy things”, but I know that is wrong. I remind myself I am allowed to feel emotions, period. I find my balance of yin-yang is good and appropriate. I am still going through a process and there is no right speed to recover from the harm done to me. It’s okay. In my head and even better is that in my heart I do feel that I am the frog in the well, taking two steps forward…
It was two steps forward, only one step back. I am making progress.