To my dear Naty que me ensina tanto com cada encontro em nem imagina como...Pela beleza de seu exemplo, pela força que ela carrega sem arrogância, sem pomposidades...
This may very well be one of the most important things I will write this year.
And what a year it has been, come to mention it. One year ago to now, I simply can’t make anyone realize how sacred it all has been and how slowly but surely, I have been touching on and working through so many difficult past “karma”, if you will.
I’ve been very aware of the amount of grief and anger that has been following my path recently, a path that anyone could easily and simply classify as “good”. Many achievements, much growth, much health.
More confidence, less panic, new relationships, coming to peace with past ghosts, midway through a graduate level course, beginning new course, new dreams, etc.,etc. etc. etc...
So what’s up with the above mentioned grief and anger? I have to start my psychotherapy internship this semester and I came upon it with much strife and hostility, with an almost child-like temper tantrum, I’d dare say. It came with such strentgh and resonated so loudly I had to step back and say, wait a second.
Wait one damn second, please, something’s screaming for attention here.
So, I’ve been paying attention for the last few weeks and today managed to reach a breakthrough as I was driving home from one more supervision session (where I finally admitted the possibility of beginning the internship and where everyone said, “fantastic!”) As I drove home that voice of indignation started rising up in me, stirring from deep within. I tried to ignore it, tried to say, “hey hey, there’s no need for this”, but it came anyway and, without a second’s notice I found myself wiping tears from my face.
I finally understood. I AM GRIEVING.
I am grieving a maya and a way of being that is no longer needed in my life. I saw myself, as if I were 2 maya’s, and we looked at each other.
The other one was angry and felt abandoned. Her clothes torn, her eyes swollen and her face tear-streaked.
“So what does this mean”, she asked, “you don’t love me anymore?”
As I quietly looked and listened to her pain, she continued:
“People are so much happier without ME, with YOU.”
She was jealous as all hell and I finally, FINALLY, realized the gigantic reality of so much jealousy. Me, jealous of me?
“I’m so sorry”, I cried, “I’m so sorry, but I have to let you go...This doesn’t mean I don’t love you, but please, I need to let you go. You didn’t get the attention you needed, you are starving for so many things and so scared, but I’m not like that anymore. There is help now, there is attention, there is safety. I can’t hold on to you anymore, darling darling maya.”
I felt like I was leaving her to die.
Which, when you think about it, I am. Don’t come and sugar-coat it with beautiful words like metamorphosis or growth or maturation or anything else you might come up with. I am leaving her on her own, and she is terrified.
I am terrified.
I am telling her this is no longer necessary, and I am terrified.
I am becoming someone I don’t know all that well and leaving behind someone I know like the back of my hand.
And don’t even try to say that this new mature me will be able" to nurture the older, needy me", because that’s not true either. She knows the truth, I know the truth.
All of this gave me a much more profound respect for this anger that surges whenever I see myself before opportunities for “growth”, such as becoming an independent professional educated free thinking working loving mature adult. I get so confused as to why all of this provokes so much distress and usually end up concludng that I must be a coward or just plain lazy or proud, but none of that quite makes sense either. I know I’m not a lazy person, I know I am brave. So what’s the deal?
Yesterday I discussed this with a friend, the puzzling enigma of emotions and contradictory reactions and she said something that enlightened me and kept with me until today and my car epiphany. She told me quite bluntly – hey, respect the fear, growing up hurts! It’s not easy and it’s not without pain. Then she told me that during her pregnancy she would cry and cry with the newfound demand of personal maturing she was being called upon to do.
As soon as she said that something in me shifted and I realized – it IS hard! I have always considered her as such a mature wonderful grown-up that it never occured to me for one moment that she might have cried like I do in the process.
I am being called upon to grow up and of course, there is an element of choice... I can choose to remain stuck in this place for as long as I can take it, but I will be losing many opportunities that are right in front of me to be happier and better adjusted with life in general. I will lose people I love, I will lose activities that will move me forward, I will do myself harm.
So, I get where I’m coming from whenever someone starts complimenting me and my wonderful superpowers and I immediately want to show my fangs and scream at them. I understand the seriousness of my hostility and also understand why I shy away from as much recognition as possible, ESPECIALLY from people who have lived with me during my dark phases or who have the slightest notion of where I come from (and within these, especially especially my mother). Those are the worst compliments, because maya feels extremely resentful and extremely jealous. I guess that’s why I learn how to cook secretly and whenever decide to try something new, also decide it at a moment’s whim and don’t leave it much open to discussion...I also resent with passion people who talk to me about growth and other such subjects without ever having gone through something that I can consider “a hard time”, or that haven’t actually experienced emotional turmoil to the extent that I have. I know that can sound quite arrogant, but I know that I need to protect my experience from those who can’t quite get it or respect it.
It sucks, frankly, but there it is. I cannot hang on to her any longer because I want so much else out of life, and there is so much possible if I just let go.