I feel good about myself today because…
Something just hit me. Do we need a reason? Do I feel good about myself because I lost 20 pounds, or because I am having a good hair day? Those things are transitory, and the thrill is lost within a short space of time. Does my feeling good about myself come down to such detritus, and if so, why? There has to be more; a solid foundation for self-esteem to flourish. I feel good about myself today because a friend (a very devoted friend), called out that she loved me from her car. I called back my adoration, and it left me with a smile. I walked two little girls into school, and enjoyed hearing their banter and giggles. I feel good about myself today because I actually remembered to feed myself breakfast, and felt I was worth the effort of preparing a juice. I feel good about myself because I cleared the calendar and have a day in the office to get paperwork completed so I don’t feel overwhelmed. I always feel good about myself when I look to the future and make preparations. There is nothing like laying your head on your pillow at night, knowing you have taken steps to prepare the road ahead. I have life insurance so my child is provided for, I have a budget for next week. I have my social plans on the calendar. These things make me feel good. I feel good that I caught myself this morning. I was watching the morning news when the Oscar Pistorius verdict flashed onto the screen. Not guilty… My breath caught in my chest, and a tightness gripped my lungs. Tears sprang in my eyes. I was overwhelmed with emotion, for Reeva’s family. I caught sight of the hurt and angry women’s right’s advocates gathered outside the courthouse. Some of these women had endured horrors of their own. One glimpse into their faces was all it took. “I got you,” I assured myself. I listened to Sia, and sat for a while, gathered my thoughts and concentrated on my breathing. I feel good about myself because I know what my triggers are. I know how to soothe the pain that bubbles up, and I know how to temper it. I refuse to turn away and be uninformed because of it, so I have had to devise tools to cope. The reasons I feel good about myself today have nothing to do with appearance. In fact, I am wearing mismatched socks (the only ones I could find), a men’s jacket found in an op-shop and old boots. The reason I feel good about myself is that I am hearing what I need, and providing it. Love, security, peace of mind, comfort.
Winter, it’s here again. Yesterday heralded the changing seasons, brutally and abruptly. The sky was grey, and morning and dusk were shrouded in a fog. The rain poured down, and the wind was icy. No easing into this season. The green and vibrancy of the garden receded and everything appears to be withering in preparation for death. Before I was abducted all those years ago, when my home was a mouldy old icebox of a room, I recall climbing under the grey blanket, pulling it up to my chin, and hugging my knees to keep warm. I remember the cold. The sort that gets into your marrow. I was so cold in the months leading up to the lightning strike. When I woke on the ground, I was shaking from being utterly exposed. I have never liked winter, and as a child would get as close as I could to our gas heater. I remember the delicious comfort when I was wrapped in foil by the paramedics to entice heat into my broken body. Since my fall, I have dreaded winter. Not only for the abysmal memories, but for the ramping up of my physical pain. Spinal arthritis doesn’t take too kindly to frosty mornings.
The anniversary is coming up, and strangely, I will rejoice. Rejoice that I am here, and my book was published. After this watershed, I will celebrate my daughter’s birthday. She was born in winter. The only event of beauty throughout my life’s winter’s. Her birth has replaced the scarred, knarred horrors. She was born at the tail end of winter, and heralded the arrival of spring, of birds nesting and flowers in bloom. I will go for walks in a coat and hat, make soup and celebrate the best of this season. Time brings healing. I know that winter won’t trumpet the end of my life, as I once feared. I wish I could reach through time and space and tell that young girl.
Today has already been remarkable. A Bowen therapist invited me to her place for a treatment. She has a property on top of a mountain, with a view guaranteed to stun. I haven’t felt so relaxed in a long while. We chatted and laughed, and she remarked that a red-breasted finch was on the windowsill as I lay on the treatment table. I was humbled by her gift this morning, as I am to see a neurosurgeon this afternoon.
Try as I might, I can’t escape the fact that this isn’t any old appointment. I wouldn’t be going to this surgeon if it weren’t for a series of events, a long time ago. I patted the scars dry after my shower this morning. I told my friend, the Bowen lady, all about what had occurred for me to be on her treatment table. I survived, yet the legacy lives on. A day off work for my husband. $220 to see the medicine man. I feel like I am back on a ride. A teacup ride. It promises to be a harmless kiddie adventure, though when the operator sees me, he spins and spins and spins that teacup. I am still spinning. A man broke me many years ago. Today is a part of the journey toward having a future. Surgery may be required. That’s okay. I surrender my anger, my indignation, and accept the unfairness. I feel calm. A Bowen practitioner worked on me this morning. A finch landed on the windowsill and peered into the cabin. I met her goats and saw a vista. I am at peace. I am ready for my appointment.