The Ability to Exhale
Even after meeting Nettl--as miraculous as our relationship is--I couldn't quite relax and, as those of you who have been reading my blog for any length of time know, I've been plagued by what I call my "upon waking panic attacks" for ages.
After my mother died (she lived with us for the last four years of her life), I experienced a genuine sense of relief, not emotionally, but psychologically. She was my mother. I loved her. But she perpetrated and allowed all kinds of abuse in an effort to eradicate the pain of her own abusive childhood. It has taken me the past two-and-a-half years to understand and forgive her, but I will always carry the scars. Because I was so often wakened by both her and by my brother to serve their sick purposes, waking up is difficult for me. That's why I don't relish the idea of going to sleep in the first place. Not hard to analyze that.
But something wonderful has happened, something I've never experienced before: Peace of mind. The panic attacks are gone, unless I'm broadsided out-of-the-blue with a stress ball, and my home life is serene, regardless of the fact that we are a family of 6 and 7, with three teenagers.
When we're young we get bored if there's no drama of some kind to languish over. Now that I'm middle-aged, I avoid it as much as I can. I can at last sit looking out the window on any given day and not have my head full of "what ifs" and "what nows". Some of you may not be able to understand what a precious thing that is, especially if you were blessed with a relatively peaceful life. Hold it close to you and thank God for it. Thank your parents, your siblings, your spouse and kids. Thank yourself. Now that I have tasted a tiny part of it I'm going to relish and nurture it. It can be demolished in the wink of an eye.
Thank you Nettl, for giving me the most precious gift of all: the ability to exhale.
Labels: Waxing Philosophical