What’s In An Opinion?

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I have always liked people.

Anyone who really knows me, knows it’s kind of my nature to try to put others before myself. Sometimes I’m clumsy about it, often I appear to just be trying too hard. OK– yeah, I try too hard.  Always I just want others to know they are important, that they matter. If no one ever tells them that, well, I want them to know they matter to me.

But.

There are times when the harsh cruelty of others knocks the wind out of me and I temporarily lose sight of my heart’s main focus. Maybe it’s like a spotlight on certain behaviors and treatment of me, and everything else dims while my mind works to process it. It’s unfamiliar territory for me. Sometimes it takes days, even weeks, before I realize what’s happened. I’m slow to react. I’ve never understood how anyone can decide they don’t like me, as a person, just because I view life differently than they do. It catches me off-guard when someone positions themselves as though they are above me just because they don’t like what I believe or I do.

I used to think that I need to explain myself. But recently it suddenly struck me: I don’t owe anyone any explanations. Their opinions do not make them superior to me, no matter how much they believe they are.

Just like with anyone, all I have ever wanted was to be known outside of judgement. Could those who look down on me live my experiences and end up as I am now? When I look back over my life, I am so surprised by the success I have become. Not famous, not special, not super talented or even kind of known.

I am loved. I have a handful of people in my life I can count on. I have a husband who has, for whatever reason, decided to stick by me, even through times I consider worst. I am not at my best. My ex-husband abandoned me at a time when I was not at my best. This man, he stands by me. And he actually likes me. I am well aware that I do not deserve him. I don’t believe I have ever been so grateful for anyone. Not only does he know me, he knows my story. If it wasn’t enough for me to tell it to him, he’s heard things first hand from my dad and mom. There is not another person who knows me as well as my husband.

And he still loves me.

My relationship with my mom has gone through some repairs, and it’s stronger I think, now, than ever in my life. We talked through some major things, and we learned so much that we both just didn’t know about some horrible life events and circumstances. I have her permission to write about my childhood traumas, now that my dad has passed on.

Reliving those things I have forced to the back of my memory, that’s what has held me back. I cringe at the thought of reliving so many things.

Since my dad’s passing, I have felt this new freedom to miss him. There is no more frantic fear of what he will say or do. No more added reasons to need to release forgiveness to him. No reasons to work through hatred or hurt. It’s all in a neat tidy package now ready for me to deal with, with no added pressure or painful experiences.

I’ve spent years writing circles around things, because I didn’t want to upset my parents or else I just haven’t wanted to look at what’s in the middle of the circle. It’s time to dive in.

How did I get to this rabbit hole from the beginning of this blog post? I’m recognizing a common link. I loved my dad, I always had this lingering hope we’d someday, somehow, have a healthy relationship. But, because of how he often treated me, I have let others look at me through the same horrible opinions my dad saw me through. I have had myself convinced that others have a right to question me or treat me as though I’m an idiot.

I  have nothing to prove or explain, and I have nothing to fear now by talking about my past.

I’ll be moving forward as I look backward and share some very hard times. I’m hoping there will be some who will travel the journey of my life with me. Going through it alone once was enough. I’d love and appreciate some company this time around.

 

 

 

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