Don't get me wrong, there's always been an underlying insecurity when I write. Whether it be this blog, stories for books, or articles for websites, there's a mental back and forth of *sobbing into my pillow* 'What if people don't like it?' to *shaking my fist in the air* 'Screw what people think!' because heaven forbid a middle ground of 'Here I am, I hope you like me, but I'm still totally ok if you don't' can't possibly exist in my world.
Remember that scene in Tangled when Rapunzel realizes she's free from the treehouse and runs around the woods having a mental breakdown of extreme thoughts while Flynn Rider quietly watches from afar? That pretty much encompasses almost any day in our marriage.
I know what you're thinking and I agree...Ron's ridiculous, standing there all quiet and rational while I ramble anxiety ridden thoughts and cry. It's almost like helping.
I'll frequently hear podcasts and sermons that hit me square on the head and I feel God nudge me to get back to writing. Or is that Satan wanting me to make people hate me?
Mind your business, Flynn Rider. I got sh*t to sort.
I've taken every personality test I can find to learn why I am the way I am so I can figure out how to fix me. Depending on which test we're talking about, I'm either a Beaver, which means I have high standards, desire order, put unrealistic expectations on myself, and lack flexibility.
Or I'm an Extroverted Introvert, which basically means I prefer solitude but can manage to function in society without making too much of a mess of myself, albeit barely. But then another test listed me as an Herbivore, indicating I'm extremely sociable and prefer large groups. We're gonna file that test under 'Load of Crap' because how can you label me an Herbivore when I believe salad is of the devil and I answered 'STEAK' to your, 'What would you order at a restaurant' question? Sorry, but the Beaver in me says that doesn't make sense. That test also kept referring to me as a man, so there's that.
The results of my Spiritual Gifts test are Discernment and Exhortation. That basically means, my gifts are the ability to read through bull crap and then tell you how to fix it, which also means my spiritual gifts are the 2 most hated on the list. Kinda lines up with the whole Beaver thing, and why solitude should be my social scene of choice for the safety of everyone.
I already know that someone is going to want to lecture me on what Discernment and Exhortation is supposed to really mean and I'll ask you to kindly save it. I googled it. It's right. I'm simply paraphrasing. Part of my process is learning to use my gifts for good and not evil. Like Batman.
Most recently, I took the Enneagram test. My top 2 personality types are 6 and 4. It says I should read the descriptions for each and choose the one that best fits me. So let me break it down for ya:
Type 6: Devoted, trustworthy, reliable, and great at problem solving, but sometimes they are themselves with worst case scenarios.
Worst case scenarios? Me? Never.
Type 4: Unique, creative, and deep, but they can sometimes be dramatic and get lost in their feelings.
DRAMATIC?!? Lost in my FEELINGS?!? *psh* As.If.
Come on. I'm just trying to figure out who I am and these Google tests screw with me as much as my own thoughts.
So I started seeing a therapist.
That's right. I said what I said.
If I were a Psychiatrist, and let's face it, I should be, then I would appreciate my client saving me an hour trying to explain all the obvious crap. So, the first day, I came right out and told her who I am according to Google, what my issues are, specifically everything in my past that caused them and then my daily mental battle in a nutshell; I'm either not enough or I'm too much.
Therapist: "So. You've done your research."
No need to waste each other's time. Just please fix me.
My whats and my whys don't need to be written here. Maybe some day. But I will tell you what she's told me about myself so far.
1. I'm not crazy. (No, seriously, she said I'm not. She also said I should probably stop referring to myself as a Beaver in general conversation, so I'll consider that, too.)
I'm actually an Empath. Meaning; I walk into a room and pick up on every emotion in that room.
Anger? I feel ya. Anxiety? Oh, please come play in my brain. Disappointment? I'm sorry, whoever you are. I've obviously let you down. Judgement? I know. I deserve it. Hostility? Target: me. Escape, Escape, Escape. Sadness? I'll tear up right now...or worse, desperately attempt to lighten the mood by making you laugh.
You might be surprised how many times that backfires.
*revert back to anger*
So when I'm teaching classes at the gym, I'm riding high on the waves of upbeat music and the intensity of my classes and co-workers energy. I love my fitness people, who have been known to describe me as bubbly, outgoing, enthusiastic, and fun. I hope I am those things.
When I'm doing Massage Therapy, I'm in an environment of peace, surrounded by candlelight and enveloped in instrumental worship music, while I physically absorb everything my client is feeling whether for good or for bad. I love my massage clients, who if I had to guess, might describe me as quiet, introspective, thoughtful, and calm. I hope I am those things.
Both jobs bring me joy.
Both jobs exhaust me physically and emotionally.
I wouldn't trade either one for anything in the world.
But they're on extreme ends of the personality spectrum.
2. I'm not a mistake and I wasn't made wrong. (Hey, I'm not convinced either...a
According to her, God made me this way, with these gifts, so that I'd have the complete set of tools to help other people. The problem is, my whats and my whys from my past have wounded me, caused me to turn those gifts inward, and instead of using those tools to help people, I use them to punish myself.
She said her therapy goal is not to change me. Instead, she's going to remind me who God says I am, help me to trust in who He created me to be, and then teach me to cope in my world of extremes with balance and confidence.
Flynn Rider would probably really appreciate that.
So why am I writing this?
Because last week I read a blog post from a friend who hadn't posted a blog in over a year, and her struggles as to why hit so close to home that I realized, it isn't just me. So I reached out to her and we chatted and she told me about a writer who wrote a book on the writing process and she explained the hardest part of writing is getting your butt in the chair, because that's when all of our neuroses kick in.
Then all writers are borderline psychotic? Because that is possibly the best news I've heard all day. Maybe Ron should start a Spouses of Writers support group...but they'd probably just sit around calmly staring at each other in their world of zero-thoughts-serenity, so what's the point?
Consider this a baby step in stripping away some labels and finding some balance. I'm going to put myself out there and let you see underneath a few of the layers of who I am. Then I'm going to post it. (Maybe. Probably. We'll see.) Then I'm going to walk away and let it be.
So let's just address the things that will wake me up tonight at 3am:
I've offended someone with what I've written.
If that's the case, please forgive me and know it wasn't intentional.
Someone could use my vulnerability against me.
If that happens, I acknowledge that I have no control over that, and I have a super great therapist if they do, sooo...isss cool.
Someone might change their opinion of me.
If so, feel free to just not tell me that, k? (For all I know, it might've confirmed things you already suspected.)
Ron says he just wants me to be me. Which is basically the worst thing you can say to a Beaver/Herbivore/6/4/Discerning Exhorter, like myself.
So, with the help of my therapist, I'm on the journey of sifting through the wounds, and the scars, and the lies, to explore the truth of who the real me is:
Me is a child of God. Me is saved by grace. Me has been forgiven. Me is fierce. (In a good way, mostly.) Me is a roller coaster that few can fully understand. Me has a safe place named Ron, who promises to never get off the ride. Me loves her family. Me is thankful. Me was created for a purpose. Me is submitting to the process. Me is finding balance. Me is trying. Most importantly, Jesus loves Me.
Aaaand Me wants to write again.
So. I'm really sorry if you came here to laugh today and this is a downer. I just felt an urging to let you in on the very real struggle that I'm dealing with right now and I'm going to stop being ashamed of it, because for all I know, someone might read this and realize it's ok to need some help.
Unfortunately, this isn't a blog entry that concludes and wraps up in a neat little bow. There might be more parts coming in the future. Or there might not. Admittedly, my journey through therapy might be much less entertaining than my boob job or tummy tuck. Or maybe not. Regardless, I'll be back with something stupid to make you laugh before you know it.
In the meantime, if anything I've said resonates with you and you need someone to talk to, I'm right here. I'm not as scary as the personality tests say I am. Hopefully.