196 bales of orchard grass hay came from the first cutting of our hayfields. We’ve stacked half, and still need to unload the other haywagon before we can be done. It’s an itchy, sweaty, exhausting job that ends with us all staring blankly and waiting for the blister formation to peak. The woodpile is growing; Justin splits the rounds with the maul while I chop the quarters into stove-sized sticks with the ax. I try to, at least… I’m learning, and miss as often as I manage to land a blow. The toe count still stands at 10, so there’s that at least!
There’s so much going on right now, so many things sitting right on the horizon. A much-needed vacation, new baby goats, the start of the new school year only 5 weeks away. The kids found a birds’ nest containing three of the tiniest baby birds we’ve ever seen. They had barely hatched when they were discovered, and are now fat and feathering. Peeking at the nest is a daily ritual. We watch ‘Human Planet’ on BBC and the kids are captivated, completely enthralled at the look into remote cultures around the world.
In order to start dealing with my guilt issues, I’ve been examining past relationships and seeing where apologies are warranted on my part. When possible, I’m reaching out and giving those apologies. This action has been an absolute godsend in almost every case. Having closure and being able to let go of the guilt related to past falling-outs has led to a lot of apologies being given in return, and many rekindled relationships. It’s been such an unexpected blessing, in every instance except two.
Those wounds are just too fresh. There’s too much hurt associated with these two people, both in what was given and what was received. I can’t distinguish what from what. An attempt to heal one of these friendships ended with every bit of calm rationality (that I thought was rock solid) flying right out the window. I blocked every form of communication, just as much for their sake as for mine.
While trying to digest where things went wrong that day, I realized something. My guilt complex doesn’t just extend to the guilt I put on myself; it reaches to the guilt I put on others too. Not only am I beating myself up over what I’ve done, I’m relentlessly raking others over the coals for what they’ve done to me. Neither one is productive. Neither one is fair. Neither one is worth anything, and I have to take control of this before I can really live beyond my sickness.
I’ve made so much progress lately. Things that would’ve sent me straight over the edge three months ago are manageable; sometimes even enjoyable. I had a ‘normal’ nightmare, which was oddly exhilarating. I was so excited that I woke my husband to tell him. The relief of being (mostly) stable still washes over me at random moments. I was afraid I’d lose the wild creativity that used to come with the highs- now it’s constant, although muted. The minor lows can be quickly rebounded from.
I laugh a lot more now. I’m excited for things. I’m hoping I can use the upcoming time away for introspection, as well as a chance to really focus on two very important guys in my life. I can’t let go of my own guilt until I stop launching it at others like heat-seeking missiles. The constant fight-or-flight response has to be left in the past for good. I’ve said it before, but I didn’t understand it the way I do now. I can do so much better than this.
So much of this process has consisted of finding the sources of my unhealthy responses, addressing them, and rewriting my brain’s code. We haven’t gotten anywhere with my guilt issues yet. I’m realizing that all the therapy in the world isn’t going to do a thing until I stop enabling that screwed-up tendency to wildly blame others while simultaneously hating myself. I’m not sure how to go about fixing this, but I’m going to find a way.
I don’t know if those two friendships can ever be fixed, or at least brought to a peaceful conclusion. I only know that right now I’m not helping things at all. I can’t address that until I’ve gotten a whole lot stronger; and even then, there’s no point to trying unless they decide they want resolution as well. That’s up to them. Right now I need to stop jeopardizing everyone’s progress and just let that pain stay right where it is. Time will either heal those wounds or age them to the point of acceptance. The end result of both scenarios is peace; which is exactly what I set out to find in the first place.