Monday, August 25, 2008

Making a Mesh of Things.

These last few weeks have been really hard for me emotionally. On different days, or sometimes all within the same day, I find myself being the emotional equivalent of a 5 year old or a teenager or a young adult. Other days I feel like I'm a hundred and wise as the ages. My inner perfectionist with her black and white thinking is having an incredibly hard time with how messy emotions can be and the thousand shades of grey there are in life.

My creative side has taken the word enmeshment and run with it. I'm seeing my relationships, my history, my environment and everything else as one big piece of mesh. All the individual strands have been woven in by me, but some I've included because I've been told they're necessary or I've grabbed them up blindly from what's been lying around. Now I'm faced with the task of unpicking the no longer necessary strands without endangering the structure as a whole.

The hardest part for me is figuring out which bits are actually my strands. Not all strands I've picked up or been given by others are bad, but I need to work out which ones I no longer use or need. And with each strand I discard I feel like I'm betraying other people. Each strand that is uniquely mine I'm having trouble recognising as worthwhile. For so long I've defined myself by how others see me and how I interact with them that I'm not sure how to stand up and say "Hey this is me. Like it or lump it. Accept or not, I'm still gonna be me."

One moment I feel like a bull in a china shop. I'm bludgeoning everything in sight with my self assertions. Other times I feel like a mosquito in a tornado. No matter how much fuss I put up, I'm swept away by everyone's disinterest. And like that poor beleagured mosquito, I'm tired. I'm sure this is a good sign that I'm getting down into the gritties and my safeguard alarms are blaring like all hell has been let loose. I have to keep rooting out and tearing away those strands. I NEED to know who I am. I need to see my family, my friends, the world as an adult. I can't keep hiding as a child. By can't I mean can not do it any longer. I'm more tired of reacting to old cues and buttons than I am tired of digging.

Sorry this is kinda vague and rambly today, but I'm trying to make sense of how I'm going to grow up without feeling like I'm losing my family and sense of place in the world. I feel like I'm riding free without my training wheels for the first time. But, unlike riding a bike without training wheels, where you're reasonably sure if you peddle hard you'll stay upright, I feel something completely different. I feel like the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Before I can ride the bike I first have to find out what is a bike? And each part of me is blind and groping for its best understanding of what a bike is. And of course, they all disagree.

My inner perfectionist is freaking the fuck out. She wants everything laid out in completely square lines for the mesh that makes up me. Funny thing is though, if I wanna make a solid safety net, the lines can't run endlessly at ninety degrees to each other else I won't be able to twist it up from flat on the ground without breaking it. Tangles are messy. But knots are a form of tangles. And if I carefully unravel the tangles I can leave supporting knots in place rather than ones that put a chokehold on growth.

And perhaps I could even ride a grown up bike. ;)

1 Nibbles:

cmae said...

What a beautiful metaphor. I am so with you on the inner perfectionist. She's a stubborn little thing, stomping her feet when her neat definitions don't fit the world around her, when situations bleed outside the lines she's drawn around them. It is so hard to let go of that. You have to live through it, you can't just do it. I don't know if that makes any sense. You are doing so well. Thanks for sharing your process.