Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Expectations, Judgment and Change...
Forgiveness....The word means a little something more to me today then it did say...last Saturday night....It certainly carries with it the notion now of freedom or release.
For those who know me outside of the context of this blog...the current rap on me among some friends and family members is that I can't or won't separate myself from the "heaviness" of the experiences I have had in my life. It is a fair criticism but one that I am not sure that I can or really even want to change. Think about it a bit...if you have been reading along here at Shell Shock Serenade for any length of time then you certainly realize how something like rape, even one that occurred some 36 years ago totally affects and consumes a person in every single aspect of their life. How does one turn it on and off at will?
Can a person really be expected to go from being completely absorbed in dealing with such a situation as healing from rape or recovering from addiction which requires a total and complete commitment to making the change to flipping a switch and then start talking about sports, the weather or an historical event? It just doesn't work that way for me. I can't do it. I'm either in or out...and I am definately in, all in with this new life...I won't pretend that I am capable of something that I'm not.
Now things are even more delicate because I have become a Christian...and true to form I threw myself into my faith with the zeal of a drowning man clutching at a life ring thrown my way just as I'm going under for the very last time. Why THAT analogy? Because that IS how desperate we are to recover...to HEAL from the experiences that have imprisoned us for so many years...isolating us from loved ones and friends, experiences and society as a whole.
I think what causes the disconnect here is this...most people hear the stories about addiction and even rape or sexual assault and think "how awful" and they just really cannot comprehend what it takes for a person to just survive such a thing. Well surviving isn't even CLOSE to actually healing! As a matter of fact it's barely the begining....It really takes a whole life commitment to actually do it.
If that makes me less pleasant or too intense to be around...well I am not sure what I can do about it...trust me, I'm not trying to be overly serious all the time but it may just work out that way. But inside I don't FEEL serious all the time...no I really get a kick out of the life I live today. There is a great deal of joy that comes with living the life I live today. And my sense of humor is still just as vibrant (and twisted!) as it ever was...
This has been a rather troubling question because I don't want to feel alienated from people I care about but at the same time I cannot be something that I am not. I do not pretend very well any more nor do I want to even try. At the same time I think I am a little more understanding about people who take offense or can't deal with difficult subjects or experiences...even my own. I used to look at them as shallow and weak, living their lives in a bubble with their head buried in the sand and it made me angry that they want to impose THEIR reality on me...well I don't get their reality any more then they get mine...how come I am the one who has to change how I act for everything to be more comfortable?
Then I realized I was being as judgmental about them as I thought they were about me. It isn't their fault they cannot relate to my experiences and you know what...they and I should be thankful they can't relate because there is only one true way to relate...and that's by experience. Yes...perhaps they need some work at accepting others the way they are instead of judging them because they see them as different from themselves and they set themselves up as the way things should be. Well we all do that in a way...but they can change just like I was able to change.
Again...acceptance is the key I suppose...My wish would be that they give us a chance...they might find things are much different then they assume. Reconciling things we don't understand as people is never easy and it doesn't matter who they are or what was done. Perhaps time will erode the fear and misunderstanding away and things will begin to change...Until them, all I can do is be myself and hope that the reality of what IS will continue to promote a willingness in them.