Once upon a time

September of 2014 is where this phase of my life officially began.

I was a pretty happy, uncomplicated teen and while there seemed to be catastrophic things happening to me in those years, the lens of maturity makes me laugh at them. I had a stable home, with parents who loved me. I had good friends and never really lacked for anything in the Maslow hierarchy. My physical and emotional needs were met and I had a pretty healthy dose of self-esteem. I never wondered if people loved me because I was really only around those who did. It never occurred to me that I was particularly lovable or unlovable in the same way it never occurred to me that I was thin or fat. I just was me and went on my merry way.

Yeah, I had the typical high school/college drama about boys, friends, parents, etc. But nothing that ever shook me into the top bit of the triangle — self-actualization. It never occurred to me that I needed to understand myself. I just rolled through life with a song and a smile. Mostly.

And then I met and loved T. And that changed everything. When it didn’t pan out, I married J, which is a whole other story. I was 21. I dropped to the very bottom of the needs list and spent all my energy fighting for simple physiological sustenance. In order to do that, by 22 my emotions just shut down. At 35, divorced with 2 kids to support, I went into complete survival mode for another 10 years.

This past September, a series of things happened to pull me back into the light and suddenly I find myself with absolutely no emotional coping mechanisms other than walls and abject terror. I WILL NOT LET THIS BE ME. I will not make emotional choices based in fear.

This is that journey.