This post is a part of a "Syncro-Blog" which is one-topic, multiple perspectives on it by a couple/few different bloggers. You can find links to these other perspectives at the bottom of this post. I also invite you to post your thoughts, comments and ideas (if you're so inclined) when you're done reading this (if you make it to the end)...
|Photo by Gareth Mackay|
My life is the way it is today because I've broken free of the constraints that my past history used to impose on me. Let me back that out a moment: I am ALIVE today because I broke free of my past.
In another time (now over a decade ago) my life was a life lived in fear of people knowing my past, judging and maybe even condemning me for it. In a world quick to label and categorize (in an attempt to understand something), many are also quick to write off and give up on something (or someone).
|Mary (my baby sis), Sarah (my big sis) and yours truly...|
My parents' divorce hit me like a ton of bricks. My enthusiasm for school fizzled (I was at one point achieving high marks). I withdrew. I became depressed and finally, after one big ugly fight with my baby sis, I was cornered into a "new" family discussion with my mom and her then boyfriend/fiancee. I was stubborn then, too, and I left the discussion by running to a nearby creek to think and blow off steam. I came home to a squad car in the driveway and a police officer intent on bullying me into 'parental submission.' I wouldn't cave (this stubbornness has gone on to serve me well racing 100-mile mountain runs), but I had no respite to escape to this time, so I locked myself in the bathroom. The situation escalated quickly. I made one threat to get the cop to leave and they deemed it "suicidal tendencies" and the next thing I knew I was in a hospital, facing two of the most condescending psychologists/therapists I've ever had experience with. Again, too stubborn for my own good, I wouldn't cooperate with their attempts to manipulate me into conversation. After a cryptic exchange with my mom, I had the intuitive realization that I was in lock-down and made a break for it. The 40-meter hall seemed longer than a mile. My mom walked out the double doors as they closed (and latched) at the very moment I got to them. I was shattered. LOCKED IN and abandoned. My world went from the perfect little childhood to unimaginable emotional pain. This event sealed the deal. I could tell you more about the therapy, the group sessions, watching the failed escape attempts of others, but you've all seen enough reality TV and good psychological thriller films to have a fair idea of what happens in these places. I have come to firmly believe that they aren't places for people to "get well" but rather, a place to house, catalog and care for those who are beyond sick. The quicker you can adapt and get out, the better chance you have to make it (statistically speaking). I got out in about 3-weeks. I was only 12. The next youngest patients were 16 and 17. From that point forward, I possessed a heightened consciousness. Something developed to protect me from that type of hurt and betrayal. I was connected and detached at the same time. I became an old soul (as some have gone on to describe it). Time moved forward...
|Oh boy... this is awkward.|
Friends from elementary school gave me the ever so charming nickname of "psycho-friend" and they even had a song they sang to go along with it. I was the only person I knew (aside from the people I was in the institution with) that had been labeled depressed and/or mentally ill. I knew I would be looked at as different from there forward. So a part of me (as a 12-13 year old) literally made up this idea, "fine, if I'm gonna be different, then I'll be really, intentionally different!" They called me crazy! So I became the crazy kid who'd accept ANY dare. You name it. I was a prime cut Fear Factor participant and Jackass daredevil before those shows had even been a pitched idea (I was in middle school in 1989-1990, Jackass started in 2000 & Fear Factor in 2001). I'd eat weird stuff on dares (apparently I haven't grown out of this, yet), jump off of cliffs/houses/boats into water far below, even go streaking in various places (again, haven't matured beyond these behaviors, yet). But as I moved from middle to high school, went to summer camps, and would meet new people I'd be terrified that they'd "find me out" and not want to be around me anymore. It was a constant and all consuming fear.
|Facing one of my biggest fears: the BADWATER 135|
"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain."
|I lost a bet. OR did I???|
Somewhere in my adult life, early to mid-20's, I realized I was living someone else's life. I wasn't happy. I was afraid to live, afraid to step out into the unknown and chase down my dreams. I realized I didn't share with many who I truly wanted to be, I hid from my past (institutionalization) and had things I had wanted to do for 5 or more years that I had taken NO actions towards. Here's an interesting list for you:
*I wanted to move to Los Angeles from Northern California (the San Francisco Bay Area), and had talked about it for over 5 years.
*I wanted to run a marathon (my first, as my longest race distance prior had been the 12k SF Bay to Breakers).
*I wanted to be in a relationship with the girl of my dreams (I had been in 3 or 4 relationships longer than 1 year, and one was 4+ years in two different pieces).
|1st hundo - "It seemed like a good idea at the time."|
|Now you know why I love ZOOLANDER so much?|
|Trusting the universe (and this elephant) fully.|
"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult."
Post a COMMENT if you enjoyed this blog (and I also invite you to post your thoughts if you offer any alternative viewpoints too)!
Found below are some other people I adore and their unique perspectives on this topic:
*Katie DeSplinter's Brain Used To Hate Her
*Nathan Coury's Heart On His Sleeve
*Ashley Walsh's Why You Front'n?