I’ve been feeling jumbled lately. Planting on the farm is late and therefore frantic. I put in 52 hours last week and still have an immediate to-do list dozens of items long. My directed study is… stalled. Our yard has exploded with plants, both wanted and unwanted. I can’t recall, exactly, when it started feeling out of control but I’ve been wrangling seedlings, sod and weeds on the home front whenever I’m not at the farm. Therapy has moved away from the dramatic sobbing, major leaps and enlightening epiphanies into the slow middle work of plodding forward on issues that aren’t much fun to deal with. Writing letters to my abusers is slow, hard work no matter which way I frame it.
I sent the letter to my mom and received a discouragingly unsatisfactory letter in return. I haven’t spoken to her since and I don’t see that changing. Some days I’ve been pretending I don’t have a mother so I can get used to how that feels. I wish, somewhat frantically, I could write more about this because it might help me sort through the unexpectedly crushing disappointment, confusion, and sadness. But I can’t. I can’t find a crack to pry the whole mess open.
It’s just so hard to accept the enormity of what happened, of what didn’t happen, of what is still happening. I keep thinking, keep wanting to believe it surely wasn’t that bad. Because what if it was? How am I still standing? Still smiling? Still laughing at silly jokes? How have I kept a handle on myself, kept myself from falling over the edge? What were the trade-offs? What did I lose while I, as a child, single-mindidly kept my life from slipping into the statistically inevitable cycles of poverty and abuse?
While my dad would always tell me, “Honey life isn’t fair and anyone who tells you differently is a liar” I just can’t get over the injustice of it all. I know there is no satisfactory answer but still I wonder, “why?” Why? Why? Why do grown adults hurt children? I can’t get over it. I can’t understand. Coming to grips with my own reality, both past and present is so bloody hard. Until therapy I could always pretend it wasn’t so bad, I did the best I could, and I came out okay. But the truth is I didn’t come out okay. I will struggle with some very real repercussions for the rest of my life. And that sucks. Especially because my struggles are so invisible.
And, fortunately or unfortunately, I’ve become involved in several research projects. I feel entirely unqualified to do any of it and it’s rather terrifying. I’m so scared I’m going to mess something up. I’m managing two organic fertilizer trials on the farm (as if managing farm operations isn’t enough to keep track of) and I’m working on plant propagation research. I’ve been funded for some of the research, which is an exciting ego boost, but the lingering doubt is still there.
Sometimes it’s all I can to do keep my feet moving deliberately forward. Most days I wake up and just want to turn around and run, run, run. Run somewhere safe, somewhere quiet, somewhere where the demands on me are not so intense. I’m pretty sure I’m capable of all this but overcoming self-doubt is no easy task.
This summer doesn’t feel warm and breezy. It feels overwhelming and unwieldly. But this is always what I’ve done well – tackle the difficult things moment by moment, step by step until I succeed. Keep marching forward, keep trying, keep moving. Just keep moving.