The Storm Reminded Me

Today, a tempest overtook the entirety of SE Texas and just like I’ve done before, I found myself dashing from the barn to under the carport without an umbrella or a towel so that for, oh, I don’t know, five or ten minutes, I sat on a fold out chair until I stopped dripping.

It reminded me of a story I wrote a couple years ago; I had to go searching for it because I couldn’t remember what it was called or even whenabouts it happened. Finally, doing some keyword searches, I found it: “Sweet Girl.”

I reread that post for the first time in God knows how long and I can’t get over just how familiar the scene was this morning. Of course sadly, I no longer have chickens (no thanks to some sly foxes), but I do still have ducks who would play even in the landing of a hurricane. I wish things–yucky things, anxious things, shitty things–would roll off my skin the way water rolls of their feathers, but it’s hard to know even where to start learning such an ability. I’ve also completely lost track of the milk crate I otherwise seemed to have for ages.

What I was trying to convey in the original post (which can be found here if you’re interested: is that I think we absorb so much more than we realize and it’s not always easy to simply “let it go.” I actually hate when feelings are dismissed with a comment like “just don’t worry,” or “let it go.” Maybe I can’t because I’m trapped in a growing pool of my own drippings…or rather, PTSD, and my biological response to certain stimuli are beyond “just relaxing.” Toxic positivity is something I love to hop up on a soapbox about, but I’ll save that for another time.

Am I really overly sensitive? Or have I spent my entire life, hardwired as a people pleaser, placing all my value in the approval of others? And now that, as an adult in my mid-thirties, I’ve realized said shortcoming, I’ve started to untangle the web of handing my ability to self-love over to others and instead, have desperately tried to find it within myself. But Jesus God is that a clumsy process…like a baby giraffe, I tumble around trying to find my footing of what it means to self-love…to find myself 36 years into this nonsensical life realizing that I have value simply because I’m me. When I embrace myself either in an attempt to warm up or in an attempt to overcome a panic attack, I like to think that somewhere in there is a sweet girl caught up with with rest of the farm junk gathering in the ever-growing pool of my own lack of self-awareness.

Anyway. Healing from trauma (emotional, mental, physical, recent, old, big, small, painful, scary, adjective-adjective-adjective-to-infinity) is hard no matter who you are. And so as I watched the storm blanket the backyard until the trees were swaying blobs in the sky, I allowed myself to once again, step inside, change into warm clothes, and completely cocoon in a blanket for a while. At one point, my cat started making biscuits on top of me, curled into a ball, and laid down. That gave me an excuse to stay there for longer than I probably would have let myself because, you know, the expectation that we must be producing, producing, producing, and wow-ing others to have value would’ve overtaken the time I needed to just be.

I still have value in my cocoon while my body continues to repair itself from the inside and my cat tries to warm me from the outside. Even there, I am valuable, sweet girl.

You matter. Whoever you are, you matter. Your feelings, your insides, your heart — you matter.

Love you,

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