Angsty Middle Aged Woman

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Angsty Middle Aged Woman

“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. Women often experience shame when they are entangled in a web of layered, conflicting and competing social-community expectations. Shame creates feelings of fear, blame, and disconnection.” — Brene Brown

The main reason I write and then share what I write is to overcome my shame. Of course, I didn’t know it when I started, but I came to realize that my feelings of shame are exactly what I am working through. How I got here is a story for another day. What is important to me right now is moving forward while letting go of what doesn’t work and cleaving tightly to everything that is good and positive and uplifting in my life.

The shame that I feel caused me to constantly feel less than and over the years I became a wallflower: a mere shell of the vibrant, bouncy, curious little girl I once was. Comparing what I was and the potential that I had to the lost human soul I had become was nothing less than heartbreaking. A close friend suggested on multiple occasions that I write about how I felt. But it was through reading, in books and blogs, the experiences of others that finally prompted me to start.

In my quest to untangle the web of feelings I carry, I find that thinking about what’s in my heart and then writing about it, allows me to release it. With each experience I write, I feel lighter and stronger and am able to move forward. While the writing is all very good for me, I realized I needed to push it a step further.

I pride myself on being an honest person. I will tell the truth even when it’s not in my best interest. Sadly, I hid the truth about me. I hid my shame steeped self behind walls I had constructed. Over the years, I have bit my tongue so many times that I’m surprised there’s still one left in my mouth. I’ve backed down so many times that I’m sure I’m actually better at walking backwards than I am at stepping forward. Shutting up, putting up, backing down, and running away, are just a sampling of the methods that I’ve employed to keep myself safely tucked away.

To address this issue, I need to be honest and completely transparent about what I’m experiencing in a way that wouldn’t stress out the locals. God bless my friends, I love you each and everyone, but I’m telling you guys here, I work really hard to not wear you out, because I really want you to still answer the phone when I call. If I had ever dumped everything on any one of you at one time, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’d become the women you’d try to dodge. Writing my experiences and sharing them on web became the solution. I’m able to say exactly what I need to say and people have the choice to read or not to read. And let me be crystal clear on one more point: I’m not a writer. I’m an experience sharer. If I happen to construct a nicely worded sentence free of comma splices; that’s just a bonus.

In this process I’ve had to face my biggest fears while letting go of my paralyzing perfectionism, and moving forward facing whatever is put on my path. It’s been nothing less than a roller-coaster. The second I catch my breathe, bam, another opportunity for growth lands at my feet.

So, I will trudge forward sharing this big messy journey bad grammar and all. I appreciate every single person who takes the time to read what I write. I love every comment you make. I enjoy the private conversations I’ve had with many of you via email, phone, and in person prompted by something you read. I’m always happy to talk to anyone.

It is only when we own our truth and speak it freely that we come in line with who we are meant to be. In the end, all I want to be is me.

9 Comments

  1. Whew. Your journey is messy… but then again, aren’t we all various shades of a mess? I know I am. Your willingness to be open and transparent is refreshing. I know it’s something I struggle with… especially since my brother reads my blog. He never misses an opportunity to leave some ill-thought tasteless comment there, or on my twitter feed, on facebook… he’s an annoyance, and being transparent around him is too painful.
    I’ve found myself looking in the rear-view window much more lately. Wonder what that’s all about?
    Press on and keep digging. I’m thankful for your sharing.

    • As messy as it may look from the outside, for the first time I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I find that the more transparent and honest I am, the more peaceful, centered, and happy I am. Never thought it would be true, I just knew that I need to do things differently because what I was doing wasn’t helping me be the person I am. I care very much about the people in my life, I just work really hard now not to worry about what they think of me. Luckily, my family members either don’t read or don’t comment. btw…I’ve enjoyed your trips down memory lane quite a bit. Love.

  2. It takes a lot of courage to challenge yourself the way you are right now AND to write about it in a public forum. I have nothing but admiration for you. Call me anytime. 🙂

    • I stand on the shoulders of giants. It’s taken a lot of inspiration from all the other amazing, transparent, and honest people out there. I follow their lead and continue to be humbled.

  3. Wow, Denise. You really are courageous. I really don’t have anything to lose baring my soul. There are approximately two people in my life who have an opinion. Thank you for being one of them. You have your web of family and friends. You are opening yourself up in so many more ways. That really does take a lot of grit and bravery.

    • Or I’m just really, really stupid. “When the time to tell the truth comes, you’ll know and you’ll dive into that clear blade pool of truth and the people that were never there for you will leave and in the clear space that they leave there will be love, success, beauty, and peace.” – Martha Beck

      • No…not at all. It’s wonderful freedom. I love the quote and I would add to the end of it…”and the people who love you.”

  4. “I work really hard to not wear you out.” My FAVORITE line. I must steal that. Sounds like the title of a Ray Carver story. Keep posting and writing! Tell us a story!

    • Thanks for reading and steal away.

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