Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Touching Bottom

I was once told, by one of the many shrinks I visited in a one year period, that I was living a life in my imagination, a fictitious reality. And that was the truth.

Living abroad, far from family and friends, trying to do my best, believing I was some kind of modern wonder woman, kept me immersed in a bubble of perfection, until little by little that same bubble started to disintegrate.

I had a few hints that showed me that something was not going well, that I was not happy, I was not satisfied and I needed a change, but I kept putting those thoughts aside, as if they didn´t exist, but of course they did. And when you do not get them out, they will find a way.
Finally I had the strength to talk about my marriage displeasure. This wasn´t an easy task!
Days later I found out that I was expecting a new baby. The news came on hard on me,and the couple, of course, but being spiritual, gave me the tranquility to believe that this little angel was arriving for a reason. I was in peace with the baby´s arrival and I started to love him right away.
Anyhow, my life was getting more and more confusing.

After a few weeks of spilling silent tears and having fillings of sadness due to the impotence of not fixing my life as I wanted, depression started to knock my door.
I was admitted at the South Miami Hospital´s emergency room, due to a severe dehidratation, I think the tears dried me out. I knew I needed to be surrounded by all the people I loved, I needed them. I left the hospital at 2 am and went to my house to rest. The following morning I decided to get myself a makeover. I was so broken in the inside, that at least I had to look good on the outside.
That same day I travelled home on a 9 hour night flight, with my 2 year old son.
My trip was organized for two weeks, but in my despair, I wished never returning back.
In those 15 days, I visited two shrinks, talked with my parents and I tried to figure out my next move. My parents had different opinions. On the one hand, my mom said I had the responsibility of a family , a husband, a kid and a life in the US, so I had to go back fix things and then come back if it pleased me. On the other hand, my dad said he would prefer having me there to help me and accompany me in this hard process. I followed my mom´s idea, but It was so tough!

The day of my departure, my whole family was reunited to greet me. I looked at them from the car, turn my head on the side and desperate tears dropped from my eyes. I thought that was going to be the last time I saw them. My pain was so deep, that I completely believed that I wasn´t going to survive.

Back in " real life", out of nowhere an inner force appeared and I put myself to work on returning back home for good. I talked to my husband and I told him that I was going back, with him or without.
Three months later I had moved back to my hometown , we bought an apartment and had my new baby. I was happy to be home, but unfortunately I was not getting any better, I continued to be heartbroken and clueless. It was not time to finish a marriage, how could I? and I didn´t even know at this point what was I supposed to do.
I tried a few more shrinks without results.

One day having coffee I told my husband with all the sadness in my heart, feeling that I was about to stuck a knife in his heart, that I didn´t loved him, that I was not going to make him happy and that it was better to be separated.
He couldn´t accept that. My family neither. They said I should stay married until the kids were older, and regarding the home economy it would be wiser.
But, I thought to myself, is somebody taking into consideration my health? My heart? How can I live a life of lies, of pretend, of sorrow?

And on the brink of madness and realizing I was touching bottom a new horizon appeared in my life.
The possibility to have a therapy that would help me get out of my unhealthy environment and face life with a different point of view.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Journey

After falling again and again, still trying to find something I wasn´t quite sure what it was, I started to beleive that the years yet to come would be the beggining of a my new life.
And so it was.
On the early twenties my " adult life " began. I had a good loving husband, a new townhouse, an anxious Irish Setter, and the wonderful gift of motherhood. Everything was perfect.. or that was at least what it seemed.
Still, there was something missing.. and I didn´t have a clue about it. I enjoyed every moment of my life, I took care of my dog, my house, my husband, my baby.. but.. I forgot about someone very important. Myself.
It was on the following years, while I tried to cope with 2 c-sections, moving from the US to my hometown in South America, 1 divorce, depression, the guilt of having to become a full time working mom, the lack of a reasonable income, the loneliness, the arrival of a new love, the care of the children on my own, the constant diet issues, the euphoria of being again free and single, that I began to see how the person I had within was finally Rising.
Finally the pieces of my puzzled life where getting together. My family didn´t approve most of my ways of handling my stuff, so those old same feelings of not making them proud, of not understanding why they didn´t trust me, of them not knowing who I was, started to come back. But this time, I was stronger, I trusted myself, I had more self esteem, and I new my strenghs. So I fought!

I have No Regrets whatsoever of any choice in my life. I am grateful for all I had and If I had to start all over, I wouldn´t change a thing.

This huge process of looking inside myself was conducted by someone I admire and to whom I thank from the deepest of my heart for his support and encouragement during the most difficult moments of my life. My psychiatrist, Oscar.

Fitting In- The Adolescence.

For many years I didn´t feel confortable at home or at school . I always had the feeling of not belonging. It was quite awfull really, I guess many of you feel or felt the same way.I guess it was at that time when I started to try to find myself and find a way to fit in.
At first I started writing poetry.. but every word that came to my mind and came out in my writing was regarding death, sadness, mutual giving, and other feelings that demostrated what I felt inside: lonelyness and fear .
My parents didn´t know what to do, so they did nothing, not even a word. But in their minds I know now that they were preoccupied.
Then I started learning about life, couples, sex, values, religion. I read every trashy magazine I got hold of, I saw many PG18 movies , and i was.. 14?, 15? and I tried to absorb from every person I met the most about their feelings, their experience, their thoughts.. in a word, LIFE.

Still there was so much to learn, but a part of me pushed me to follow the right path, the one my family and my surrounding wanted for me. Meeting a nice guy, having a white wedding, having kids, live in a nice tidy house. I wanted this very much too, but on my own way, I guess. Or maybe I just wanted to elope from where I was. I will never know for sure, I just know that everything I ever did I felt in my heart and I was faithful to it.
So after living as much as I could in my teen years, I finally got married by the age of 19. I thought I was mature enough to commit, share a life with someone I loved and pursue my happiness in the meantime. But not all of that was certain. I was mature,yes, but I didn´t really knew myself. I wasn´t FREE.
I wasn´t Free from my fears, from the lack of my personal pride, from my low self-esteem, from my religion and from knowing who I really was inside of me and what i wanted from life I JUST WASN´T FREE FROM MYSELF.

Accepting Who We Are

Regarding my early years i can recall that my family was very caring and tender. My parents kissed me, they demonstrated me how much they loved me, took good care of me, they gave me all the love and all the care a parent could give, but i believe they didn't pay much attention to the person that was inside of me. I often laughed very strong and my mom used to tell me that laughing that way was not very educated. I couldn't understand at that time what she meant. Something was really funny and I just felt the urge to laugh my heart out. What was the problem with that?
Also I have been always delighted by good tasty food, but since I have memory, all i heard was that we should be skinny and some foods should be taken in small amounts. I thought there was a problem with me, or so that seemed.
At the age of eight they started taking me to see several doctors, I was not fat, but i guess i had a few more kilos than a girl my age should have. The doctors never found any illness or problem, so they just gave me hard diets to follow, and for instance, when there was a birthday party i was only allowed to have one sandwich and water. This sounds so dammed foolish to me. But the real problem here was not only that my parents wanted me to look good or have a beautiful thin daughter, the issue here was that for a girl my age this meant that they were not proud of me, they didn´t accept me as I was , and this my friends is a problem that many of us grow with.
We could use so many examples of similar situations growing up. Each one of us may have had a different story, but in the end it molds us and we take this feeling with us all our lives.
It is never late to feel proud and accept ourselves. As for me, I will have to diet all my life, but even tough I still have a few kilos more that the charts show as "normal" I am still a beautiful person and I love myself.


In many families they raise us with the idea that we have to do what everybody will approve, that if we belong to a certain social group there are things not allowed, like words, dress codes, etc. We have to please others and we have to follow certain rules. I know that we need guidedance and that our parents feel that they have to educate us as they were by they parents, but somehow in the middle they do not teach us to be ourselves, to look inside of us, to learn what is we really love, believe in, dream and feel and to get to know " who we are". Then we arrive to the adolescence and we start searching and searching where do we belong, in this search we find ourselves alone, we do not trust our parents, we do not have a true communication with them, so the search becomes a difficult tusk, it is a " test and error" search. This could be possitive for those kids that are strong and that inspite of their education they had great love and support from their family, but, what happens to those ones that feel really lost? They could end up loosing track of the road to follow and find themselves getting into problems. We do not what this to happen to our kids. I believe that we should encourage them since they are little to be who they are, and mold them to choose the right choices and most of all to love themselves. Each one of us is a unique wonderful living person. We should LOVE ourselves!