I Am Enough
They say that a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. I think that the flip side of that coin is that shit stinks no matter what you call it.
What has me musing on Shakespearean word play this morning?
My name and the legacy it leaves me.
My last name is a big old hyphenated mess of my maiden name and my second husband's last name. It's a long story, and thanks to a lazy judge in divorce court, it isn't as easy as taking my divorce papers to the DMV to change it.
I racked up quite the string of arrests under that hyphenated mess of a last name.
Problem is, changing the name doesn't solve the problem. The social security number is still the same, and still brings up the same damned string of arrests.
I probably wouldn't have given my last name a second thought if I hadn't gotten profiled and searched yesterday. I was traveling down that same interstate where I incurred so many of those arrests, and got pulled over by a state trooper for "weaving onto the shoulder."
"Weaving onto the shoulder" is complete horseshit, however, as I was speeding down the interstate in a bashed up car with an expired inspection sticker and a blinker that works sometimes (just not at that moment), I didn't argue about the "weaving onto the shoulder" horseshit.
The trooper took my license to his car and ran my name. Standard operating procedure, I get it. I could be a most-wanted fugitive or something, they have to check. What came back wasn't a most-wanted status. Just my rap sheet, which is bad enough in and of itself.
So the good officer requests that I step outside my car and stand in front of his car (in front of his dash cam). He sits back in his car and writes me a warning for the "weaving" and for not having current proof of insurance. I am such a slob that I had all of the expired proofs of insurance for the last 2 years AND the actual policy itself, so he figured I probably still had insurance and didn't cite me for that.
However, as he handed me the warning he asked for details of my trip. I hated myself for an instant because I had to drag my friend's name into a conversation with police. Old behaviors die hard, I guess. NEVER give the authorities names, right? I only did it because I was almost certain that it wouldn't be written down, as I had nothing to hide (unless you count all the fast food trash in my floorboards).
Of course, given my arrest record, the trooper asked if I had a problem with him searching my car, as he needed to makes sure I didn't have "50 pounds of marijuana in the car." Truth be told, I did have a problem with him searching my car. Old habits die hard, I guess; my attorney once told me that I should never consent to anything. However, I consented and warned him it was a mess in there.
I got lucky. This trooper really only looked for "50 pounds of marijuana in the car". He poked through my shopping bag of new shoes, he poked through my purse, he poked through the box of shoes for charity, he poked at some empty garbage bags (I tell you, I'm a slob in my car), he poked through my travel-bag of clothing, and he poked in the spare tire compartment. He didn't make any real mess and he didn't disturb shit too much. He closed my trunk and gave me a thumbs up. I decided to shake his hand and tell him to be safe out there.
However, as I emptied my car of my travel bags once I got home, I got to thinking about my name. I got to wondering if I will ever truly be able to escape my own legacy.
I doubt it.
Even if it does happen, it won't be anytime soon. It would require a seismic shift in the mindset of an entire world of people. "Once an addict, always an addict" is the common thinking, no matter how much of a lie it is.
I think it's time to tackle the legal quagmire of changing my name. Drop the hyphenated mess. It's time to let go of the past, I guess, even if it ultimately won't matter when I get pulled over. It's really about me, and how willing I am to become something other than the addict I used to be.
A rose by any other name will still smell as sweet, and shit will always stink no matter what you call it.
I'm grateful that I can see both sides of that coin today. I will always carry my legacy of arrests with me, unfortunately; however, I also know that recovery has turned that heap of shit into fertilizer for the beautifully imperfect human being I have become.
Just for today, that is enough.
Sometimes, we at the Band know that part of owning who you are is admitting it
to the world. It's one reason why we at The Band work tirelessly to
break down stigmas and find the ties that connect us all, the ties
that remind us that we are none of us alone.
Please join us in standing tall and proud as we tell the world who we are.
What are you, The Band, The Face Of?
When I look in the mirror, I see so much that I'd like to change.
I'd like for my hair to be a little longer, a little less frizzy. I'd like to be thinner, more tan. I'd like to have clearer skin. I'd like to not have to wax.
We all do it, but I'm going to change that. I'm making a conscious effort to change how I see myself.
Instead of seeing all I dislike, I'll look harder for the positive. I'll look for the things that others see in me and start to own my inner beauty. And maybe, just maybe, by doing this, the outer will start to reflect the inner.
And wouldn't that be a spectacular change?
february 23rd, 2012
almost 20 nights have passed since my life path opened up in front of me like a chasm of fear, helplessness, and the unknown.
up until the last week, this devastated me; now, i feel agreeable (for lack of a better word). regardless of which one of us pulled the stop chain to our relationship, it was - and is - the right choice.
i have made excuses for myself and those around me for far too long. i will live with that, i will beat myself up on the inside for that, i will try really fucking hard to accept that, and then i will let it go.
i'm pretty sure that like stages of grief for the death of a loved one, there must be something similar for the end of a relationship. right now i'm languishing in anger and humiliation... mostly humiliation.i choose that word because when don* told me that he didn't love me and had been "trying" for the past at least six months?
i am was embarrassed that i was not loved. i was tolerated. i was lied to. i was pitied because i broke my foot.
i remember that night in bits and pieces. certain statements made by don, whether in the heat of the emotion or not, that resonate, replaying through my brain: "didn't you feel it?" "it" being his lack of love/desire/care for me. looking back i can say now that i did. but then? excuses.
so while i feel stuck in humiliation and anger, i am embracing it. i know enough to realize that if i don't experience the entire gamut of emotional fuckwittage surrounding this, i will never get to a happier me.
i remain, for now, in the house i made a home. i am no longer the interloper though: i am a woman worthy of appreciation, a mother, a friend, and i am deserving of my place there.
don and i are better with one another as each day passes. i hope that the relief we feeling from our separation is followed by a different kind of love. a love that will stay with me for the man who helped me to be strong enough to change my life path seven years ago, as he does so once again.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
When I feel most overwhelmed, I turn to The Band. This website, Band Back Together, has offered so many cathartic moments when I've felt stuck in the midst of turmoil. The truth is, I'm not a mess all the time.
Not by a long shot.
Granted, I'm stuck in a sense of limbo, trapped in my finals months of college (which I despise), but I have bright moments.
Professionally, I am a success story. I haven't even graduated and I have my dream job lined up and ready. I'm relocating to a city in a different state where I already have a developed circle of friends. I'm finding my place in the world; it isn't here, and it isn't anything like I thought it would be. Two years ago I thought I had my act together, but I realize I was settling for less than I was worth.
It took some major breakdowns and crises to come to the realization that I was wasting my potential. I would have felt stagnant with my old plans. I would have subjected myself to a path that wasn't right for me, to prove my worth to a man who wasn't right for me either. God bless him, I hope he finds what he's looking for, but he sure as hell wasn't going to find that in me. Not without killing my spirit and dealing with a very, very long chain of mental breakdowns on my end.
Neither of us deserved the unhappiness we had in that relationship. The stress of being together was greater than the stress of being apart, and after the dust of a messy, emotional breakup had settled - I realized that I am a mover-and-shaker, a globe-trotter, an ambitious young businesswoman with dreams as big as the sky. I mean, I'm also a traumatized, mildly-unstable, bipolar, bulimic, post-traumatic, anxiety-riddled young woman.
That doesn't mean I can't change the world around me for the better, though.
After the last few weeks, which have been very trying, it was great to receive the uplifting news and small successes that today offered me. Aside from a raging hangover from girls' night out last night, it was a good day.
I am a woman with some difficulties. And while they've been more pronounced lately because of me stresses, I am also cognizant that they don't define who I am. I have too much to offer the world to allow that to happen. And you, Band Mates, help solidify that resolve every time I log in here.
So, after a good day full of good news and validation, I felt the need to come here and share that with The Band. So much of my heartache and distress comes here, and the weight is spread across the shoulders of the many. You all share my pain and my burdens. The least I can do, aside from partaking in that community effort, is to share my joys and successes as well.
I love you guys.
I’m going to stop missing Him: I promise this to myself. I swear to my own heart that I’m done resting on hope and convincing and wonder. It’s hard, though, because He changed me. One particular long-lost man in my life made me realize I know exactly what I deserve.
I deserve to be treated with care and respect, to be talked to as an educated individual. I deserve to be loved, to be someone’s one-and-only. I deserve to be pampered and to be told that I’m beautiful, especially when I’m wearing sweats and an old t-shirt. I deserve to be reminded every single day that I’m an amazing person. He reminded me.
The first two weren’t able to do this for me. I wasn’t as pretty as he thought I should be. I wasn’t exercising as much as he thought I should. I wasn’t as sexual as he thought I should be. I wasn’t as smart as he thought I should be. I wasn’t willing to argue as much as he thought I should. I wasn’t willing to change my personality enough for him. I wasn’t, I wasn’t, I wasn’t.
With Him, I was absolutely enough.
Ultimately, though, I wasn’t.
It’s been months now. I’ve confessed, “I miss Him,” to a couple of friends.
All have told me repeatedly, “no, you miss how He made you feel.”
I’ve nodded, I’ve agreed, but only because I don’t want to put myself out there and really have this conversation with anyone. I do miss how He made me feel, but on top of that, I miss Him.
I miss His laugh, I miss His random dancing around the house, I miss Him making up songs in the kitchen, I miss Him swearing at the TV. I miss Him in the morning, I miss Him during some songs, I miss Him when I watch that one TV show in bed as I try to fall asleep. I miss His text messages, His hugs, His neck massages, and His passion for life. I miss how all of those things made me feel, but I really do miss Him.
For months I held out hope that I could pretend to be His "enough." I had myself convinced that I could figure things out and show Him what he’s missing. I had spent time wondering what else I needed to do.
Today, I decided that I need to stop. I need to move on. I need to let go. I need to put forth the hope, the convincing, and the wondering into my own self - into who I can be and who I want to be.
I hope that my job changes for me a lot this and next year.
I am convinced that I am worth loving.
I no longer wonder what else I “need” to do because I know.
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