I've been trying to pinpoint what this feeling is.
I did a fourth step yesterday and I discovered a few *uncomfortable* things: I want people to be who I want them to be (I don't accept people as they are), I really dislike when people see the *real* me rather than the *image* I created for them to see. The so-called real me, I believe, is defective and I am deeply concerned about being important to people -- I apparently want to matter to people and when I perceive that I don't matter to people--that I am unimportant--I become angry with them. Then my sponsor reminded me of what she has been saying to me repeatedly in the past year. I have to have a desire to do things differently. I can't change myself fundamentally, though I can change my behavior.
We also got into a discussion about how the dog, who I once loved and now seem to hate, may be a constant fourth step for me. Tipper (the dog) mirrors back to me my rage -- the rage laid out in my fourth step. I am reminded that just beneath the surface of this "new mother" is the old person clawing to get out. The one that didn't have brown sun marks on her face, whose bum didn't hang low, whose stomach wasn't stretched and who had fewer bags under eyes. The one who could work long hours and not feel she was stealing the childhood away from someone. The one that got more than eight hours of sleep at night sometimes. The one who knew her energy could take her anywhere. The one that felt grounded and stable. The one who knew the routine. The her that was once me. And even beneath that old person, is an even more suffocated one, the pre-marriage girl, beholden only to herself (no husband, dog or child), whose body wasn't broken down, whose teeth weren't yellowing, who felt, in spite of periodic severe depression and anxiety, that death was not inevitable, that life would go on indefinitely and that she would always be in her twenties.
I am reminded that I can't seem to let go of these hers. When I look in the mirror I imagine what I would look like if the brown sun marks were erased and my teeth were whitened. What would happen if the frontalis muscle were stilled and the wrinkle between my eyes faded? Somehow it seems like heaven. What's so funny about this is that when I WAS her, I didn't want to be her. I wanted to be someone else. Someone better, thinner and smarter.
Then today I was listening to a CD about change by Marianne Williamson and she was describing something I've heard in many different ways over the years but needed to hear again. She said that the ego dies hard. An arrow in the heart.
The bottom line is that I haven't figured out how to DO this new life I have, to be this new me. So in place of the more grounded, accepting spiritually oriented person is a person wracked with fear and anxiety. That person grabs at straws. Constantly compares herself to others and to other versions of herself and absolutely refuses to just be with how uncomfortable this transformation is. To acknowledge that a funeral needs to be had. It is hard work being a mother. It is hard. But it is also exactly what this momma believes she is supposed to be doing with her life. It's exactly what she wants to be doing! It's time to realize that it is okay to grieve the loss of the other person -- the ego driven one or the spiritually oriented one -- and to deeply love Eve. Profoundly love Eve. And it is okay to struggle with the process of finding out how to be this new person. It's okay to fear shedding the old skin. It's okay to romance the rags that once made up a stunning gown. For a little while, now and then. But I can't be on this bridge forever. Eventually I have to wholeheartedly stride through the open door.
But until then, I have to continue to pray and hold this feeling I have as gently as I do my baby. This feeling I can't name and which I've never experienced before. This sensation of not being anywhere anymore. Of no longer being her.
And it's all really a circle. The fourth is a microcosm of the larger transformation I am undergoing. The loss of time I've experienced as a result of becoming a mother has prevented me from maintaining the image that I used in the past to make other people think of me as important. I am thus faced with the so-called defective real me. We've been doing a lot of dancing this year! And through it I have been given an incredible opportunity to let go of both my "image" and my belief in the defective "real" me.