Last night I had a hard time getting to sleep. My mind raced through the various chapters of drama that have presented themselves over the past week and I couldn’t seem to come to a resolution that would allow me to close my eyes. I am at the center of it all, so this is not about laying blame on others. I know my actions have reactions, and the outcome of any situation in my life is dependent on this. Even so, my heart remains to feel heavy.
My emotions get the better of me all the time. I would LOVE to be the type of person who can switch the train tracks of their emotional trains at the mere thought and avoid catastrophe in the process. Alas, I am not. I am the type of person who has a very difficult time with the switch, and sometimes I don’t even realize I missed the station until it is too late. Last weekend was an excellent example of this.
I am an intense person. My emotions often show themselves on my person before my brain registers that they are front and center. In other words, my facial expression may appear to look angry, but I am not conscious that I am angry until minutes after the expression first crept across my face. This often leads to constantly being misunderstood, and this has affected every aspect of my life.
I wear my heart on my sleeve. And many times, the patch is there without my knowledge or intent. Throughout my life I have strived to rip it off, keep it a secret and not give away what I am truly feeling. Alcohol became a great way for me to take time off from that goal until it turned on me and did the EXACT OPPOSITE. Seriously, if you think I am emotional sober….yeah. It was ugly.
Because of this misunderstanding, and my lack of taking a few minutes to separate myself from a situation, I was accused of doing something I never would dream of doing to anyone. I was accused of harassing an elderly woman. As I was trying to explain the situation to a third party, a police car showed up in front of my house. Never in my entire life has anyone ever called the police in regards to me. Never. My heart sank and I began to panic. My immediate impulse was to try to explain that this wasn’t what it seemed, that I was frustrated but walked away from the other person to give them the space they asked for. It didn’t matter. According to this police officer, I was the biggest asshole on the planet for even thinking about harassing this poor older woman. Let’s just say he had no interest in hearing anything I had to say.
Tears ran down my face as I begged my mom to come over and help me. She knew I would never hurt anyone. She understood me and my hope was to get some validation that I am not the worst person on the planet. Melissa stood by my side and gave me guidance as how to handle myself since I have literally no experience with police. Chris also tried to help and my girls wanted to be with me knowing how upset I was. All I could think was, how can anyone think that I would be capable of hurting someone like that? I don’t think I stopped crying about it until the next morning to be honest.
A few days later, I was the target of another assault by someone else. This time I could shrug it off and say to myself that it was more about their struggle than about me. Still, my heart remained heavy as I attempted to get ready for work. Am I really this horrible person that everyone in my family secretly hates? Do they go out of their way to avoid me and my chosen lifestyle? The second guessing is hard to avoid in these situations but by the time I reached Hingham, I was able to put a smile onto my face. Well, kind of.
My new job is not glamorous. I don’t ride in an elevator to get to my cubicle. There isn’t a fancy coffeeshop I get to stop in on my way in. Instead, there is a feeling that I am ok and accepted no matter what. I put my apron on, punched in, and set about doing what was expected of me. In spite of how heavy my heart was from all of this turmoil, I was able to smile and help others. At previous roles, the feeling of being unacceptable would be exacerbated by my surroundings. Not here. Here I felt appreciated and accepted. I could make people smile back at me and it didn’t matter that others close to me had hurt me. All that mattered was being present for others. It was truly a blessing.
For the first time in my life, in spite of my sadness, I was able to have a good day at work. I had never been able to say that before. If you ever find yourself in a position where you feel like things couldn’t possibly get worse, try to reach out and help someone else. For me, that made all of the difference.
The situations have somewhat calmed down but my heart is still heavy with how I appear to my neighbors. I cannot make amends to this person for upsetting them right now per their wishes. The other situation seems to have smoothed over and I hope that they received what help they needed to get through it. I know I have the most incredible people in my life both at home and work who have helped me get through this as well. Hopefully I can get better sleep tonight knowing this.