It’s a day, have decided to detox a little from the bit of “see-food” eating I have been engaging in lately, due to my new-found employment status. Yes, I have a new job, full-time and we are provided for at this time. Unfortunately, my brain says YEEHAW, lets grab every sweet carb we can find…because of late, chocolate seems to give me indigestion (insert BIG sad face here).
Moving on, this morning I felt the move inside to address my very private and deeply held anxiety about my spiritual gifting. In Recovery fellowship, we acknowledge that the most important person in the room is the newcomer. Because it takes a lot of courage to attend your first meeting, or to come to a new meeting for the first time. Same with church. Stepping into a new environment is tough. And if you are hurting and don’t really know why you have been nudged to come in the first place (later you will understand the spirit called and you responded…but no worries!), a gathering can be an intimidating place if you don’t know people or if you don’t go with friends.
With regards to welcoming and fellowshipping with new people, or people that I have not been introduced to, in these spaces, I have found that my spiritual gift is writing. Yes, you read that correctly. Maybe you gave me a weak courtesy chuckle, like my friends who know me do. But, before you dismiss me as cold and snobby, let me explain.
When I was 6 weeks old, my mother took me back down to San Jose, California to rejoin my dad after coming back home to give birth closer to her mother. This meant my first 6 weeks I was literally never put down, and constantly fussed over by my grandma, while my mother took an extended recuperation. When we returned to California, my father instituted a feeding and sleep schedule on me, and from then on, everything revolved around what was convenient for the adults in my life, not necessarily what was going to facilitate my personal development. This included dozens of moves between states during the school year, and after my mother became single, multiple marriages and more moves between counties, schools and schedules.
To add to all that, I would bounce several times into one school district where people knew that my extended family had some money, and I would be teased about the fact that I came from privilege (which I didn’t) and that I kept turning up (which I did, but it wasn’t my fault). I handled none of this very well, and was not an easy person to be around, likely making me an even easier target to those who wished to torment me. One day, I spoke up in school about a rather innocuous subject, and after school was beaten unconscious for my trouble, even after telling these girls I would never speak in class again, etc. This was in the second grade.
To say I suffer from PTSD when it comes to socializing with people that are unfamiliar to me or seem aggressive or confrontive is probably an understatement. Recovery has done a lot to help me overcome some of this, in that I am able to meet new people when introduced by someone I trust, and actually chat with them. However, I still struggle with internal dialogue during the discussion that says “is this person safe? will this person look to harm me emotionally? is this person just being polite, and would they rather be getting a root canal than talking to me?” Yup. Now you know the nasty, ugly inards of my brain. And that’s why I HAVE to keep working my program. Because it’s NONE of my business what anyone else chooses to think about me. I can only be the best me I can be, and leave it at that.
Oh my. That was a bit, yes? But I needed to provide the background, because sometimes what things look like on the surface aren’t as they appear. At all. So as we journey forth in these days ahead, keep looking at what we can control (our own recovery work) and release what we can’t (other’s behaviors, thoughts, words…). And I write this as much for myself as for anyone reading, believe it.
Love and hugs to you all on this “deep dive”morning.