I received a certified letter in the mail today. I nearly threw up. It's been a very long time since I've had to face my past. As I have cocooned myself in beautiful, positive, supportive people and experiences lately, much of the negativity in my life has naturally fallen away. Although I remain me, deep to the core, much of the cynicism that plagued me has also departed. I have embraced what feels like a whole new world and it has been cradling me in this wonderful space of comfort and, dare I say it, trust that things not only will get better, but are better.
Then I walked in the door tonight from another transformative day of yoga and friendship to find this glaring piece of mail. I was horrified that my husband had to sign for it. I felt violated that the separation of my former business' post office didn't protect my home from this stuff invading it. I cried and I paced. My husband offered to open it for me. He says he doesn't care what it says. I know he knows, he has always been here, but I didn't want him to see it on paper, the accusations of an entity that knows nothing of me or my struggles. And while I have come into this place that I know is a better, righter place for me, I know that whatever it says, it will shake me loose again. I don't want him to see how far I have fallen.
So, in a moment of blind bravery, I opened it, like jumping over the cliff knowing that there's deep water there, but not quite sure how badly it will hurt when you break the surface. Although I am not surprised by it, the harsh language and threats, meant to spur my action, were still devastating.
In this journey that started now nearly two years ago, I've found what is often most painful is what everybody doesn't know. I'm not offered the opportunity to explain my past, my pain or my deep, deep regret. Instead, I am judged on my face with little inquiry and less understanding, and the oversimplification of the words "dishonest conduct."
No part of me defends the impact my past year has had on those near me. But I can't help but be a little bit broken at the characterization of what has been an incredibly painful, but never dishonest period of my life. Tonight I feel like my safe space has shrunk and I'm trying so, so hard not to let this topple me back into oblivion. I had no idea how still totally wounded I am and how easily my happy could be penetrated and attacked from the inside out.
I hope I will be brave and strong some day. I hope I will truly and completely overcome not only this mental illness that still lurks in the dark corners of my soul, but also the year that I lost to all of this, the year that came storming back into my life tonight.