In less than 2 months, I will be turning 50 years old.
Turning 50 has been on my mind since January, knowing this is the year I earn the honor of saying I’m half a century old.
But I didn’t think turning 50 was an honor back in January. In January my mindset was I would no longer be forty something. I was saying goodbye to my youth and crossing that line of no return into getting old!
That line of no return means, to me, the knowing I’m not going to live forever. I’m not always going to be young. I’m not always going to have the youthful face looking back at me in the mirror that (thanks to my grandmother’s youthful DNA) has been relatively unchanged for 30 years.
While my body itself has shown the slow progress of aging, my mind, my spirit feels ageless. But with that comes deeply ingrained maladaptive coping skills I still haven’t freed myself from. I’ve been working on myself since I was 27 years old. That was when I first stepped onto the self-healing path.
Now here I am, 23 years later….and it seems that the hardest, deepest, most difficult to maneuver through maladaptive coping skills I use, coping skills I created to protect myself over the years, are now showing themselves with a volume I cannot control.
I ask myself why now? Why can I see these maladaptive coping skills so clearly now when I’ve been working on myself for so many years?
Is it because of taking the Reiki Level III – Master Level A, that initiates a Reiki practitioner to a deeper, more profound connection with Source? At the Master Reiki Level, you cannot escape having to face yourself – to look deeply within – much more than Level II – whether you’re ready for it or not. That is why it is so important the Reiki Master Teacher is able to discern if a Level II practitioner is ready to move forward – or not. It was soon after my initiation into Master Level A that I stopped drinking…..
Therefore, is it because I finally, truthfully, deeply have come to embrace that I cannot drink alcohol and have stopped drinking?
Is it because I finally feel safe in a personal relationship? My husband Michael loves me unconditionally. He never threatens to take his love away or punish me or yell at me or threaten me if I do or say something he doesn’t agree with. He doesn’t play games. He doesn’t take advantage of me. The balance of power between us is equal. His love is stable. His love is secure. His love is mature. He walks along side me – supporting me with respect.
Is it because I am finally financially secure as well as financially independent from my family? I no longer have to rely on family for help with money as I once did, many times over the years, while trying to find my way, my place in the world. I am now personally financially successful in a career I enjoy as well as having a husband who is financially stable and secure.
Is it because I now live so far from my family that the distance and years away have given me clearer lenses to see how we really are rather than what I thought we were?
Is it because I finally feel authentic enough, safe enough, financially independent enough to start to be able to feel worthy enough to listen to my truest, deepest dreams in life and go get them? This here is the key – because to do so I need to deal with these maladaptive coping skills first.
And maybe all of the above has brought me to this place of the perfect storm of approaching 50?
I will be bringing these deeper surfacing maladaptive coping skills to a therapist because the emotional pain of them is so confusing, I need wisdom and guidance to help me through.
Bringing to mind another thought I have of turning 50 years old – and that is a rite of passage. Turning 50 is a rite of passage that I hope gives me permission to stop giving a shit about what people people think of me.
This deeply ingrained “people pleaser” within myself is a part of those maladaptive coping skills I spoke of earlier and a part of me I wish I didn’t have. Here is what this maladaptive coping skill looks like for me on a daily basis: It looks like my asking myself after I’ve said or done something – “What if I upset someone?”, “What if I do something that someone doesn’t like?”, “What if I offend someone?”, “What if I get in trouble?”, “What will happen to me?”.
Can you hear the young, scared girl trapped within me?
I can! Loudly, every day!
She’s the one I’m bring to therapy.
The grounded adult in me knows better – but this young girl’s scared voice is so loud right now I can hardly hear any other parts within me.
Her voice is the voice that is stopping me from the inner freedom I need of going after the truest, deepest dreams I spoke of. Her voice is the voice of enmeshment. And here, approaching 50, I need to release myself and finally step into becoming a free, fully empowered woman.
At this time I need therapy to help guide and support me with this.
And, no – I’m not schizophrenic because I’m talking about “parts” of me.
But I will tell you this – In my 30’s my diagnosis list, simple put, changed according to therapist. My list of diagnosis included Borderline Personality Disorder – BPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder – ADHD, Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified – DDNOS and depression. I never really found my way through DDNOS or truly understood it. Therapists, like lawyers, doctors, teachers – any certified professional – has it’s good ones and not so good ones. You would like to think that a certified therapist has their eduction and ethical code woven within their DNA – but not all do.
We all have many parts within us. Healing our many parts is all about integration and balance. Freud talks about the Id, ego and super-ego, Jung introduced archetypes as well as Anima and Animus. Caroline Myss talks about Archetypes. John Bradshaw promotes Inner Child work. A little caveat – back in my early twenties when I was in a horribly abusive relationship, I’ll never forget my very first glimpse into healing yourself and your family outside of organized religion; it was on PBS – Bradshaw On: The Family. This was the first time I’d ever heard someone say the word dysfunction and talk about shame, hurts, secrets and how to heal yourself and your family.
Transactional Analysis therapy is all about healing the Parent-Adult-Child parts within us.
I still have work to do. I’m hoping the work this time will be a little easier than it has been in the last 3 decades. I doubt it. I feel a big grief cycle coming on…..mourning what is rather than what I thought it was.
This below picture is my looking up from the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza – The Pyramid of Khufu. I picked this picture for a reason.
This could be me looking back at my history:
And this is me, putting the past behind me! I predict that my turning 50 will once and for all be the year I put the past behind me and I finally, FINALLY feel the freedom empowerment brings!!!!
S, <3 <3 <3