Asking for Help, Part 2…..

(Continuing)

…..I know it’s unwarranted that I feel ashamed to ask for help when I really need it, and that familiar fear of being judged creeps up and then I’m back to that place, sinking into quick sand…..

I plan ahead waaaaay too much, because I want to make sure that I’ll never be in a position where I’ll have to ask for help…..I know that’s illogical, but it’s the easiest way for me to feel I have control, which of course I don’t…..If I prepare myself as much as possible for NOTHING to go wrong, nothing will, right? That is what I tell myself but when life happens, I’m brought back to reality very quickly, that I do NOT have control over everything around me, things WILL happen…..

I was rudely awakened by a flood in my apartment a few days ago. It was midnight when I felt a pool of water under my feet as I sat down in my living room. I was alarmed when  more and more water was spilling out quickly from an unknown place…..I discovered where it was coming from and phoned my landlord to report the problem. The water heater had a leak or something, we weren’t 100 percent sure, but I followed instructions, shut off whatever valve etc. I was  calm, cool and collected as I watched the water flood out into my living room and beyond…..There wasn’t much more I could do than attempt to soak it up with whatever I had…There wasn’t much we could do until morning, business hours…I wasn’t going to panic and make the situation any worse for my landlord as well, and she thanked me for that. I tend to be calmer than usual through emergency situations…In my mind I was picturing people who’ve suffered flooding, the aftermath of  hurricanes…But I was relieved the water was somewhat contained….Ironically my father called me from Jamaica and informed me that he was preparing for hurricane, so it was on heart….I thought WOW, this really sucks, but it could be WORSE…..

I barely slept and by the wee hours of morning around 5am, the water had reached further throughout my apartment, creeping underneath my bedroom door. It was very bad, and I decided to inform my upstairs neighbours by text, telling them what about the flooding/water heater issue. I felt they had the right to know, since it will affect them too, but  I didn’t want to burden them or make them worry about a problem that they couldn’t solve. They came downstairs ASAP to assist me with trying to contain the water, and we worked tirelessly for 3 hours with all types of supplies to soak up/drain as much water as we could until technicians arrived. We had a great conversation about life situations, and the irony that it happened to be their day off , and they had other plans, but their top priority was to help me…..We worked as a team, harmoniously and managed to clean up ALL of the water which looked like a MIRACLE!

I  expressed to my neighbours, while I thanked them, that I was very apprehensive to ask for help when I initially saw the flooding. They said they’d feel the same way if they were in my shoes. They appreciated the fact that I promptly  informed them of the problem, especially for safety reasons…..I felt extra blessed  that I received the help I needed, and didn’t expect, in one of the WORST predicaments I’ve ever been in by myself…..

At this point, I’m dealing with the aftermath of the flood which is taxing, but I feel that I’m almost over my fear of asking for help….I’m still working on it 😉

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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Stress &Selflessness (Part 2)…..

I’m going to continue where I left off,  as I was saying, people who constantly give and give, have higher expectations put on them from others. The stress and pressure has to go somewhere, and if they don’t complain and get it out, it can and will lead to their demise. My mother unfortunately, sacrificed herself, her health. I watched as her physical health and mental state deteriorated slowly over a long period of time, and I tried to reach her by asking her questions to help her feel okay with being open…..In the culture she comes from, they are not open about their true feelings, as in vulnerabilities, pain…It’s just the way they are, through the generations…..I am not the first person to address this problem, but we’re ALL to afraid to address it collectively…..I felt uncomfortable blogging about it last year, but I’ve come along way since then. I don’t feel ashamed to discuss this “taboo”  and I know and feel should NOT be a taboo at all.

This is the root of all the conflict, personal attacks,  misunderstandings and unfinished business with my immediate family regarding mommy’s passing. I’ve been told by many that, “They feel guilty…..Don’t take it personal, they’ll come around one day….” *Sigh *…..

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of my mother’s passing, and I was feeling slightly off the day before, as I always do around these times… I try to go about my day as if it was a regular day, but then that feeling hits me…..I tried to make myself feel upbeat, but my mood was sombre…..I phoned my Auntie G who I’m closest with, and talked to her about my feelings, she always encourages me to…..I felt I needed to express my feelings that confused me,  a mix of angst, pain, disappointment, anger…I was complaining as well, which made me feel guilty…I didn’t want to come off as though I was complainer but I had to get it off my chest. My Aunt comforted me and reassured me it was okay for me to feel the way I feel…..I slept the rest of the day away until nighttime, then my Aunt called me and said she was coming from the city to see me. I was happy that I’d be able to spend some time with her before the night was over. Before she left we spoke about the quietness in the family, the strange silence on this day , every year. I told her that I hate the fact I’m STILL frustrated, even after how far I’ve come. She reminded me that I won’t have full closure until the “unfinished business” is handled and my feelings are a natural part of it…..I just wish we all could emulate my mother’s selflessness to come together as a family.

 

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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A “Little” Dehumanization, Part 2

On a daily basis I take notice of the “little” ways we humans dehumanize one another in this modern society that we live in. In the News we watch other countries deal with war, genocide, famine etc. and that has desensitized us to the way we dehumanize each other in “little” ways daily.

I’m very sensitive to others pain, and I don’t consider my pain to be more important than somebody else’s. This has been a blessing and a curse at the same time, and I knew this at a very young age. My parents always told me this as well. It’s a natural part of my nature, as natural as breathing, but sometimes in this society it’s viewed as a weakness. I accept this fact, and I’ve figured out ways to deal with it, and of course, I’m still working on it. That being said, I feel the need to address the recent events in the media, and how WE as people, are contributing to dehumanizing one another by disregarding each other’s experiences. Social media has given us a platform to say whatever we want, whenever we want. It’s brought out the worst in people because they are untouchable, behind a screen, unknown, without a face and no consequences. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and it irks me when I see people hop onto another’s page, and argue with them on who has it the worst…..You have the right to FEEL you have it the worst, but who are you to fight, slander, attack another because they are detailing their own experience dealing with social injustices? This is a very disturbing trend, and when I see it, I try to stay clear of it…..

 

 

I have more to say, but I’m going to try and catch a few hours sleep before I start work. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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(Part 2) A Different Conversation…..

I drank coffee tonight, I’m not a “coffee drinker” per se, but I went for a long walk, and for some reason I stopped off and grabbed a coffee…I have a lot on my mind lately and the coffee is keeping me up….

After I spoke to my father last night, I was sifting through everything he said to me…..There was so much information, so many memories that came back to me, so many questions that I finally had answers to. He was FINALLY staying on topic, addressing the issues, my complaints, my pain that I was expressing to him. I told him that I know there’s not much he can do to fix it, but I just wanted him to understand how tired I am from dealing with it alone. In my heart, I wanted him to say something, to speak up for me, defend me…..I wanted help, so I could complete the “unfinished business” that I intended on finally putting to rest years ago. My father started to open up in a way he hadn’t before and began to explain what he’s observed from afar. He told me that he’s noticed behaviour that he couldn’t understand…..He said that he knows what’s going on, although he isn’t here, his instincts are telling him. Then he surprised me by  describing his relationship my other siblings, and that he’s made much effort, even more than he’s made with me to re-build what’s been broken…..He admitted his vices, and said he was hurt by the “hot and cold” treatment that he’s been receiving since mom’s passing…..He shared details of past events and family issues that I was aware of, but never fully understood the root of…..I was surprised at his candor, yet it was familiar, because he spoke open with me when I was a child, but now I am an adult. I was connecting with him on the pain we were experiences in dealing with trying to accomplish closure, while dealing with others anger.

What really got me, was hearing his take on his relationship and love for my mother. I’ve heard stories about them growing up together, the first time she saw him, their dating years, and some nice photos, but this was different…..I was hearing my father finally admit his guilt, his conscience weighing on him because of how he treated my mother. The fact that everyone knew she was an angel, and “too good” for him. I was touched…..I was speechless as I listened to him pour his heart out and confess…..

The next day he phoned me to Thank me for reaching out to him, yet again….I told him, “No problem Dad…..” I didn’t have much to say to that. I’ve been reaching out to him for years…..I learned so much about my father from that conversation, and it made me want to meet see him in person even more. I felt proud of myself for helping him open up and connect with me as an adult, a grown woman.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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Part 2, Accepting Change for the Better.

This is a continuation of my last blog, I’m going to pick up where I left off…..I’ve made the big move to my beautiful apartment in the central part of the city. It’s simply easier to live here, accessible to travel, close to stores and malls, a safer neighbourhood, and closer family and friends. I didn’t realize how different I would feel in new surroundings, not just new surroundings, but surroundings that I chose to be in. I feel calmer, clearer, content…..genuinely happier. I’m still settling in and making my new place home, but decorating is not as important to me as adjusting from the inside. Settling my mind and body and getting used to my new environment as home, and  I haven’t felt at home in a very long time…..I was not ungrateful for what I had, but regardless of why you are living in the conditions that you are, if they are negative in any way, it takes a toll on your true self. Until you leave and move on to improved surroundings you will  realize the affect your previous surroundings were having on you.

All the struggles I had to go through after moving out without a plan ten years ago, still sit with me as I embrace this change. I could not anticipate what living alone was going to be like, granted I’m a twin from a family of six…..I didn’t have any money saved, a steady job, or a game plan as to how I was going to move. I simply packed a duffel bag on my moving day, and made due with my basic needs, until I could move my other stuff. There was so much chaos around me that comfort was not my top priority…..

I remember the day I signed my lease, and told my mother that I’d be leaving for sure. She was dealing with various health issues, and the stress was damaging her mental health. I was the only one residing in the house that understood the nature of her illness, and was attending doctor appointments/counselling with her. She expressed concern that I was taking it on. She did not want me to leave, but she wanted me to get away from the stresses in the house. She said that I was taking on her burden, and it wasn’t “my problem” but I felt that I owed it to her to stay and help her. Although I couldn’t help her the way I that I wanted to, I felt I owed it to her to be there for her. I felt guilty leaving her but  I knew that moving out was necessary in order to preserve my health, my mother was right. It hurt me when she told me that she wasn’t “kicking me out” and that I don’t “have” to leave, because she never said anything to me like that in the past. Those ideas didn’t even cross my mind, but I guess that was just her parental instincts taking over. It made me feel sad though…..

The reason and the manner in which I left weighed on my subconscious, and followed me through the years. As I’ve said in, “Healthy Mourning, Coping with my Mother’s Death,” I’ve managed to grow past most of the turmoil that ensued before and after. Now it’s time to plant new seeds and allow myself to enjoy the calm after the storm. I am proud of myself for earning what I always knew I deserved.

I’ve finally conquered my fear of accepting change for the better.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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