I find it a bit unnerving to focus on my thin-skinnedness or my thick-skinnedness. It feels like someone will overhear me and say I am WRONG!!!
Perhaps that is my story?!
One thing I am sure of is that I have made it my Life’s Work to BE both less and more sensitive. To toughen up and all the while BE highly considerate of others.
Those “others” never seemed to HAVE feelings or express them in language I understood. I always felt I was a stranger in a peculiar [and somewhat scary] land.
A message I heard [mayBE it was said only a handful of times] was I Don’t Want To Know About That.
“That” always referred to me, my feelings, my pain, my fear, my deep uncertainty about BEing here at all, and my constant low-grade confusion.
I heard this message at an especially tender time of my Life, BEtween 11 and 16 years of age.
I was very clear about only one thing in those years: I was NOT wanted.
An oh well I’ve only got to DO this until you are 18, Now go and leave me alone child in a splintered family of people I Now see through different eyes with a more open heart.
I thought I was broken. Unfixable. Flat-out wrong.
If I spoke of it I was in for exasperated anger, flaring tempers and punishments, and often felt that BEing Me was something I had no idea HOW to BE.
Why did all my parts NOT work “right” like others’ did?!
I never ever felt a sense that what I experienced was something I shared with anyone.
That is the story of my skin. Too thick and too thin, I was never Just Right.
Over the decades since I was that young girl, I’ve learned that I am NOT the only one to have felt this.
To have experienced a deep and lasting sense of BEing outside looking in where I was NOT welcome.
Still, I tend to keep more to myself. I want to connect, sometimes far more than I think anyone could imagine, but I am unwavering in my determination to protect and cherish myself, even if I’m the ONLY ONE who does.
Coping. That’s my skin story. Coping.
Accepting that this is just the way things are.
NOT trusting my own radar.
I often think there is something NOT Right or simply Wrong, but I don’t speak up or take wise, adult actions to sort things out.
I don’t ask for help.
I no longer go to my family members without having dragged myself through hell and back FIRST, and then never without apologies and feeling really ashamed to BE having this “problem” at my age… hoping THIS TIME I might discover I’ve been wrong all along.
They DO, they really REALLY DO like me!!!
I tell myself all the time to expect nothing and to NOT BE surprised when there is nothing. Recent events have borne this out yet again.
I shake my head. I try to snap myself out of it. I “act as if” I’m okay with all this. But living alone it makes it hard to “pass” as okay.
That is far easier when living with others. So I suppose this Life Choice is convenient. A way to seem more thick-skinned.
I am NOT so easy to fool as others.
Plus I don’t encourage myself to BE more thick or less thin in the skin department. I look myself in the eye. And the heart.
I know myself better than that…
Oneness is another kettle of fish entirely. It is something I imagine, envision, hope for, and look for. I rarely see it and I sometimes feel that my seeing it is really stretching myself across a wide chasm.
But I have experienced it.
And much moreso in this year, this A Year With Myself Year.
Each week I have read and resonated with something, oftentimes many somethings.
I have gradually and steadily come to see that others must have similar perspectives to my own. Otherwise, how could they say or write or dream up things that sound so familiar to me?!
Camp was a place, during those difficult years in particular, where I felt what I suppose is Oneness.
I’ve often thought and mayBE even said that Camp saved my Life.
And then there is my son.
How I FEEL about him.
Who he is to me.
Where he came from.
That is a Light shed in a Very Dark Room.
He helps me cope with the skin thing.
He loves me.
As I AM.
As I AM NOT.
He listens. He hears me.
And he shares himself with me. Which is so amazing and BEautiful.
Those are my stories…