An open letter to my Confidence

Dear Confidence,

We need to talk.

I’m feeling as though you’re not as committed to our relationship as I am & I’m starting to really question the way you treat me sometimes, specifically, the way you leave me without word, without warning & without reason.

We’ve had a really tumultuous time together haven’t we. Me being that little bit behind in Primary school - & needing catching up which included me staying down in year one, needing remedial reading & math – was really hard on you but we got there. You disappeared for while after my grade three teacher calling me stupid in front of my class but came back a year later when I started enjoying learning again having a wonderful encouraging teacher. You always remained in the gym with me when I had my gymnastics classes & in my backyard when trampolining. I was the happiest then & you really helped get me back on track academically. In grade six I had the most wonderful teacher who made me absolutely love learning & school & we were so very close that year & I’ll cherish that forever.

High school was rough on us both. Boys, bras, periods, lack of attention, bullying, bitchy girls, being labelled & judged for being a Rabbi’s daughter etc was really difficult, but things got better when we moved schools for year 11 & 12. And after school, boy-o-boy did things get even better. University brought out the academic in me. I started getting high marks because I was doing subjects I wanted to do & was good at. I loved learning, was studious, did all my assignments, handed them in on time & had a ball socially as there were no preconceived notions of who I was & how I should behave etc. Why am I reminding you ? You were there!

Fast forward a few years & I was working in advertising – I was presenting to marketing managers in large corporations, was juggling the demands of my clients with the wishes & visions of my creative department & was loyal & committed to the bosses of the two agencies I was at the longest. I had fantastic relationships with my clients & all my performance reviews reflected that. You were at an all time high & we were going places. After years of feeling as though I had to prove myself, we settled into a nice rhythm & this permeated into my social life also which now included people I enjoyed spending time with & people who made me feel good about myself.

Fast forward to a few broken hearts & relationship learning experiences about being important in someone else’s life & not just an appendage, a long distance relationship that ended as soon as it started due to the apathy & fear of the other partner & a promised life together with picket fences & kids only to have shared this person with another – except I didn’t know about it. Happiness & you returned when I met Seon. A proposal six months later & a wedding seven months after that & before we knew it we were pregnant & then pregnant again with Orli.

And then our beautiful Orli was born. We had had spent a lot of time preparing for the baby & read up on what to expect, about breastfeeding, about routines & settling, but as soon as she was born & before we could put anything into place that we’d learnt together, you left. Without warning. Just like that. Like a puff of white smoke. I was a empty shell trying to get through the days. A prem baby, being separated from birth & then coming home without her & feeling completely in over my head & out of control was the start of what I call the eye of the storm. In those days I begged for your return, but you stubbornly stayed away & kept your distance. I didn’t understand why you stayed away but you crept back ever.so.slowly over the next year. You played with me & my emotions time & time again. You teased me & at times laughed in my face, but that entire time I pretended you were with me. And it was exhausting. I wondered what you were teaching me but I couldn’t see it & it pissed me off. A lot. But in time, things between us improved & my relationship with Orli grew stronger & stronger.

Just under two years later we had a big talk about having another baby. I’d done a lot of therapy  & work in that time & was sure that this time round you were going to stay by my side. We had this one in the bag. As the pregnancy continued & the issues & complications increased we were still doing ok. Following the birth things were still looking good between us. After week home with Flynn you were slowly edging your way out the door. He wasn’t feeding very well & we went back to hospital. We were there for nine weeks & in that time you seldom visited. I just don’t understand why you were not there as I really could have done with you – even for an hour a day. We had been through & survived so much together & I just found this distance kind of cruel & unfair.

After nine weeks & Flynn’s discharge we returned home & you came back too. You had a knowing smile & a familiarity & settled back with me. Three months later you came with me to a mother & baby unit & settling school in order to give Flynn the gift of sleep. And me too! You came with us as I was sure that this five days would be so beneficial to us all. You hadn’t gone anywhere this time, I was just too tired to find you. I didn’t feel defeated, just deflated & exhausted, but five days later we came home together with renewed affection & the basis of a really wonderful long lasting relationship.

Flynn still struggles with his food & drinking/eating but I think we’re doing really well together. We’ve often had to lean on our Laryngomalacia, Tracheomalacia, Bronchomalacia in Australia (LTBM Australia) support group for things like food supplements, food & feeding advice, help & ideas & encouragement to go to a speech pathologist etc. I am & will be forever grateful for their existence, support & space & have not shied away from letting you know just how fickle you can sometimes be in our relationship.

Just recently Flynn was trying to tell me he wanted to drop down to one day sleep. And you went on a hiatus. Seriously!? How did we get here again? After everything we’d been through a change in a sleep schedule sends you away! Really!? Just so you know, I did it. With the help a few friends & digging in deep, I did it. And what’s more, is that I can feel your presence again & I truly hope you stay.

I know being there all the time with me can be tiring & sometimes unrelenting, but I really need you to roll with the punches – because clearly I can’t. That’s who you are & what I need you to be for me. There are so many times when Patty decides to drop in unannounced & I know if you were there with me, she’d have no reason to stay. And with you taking up the last chair at the table, she’d have nowhere to sit.

So Confidence, my dear friend, I’m asking you from the depths of my being to please stay with me. I need you & I can’t be who I want to be without you. I can’t be a good enough wife for Seon or a good enough mum to my kids without you. So please unpack your bags for good, put on your comfy shoes & get comfortable, cos I think you’ll be staying a while.

All my love forever & ever.

Me xo

ForGIVEness as posted on James & Jax

First posted on James & Jax

I really struggle with the notion of forgiveness. I cling on to my anger & resentment like toddler does with their beloved comfort toy. I take my anger & resentment with me everywhere I go & would never ever consider parting with it as it’s become my protective shield not allowing anymore pain in, as well as repelling the potential for future hurt. The negativity I harbour has also become the flint that ignites all my excuses to forgive whomever or whatever. And so the cycle continues & I go nowhere fast.

I understand the notion of forgiveness & can see how others can forgive, but somehow I’m still unable to apply this to my own life. I know that by being angry & holding a grudge helps shield me from future hurt but also chips away at my overall happiness, however I suppose you need to weigh up the value you put on certain things that have happened & if they don’t threaten your contentment & safety then forgiveness has the potential to be easy. I also know that just because they/you have forgiven someone or something it doesn’t mean you will ever forget what happened. Forgiveness & forgetfulness are mutually exclusive & seldom go hand in hand.

What do I need to do to forgive someone? Can I find a template on Google to learn how to do this? Is this something that can take a long time, because I’m really impatient. Is there a right way to forgive someone? How does it feel? Will I ever be able to let this person back into my life again?

I know that forgiveness can be simple. For example, when Orli is rude or naughty & apologises to me forgiveness is simple. Forgiveness can also be incredibly difficult. I can’t ever see myself forgiving my third grade teacher for calling me stupid in front of the class as it affected my confidence & self-esteem for many years. I know my memories of this event are through the eyes & emotional maturity of my seven/eight yr old self, but even if this happened today it would be just as hurtful & impacting.

The word forgive has many definitions, one of them being ‘to grant a pardon’. Simple isn’t it really? Oh, you did something completely hurtful to me , no worries, I shall grant you this pardon to absolve yourself of all responsibly. Yeah, I don’t think so. This definition also reminds me of the Kings & World Leaders that pardon criminals or the innocently accused of a life behind bars. I see this type of pardon as ‘letting the person go’. I’m not sure I want people to get away with hurting my feelings or mistreating me. Why should they go about their life without ever accepting responsibility of their actions? Maybe it should read, ‘to grant yourself a pardon from allowing that person from affecting you any longer’.

See it’s complicated. And not easy.

When looking at the word ‘forgiveness’, the word ‘give’ is smack bang right there in the middle. How is it that I’ve never seen that before? Have I been blinded by my anger & resentment? I think so. Simply put then, forgiveness is a gift we’re all able to provide ourselves. The word itself has given me a tool to move forward with. If I can change the way I think about & feel about forgiveness, then perhaps, I’ll be able to forgive those that have either hurt me or been apathetic towards me & be free of holding onto useless & wasted energy & no longer give myself the excuses to remain stuck.

I now see forgiveness as a means to provide myself with permission to start, stop, move on or whatever I need to do for myself in order to curb the anger & resentment & living a fuller & enriching life with more room for love & hope. It won’t be easy as I’ve got a lot of hang ups to work through, but at least I’ve got something to start with. Now that the word ‘give’ stands out in the word forgiveness, I owe it to myself & my family to ‘give’ it a go.

Source: http://andrewschultz.com/daily-drive-forgiveness-friday-challenge/