Paralyzed by Fear

Paralyzed by fear.

If reading and comprehension come easily to you, you may not full understand the paralyzing fear of reading or reading out loud. The fear of being told that you are dumb or stupid, to have teachers and peers make you feel like you less than because it takes you longer to read or process. This was my experience from elementary through middle school and even Jr. High.  It was better in High school and much easier during my undergrad.

Tonight, I am sitting at my desk with my printed out essay that I need to read. Its only 9 pages. I start out pretty confident, after all I am 36 and have learned ways to cope with my dyslexia. I have found programs that make my life easier, things that assist with my writing. I buy dual copies of books in paper and audio this helps retain me as I follow along.

In the event that I couldn’t get a text on audio. I would just read it out loud. This works for the most part until I get into textual work or theory, when I get to words I can’t pronounce and start to stubble. I start to get lost in the unfamiliar words. I completed last paragraph on page 3 and the tears start to fall.

I start the next page. Suddenly, I see myself as that 12 year old working on homework for hours, crying and telling my mom that I am stupid.  I would get frustrated and she would should different ways to work a math problem, and even though I would finally understand it. I would still cry because I knew that Mrs. Ragor would count it wrong because it had not been done her way.  I was teased and told I was stupid by not just my peers but by educators. If I had not had a mother that was determined to help me, I would not be where I am today. It was my hungry to learn and her determination that made us unstoppable.

I continued to struggle through this 1930’s essay that yes is still relevant. I hit record on my phone, thinking I might be tempted to share and exert of my reading, but that may be too scary. Online classes add to these fears and anxieties, it’s all textual and becomes a sea of letters and words that I am drowning in. I read through my fears. I can’t read this in my head because it bounces off like my brain is rubber.

Finally, I get through it, the notes were not taken and it took me about an hour and a half. I sat there the tears leaking out of my eyes as if I can finally release the sea I was just drowning in.

It was at this moment, I sent another message to my professors and asked about dropping a class. I felt like a total failure. I couldn’t do this. Two classes, children, and work. There is no way! It’s too much and the reading has me feeling like a failure. All I have ever wanted to do was write and make art, but maybe it wasn’t meant to be. These thoughts of the things my middle school teachers use to say to me were screaming, so loudly in my head. I felt so defeated in that moment. I hit send on my email and let the tears flow.

One of my professors had responded to a previous email. He reminded me of my accommodation and advised me to submit my documentation.  I haven’t had to do this in years, but I will dig out paper work. He told me about PDF reader opinion “read out loud,” which I had to google.  I pulled up the pdf of the textbook my other professor had sent me. The “read out loud”, was the lifeline I needed last night. It’s not ideal, but it worked!!

After I complete these sections. I was going to scan in the previous essay, then I realized that I had a theory book that was on audio, low and behold this fucking essay that took me nearly 90 mins to read, was on the audio text I have.  I listened to this essay and took notes for another 20mins, it all made sense to me.

It was 2 AM by the time I finished. I sat with my 12 year old self. She reminded me of all the things I was afraid of and I reminded her of how far we have come. Together we cried not because it was over, but she is the only one that truly understands.

 

Every Negative has a Positive

Negative: I couldn’t get a single book on audio this semester.

Positive: I spent Thursday and Friday ready out loud to myself in funny accidents to get through the pages.

Negative: I should have than work on the video and the paper, but I was not able to focus on it after all the reading.

Positive: I was inspired to work on my book which has a deadline coming up. So, I got lost in this story and the words.  Relived a few life lessons and before I knew it was 1 am.

Negative: My youngest, who is a night owl.  Requested an hour of TV and in my bed at 1AM. I explained to him that I am going to fall asleep and that he is too big to sleep in my bed.

Positive: I could snuggle with him and after 30 minutes before telling him that I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  He agreed to end the movie if I will tuck him in.

Saturday was just one of those days and was not nearly as productive as it should have been, it was full of interruptions.  There are several reasons as to why this weekend was going to be full of changes.

Negative: The older teenager was going to be here and his plans change from hour to hour. Consisting of mom take me here, mom pick me up there. This is not unusual for a teenager, but I was trying to write a fucking paper.

Positive: He re-met and a friend of mine, and for the first time since the divorce he said. “I like him, he seems chill”

I reminded my oldest that this man and I are just friends, and that I have too much on plate to date.  This idea of me letting people met my children is hard for me, even if they are friends.  The fact that he liked someone even if it was a friend was huge because he doesn’t like anyone new.

Negative: Unexpected visitors:

Positive: My wonderful supportive mom stops by and for the most didn’t interrupt me directly.  She drove with me to drop the boys off and even stayed late to watch a movie with them, while working on my paper.

Negative: I don’t like going to the grocery store. It feels like a waste. I understand that we need food to survive, but it mostly feels expensive. It used to give me a panic attack. Now it’s just annoying with the time and the crowds.

Positive: I got to go grocery and my mom made this trip more pleasant. Plus, the kids brought in and put away all the groceries away for me.

Sunday had just as many distractions, but there are ways a better way to look at the situations and find the best part of it.

Overwhelmed

Well, I feel overwhelmed and I want to have sex, but I am taking a break from that. I want to forget that I feel like my life is spinning out of control.  The reality is that it’s not out of control, it’s just finding a new balance. My fears kick in, “can I read the material fast enough and I will be able to maintain the schedule.”  yet I always find my way.

I am a 36 year old dyslexic who knows all the coping skills with a 4.0 GPA and yet there are moments that I feel like the 12 year old girl so afraid to read out loud.

It’s only 10 weeks

“It’s only 10 weeks,” the phrase that I keep repeating to myself as I start my third term at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) this week. It’s 10 weeks two classes, which equates to an additional 40 hours a week on top of my full-time job, my children, and my book. “Lean into it,” is the other phrase that rings loudly. The extra class mean I can complete the degree a term sooner.

However, my day job can be mentally taxing, and there are days I just want to melt on the couch after work. Let alone do all the responsible parenting things.  My boys are great with their encouragement and even reassure me occasionally that I am not being selfish that I am showing them how to follow their passion.

Except as classes start, I’m suddenly filled with fear of time management and mom guilt. It’s only 10 weeks, right. 400 hours….

The clock is ticking, Friday is the deadline to drop a class and I stand on the edge, leaning, armed with coffee and my cape.

Not Sorry

I have never been a hateful person. I own my actions good or bad. I understand that what I post is not for the everyone regardless these are my internal thought and experiences told from solely my from the point of view either at the moment or upon reflecting. In the past, I haven’t loved with an open heart, but with a guard one and be vulnerable was not an option. As I am finding the internal balance that is changing, there is something beautiful in exposing that side of myself.

I know that somewhere there is another person who is experiencing things in a similar fashion and my goal is to help them realize they are not alone.

Ready for the Pieces

Dating at 35 with a pretty clear head of what I want in a partnership has been challenging. Partly because I started before I was ready. Before I did the real work. I got attached to men that were emotionally and sometimes physically unavailable. This is my pattern, my mirror because the truth is/was I am emotionally unavailable. My emotional, physical, and mental needs are out of wack.

It has been a series of mix signals, vagueness, and men afraid of hurting my feelings, ghosting, or just keeping me as a possibility. Seriously, a TIP for men and women, stop fucking playing games, it is unnecessary. If you are not interested, just say it. Yes, there will be hurt feelings, but it hurts a lot less the not knowing and for fuck sake if you don’t know say that too. The truth can be hard to hear, but is better for both to be on the same page.

Communication!!! I’m not sure why we are so fucking afraid of this action.

Life is messy and everyone is on their own path and at different stages of the game. For I while I thought that maybe this was payback, karma for something I had done to someone else. After several bad dates, I agreed to give Mr.X a shot. We had been connecting. The date was decent but we were not in the same place. I was still shut out and while he kissed me good night I shut down, completely. I look him in the eyes and said “I don’t feel this. I know you want to be loved and I can’t give you that.” I didn’t want to waste his time and he had done nothing wrong. He accepted that and we have remained friends and not Facebook friends, but actually friends. After that, I shut down for a while convinced myself I wasn’t ready. I did have some things I still had to work on.

One still is, ending it with fuck boy, it’s a temptation, but one I should give it up. It’s time, time for my mind, my vagina, and most importantly my heart to match.

I met Mr. X over the weekend, I was reluctant at first, but decide it’s time to focus on the moment. This was marvelous and short lived.

Here’s what I learned:

I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed intimacy. The touch of a man and looking into somebody’s eyes as you both try to figure it all out. It’s rare that a man can make me live in the moment and keep my mind from racing with a million scenarios of why it won’t work. Although, I tried. The intimate touches are different than fucking. Sexual attraction is easy. It’s going beyond that. It’s about open up my heart that is so difficult. When he asked me to dance and he touched me, I didn’t shut down. Through the course of the next few days I thought “I can open up, be vulnerable and accept the possibility of love”

I was reminded what it’s like to kiss somebody you like. To think I can get on this ride. I can test the waters. I can be open and comfortable to feel that a sensual touch. I let down my guard and listened to his heartbeat under your ear. I felt safe at that moment. I realized how much I actually missed by being so guarded. I also realize that there are men out there that can be in touch with their needs and can be honest about where they are at.

It was brief and I was upset over that brief encounter ending because I realized I what I been missing. I’m a little scared, but I am ready to be more open.

I want a partner! I don’t want a boyfriend or I don’t want a husband. I want somebody who will share in my excitement, my sorrows, my life experiences and I want to share theirs. I may not be ready to share my whole world with anyone just yet. However, I ready to share pieces at first. I know when the right person comes along I will be able to share my whole world.

For now I am ready start with pieces, and the process might be messy, but it might just turn out beautiful at the same time. It’s a whirlwind of emotions that are magnificent. I miss being vulnerable and letting people in. I’m not saying I don’t still have stuff that I’m working on and dealing with it, personal goals that I’ve set for myself, but I’m ready to be in the moment and not over think the next step.

Weekends don’t go as planned.

Baseball season has come to an end. This meant I was going to spend my kid free weekend playing catch up. It amazes me how behind three or four games a week can put you.

The list was made:

  • Paint
  • Go out for drinks with a new friend (Friday)
  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Pick up house
  • Weed gardens
  • Mow lawn
  • Pay bills.
  • Work on graduate school portfolio.
  • Family day Sunday night and Monday

Good thing I’m flexible.  I didn’t accomplish most of these things. I took an unexpected me weekend. I meet a man this week that is totally into me and wanted to spend time with me getting to know me.  This should be a great thing right?!?!

I should have been really excited and, for the most part I was.

We met up and hit it off. We talked and by the end of the night there was this kiss. That made me feel like I could crack open up the window to my heart.

The topic of public displays of affection came up. I am this girl with the right person, but it takes time. I spent many of my early years and a fourteen year marriage being the “prize.” The “pretty girl” on some fucktard’s arm.   I didn’t appreciate it then and will not be that girl ever again. I am too fucking smart and sparkly for that type of relationship.   So yes, I am guarded! I don’t want to be touched to in order to make another person jealous, man or woman. I’m a free spirit, and jealously is an ugly feeling.

I want to be touched because he can’t imagine touching someone else. I want a kiss in the middle of the party because the moment was right.  We spent both Friday and Saturday together with inmate conversation and touching.

He wants to give it his all, but has the fog and I am guarded and holding back. Why?

He is very much going through the reality that his marriage has ended. He has to decide if he can let go of the love he still holds for her.

I will and do not play second fiddle.

I have been this girl a couple of times in my recent dating experiences. I become their friend, listen and give them advice on the whatever the situation is, I tell them that I will not judge them and to follow their hearts. This leaves me in this no man’s land, usually the friendship fades as they wander back to their ex and I’m left with my heart a little bruised.