Five minute Friday – real

Welcome

Joining in with Five Minute Friday – this week’s word: real.

Start

“What’s real?” I ask myself. I mean, I know the world is real, I know my own feelings in response to my internal and (to some extent) external life are real, because I can sense those, feel those, and therefore trust those, but when you’ve lived trauma, lived repeated emotional abuse, from a narcissist, it makes you face the very real question ‘What is real?’ (when it comes to relationships, emotional interactions).

It makes you uncertain as to what you can trust, in terms of interactions within relationships, because it makes you question what was real. You lose your sense of real because ‘real’ appears to have been a fragile, fabricated, construct for so long….a life based on what you thought was real, when probably very little of it actually was real.

It’s disconcerting, to say the least: years of your life you were lied to, lived with a person wearing a mask (if not multiple masks), felt things in response to something that was not real, could never have any basis in reality. Disconcerting: there’s an understatement. Years of your life – nearly two decades – given to something that wasn’t real: it’s not disconcerting, in reality it’s soul-destroying.

[“I’m better than fodder” my soul tells me on my few ‘better’ days].

You come out of it emotionally blind, each remembered interaction a shrapnel wound to your soul that you live and relive again and again, whilst you blunder, tool-less, trying to pick them out of yourself…but, like little thorns, they somehow bury themselves in deeper more often than not. [Will you ever learn to accommodate them, these foreign bits? These unwanted but deeply lodged wounds?]

[You’re blinded….walking along a long, long corridor, in darkness, feeling your way along, hands along the wall, trying not to stumble, grabbing on to anything and everything that will help you understand and, through understanding, overcome].

Your new real is hard. On so many levels. Your ability to trust knocked out of you so suddenly you’re winded, left deflated, not sure where to turn or what to grab on to to start afresh.

Trust. It’s what the world functions on. [Well, trust or distrust, depending on your outlook]. In my world, it’s always been trust. And when something so very fundamental as trust in others has been savagely torn out of you, where’s your real then?

If you want to save yourself, there’s nothing for it, when you’ve reached this point, but to construct a new real. From a point of vulnerability, a point of fracture, from the point where your old reality was brutally shattered. From the point where your real ceased to exist.

The only way forward, if you want to live, is to build a new real upon the remains of what was. Seek firm ground where, and how, you can find it and rebuild. Slowly but surely, blindly walking that long, long corridor, feeling your way along, stumbling over every obstacle but getting stronger with each obstacle you meet. [“We can’t go over it, we can’t go round it, we’ll have to go through it” the children’s book taunts me every time I read it aloud to my daughter]

It’s a new real. Not a real you ever imagined you’d have to seek. But reality’s like that sometimes: we have to meet head-on what is real in order to continue on our paths. Perhaps our path isn’t what we imagined. Perhaps we don’t even like our new path but it’s our path. [The only one we have].

Perhaps its cold comfort at times, but we have to believe that it’s a path we’ve been led on for a reason. We have to believe this because not to do so would lead us down a spiral out of control, out of real, out of life.

Real hurts. Real means pain, suffering, humiliation, shame. But real also means breath, breathing, my children’s smiles, breeze against my skin, water running down from the shower, fresh refreshing water, rays of sunlight falling on the mountains. Kiwi. Chilli. Ginger and basil. [Tears running down my cheeks because I’m alive, my God, thank God, I’m alive]

Real fractured. Broken, shattered, in to ‘too much to bear’ and ‘concentrate on the little things’. Some day – and this is hope-giving – some day, by concentrating on the little things, the balance will tip from ‘this is too much to bear’ to ‘I accept my new real’.

Some day.

In the meantime, I thank the Heavens for beautiful little things.

Lifelines, every single one of them.

Each one of them “A kiss to build a dream on”, as Luis Armstrong sings.

I’ll take my little white feathers of hope where I can find them, take them, pocket them, grow stronger with each and every one of them.

My real, more than ever before, a vital tapestry of small moments, each one giving me a leg up to a new sense of strength, to a new – more strongly appreciated – reality.

End

[I wrote for longer than 5 minutes; around 7].

 

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28 thoughts on “Five minute Friday – real

  1. Ruth says:

    This is so true, so relatable. ‘I accept my new real.’ Your words ring with such an authenticity, such a purity, and such courage. I know (only a little) how hard it can be to face a painful real, here and now, rather than remain in a fabricated, unreal relationship. It’s such a tough discipline when trust and hope has been shattered. But as you say, ‘Seek firm ground where, and how, you can find it and rebuild.’

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  2. iwillbloom says:

    Thanks Ruth, thanks for taking the time to comment and for such kind words. Much appreciated.

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  3. Gabriele says:

    I think I set out each day with my version of real. By the end of the day I have reconsidered and reconfigured. I see how real is marking your path. I hear in your writing your acceptance and new relationship with real. Forge on!

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Thanks for your comment. I agree: real is a daily struggle for anyone and everyone. A good life is, I’ve decided, based on a constant reflective process. [Thank you: yes, I do feel I have a new relationship with my real, and that’s helping!]

      Like

  4. Barbara says:

    You will accept your new real! You will find your new real and be the REAL that He (God) has planned for you…my post is similar; but you have gone so much deeper with it. I admire your courage and bravery and tenacity in BECOMING – I used the Velveteen Rabbit!!! And, don’t worry about writing for longer than 5 minutes; I can’t seem to keep mine to that either…mostly because I am so tired I can’t concentrate and end up editing and revising and editing some more!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts; isn’t it ironic how these words come up and they…well, they relate so well to what we have to say!!!

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Barbara….yes….I always find the FMF words link in some powerful way to the thoughts I’ve had racing around my head….that’s partly why I love participating (that and the community and the creativity of all the ladies and the power of the words written!)….thanks for your comment, Barbara….much, much appreciated xxx

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  5. Such a brave and honest post. Thank you for sharing! I know that as we are all-the-way open with God, exposing every hurt and pain to Him, He begins to pour His healing oil into our fractured souls. “Tears running down my cheeks because I’m alive, my God, thank God, I’m alive…” His LOVE is becoming your new real. Thanks again for being real. For being you. Blessings to you, fmf friend.

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Thanks Tasha….so much appreciated (that you took the time to comment and that your comment has been so helpful for me)…..thank you xxxx Have a lovely weekend xxx

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  6. Debby says:

    I get the whole trust thing, or being hesitant, to say the least, to trust. And building a new real – so well put. The men who are finding their way out of addiction are faced with this and it’s not easy. People tend to think it would be but I’ve learned it can be one of the hardest things they are faced with. It takes intention and how we want change to just happen. I’m very thankful you know the truths of real. It’s never too late to find truth and that is the freedom. Hard, painful, but worth it.

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  7. I do believe that we have a path set before us and God helps us through it all. However, with your new real you can pick your path Helen. You can make it how you want it – which beautiful things you want lining that path. At least now YOU have control over it with eyes wide open.

    I think your old real will have helped you know your gut better now within the new real where trust is concerned. Don’t doubt yourself or your ability to listen to it and depend on it to guide you down your new beautiful path.

    Blessings for a wonderful weekend. xoxo

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia Carrie….yep, that’s right…eyes wide open, prepared (more than ever before) for what life will bring, with open arms and, importantly, a shield built of the fruits of bitter experience. Have a lovely weekend you too!!!

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  8. Sian says:

    I think I imagine your new real a bit like a new coat you didn’t think you needed. You try it on and it’s so different, you think it can’t be right. Then you catch sight of how you look in it and you think maybe I can make this work with what I’ve got, and you wear it out and someone tells you they’ve never seen you looking better. That’ll happen.. Put one of those feathers in the pocket 🙂

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Oh, Sian, you always say precisely exactly the right thing at precisely exactly the right moment. Thank you. [How funny – three times this week people have told me I look better – radiant, one even said – must be all that weight coming off my shoulders…..feeling buoyant after carrying so much for so long alone……]….thank you xxxx [Yep, feathers definitely pocketed – along with a bit of chalk 😉 xxx]

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  9. Susan says:

    I was going to say this looked like more than five minutes’ work! But how could you stop when you were on a roll?!

    We don’t see the big tapestry that God is weaving and we live in an imperfect, fallen world. But as His children we know He works all things together for good; therefore, yes, there is something you will gain from all of this. Maybe it is just the opportunity to share your story and touch others who may be going through a similar situation. And that is a very valuable thing.

    Like

    • hopecarrart says:

      I understand more and more about abuse and the anguish it brings ,not to mention the altered mental state, if not tortured one, that you entrust with us, knowing that we support you in all ways and want for you a more normal life. Your “REAL” at this point are the faces of your children, the everyday moments of goodness when you are not worried or looking over your shoulder. Your REAL is the knowledge that you ARE LOVED and no one can take that away from you. Embrace these few truths and let them help you build your new and stronger fortress. I am still praying for you and your family, peace.

      Like

      • iwillbloom says:

        Hia Hope…..love how you note that my real is the faces of my children (they’re the only thing that keeps me going some days)….thank you, Hope….your words mean so much and are so appreciated.

        Like

    • iwillbloom says:

      Susan, thanks for taking the time to comment…..I think, as you say, it is very valuable for people to share their stories, particularly about issues that are so rarely talked about in the open.

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  10. theflawedtreasure says:

    Thank you for being so honest here. I loooooved how you described your confusion between what is and is not real based on your experience living in emotional abuse and a “false life” for so long. I get that too– I am always searching for Truth too. So hard. Praying that God will swoop down, comfort you, and help you find His Truth despite it all…

    Like

    • iwillbloom says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and for your comment…life can be just so difficult sometimes, can’t it, but when we know we can trust His hands, that does make it all that little easier (if not any less confusing, unfortunately).

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  11. “I’ll take my little white feathers of hope where I can find them, take them, pocket them, grow stronger with each and every one of them”
    My goodness you are a good writer! Your way with words! New real is so hard. Working on accepting that myself.

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  12. This is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing from your experience. Building a new real, on a solid, unchanging foundation is hard when what you thought was real is knocked out from under you. I’m glad it’s coming, even if it slower than you’d like. Thanks for sharing your insights!

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  13. alexa says:

    Very moving to read, Helen, and wishing you fresh steadiness every day. There is nothing more grounded and grounding than looking reality on the face and then walking hand in hand with it. And it never lets you down :).

    Like

    • iwillbloom says:

      Thanks, Alexa….that’s definitely what I need (steadiness). And I’m feeling better now I’m not only looking reality in the face but standing my ground whilst doing so….who knew life could be so hard (but so rewarding at the same time)?!

      Like

  14. Liz says:

    Oh, this is so honestly beautiful. Thank you for sharing. “Real hurts.” “Real means finding firmer, more solid ground.” If your previous notion of real was a façade, I can only imagine how scary it must be to rebuild. You are s.u.c.h. a strong, incredible woman. May God bless you in each of your future ventures, sweet friend. xx ❤

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Thanks, Liz….thanks so much. It *is* very frightening indeed (disorientation – stress – anxiety) but I take it one day at a time. Your blessings are kindly accepted and gratefully internalised: much needed today. Thank you. Helen xxx

      Like

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