I have been unbelievably anxious since my most recent international trip, in October of 2019. I blew out my ACL the first week there and it knocked me off my game.
I have worked for years to establish my independence, making sure not to sacrifice my own self worth for others, making sure that I was not reliant on men most especially as this was something I struggled with earlier in my life that lead me to darker places than hell.
So when I blew my knee out, (and I knew I did), I felt unstable and unsafe. I was across the world with someone I loved injured and disoriented by language, culture, and emotion… unable to say that I needed help.
The independent plans I had made for myself suddenly changed and I had to adapt. But adaptation, as some of you know, can be gut wrenching when you are forced into it. The physical pain of my knee was nothing compared to the set of emotions around knowing I was injured and feeling as though I was a weak inconvenience. In retrospect I assumed this and I failed to communicate clearly what I needed.
I felt pushed aside.
As though I needed to stay in a certain place with my experience, and fit in a box of expectations to remain supported and loved. (Hello history of abuse, I thought I had overcome you).
Age old insecurity crept in and I was overcome with fears of inadequacy.
Who was I if I didn’t have the things that made me, me?
Who was I if I needed someone?
Who was I if I couldn’t protect myself?
Through my own life experience I had been taught that needing anyone would make you weak and annoying, probably even unlovable.
So who was I now that I was in fact physically weak, and definitely in need of support?
I have spent months spinning in frustration about things that I know are irrelevant because, trying to make up some reason for all of these feelings. But today as I did yoga and visited my parliament of owls I realized that my main headspace since this incident could be summed up as being unsafe, and until I felt a sense of safety I was likely going to feel this way. Now none of this was helped by having surgery, a pandemic, losing my main source of income, isolation, and none of my usual outlets of physical activity. Fucks sake, I couldn't even run if my life depended on it right now. That causes me a surge of fear.
I have overcome monumental challenges and aggressions that have left me blindsided, hurt, guarded, and have forced hyper-vigilant behavior. These instances force me to react in ways that I likely would not if my circumstances had not included domestic violence and sexual aggressions, among other things.
The injury to my knee seems to signify the things that have happened too me, (without my consent).
It stands out in my mind as a moment in time when I my ability to keep myself safe was inadequate.
I HATE compromising my response to circumstances because of other peoples ignorance. I wish I did not have to fight to recover my sense of self, I wish I had not taken on my training partner, I wish I had paid more attention. Because really would I have sparred hard had I paid attention to the signs of that persons own distress that day.
I am left cleaning up this mess, with feelings of resentment and lack that I have to get over. And facing that reality is painful. Inadequacy is pounding on the walls of my mind because it is the inevitable that when accepted, amounts to failure.
Overcoming it is my only option.