Friday, June 14, 2019

'The Unicorn Store', Trauma, Picture Posts, and The Beauty of Being Loved as You Are.

This post was inspired by the "The Unicorn Store"but amongst it is picture proof of a brilliant, unique life...from my daughter's 16th party to Library Castle builds to Birthdays, Trips, Selfies, Room Decor Switches, Window boxes and Local Broadway Plays.

(Pictured below window boxes my hubby constructed- they make such a difference!)

"... Thank you... thank you forever... You’re gonna be her best friend and play checkers whenever she wants. And don’t let her go searching for people who can’t love who she really is. You’re gonna be there for her and listen to her’re gonna love her exactly like she is- even when she thinks there’s nobody who can love her like that in the whole world.”- Brie Larson's Character in the Unicorn Store

"Mom, I tried to relate, to tear up or garner some emotion, but mom, I just couldn't really relate at all to that movie ( the Unicorn Store) or the quote you cried at. I guess I know that I am loved. I know I have special qualities that make me more loveable from my family even if the rest of the world may differ. I have my brothers as best friends and you and dad as confidantes. I just couldn't really relate." ( My daughter expressed this to me after hearing Brie's quote above.)
(Pictured below - their castle landscape that took up the entire Library to which half is not pictured. It was amazing.)
(Pictured below - decor for my daughter's 16th Extended Family Party)

I was a bit shocked at her response...and my opposite one to which I had to choke down buckets of tears. In fact, I spent an entire afternoon thinking upon why I had such a strong reaction TWICE upon viewing and she was so chill. Her statement sunk in and I realized that we successfully set her up to feel valued and loved. From 'unschooling' to constant slumber parties with her siblings to 4 a.m in depth conversations when both of us were sick and couldn't sleep to her father arguing philosophy and faith stances to learning about her sensory/ anxiety needs. She has become a person already at 15 that I did not even begin to explore myself until about age 26. If I am being honest, I STILL struggle with that concept sometimes...of being loved for whom I am. I can't get over the fact that my husband and children witness my quirks, stupidity, meltdowns, oddness, chaos, and of course good qualities too, but they still think I am worthy.

I didn't really experience that love until I married my husband. I still doubt it. Every day I ask him why he loves me. I don't get it. I'm high maintenance and know it. I struggle to see the beauty which is why I preach it constantly. I am often blogging or telling people they are worthy simply because they exist. It is a life long lesson of mine that I believe for others...but for myself...that has been tougher.

(Pictured below more of her 16th party and the Red Carpet Lego set the boys made for her.)

( Traditional Brazilian dinner at Grampy's)

(My Paternal Grandmother who I take after A LOT. I adore her.)
This is not to be confused with the fact that I wasn't loved. Honestly, I was adored and doted on by many relatives and friends growing up. The fact that I didn't feel truly valued for who I was lies in multiple sources of blame. One being myself. I masked. I knew what society asked of me to a degree, and rose to be that person, despite the inner Being inside of me. How could they love a person they barely were shown?

Another aspect was religion and attending a conservative Christian School, summer Jesus Camps and Sunday School...whom I was inside was clearly NOT Ok. I was told that over and over again. Or that I was only worth it when Jesus redeemed me- some found comfort in that- I did not. Jesus was my best friend but I didn't even feel he loved me for whom I was because of my "sin nature" that was naturally a part of me via Autism, personality ect. Being told this was "sinful" took it's toll. (Yes, I have gone through multiple stages of growth in religion and philosophy since then and know what was meant ect so please do not bother setting me straight in the comments. See old posts for more but I am beyond that now...however, it did play a part for younger me.)

My personality also was not conformist...I was quirky. My talent presented in unusual ways. I was naive yet an Aphrodite (click) type, a highly intuitive, rare INFJ(click), a perceived dramatist as an Enneagram 4 (click), accidentally magical (which scares people) and I was socially inappropriate. Basically a nightmare for anyone who was set in a role to "guide me."

(Picture below- my daughter /father in the local play "Annie")

My parents were amazing but I always felt adopted. Which sounds harsh but it was simply because I could not fully see where I fit. More on that later...Or that I was in the wrong time period. The 1940's appealed to me and I would often escape in my imagination. I think I could have completely gone inward and been fully happy but I would not have had the life I have today, so I am thankful that life worked out the way it did. I didn't fully connect to most relatives unless I was sick and needed that connection to stay alive. And that statement right there is probably why Autistics are thought to lack empathy or are considered selfish. Because who would say that? Honesty is a lonely word. Many people do not understand that you can be loved and give love but not feel connection. And I still had connection- but it was not the typical kind that felt love in a most normal way or believed it. I was empathic and gave love but most of the time it was misunderstood or thought as insulting- which baffled me as I was so innocent.

I felt so out of place all the time. However, I knew I was loved and I was given A LOT. I attribute most good things to the constancy of my childhood. I still get the support I need like amazing birthday parties for my children that would not happen otherwise without my relatives. But it would be a lie if I said that I felt like I belonged fully. It's not sad to me anymore, because I see clearly the reasons of why and how. And no one is to blame fully, even myself. It's complicated.

The adults in my life were also a product of their time and 'Aspergers Syndrome' was a foreign word, while 'Autism' was associated with Rain Man. Dyspraxia and learning disabilities were only diagnosed in the very, very obvious, and instead I was pressured to continuing 'trying.' I had to try everything I was terrible at which only made me conclude whom I was deep down was NOT ok.

The adults thought they were setting me up to be capable. In an ironic way they were- I come across "normal" to get many things in life, however it comes at a personal cost. It was and IS a double sword of bliss and trauma.

My husband became my mirror. He reflected the love I always wanted to see but never fully did. He saw the sacrilegious girl, the one who questioned faith and societal standards. He saw a girl who was quirky and weird because I couldn't hide it all the time and being lovers I became more comfortable showing the sides of myself I kept hidden my entire life. He embraced my witchiness, the parts that were oddly innocent sitting beside the completely opposite jaded pieces. He saw intelligence where I only ever saw inferiority. I don't get sanctioned by him for what I read, watch or listen to. He doesn't make me feel less or wrong if I explore an idea...he trusts me to be ethical in the end. He doesn't get scared by my non conformity or my random moments of weird obsessions. He is a breath of fresh air that brings me home to myself...

In the film "The Unicorn Store" the main character also has two loving, supportive parents. They were THERE for her in the ways they could be and generally amazing parents. Yet, she still struggled with her brokenness and constantly looked for a companion that could love her unconditionally in a way she understood. That is probably why I cried. I related to that.

Again, there was true abuse in my history (not physical and not from my parents) and there was daily misunderstanding and undermining, but there was also immense beauty, protection (yea it's a juxtaposition) and me not realizing who I was. Nobody took the time to explain my differences. I felt alien. Adopted. Alone. Waiting to find out I was the Little Princess of some long lost person who could explain whom I was. I couldn't figure it out. In my twenties these pieces finally started clicking through therapy, diagnosis of Aspergers and Dyspraxia, INFJ persona and all the Typology explanations...each one I began to form a picture of myself and frame my history in a way in which I could finally step forward. Becoming a mother also mimicked the journey...I struggled the first six years until I found my groove and the role of a lifetime.

Recently, I excitedly said to my husband, "I have a bit more energy. Maybe I should get out there in the world more? Be less Hermit ish? Maybe there is something I can do...." And he astounded me by gently saying, "You have many gifts to give to the world, and you already do so in the life you live now. If you want more we can find a way to support that, but honey, I don't think that could be a good idea. The world is a terrible place right now. The comments online alone would destroy you. The politics are cruel and accusatory, everyone is explosive and correcting each other. Even on that "Unicorn Store" reviews people mentioned how selfish the main character was. But we both thought she was sweet, innocent and gave in her legitimate way and needed support the way she heard it. I just think out there... would not suit your soul. Of course I do not want to lock you away or treat you like a forbidden, fragile jewel. You have choices, you have autonomy, you worked for whom you are. But can I just say, from my perspective, that your Hermit life encourages you to thrive. You have an innocence and intelligence not only naturally but BECAUSE you purposefully avoid the crazy opinions and random violence. You are you and it's OK. It's ok that you are sensitive and need to mostly stay in the house. Many great minds in history were shut ins or Hermits. You are rare. Maybe in today's age, being a shut in is harder because it's more obvious and more connected, but you manage to do it. Yet, you still stay semi informed. I mean, look at your blog babe. You don't link it to your other social media sites, you only send it to a select list, and you try to hide it from most of the world. If you feel passionate about a topic you may pin it for others but when it gets popular you step back. You do not like to garner attention from those seeking to deconstruct, destroy or criticize because you had 20 plus years of that kind of attention. You deserve the rest of your life without that daily input even if you deal with your share of human struggles."

I was blown away. I thought he would encourage me to get out there more. He is always sharing political stories with me, much to my chagrin and annoyance at times. He enjoys our discussions on Philosophy and we do share our home (SEE HERE) so I thought he would encourage me to get out there. Isn't that what most of society tells us to do to have worthy lives?

But here is the thing. I guess I do have a worthy life. And the fact surprises me even when I say it and believe it. I am living at my best in a way I can manage. I still give and I still do "the grown up" thing when I can. I challenge myself in ways that do not destroy me... but he is right. For 25 plus years, I was constantly challenged. I was told to get in the boat and that my fears were 'irrational' when they were logical. I was undermined and the messages I received were contradictory at best. Plus, there was so much fear. Fear of demons, of sin, of saying the wrong thing, of being around people who smoked or swore, fear of girls who enjoyed kissing, fear of men who gave me benign attention, but worst of all...fear of myself. Fear of whom I was. Fear of my own sexuality, being, choices, mistakes and non conformity.

(Pictured below- my daughter comforting me because I was overloaded and exhausted during a trip and needed her help to overcome when I should have been helping her was touching...)

Hearing my daughter not being able to all...showed me that I have successfully given her what I always longed for. I wanted safety and home most of all...something cozy, expressive, and full of love and full it bursts with identity... with colour that hugs and design that that my loved ones within will know, without even seeing me in person, from the home itself, that I love them. Next, I wanted unconditional love. Rainbows, sparkles, sunshine, outbursts of song combined with rationality, logical discussions and belonging. I wanted to stop being told I was dramatic for my choices. To stop being told that I am wrong. To stop being told that my life choices or views were not "realistic" yet there they were in reality. How does that work??

Well, apparently I succeeded at the magic, based on the constant hand made cards and words my children make me. (A sample pictured below.)

I wanted the paradox because I AM  the paradox. A little girl mixed with woman...I can be both. I am both. I wished for meaning and I found it in a place that I never would have imagined. MYSELF and my spouse...and then the children I never thought I would have. I never thought I would have people who would see my sacrilegious, my pagan, my quirky, my disabilities, my limitations, my yuck, my bodily functioning, my illnesses, and my flaws and love me FOR them in essence. BECAUSE of them not in SPITE of them. That beauty enables me to wake up every day with hope.

I still struggle. Each day I end up asking my husband why he loves me again. He always responds, even when he is angry at me because he knows that there is part of me that will always be a little broken that way. That may be sad sometimes...when I am triggered, reminded or run into people who refuse to see me for whom I am...but in general, it just IS. We all have broken bits inside. Trauma is matter how small or large. But the lucky part of life is that sometimes...with the right circumstances, love, words, people, art or inspiration, those broken cracks can be places where the light filters in.

"... Thank you... thank you forever... You’re gonna be her best friend and play checkers whenever she wants. And don’t let her go searching for people who can’t love who she really is. You’re gonna be there for her and listen to her’re gonna love her exactly like she is- even when she thinks there’s nobody who can love her like that in the whole world.”- Brie Larson's Character in the Unicorn Store...

If you can give ONE person that type of love described in the quote above, you have made one of the biggest achievements possible in life. Love her/ him/ them exactly as they are.

Song Choice: "This is Me"- The Greatest Showman "...We are glorious. Yea thats what we've become. I won't break me down to dust. I know that there's a place for us...When the sharpest words want to cut me down, I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out. i am brave, I am bruised, I am whom I meant to be...I'm not scared to be seen. I make no apologies. this is me. And I know that I deserve your love. There is nothing I'm not worthy of."

P.S.The Unicorn Store scared me a bit the first time- I kept waiting for something terrible to happen. It wasn't magical to me and a bit sensory overloading...however, I loved Brie Larson's depiction and my husband thought she was brilliant...which is lucky because he kept saying, "I can't get over how much she is like you when you are at home..." So I guess he likes oddities as stated above:) 


Ashe Skyler said...

Lucky kid. If she wants a life partner someday, I hope they're just as good to her as y'all are. :)
(And if they aren't, hex 'em.)

Nyssa said...

I could have written this. Oh my soul, the same feelings and experiences in essence ( obv not exact) even down to what your daughter said. My oldest daughter said the same to me during a movie we watched ( sweet november) when she was about 14. The part in it where Sarah tells Nelson that her family doesn't support her choices. I bawled. It was just the fact that she was so quirky and so different and to feel ostracized during a devastating life event was something I could totally relate to, but my oldest daughter had never known anything but support and care about who she was. I will write more about this, too, because it has been simmering in me.
I"m glad your hubby wasyour mirror. I didn't have one. What I did have though was a role model in terms of when I socially didnt know what to say I would ask myself, " what would my sister do or say" because she was the chatty one and the social one but that was less a mirror and more a teacher with how to wear the mask. under it though when I was younger, she fiercely protected me and accepted me so I was glad to have her as I was growing up. Beautiful post. You live are beautiful life because you are inherently beautiful and inherently worthy just by being and seriously such inspiration. You are one of those people whose souls show in everything. extremely rare and beautiful.

Kmarie said...

Ashe: Thanks! Ha ha - love it.

Nyssa: Its so great that our children do not have to experience this but in a way I wish they could semi understand too- oddly...but I dont want them to go through it...I guess there are benefits maybe too? Oh my goodness moments like that feel so apt. Yes write a post! I know I would feel it too!
Yes he came into my life and became a mirror I only thought was in fairytales...on almost a daily basis...I did have role models too...but most of them were actors and actresses from the 1940s ect. I am so glad you had your sister! That makes such a difference...THANK YOU:) That means so much...I love that my soul shows in everything to you...most people do not see that in actually are another mirror - but a parallel one because we are so similar in many ways. You are also extremely rare and beautiful. :)