moving forward

Earlier this week I alluded to the “rabbit’s hole” I speak of in this post.  In honor of a new era,  I’m reposting this piece, a favorite of mine:

A few weeks ago I found myself sitting alone in a crowd, anxiously searching for a familiar face.

I was expecting a friend–until her text  told me not to. Now I was faced with sitting by myself at a celebratory service that would no doubt be an emotional, spiritual, uplifting experience (it was). I started looking for anyone I might know, a bit nervous but not wanting to seem so.

Thankfully, someone did appear, a more than gregarious man, well-known for being a bit of a character.  I’d only met him once for all of thirty seconds, but I didn’t hesitate to call out his name and invite him to join me. He did, and it made that service a whole heck of a lot of fun.

It wasn’t until days later it hit me:

this was not only the first time I’d had the courage to do something that bold, but I hadn’t thought twice about it. For years I’d sat alone in services and what-have-you, often because I was too frightened to reach out to someone and ask them to join me.

This was another significant change in me I could count as the result of terrible betrayal.

All my life I struggled with being pushed around by co-workers, boyfriends, classmates, even family. I simply could not stand up for myself. Try as I might, I was unable to say what needed to be said, or even imagine what that should be. Instead I would stand there, dumbstruck, humiliated and frustrated.

I desperately wanted the ability to detect when others were pushing me around.

That is, if I were sharp enough to see what was going on. Sometimes I’d be pushed pretty far before I realized it.

When that happened, I was left with shrinking further or getting back at people, although more often than not they brought on their own trouble with their back-handed behavior. I didn’t like dealing with things either way, however, it never felt good.

Instead, I desperately wanted the ability to detect when others were pushing me around and belittling me long before it got out of hand. More than that, I wanted to project an attitude that precluded demeaning treatment. I just couldn’t come by it. I had no idea how it worked.

Eventually I was pushed down a rabbits’ hole into a hell that wouldn’t end,

and it was that experience (a story requiring too much detail to go into here) that finally gave me the insight and ability to stay ahead of those who would defeat me. It took a long time, well after the peak of the horror, to fully develop the skills to face others with confidence and enough of a take-it-or-leave-it attitude that I could claim victory. Have I fully stepped away from the problem? Likely not, but I’ve figured out what steps to take.

I also realize I need to use those circumstances to my advantage, to work toward bringing me to a point where I can say, “well, I wouldn’t want to go through that again, but I’m glad it happened.”

I’m not sure when, if ever, I’ll be there, but I look to the good that’s come of out this, and it has been substantial. I used to resent being told “everything happens for a reason.”  While I believe good can come from bad, that doesn’t justify the bad.

I like what Dumas had to say. It acknowledges the bad, but gives proper credit to an overwhelming and affirming end result:

“Women are never so strong as after their defeat.”
― Alexandre Dumas, Queen Margot, or Marguerite de Valois

blue sky balloons

I hate that it took such drastic circumstances to bring about this change for me, and I sometimes wonder, if those events hadn’t conspired, would I still be where I was then, or would I have found another way to grow to where I am today?

I don’t want those responsible for my plight to believe there’s any justification to their actions. Likely they would have preferred I was left in defeat and despair anyway. Is success the best revenge? I don’t know that I’m seeking revenge, but success is by far the best outcome.

Image Credits: Butterfly field (Field of Daisies) © adimas – Fotolia; (Butterfly) © ecco — Fotolia; Balloons Flying High (Sky Background) © Andrii Salivon – Fotolia; (Balloons) © JRB – Fotolia.

19 Replies to “moving forward”

  1. I don’t think “everything happens for a reason” simply because there are many unreasonable people in the world. Life happens..and it is ultimately up to us to figure out how to navigate it. Part of that is drawing on both our positive and negative experiences and knowing when to voice a strong, confident opinion and stand up to those who don’t take our feelings into account.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve struggled with the idea that “everything happens for a reason.” I think how we respond to a situation is ultimately the truest test of who we are, and we may fail those tests from time to time before we finally succeed. Life is hard, people will fail you, people will actively betray you. It’s a hard lesson to learn but I refuse to be defeated by those who are lesser than I am.


  2. I sometimes wonder the same things. If I hadn’t gone through all of my struggles, would I have still turned out the same?! I like to blame a lot of things based on what happened, but in a way I’m glad because I know how to protect my heart and appreciate others more fully! Great post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. It is hard to discern. I don’t know how things would have changed for me without something drastic happening, but it’s painful to think it had to be something like what it is. Still, it happened, and I can’t deny either the bad or the good. I guess one doesn’t have to justify the other.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Belinda, I choose to believe that “everything happens the way it’s supposed to.” So often, the reason eludes us at first, but when we come out “on the other side,” we often get a peek into why it happened that way. I’m so happy you’ve come through the darkness to a place of enlightenment (however you got there.) I’m also happy you’re willing to share your experience with our amazing community of bloggers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m facing yet another trial now, of a different sort, so I don’t know what to think. I can only call upon whatever strength I have and the support of others, including, absolutely, all my blogger friends!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I also am of the belief that things happen for a reason, but (as others also believe) that we generally cannot see or begin to understand why until much later on. I have had this experience myself, and can relate it even to the toughest period of my life thus far (when my mother had Alzheimer’s), because as dreadful as that was, it brought my sister and I so close that we have had amazing benefit from that, to this day. So I wish you strength to get through the current challenges, you will come through so hang in and remember, it’s always darkest before the dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so appreciate what you and others have to say. It’s impossible to understand the reason for all we go through sometimes, I think, but I look to the good and hold onto that. I don’t understand why some people get a higher proportion of challenges, but I can’t yet say mine are excessive, because I have no way of knowing others. What the challenges are perhaps isn’t as important as how we handle them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fear not, you will get through this – you have such a positive attitude! Looking to the good is exactly the right thing to do, and I fully agree – it’s how we handle the challenges that makes the difference. I have been home, for various reasons, almost one full year. It’s very tough sometimes but I am determined to stay cheerful and come through it best I can. I say to my friends “the only way is up”, so hold that thought also, it really helps. 🙂 And since I started blogging, over two months now, I’m having a lot of fun with it and actually really enjoying this enforced period. So. Good for something after all! Take care, and welcome aboard by the way.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason. Whatever you are going through, you made it through the first time. This time, put on your armor and go forward. I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “People do to us what we allow them to do.” It took me a bit to work through that. It is still baby steps for me, but steps nonetheless. You can do this, Belinda.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Adding to what you said (and I agree with you), I’ve come to believe that we can make the most of a bad situation or we can wallow in our pain. So ultimately are responsible for the reason (hmmm, another post is brewing).


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