Last night a very dear friend who has been a rock during this period of very stormy seas, gave me a look which filled me with sweet emotion, and I reached out to stroke their cheek as a way of expressing how I felt without ruining the moment with unnecessary words. I miscalculated and accidentally poked them in the eye. I was mortified. The moment was ruined… or was it?
The overwhelming thought and feeling I had was one of failure. Yet again I had failed. I had hurt someone I loved, when my intention had been to express my love.
My friend was hurt, but they got over it quickly. They were fine. They reassured me all was well, and that should have been it. Now… usually… normally… that would not have been it at all. I would have castigated myself for this tiny incident. Wallowed in my failure. Painfully enjoying the horror of it, and reminding myself of every other failing I have, all the other failures in my life, and so on into infinite excruciating self torture. BUT. Not last night.
I had gone to bed early, exhausted from what has been a couple of days of shear stressful hell, hoping to get some sleep in spite of all the noise going on inside of me. I have not been sleeping well since all of this Gordian Knot mess started at the beginning of 2013. What a year! I passed out for about an hour, then woke up unable to breathe. My nose was blocked. I was too hot. My body was in pain from being contorted at a weird angle during the brief nap. I stared into the dark, certain I was having a heart attack, yet also certain I wasn’t having one. My mind was filled with a darkness darker than the room around me. Conversations of the previous day came back to haunt me. My father’s Lover screaming abuse via email, first at my lawyer, then at me for hiring assholes (her words), why was I turning this inheritance into a legal matter (because it is), when all I had to do was do things her way (which would plunge me headlong into illegal shit). This was just one in a long series of abusive, tantrum throwing emails from her, most of which I have dealt with using placatory tactics. No point arguing. My father liked a certain type of woman. Then the words of a friend, an Italian friend, echoed in my mind. Why don’t I renounce the inheritance. I had looked into doing exactly that, considered it very seriously when all of this first crashed into my life. It still costs money, and I still need a lawyer to fill out the paperwork. Then I thought about my lawyer. Doubts about him, and his associates, filled the last remaining space in my mind. Young, very ambitious, but… perhaps too green to handle this even though, legally, it should be fairly straightforward even though Italian Inheritance Law is very complicated. And all this for what?
Then an image flashed across the screen of my eyes of my last blog post. Perhaps I had revealed too much. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. Get it all out in the open. Change the energy. I’ve always had to keep schtum. It doesn’t work. It’s horrible, claustrophobic, and it is crushing me from the inside out. Get it out. But maybe the timing was wrong. No. It was exact. But… I should delete it. In fact I should delete my blogs, delete myself off the internet. Why am I doing this. What for. I’m giving people too much information about myself. They could use it against me. But revealing myself is a power play. It is so that I am no longer hidden, so I no longer have secrets which can be used to blackmail me, emotionally or otherwise. But… What if a con artist gets hold of… stop it! What if my lawyer is a con artist… stop it! What if the reason my father’s Lover doesn’t want lawyers involved is because she has done something illegal and doesn’t want it to be discovered…
Those last words, that last thought, was given to me by a friend. When they had said that earlier in the day I had shrugged and sighed. My father was always doing sneaky things to circumvent the law, so yes, the chances are… there is a hornet nest of illegal shit connected to this inheritance, which is why I am dealing with it in a lawful way. That is why I have hired a lawyer, why I am going by the book of Italian law, and following the rules of a country which is in political upheaval and never does anything in a truly legal way. Mani Pulite… hahaha!
Oh GOD!!! What a fucking nightmare! Self pity creeping in. A memory of a moment not so long ago when I thought that finally my life was sweet. Finally after all those years of struggling, surviving, fighting… I could see what… why… that it was all worth it.
To escape the pit of gloom and doom, I picked up my favourite book, and opened it at a random page:
“Self-destructiveness sets in with a vengeance when life presents us with a challenge which for one reason or another we feel unable to meet. The self-destructive act, whether deliberate or not, buys time in which we secretly hope to find the ego strength to master the challenge and avoid humiliation of defeat.” – Going Mad To Stay Sane: The Psychology of Self-destructive Behaviour by Andrew White
The words – avoid humiliation of defeat – leaped off the page and slapped me in the face. Oh fuck! That’s it, I thought! My mind rewound everything connected to the inheritance, the Gordian Knot (the reason I call it that is because of this book and the knot is why I am rereading this book). I watched as the chronology of events showed me… showed ME. Who I am versus who I was. There was/is a battle going on inside of me, one of which I was vaguely aware but…
I am not trying to avoid the humiliation of defeat… I am trying to avoid victory. I’m afraid of winning. Why. Easy. Because… I embrace failure. I made it my home. Why. Because… I used to be terrified of failing. So much so that I turned to stone. My cure was embracing and immersing myself in the very thing I feared. But then I became too comfortable there. There was a lot of room, it was breathtakingly spacious, because no one else wanted to live there. I became king of a desert. Ruler of a kingdom no one else wanted. And it was good for a while… change has arrived. It is time for me to face another fear, embrace and immerse myself in winning.
And suddenly I had a deeper understanding of everything, and saw the Gordian Knot, and all the surrounding issues and events with intense clarity. An epiphany. I know why I did not reject the inheritance even though it is not worth very much in material terms… because it is time for me to learn to win.
Now, I need time to absorb this…