This piece I wrote in September 2021 during our RV adventures. We were in the mountains outside of Santa Barbara, CA. No cell service, no nothing. It was an interestingly isolating experience. And hubs was traveling for two weeks during that time. So I ended up living with friends for the rest of our stay.
I also wrote this well before I had a deeper understanding of my mother’s pathological narcissism. Including pushing what she hated about herself onto me. That puzzle piece that never quite fit, that I tried and tried for so many years to squeeze into myself.
Her puzzle piece that she didn’t want to admit was hers. And for me, it never did take. But this writing was all before I figured out that part of the overall puzzle that I have of trauma and abuse.
I realize that I am putting two puzzles together. One piece is of my healing and finding myself. The other puzzle piece is the abuse I endured and the consequences I am still working through to heal. Huh, that might be three puzzles. They are interconnected; eventually, they will complete one puzzle.
The word floats around my mind this morning, and as I sit and stare at the mountains, thinking. What am I thinking about? I don’t know what exactly. I suppose nothing. I hear a cat mewling, and I want to find it because it doesn’t sound like a good place. Then the baleful whimper of a dog. And I think of the reasons why people do the things they do.
Why get pets if you aren’t going to care for them?
Why go places if you aren’t going to explore?
Those questions are as much for me as for others. This week and last week, tethered by anxiety to stay close to home—the desire to stay put in my RV all day and not go anywhere. I was over everything last week, and it took me an entire week to recover from that.
I am still working on this idea of self-care. Self-preservation? I think, at times, that is a better phrase than self-care.
And that takes me back to my original thought, what would it be like to be untethered?
Truly untethered. To be able to go and do things without the anxiety? Without the baggage that weighs me down. Without the highly sensitive nature that is me.
What would it be like to walk into a café, a grocery store, anywhere and not scan the room for potential threats? To not rehearse what I will say, how I will smile, how I will move towards the line, shuffling forward to get to the front of the line.
What would I be like to NOT be prepared for EVERY CONTINGENCY? Every single potential thing that could happen.
What would it be like to not have others’ emotions inserted into my brain, robbing me of my own?
tr.v. un·teth·ered, un·teth·er·ing, un·teth·ers
- To unfasten the tether of or release from a tether.
- To disconnect: an opinion that wasuntethered to reality.
- To free from restraints: The experience untethered his imagination.
Retrieved from TheFreeDictionary.com https://www.thefreedictionary.com/untethered
Fast forward to today. I just got back from a trip to New Orleans to meet up with friends. I miss my friends so much. We had a great time. But I am left so exhausted today that I can barely think straight. It feels like a hangover, but it isn’t as I don’t drink.
And I wonder, yet again, what would it be like to not feel this way after spending a fantastic time with friends? I don’t want to feel this way, this hungover, exhausted, barely able to function feeling that makes it hard to do anything. But yet, this is such an actual situation.
And I ask myself, why me? And then I get annoyed with myself. I don’t want to be like this. So it is one of those moments that I must remind myself that being an introvert is a significant part of who I am. But it also tethers me to a particular lifestyle. It is tethering me to alone time.