Day 13: my brave year
Step one: set the timer for 5 minutes and write down as many answers as you can think of to the question: ‘When and how was I brave in 2014?’ Note: remember the private, intimate and small ways in which you were brave as well as the big public ways.
Step two: Choose one of more of those moments of bravery and write a letter yourself back at the beginning of 2014, letting you know how brave you are going to be that year.
Step three: Write yourself a short reminder to tuck into your wallet or post above your desk of just how brave you can and will be in 2015.
My “act” of bravery: (I apologize for the lengthy explanation)
A few years ago, I reconnected with my father after several years of non-communication. There is a reason for my having nothing to do with him as he is the equivalent of a psychopath. I exaggerate not. And yet, being the good Christian daughter I try to be, I decided to give him another (of way too MANY) chance(s).
He seemed different this time. More like his old self – the father of my very early years. Mind you, I kept both eyes open where he was concerned. I was never under any allusion that his “change” was remotely permanent – although I hoped. This was his final chance. And he did okay – for a very short while. As usual, it did not last. I felt the change in the wind literally just a couple weeks before it happened. I just knew and I told my husband about it. Of course, just like I thought – it happened. His old-evil-bombastic-nasty-self reared its ugly head and it was all downhill from there. My husband finally got to see first-hand what I was talking about.
I can’t possibly get into all the details as to why my father is a monster or how he is or what he did- we’d have a book. He is one of the most intelligent people around. He is the guy you want in your group in a survival situation. He can survive with NOTHING. He can build anything out of nothing. Think tanks wanted him. But no matter how intelligent he is, it can never make up for the bastard of a human being he is. If the devil walked the earth in human form – he would be my father.
Okay, so now you have a bit of a picture of him. Well -combine that with several other toxic people in my life and I basically shut down when the proverbial shit hit the fan. When he finally left to move to Montana with his soon-t0-be fourth wife – same woman he had an affair with behind my mother’s back years and years ago – I had my husband cover the two long narrow windows on either side of our front door. I didn’t want anyone seeing in and I didn’t want to look out. I was constantly afraid my father would show up at my door. I wanted him nowhere near our daughter or us. I looked over my shoulder whenever we were out to be certain he truly was gone.
So here is where my act of bravery comes in. Finally – at the end of February of this year – after four years of having this film on the window – after losing that toxic black sludge I posted about earlier – I decided to remove the film from the windows. And I did. I ripped it right off and it felt good. It felt freeing. I no longer needed it. Another weight had been lifted from me.
My letter to me regarding this:
You moved on. You don’t need him in your life. He is nothing to you. And you are better for it. No more hiding. No more looking over your shoulder. You win. He loses. Never forget that.
My reminder: No looking back – only forward.
It’s Reverb 14! Time for us to kick back a bit and reflect on 2014. We’d love for you to join us! Just stop on over at: katmcnally.com to find out how!