I'm one who has been blessed and cursed with a good imagination. There are things that are REALLY great about it, like being able to 'see' the scenes in the books I read and being able to think up all sorts of things for my art journals. I can imagine what color combinations will look like when I'm wanting to crochet a scarf in a certain pattern. Creatively, my imagination has been a huge help to me.
But my imagination is also a defense mechanism. All my life, when things are very bad, I've imagined myself out of those bad situations. When I was a little girl, growing up with a father who was generally a terrible person, being able to pretend things were different was how I survived. People always think of me as strong, but what they don't realize is that I've just got a very strong imagination... When bad things were happening, I wasn't there...I was off in my brain in some other place. I think this is part of the reason I don't have a lot of memories of my childhood...because I wasn't there to make memories.
This imagination of mine has stuck with me into adulthood as well. When I lost someone I dearly loved to suicide, I concocted a series of stories in my mind so that I wouldn't have to deal with the loss. He's not dead...it was all a hoax...he's in witness protection somewhere, alive and happy and missing me as much as I miss him. And I let myself believe this story with all my heart, because it was so much easier to imagine that he was out there somewhere still getting to see and feel and live than to let myself come to terms with the fact that he was gone and that the last words I said to him were horrible and mean and the biggest lie I've ever told in my life. But for as long as I let myself believe this imagined story, I got no closure. I couldn't let go of him. I kept waiting for him to come back to me.
And that's not reality. I finally came to realize that it will never happen, no matter how badly I want it to. All I was doing was torturing myself. Sure, it spared me in the beginning, when it was all too much to deal with, but for two whole years, I let myself believe the story. For 24 months, I sat and waited on someone who would never show up. That's not healthy...it took me long enough, but I figured it out... And when I finally made myself let go of the pretend scenario I had created, I had a HUGE crash of grief. Bone-shattering grief.
But something changed at that point. Instead of having this open wound on my heart, it slowly started to heal. I know I will always have a scar jaggedly running down the center of me, but I finally, finally let the wound close. I didn't feel like all my life was slowly leaking out of me anymore. I felt empty at first...so tired and cold from sadness and anger and disappointment and all the feelings that come along with such a thing. But as the hole in my heart scabbed over, I could feel myself improving...slowly, a tiny bit at a time, I was getting better. I know I will always have this mark, and honestly, it will always be my favorite scar, because I wouldn't have it if I hadn't loved so hard and been loved so sincerely in return. All the other things that have caused me pain in my life, none of them had any love in them at all. But this one, this most agonizing pain, was one I felt because there was so much love at the core.
You would think that I would have learned my lesson...that I would have realized that it's better to accept reality than to delude myself into believing lies. You would think I could have put A and B together a little faster...clearly I have taken my sweet time about it. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, you know...
It may have taken me a while...a good long while...but I'm finally seeing that I need to stop my imaginings when it comes to daily life. When a situation is bad, I need to do something about it, instead of just pretend it's not there. I can't spend the rest of my life living in a world of make believe.
I'm not saying I'll never use my glorious imagination again...but I'm going to try as hard as I can to never use it as a way to escape from things that I don't want to deal with. Instead, I need to be truly strong and actually deal with things.
In the midst of all this thinking, I threw myself a little pity party and made this:
|"Your heart's a thousand colors but they're all shades of blue." -Gregory Alan Isakov|
I had planned on making it an addition to Gregg (I told you he was my knew obsession...), taping down the heart and writing the lyrics mentioned in the caption onto Gregg's actual page. Because I was having a pity party, I thought these lyrics applied to me so well... Everything is sad and blue and I'm such a wimp and waa waa waa....
But that's not true...that's my mean imagination playing tricks on me. I do feel sad that I've used my imagination to escape from life...but there are so many other things in my heart, good things that aren't shades of blue at all! I've got love in my heart. I've got friends that are so very dear to me. I've got my nice imagination, the parts of it that help me be creative and the parts that help me look beyond the surface and see what could be with a little bit of elbow grease. I've got a million other colors in my heart. And just because some days they seem to be hit with a blue light, it doesn't really mean they ARE blue. So just sit back and be quiet, mean imagination...because I don't need you or want you anymore.