Freedom Within These Walls
The last few weeks have been emotionally draining for me. I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Promoting Passion Convention again this year, but with that came a lot of stress. I don’t mean stress as always a bad thing either. Some good and some bad. This is kind of how it all went down.
My full-time job is both photography and working in a tech repair business. I have to have the tech job in order to make money. Sadly, my work (photos) does not make money right now. I’m stuck in a place of ‘am I marketing myself poorly?’ (I hate saying marketing because this is much more to me than just a “job”). I also live in Charleston, SC which is probably one of the most expensive places to live in the south. Maybe not to some, but I think housing and everything is OVER priced.
I’ll be honest with you… We pay $1,400 a month for a two bedroom apartment. It’s absolutely gorgeous here and I’m far from a “cheapskate”… but it comes to a point that I can’t save money because of bills. I get paid well at my job and so does my fiance. It just makes it difficult to do sometimes.
On with what I am talking about. It’s come to the point where my tech job overly stresses me out for the dumbest of reasons. Is it the job? No. Is it the responsibilities I have there? No. Is it the fact that I work with my fiance and see him all day every day? Not at all. I love it. What is it then? It comes down to how management chooses to treat their employees and share their lives. I want to be friends with my bosses because I love being friends with co-workers and truly being apart of people’s lives. When people need to vent, I don’t mind being that listening ear… but it comes to a point where it becomes too much.
It has taken me a while to realize that other people are not my therapist. I use writing, like I am now, or poetry, lyrics, piano, photography, etc… as my therapist. I truly believe keeping my mind busy and letting go of these emotions help. It works for me. With this said, I’m not anyone’s therapist and I should stop acting like such. I find myself wanting to help people so much but I get too involved sometimes. It makes people mad at me.
I remember one time I had two friends that were dating. The guy was upset over something and I told him I was there if he needed someone to talk to. Big mistake because he DID need someone to talk to and he talked to me. Turns out, they were having issues in their relationship. After defending her to him about certain issues, I still got in trouble with the girlfriend because I didn’t ask her if she was okay.
Moral is… YOU’RE NOT A THERAPIST. I love to problem solve and give advice and I genuinely feel like I’m great at it. So much so that I have, in the past and some present, wanted to go back to school to be some sort of therapist. There is this thing, though. Being a therapist is easy to strangers but when you have close friends, co-workers, or family dumping all of their problems on you… it breaks you down after a while. It can make you resentful, even. A part of me feels awful for being distant towards people when all they talk about are their problems. Then there is this other part of me that understands.
Counseling is expensive. I have tried to get it myself. I’ve needed counseling for bullying, anger, depression, and sexual abuse. Whew, that’s the first time I said that… my family doesn’t know about some of this and very few people do. It’s one of those things that is slowly coming out, but for 20 years having this eating away at you… you start to see why you were so angry. You see why you secluded yourself, why you have self destructive behavior, why you have such horrible sleeping disorders. You see it all and see how the actions of one person changed your entire life. I never wanted to use my past as a crutch because I’m not broken.
The horrible thing about memories are that they resurface… over and over again when you least expect it. Between 11-19 years old, I forgot but my body remembered. I didn’t know why I became so shy. I was fairly outgoing as a child. Even when I was bullied, I still did my own thing. My body remembered. I couldn’t change in front of my parents or friends. Before and after P.E. I would change in the stalls or showers away from everyone else. While I had friends who talked about their first sexual experience, I was wondering why I didn’t have a desire to even have sex.
“I’m just modest.”, I told myself. I forgot but my body remembered. I would get teased in school by guys for being a “tease”. Even when I did nothing to provoke being a tease. I’d wear large sweaters and other clothing to distract from my body. Even today, when I wear pants… I will get men shouting at me, talking about how good of a butt I have. In front of my fiance, too. It’s truly sickening. To look over your shoulder at all times because of how crazy people are is unnerving.
I’ve been able to stay sane for all these years because of my passions. Art and photography will always be everything I love and will do. I express myself in so many ways through this which is why I am here. I will always talk to someone who needs it and needs an uplifting hand. I’m such an empathetic person, I literally take on the emotional problems of the people I talk to. If someone is upset, it’s really hard for me to detach from that and not become upset myself. Now, if someone is just acting like a fool I can definitely detach – haha. I’m sure you all know what I mean, though.
When I write, I write from everything I’m thinking of in this moment. My blogs are usually scattered and I apologize for that. I know it can make things difficult to read. Let’s move on…
During the Promoting Passion Convention, I was able to let go of a lot of pent up emotions. I don’t cry much these days. I personally don’t feel like I have any drama or issues until I’m faced with everything all at once and it breaks me. In the last year, I’ve cried once. At PPC, I cried almost everyday. It wasn’t bad at all. I cried because I was surrounded by people who opened their souls to me and cried because I took a class that allowed me to be vulnerable and it was okay. I shed tears for how happy I am to have friends who truly care about me and aren’t trying to get something out of me.
It was everything I needed because I don’t allow myself to cry anymore. A lot of times I don’t feel like I need to cry at all and just brush things off and move on. I was able to bare my soul at this convention and it was okay.
I took my first plane ride. It was really scary at first and when landing, but I loved every second of it. Being able to see the clouds at eye level has been a dream of mine for so very long. Every day I look up at the clouds and wondered what it would be like to be up there with them and then I was. I just stared out my little window the entire ride. I got to watch the sunset as I was flying, too. One of the most magical things I’ve experienced.
After a long wonderful week of emotional bonding, letting go, experiencing new things, and a crappy sleeping schedule… I came home. I had to photograph a wedding the next day (which I photographed a wedding the day before I left to Colorado, too). After the wedding, I rested but not nearly enough. Here came Hurricane Matthew. Everyone along the coast of SC had to evacuate, mandatory. We left and were safe for the last week. Oh, a little vacation? Not really. I was worried about losing all my belongings or someone breaking in a looting out place. I was worried my car would be destroyed.
On top of all of that, I had to go to the ER with a family member. That story is not mine to tell so I can’t say much about it, but it was a long emotional night as well. After that, I didn’t really recover. I’ve had a head ache and an upset stomach the entire time. So… for the last 4 days after the E.R. visit.
I didn’t go to work today. I know my bosses will probably be mad, but I physically and mentally can’t do it today. As I write to release, my head is pounding, my stomach is upset, my eyes are baggy, and my mind keeps skipping all over the place. I’m too awake to sleep but I’m too sleepy to do anything functional. I’m going to try and edit some photos and hopefully that will help. If not, I’ll probably cuddle with my puppies and hopefully nap the day away.