A tough cookie

There have been many times in any adults life that emotions are bottled up, feelings pour like water out of a busted pipe, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. Imagine trying to drain Lake Mead using nothing but a thimble, not only are you ill equipped, but it’s also raining, and there is a hole in your thimble. The same thing can be equivocated to dealing properly with emotions. Instead of having a flood of water, floods of emotions feelings, bottle up inside of you and well, before you know it you’re not sure if you want to punch, cry or both.

As humans we’re primitively geared not only to make ourselves happy, but to please those around us. More than nothing we want to make those around us that we love happy, sometimes at large costs. When you feel that you cannot do so, and you feel the guilt, shame and self-disappointment of failure. Love will make you do powerful things, and I wasn’t fully aware of exactly what it will propel you to do until exposing myself to pain, and then being okay with it. Pain teaches us, but only if we let it. The tough exterior I have accepted to wear not only encompasees my heart, it restricts me from loving sometime, even when I know I should.

Love is give and take, you give it, it comes full circle and no matter what happens, be it good or not, that love is worth all of the pain in the world. The toughest thing, however, is when you realize that the tough exterior has become a coping mechanism and you’re not sure how to rid yourself of it. For me, I have respect for mankind, I have nothing but admiration for those that overcome adversity, but I have no time for disrespect. That’s when the tough cookie comes out and I become like a rabid dog attacking whatever comes my way. 

I wasn’t aware of what the human emotions can go through in the span of two hours until I decided to watch the movie 12 Years A Slave. I’m not a history person, but again, I respect humans, all shapes and colors. I have felt a strong connection to the slaves of days past, feeling many times that I am fighting with a similar “master”, however instead of getting whipped with a leather lash – I beat myself up emotionally, physically, and in other ways. This “tough” nature is handy, but at the same time it hurts. It gets old.

As I began watching the beautifully done movie, alone, cold, with a mind full of worrry – I was trasported to a “real” situation with a real person that was faced with not only the decision to become a tough cookie, but the necessity of it. “Pratt” was kidnapped and whisked away from his family, his free family, and placed into conditions only thought of to be true in serial killers minds. Not less than ten times did I feel bile in my throat and I had to swallow hard to keep from crying or throwing up. The look in that mans eyes, even though he was just an actor, he never lost hope. 

Facing the life of a piece of “property” he never gave up. The tough demeanor was only a front for the pain that he felt for his family. The pain that he felt inside wasn’t going to help him survive, but the tough front did. I couldn’t help but see myself reflected in that mans emotions, being involuntarily imprisoned by a master that I want nothing more to be than liberated from. I do have hope, I do have a glimmer in my life to know that there is a better life out there, I’ve lived it, I can live it again. 

“Pratt” did what he needed to do, and never gave up. Love kept him going, love will also keep me going. I am not, however, reciprocating love to those that do not respect me for who I am and what I have in my life. I am a tough cookie, and at this moment, the slavery to an Eating Disorder is going to have to stay here in Wisconsin. The source of my pain and hurt, much like the slave, when he left he never looked back. I shall do the same. There will be no more lashes with a whip, there will be no more treating myself like a piece of livestock.

I am a human, I deserve love. I have to work on providing myself with that. I put too much need on others to provide me with the love that I cannot show myself. I blame other people for making me not feel love, when in fact, it’s my fault. I hate, which is the antithesis of love. Even the strongest emotion of love can be whipped and beaten to a pulp with the tough exterior of self hatred.

It has, however, gotten better. Much like the slave making his way into a position of being respected by others, he was still nothing but a slave, but he knew he was better. He knew he was destined for greater things. Me too. Stay out of my way. 


One thought on “A tough cookie

  1. This is so on point with what I’ve been through in the past few years and conversations I’ve been having with friends recently that it is uncanny. Whether you have supportive people in close physical proximity or not, you’re not alone!

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