choosing softness

Transformation is a freaking process.

I know, understatement of forever, but that doesn’t make it any less true. That doesn’t make what I’m going through any less real or any less complicated or any less painful. Or any less completely-worth-it.

I’m becoming someone new, someone almost completely different from who I was, and it’s beautiful and yowchy in equal forms.

Mostly, I’m unraveling the circumstances that made me and becoming the woman I would’ve been if things hadn’t gone quite the way they did.

I’m the daughter of a fun-in-dysfunctional family, I was turned into a lone wolf and a weapon by circumstance, I’m a Bubble reject, I’m a victim of purity culture, I have been suicidal and wage what I fear is a lifelong war with depression, and I bear emotional scars of more types than I can even count sometimes. These are unchangeable facts, and I’m trying to make my peace with them.

I’m not a victim though. Not anymore.

A couple weeks ago, when this blossoming started, I had something weird happen. I was at work, straightening the shampoo aisle because that’s where all the weird stuff happens for me, when the phrase “lay your weapons down” randomly flashed through my head. And when I say randomly, I mean the last thing I’d been consciously thinking about was the latest communications disaster – completely unrelated to my own shifting, I promise.

I’m not sure how much I believe in the supernatural, but that moment was cosmic and it’s haunted me ever since.

See, I got good at putting up walls. Circumstantial lone wolves are better than anybody else in the world at emotional walls, let me tell you. Nobody can hurt us if they don’t get close enough to get a chance. We wear our scars as our outermost layer of armor, because outsiders won’t want anywhere near us if they see how messed-up we are and we might as well get the pain over with as quickly as possible before we get attached. We’re an intensely defensive species, we pick fights, we would’ve been good warriors in another world but in this one we struggle to adopt the culturally expected passive-aggressive behaviors. We’re paranoid, yes, but we’ve been through enough hell to justify it.

I am very good at walls. But I need to not be.

When my battle with depression first started five years ago, my mom told me that someday it would be useful for me. In my opinion, that’s the absolute worst thing you can say to someone who’s having a health crisis – and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen people say it on Facebook to my friend who may or may not have cancer, so it’s a dick move all around. But that said, it ended up being right in some ways. I had to go through that experience and the other disasters that followed, had to have all my defenses stripped away, in order to begin the process of becoming someone so much more wonderful.

“lay your weapons down” echoes again and again.

I am choosing to tear down my walls. I am choosing to be less hostile. I am choosing to be warm instead of cold. I am choosing to fight the way I’ve programmed myself and learning to be better.

I am learning to choose softness, and nothing has ever been more worth it.