Thursday, August 08, 2013


There’s nothing that makes my stomach hurt more than when I’ve disappointed someone, or even myself.  I just want to fold into a tight ball and disappear into black space than feel the gut-wrenching ache that weighs heavy inside me.  It’s not so much a feeling stemmed from being unable to please someone, because I try my hardest never to do something to please -just to please, but from knowing I’ve let them down.  I’ve learned a very hard lesson:  I can’t live my life making someone else happy.  I will fail every time, because their happiness isn’t something I can make, guarantee, or sustain.  That is something they must do for themselves, just as I must do for me.  But, I do want to please those whom I love and deeply care about, because it pleases me to please them, and I hate when I disappoint or anger them. I love and deeply care about my friends, and hate to see them in despair, especially at my hands.

In my attempts at being open and living my life honestly, I sometimes lack a filter of what should and shouldn’t be shared.  I’m not talking about sharing secrets.  I’m talking about involving them or revealing things about them as I share about myself. I’m really trying to work on this aspect of my life, but find I often cross a proverbial border and say too much; reveal that which was not mine to reveal.  Lately however, in my crossing the line I violated someone else’s privacy, and hurt them.  Even now my throat tightens and my heart aches because of my actions.   

There’s no way for me to fix the mess I’ve created, and I can’t promise that I’ll never do the same thing again, because this is the war that rages inside me. 
I understand other’s need and desire for privacy – and I respect it as much as I respect my friends.  My problem is a deep rooted conflict, one I’m constantly battling, but often fail to make much progress.  Being forced as a child to live a lie, to protect, to hide, to conceal and to deceive really messed me up.  I was good at it, because I had to be in order to protect the things I thought I needed and loved most.  When I broke free from that bondage, I vowed to never lie, to never deceive, manipulate and hide the truth – because these were not my sins to conceal or carry.  But, in casting those shackles off, I went to the opposite extreme and have spent the better part of the last couple of decades being confused, lost and not having an identity of my own – yet I did this honestly.  It’s taken this long to discover who I am – and it wasn’t a light bulb moment, but a spiral of moments piled one on top of the other, made of trials and errors, mistakes and successes, faith and fear.  But in the midst of that chaos, I found me - and I’m a complete mess.

So now, in this next phase of my life, I’m trying to piece the real me together and it’s turned my world upside down.  I’ve never been more scared in my life, but also more complete; a balance somewhere between the two extremes.  I’m not the scared, angry little girl who had to fight for survival, nor am I the suburban wife, mother and business woman who felt lost going from one thing to the next trying to discover who she was, what her purpose was in life –yet getting lost in who she was expected to be by others.  I’m both and yet something new altogether.  I’m still finding me, sewing the two sides together, and this is good.  I’m not whole yet – but well on my way.  Sometimes that scared, angry little girl still surfaces and she kicks, screams, bites, flees and hides and doesn’t share a damned thing… and sometimes the control freak takes over, pushes down the emotions, cuts off all ideas and attempts to address self to care and tend to others and spills everything… and sometimes, just sometimes …the two works together and I find myself in a medium.

I wish I was perfect.  I wish I was whole.  I wish I always made the right choices, said the right words, and did the right things.  I wish I didn’t have doubts, or fears, or irrational thoughts.  I wish I didn’t have feelings of being abandoned every time I made a mistake.  I wish I never disappointed anyone, even myself.  I’m sorry for what I’ve done or haven’t done, but I won’t apologize for who I am, because I’ve fought very hard to get to this point and I’m not going back.  I only hope that’s not disappointing, because that’s all I can give.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray


  1. Anonymous11:34 AM

    Well to some of us, being true to yourself is all we expect and you can never disappoint us, as long as you are true, anger, upset us, yes, but then you're only human. Just like us.

  2. I always remember a quote by Sylvia Plath, "If you don't expect anything from people, you will never get disappointed."
    I never expect anything from people and I seldom get disappointed. Perhaps it's because I tend to see what is lying underneath the surface. Most people can't. I have a strong intuition.