My name is Jen Christopherson. I am middle aged, my late forties (but feel 80 physically), yet I feel like I’m in my late twenties (mentally), still confused about the world and my place in it but knowing what I need to do.
I have discovered that knowing what I need to do and, actually, doing it can be far removed from each other.
What I’m going to be describing is going to be very difficult for me to write. The fear of people associating me with some of these things is a bit overwhelming at times.
I, also, know that the people who were/are/will be in my life have a right to their privacy. I’m positive I will overstep those boundaries from time to time. I want to apologise for this ahead of time.
I will change names and my best to keep all my writing about me, but I don’t live without contact with other people.
Path Of Least Discomfort
This must all seem very strange to you. After all, most people begin making their lives their own in childhood. They make decisions that produce results that make them happy.
I have just started doing this.
What I did was make decisions that appeared to produce the least discomfort in the long run.
Most people become self aware in early childhood, I think. They become aware that what makes them happy doesn’t always make everyone happy. They, at the same time, become aware that what makes others happy doesn’t make them happy.
Until recently, I didn’t know this.
I will try to explain what I thought. I thought everyone was basically the same but on different parts of the process of life. Like it was a production line, each person was on their way to becoming something.
I thought I just had to reach certain milestones, meet certain criteria, to be happy. I thought there was some cosmic inspector 13 who would approve me, if I did the right things.
I thought I had to be just the right “bad” and “good” mix to get approved for shipment to heaven.
This is how I interpreted the mix of information I received from my life and experience.
What was missing
I didn’t have a clue that I was missing something very crucial, something fundamental, to the human experience.
I thought I had them. It wasn’t until recently that I realized the varying degrees of comfort and discomfort were not true emotion.
A man accompanying a friend of mine for a visit. What happened when I looked at him it’s hard to explain.
I’m going to describe them separately, but keep in mind they all happen at once in the blink of an eye.
My whole life suddenly became very clear. I could see, understand, why things happened the way they happened.
I understood where the rage inside me was coming from, why it was there. I understood how it came to be and why it wouldn’t go away.
I understood the anger and frustration of the people around me. The people I left behind whenever it got too uncomfortable.
I understood the confusion, frustration, and anger of my children.
I understood the confusion and anger of those I thought I loved and who loved me.
Pain, unlike I have ever felt before, crushed my chest and pinned my heart. Brutal physical pain shuttered my breathing.
I have given birth three times, but I never felt the joy that came with having a child. In that blink of an eye, I felt all the joy I had been missing my whole life. Joy filled birthdays, Christmases, giving birth, wedding days, falling in love, and more. All the joys throughout all the years of my life hit me all at once.
All the emotions of a 46 year long life slammed into me all at once.
This is why therapy is required!
In that instant, if I had still been in therapy, I could have had someone to turn to. I could have excused myself and called someone to talk it over with. As it was, all I could do was swallow it all down and hope to sort through it later.
To sum up where I am now; I’ve just begun a healthy and loving relationship, trying to get clean from my addiction while holding on to my apartment which I may be evicted from very soon.
I have no one I can trust living near me other than J Baby (my boyfriend), an aversion to sharing what’s going on in any kind of constructive way, a stubborn streak 10 miles wide, and a promise to take care of my mother until the day she dies.