Freedom is a conquered state of mind

Posted on June 8, 2009

It’s finally happened. I’ve come to the place in my life where I just have to be me for me. Before, I had responsibilities – obligations – things that had to be done. I put ‘me’ on the shelf – and only came out briefly to recharge my batteries.

Early in my life, I made a mistake when I ran off to get married. I was young and impetuous and it seemed like the right thing to do. Well – it didn’t work out. Instead of taking some time to learn from mistakes, stepping back and really learning what it was in me that missed knowing that – so I would not repeat the error, I fumbled the ball again. It’s just like when you see the receiver catch the ball so tenuously – it’s bouncing around on their fingertips and then, and then…..

I fumbled again – but this time was much more serious and that one act profoundly changed my life. I married a man who was a sadist – he lived for power and to control people and he controlled me so well, I became lost. Not just lost – like I cannot find my way back from the store – I mean utterly and abysmally lost….in the dark – in space somewhere that was totally alien to me – away from family, friends, people who loved me. I forgot what it was like to be loved – I thought I was un-loved and forever unlovable by everyone. He made me believe that. There are places in life that someone can take you to – well, you can ‘come back’, but in a way, part of you will always be back there – in the dark. When you ‘tear free’, you leave some of you behind on the razor wire…. Some experiences just change you so deeply inside that you will never be the same person again. Part of me was already dead before I got the courage to leave. Only a part of who I was survived. It took me almost ten years and finally realizing that he was surely going to kill me – or I was going to kill him – to make me move from the tiny, tiny prison cell he put me in. And then, I just ran and ran and ran. First to safety and then just still running….because I was terrified to look back – to think about it too much, to make it too real. I couldn’t afford to lose any more of me.

Without looking, someone fell into my life and then I carved out bits and pieces of time to be with him. Before he died of cancer, I had grown to love him. Let me just tell you, two failed marriages – one to a sadist who beats you and rapes you, and then love finds you in the strangest places and you lose the one you love – all before you are thirty years old – well it stinks. Take my word for it. I’d never wish it for another – never. At the same time, like they say, ” Freedom is a conquered state of mind. ” I don’t want your pity and I take full responsibility for everything that happened in my life.

After that – I just had nothing left to give to anyone else – all of me was committed except for the part that was still grieving my lost love. Well – it took a while to get over that and my solution – the way I figured to insulate myself from any more pain was to live like men do – with their rules of engagement. It seemed to work for them – they weren’t the one’s getting hurt, at least not in my book. ” If I’d have know then what I know now… “

Okay – so I’m not perfect. I’m flawed, I’m scarred and I’m slightly jaded. But I’ve never missed a deadline or let anyone down. I raised two kids alone without help from their father. I ran a business and did lots of volunteer work. It wasn’t easy, but I made a new life and as Dr. Larch said in “The Ciderhouse Rules ” – I was ‘of use’. Yes, I may be opinionated – I might not have lived my life by the same standards you did. As I said before, I wasn’t Sadie, Sadie married lady with 2.4 kids and a dog. I was me. Just me.

It took me a long time to realize the truth of these words of Anais Nin , “There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. “

Re-birth is as painful as giving birth. It means you have to become vulnerable – to be defenseless for a period of time while you examine everything about yourself and see what you are keeping, what you are discarding and what you are changing. Once the process is begun, there is no turning back – it’s too late, you see, for you have already become changed…. I’ve undergone that process more than once in my lifetime. I have even come to accept it as ‘just a part of life’.

Now – I have learned that “Freedom is a conquered state of mind. ” You must not know that yet, because if you did – you would know that you are not going to break me, make me cry or whine, you are not going to back me down and you are not going to defeat me. You would go on and live your life and stop this foolishness.

If I choose to write honestly and passionately about my life – what of it? How is that your concern…and who are you to judge me? Have YOU the courage or the gumption to do the same? You hide in anonymity to hurl insults and condemnations – to mock who and what I am. I have to pause and wonder – why are you following me from one web site to another – why are you reading all this about me – why are you following me around like my new shadow if I disgust you so much? Why do you spend so much of your time on me? You are not going to succeed in making me feel badly about my life. Get that through your head! Would you have been more content if I stayed a emotional wreck? If my story had been that I lived off the dole for these many years? That I was Sadie, Sadie married lady – who felt so unfulfilled and empty that I had to run through cyberspace looking for someone to taunt and mock because they lived the life I wanted for myself?

So get off your voyeuristic knees. Quit peeking through the keyhole of life! Just think – if spying on my life ‘titillates you’ – what might real experience be like? There may still be time and hope for you. If it’s action and a real life you want – get some gumption and go live it -your life – because this one is mine and I am telling you sister, you haven’t got it in you to make me ashamed of it or want to change one thing about my life or who I am.

Now, I think we need a great finale…a big production number to say “Hey World, I am what I am! ” Clapping

Not a drag queen (fooled you?) – just a woman although the principle still applies. I love to dress up – so I want those stilletos – the boa – the whole colorful, spangled nine yards of my life!

Last edited by katie on June 10, 2009, 11:29 pm

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3 responses to “Freedom is a conquered state of mind”

  1. Good. If they don’t like it, they can go jump in the lake.
    Those are my sentiments entirely.

    It’s actually liberating just to drop the act, stop living by what other people think, stop trying to be what other people think you should be, and just…. be.

    And I like honesty in writing. Not a common ingredient anymore.


  2. Wait a minute, Meyrick – no "act". I never was guilty of the sin of commission in not being honest about my life. If someone wanted to know badly enough, they could easily enough have found out. On the other hand – I am guilty as an unrepentant sinner of not talking – not telling, keeping private and secret all of the things I am writing about now. Not sure it was interesting for one thing (coward in me talking). Sometimes it hurts to pull this out and lay it bare nekkid for anyone to see who doesn’t know the rest about me. Maybe as it all comes out, you’ll understand better. But I suppose it is going to be my problem to make it all seen – and be honest and fair – even to myself for a change. Remember, the lessons? Self-flagellation is habit forming and hard to let go of.

  3. It’s not self flagellation. Not if you pause, and accept yourself.

    Look at your own quote:
    "It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see."

    I’m convinced when we write about the things that have hurt us, the things that have disappointed us in ourselves, and our fellow travelers, that if we do this with quietness, and compassion, and gentleness, that we achieve, not only a good write, but also a certain cleansing of the soul.
    Good artists are feeling people. Those feelings we can be proud of.
    Not ashamed.

    I used to be ashamed to cry. I thought real men didn’t cry. Only babies did. I tried to be a John Wayne. When I finally let go, I was the better for it. I accepted myself, as a feeling dude.
    "A man is not a man until he has wept in sorrow".

    Reality is a matter not just of perception. Reality is also a matter of honesty, a matter of a willingness to consciously choose to "drop the act".

    Just ‘be’. I think your grandmother Kate would have fully agreed.

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