rebel, rebel

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on rebel, rebel

rebel, rebel

I go through these phases sometimes.

On most days I find myself contented, present, lulled even, but then suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere I’ll feel like I’ve been picked up and shaken like a snow globe and all of these quiet, dormant, dark little pieces are suddenly stirred awake.  If I didn’t know better, if I hadn’t compared notes with so many other people, I’d say that something was wrong with me, that there was something even chemical going on.  Maybe you can relate.

On most days my mind is rested and on task.  I set about my routine, a coffee is in hand, I’m dressing my little guy and getting him ready for school, I’m deciding what I’d like to make for dinner.  My classes are clear and present and I’m settled in my shoes, steady.  At the end of the day I feel tired and fall asleep without issue.  But on other days, no… in other moments… there’s a little skip in my heart, a shallower breath that moves in and my head starts racing.  In these moments I feel a tsunami of energy, my eyes narrow, I swear my walk changes into a saunter.  I want to turn the music up too loud, drive too fast, have too many drinks, get out my guitars.  Act out.  I have this (nearly) overwhelming urge to be reckless.  I ride out these waves in my head, feel the emotional tides pull me here and there.  And then the moments pass and it’s like they never happened, nothing is ever the worse for wear.  Most of the time the episode plays out entirely within the confines of my mind.  My even keel returns but with it the certainty that these other swells will eventually as well.

I remember just after my son was born my husband confessed something to me.  He said he had been having thoughts of just running away, of leaving us.  He emphasized that these were just fleeting thoughts, expressions of fears, that they were not based on real desires, not based in reality.  But they were thoughts just the same.  I remember thinking how heavy the sudden shift in responsibility must have been for him, that immediate and forever need for him to be a pillar of support was placed square upon his shoulders as the new baby whimpered in his arms.  I thought about this the other day, probably for the first time since he mentioned it, and I think it’s helping me to understand what is going on here.  In these moments I am experiencing a desire to escape the boundaries of my social roles, my mother/wife identity, to slip into the cracks and become something, someone, else.  I want to rebel, not so much from the confines imposed on me by others but from the slim definition I’ve long imposed on myself.  What mother and wife mean to me, someone with a traditional upbringing, and what they signify to most of society can sometimes be a stifling coat.

I don’t really want an escape from my fortunate existence, I don’t want a red card from these relationships that do inevitably define a large part of myself.  But sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.  It’s the urge to slip out of this skin and reconvene with who I was before I was these things, a self under construction not a self in finished definition.  Here is a partner who allows me every freedom, here is a child so perfectly designed for my temperament that I simply cannot expect more from them.  I can’t ask for more rope because there is no more rope to give.  I have it piled up in puddles at my feet.  What I need instead is some self-gifted mental leeway.  The expectations I place upon myself, the responsibilities I believe I carry are unnecessarily marked in red.  I never anticipated that it could be so hard to navigate these feminine worlds in a way that is authentic and customized rather than prescribed and paved.  The “under construction” phase doesn’t just wrap up when you’ve found yourself in your 30s with a family.  I’ve been a partner for 15 years, a mother for 3, and still I’m floundering on the shores of what these things say about who I am or who I need to be.  The more I turn away from the need to figure it out, the louder the rebel yell.  Jung said that the more you ignore your Shadow the more fiercely she’ll try to break out and make you face her.   To acknowledge this uprising is my brazen act of authenticity, a step in my ongoing search to read behind the labels, to explore the other stuff that fills me out and holds my shape.

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.