Have My Cake…

   Woman eating chocolate cake

So many times I have written about the wrongs that have been done to me by the hand or words of someone else.  The pain cuts like the bitter cold wind on a blustery day until I feel it piercing through my skin to my very core.  Sometimes I cannot let it go for it swirls around and around in my head until I am fixated.  The obsession eases me into a great depression where I linger for days.  There I stay, wallowing in my self-pity, for the pain weighs me down.

In my sick and twisted mind, by doing this I think I am facing my fears, facing my pain, facing my past.  I am not.  I am simply marinating in shame and hurtfulness that was created by someone else long ago.  The key words to snap me out of this dangerous line of thinking should be “long ago” but often, that is what keeps me bogged down.  People say I should let go of the past, as if it would just float away by and by like a feather plucked from a bird.  But the past is still here, and I cling to it like a bug on a windshield of a speeding car.

Merriam-Webster defines the past as “gone by in time and no longer existing.”  The events that created the pain are time-sensitive, but the pain is still here in the present.   How does one put the past pain in its perspective as a bygone instead of a here and now?  I tried the “letting it go” plan.  It has not worked for me completely.  It just puts it out of my mind for a bit.  I still obsess to a degree with each and every day that takes me into the future.  I feel the past is obligated to me, as though a debt is owed.  For me, it is like going to a wedding and not getting a piece of cake.

The trouble with cake is, while it can be heavenly delicious, sometimes it looks better than it tastes.  Many times, the fancier the cake, the less sweet it is.  Fancy cakes are sometimes dry and stiff.  We want ours light, fluffy, and sickly sweet.  Isn’t that why we love cake?  For the sugary sweetness?  I imagine there were a number of people who looked at my life as one filled with a variety of fancy cakes: a virtual dessert tray it seems.  But I know the truth about my cake.  It was bitter, dry, stale and lack luster on the inside.  I don’t really even care for the fanciest of cakes anyway.  I know that just plain old chocolate home-made cake is better than anything else in the long run.  It’s much less expensive.  And I can make that all by myself.

“If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”

~Sylvia Plath

So, I guess it’s not the pain from the abuse and neglect that fills me with sadness when I least expect it.  It’s the lack of fulfillment of the expectation that I should have had a happy childhood that I grieve for at this point.  Sylvia Plath once wrote, “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”  Maybe that should be my mantra.   For you see, I am working toward reversing the expectation down to just going to the wedding for the mere sake of celebrating someone else’s happiness.   That alone should provide enough contentment for a lifetime.  If I get a piece of cake, that’s great.  If not, I can make my own.  As a fan of both homemade and chocolate, I may like it better that way in the long run.  Either way, it ceases the focus on a failed expectation and shifts my thinking toward the celebration.  That way, I can have my cake, and eat it, too.

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Categories: Dysfunctional, Healing, self-help

Tags: , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Amazing how you put into simplistic words what is going on in my life.

  2. grieving a lost childhood is part of letting go and moving forward, we don’t forget it ever but as we grieve the pain lets us go. don’t be too hard on yourself. enjoy your homemade cake! xo

  3. I hope the pain subsides for you. I was in a similar situation so I know what you are going through. I think you are right about expectations standing in the way of happiness and I love your Sylvia Plath quote.

  4. All of this is simply taking steps you need to take. The past never fades completly and to get over it simply allows it to continue to happen to others. Do the best you can and shout it out, shouting it out is the single most important thing any of us can do. I love your style.

    • As always, I am very flattered by your compliments, and appreciate the kind words. I decided long ago that I don’t want to get over it, because getting over it means that I am neglecting a part of me. My experiences, no matter how tragic, are a part of me. I accept them wholeheartedly, even the ones I detest!

      Kind Regards!
      ~N

  5. Reblogged this on childabusefeedback and commented:
    I love what this writer and fellow survivor does with their heart and the words that heart spills.

  6. Hi. I’m leaving this note here because it’s the first spot I came to. I am struggling with the same kind of pain you deal with. It’s hard for me to express things directly. I thank you so much for finding me and keeping a check on me so far. Maybe if I can keep blogging, I can acquire some ownership of the good qualities of my character that too often feel trapped beneath fear and shame. I’m not embarrassed for myself regarding my life, but I hate to put things “out there” if they aren’t going to do anyone any good, or may make people who know me uncomfortable. For now, I will not tell friends or family about this blog. Thank you again.

  7. Hi
    I don’t know if I asked this already, but can you give me a name to call you by? Any name will do.

    I just wanted to say that I really liked this post. I love real-life metaphors to spiritual things.
    robin

  8. Metaphors to real life help spiritual concepts get deep into the heart my child-self. Jesus said “Come as a child”.
    robin

  9. the Sylvia Plath quote has been my mantra for many years. i love her poetry too. it’s all very dark and moody, angry and full of pain. i can relate to it.

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