Author: Karen Copeland
It is interesting that today’s writing challenge is about loss – given my post the other day. This will be written in three parts. I have to admit I am feeling a little bit out of sorts over this loss of control over what I am to write about, but I am also finding it to be a good challenge. Taking me out of my comfort zone. Which can sometimes be just what we need.
Loss is an inevitable part of our lives. I can think of many different losses I have had in my lifetime. All of them made an impression, some more than others. There is one loss that trumps all others for me.
My complete loss of confidence in myself.
Thinking of who I was growing up, I wouldn’t be inclined to say confidence was one of my stronger characteristics. I fretted about what others might think of me, worried I wasn’t good enough. Somehow I did manage to move beyond that to an extent, but I wouldn’t say that confidence ever came easy for me.
When we married, I moved from my home province to a new one and left all my family behind. It was a very isolating time. Add in two children in the first two years of our marriage, plus a husband who was away for eight months of it, and you can maybe understand why I don’t have a lot of memories of that time. And I was tired. So exhausted.
As time went on and I discovered that the parenting strategies I thought would work didn’t, I began to question myself. I wondered if I would ever figure this out. I became obsessed with finding information. Trips to the library to read books, marathon sessions on the internet on message boards, sharing my concerns, being validated by others.
Slowly, as my knowledge and understanding grew, as I shifted the way I was responding to my child, my confidence began to regain a place in my life.
We all know how efforts to pound a square peg into a round hole go.
Our experiences have not been all bad, and yet, the difficult times are the ones that always seem to make their way to the forefront, despite my concentrated attempts to push them back down to the bottom. Why is that? Why is the negative always easier to remember than the positive?
Perhaps it is because some of these experiences eviscerate you. Leaves you so shredded and in pieces you wonder if you will ever recover. If you haven’t had one of these experiences you might be scoffing right now “oh don’t be so dramatic”. But if you have had one, I can guarantee you are nodding your head in agreement.
I started to wonder if I was losing my mind. I tried desperately to rationalize motives, to understand why it did not matter what I said or how I said it, I was not going to be heard.
There was a daily gnawing in my stomach. Sleep was elusive. I tried desperately to believe in myself, but could not. A part of me, deep down inside wanted to scream, a primal scream that would shatter the neighborhood. Instead, I stayed silent. I shut off my voice. I gave in.
My confidence was gone.