This, for me, has been a week of extreme highs and lows. And, as usual, has once again provided me with the perfect material for today’s post. Among the highs was finding and securing the perfect living solution for my son when he starts university – that’s a massive weight off both of our shoulders, and a cause for great celebration!
The lows? Well, they’ve been triggered by a piece of particularly unexpected news – and an announcement that I would therefore like to make to all of you here on Lovefraud. I discovered just at the end of last week that the publication date for my book has been moved. Not by the couple of weeks I might have expected, since I was already aware that the libel issues have taken much longer than anticipated to resolve. Nope, the date change is a full seven months down the line, with a new publication date of 7th February 2013. The original date was this week, 5th July, so it came as a bit of a blow. I am desperately sorry to all of you who may have placed an advanced order with Amazon, because now you will not be able to read the book until the beginning of next year. Please accept my apologies – this entire process is out of my hands.
What is the reason for seven months’ delay? Well, it turns out that there are optimal times for releasing books and, since we were going to miss our designated slot, I’m told that the next best time for promotion is February. I can understand what I’m being told. It makes sense. It really does. But that’s not the point.
Old Demons Try To Return
Because the point is that I didn’t know – although the publishers thought they’d told me. So while there is no blame on their part, it didn’t stop me from going through a maelstrom of emotional responses, because the way it happened triggered old feelings and opened up old wounds. I recognize that now, but at the time I simply felt hurt, deflated and defeated. I felt as though I’d been beaten at the last hurdle. That despite going through the anguish of writing out my story in detail, and despite agreeing editorial tweaks and providing all manner of black and white proof that what I am saying is true, I simply failed to cross the finish-line. Despite my best efforts, I had let people down – those who were expecting their book, those who have given me their endorsements, those who have lined up promotional support… all of that wonderful help and encouragement now wasted. Game over. Chance missed. Back to the changing rooms and back to the training field.
For the first few hours, I could hardly even focus as I reeled under the weight of guilt and shame. My hard-learned skills escaped me as any sense of balance or reason eluded me. Tears flowed, fists clenched, teeth ground, and frown-lines deepened. The old demons I knew so well once again slithered out from my subconscious and beckoned me in to their cold scaly grip, taunting me with hissed questions that stabbed at my vulnerability “So you really thought you could do it did you? Don’t you know that you’ll never come to anything? What made you think you’d succeed this time? Will you never learn?”
For a while, fury once again took over and I railed against the injustice of it all. “Why wasn’t I consulted? Why weren’t all these details covered off months ago? Where’s my voice in all this?” And yes, looking back now, I can fully imagine the stamping of feet, folding of arms, and a huge “It’s just not fair!” before the pout takes over and stomps off in to a corner. Yes, I can laugh now! But only now… Because I’ve moved through it all and been able to make sense of what has happened.
I already knew that the scars run deep after experiences of trauma and abuse. And like so many of us here, I’ve had my fair share of both – and worked my way through the healing process to reclaim my self, my sanity and my freedom. Which is why this most recent episode has turned out to be a blessing in disguise…
There Is Always A Gift
This latest experience, you see, has allowed me to get an even fuller sense of the range and pattern of emotional responses to manipulation and abuse. It’s allowed me to realize that the feelings I was experiencing were much less to do with the situation in hand, and much more to do with old memories. I was able to put in to context my over-sized responses, and empathise with why I was doing it.
Through my own healing process I have been learning to own, accept and express my feelings – even the ones I had previously labeled as “spoiled brat” or “judgemental” or just plain “bad”. And so my discovery that the book wasn’t going to happen in the way I had believed provided me the perfect opportunity to re-experience the roller-coaster emotional ride that started when I discovered that life with my soulmate was a sham. Back then it took me many many months to make sense of what was happening. This time it took a matter of hours to experience the same set of emotions and deal with them honestly and with kindness. I’m sure that these responses will be all too familiar with many people here on this site:
Betrayal because I hadn’t been told the truth. Abandonment because I had been let down at the last minute. Isolation because I felt that nobody was ‘with me’ or willing to stand up for me. Guilt because perhaps I hadn’t given enough. Shame because I would have to explain what had happened. Confusion because I thought we were on track. Shame once again because I didn’t see it coming. You know the ones…?
Well, this time, as soon as I realised what was happening, I was able to give myself some distance from the situation. I felt able to give space to each of those feelings, and accept them as they passed through – because they were real, and they are part of who I am. I took many deep breaths, went out in to nature, and consciously did more of the things that I had learned helped me get through the last few years. Within 24 hours I felt clearer and lighter – and the ideas started to flow.
Once again, I realize that there has been a gift in the situation. Once again I feel I have learned and grown as a result. Once again I am confident that I am in exactly the right place, and that everything is unfolding in the most perfect way. Gratitude is once again flowing, and I am forging ahead with ideas that would never had appeared had everything run to the original plan.
Now I realize that I have a seven-month window to reach out to more people and to share the skills I have learned in a more structured way. I also have the opportunity to expand my reach and connect with the language of the place I live – here in France we just don’t have the number of resources available that we have in UK, USA and other English-speaking countries. And yet here, it could be argued that oppression is even more common – and even less understood.
This was always in the background plan. But I had reasoned that I would need my book to come out first. Not so. Because now I am fired-up to do everything within my power to reach out to others. The book is already written and edited. It’s ready. And so am I. And I’ve realised that it really doesn’t matter which comes first – a bit like the proverbial chicken and the egg. So, watch this space… there are plans afoot 🙂