Creating choice. The past happened to have happened. Now what?

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“This is..uh..vlog post two. I wanted to share a glimpse and a look into my story.

I wasn’t really aware of this fact but around the time when I graduated from College in 2013, when I was 23…I am 30 years old now…I didn’t…I didn’t understand the concept nor was I aware of the concept of self-sabotage. I mean, I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing. I was going to work, I was taking care of my basic needs — food, shelter and connecting with other people.

I was really good at hiding…how I was really feeling and…people didn’t really ask because I didn’t give off any indication that anything was off or that I needed help in any way, shape or form.

It really felt like…it really felt like being trapped. In my own body, in my own daily routine, nothing really held any substance, I didn’t really feel connected to anyone. Nothing made any sense. Like, for, for…lack of a better way of putting it, I didn’t really feel like I had a purpose.  And…at first, I was in denial about it. I was in denial about my mental state, my mental health and really now what I understand to be was just my health. My general health. Something was missing and I was hungry for something more. And no matter how many people I tried connecting with, no matter how many folx I would tell and in my own way ask for help.

I didn’t feel…heard. I rather felt invisible. I remember this one moment where I tested something…my visibility.

So, I used to go to grocery stores, I used to go in public where lots of people would be going to and fro and just stand in one spot. I would just stand.  And the only proof that I got that I was physically in this world was people walking around me. So it’s those little things like that.

So, speaking about how I was feeling, my emotions and feelings was not really something I was taught growing up. So, that piece of denial was, you know, “How dare…how dare my parents raise me to be this way, how dare my friends downplay how I’m feeling. It was a lot of feeling subjected to everything around me and I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t ask to feel like shit. I didn’t ask to feel abandoned. I didn’t ask to feel invisible but I felt all those things.

And I stubbornly resisted any way to try something different, to break out of this consistently negative place that I now understand to be self-judgment, self-rejection. Really sabotaging my own quality of life and over time as I progressed through jobs, uh…that required me to help other people in a 1:1 capacity, to serve others and support them where they didn’t get the skills. or teaching or education  and that’s when I started getting mad, which then just worked me into this deep pit of exhaustion.

And I eventually burned out  from being angry. I just couldn’t physically handle it anymore. I couldn’t emotionally…I didn’t have the emotional bandwidth for enjoying things. Ever.

Raised to be “productive,” raised to do things I didn’t want to do. So, it’s this prison chamber I built for myself: self-sabotage,  and having no purpose, constantly putting others before myself and lashing out when I felt like I was done dirty. More on it another time.

But really, a question I have for all of you is…what is it gonna take for you…to realize that no one’s gonna do that work for you…to take ownership…of your past, instead of blaming other people?”

Kim Johnson
Thought Founder of Grounds For Clarity, LLC

6 thoughts on “Creating choice. The past happened to have happened. Now what?

  1. Hi – great post. Your honesty is refreshing. I sympathise. I think as a generation we have been raised to be human doers as opposed to human beings. We have lost touch with our own emotions by constantly distracting ourselves with tasks instead of taking the time (and responsibility) to sit with and process our negative emotions. A skill we could all desperately use more of right now. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • AP2, thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts here and reflect how this post rang true for you.

      The generation has been systematically taught to be averse to “negative” emotions. That insulation we create between our “negative” emotions and where we really are is quite painful to dismantle even at the best of times. It takes true pause to unearth that at the end of the day, no one can do the “work” for us, to take the time (responsibility) for that space that really is freeing. One step at a time and one conversation at a time.

      No social distancing here.

      You’re welcome, AP2.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim,
    This is a superb post. You describe, with incredible depth and candor, some of the issues that brought you to a point of emotional pain. Not only do you share the journey that brought you to a point of clarity, you leave us with a most provocative question. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colleen,

      Thank you for opening up and for your words. It was such an intricate massaging through the emotional knots in my life. What with the blame game and deflecting responsibility…these were the wedges that drove me away from the actually improvement — leaning into the pains of the past, hugging myself and realizing that there is no fault, there is only responsibility.

      We tend to believe those voices that tell us we are not good enough and what ensues is self-sabotage: we get in our own way, remain in denial and stuck.

      No one will do the [emotional] work for us. That was the lesson I learned in my twenties.


      Liked by 2 people

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