#52SlicesOfChingonaLife #52EssaysNextWave2019 10/52
I took a different route home the other day. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny afternoon. I actually enjoyed the ride for once. Usually, I’m all up in serious bumper-to-bumper traffic and I was able to notice the still-green hills, the fields and open spaces. This tranquility made me think of the ride the night before…
I was driving home late on one of the busier Bay Area freeways and, although there was virtually no traffic at that hour, I found myself stressing out big time. It seemed that, at every exit, there was something that I saw that made me feel the heat of shame. The majority of the memories that assaulted me were negative and violent, the fight where he took the keys out the ignition and left me stranded, the time I used my last dollars to pay to have his car towed when it broke down, the time where I waited for the police to arrest him and they never showed up because, as they put it, I was the 68th person in line, the time he took the phone from my hand and practically left a moving vehicle, and the times I had to “trap” him in order to serve him papers, the times that..
This rain of shame is akin to PTSD, it really does hit in waves and it is so overwhelming, it is hot, and sometimes it hurts. I move twenty steps backward, I start calling myself names like SonsaTontaPendeja with rage, I am taken back to that point where I was helpless and had completely lost my power. It really does hurt to go back to that dark place. Sometimes it lasts days, sometimes it lasts hours, and this time, thankfully, it lasted minutes. Somehow, InnerChingona brought me back from that dark side.
What do I do to calm myself? Pray. Listen to songs that I can sing to. Pray. Think about how far I have come. Pray. Thank GodJesusVirgenOfG that I have a great familia, friends, work projects, and, most days, peace.
I always wonder why these rains of shame still hit, maybe it’s to remind me that light always comes after dark, that, in the long run, I am the one who has always had the power within me, even if InnerChingona has to get all up in my face to make her point.
Sadly, we cannot stop the rain of shame, but thinking about the good in our lives may bring us back from that place where we beat ourselves up for every single decision that wasn’t smart, healthy or positive.
Embrace the rain. Clean and calming. Clearing out all of your shame and fear. I try to remember that I am not the mistakes that I have made or, more important, I am not responsible for the stupidass mistakes of others. That, and keeping things moving forward, no matter how slow or how far you move.