Just before the dawn

emerging butterflyThe half-formed butterfly can never go back to what she was before. Committed to her growth, she trusts that she has enough strength and power to emerge, or die in the attempt. But she can’t not try.

When I opened to him, I let down the walls that kept me “safe” – by which I mean unfeeling, brittle, uncaring – all of which I confused with “powerful”.

I would get up, brush myself off and keep going because nothing really touched me. I couldn’t afford to let it touch me, couldn’t trust myself to look over the wall and see everything that I’d hidden away out of sight there.

With him, the walls became softer, more and more transparent, until they almost completely melted. His weapons? Simply kindness and tenderness – that’s all it took. And like the butterfly finding the strength to emerge from her chrysalis, the old Isobel began to dissolve and transform. There was no going back, no way back.

I ran joyfully towards the light – and then ….
It was gone.
Nothing
Stillness
Waiting in the dark, barely breathing. So sure this wasn’t the end, the light would return and I could continue
A glimmer!
Reaching for it eagerly, stumbling forwards …
Only to be plunged into darkness again.

From the outside, you’d never have known. The chrysalis looked intact. The smart comments, the laughter, the quick-fire chat – it was all there. The old programming – “never show you’re hurt!” – was still working.

But inside … inside I was dissolving, lost, confused, and I didn’t understand why no one noticed.
If you cut me – do I not bleed?

My inner Adult understood the situation completely of course, remained calm and composed. We’d had a great time for a few weeks, it was tender, romantic, sexy – then he stopped feeling the same way and we parted in such a civilised fashion, still friends. Everything as it should be.

And of course, my inner Adult knows that it’s not all or even about me. He has his own needs, he wasn’t put here to rescue me but to be his authentic self. Which he is – someone I admire, respect and appreciate, a man of integrity who I’m proud to know.

Such is the wisdom of the Adult.

My inner Child however was devastated, shattered into a thousand pieces, curled up in a corner of the room in the dark, sobbing. Every issue I ever had or might have had massively triggered – abandoned, rejected, pushed aside, not enough – never, ever enough.

I can’t go back into the hard casing – and I admit, I’m struggling to move forwards. Sometimes – like today – it seems just too hard to even try.
Better oblivion than this.

The Universe makes it so hard to become a butterfly precisely because the struggle strengthens her wings enough so she can fly.
I know that, but what I feel is – it’s so fucking unfair!
Why couldn’t the one who broke me open be The One?
Why wasn’t I enough?

What does it take simply to love someone who loves me?

I know – truly, deeply know – that this is temporary, it too will pass. That I will emerge with my soft-strong wings intact, with more compassion, more love and understanding, a better woman and friend and lover. And he will have been the catalyst, a true gift.

The darkest hour is just before the dawn. The breakdown comes before the breakthrough.

This post is a testament, a witness to the ongoing journey, the realisation (again!) that it never ends, it always asks us to be more, reach more deeply into ourselves, find more strength.

In a few days, weeks or maybe months there will be another post, celebrating the butterfly and all that helped her break free.

Just right now – it’s fucking hard. And it hurts.
And that’s ok.

If you’re going through it too – know that I hear you, I feel you, I love you.
You’re not alone.
Take my hand and we’ll do it together.

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