The Mask

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Robotic – a visual representation. At a friends place (after a few drinks and messing around with Venetian masks, 2 weeks after the results), truly mimicked how robotic I feel when talking to people about what is happening.

It will not come as news to you that finding out my results and what they meant was, of course, a big shock.

Aside form dealing with it emotionally and mentally I also had to think about how I would get through the days after, while still processing and operating in life as normal.  I still had a job to do and a life to lead and as I soon abruptly realized that this is no one else’s battle but mine, I had to get on with it.

Unfortunately the job I am in is not one where I can get through the day on fumes of sleep or where I can take myself off to a hidey-hole, to be a recluse.  Nor is it one where I can throw myself into work and that will help.  I have to be 100% most of the time with 21 excited little people to teach and take care of, needing my constant attention and me needing my wits about me 99%of the time, especially with my special ‘clientele’ in the classroom.  Lets not even mention the leadership role that sucks my time and energy on a daily basis.

Truthfully, I had no idea how I was going to deal with this all and function.  Remarkably, going through something like this, something thats means you are in it for the long game with not an easy end in sight, really is a test of who you are.  It was amazing to me how I dealt with it all and I truly surprised myself.

I had no idea how I would be when I talked to someone about what I was going through and unfortunately an unsuspecting good male friend was the first person I encountered who asked me the ‘wrong/right’ question and, me being me, was forced to answer honestly.

Immediately, and I mean immediately it was like I was having an outer body experience.  I felt drunk.  Not plastered, falling over, slurring my words drunk but tiddly drunk.  Glazed over and hazy brained with a slightly removed sense of self, tiddly drunk.  As soon as I started talking about what had happened and what I am going through, I went into completely robotic mode.  I was talking matter of factly, in sentences that included ‘It’s a bit shit but I am being super positive’ and ‘It’s not so cool but what are you going to do?’ all sans tears.  It was like I was projecting from a place next to, and slightly above my own body.  It felt like I was talking about someone else’s story.  To this day, it still feels this way, every time I talk about it. And I am not so sure that it is going to change anytime soon either.

 It’s slightly insane but it’s like a veil comes across me and I go into robotic/ shut down mode, without truly shutting down.  My inner robot comes out, regurgitates the specific information that is needed, matter of factly deals with the conversation and then moves on to the next topic.  And when that next topic arises I miraculously morph back into normal Amy and I am back, in my body and experiencing the conversation in a non tiddly/ robotic/ shut down state.

It truly is amazing what the body does when faced with true stress.

I surprised myself. Reacting this way has truly helped me survive.  My body and brain totally went into survival mode.  I was taken aback at how well I could rely on my body to help me when it really counted.

I am so proud of how I have handled myself when approached, sharing my story or when caught in a conversation about it.  And I am still proud about how I am continuing to handle myself.  Being proud of myself does not come easy and lightly and this is probably the only time you will catch me talking about me being proud of me.  And, I am not ashamed to admit it.

The choices you make shape who you are, especially the choices you make when faced with something overwhelming, tough and life altering.

I am incredibly proud of the choices I have made so far in dealing with this situation and I hope that from here on out I can be proud of the choices that I make in the future.

Elizabeth Taylor….wise words and I am trying, everyday.

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