• Norma Jean Dunning

These Are My Demons

I don't say this for sympathy or attention. It is just a fact. A fact I face every day; a fact I live with and fight to conquer because I know, logically, I am not broken. I am not beaten and battered and bruised into an unrecognizable person.


However, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, I feel it. I feel every dagger that has been turned and twisted in my heart from when I emerged on this planet to now.


My demons are my own to subdue; they are mine to finally make peace with. Each of us is not without and that is what connects us. It is also what we use to destroy one another.


Each insecurity we have is used as a weapon. A weapon to humiliate. A weapon to dehumanizing. A weapon we use against ourselves to prove everyone else right.


Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not special enough. Not fun enough. Not outgoing enough. Not athletic enough. Not skinny enough. Just not enough.


These are just some of the things that we all fight with daily.


However, there is power in claiming those insecurities. There's something empowering about stopping and saying this is me in all my imperfect glory.


Or let's take a quote from Game of Thrones. "Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you." - Tyrion Lannister


I've reclaimed some of my demons. I've released them to the world and they sit out for all to see. My mental health and my physical health being the two big categories.


I've talked about my suicide attempt. I've talked about antidepressants and therapy. I've talked about my surgeries and parts of my weight issue. I've talked some about my trauma and the abuse. I've talked to you about them. But, you are you and you are not my coworkers. Meaning they don't know any of this.


And because of this, you can't use them against me, but they could if they found out. So, as much as I like to think I have fully claimed them as a part of my being, that is not the actual truth. They make up who I am and yet they do not define me. But they still hold power over who I am.


Today, I realized, I have so many more demons buried from the world; some buried from myself because they're just too hard to accept.


I had the opportunity today to begin solidifying some relationships at work. An opportunity to get to know the people in my branch by more than just what their job titles hold.


Lunch was provided and through the wall between the break room and my "fishbowl", I heard the laughter. I heard parts of the conversation. I had an opportunity and I let it pass. I didn't join. I turned my music up a little bit louder to drown out the sounds and I worked.


Work allows me to crawl within myself and avoid life; avoid the complications that come with attachments. And for the past year, that's what I needed. I needed a job that left me to my own devices. I work and work and work. I don't have to think about anything else. I didn't give myself a chance to realize I might be missing out on something good here.


Throughout my life, I've witnessed just how right Peyton Sawyer was when she said, "People always leave."


I was usually the one leaving until I was left. And so today, I reverted back to my natural instincts. I left. I put my headphones in and I left the office. I left the building. I left the noise and the people behind; at least for 60 minutes.


When I got back, one person kept saying how they wished I would have joined them. They wanted the chance to get to know me better. And my only response was I've been there a year. They know enough.


Want to know what enough is?


I have back problems and food sensitivities. And two of my coworkers know I have panic attacks only because they witnessed one in all the imperfect glory of it all.


So, for the rest of the day, I heard laughter and conversations. I saw people connecting and part of me craved it. We are human after all. We don't do well in isolation. Trust me. Many years of isolation has taken a toll on me. And yet, I stayed in my "fishbowl" because that's where they told me to be.


Today just showed, I have so many more demons I need to release. I just don't know if I'm strong enough to name them and set them free. I don't know if I can give anyone ammunition to use against me. I don't trust them and I don't trust myself. So, I guess that's where I need to start. And then I being to name my demons and maybe for the first time in my life take back the power that was taken from me.














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What happened on Tuesday was very telling that this is a job and I should not expect more. If I drop dead, my job will be posted within a month, more likely within a week. I'm not special and I'm not