Happy Books

There’s a season for everything, including what genre of books I enjoy reading. It seems that in the colder months, I love to pick up feel good prose and memoirs.

I’ve taken a small step back in time and have committed to reading the Anne of Green Gables series. My sister had all of the books in her collection when I was a wee one, and she would read sections to me from Anne, but I had never read them myself until I started them in 2011. It’s weird to think that I hadn’t picked up the books until then, because my sister and I would discuss Anne, like she was a very close friend of ours. We both wanted to go live with her on Prince Edward Island, and swoon over Gilbert Blythe.

I guess once my sister left for college, I let Anne slip away from me. Harry Potter was just starting out in America at that time, so I picked up those books and read them over and over again.

Better late than Never, though. Anne has filled my heart with sweet prose and happy endings over the past few years. It’s a nice break from a reality that hasn’t always shown kindness. I find myself being very glad that the books wrap up nicely. It’s a great change of pace from my usual conflict and sadness filled novels. Christmas is also a nice time for books that remind us that things can very well work out for us.

Anne is part of my heart. She and I are kindred spirits with our romantic and often over the top imaginations. I enjoyed making up stories from my surroundings where I grew up. I enjoyed going outside and I still am very happy when I can smell the freshness of the air in the morning.

Anne of Avonlea is the part of the series that I recently finished. Reading about her college years filled me with delight. I consider it a pretty feminist book, considering Anne not only went to college, but conquered it. She received honors and scholarships throughout her years. She also turned down many suitors during her time, stating she would only marry man she loved. I won’t spoil all the plot, but considering the time period of this story, I feel Anne is worthy of the feminist title.

 

Revelations

Yesterday, my heart shattered. It was around 9 PM. I was working on my final paper for my grad class. I lost myself in my thoughts, replaying how the day had gone and how I felt about it. It wasn’t a particularly bad day. There were some things that called out to my anxiety, pulling it to the surface until I had to step away from my desk and find a hiding place to panic.

I’ve been panicking a lot lately. Things have happened that have triggered memories that I have repressed. Things that can’t be undone, and have marked me forever. I have been consulting with a therapist every week to help ease the repressed trauma, so that I don’t feel as broken afterward. When I felt my heart begin to crack yesterday, I wasn’t with my therapist. I was alone and unequipped.  I did what I could to stay objective, to allow the memories and the thoughts come without a big reaction. Now, I’m not sure where to start with it all.

I thought about some of the things that have hurt me in the past, and whether they were things that I could have changed. I felt a nagging thought take shape. I think my mind tried to protect me, because as soon as the thought became clear, it would blur so I couldn’t truly grasp it. With wariness, I came to unearth the thought that my mind was hiding, and I realized what had burrowed in the center of my heart: My self-hate has become so ingrained that I think I deserve to surround myself with others who hate me. I looked back on failed relationships with boys, friends, and family, and saw a common thread. I project so much self-hate that I attract hate towards myself. I endure through these relationships because I think it’s my worth in life.

In those thoughts I realized that self-hate is the saboteur and I am in its path. I wonder when self-hate began to rule me, and when it became acceptable to allow others to project hate back to me. I know that I expect it now, and because of how I feel about myself, I am never shocked when it comes to fruition, when people project their anger on me and disappear.

Then, I felt it: The impact of my memories and then the shattering of my heart. I allow myself to get tied up in unhealthy relationships, filled with dishonesty and abuse. I’ve watched from the sidelines as friends get angry and leave with no explanation. I’ve allowed men to use me, and then slap my heart as they tell me I’m the trash that needs to be taken out.  Maybe they come to me already wanting to hate. Maybe I push relationships in that direction.

I’ve punished myself with the cycle to justify it all.