I have so much to be grateful for in my life. However, I’m understanding more and more why in the regulations from Child Protective Services (CPS), we specify that it cannot be required that a child be made “to be grateful.” A youth in the CPS system will not be made to show gratitude, to be told to be grateful for what they have; cannot be told they “need to be grateful.”
Gratitude is really hard. It’s not actually about being thankful for the obvious gifts in life (the basic needs come to mind: food, water, shelter). It’s actually about looking the hard things in life directly in the face and reckoning why they are hard. What is the reason for this hardship?
Then: I am grateful for this hardship. That! Right there. That is hard.
I am not an easy person. In the modern, in the wishful, in the traditional sense of this statement, I am not. There are easy people to love. This girl, right here, isn’t one of them.
It’s taken a long time to be okay with this. I can alter my ways without successfully being authentic. I can wish my life away wanting to be like someone else. I can try to squeeze myself into a size that doesn’t fit right or I can be accepting of who I am and content with what I am not.
I’m not going to be blunt or clear or, a significant amount of the time, I am not going to be upfront about who I am with a new person. I’m going to hold her back. Often, I am going to hold her back like she wants to go into the pin, itching for a fight. I require a lot of attention. I need a lot of loyalty. People have to build my trust. Likewise, any consensual sexual activity and I are, by no means, going to be easy. There is one way I can be really “easy.” Put me in a social situation where I can’t be authentic, and people will easily dislike me because I also really suck at faking it (yes, any it).
I’m not a star. I’m not a birthday candle. My history won’t fit on top of a cake and it’s not shiny and pretty to view. I’m wounded and hurt. If you make a wish on me, the only thing that that’s going to happen is that the lights will blow out.
I basically fit in no clean-cut box. To “conservative” people, I’m a tatted, somewhat weirdo, whirlwind of liberalism with a agenda that hasn’t grown-up or grown out of it yet. To “liberal” people, I’m a wannabe, hasn’t been liberated, could be cool, but nah- too religious- prude like- devout and probably, a relic. When I get dressed, I’m either an edgy Catholic school girl slowly rebelling against my buttons or fooling them in my leather pants because the goals of my life are still Holy and sacred. I’m not easy to attend to, be there for, or, frankly, to know at all.
I’m not really sure why people stick with me. When I say that I am grateful for them it might seem easy, but they aren’t easy for me either. Gratitude is meant to be shared.
…. because while I’m deeply needy, I am also continuously present.
…. because while I over communicate, I am also ever-responsive.
…. because while I expect a lot from other people, I swear- I give more.
It takes a ton (and it’s actually has yet to happen) for a person to have too much shit for me to handle. Your trauma, your pain, your angst does not overwhelm me. There’s a Gryffindor sticker on my soul. My loyalty extends past you. My loyalty is to your trauma, to your needs. My loyalty is in for the final battle for you to be won.
I’m learning that being grateful, like so many things, is a lot like forgiveness. It’s sort of muddled and unclear. It takes it’s time. It takes a lot of self action first. Self actualization before realization- Gratitude is, well, not easy.