Ransacked

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Every morning now, my older daughter, Kate, comes downstairs wearing my clothes.

My shirts and sweaters, that is. She wears a size 0 in pants, so we’re not exactly sharing those. But each morning she’s sporting something from my closet.

It all looks great on her — better than it does on me. And I suppose I should be glad she likes my taste enough to borrow my stuff. The other day she wore my 1985 Cure T-shirt to school, which made me proud. (My work here is done, etc.)

She’s not the neatest person in the world, and I’ve lately discovered piles of stuff on the floor of my closet, the result of her explorations. Robes. Dresses that have slipped off hangers. A pair of pants I never wore with the tags still on.

While I feel a bit ransacked, there’s some pleasure in it, too. Despite myself, I kind of like the careless way she pushes in there and takes what she wants, confident that I’ll be okay with it. She knows I’ll roll my eyes but then smile and give her a hug. “I wouldn’t take the stuff you really like and wear a lot, Mom,” she says. My big girl. Who’s growing up.

There are different ways of feeling ransacked, though. Yesterday was tough on me emotionally for a variety of reasons, and by the end of the afternoon I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. This happens to me sometimes — feelings I’d been keeping in check or trying to deal with in either an avoidant or strung-out way get the best of me. I feel defeated. In those moments, I’m harder on myself than I should be. I’m aware that I’m doing it, but I continue to pour salt into my own wounds. I see everything through a fish-eye lens of frustration and grief. I just want night to arrive so I can sleep and escape this unfortunate day.

It’s strange how emotions can make you feel as beat up as if you’d been in a physical fight.

I went to yoga this morning, which helped — I woke up still feeling a little off and tender, and now I’m more grounded. I also straightened up around my house; throwing stuff away and freeing up space always gets me feeling more on top of things.

And I’m fortunate to work at home, where I can make space for my emotions if I want and need to.

My teacher Emma pointed out in class today that the word emotion includes the word motion. Feelings are meant to move and evolve. I know this. Despite the trapped and miserable place I found myself yesterday, I was aware that it wasn’t permanent. Emotions do move in and out of us. It’s nice when a good or a great one arrives; you want it to stay. But when those bad ones show up, it’s all you can do just to stay upright.

Being ransacked isn’t fun, but I suppose getting shaken up can help you see things from a different perspective. (Or not. I’m being too optimistic. It just sucks.)

For the rest of the day, I intend to let my emotions move where they need to move. And just let myself be.

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