Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm goofy, serious, talk too much.. but I'm always Lucy

When I began my post yesterday, I had no idea I would write about what I did but my thoughts tend to go in different directions most of the time.  I fully intended on dedicating the entire post to my cats but as I wrote, I realized it wouldn't be right to forget about the person who had made such a difference in my life, even though I have rarely spoken of him to anyone.  Magdy has been my little secret, though I'm not sure why that is except that many people do not seem to understand or give as much meaning to love when someone has not physically met him or her in person.  I suppose I did not want to need to explain things and I have left his memory in my mind and deep in my heart but found it absolutely necessary to mention him.
A few years after Magdy passed away, I met a man who has MS but is paralyzed.  I am not sure if he is still alive or not, but I will write this as if he's still living.  He has primary progressive MS and is classified as an MS quadriplegic.  I didn't know what the difference between a "regular" quadriplegic and an MS quad was until he explained it to me.  He was living in a state funded apartment complex for the elderly and those with physical disabilities, so there were a few people there who were quadriplegics.  He asked me to look at their power chairs and the people all had belts around their waists and straps holding their legs in place because their legs would spread open or their feet would slip off the foot pad and they could fall out of their chairs.  He, on the other hand, had nothing holding him to the chair.  His legs were quite rigid and this helped him immensely when he transferred from his chair to the couch or anywhere he needed to transfer.  It was truly amazing to watch him live his life from a power chair and how he had adapted to that life at a young age.  We had been diagnosed around the same age and became paralyzed by his mid 20's.

We dated for about a year and a half, with me living with him and his pesky cat the last year of our relationship.  He was only allowed one pet at the apartment he lived in so my sweet kitties stayed with my parents and this was killing me!  I loved him very much and his MS had gotten much worse so I knew he needed me by his side and my parents understood this.  By the end, I knew it was more than just his body that was paralyzed.  It was his mind that kept him miserable.  I am not down-playing the magnitude of what it must be like to be paralyzed in the least.  It would devastate me beyond what I can even comprehend.  But when you finally have someone in your life who will do pretty much anything to be with you and she wants to take care of all your needs, and you say you love her too, why would you choose your parents over her when they have told you time and time again how much they disapprove of almost everything you have ever done in your life?  It was beyond my comprehension and we finally broke up in the ugliest of ways and it was after that break up when I realized I needed to make changes in my life.
One of the first things I did was change my nickname.  I had been using a different nickname from the age of 20 until that moment, when I was probably 38.  It may sound like a meaningless change, but for me it was anything but insignificant.  Even now that it has been a few years since I changed my name, the only time I think of the other nickname is when I hear Magdy saying my name.  For the most part, however, I have few good memories attached to that name and I was more than happy to let it go.  The girl who had that name had little confidence in herself while Lucy is a much stronger woman who prefers to look forward and go on with her life with only a few occasional glances at the past.

Although I'm happy with the woman I have become and feel sad when I remember the pain I felt inside at the frightened, hurting younger version of the me I was many years ago, everything I have experienced has brought me to this exact point in my life.  I don't believe everything happens for a reason but we do learn things along the way and either fall into deep pits of despair or soar to new heights.  I was in hell far too many times to fear anything anymore yet I also know things can always get worse but I still believe it will get better.  I try not to regret all the stupidities of my past and yes, there were many of those!  But what does regret bring me?  Nothing but guilt and sadness when I cannot change anything that has already happened.
So now I am Lucy and the sky is the limit.  I feel more lighthearted.  More secure in my own skin.  Much more true to who I am.. and it all started with a simple change in my nickname.  Sure, I'm still the same person I was before and maybe I put too much significance in my name but this small change opened up all sorts of new doors for me within myself.  There's a confidence I never I had.  I have a voice I wanted for such a long time and now I feel free to say what's on my mind and it seems as if some are actually willing to listen.  Amazing!

I've had a few relationships since the break up with the "paralyzed guy" but I've also come to terms with my need for independence.  I no longer feel a man has to be in my life in order for it to be complete.  Somewhere along the way, I learned to love myself and realized I'm a pretty interesting person!  My mind is scattered much of the time, I tend to talk too much, I'm silly, kind of goofy, overly serious, but all in all I really like who I've become.  Know what? Time really does heal wounds.

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