I have been apprehensive about coming here, about emptying the clutter I have collected in my head and heart over the last several months. I know my inner critic is at its very best as of late…but what the hell!!
Why should I fear what someone will think?
So I was working on this piece about being 50 and all the bits and pieces that brought me to that point in time. Birthdays haven’t always been good, not that they have been horrible…but some of them were just another day. Ruined by alcohol, as a lot of things in this life have been.
So I sit in the middle of our huge bed and reflect on a lot…a lot of good and bad in the last 50 years…and I will be okay, because I always am, somehow, I always am. Just when I think I cant take any more I summon the strength to handle the next thing.
I am tired, really fucking tired.
I thank my Creator for routine, it helps me make it through. I am thankful for the people who see me, really see me, and are still here. I have an amazing community of kind and loving people who surround me daily, from the moment I wake up, until my head hits the pillow at night. Those who know my character and who I am, who haven’t wavered, who are steadfast and true.
Life shifts and changes. Trust is given and broken. People…well, some people just aren’t good. I have survived a lot of shit in this life and I am still here, how? I have no idea, but I am.
So write hard about the things that hurt….
My best childhood friend who I have know for 37 years is losing her Mom as I put these words down. My heart breaks for her. Cancer is a vicious bitch. I cant even hold her….I can only be here for her.
My sister…my poor, sweet sister. She lost her Mom in February and her husband a week ago. Her heart is broken and she is alone….so far from me.
And being afraid to write because I may hurt someone…..what about me? I hold it in and I destroy myself because this is how I HEAL….I write and write and write and at some point it makes sense.
The truth is I am hurt and reaching a breaking point. I cry when I am alone, a lot more than I will ever admit.
And I am angry, so fucking angry. You never know what people will do to you. And I am tired of being guarded because people are just shitty sometimes.
I am just really tired….its enough already.
And weeks have passed and life moves forward….I’ve lost myself. My cup is empty right now. No color graces my hair, my nails, or my lips. I ask myself “where have you gone?” And maybe “who are you now?”
I think that many times when life keeps handing us situations, good or bad, it can be overwhelming.
The hard fucking truth is that my childhood friend is dying and I cant ease that in any way. Not for her or her children. If she could I wonder what she would tell me that she wished she would have done on this 50 something year journey. It makes other things so trivial.
I am angry and sad and indifferent. So many and so little emotions all at once. Sleep comes and goes and comes and goes. Maybe her disease has triggered something that has been lying under the surface all along. I am too fucking nice….I have never had it in me to just say what’s on my mind. I just let shit slide….and I am tired.
I lay out the olive green sweater and matching shoes for tomorrow. I think I will feel better if I feel like me for a little while. Pink toenails with pink rhinestones peak out from the toe of the shoes I love. Maybe I will wear black…
She would say “Rock the shoes Drea” and put color on your lips. She would tell me like she did not so long ago to be the woman she admires. To be the fire and be happy.
And I feel a deep sadness…. I know mentally I am not healthy right now and my spirituality is suffering and I know my creative fire needs to be stoked and I know I am sad and should be happy about a lot of things.
And so like sleep, the night comes and goes…and goes.
These are my childhood memories of your Mother….
I met your Mom in middle school, she was my first friend at a new school. I remember sitting down in Mr. Northwood’s homeroom class and she wouldnt stop talking to me. She kept asking me questions and I didnt want to turn around. Everyone knew each other and I was new. I wanted to stick to myself. Well, she was relentless. We ended up on the same bus home, with different stop, but within walking distance from each other.
She love Prince and because of her I know more songs than most people think. She forced me to watch Purple Rain like eight thousand times…not really…but maybe close to a hundred over the course of our friendship. She covered her tiny room with every poster she could fit on the wall. She loved hats and eyeliner and crazy hair like his. She danced and sang every song there was. Some days I thought I would lose my mind if I had to hear one more thing or song from him. And I know there were occasions where her nails were purple and so was her eye shadow. She cried and cried when he died.
She also love Michael Jackson and a boy name Tony from high school sang like him. I think she talked to him for hours just so he would sing for her.
We danced to all the good 80’s music in the living room at the home at the end of the dirt road. Her house was the last one on the road and could be scary at night.
We talked about ghosts and scary stuff.
About a frog in the window which is a joke only we will ever understand.
She would wash green grapes, roll them in sugar and freeze them. They were so good in the summer. We made a lot, A LOT, of macaroni and cheese. And she cooked everything with butter.
She ate instant coffee on occasion, along with a spoon full of creamer and sugar. We were 13 and you do dumb things at 13.
She convinced a group of girls to sleep in the desert in the back of the valley. So in the early evening a bunch of us hauled our stuff out there and spent the night. We walked half way to the front of the valley, we thought we were going to the store and decided half way there to turn around.
She had a donkey named Jessica. We would walk her on a lead and put big clown sunglasses on her. And Bobo and Swanie, pigmy goats. They were so much fun.
She would put curlers in her and when we met at the bus stop she would say that she looked like a poodle.
We smoked cigarettes and drank together, talked on the phone for hours, listened to music and sometimes we would draw.
We went to the Reno Rodeo with her step-dad who was a horse shoer. We stayed all day.
We played in the desert and she would pick things up….snakes and horny toads…she wasnt afraid of anything.
She texted me old pictures of us a couple years ago..I didnt even know she had them. Those were good times.
She made me crazy and I am sure I repaid her. She is fun and funny…I got her on levels where others didnt.
The way she squinted her eyes…she always needed glasses.
Or touched her tongue to her nose…
When we were baptized at 14 in the little Baptist church in the Valley.
And I know that she loves you…more than you can even imagine. She told me how wonderful you are, who looks like her, who acts like her….this makes me laugh and she laughed too. How smart you guys are and how good. How proud she is. She even gave you credit for pulling stuff on her she never would have thought of when we were kids.
The last few days I have listened to the Prince station at work…a song will come on and I will drift to a time and place that I shared with her. I love your Mom, in all her craziness and chaos, it makes her who she is.
I just wanted you to know things about your Mom that we shared throughout the last 36 years.
I woke to the alarm at 4:30 this morning and didnt want it to be Monday yet. As I got ready for work I thought a lot about a friend of mine who is not well. I have know her since I was 13. She was my first friend in the new middle school I was going to and although there have been times where we werent in touch and a few times we didnt speak, we found our way back to each other time and time again.
This morning my mind went to the thought of human touch. I think, sometimes, we take it for granted like so many other things in life. I thought of my Mom and how she took care of my Grandpa later in life. How she rubbed his weathered hands with lotion, or his feet and put socks on him. How she combed his hair and washed his face. How I sat at the kitchen table and told him I loved him…and held his hand.
And my thoughts drifted…to my friend.
I hope they comb her hair and hold her hand. I hope they tell her funny stories and happy memories of things they shared. I hope they put lotion on her hands or paint her nails. Its the small things in these hours that are so important. I hope she has fuzzy socks and pictures she loves. I hope she knows how much we love her.
I hope they hug her and hug her and hug her. I hope they crawl in her bed and sing her songs she sang with them and I hope they kiss her cheek.
But most of all I hope someone touches her hand and heart every single day….
For the last few weeks I havent allowed myself the time or gathered the courage to sit down and get real with myself.
Questions come up and I lose myself in them….
Who made you feel like you werent enough? And why do you hang onto shit like that? Human beings, decent human beings should never, even in angry moments make another feel like they aren’t enough. Treatment that I have experienced surfaces in this moment. I am transported to some long ago memory, an unpleasant place in time. Fortunately it can be left where it is. In the dust and remenets of some other time.
Who made you feel like you werent smart enough? I have known people who speak to others like they have no knowledge or education. I like poeple like this as odd as that sounds, the phrase “if you give them enough rope, they will hang themselves” comes to mind. I am an observer by nature and to witness someone who thinks they know it all not really know anything at all is sometimes oddly satisfying.
Who made you feel like you were an option? Someone who you arent an option to any more?
When was it ever okay for someone to put their hands on you? I remember the first time….one of them anyway. This came a few times in life. As a young adult it was a shock. It caught me off guard, but throughout life it seems I was used to unpleasant events and so it, in some ways, seemed normal. (“Normal”, a woman I greatly admire cant stand that word…) so it became acceptable. I accepted things that were not okay.
Trauma changes us…
A normal day and a loud sound, or voice behind me when I am lost in thought and the PTSD kicks in. Sometimes it stays for days and sometimes it passes quickly. Sometimes its words. Sometimes is just sadness that sets in. An emotion finds its way to the surface where it hurts. An unhealed layer of some long ago place. Feelings of not being enough. Not smart enough, not pretty enough, not good enough. I sift through them and I shove back the tears until I am alone, I quiet the sadness in the dark, and push aside the anger, because it doesn’t serve me…..because the truth is I am still healing. I find solace in words most often, and safety in the warmth of his arms, close to his heart.
There is no getting over the angry words, or heavy hands, or sheer fear inflicted by another human being. There is no getting over feeling irrelevant, second best or second choice. There is no getting over abuse, physical, mental…abuse is abuse.
There is no getting over it, only getting through it and learning to how to care for that part of ourselves that is still healing from trauma that most aren’t aware of.
So most days I wear my new life….with a quiet strength and some tenderness, knowing that I am getting through it and healing it the best way I know how.
4:30 am ……already?
4:44 am ….makeup
They bark at something outside and he comes to the door to check on me before he goes back to bed with you
5:38 am… I think about the things I need to accomplish before I leave
6:03 am…I call my Mom
6:15 am…I am at my desk, I need coffee and to put my things away
6:29 am…I think about the 31 minutes I have before the space is full and the energy shifts
8:17 am….I wonder if my girl is up…what day is it? Does she work today?
9:48 am ….I wonder what people fear
10:23 am… I glance at the phone to see if you are up yet.
Waves of emotions….random thoughts and the tasks at hand
12:10 pm …lunch now, or later?…yes, later
What to do with the hour I have. Saving, so I stay in and sit with my friend. She shares her space with me so I get a full lunch hour instead of working through. Periodic conversation about life and work.
1:45 pm… thats all??
2:00 pm…I didn’t even look at the moon last night
4:45 pm ….15 minutes to go
8:33 pm….and you call
10:23 pm…. 6 hours and 7 mins of sleep if I go now
3:03 am, really?
4:30 am ……again….already
The randomness of life and my thoughts that go with it….
You know the ones…where you just cant breathe?? Where inhaling takes all the effort you have and exhaling feels like you’ve been under water way too long and you have to try to remember how to breathe.
Dinner at the counter, standing, where I am comfortable. Bird is singing a little, Hec is behind me asleep on the rug, Tito across the room on his bed. The wind is blowing again and again and….again.
Yea, one of those days…
Where you turn a corner and another and another…you can’t breathe because every time you catch your breath it happens again.
When I was little my Mom had this chair. It was so big, I would put my head on one arm and curl into a ball and there was still room. It was safe. I could stay there alone forever. I could breathe, safe from the monsters and everything else that was wrong in an 8 year olds life. I need that chair today.
I tend to repeat the words “I don’t know” when I cant put together my thoughts and I cant breathe. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know….do you ever have one of those days? Where everything is overwhelming? Where it starts small and turns into some horrible anomaly?
So today is just one of those days….and when the night ends and I slip into the comfort of our bed, and the dark of the room, I will remember what it feels like to breathe again.
Peace for your Wednesday ❤
I have been thinking about flaws a lot recently. About people who point them out and how we feel when that happens. I think at some point in life we have all felt like we weren’t enough, we didn’t belong or that we weren’t wanted simply because of someone pointing out our flaws.
I always think before I speak, because of the way I have been spoken to you, The same with my actions, I stop and consider how that would feel if it was happening to me. This is the place in life I practice the pause the most.
Who are we to judge someone….anyone? What are flaws? Inadequacies? Who is someone to judge us by what they think is good enough or not?
Yes, I think this has been heavy recently.
So what if…
You don’t dress the way they think you should
You listen to music they don’t like
You laugh too loud
Or cry too much
or feel too deeply
Or work too hard with deep passion, even if its not ideal for some
We are all enough, flaws and all. We must learn this first. We must learn to accept and love ourselves wholly, which is not easy and not always a conscious thought. Your flaws are what make you perfect and at some point you will come across people who accept you…flaws and all. They will love the way you laugh and care.The way you accept people as they are, the way you love and what you stand for, Once you accept that being who you are is who you are meant to be…..you will realize that you are beautifully flawed.
And so its Saturday ❤
Who taught you to fear?
I have busied myself with little oddities tonight around the house and the echos of the eggshell dance have been present throughout the evening. I count the last few things that need to be done in the days and ahead and then the things beyond that. I am tired.
Moving, I moved so much in my childhood. So many memories discarded over the last few years and even more over the last few months. Things I never dreamed I would let go of have finally met their fate in the local landfill. I think I kept the most important things and I try not to consider the things I let go of too long or I will, like many other times, overthink. This brought up some old wounds and the dive into how and why I still practice old behaviors that also led to survival.
The eggshell dance….a learned behavior and a childhood coping mechanism. My conscious thoughts were “be quiet, be good, stay out of the way, tiptoe around the bubbling anger that could overflow at any moment”. A learned behavior to make sure I was safe. To make sure life was a little bit easier. Always watch-full, always, always aware, and always, always fearful.
Forward….I carried that learned behavior into my adult life and still practice it even today. Although I try not too, I realized tonight I still carry that programming with me. It sent me into scattered thoughts this evening, sifting, looking, digging in and trying to recall at what point I learned this or who taught me. Self taught I think, its been here so long I cant remember where it came from. It’s a thread in the fabric of my life that runs deep. I practice it more than I like to admit.
Everything will be okay, if everything is okay.
Never too much or too little, always trying to find the perfect balance and sometimes life just isnt like that. A lot, life isnt like that.
People will judge you and it will hurt. It can be a harsh judgement or a small one, sometimes the sting is the same.
So tonight I will consciously try not to spend too much more time on why I repeat this behavior and do my best to be more aware that I have no reason to be fear-full any more and just be……
Peace for your Monday evening ❤