The less they notice about you and your emotions and the less the will notice your absence…..
If you read my previous post you may somewhat understand my frame of mind and why it has taken me a few days to revisit that part of my life. I hear the bullshit phrase “get over it”. I may never get over it, move on, learn lessons, empathize with those that are related to me because of the common bond of alcohol, but get over it???
So the next step father was Leo. He was a nice alcoholic. A business man. I always thought he was the nicest one of all of them until several years ago in therapy when we were going through my step fathers and I mentioned him. I told her that he was the nicest, that the only thing he did was get drunk and take us out flying in his plane. I remember looking up at him from the small seats in the back and him telling my Mom he was going to fly us into the mountains and kill us all. That was nicest step father I had. My therapist was mortified. It wasn’t until then that I realized how damaging he was too. Many years later at lunch with one of my step sisters she confided he did that to all of them. Some how I don’t think he did. I think maybe she was comforting me…she also made it very clear that everyone felt bad for me because of the life I was raised in. They weren’t married long, he was the sickest of them all because of the alcohol. We had to visit him in a hospital in Washington where he was sent to dry out. He finally reformed and lived until a couple of years ago. He had to have been in his 90’s. I went to his funeral to sit with my sissy’s. I love them, he gave me three good sissy’s.
There were two more step fathers after these, fortunately I was old enough to take off at this point. One divorced my Mom shortly after he found out she didn’t have the money he thought she did. We spent Christmas Eve in a local casino. I was under age but drank and gambled. The other wanted a nursemaid and they divorced after a family member ruined that. She hasnt been married since, had a few boyfriends…but has been alone for many years now. She was damaged at some point. We finally have a semi decent, functioning relationship. It was part of my healing process to confront her about the things in my childhood. It took her 3 weeks to read the longest and hardest letter I have ever written a person. She cried and apologized. It’s never been mentioned again. These men are no longer mentioned. And I told my brothers…I told them all about my childhood. It was only then that the one that is 19 years older than me confided she did the same shit with them and always put them after her boyfriends. My brother who is 20 years older will not speak of his childhood. She fucked us all up and we turned out pretty fucking amazing. I was the only child between my parents. A product of an affair, which I am pretty sure she was paid to leave town and remain quiet. Whew….the secrets families keep….you never know how deep the pain runs. We were children. Just children.
So…be 12 and realize you are not wanted any where….even your own fucking biological father never showed up and maybe then you might consider that it’s not weak to want to die. Be 12 when the drunk comes home and your mom is out, and you know he keeps a gun under his pillow. Be FUCKING 12 while you and your best friend lie on your bedroom floor and he tries your door. Be 7 and an alcoholic is sexually abusing you or you are being abused at a local daycare. If you saw the horrors (many graphic details I have left out or toned down) I saw growing up and even empathized in the smallest way you MAY reconsider your rigid thoughts. I think what angers me most is that people think things just go away. I am amazed that I love the way I do, that I give people chances and that I take risks to love and have friendships. These people taught me how you aren’t supposed to be treated. In what some may consider a fucked up thought process I feel they taught me how not to treat people…I give what I have never had. Sometimes to my own detriment. I have also learned that not everyone who drinks will hurt you and that it is okay to drink in moderation and with people you feel comfortable with. So I have learned a lot.
Smile at that person next to you in line, or observe the child who plays alone at the park, or be kind to the troublesome child. Always, always be kind, you never know where people like us come from.
Peace..every, every day
So, as I was trolling social media tonight I came across and interesting article. If you have time, and it interests you, please take a look at it.
I grew up with alcoholic step fathers. Several. None were nice or fun. I am not even sure where to start expressing my thoughts on this subject, my mind is racing with memories. I never knew the adults in my life were alcoholics, that’s how normal alcohol was for me. I was maybe 7 when I tasted Wild Turkey for the first time.
That is what Fred drank.
Fred was step father number two. He was the party guy. He was a World War II vet. He drank and smoked constantly. There were constant parties at our house where I was not allowed to come downstairs. I would lay on the step, about halfway down the stairs where the wall was so they couldn’t see me. The house was filled with stylish women that had pretty hair and 70’s clothes. The men were semi plane, brand inspectors and cowboys that worked for the state. The room was filled with cigarette smoke and drinks were everywhere. I would fall asleep there until my Mom would get me into bed some time in the night. During the few years they were together, he died in our house of a heart attack, it was a constant party. He drove drunk and would let my Mom walk home from across town in the middle of the night, alone. Piece of shit, but she stayed. So, needless to say I was left alone with him and he was sexually abusive….yep….maybe 7. When I was still married if I smelled hard alcohol on my husbands breath I was repulsed. Sad, but true. He never understood, only when we were in therapy did he apologize and I would like to believe he genuinely felt bad. I am not sure, because after that all drinking was done on the side.
Step father number one use to hit me…he was mean alcoholic.
Step father number three was the most mentally abusive. She married him twice. I used to be angry at her for the choices she made, but she was damaged too. Number three was Arnold. They divorced on my 16th birthday and again on my 18th. Both of those birthdays I spent in the courtroom. When I was 12 he convinced her I ran away. I have to wonder about her mental state, I was at my best friends house and she knew it. I came home to a police man asking me if I knew where our address was. I said that was my house and he followed me home. Arnold, when I was 12, called me “a whore walking the street looking for a stiff dick”. I was FUCKING 12!!! I didn’t even know about sex! Of course when the policeman realized he was drunk he left me with my Mom and Arnold. My Mom had the nerve to say many years later that I was not an easy child, are you fucking kidding me? I went to school and stayed in my room, or was at my friend’s house. I had to be out of sight because everything was ok then. You see these men and my Mom were older. They had already raised children and here comes a little girl.
(I have to add that as I am emptying my thoughts here Fred’s daughter-in-law liked my comment on that post…she has no idea. Not that I know of…)
I think this has been a little overwhelming for me this evening….I will follow-up with a second part when I can….Yes, I have moved on, healed, learned the lessons they delivered…just felt the need to empty my thoughts after reading that article….
Our children look to us for guidance and example. I have explained to my girl that addiction runs on both sides and she needs to be very aware….
I am calling it a night….Peace for now ❤
Its been a while since I have been here….This morning its coffee and random thoughts about life. Last night, like many lately, was sleepless…or more over broken. I am not happy and I have a dog with a damn cone…thats always pleasant at 1 am. Pleasant enough to pull you from bed and then your mind starts whirling.
In the last few weeks a lot has happened. I am divorced…it became final the day before my daughters 19th birthday. Although we haven’t been together in over four years it changed my views on a lot of things and taught me some lessons as well.
- I hang on to people and relationships so much longer than I should
- I give until I am drained on many levels
- I base my happiness on the happiness of others
- My self care on emotional level is forgotten until I have ran myself in the ground
- I have had to let go of things that were important to me, things my grandparents and friends gave me because my ex husband refuses to return them. So I learned about material attachment and how the memories are more valuable.
- There is such a thing as polite bullies. I attract them like fly paper
- I have learned I don’t have to answer to any one and I only have to take care of myself and my daughter
- People will use you, even people who love you
- Friends come and go
- Not everyone will accept or like you and they don’t have too
- No matter how much you give some people it will never be enough
- Your dreams count and you don’t have to adopt the dreams of another
Those are only some of the things I learned. People can be selfish and greedy and it will hurt every time. But mostly I have realized its time to take care of me again. So I bought the car. I will continue to work hard and pick up some extra jobs…because I like to be busy. I have always been on top of my game with my finances, yes, I have over spent, over gave and over done…..now I am done. I am banking the funds…saving for something amazing.
I will spend more time feeding my soul with words, paint, yoga and the gym. Soulfood ❤
Time waits for no one, we are responsible for our own happiness….I don’t want someone to complete me, I want someone to compliment me. And I want to be happy again….
Sadness and absence…..a wise women whispered to me in a soft voice “If they don’t notice your sadness…they wont notice your absence” That bitch!! I hate when I talk to myself and it makes sense and resonates. I have hardly invested in what I love and that’s the written word, my words….its time. I have been invited to a writing circle of women. They have no fucking idea what they get with me…as Don Julio whispers in my ear ….WRITE ON! Here I am. I am going to go for it….This is what I love…I am not looking to make money at what I do, it feeds my soul, so I am rich beyond words.
So I have recently realized that people will not always treat you as you treat them, I learn this lesson on a regular. I get my feelings hurt….yep…soft heart…forgiving heart. And I say nothing, if I do I am a piece of shit or over thinking or wanting too much. How sad….I ask for very little, but way too much. I have been starving my soul caring for everyone else in my life. I am back at the gym after a long break….I want yoga again…and that damn wanderlust shit is back again. That makes me happy….so many places call my name. There is so much left to see and so many people to meet.
So let’s go back….when they don’t notice your sad, will they notice you’re absent. Maybe for a little while and then they will move on and you will become like the others….a memory. Oh she was this or that, we did this or that or one time….you will no longer matter. The shit is too heavy to carry on my own. I am sad….absence is such a heavy word.
So random with tequila…
JUNGLE LOVE….THE FABRIC OF FRIENDSHIP
Posted July 21, 2014
Above is Jungle Love…the fabric of our friendship!!!
I have many amazing women in my life but there is one that I have walked a beautiful path with for the last twenty three years. It seems as we go through life we separate on our journey but always manage to meet again in the middle of our dirt road. It doesn’t matter if its five days or five months there is never time in between. We pick up right where we left off.
I met Theresa in 1992 where we worked, we were both in our early twenties. We forged a bond….one that I never would have dreamed would span across the last twenty-two years, marriage, children, life struggles and so much in between. We have this amazing garden of friendship that never needs tending and is always full of beautiful flowers and a lot of love…..its in full bloom all year long.
Theresa is an amazing artist…everything she touches she brings to life. She has been my biggest cheerleader through some of my hardest struggles. I would like to think that I am half of the friend to her that she has been to me. I love to make treasure boxes for her. Yarn to crochet with, note cards, clipped words of encouragement….any special little thing I think she will like. She has always encouraged me in all my creative endeavors and made me feel accomplished and proud of the things I have made and in my writing. She gets the flow of words and the place they come from.
There are reasons why we haven’t seen each other in more than twenty years……but it doesn’t matter. Time falls away when we write or pick up the phone. So many months ago I mentioned that we should crochet a blanket together….make two or more squares of the same color and send each other half of what we make. When we are done we will attach all of them and have a blanket that we will have made together across the miles. So this week ( July 21st) I will pack up 32 squares, a crochet bible and anything else that speaks to me for her and send them to my friend.
As I worked on my squares, I imagined my friends hands making her squares. I could feel the thoughts, emotions, and love put into each square. I have named this afghan “Jungle Love, the fabric of our friendship”. Jungle Love because we listened to the Steve Miller so much when we worked in an office together…Fabric of our friendship because we are weaving all of the years, life, love, struggles, happiness, heartaches…everything life has handed us into the fabric of our blanket. I know many people will look at all the colors and think….what is that? This makes me laugh! It’s not what we are making….but what we have made….its not how we are making it….but HOW we are making it. It’s about friendship, endurance, love, happiness, sadness, and so much more. This afghan is about two women, a loving, easy friendship that has stood the test of time.
So when my friend sends me her squares I will edit this post and add pictures of the finished afghan. I love you Theresa….thank you for your constant presence in my life. I am grateful for you, honor, love and appreciate you more than you will ever know.
Posted on July 8, 2014
For more than two years I have been a volunteer at a local grief center. The a majority of this time I have been a co-facilitator in an adult group and more recently with teens and young people. Many people ask me how I can handle something like this. It has been an amazing experience so far. My life is so much richer being with my other family every other Monday evening.
We, the facilitators, and the people who come every other week are like a family. Sometimes we don’t see some of the faces for weeks on end and then out of the blue they will come back.
I have learned a lot about people and grief since I started volunteering.
First, I think I should tell you what prompted me to become a volunteer at a grief center. We had several deaths in our lives over a four-month period. It wasn’t until a dear family friend, Ernie, passed on Christmas night in 2012. I watched Ernie go from a life loving, vibrant man to a shell. Ernie taught me so much about life and death. All the odds were stacked against him from childhood. His father worked at a paper mill in Illinois during his childhood. When his father would come home from work he would change from his work clothes in a room off of the kitchen, exposing his family to asbestos. Ernie’s father was the first case in the United States to win a settlement for asbestos poisoning. He didn’t realize what he was exposing his wife and children to. From there Ernie went on to serve his country where he was exposed to Agent Orange, he smoked, and he was a diesel mechanic. When Ernie first became sick they found a spot on his kidney, then another, then his liver, and then his lungs. Cancer is a wicked, wicked disease. We didn’t know that when he was first diagnosed the doctors told his wife he had six to eighteen months to live. Three years later we would say goodbye to Ernie on Christmas Night. We were so blessed, all of us, including Ernie, to not know how much time he was given. His wife never told us until he was gone. So we spent the last three years of his life living, not living like it was the end. We drank coffee together, ate meals together, I cooked according to his likes…this makes me smile. I would even say “Ern, are you staying for dinner?” which was met with “what are we having?”. I would tell him meatloaf and green beans, he hated them. We would laugh! We took vacations together. I miss my friend. Ernie taught me a lot about life and about tremendous strength.
I will never forget the news the morning the grief center called to me. I saw this segment with a lady talking about a grief center and how they needed volunteers….I entertained the idea briefly and then let it go. I believe that when something is meant to be, it will be. They repeated the segment again and I knew I was being told that I needed to call. I was in the next training class and haven’t looked back since.
After training, I went to my first grief meeting. It was a room full of adults all with different stories. As they went around the circle and shared their stories it broke my heart. I came out thinking this isn’t for me, what can I do for any of them??? When I told the coordinator she said to me “No ones grief is the same”. I learned my first lesson that night.
We all grieve very differently. Loss is loss.
I can say to you that grieving people get tired of hearing I am sorry or that God needed another angel. These words don’t make it any better although they are meant well. They need you to be there for them, even if there are no words between you. Don’t back away from them because you don’t know how to treat them, this hurts more than you know.
Our children need to be able to grieve as well. They need to know its okay to talk about the person that is no longer there. I’ve also learned that when a parent loses a child that the children that they still have sometimes lose that parent to grief as well. Celebrate the life of the one that is no longer here with them. They are affected too.
My best friend who I facilitated with for the first two years, lost two daughters in her life, one on my birthday. I don’t distance myself from her…she couldn’t get that lucky. She would laugh. I embrace her on our day. I send a card and a text acknowledging her day and letting her know I think of her. I stand just far enough back so that if she reaches for me I am here.
As my journey on the grief road shifts to one with young people it becomes richer. It’s important to be present for them, listen to them, know their stories and ask them questions. You can see in the younger faces how much it means that you are there, you remember and know their stories.
A grief center may not be the place for everyone to volunteer, but we have all lost someone. Its something everyone has in common. You may not think you can help….just being there, present in that moment, sharing with them, caring about them…that helps. They unpack their emotional trunks once every two weeks in a safe, understanding environment.
I encourage everyone to volunteer. It doesn’t matter how, find something that is close to your heart. Something that is important to you. I have dealt with so much grief, questions, and decisions in such a short period that being at the grief center made perfect sense to me. Another piece of advice, make sure you can commit to the time you need to be there. It’s important that they see familiar faces that know their stories and will be there for them.
This blog is written in memory of Ernie. I miss you every day, and smile at all the good memories you gave me.
Posted on July 5, 2014
She needs to know…
That when he touches her
It means something
That there is thought and care at the tip of his fingers
When he brushes the hair from her shoulders and traces her cheekbone,
She needs to know he sees some beauty
When she reaches out to him in the middle of the day or night with caring words…
She needs to know it touches his heart
Does he entertain the thought of their life together…
Laying twisted and tangled in their bed
waking to kisses and coffee
She needs to know that she means more to him than temporary companionship
She needs to know