Goodbye Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the day!!!  We fly out of here with a one-way ticket….no return, no changing minds, no turning back….  it’s one-way, baby!  Scary and exhilarating.  I will cry.  Good-byes are in the realm of unbearable for me…literally.  I often find I’d rather be rude and avoid people than ever say good-bye.  I’m not even good at saying good-bye to the people I don’t like!  I just detest good-byes!  Typically, I avoid them like the plague…

There is no avoiding tomorrow…  Which means there will be crying, sobbing, heaving, the embarrassing kind of tears…the “OMG Dave and I broke up” kinda crying probably…ewww! 

I returned DK’s clothes I’ve had for a while.  I wouldn’t want the next ridiculous accusation to be that I’m a thief.  Sadly, that’s not even an absurd or paranoid fear with the way he bashes my character.  Crazy to realize that after hitting the best of the best and the worst of the worst, the man has zero feelings for me at all.  After all the nights he came running to me, crying and sighing, full of words he couldn’t get out, as well as words he never should have let out.  After it all, there is nothing.  Empty.  Void.  Zero.  Nada. 

I thought of keeping his clothes out of spite even, but realized I just don’t want them and he does, so why not take the high road?  It’s not as if keeping a few articles of his favorite clothing would ever compensate for all the cruel damage he’s done anyway…and it would mostly just serve to make me feel petty and small.  So, I dropped them at his house when he wasn’t home..nor was the new “bi-annual flavor of the month” there either. 

Strangely, I don’t wish him ill.  I almost wish I did or could, but I just don’t.  I even sometimes have little prayers and hopes that perhaps this is finally  “the one” for him..this latest strange car parked at his house down the street from my soon-to-be old house.  Perhaps this is the happiness he needed, minus any inconveniences or challenges which I represented to him after all the years and tears?  The mean part of me wants to hope he just gets what he’s dished out to me for so long – cruelty.  But, my heart would ache to think of him hurting even a moment the way he’s hurt me.  I don’t know if that makes me strong or just plain stupid..but  I’m leaning toward the “stupid” answer.

I’ll never know how someone could be and do so much good (and horrible) in my life and then just be absolutely nothing.  The two just contradict themselves.  I feel as though this sets a low-level of importance on anything.  As though the most wondrous of experiences and feelings will always be significantly lessened in my mind and heart because maybe someday that very thing will merely be a void of anything, like this whole experience was.  If anyone had ever tried to tell me that I would be literally nothing to the man who loved me so much he cried, I would have laughed at the ridiculous thought alone and been certain as I’ve been of nothing in my life, but certain that it all meant something significant.

Nope. It all was merely nothing.  Every tear, every effort, every cruelty I allowed hoping it would make things even again, hoping it would open his heart back up, hoping we could at least have a friendship…..all for nothing.  It feels as though I’m so dispensable and worthless that not even a shred of emotion, good OR bad, can be mustered up on behalf of it ALL….that just feels “off” to me…impossible actually…and yet it’s totally possible and realistic today.

And I wonder if I’ll ever bother to waste a tear, an emotion, much less an effort on any other person who claims to love me?  After all, if it’s possible to just mean nothing as though it never was or happened, then why would one ever waste even a moment on such trivial, useless-ness?   Seems pretty silly really…

And I think to myself that either he really IS a sociopath (that’s a hurtful hard thought really) or I am just a crazy person (always a possibility).  All I know is that this feels like I’m having to realize that one plus one does not equal two, macaroni does not go well with cheese, and french fries are not commonly eaten with ketchup.  Feels as though the whole world is not what I once knew; as though nothing at all is what I’ve ever thought.  It’s almost more upside down and confused than the day we broke up.  I knew he cared and I at least knew why we split.  This though…this makes no sense whatsoever.

Radical acceptance here that the grass is orange and the sky is green.  Nothing is was or will be what it seems….  I can only hope that this realization will keep things in perspective for me from here on out and I’m never again tempted  to place value (much less such precious value) on such trifling and trivial matters as this has apparently been.

What a lesson!

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the home that wasn’t

In exactly one week, we head off to a whole new life…a new world to us, new environment, new culture, new (to us) house…..everything new and different!!

I am scared, excited, fearful, exhilarated, anxious, and sad…  I see the sun peeking up as I write and I think of the thousands of sun rises and sunsets which have encroached upon this world for me…  I’ve had the happiest sunsets I ever thought possible right here in this little frustrating town.  I’ve had the absolutely most phenomenal sunrises here as well.  I can say with complete candor, I’ve had experiences and moments here which were the very stuff that dreams are made of…the very fiber of fairy tales come to life.  I have made some unbelievably wonderful friends and known some interesting people.  I’ve laughed till my stomach hurt for days following and my cheeks felt like they had done strenuous Pilates.  I’ve cried more tears than I knew I had in me.  Here, my heart has been so full of love I thought it would burst and so broken, I thought I would die.  I’ve spent days on the beach about which I could have written novels, both comedic and romantic.  I’ve met pilots traveling through, partied with hundreds of people inside military planes.  I’ve gone swimming by moonlight, laughing through the waves.  I’ve skipped in the rain and laughed in the snow. I’ve sat out and I’ve danced.  I’ve lived in ten different houses here, all with unique people and experiences.  I’ve been single here.  I’ve been married here.  I’ve been a mother here and responsibility free.  I had my first real boyfriend here and my first grown-up love.  I’ve learned lessons I never even imagined as a child.  I’ve grown, I’ve stagnated, I’ve flown free as a butterfly and I’ve been imprisoned like a criminal.

I’ve played house and wife, mother and employee.  I’ve played conservative party-girl, lost hippie child, and unemployed beach bum.  When I moved away for college and a few years later my world crashed, I ran here.  This has been the only home (“base”) I’ve ever known.  The only place I’ve been able to return to (come “home” to)in the whole world  no matter what happened.  As much as I’ve often felt out-of-place here, out of sorts, and like an “outsider”, over the years, I’ve become this place; both the things I love here and the things I don’t.  This place is a part of me…a huge and irrevocable piece of my growth and my essence.  I will carry people and memories, lessons and experiences from here as though it’s part of my genetic DNA.  In spite of the fact that I did not “grow up” here, I very much did grow up here in so very many ways.  The people and things I’ve done and known here have shaped my soul in a good ways and bad.  The sand from the beaches has become embedded in my skin forever.  The memories rooted in my soul, never to be un-done, even if someday forgotten.  I carry every person, every moment, every encounter, every drop of beach water, every crashing wave, every love, every hurt, every tear, and every laugh with me for the rest of my days.   I’ve been hated here, loved here, nurtured and abused here on every imaginable and unimaginable level.  I’ve wildly dreamed of escaping this hell-hole and I’ve ached to return to its embracing shores…

I’ve never known a “home”, a home base, a place to run to…never.  And yet, I knew that here; the home of a place to go when I was lost and scared in the world (my dad).  The home where I felt I was always supposed to be, the place I walked into and realized I had been holding my breath for so many years, I didn’t realize how beautiful breathing could be (Dave).

This has been the only home I’ve ever known by any definition or connotation of the word “home”.   I am scared to the pit of my soul to leave here…and yet I’m scared equally to stay.  I fear I can never come “home” again, in the way that this is now my home.  I’m a mother and a college graduate and I wasn’t even raised here, and yet somehow it almost feels like I’m leaving the nest for the very first time.  I feel like a high school graduate heading off into the world on my own into the far and unknown beyond.

What will be here when I next return to visit, to live, to escape, to…????  What feelings will remain?  How will I be changed?  Nothing will ever stay the same as it is now and has been.

Life is scary.  Change is inevitable.  This was never my home…and yet strangely it’s also been the only home I’ve ever known.

Kindness Shmindness

Change my blog title…?  Really thinking about this lately.   Funny, when I log in here and see my title, I’m just filled with sadness and a teensy bit of disgust.

Contemplating the whole “Secret” business recently and the concept of the power of attraction.  I so love the concept!  When I really dig into the idea and the science behind it, it seems so very valid, almost provable on many levels and yet…  Random kindness…kindness as a response to cruelty…giving as the answer to taking…

When I created this blog, I was adamantly optimistic about this theory—thus, the title.  I had myself convinced that if I kept my thoughts, actions, and character upright, then good things would have to come.  I didn’t really have any specific “want” that I didn’t get or anything…I just wanted so much to believe that if I lived by my beliefs then good things had to happen.  I steadfastly chose to send loving vibrations and energy out to everyone and in particular, the nasty people I’ve known and dealt with in recent years and in years gone by. Thinking, believing no one would want to do harm to a person who just keeps on loving and being kind, regardless of what gets thrown at them.  Great in theory…terrific concept…

But, not so much true.  Seems more people then just see you as a weak sucker, vulnerable and ripe to all sorts of abuse and manipulations.  Not to mention, deserving of it all, since it’s so “stupid” in this day and age with these standards of society to believe such a thing and live by it.  I love the saying “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness”.  I wish I could have incorporated a little more of that into my social experiment of loving kindness, but I’m not all that strong really…except perhaps in my desire to believe.  There I have unlimited quantities of strength it seems.  And it really gets me in trouble and leaves me hurt more often than not!

So, if one lives by loving kindness and responds to hatred and such with just more kindness, at what point do you stop the one-way flow?  If the power of attraction theory is truly believed and practiced, then the moment I get angry or cease the kindness, I bring negative energy into my world and develop the very thing I’d like to avoid…so you just keep being kind and love even harder…

And people recognize this quickly, especially the mean people looking to take advantage and hoping for a sucker just like me and suddenly there is a catch-22 quandary going on  and a snowball effect of bulls**t coming at you like a freight train of stupidity! 

So, I really dislike that I no longer believe in this…I really wanted this to be true with all my heart.  I was prepared to take all the crap and just keep loving…love, love, love….  But after 5 years now of being dumped into a mass of crap, I just can’t continue believing.  And I’m actually embarrassed to confess how ridiculously stupid I’ve been to let this belief/hope persist in spite of the hurt it’s caused, because at the end of the day, I’m the one responsible for allowing it all to happen and continue.  So hard not to feel like a victim when even your best and most beautiful intentions are devoured and devastated by the seemingly innate UNkindness of the majority….but if I let myself feel like a victim, then I’m bringing more victimization energy back to myself.  Arghh…wtf?!  All in all, this little experiment seems to have just left me wide open and vulnerable to abuse and attack, while simultaneously rendering me scared to death to get angry, much less actually fight back!!

I’m deeply sad to admit the death of this inside me.  I didn’t expect all my dreams to come true and nothing but rainbows and butterflies every day by this theory…but I DID truly believe that it would bring more love and happiness not only into my world, but possibly even into the world of many.  And now, I mostly just feel hurt, angry, and embarrassed that I’ve been such a stupid idiot for so very long…and devastated that my best efforts and hugest faith amounted to so little actual good for anyone…to the point that I now have this little wish in my heart to take it all back and just punch those mean people in the mouth for every hurt they caused!

How’s THAT for loving kindness?!  ..hehe…=D

Did John-Boy seem the vengeful type…or was it just me?

She was torn between desperately seeking the stability and love she’d never known and enjoying her relatively new freedom.  She was seeking her own identity, uncomfortable and unsure in her own skin and never quite sure why she warranted so much attention and certainly not at all sure how to handle such attention politely, without hurting anyone’s feelings.  It’s not that she had not been told she was beautiful by boys and men before or wanted by many, it was that she literally could not see that or comprehend the possibility.  She was a dry sponge full of holes, seeking all the love and attention she had never felt before.  She certainly wasn’t a slut in any sexually promiscuous sense, but perhaps she did fit the description of an attention whore. She couldn’t understand how anyone could love her or think her beautiful in any definition of the word. In spite of her need for freedom, she longed with every part of her being to feel loved and to believe she was beautiful in someone’s eyes…to feel accepted just as she was, flaws and holes and all…

Unfortunately, she felt the closest to beautiful and worthy when she was making other people feel good about themselves and this would eventually be her slow demise in satisfying her own deepest hopes, but that’s another story entirely.  There was a supply and demand in effect seemingly at all times.  Men longed for her attention and she longed to make people feel good.  She could spend hours talking to a stranger in a club about his job, his school, his relationships, his dreams, his broken heart, anything…and treat him as if he was the only person on the planet for the duration of that conversation…often to the annoyance of her friends and/or boyfriends.

By her early twenties, she had ended two significant relationships.  The relationships themselves weren’t bad per se, but she was a lost and meandering spirit.  It was almost as if once the relationship reached a mutually satisfying point, she felt her “work there was done” and her attention needed to go to the next soul seeking her heart, time, and attention.   So after ending two serious LTR’s, which did not go quietly, she finally conceded to her long-subdued need for freedom and her completely suppressed  wild at heart nature…  She dreaded the thought of committing to a relationship with a man because it seemed somehow to always eventually end with a hurt man and her feeling as though her effort to make someone feel loved and important always began with the best of intentions and resulted in their broken heart.  This was not at all what she wanted.

So after ending an engagement with a terrific man who loved her in the most beautifully endearing and devoted way and running straight into the arms of an abuser, she resolved to stay free.  In her partying and carousing with friends she only gave a few hours of dedication to anyone and moved on to someone else…until she inadvertently and unintentionally met John.  Strange that she’d caught him watching her quietly on many occasions and took note of him.  She found him truly handsome in the most adorable boy-next-door way, but he never approached except nonchalantly in passing.  After several of these incidents, they finally had an actual conversation.  He was so damned likeable and undeniably adorable.  She loved his eyes – the way they watched her quietly without attempting to connect with her or pick her up (ugh!) and she loved the way he innocently made her laugh without even trying.  She spent several platonic evenings with him, just partying and having fun.

Since this started innocently enough, she felt no warnings that trouble was brewing.  They were both having a blast and neither seemed intent upon choking the other’s freedom, but they enjoyed their time together so much each day would follow into the next.  She even discovered that he was a few years younger than she and it didn’t  matter at all to her. He wasn’t even jealous of her flirty personalityand he gave her total trust and freedom!!!!  She loved this.  Could it be he actually understood her?    It seemed natural that suddenly one day she realized that their affections had grown big and they were spending all of their free time together…and she didn’t even want to change that or run from it…were they falling in love?

Yes, it seemed so.  This realization hit when she received acceptance to the school she’d applied to upon her last release from a relationship.  She had applied in a moment of freedom and need to not be held back from her goals again…a brief respite between obligations.  But against her design and intention, he was now in love and she loved him in return as well. Uh-oh..scary, as this never ended well for her.  Always seemed to end in a flurry of anger, broken hearts and her immersion in guilt which provoked a need in her to run far, far away.

It was a difficult situation, but they were young, confident with one another, and happy…therefore this could still work.  Right?  No one had to get hurt this time.  Long distance relationships could work for truly happy couples.  Besides, she just wanted to go finish her education at the school of her choosing, not date around or get involved in any relationships.  This should be easy.

They missed each other terribly, though.  The connection was difficult to maintain from such a distance.  And she was immersed in the collegiate life while he was in the town he grew up in and working the job he intended to work forever.  She wasn’t dating anyone else, but she had a few study friends whom she enjoyed hanging out with as well.  They had little in common under these circumstances and their phone calls started feeling like a “duty” to her, not an enjoyment.  He planned a visit.

On this visit, he mentioned shopping for a promise ring to cement their relationship and their desire to progress into the next natural step for a happy couple.  Except, his visit, his presence, annoyed her.  She didn’t know why.  She still loved him.  She just couldn’t feel or find that connection to him anymore once she was removed from their little shared town, at least not enough to accept a promise ring or in good conscience, continue the relationship that was stunted for her and clearly still growing stronger for him. After a few days of his visit, she discussed this with him and ended the relationship.  She felt sick to do this, she adored him, but she felt it was the right thing to do in the midst of her confusion confounded and highlighted by his devoted certainty.  It was over.  He left.  She could tell he was very hurt and she hated that, but he didn’t seem angry and for that, she was so grateful that it almost sparked her feelings again…but not quite enough to change her choice in the matter.  She had to be fair to him.  He deserved at least that and her conscience refused to accept less for him.

Fast forward five or six years.

Back in their hometown for a few years now, she was a single mother, scared and still lost.  One night she runs into him at a bar.  They start talking and reconnecting.  Inside she is scared and far more damaged than she was years before.  In her loneliness and fear, he represents something good and safe to her.  She decides to go home with him.  After all, it’s John Boy.  The safest place she’d known at this point.  He’d never gotten angry at her for who she was.  On the contrary, he had always seemed to understand her when no one else could.  Ahhhhhh…safety and sincerity. 

When they woke up the next morning, she felt happy to be next to him.  No it wasn’t the answer to everything of course, but it was a safe and familiar place at last and she had always adored him anyway.

As he was driving her home, he said, “I don’t want you.  I just wanted to pay you back for breaking my heart all those years ago….  How does it feel?”  Her heart ripped as he laughed.

Well done John Boy…very cruel effective.

Why NOT play Kick-the-Carcass?

No consecutive hours of sleep for what seems like weeks, although I can easily remember not so long ago when it had been more like months, so I logically know I can pull through this “short stretch”.  However, when n the midst of the sleeplessness, it feels as though I’ll pass out, die, or just maybe snap into forgettable pieces.  I keep reminding myself that it’s been worse and try to be grateful for the little bits of sleep I do get blessed with.

Stressing the move, finances, the gossip and lies (of course, as usual), THE ex, the children, packing, moving across the entire country from everything I’ve ever known, living out of district for my kids’ school out west, my ex husband, and his motives and choices, and how they’re going to relate and affect our lives out there, so far from the only  home we’ve ever known.

With all of this, I’m struck hard with acute awareness of the severe alteration of my heart, my perspective,  my very essence…  Who I once was is gone, with all that’s happening now and all I am responsible to be and do, with all the fears that are hanging just over my head like a shark’s mouth ready to swallow me whole, I really just want to sit down and bawl myself sick.  Grief hangs all around me like buzzards and flies on a  carcass.  I know, I know…  This is nothing new…I’ve been a barely-breathing carcass for years now, my only traceable movement being the slight shakes and involuntary shuffles and slides  of a dead body that’s being kicked a few extra times for good measure.  Big thanks to Dave and friends for that lovely prompt..without it, the buzzards might literally begin to feast on my mourning flesh, not just the metaphorical feastings of Dave and friends on the leftover remnants of my heart, my soul, my reputation, my freaking character!  After all, at this point, the pickings are so slim and meager that I genuinely can’t understand the interest…surely there’s not enough there to satisfy even a starving soul?

Apparently so, as I can’t even plan my pathetic, late-as-hell “escape” without a kick every once in a while for good measure.  I’m struggling and fighting this damned sense of victimization which I hate so much it makes me sick even to write of these things any more.  Or maybe it’s that burning sense of injustice and flood of unkindness and continued crucification which keeps me from withering up and dying completely.  It’s almost cost me a great degree of my voice and I do not know what I could even be after he’s fully taken my voice and my ability to write.  It just might be my lingering indignance which is holding the shell of my existence together at all, keeping it from crumbling quietly into dust. Perhaps I should stop fighting this victimized-feeling and embrace it, allow it to strengthen me out of my hopeless feeling of being powerless, beaten, and small?   Hmm….

I have comprised a plan of revenge.  In my circumstances, I have no way in which to actually carry it through, but it’s a lovely fantasy nonetheless.  I imagine that many people love me and know the truth of these past five years…the whole down-n-dirty, humiliating truth and they are so outraged and angry they begin a letter-writing campaign on my behalf – no, on the behalf of all people who have gone through emotional and mental abuse.  Upon me leaving my home, he receives hundreds of letters from people who know the truth, faceless people who are not afraid to stand up against this man’s cruel persecution of my spirit.  Each day or week he receives lovely pieces of mail from people who know what he has done and refuse to buy into his lies and bullshit, as a regular reminder that he did not just “get away with it”.  And he, like me, has no chance, opportunity, or method by which to combat the attack.  He would just have to sit in it, regularly reminded of his cruelty, its effects, and his powerlessness!  Then he might have to spend some time in paranoia, looking at every stranger who meets his eye and wondering, does he know?  Does she?  Just as I still worry with every person I meet or pass, “Did he tell them I was crazy?  Did he tell that person I’m a psycho?  A slut?  A lying cheater?  Wonder what story  that person heard?”

For it seems, just when I’ve let the worries go and have convinced myself anyone who believes his garbage at this point is merely a victim of sorts themselves and is entitled to my sympathy, when I finally get to the “I don’t give a damn what he’s said to anyone”, another lovely twisted story of his finds its way to me…piling on top of the huge pile of garbage he’s dumped on me that I’m already trying to climb out from underneath.  And the exhaustion revives itself in me.  The sense of powerlessness and damned victimization I hate SO much, gathers al around my soul to begin feasting again.

I sent him a message asking him just to please SHUT UP.  Leave me alone.   Reminding him he has not a single reason at this point in his game to speak my name even, let alone tarnish it further.  He has won by yards and miles already. The damage done is irreversible even now.  I’m leaving and his story will always stand in my place of absence; not mine, not the truth, but his sick and twisted deviation of my person. I can’t imagine any greater victory for him?  So why continue beating this broken and beaten thing?  Does he really still get that much pleasure and self-satisfaction from it…even NOW?  Why not just SHUT UP?   No, go above and beyond to make everyone always, think the person you’ve victimized is psycho crazy, then you never have to worry about being held accountable for the cruelty you perpetually heaped upon her…  After all, she’s just “crazy”.  Nothing she says will ever account to anything after you’ve told that to enough people ad nauseum.

Why am I so surprised anyway?  Why wouldn’t anyone want to continue kicking and beating the person they’ve already slaughtered?  After all, she’s dead already…. It’s not like anyone will ever find out the truth now…or believe it coming from a crazy-psycho dead girl even if they did!                                 

Ohhh it would be Christmas every day to just imagine this letter-campaign of outraged people, addressing the truth to him which he feels he has sufficiently buried beneath his heavily placed offensive-tactic accusations and insults. He could just laugh away a few letters, but if hundreds came to him long after I’m gone, that would have to make him think maybe he wasn’t really fooling everyone after all.  His mailbox becoming the screaming, lingering Tell-Tale Heart of an Edgar Allen Poe story!  It’s a harmless, but juicy thought in my weak state of stress, fatigue, and hopeless indignation…

(insert evil cackle here)

Alexander Supertramp

Into the wild.  Wow…what a story!

A deep respect for Alexander Supertramp (Christopher Johnson McCandless) grew as I read of his solid character, his fierce determination and independence, and of course his stunningly daring adventures! Every person whose life he touched on his journey felt changed for the better by their association with him (That is one of my ultimate goals from the words of Mother Theresa).   He must have truly been a phenomenal human being to have touched so many lives of so many different types of people and earned their respect and love!!   Amazing!  I adored Chris McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) throughout this book!  His premature ending was a  tragic loss for the world.  

I am envious of the life he lived in his final two years – an entire lifetime of experiences gathered in two short years.  I felt his self-righteousness and his need to veto all the mendacity in the world and his life as my own.  I admired his ability to make such a stand and his courage in walking away from all sense of security and achieving his dream.  As I read on though, I began to wonder many things.  In spite of his angry resentment toward his father, had he not had the kind of parents and support he did for his entire life prior to leaving it all, would he have been the same person?  Would he have had such courage?  I say no.  To have such a vast sense of independence and confidence as he did, he must have been given the luxury of a powerful inner sense of stability created at his core that allowed and developed such a firm and fierce stance. …Until I read of his parents visiting the “magic bus” 10 months after his death.

 Suddenly, I was envious of the parents he so vehemently and immaturely resented, wishing I had such loving and accepting people as the main characters in my first 24 years of life.  I gather he had some major discrepancies with his father and the deceit his parents shrouded him in for so long and I certainly ”get” that.  However, some of that was standard child versus parents stuff, that period most go through when forming their own individual identity ….if they are fortunate enough to have parents who allow such growth.  With my history, I could never take such a gift as that for granted.  We don’t all have parents like that. 

My heart tore as I pictured his mother standing sentient in that dilapidated bus, among his personal belongings at the end of his life, breathing in his clothes for any trace of scent of her son to whom she gave so very much free love and acceptance.  She loved him and he broke her heart.  The movie indicated that he might have come to a place of recognition and understanding of his parents before he passed, although I was disappointed to not hear of him leaving them any kind of communiqué specifically telling them and so we can’t ever know for certain.  He owed them both a huge apology!

As a mother, my heart aches for Billie McCandless and wants to have a strongly worded conversation with her son, Christopher.  As a child of my mother, I can’t help but have a fierce envy of this boy and his wide open life possibilities which he was afforded due to the kind of parents and upbringing he had.  It’s clear he was not nearly as stifled by them as he felt he was and it’s deeply tragic to me that he passed before gaining the maturity to acknowledge and comprehend what a priceless and precious gift that was for the very life he so resented.

I ended the story feeling conflicted among feelings of jealousy, admiration, disgust and adoration for this brave and intelligent, albeit selfish and “bratty”, young man.

An interesting personal point to me in Chris’ story is that he shares the same brirthdate as one of my best friends’.  Doubly intriguing in its coincidence(?) of their very similar personalities! (I confess: I’m fascinated by astrology.)  George was such a quiet, intelligent, and reflective type who was fiercely resentful of his parents (with good reason at times) and always far more comfortable alone than in society or groups.  He spoke often of going off into the wilderness someday and living far from what he termed the “concrete jungle”.  He dreamed of building a cabin with a huge garden and just living in relative isolation, free from the deceit of government, society and materialism in the world which deeply disgusted him.  The similarities between George and Chris’s personalities are truly amazing.  This added to my understanding of Chris (and surprisingly, George as well) as a soul who reveled in nature and shunned all things which society represents and reveres.  It definitely added even more depth and beauty to his story for me, although the story certainly doesn’t lack those things entirely in its own right.  Makes me more grateful to have the opportunity to read of this unique and morally strong man and makes me miss and appreciate my friendship with George from so long ago as well.

Broken wings

She felt like a child still in so many ways…wondering why the world always seemed to roughly push against her when she tried to stand up for herself and expect to be treated like an equally important member of society…  It was so uncomfortable to stand up for herself against anyone for any reason at all and the slightest resistance or push back and she just crumbled…feeling more and more weak and pathetic. She often wondered why she was so easy to knock down?

As a child, she hadn’t been permitted the luxury of finding her own way, questioning authority, having opinions, or expressing  any type of individuality.  These things simply had not been permitted or tolerated in any form.  What evolved from this was a fearful person; one who fit smoothly into the world and so many lives of others merely because she wasn’t equipped with a backbone to go against the grain, much less, stand up for herself.  Although it sometimes seemed to her that she’d been born without a back bone, a genetic deformity of sorts, logically she understood her mother had removed it entirely over a slow and degrading 17-year-long process. A few times when it seemed  one might be trying to develop in her, it was quickly squashed and eliminated.  One did not question adults, either respectfully or otherwise.  No questions whatsoever.  One liked whatever one was given, one liked what other people liked if one wanted to BE liked or ever hope of being loved.   Always just smile and go along with it.  This made her an easy target for all types of abuse and manipulation. 

So at 5, she didn’t question the teenage boy who insisted she go into his bedroom with him every day.  She didn’t question the other babysitter either, an even older teenage girl  who manipulated her even further.  She didn’t question the elementary school janitor who groped beneath her panties after school.  They were so much older and she desperately wanted to be a “good girl”.  She wanted to be liked and thought well of and maybe if she was ever good enough, someone would come along who could love her.  And anyway, she learned from a very early age that if you didn’t like something, you’d better keep your mouth shut and pretend to or it promised to get far worse.  Plus, she didn’t want to be the fussy, problem child.   God forbid she be an insolent, precocious type child who disgusted the adults with sass or youthful curiosity! She longed for love and acceptance..ached for it actually from her earliest memory on…  Thus, she never questioned or argued, never pushed back against any type of authority…no matter how uncomfortable or wrong it felt.  She didn’t suffer from a lack of identity, inner strength, or sense of righteous indignation, she simply never was permitted to develop any from the beginning.  She was always a chameleon, learning to quickly change colors and quietly blend in with whatever color seemed safest in any given circumstance or moment.  Somewhere buried inside her was envy of those people and children who had no trouble speaking their minds or pushing back against an authority figure if they did something which seemed wrong.  She envied them the security that came from knowing if they just did the right thing for themselves, someone bigger and more powerful would be there to support and protect them.

Ironically, the catch-22  started hitting her early.   She was so hungry for love and affection, any type of acceptance would be welcomed. This must have been obvious and she was often treated cruelly by her peers or friends.  She early on became the common door mat for many to wipe their frustrations and insecurities.  When she was hurt and tried to  discuss this with her mother, desperate for some consolation, compassion and perhaps even just a little sense of support,  mother would yell at her for letting people treat her badly.  This was always so confusing! She wasn’t supposed to expect better, much less demand anything better, right?  Be quiet and content with what you have, or else…it will only get worse.  All she knew for certain is she wanted to feel loved and had to be quietly unassuming and accepting so it  would not get even worse.  

After she left mother’s home and had her very first official boyfriend, she soon realized she had attracted a violent man.  A Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde type man who worshipped and adored her more than she’d ever experienced before, but also would get very angry if she upset him intentionally or otherwise.  This was especially hard for her to handle with any self-respect.  There was the back-bone issue of course, mixed with the open affection and love that flowed freely in moments when her boyfriend wasn’t angry with her.  She knew she wanted more of that, in fact she felt a bottomless pit of need for this love.  How could she walk away from the first person who loved her enough to defend her to others, even if he did physically attack her himself?  At least he didn’t allow anyone else treat her badly.  He loved her most of the time and at least this way the cruelty only came from one person, instead of several.  This was better than anything she had ever known before!

After a few years of his random and violent beatings she realized she must escape soon when he started openly threatening her life if she tried to leave.  She turned to her mother for help… scared and begging for a place of refuge.  Mother said, “You’ve let him treat you like this for years now…so you deserve what he dishes out. You must like it to have stayed so long.  Give it a few years and then if I can believe that you’re really not going to go back to him again, maybe I will help you at that point.” 

Give it a few years?   He had recently forced her into his car and kidnapped her for an afternoon and another time recently had threatened her with a gun.  She never once called the police on him (not wanting to get him in any trouble), and when concerned neighbors would hear and called the police, they never helped.  In spite of her obvious busted lips and bloody noses, they would always say something like, “You two need to separate for a while and work this out on your own.” 

Dad would take one look at her black and swollen eyes and say, “Honey, what did you do?  You know how sassy you can be…you must have said or done something to really set him off this time.  You have to learn to watch your mouth, girl.”

Give it a few years?  The violence was escalating amazingly fast.  She had no where safe to run and she didn’t believe she would last another few years.

In this desperation, she did what she had to do to get free and after a few years of counseling later in life, she realized that mother hadn’t allowed her to have a backbone or to develop any self-respect and then punished and criticized her further for being “weak”.   No one was ever going to stand up for her and she didn’t have the strength or self-confidence to ever stand up for herself, she wanted to be loved too much to ever take that chance.  It was a no-win situation.  She was the world’s punching bag, literally and figuratively… and she could never lose the fear that if she didn’t learn to accept this, it could always get worse.

With this innate sense of constant fear and drastic lack of self-respect or entitlement, she set out in life, mostly hoping not to be noticed much and praying someone safe someday would.