Never let go…

Dad let go of her hand but she never let go of dad's hand.

Dad let go of her hand but she never let go of dad’s hand.

 

Humans of New York (http://www.humansofnewyork.com) posted this photo with the caption “Dad let go of her hand, but she never let go of Dad’s hand.”

My earliest and perhaps most innocently poignant memory is of having to let go of my dad’s hand. I guess myself at around three. My mother and father were viciously arguing. My sister and I were hiding on the stairway. My heart was racing; scared of the fighting and petrified I’d get caught for sitting on those steps listening to all the loud yelling I didn’t understand and be punished for my curiosity. Two policemen showed up. They appeared larger than life and what frightened me most was the billy club each had dangling from their belt. Menacing, baseball bat looking clubs as big as my leg, which I knew were there to be used. In my confusion for sitting on the stairway…or maybe it was the automatic assumption I’d carry with me for the rest of my life that as usual, I’D done something wrong …whatever it was, somehow I knew instantly that billy club was to beat me with. The minute I saw it, I ran as fast as my legs could fumble themselves up those stairs in my panic, too scared now to even worry about being quiet!

I ran straight to the top of the stairs and turned into the first door on the left, my parent’s bedroom. My bedroom was straight ahead and the same distance to run, but somehow I felt sure that billyclub would come looking for me in MY room. So, I thought I was quite clever to hide in my parent’s room where they at least wouldn’t come first looking for me, maybe buying myself a few precious seconds before the beating.

The yelling downstairs had ceased. I could still hear talking; the policemen and my parents’ voices, but no more yelling. I wanted so much to hear what they were saying…to know what I had done this time…and get a clue as to how bad the billyclub beating might be….ohhhhh, how I wanted to know! Sheer terror kept me hiding behind the leather rocking chair in the corner of my parents’ bedroom, though. I didn’t DARE peek out and be nosy with the billyclub man there, no matter how overwhelming my curiosity was!

My sister had gone under their bed. I stayed behind the chair for what felt like my last eternal moments before my inevitable death, making myself as small as I could to hide completely and occasionally putting my head sideways against the floor to peek under it and see my sister under the bed.

That lasted forever and I must be missing some time in there because the next thing I recall is my mother standing in front of my dad by the big wooden front door downstairs. My mother facing my dad directly, his face looked sad and hurt, not angry and mean like my mother’s and I knew something was horribly awfully wrong. My dad smiled and laughed perpetually. I’d never seen this look on his face ever.   Not once on my entire three years! My mother held mine and my sister’s hands on either side of her, facing him and saying to us, who do you want to go with? This was a hard question. I didn’t want to hurt either of my parents’ feelings and I didn’t know what the right answer was. I love my mommy so much and I love my daddy too! And forever without one of them seemed an impossible choice. At that moment, I really believed this was the most final and permanent decision I’d ever have to make in my lifetime. My sister immediately piped up with, I’m going with you, Mommy.  She either knew the right answer because she was an older, wiser five years old or it simply wasn’t the dilemma for her that it was for me? I didn’t know. I was looking at my dad’s face right that moment, still that sad look that was hauntingly unknown to me and I knew I couldn’t leave my daddy alone no matter what. My sister had already picked mother. I couldn’t leave my daddy alone with that expression on his face and I could feel the hot anger seething off my mother, while my dad felt quietly just hurt and defeated maybe…somehow seeming much safer than the alternative. I stepped over to my obviously wounded gigantic daddy and said, I’ll stay with you, Daddy.

It was decided. My sister left with our raging, seething mother and I stayed with our wounded, broken hearted Daddy, just knowing I could love on him enough with hugs and kisses to chase that sad look away and bring back his usual jolly smile. Strange that the few seconds it took me to make that choice feeling afraid because I believed it would be forever and I’d answer wrong, was immediately replaced with as much confidence as any three-year-old could have after answering such a question. I knew I belonged with my daddy. I loved and adored my mommy like crazy as any child does, but I knew the minute I took those few steps over to stand by my daddy’s side, that that was exactly where I belonged in this world, even if it DID mean I’d never see my beloved mother’s face again. I felt sad, but I was no longer afraid that I’d answered the question wrong. Yes, I belonged with Daddy; my happy, laughing, loving daddy with the smile that lifted my heart high in the air full of joy every day.

I didn’t understand this was only for the night…or a few days…or whatever it ended up being. I can’t recall. The last thing I remember is feeling that odd confidence that I’d made the right choice and knowing I would be safe forever right next to my daddy, holding tight to his great big warm hand.

But it wasn’t forever. Not too long after this painful choice…a night…two or three days…my mother returned and took me with her and my sister. And, my daddy had to let go of my hand. I never let go of his though. Over the next 14 years, I held onto my daddy’s hand once in a while in person when I was allowed to see him, but every day and night I held onto his hand in my prayers, in my dreams, in my thoughts when I was scared, and in my heart when I felt unloved and unwanted or confused and beaten. And I continued to hold it the 27 years following that as I trudged my way through life, love, rape, abuse, and many scary choices.

Forty-one years later from the day I made that first great big life choice to hold my dad’s hand, I’m still holding that big warm hand in my mind and my heart. My daddy is gone. He let go of my hand again to go to heaven but I haven’t let go of Daddy’s hand.

Complete culpability

Thank you for loving me, Daddy.

Thank you for loving me, Daddy.

It’s pity party time. I’ve officially spent my second birthday and the second anniversary of my dad’s death alone. Without one single phone call on either day…not a “checking in to see how you are”, not a “hey, I’m thinkin of you”…not a single friend or family member thought of me on the two most significant days of my life: my birth and the day I lost the only love I was ever going to know.

After 44 years of life, millions of friends, several boyfriends, one husband, and two children of my own, I now realize what I feared most from my earliest days is literally true. My mother, my sister and all those other people over 44 years couldn’t ALL be wrong about me; I’m not someone who can be loved. I’m just not…
I suppose I could write of how it’s my mother’s fault. How being raised by a narcissistic sociopathic woman damaged me so cruelly, left me with huge holes in my soul that can’t be filled, making me so desperate and needy for the one thing that scared me most, love. I found it crazy ironic to discover at 26 that I have a flap in my heart which doesn’t close properly. What a perfect description of me…it was almost an explanation at last for what I am that I can’t seem to help or change. The pieces of me that are so just wrong that they’ll never be right finally made literal, physical sense when the doctors told me that back when I was pregnant with Savannah Grace.

I suppose I could write how it’s other people’s fault, as well. How being so painfully insecure and desperately needy for love and approval for as long as I can remember being alive led me directly to the kinds of people who would manipulate and abuse that…furthering the unlovable clause I was born with. Seriously, WHO gets molested as a 6 year old by a teacher and a babysitter? And WHO is ridiculous enough to get raped *three* times in 44 years? And WHO is blessed enough to have had so many wonderful men profess the most beautiful depths of undying love and still ends up alone? What kind of idiot runs so fast and so often over a lifetime from the very thing she has been praying for since the tender age of 4? I certainly could never convince myself that it was all THEM…that there was something inadequate with every one of THEM. No, the common denominator there is me…and only me. I chased, pushed, argued, and crazied every one of them away from me, even the most tenacious of them. I could try to blame any one of a hundred girlfriends who shit on me, stabbed me in the back, devastated and used me…..but again, who’s the common denominator there? Me.

And what about my daddy? I was fortunate that my mother kicked me out with just a trash bag full of clothes at 16 for lying about smoking a cigarette. Thus, I spent the majority of my life, from 16 to 42, with a most amazing parent who demonstrated love, acceptance, kindness, honesty, integrity, and joy. So many children don’t have that kind of example or love in their life from ANY where growing up, at ANY age. Hell, I was fortunate that my daddy somehow always found the strength and ability to love me at all. Why didn’t that fix those fucking holes I was born and raised with? Not everyone who is unloved by her mother is blessed enough to be unconditionally loved by her father. If the cause of this unending and irreparable unlovability issue isn’t ME, at my very core, then that shower of my daddy’s true blessings would have repaired that. It should have, right?

Yes, it should have. It would have. If it wasn’t me, my fault, my issue, my fault, my inadequacy…mine, mine, MINE.

I’ve never felt good trying to blame any of this on other people anyway. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, I’ve just never been the person who could blame someone for anything at all really and feel confident it wasn’t really my fault. When the teacher molested me at 6, I even felt guilty when he got in trouble…even at that tender age; I felt it was me, my fault. After all, I had actually appreciated the special attention he had always given me, hadn’t I? I had looked forward to his smiles in the elementary school hallways that made his face beam whenever he saw me….it actually made me think of my daddy’s huge grin whenever I got to see HIM! And my favorite was the day he lifted me up to drink from the big drinking fountain. I had appreciated feeling special to a grown-up who saw me every day and still seemed to think I was someone special in this world. I would have never told on him intentionally. Not EVER! And I really didn’t want him to get in so much trouble either. Somehow, even way back then, at such a young and innocent age, I just knew it was my fault. Everything was my fault, so that had to be too. All three times I was raped, no matter how cruelly, I still felt deep down it was my fault…that I HAD gotten what I deserved. And I think I was always afraid to tell my mother because I knew she would be sure to bring that to my attention immediately and then all doubt of me “not deserving” to be raped would be totally eliminated. Hell, somehow I’ve been “asking for it” since the age of 6! I’m sure at 17 and older, I was REALLY asking for it. I just wanted to blame them because I never figured out HOW I “asked for it” and thus, couldn’t figure out how to stop “asking for it”. I only blamed them in my own mind out of frustration that I couldn’t fix what had always been wrong with me.

I’ve never minded taking the blame for things, actually I usually prefer it. After all, if it’s MY fault, then I can fix it. If it’s not, then I’m powerless to ever get it right. And yet, in spite of years of therapy, and so many wonderful years with a loving father, a zillion self-help books and strategies, I’ve never been successful at fixing it. And I still don’t feel satisfied trying to put the blame on other people for anything really… It’s been my life problem as long as I can remember; therefore, it’s still MY problem. My ex-husband even said to me once, “NO one in this world has such chronic shitty luck as you. The shit that happens to you regularly, just doesn’t happen to anyone…not even one of then usually, much less a lifetime of them!?” He was so right. I’ve always known that deep inside too. It’s me…it’s GOT to be. There is no other logical explanation. Hell, my mother abused the hell out of me physically, mentally, and verbally for 26 years and I was STILL desperate for her to love me. I’ve counseled so many children whose parents were fiercely abusive and still, they loved them and would do anything for their love. Me? I have two children who tossed me AND my love in the garbage without a second thought or one single look back to just wave good-bye….just threw me in the trash like the worthless garbage I’ve always been. And in spite of all my mistakes and failings as a mother and a human being, I gave those two children the very best of anything good I have ever had inside me to give, which was still apparently utterly worthless.

And since it seems to get worse the harder I’ve tried to repair whatever this is I was born with, what does that even really mean? If I own it all, I still can’t fix it; if I blame everyone else, I can’t fix it either.
I have so many of my daddy’s amazing qualities…deep down I think, where most can’t see them, but I have them dammit! So, why don’t they make me and my life even a fraction as valuable as my daddy was in this world to almost everyone who ever met him? Why can’t I fix what’s wrong with me?

Why?

I realized recently that I’ve never really been afraid to die… Well, as a mom I was because I felt my children deserved to know the love and nurturing of a mother…the love I never knew and started my desperate journey toward a life of failure lacking. Other than that, I never was afraid to die though. Obviously, my greatest fear is living. And figuring out why I’ve been forced to do something for 44 years that I’m just not able to do well. I’d rather not do something at all, than try for 44 years just to get worse and worse at the effort.

I did always hope that someday, before he passed or I did, I’d have the opportunity to deserve to matter in this world by giving back to my daddy somehow. I always told him, “someday Daddy, I’m going to get myself together and do something REALLY amazing for you to repay all you’ve ben and done for me over my life time”. It still wouldn’t have ever been enough, but I really always hoped I’d have that opportunity and ability someday. I didn’t. He is gone and I’m still fucking alive and every bit as unworthy, useless, and unlovable as the day I was born.

I’m sorry Daddy. I’m sorry I didn’t get it together in time to return your wonderfulness to you even a little bit. I’m really sorry. I know it made no difference to you whatsoever, but it really would have made the world of difference to me.

It seems so cruel. So much death all around me over the last two years since my daddy passed. All these beloved people and children dying and leaving behind heartbroken masses of hurting folks who loved and admired them. Yet, on and on and on I go…. 44 years of nothing but worthless efforts to somehow give the world what I always dreamed of. A life of nothing; worth nothing, for nothing, meaning nothing. No one notices or cares I’m alive and who can blame them? I don’t. So, why does God take the cherished ones and leave the insignificant failures to continue being a burden.

Yet, on I go…

No words…a quietly violent death

when_there_is_no_words_to_say_any_more_by_delawer_omar-d6069cr

I want my voice back! I want…no, NEED…to write of these things. The breathless pain, the torturous injustice, the made-for-tv-movie drama filled bullshit, the nightmare I can’t wake from.
I need to tell my story and share my truth. I need to whine incessantly, bitch and moan annoyingly,…I am so desperate to write it…spew it all over the pages like filthy projectile vomit…throw it out there like a slab of disgusting rancid wretched meat into the cesspool of anonymous oblivion.
Why can I not? Why can’t I get it OUT?
It’s as though I was sucker punched in the gut taking all wind from my body and before I could breathe again to get that out on paper, I was sucker punched again in the head this time so I couldn’t breathe OR think to tell about it…and as I tried to catch my breath and regain my senses this time, the blows just started pummeling me non-stop, chronic sucker punches from all directions…turning my already delicate world upside town like my earth became a blender and I the sole lonely contents…viciously being grinded, smacked, punched, kicked, ripped, shredded into a puddle where there once was at least the shell of a human being with a soul, a heart, and internal organs floating aimlessly inside. Now a puddle of nothing… what would I even be a puddle of now? Tears, blood, scar tissue, liquefied brain mass, and picked scabs? ….all inside this skin of a shell holding the random, chaotic leftovers of the human blender. Deceptively with no signs of the inner sheer pandemonium from the outside.
But where is my voice? The dust has settled a bit. The desperate reaches of my mind make daily attempts to reassemble in some sort of working order… They’ve not succeeded yet, but with some coaxing and reminding, I can take breaths here…and there….when my brain remembers to remind my body to breathe…. Breathe…. Take a breath. There you go. Deeper….release…repeat. but my voice is still feeble and my brain mass still too confused to write.
And dear Lord in heaven, I so desperately need to write of this! I’m suffocating and paralyzed with jumbled emotions, tragedies, and a chronic sense of sheer and dark doom. It’s choking me moment by moment…all right there…but so disorganized and outraged, bleeding and messy…that it shuts up my voice. My god damned voice. The only fucking thing I’ve ever ALWAYS had. My voice which when couldn’t speak, would write…and write…and write…til the wee hours of dawn or midnight candles burned into non-existence. When my mother choked me with fear and hatred, read my journals, and punished me for them, I wrote at school and saved them in my trusty old orange locker, tossing them in the garbage on the last day of school. Or, I wrote poetry, cleverly disguising truth with whimsically mysterious words that only I knew the meaning, rhyme, and reason… Pretending it was just a magical DisneyWorld of words
But I fucking spoke. I spoke with pen and paper, my passion for words and an inner fearless light that no one could shut me up from there. Not that place. Not my place; my only place in the universe where somehow the quiet horrors or indescribable pain came to life and existed. They existed like the thoughts running through your mind exist and skip and frolic fearlessly. And no one could deny them there or punish them or twist them into something they never were.
I had a fucking voice.
Now, I am wordless, voiceless, a scattered being tossing about on the wind like my daddy’s loving ashes…and yet I’m not emotionless.
I do not exist…and yet in the cruelest irony of them all, somehow I do still exist within that very blender of pummeled non-existence.
Without a voice, I don’t know how…or why… I’m forced to exist at all.

The Death of Muchness

It's all empty.

It’s all empty.

It is a cruel irony that after 43 years of begging for love, begging to be deemed “worthy” of love, life, existence, the right to have feelings and thoughts, to count as a human being in this world I never requested to be brought into….
That I give up because I don’t. I don’t deserve those things. I can’t even give birth to anyone who will believe the nonsense hope I’ve been holding onto since my earliest memory… That I, too, am worthwhile.
I don’t know why God or whoever, put me here…a punching bag of regret and ridiculous dreams I guess…a cautionary tale in why not to love or hope or believe we all matter, each and every one. I make the easiest target. Hell, it’s not even sport!
He came to me last night… out of the very same deep blue abyss from where I starting losing my muchness. Imagine that?
I think it’s been since October that I saw him last… No communication whatsoever between then and now. …until last night. Until last night…gosh, that could be THE defining description of the past eight years of him! Until last night… Until last night… Until last night…
And I can’t possibly know why. I know how – via cab. I know what – nothing but a moment. I know where – right here. I will never know why though. Why last night? Why after all this time again? Why…? Why me? Why not she? Or that one? Or this one here? Why?
And that defining moment of which I’ve now had 1,462,892 and chosen the same definition again and again. Ugh…fuck that moment dammit AND my stuck-like-a-skipping-record repeated choice.
And driving him to his truck this morning, I ask myself the question, why? Do I even feel anything anymore? Once upon a time, I was simply trying to hold desperately to my muchness. My muchness is long gone now, so why?
The physical element isn’t totally gone…so is that my why? Without my muchness, even that physical aspect is altered from before. It is good, but not the phenomenon it was with my love, hope, faith, and muchness. Now, it is simply what it is, which is nothing. Nothing whatsoever.
The good part is, I can take it or leave it finally…so “taking it” actually feels like a choice, an option. And, it is good to feel it won’t kill me either way. Can’t kill that which is already dead.
Yes, I am dead. At this point, it is all just borrowed moments. Tiny flashing moments borrowed from a collection of my muchness memorabilia. So… why?
Why not? What matters is gone and the rest…well, it just doesn’t matter either way.

Moving, flowing, stagnating…decaying…

Now what?  Will the stench of my battered and beaten soul carry over?  Will the people here smell it as easily as the people there seemed to?  Will the breakdown of the very fiber of my being, atom by atom, continue here to break down?

Woke up this morning to thoughts of him, resentfully wondering when will the first day in six years that I do not think even once of him? …not remember some cruelty, or worse yet some ancient loving kindness which should by now be so stale and moldy that I’m not at all tempted to revisit a site or feeling so ancient its very authenticity should now be questioned…because it’s validity has been so thoroughly contaminated by age and drenched in poisonous toxins of regular cruelty…  When?

…can people smell the decay of a rotting heart, the bloody and beaten spirit from 2,000 miles away from the scene of the crime? And four years after the initial deadly stab?  All the countless following merely a swift revival of that heart, just to rip its tenderly mended pieces apart yet again?  Does mere redundancy smell of the bitter metallic scent of the initial blood-fest?

“Stalked” his FB page the other day, overwhelmed with curiosity. (Maybe that’s why the thoughts?  Haha..who am I kidding here?!)  Yes, he has an official (albeit not FB status official yet) new bi-annual flavor.   So interesting!  Took the man four years after our split to make a commitment for anything beyond a one-night-stand, well other of course than the 2 AM booty call “regular”…  And now he’s suddenly a serial committer?  WTF?!  His booty-call turned engagement split was a mere 7 months ago or so and he’s already on to another “girlfriend”?  Is this due to the hardened heart he’s claimed so many times that I caused as he stabbed another knife into my heart,  yet another time?  Or is it desperation on his part to stay away from me..or desperation to have someone, anyone, something meaningful in his beginning-to-age years?  A sudden newly developed fear of being truly alone?  Exaggerated quick commitment because his fear of commitment has grown beyond his control?

After crying and whining for over four years that he could not find what we had..nothing even close to the passion, joy, and love we shared, suddenly he’s meeting these types of suitable replacements back-to-back? 

What is that even?  Other than either just plain good fortune (I  mean, WOW!) or mere pathetic desperation stemming from a  weariness of chronic one-or-two-night stands with faceless, nameless people full of drunken meaningless redundant sexual escapades?

I shouldn’t even ponder any of this..it certainly matters not a smidgen on any level at this point…  However, it’s mystifying to me…  What on earth does this even mean?   So odd…but hopefully he’s found “the one”.  In spite of my resentments that he refuses to leave my heart and mind once and for all (ugh!), I actually do wish him happiness…..well that mixed with a bit of karma too perhaps…hehe…  After all, I am still a human being, perhaps barely, but I am…I am…still flawed and human after all!

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)

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.

Confession…

I was unfaithful.  I cheated myself, my children, my heart, my faith, my hope, my spirit, my character.  Not only that, but I cheated Dave and worse yet, I cheated all of these things from him as well.  I cheated every one of everything that was right and good in our lives.

As with anything and everything, there is certainly more to the story and sometimes in fleeting moments of denial, I can comfort myself with those factual, but sad and pathetic extenuating circumstances, but for the most part, I cannot.

Is it wrong to have thoughts at times which say, “Surely there was something he did wrong before the infidelity…”  I would actually attempt to distort something (anything) he once did or maybe once said even just one single time that was slightly unkind or perhaps alluded to some kind of future abuse or psychosis….

Nothing.

And many have said to me there must have been something?  There had to have been.  You couldn’t have been truly happy or it wouldn’t (couldn’t!) have happened. 

Nope.  Clear as a miserable bell, I know I was very happy.  I knew it then (can’t blame this on hindsight either).  I know it now.

Too happy?  So happy it didn’t seem possible to realistically maintain?   Yeah…frighteningly happy?  Like when you go to a horror movie and the happy music is playing and there’s sunshine, laughter, security abounding and you wait on the edge of your seat, heart beating, pulse racing, and your logic silently screaming, “It’s coming!”   You know any second something horribly tragic is going to explode on the screen.  It must.  You don’t want it to come but something in you knows you really do want it because that’s what you’ve ultimately come to the cinema to see, right?  After all, you’ve specifically asked for this tragedy with the price of your ticket. 

That  kind of happiness.  Scary happy.  Waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop-happy.

Only it never did.  And it surely had to… Right?

So, it seems I forced it to drop.  Was the anticipation too much?  Did the happy part go on and on so long that my heart couldn’t take the wait anymore?  Was logic screaming so loudly at me that I couldn’t relax in that kind of happy?  Had life taught me too well already that this was only possible in fairy tales? My life certainly had never been anything near fairy tale quality.  I was no long-lost beloved princess finally saved from all the evils of the world by my fair prince who had been looking for me all his life.  There was no way this existed on any plane of reality possible for me…

There were no signs of impending doom.  There was no cruel undertone in something he even once casually said in a quiet or controlling voice. There were no sarcastic words; no subtle insults to my character, my appearance, or my intelligence, phrased as a “joke” so as to make it acceptable to keep me in my place or put me down sub-consciously.  …except in my logic.  In my brain and my experiential wisdom there was always this little nudge.  Nudge, nudge – another day full of kindness has passed… another day of sincerely spoken compliments, loving gestures, and sweet-nothings has passed… the music of my logic is getting scarier and scarier… Da-da-da-dum, da-da-da-dum…playing faster and faster.  The bad guy is coming.  The moment of tragedy is hanging in limbo directly over your head.  It’s just hanging there waiting around till you feel so safe and comfortable that it’s definitely not coming…for full, tragic effect, you know…

I might even be able to convince myself that this is only the hind-sight story of a romantic hopeful, the rose-colored version of falling in love where nostalgia and regret fade the facts and amplify the colors of happiness to such a vibrant shade that the bad stuff disappears into oblivion.  Except, I was so overly aware of this unrealistic happiness that I spoke regularly of it to my dad, whom I knew would understand that this wasn’t logically possible.  Whom I expected to point out the tiny ugly realities I HAD to be missing throughout this experience.  And even he couldn’t.  My wise and all-too logical father could only continually remind and reassure me that I deserved this happiness and offer advice to me to accept it or else by looking so hard for the ugly, I would eventually make something ugly happen. 

What?  Make it happen??  That’s not possible!  I’m gloriously happy.  No person desperate for happiness, like me, would ever create the very unhappiness they fear and dread from a gift so pure and beautiful it must be directly from God.  That’s just some psychological mumbo-jumbo!  No one in their right mind, finally experiencing happy without a single sign of impending doom on the horizon would sabotage such beauty, such intoxicating joy of life, such a sense of security and love.  NO….don‘t be silly!

Hindsight does, though, strongly indicate to me that there was another sneaky element going on through this.  One I could never have anticipated or braced myself to handle.  The sneakiest of subtle sabotage tactics, so very tricky that it just hung out in the corner recesses of my mind, innocently playing all alone and not mingling ever with the other thoughts and fears which were obvious enough for me to ask advice from those wiser than I. Quietly gaining power and strength…

I am not worthy…

This sneaky element of sub-conscious sabotage actually came out in the light only once.

Right around maybe the sixth month marker, we had gone for a few drinks away from the crowd of friends, romantically alone, and were laughing and enjoying ourselves.  Having a nice traditional date in out-of-the-way places where we could adore each other uninterrupted by the “Ahh you two lovebirds make the rest of us sick!” And I was loving every minute of this until it dawned upon me.  Maybe this was even the first moment I ever had seen my happiness so very clearly and felt it to the core of my being, minus the what-if’s and can’t-be’s.  And I said to him, “What is this?  I’ve never known anything like this.  It can’t be real, can it?  And if it is, there’s no way I deserve this much.  Here is why….” And I commenced to tell him why I didn’t deserve this…deserve him, deserve genuine love…

And then he said one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard anyone say in my life that wasn’t written in a song, a book, or a movie…

…He said, “Every single horrible thing that has happened to you or me, every single bad choice or mistake we might have made in our pasts, every single thing right wrong, good or bad, has brought us right here right now.  And we have to just be grateful for it ALL and know that this was why it ALL happened exactly as it did.  If not for that exactly, whatever it may have been, we would not be here with each other right now in this exact moment, having this.”

I choked up. A huge lump in my throat developed, my eyes stung and threatened to cry as every horror-movie moment of my past flashed across my mind and I saw every path of it leading me, sometimes even forcing me to this moment with him.  He was so wise and so right.  He could see more broadly than I.  My devotion, my respect, my gratitude, my understanding quadrupled in that moment, with those stunning words of amazingly insightful wisdom.  And suddenly everything made sense.  Everything.  Every pain and every struggle from my earliest memory I could instantly and directly connect to the events (forced or otherwise) which led me to RIGHT HERE, directly to HIM. A million individually ugly tiny puzzle pieces of time dropped at once, snapped into place, and created a gorgeous sunrise shimmering with love and happiness.  And I could think of each one and actually FEEL each and every one of them as reasons to be grateful for it all.

I loved his simplicity…adored it even, amidst my confounding and irritating contradictions.  And it was in this moment that I realized his “simplicity” wasn’t so simple after all.  I saw him in an entirely new light of love and blessings. And it was also then that I began to fully realize that this might indeed be real…that perhaps the other shoe was not ever going to kick me in the face after all.  A most beautiful moment…  Or the beginning of the end?

Less than a year later and ironically while singing his praises, my blessings, and this very theory of deserved, “everything happens for a reason” happiness, I cheated. 

Yes………. I cheated.