Fear is in the closet after all

October 28, 2010 - Leave a Response

I love the HGTV channel.  One day I happened upon the show Hoarders.  First of all God bless these people, truly. It must be  a nightmare to live like that. I had this sick feeling in my tummy come up when I saw the state of these people’s homes.  I couldn’t watch it.  Then I thought after running into the show here and there that maybe there was something I needed to learn.  On watching it I could see myself in those people.  It scared me. I can be a pack rat at times but more importantly I could start to see why this happened to them.  I have stuff I need to get rid off. I have a big box of Princess Diana (may she rest) scrapbooks and magazines that I haven’t opened since she passed. I don’t want to throw it out or give it away but I don’t want to look at it. I just want it to sit there. I feel anxiety about it. It is hard to admit to ourselves or to anyone when our life becomes unmanageable.  It can happen to any of us, we can all fall down. We can lose our job, our home maybe even our spouse. Spiritually this might be called a cleansing.  We have lost the security of the old life and the new life hasn’t quite kicked in yet. It’s terrifying.  And while maybe in my younger years I would have sat back and judged these people and labeled them with a character flaw, fear is fear.  One person hangs onto old recipe books while other people hang onto stale friendships or lovers because of the fear of being alone and no security.  I had a friend that shopped at the thrift stores and liquidation outlets.  sometimes I would accompany her. She was always buying something. I would come over for tea and she would have her latest purchases splayed out on the dining room table. She would buy 50 chinese take out cartons because she thought they would be cute party gifts if she had a dinner party. Wedding invitations when no one was getting married because you never know and they were on sale.  She always bought on sale and in bulk. Her storage space in her basement was full of rubbermaid containers.  For birthdays and such she would go to these bins and pick one of her treasures to give to me and her other gal pals.  Once I got this daisy art deco fake jewelled picture frame.  I know it is the thought that counts and the thought was which bin did this come from.  I stopped accompanying her. There is a reason for everything. The hoarders show really showcases what fear can do to people’s quality of life if you allow it take over.  Now for that Princess Diana box.

Adult warfare

October 27, 2010 - Leave a Response

Sometimes you can only accept what is acceptable.  The women in my family trigger easily and loudly. They are in part drama queens.  I called my cousins a while back to try to reconnect with them.  We have never been very close and we really don’t have much in common but they are family and I was hoping that would make up for it.  In their eyes I have never really grown past the age of 6.  They still see me as the child with the pig tails and the chubby belly. I realized in my search for some emotional sobriety that I had much to learn from them.  Although a close family relationship with them is not possible they have taught me that everyone has choices.  I could continue using people’s past’s against them as ammunition to elevate myself or I could live today.  My cousin continues to yell at me about something that she thought happened 25 years ago.  It wasn’t true then and it isn’t now but what is more telling is the staleness of that connection.  25 years!!!  Are you kidding me?  She threw in something that was fresh though my desire to know more about my father.  She is older than me and maybe she remembers him.  He left when I was a baby and died when I was a child.   She takes that nugget of gold and tucks that away.  Professing that she knows nothing and she doesn’t remember a thing.  When we discuss making some plans to get together and I balk at some of the arrangements she promptly reaches in a pulls that out.  “Oh yeah well we all know about your father!!!”  Nice.  I am not interested in engaging in adult (I use the term loosely) warfare anymore.  This same cousin waits a week and starts sending me joke emails.  She doesn’t apologize feeling that is beneath her.  Sometimes I think these arguments, these hurtful exchanges are like a drug, an addiction.  The highs and lows.  A good rage can keep you company for sure.  Some people think that kind of chaos is called love.  Its destructive. I have no need for it. I don’t want to be in anymore out of control relationships.  I use my family members but this can be applied to friendships and certainly spouses.  We struggle to figure out if there is something worth saving in these relationships.  Maybe the struggle is purely with ourselves.  As I can see from the people who I have let go of in my past.  They have not changed. It is me that grows and eventually gets to that point where I want something different and there is no turning back.  Sometimes you can only accept what is acceptable.

 

October 27, 2010 - Leave a Response

I went to my women’s group tonight which I attend occasionally.  I used to find a lot of community with the other women there but after a long absence and going back it’s not the same.  The energy is different.  I don’t feel better when I leave.  Maybe that is the key. I think I went there at a time when I felt I had no voice.  I spoke my truth and maybe in that I received validation from the group.  Now it just feels stale. Could that mean growth?  This new member asked me why I blog she had heard people do it but why.  She would be a great blogger. She is very passionate on her viewpoint and while I think that would work perfectly in a blog sometimes in a conversation it fails to engage the other person. If I wanted to sit there and listen starry-eyed to what she had to say then I suppose we would be best buddies. I told her it was a creative outlet. Maybe I just don’t need this group anymore. I don’t need that communion. I am learning not to try to explain the unexplainable.  Sometimes life is full of mystery and harmony.  Right now it is more mystery to me. I think that is where the trust comes in.  Trust and patience.

Here’s interesting….

October 26, 2010 - Leave a Response

I was taking a Tai Chi class. Love Tai Chi. After you have learned the moves and become fluid it is just a wonderful form of exercise.  There was a guy in my class that I started chatting with.  I liked him.  You know liked him, liked him.  He was handsome and athletic and was a furniture designer.  He lived in the more rural part of town.  We chatted over the next couple of months in class.  I would sit in his car after class and he would show me his drawings and designs. There is a cliché for you.  On the last day of our class before the Christmas break, the instructor who knew this man better than I was planning a potluck for the last class and she had been watching us and she said to him in front of me “hey dave are you going to bring your wife to the potluck?”  He looked away a bit horrified not expecting to be outed so randomly.  “Ahh no I don’t think so.”  Truthfully I felt a little like I was kicked in the stomach.  I didn’t have fantasies of getting married to him but our burgeoning friendship was gathering some affection.   It took the wind out of me a bit. I was young and I suppose I thought if you have a family and a spouse why would you pretend you’re not married. I mean you should be in gratitude for all that you have. Right? I know sex and ego play a part in this but humour me for a moment.  I went to work the next day and I was sharing this disappointment with some of the married ladies that I worked with.  Feeling a bit of righteous anger about his selective memory.  I was met with much discussion that centered around my expectations and that I had made the mistake not he.  Funny.  I turned to the woman saying that and said “so if your husband chatted another woman up in his truck that would be alright?  She literally leaped from her seat and said “NO IT WOULD NOT!” Interesting. So when it is your husband its a different story.  I learned a lesson that day about the value of opinions and how my own opinion should mean more to me than anyone else.  Looking for validation in others you won’t necessarily get a true assessment of the situation. Not too many people tend to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.  But they love to look like an authority and ego rears its ugly head throughout this story.  Sex and ego.  Adam and Eve.  Good to learn new things.

Love doesn’t fix everything

October 25, 2010 - Leave a Response

Love and light everyone. Love means never having to say you are sorry. Blech. This movement currently about forgiveness and send love to that person. I rode that movement for a long time. Forgive them. Rise above it. Turn the other cheek.  Somehow along the way the message has been pity the unevolved slobs that stab you in the back. The people who cheat on you betray you.  Pity them. Don’t react in anger, in self-defense. That isn’t holy. Yep.  Love has made a fool out of me.   I know what people are already saying.  They are grabbing their Dr. Phil books and calling Oprah.  Don’t blame love.  We are responsible for ourselves, our choices.  The problem is and here is the realistic non-Disney version.  The moment that you become vulnerable and it is obvious to the other person and I mean this in terms of not just a romantic sexual love but also family love, work place loyalty where you love the people you work with or the company that you have worked loyally for years.  Any place you have invested your heart into.  The second that it is apparent that you have an emotional attachment, they game is pretty much over. And it is game. I didn’t make the rules, I don’t even know what they are. But from my experience, vulnerability is an aphrodisiac of a different kind. The power seems to be a temptation too hard to resist for most.  I can’t really give examples there are many etched on my heart.  I wouldn’t do them justice and I won’t hold them up for fodder.  That would make me ummmm vulnerable, yeah. I get it now. 

The Silent Treatment

October 24, 2010 - Leave a Response

We learn so much from our families of origin don’t we.  A friend and I had a falling out.  If you were to ask me, we were both a little at fault but I felt that she had let me down.  When you set boundaries for people, their true natures tend to come out. Or maybe it is just some of our own beliefs that need to be worked through.  She has given me the silent treatment. It surprised me and at the same time it didn’t.  I found it interesting that after the initial irritation I saw a side of her that I hadn’t before. I realized that being the youngest of four children inevitably people sometimes coddle you.  I am sure that is not true in all cases. She still isn’t talking to me and I would bet that she has turned herself into the victim of this disagreement.  I still talk with her children and they are fine with me.  I can only learn from this that the silent treatment puts up walls where there could be doors. That if the only tool you have for dealing with conflict in any relationship is to be silent and shut off then you probably have a much bigger problem and that relationship has run its course.

Dancing in the rain??

October 23, 2010 - Leave a Response

“Life isn’t about how you survived the storm but how you danced in the rain.”  This is a quote on a friend’s Facebook page.  I am sure we could walk into any bookstore and see this on a cup or a tote bag. The front of a journal.  Sorry Michelle.  I wonder what kind of storm the person that wrote this weathered.  It’s insulting to me.  I hate it.  10 years ago I would have thought it brilliant.  I lived in the clouds, in a quiet state of despair.  In a denial that convinces me that all the disappointments in the world can be swept away, vacuumed up by muscling them into submission.  Be positive. Dance like no ones watching.  People in true despair don’t dance in the rain.  The same way I don’t have a happy period. I have never danced around in white pants while cramping up a storm. I would want to punch in the face that person that told me to make lemons out of lemonade.  They hang on with their fingernails. They go one day at a time and they don’t think about the future they don’t even think about what to have for lunch. They stay in bed.  And one day they get out of bed and make a sandwich and brew some tea and sit. There is nothing pretty about starting again. Not as a person or as a career.  Eventually there will be dancing.  But there will be no tote bag.

Breakups

October 23, 2010 - Leave a Response

You know what I find puzzling about breakups??  How people can turn into something they don’t recognize.  I guess it can happen to anyone. You once loved someone and then for reasons that become apparent later on you dissolve. One of you cheats maybe one of you gets sober while the other is really still happy to party on.  Without knowing it sometimes unions are about business.  You can be young and beautiful I can be older and successful and wealthy.  What happens if the wealthy one gets sick, looses their drive in career.  Inevitably as people get older – they age.  Yes its true.  So I loved that you the you that was part of our deal.  The healthy you that I could show off.  Men get grief for marrying young trophy wives. Why? The trophy is making  a deal too.  Money and prestige are aphrodisiacs.  The sex and partying cover up the emptiness of nothing in common and a lukewarm love.  They have children.  After the showers are over and the family settles in .  The luxury of their lives comes to a halt when a vomiting 3-year-old comes into their marriage bed. Fighting over whose turn it is to care for the child, one person usually (hopefully) steps up to the plate to be the person that child needs.  Thus the separation begins. That person although stuck with all the work is given a huge gift without knowing it.  The gift of true love.  No where in any other world can you find something more true than the love of a child.  You stop seeing people as opportunities. You start to want different things.  Something deeper grows in your heart.  You are transformed.  You look at your ex-spouse and they are transformed too.  You realize you are the lucky one.

Something more fun……

October 23, 2010 - Leave a Response

Here is something more fun……I sort of stole this from a blogger that used this as a writing exercise and I wrote a something based on this picture she had…her picture was quite interesting but I think some of the most wonderful things come from something simple….

A Great Gift – Baggage

October 23, 2010 - Leave a Response

A childhood friend of mine gave me a great gift.  As childhood friends I wonder if we ever truly grow up.  Our friendship has been a long one. She taught me something that inspired me.  She is 45 a beautiful woman in her own right but not 25 anymore.  She holds a certain amount of jealous hostility for young woman. I have listened to it many a night about the girl she saw in the gym or the other colleague at work that she finds fault in.  She casts all these perceptions on them and she doesn’t see that it is a reflection of her own anger and maybe a little of her victimhood.  We had a falling out over the last few weeks.  I realized in thinking about it,  we react to how we perceive a situation.  That means that what is happening might not really be what we are reacting to.  It is all about what we are telling ourself in our head. My friend tells herself that young pretty woman have something that she doesn’t anymore.  So whatever baggage she has about her own youth and whether she is missing it (which is what it sounds like) gets added onto sometimes a seemingly innocent situation. I have done that too.  I have certainly wound myself up about something and later talked to that person only to find that I after listening to their side there was a lack of communication.  What is also valuable is that you can see it and take it for what it is.  How is my fear affecting this conversation.  How is my prejudice, my ignorance, my fatigue, how is that complicating this situation.  I used to feel so victimized.  I suppose sometimes only seeing my side even though I really tried to stay open-minded.  There have been some true situations that have hurt me.  Same as everybody I guess.  If you don’t get a handle on it. It colors everything that you do.  My friend isn’t speaking to me and maybe our friendship has run its course. You outgrow certain relationships.  But I am grateful to her in many ways.