THE HOLE

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I don’t want to go there, those places inside that feel pain, those parts, the little girl abandoned, a crevice so deep I may get lost in it. But it’s only in going there, gathering the parts, feeling the pain, that the hole becomes whole. It’s all of me. All my pain, past and present is what makes up me.

Once I go, not run, and feel what there is, the parts come together as a magnet attracts metallic dust. I can stand alone. I am not alone. But I can stand alone and feel the strength of being me.

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU

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Sleep evades me. I wake after even an hour with my arm hurting from the lying down position. Last night, for the first time since the arm thing, I took 1 mg of Xanax at two separate occasions, the last one at 3 am with no effect at all. So here I am at 4 am , candles lit as our Christmas has not yet arrived, and I have some sweet time all to myself. 

Star Wars yesterday on Christmas Day was a blast. Excitement bubbled in my stomach where it had been a bit too quiet as of late. The parking lot was almost empty when we pulled in. The little kiosk spit out our tickets, bought on line. That too delighted me; technology that works.

As we sat through the long half hour of previews, after I had showed Samuel how to work the controls to the theater recliners, it began to fill up. But the new seating gave spacious area for arms, elbows and legs, and no way could anyone kick you from the seats behind, an issue which always tended to ruin the entire outing in the past.

Little did I know that 3D gave Samuel a headache since it was his first, both for 3D and living room type comfort seating. After awhile he adjusted. I had more concern about myself, figuring the repeated blasts to the head from flying objects and explosions would leave me with a full on hyper-sized panic attack. Nope!

As it started, I kept poking him in delight like a little kid when the projection of things seem to hover in front of my face and star ships flew past my ears nearly a millisecond away. My fear of adrenaline pumping up too high from repeatedly having things blown towards my head didn’t happen because most of the time the audience wasn’t attacked but rather became a part of it, drawn in, or it came out and sat right there hovering in front of ones face.

It was out of this world and tickled me to ecstasy along with horrible greasy Chinese food afterwards, the only restaurant open in town, and a bit busy. My stomach did not agree with the unusual load of grease, having been used to healthy food, maybe too much healthy food, but healthy all the same.

Upon leaving, the crowds coming in blossomed. They had eaten Christmas dinner and opened all their gifts. Our noon showing was the best. But any seat in that new theater would be great as all have the huge chairs more like living room recliners complete with electric controls so one could practically lie back, with feet up, and fall asleep. There would NO falling asleep in this edge of the seat adventure which had one scene hit so deeply it brought tears. 

The ending is one that leads to another movie…of course. Perhaps next Christmas we will be going again to the next installment. Oh what fun it is to ride in a theater chair tonight. 

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL

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Beautiful things can happen on Christmas. Forgiveness. And like Scrooge, I can let go of the past and reclaim my true self. I can begin again, with love and forgiveness. I may have to repeatedly do it for myself and others, but I can do it. I speak of being a mother-in-law. Of course my daughter-in-law’s have faults, who doesn’t. And of course, their lives haven’t had the hardships mine have. And I don’t want them to.

It does add to the usual clash, new wife needing their new husbands to cleave only to them, or them first not their mother. Mother, especially a mother who feels their sons are their only family, because she (me) made a conscious decision to separate from the family of origin because being part of it meant being part of a lie, makes this new addition to the family a very hard one to accept.

I made a mess of it. It doesn’t matter that it takes two, or that the other has no understanding of the hardships I’ve faced, it is what I can do to mend the rifts and be loving. And I can. As the bell tolls, as Scrooge finds his heart once again, so can I. I forgive my past mistakes, resentments, and childish behaviors at hanging on. Hanging on to sons only sends them farther away, but in my desperation I did not know.

That’s OK. I am human. I am deserving of a full life. I can let them (sons) go, because they go into the hands and hearts of beautiful, loving, warm women, fully capable of being open and giving because they are not damaged, and I do not wish them to be.

What a lucky woman I am!

CHRISTMAS EVE

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I slept hard waking once again with high hopes of the clock touting 5 or 6 am on my way to the bathroom. No luck, 2am. I apply my usual set of disciplinary rules, “Go back to sleep. You will.”

But I gave up by 3 am, hoping when I looked again at the clock that maybe it could at least be 4 am? No.

So this is how it goes and that’s OK. Four hours of solid sleep will have to do. I turn on the Christmas tree and watch the world news. Hey, they’re up. It’s unusually balmy. We slept with the windows open again, and I opened more over the sink while making coffee. I am grateful to have coffee back, and the tea will come in handy when my son and his wife come to stay for a week on Saturday. 

Bored I decide on a trip to Walmart.

Others are there shopping even at 4:30 am. I didn’t realize there was a run on candy canes and after some scouting found the last box of peppermint canes. All the Christmas candies were moved into a tiny section over near the pharmacy and the seasonal section was now full of Valentine’s Day candy.

I buy gluten free blueberry muffins for my daughter-in-law, and special gluten free granola, along with a few other items. The cashier is especially cheery considering the hour and considering she is working so early on Christmas Eve morning.

As very cool old folks, I have pre-purchased tickets to Star Wars 3D at noon tomorrow as we don’t celebrate as a family until Monday. Today Samuel and I will slip the canoe in the creek. All is well…

Merry Holidays to all, and my thanks for the many gentle nudges of support…

RAGE/WARRIOR CHILD

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Jessica mentioned RAGE. Thank you Jessica.

Maybe rage most of my life has not been such a bad thing. Maybe it was what saw me through, keeping my head up fighting. I just wish it had fizzled out sooner. A lot of my health burned out too as rage sputtered to embers, then grey ash. I am tired.

I have spent a life fighting a war in a war zone called ‘family.’ The same family most turn to for comfort and a soft place to fall. Mine was my hell, my terror, they pulled me down almost burying me. Further contact continues the pull, not to a safe place but to Hell. A Hell of non-existence. A Hell of pretense. A Hell of victim-hood.

A few scraps were thrown my way, more of a way to lead each to believe they showed kindness, support and help. It’s my belief Don saved my life, sharing his home until I got on my feet. I am grateful for life. That was a long time ago, 40 years. I don’t know the man he is now and cannot continue the pretense required to continue the relationship which is minimal anyway. 

The deal is I must be quiet to keep from being abandoned. My take is that it is hard to hear about what their brothers did, or what they themselves did or didn’t do to help me. So I contained it. My body contained it, and my body needed to be a very large vessel to hold it all in. I raged through-out life at the terrific, deadly injustice, unable to give up hope of a family.

Even after I created my own family, the lure and the craving for a family of origin drew me like a moth to flame. I so needed to fill the bottomless cavern. But they couldn’t give me back to myself. Only I could. It has taken a long time. It has been a long journey.  .

Jessica at the Counter Stool talks of rage. This petite dynamic athlete also raged in her youth at her own war zone, her family. I see her majestic beauty, and as she shares, I am able to see mine. Thank you Jessica.

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After Daddy died, and the attacks began, I was sent to Bible Summer Camp, free, by our church. The children sang “Jesus Loves Me” along with the piano. When the song was done, I said, “Jesus doesn’t love me.”

I was sent to a room where I sat alone afraid, and was told to wait. A couple of teachers came in to talk to me about what I had said . Feelings of shame had already permeated from what brothers had done. These churchy do-gooders meant well, but did harm, cementing the shame permanently. So many times, those that meant well, did harm instead. 

I felt as if I were being chastised and admonished. I felt terrified, small and bad. At the picnic afterwards I was more alone and ashamed that I’d ever known, as if everyone was talking, pointing and looking at me. That feeling never left, not until recent years. 

I cannot believe in a God that preaches and punishes. I find that god resides within. She connects me to all others. She is Mother Earth. She is the angel above watching out for me. She is part of me, and you, and everyone. When I pray, I pray to that oneness, a power greater than me, and I believe in the power of prayer.

CROSS THE DIVIDE

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How to connect with ‘her’, the child I was. The dentist with the crooked endless stairway to hell, that my mother left me to walk alone, took photos of his kid patients. At age eight, after Daddy dropped to the floor dead, and Danny raped me (a memory swimming viciously inside, a deadly shark at the ready to devour), my skinny kid body blew up like an over-pumped swim tube. And the stark contrast still remains in the old photo book in his office. Skinny at 7, huge at 8, with the fakest smile pasted on.

I would like to connect with skinny kid, but the other? Is it possible even if I wanted to? She disappeared. I still hide.

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