Dreaming is free!

28 Oct

I had a dream and in it, I was visited by a dear friend. He came to see me and allay my fear. We sat together staring out at a vista. I don’t remember what we were looking at because what was truly remarkable was our conversation. It was one of few words. The companionship was the key; the feeling of being in each other’s company. I needed that from him. I needed the absolute comfort that I felt in his presence. It helped remind me of the solidity of a loving bond. The type that is based upon loving another for the sole purpose of giving your love away, to the other.
His visit was like a deep breath.
Thank you for making your way to say hello. I missed you. See you soon. :)

Heartening.

27 Oct

My chest hurts. Some airborne allergen has created a histamine response and there is pressure and pain in my sternum. There is a history of physiological pain corresponding to life situations for me. I have experienced pain in parts of my body for what seemed like no reason, and informed later that a loved one is in physical pain or ill in the area where I had felt discomfort. It has been weird in the past but now that I accept the “byproduct” of whatever this is, I don’t have the panic when I feel an odd feeling anymore. There is a subtle difference between the feeling of being ill or in pain from my own body suffering and the “inheriting” of grief from another. As this has become something I can detect, that is why I have lost much of the anxiety that used to accompany these strange sensations.

I know there are allergens. I also know allergens rarely affect me in the form of chest congestion. My chest hurts because my heart is expanding and healing. I am able to let go of the immense heartbreak that has been residing in my chest for lifetimes. 

She is coming home.
Weaker than the memory
Partially dissolved by time
Persistent sands weathered away, too.

Now I feel the loss of urgency
Almost clearing a path
Carefully and lovingly for the landing
Of the great bird.

Sensibly I tend to wounds
With patience previously unknown
Feeling small and breakable
With a smile

I listen and hear the sweet sound of nothing
I lie in the open without weaponry
Knowing the last piece is in place
No more circles to run for us.

How dear you are to me
Through all your deceit
Fear has been your companion always
I feel your freedom now.

I won’t be there to greet you
But I am here to let you go
I know how you would like to hear it:
“I will always love you.”

XOXO

Careless.

25 Oct

The sun came up this morning. I woke up today. These are two very important and remarkable things to me, and in this moment I need to focus on the remarkable, the beautiful, the miraculous, and the amazing. In this moment I muster the image of my feet integrating with the soil, my legs rooting the trunk of my torso to the earth, and my head and hair a myriad of autumnal leaves. The wind may blow and rains may pour but it only serves to strengthen – as wind carries away that which I do not need, and the rains feed my roots.

I am in a bit of shock at some news. I am searching for my feelings on the matter and I am uncertain of what I am finding. I don’t know what I feel. Fear has been a reaction for a long time. I don’t feel that. I feel vacant. Empty. I feel as if I am in a new territory or a place where I do not know the native tongue.

My mother is relocating to a different state; the one in which I live. Out of 50 fucking states and numerous U.S. territories, this is the one chosen. Its a free country. All 50 fucking states of it. I don’t know where my feelings are on this, or if I have any. I can’t find the panic that used to be synonymous with the family of origin.

“Go melt back in the night
Everything inside is made of stone…”
It Ain’t Me Babe

I am irritated, and I feel the compulsion to announce my current reaction to her choice: good for her. I don’t give a fuck, and this changes nothing. In Alaska or my back yard, it doesn’t matter. I don’t understand why I was even given the information. I checked out of Hotel Hell, and I don’t give a shit about the newsletter.

Anything that remained in me that could have been swayed in their favor has dried up and been replaced with the knowledge that yes, I do matter, and I cannot UNLEARN that. I see them all as a wasteland. I don’t accept the order in which they operate. I am fortunate enough to have my autonomy. I am not relinquishing it. That is a fucking fact.

I just don’t care. I don’t have to care.

“When I get mad, I put it down on a pad…”

17 Oct

Some of you reading this post may have an idea of what types of circumstances had a role in my upbringing. Some of you may not, and so I feel I should give a very brief synopsis. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, a state with one of the highest populations of German Americans. A lot of blue eyes and love of beer in that place, and my household was no exception. My father was openly racist and used racial slurs as common language. Niggers, kikes, chinks, and spics were all normal vocabulary in the house. “All in the Family” was his favorite show, and my mother, although not as vocal, possessed the same views. I grew up with an English surname and blue eyes, white skin, dishwater blonde hair, crooked teeth and dorky glasses from the discount section of frames. After my parents split and I spent more time with my mother and my older male siblings than with my father, I still heard the same words: fags, niggers, chinks and spics. This time it was my brothers, not my father.

I knew those were shitty words. To be honest, I was much more fascinated by swear words. I didn’t like the racial  slurs, I hated “All in the Family,” and my father was an abusive sociopath that made my home feel like life under Stalinist Russia. Thankfully I was exposed to Milwaukee and  diversity after my parents split, and I went to school with children of my age that didn’t look anything like me. I didn’t see why there was any reason to see these kids as different from me. I just wanted to hang out with them like everyone else. Because of that, I was exposed to break dancing. And that shit blew my mind.

I recorded some music from the radio that I listened to constantly – “Electric Kingdom,” “Freaks Come Out At Night,” “Jam On It,” and a few other gems I’m sure can be found on the “Breakin'” soundtrack. I was so into this music that as soon as I got home from school I’d play my tape. One day, my brother heard it and came into my room. He asked me why I was listening to “that nigger jungle music?” He took my tape and never gave it back. I knew I couldn’t let anyone else know I liked that music for my own safety.

Let’s fast forward some to mid teenage years when I heard about this militant rap group that was scaring the shit out of old white people. Being pre-Internet, my exposure was limited to such controversy. I certainly wasn’t going to find out about this group by asking my brothers, and I was isolated from having friends, so eventually when I did get to hear this group it was in high school. Some cool kids gave the goth girl a chance and let me join them for a few Newports in the school parking lot and that’s when I saw the album cover for Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet” in a cassette case. I thought-that’s that group!! I got the opportunity to listen after I expressed my like of Run D.M.C. I was so amazed at what I heard! I also understood why assholes like my brother would think these are some scary motherfuckers. I thought they were amazing! The camo and the berets, the arms folded across the chest – these men were not taking anymore shit.

At one point I bought the album and listened over and over, carefully listening to the lyrics. What these artists were expressing was not exclusively about their struggles and injustices, but those of other groups that have been  oppressed. I heard Chuck D say: “Teach a man how to be a father/Never tell a woman he can’t bother.” Holy shit. These guys get it. And they know people like my father and my brother SHOULD be scared, because their petty fears are being realized…diversity is coming, and they can’t stop it.

So I signed up for the revolution within myself. I broke the cycle of that hate. I found inspiration in Public Enemy. I realized that I didn’t have to accept those ideas or values that I never felt were fair anyway. I could stand up for myself. I could empathize with people of different races and ethnic groups. We had the same wants, the same fears, and we laughed at the same things. People I met that didn’t look like me were a lot nicer to me than the ones at home…that looked like me. My best friend in 5th grade was a girl named Kelly, and she was so tall and pretty. I envied her social skills. Her name was Kelly Washington and she was a Black girl. That same year, I was asked out by a boy for the first time, which mad me run away because I was so nervous, and his name was Lamont. I always felt so bad for running away from him, and if you’re out there, now you know I ran because I was nervous, not because of you!

Today I tweeted Chuck D a thank you for being one of my heroes, for bringing ideas to rural Wisconsin and into my ears. I didn’t feel so alone after I knew others existed that felt like I did – like the system is FUCKED. He tweeted me back! What an amazing human being. Mr. Chuck D, thank you for helping me see the power in words, and the power in thinking for yourself. You haven’t compromised your values, you haven’t stopped. When I wonder if I should keep writing, if it matters, I realize you never know who’s listening. Thanks for not stopping Chuck, because I was listening.
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Cyclical Sanity

26 Sep

One thing ends and another begins. Thats great news if your circumstances suck, but what if they don’t? What if you’re humming along just fine and something just ends? I suppose I am positing such a question because I want to know what is accepted behaviour for that type of situation.
I do not have a model for what is appropriate for healthy. I’m understanding that I was influenced by my mother and father whether I like it or not. In realizing such, it also offers an explanation of how I learned such maleficence. Admitting I was raised by a sociopath and a woman with borderline personality disorder lets me be a bit easier on myself and say, “no wonder I’m fucking confused.”
Most of everything I learned from them is a lie. However, not everything which has led to quite a conundrum in the past. Where do I file away the memories of my father crying as I drove away, or my mother taking care of me like Florence fucking Nightingale when I was extremely ill? I have put the whole lot in a big ugly sack and threw it off a cliff. I can’t spend the rest of my time sifting through all the shit. It would drive myself insane.
There it tumbles off the cliff to smash on the rocks. That 5% of the time there was humanity manifesting in any of them is great, but it doesn’t change the fact that most of what I know is pain and untruthful. Basically I can’t use anything they’ve taught me as a healthy guide for living. So getting back to appropriate behaviour, I don’t always recognize when someone or something is inappropriate. It may take time, and in that time there are a few of those tender moments that go in the 5% category, but that only serves to cloud the waters further. Then it hits me, and really, it is just like the light bulb lighting up over my head – holy shit this is unhealthy. That is when it ends. Then what?
How do you mourn a toxic relationship? The relief of course is primary, but there is a void, absence, and even if it was uncomfortable I knew what it was. Now there’s nothing, so the questions abound as to whether or not I can let go of the feeling of being tricked, or being blind, and am I any judge of character at all. But I cut myself slack now because I see where I learned “family” and relationships, and don’t blame myself solely anymore. I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing sometimes, like allowing myself to relax is still awkward, but its not the propaganda I learned from very sick and untreated people.

Frozen (has nothing to do with the movie or Madonna)

23 Sep

Listening to an old David Bowie album and enjoying the feeling that comes from venturing out of the house and fulfilling obligations successfully is what I am doing on this Tuesday afternoon. After an energy drink (I know, shitty stuff, but in my defense my caffeine threshold is pretty high, so to actually feel it I have to make it fucking count) and some time with the felines, I find myself drawn to keyboard. Once again, there are things I could be doing such as folding laundry, however, the laundry will be there when I am done.
I have learned that I cannot postpone something that I need to purge through words. I may think it more practical to come home and do household tasks so they are completed and off the radar giving way to free time. It just doesn’t seem to work that way. Creativity doesn’t seem to comply with a schedule. The only schedule it seems to adhere to is “whenever the hell.” That is why the laundry can wait.
I have fond memories of the album I am listening to because I bought the LP version when I was 16 years old. The album is from 1973, the year after I was born. I remember sitting on my twin mattress that lie in the empty queen size waterbed frame after I put the first record on the turntable. I felt like I unlocked some door into a subculture that was accepting of me and my interests. Here it was – Ziggy Fucking Stardust. Bowie threw away gender and became a god damn space alien named Ziggy Stardust with his band, the Spiders from Mars. This just blew my mind because it went so far beyond the bullshit that was on the radio and even beyond the supposed “underground” music that seemed to be a requirement for the subculture. It amazed me that he did this in the seventies.
Bowie is not linear in his transformations. I love that, because it inadvertently makes him anachronistic. That is why this album kicks my ASS still. I love anachronistic stuff, and actually strive to be such in my clothing choices. In that regard, I also feel anachronistic due to being without children. I don’t have that as a gauge of the passing of time, and thus I don’t view myself the same way. I’m not a parent, and being that I have severed contact by choice with my family of origin, I am not a sister, and I am not a daughter. I am to my husband’s parents, which is a gift of such enormity that I am not able to comprehend it completely due to it being out of my realm of experience. I am a daughter to these two people that I have chosen to allow into my life because of their genuine compassion, kindness, and love. It is amazing to experience that, and also hard to understand. It brings me to tears more often than not, because I am astounded that they know me and love me anyway.
I have had to make choices to continue on the road of self care that have been difficult and painful. The type of pain that comes from absence of others; knowing they exist but simultaneously knowing it is of no matter because you can not speak or interact with them for the benefit of all involved. Sometimes it is like watching someone drown and not being able to intervene. The destructive and/or toxic behavior exhibited by the person makes the relationship non-equitable, even after compromising. So there you stand, on the pier watching the familiar hand reaching up out of water as it sinks slowly on its third and last way down, powerless because if you try to save him/her, you know you will certainly drown. Following this experience is guilt usually, disbelief, and personally speaking, a great deal of wondering why in the first place.
The absence of others in that situation is painful, and makes me think of a plastic food container with liquid in it that has been frozen. While being frozen, the container gets dented and the liquid freezes in a way that is not intended. When it begins to thaw, it thaws unevenly because of the weird dent. The dent is the absence. It feels like I’m just hangin’ out, thawin’, and its not the most fun because I froze in a weird shape. Now I have to thaw and reform correctly without the dent, or the absence, or the pain.
That whole description is kind of abstract, but it is that image I have seen in my mind when I have let go of the members of my family of origin and other individuals that are not safe. As I regard myself with more care, I find my tolerance for unhealthy situations has grown lower and lower. Because I am not as concerned with the approval of others and more with my health and safety (two things I have had to cultivate from the ground up), I am not as concerned about my actions being disapproved of by others. I am not going to purposely act like an asshole, that needs to be clear, but I do not feel the need to forego my own needs to please others. To thine own self be true, muthafucka. I do enjoy the swearing.
It is the first time in my life I can genuinely say that I give a shit about myself. Not just because hey, being alive is great, but because I value my life and myself, and I feel like I matter. Why do I matter? The same reason we all matter. Just because. :)
Tomorrow may be a different story and I may feel sad or anxious, but its more practice to learn to tell the critic in my head to go fuck itself. Crisis/opportunity?

DIY Wall Art

22 Sep

Wall Art!: http://youtu.be/4gY2i1tJIfM

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