I Love You

I Love You
I love you does not mean that I will accept
your unacceptable behavior.
I love you does not mean that I will allow
you to hurt me emotionally whenever you choose.
I love you does not mean that I will let
you crush my spirit and wound my soul.
I love you does not mean that I will let you tell me who I am or control my decisions.
I love you does not mean that I will allow you to hurt people I love.
I love you does not mean that I will not walk away from you, if you do those things.
I have learned through God’s grace, that I can live without you,
but I cannot live without me.

Breaking Up With Time

I do not trust you anymore.
You are not nice.
I don’t care how good we used to be together. You are sly and you are sneaky, and you are hurting me.
I go to sleep and you do horrible, cruel things to my body.
The damage you have inflicted on my body, especially over the past year is unbelievable.
Your actions are silent, so I didn’t even realize what you have been up to lately, not until I went into the bathroom to take a shower. I catch a glimpse of myself naked in the new full-length mirror. My first reaction is shock. My second reaction is grief. Tears join the shock and the grief.
When I see what you have done to my backside, I begin gasping for air. My cute little behind is gone, just totally gone. Two empty sacks have replaced the flesh I had considered mine. The backs of my legs resemble cottage cheese that has gone bad. Real bad.
Yes, I lost too much weight, but did you have to twist and punch everything I have left?
The only body parts you haven’t dominated yet are from below my knees to my ankles. (I just checked to make sure you didn’t re-sculpt them while I was writing.)
My hair, my feet, my legs, my breasts, my arms, my neck, my face, my ears, every day I find new damage.
I would like to say I am above pride in my physical appearance, but that would be a lie. I’ve never been a beauty, cute I’m always told, but cute and undamaged was good enough for me.
I trusted you for so long. You were mostly kind to me. You treated me with respect, and you were gentle with my body, for over sixty years.
I was aware that you had a bit of a mean streak, but I trusted you anyway.
Yes, there were many red flags, but I ignored them.
I was only thirty-six when I told you, “I like the grey streaks you painted in my hair. My mom had the same streaks, so I wear them with pleasure.”
You smirked, and I should have left you in the dust right then, but I didn’t.
When you pulled my hair out a few years later, I adjusted. It was never abundant anyway and as it thinned out, I just pinned it up. I asked you to stop and you just smirked, again.
You kicked the heck out of my spine long ago, so I knew you could be extremely cruel, but I thought we had leveled out, reached an agreement to be kind to each other.
When my breasts deflated, almost overnight, I said, “Oh well. I can live without plump breasts and long, flowing hair,” and then, I threw my stupid bras away.
Last summer my young grandson said to me, “Grammy, your arms are wrinkled and soft like Jell-O.” He poked one to show me.
I looked down and sure enough, it was true. Why hadn’t I noticed?
Not done yet, you had redesigned my arms.
I explained to him that it was nicer to tell a woman what was right about her, instead of what was wrong. I told him I was getting older. We agreed to close the subject of my jiggledy arms, and he gave me a hug. I was even proud of myself for handling the discovery so well.
However, my backside is the last straw and now I see that pulling my hair out wasn’t even enough for you.
My hairdresser told me last week that my fake blonde hair is breaking off by the handfuls, no more blonding it. Blonde has been my disguise for thirty years, you jerk.
As I have slept, you’ve ravaged me. You’ve reworked one body part at a time, and I was blissfully unaware that you were indulging your freakish addiction to playing sculptor with my body.
You have gone too far, my old friend.
I’m breaking up with you at once, while I can still walk and still have clothes that fit.
TIME, you can go play your ruthless games somewhere else.
P.S. I placed the mirror on the other side of the bathroom door too. Just in case TIME doesn’t honor the break-up. I have a feeling that I’m going to need a restraining order.

 

What Am I?


I am hard and I am soft.
I have sharp edges and smooth worn curves.
I am strength and I am weakness.
I can be broken, but I am unbreakable.
I will stand by you when you are wrong,
I will rejoice when you succeed.
I will stand by you when the world walks away.
I will leave you and I will always be beside you.
I will pull inside myself like a snail when you hurt me.
I will bloom like a flower when you love me.
I am a soft place to fall.
I am the hardest place to go when you have fallen.
I will always love you
No matter what you do or become,
You can’t lose my love.
I will smother you.
I will release you,
To explore your own strengths.
I will let you walk away if you hate me,
I will keep my door open if you want to return.
I will soul glide with you.
I will cry with you.
I will fight with you.
I would take a bullet for you.
I will make mistakes that will hurt you,
But no one could ever love you more.
I am where your life began and I am
Where you will always long to return.
I am not perfect,
But God thought I was perfect for you.
I am your mother.

Such A Dilemma


Face the storm outside or the storm inside?
Such a dilemma.
If it was the end of the world
and zombies were at the window,
we would argue over which gun to load
until even the zombies got a headache.

The Night The Stuff Went Down

I think I’m having decluttering remorse.
Almost like waking up after a blackout, trying to remember each item I tossed.
“I threw away what last night?”
I don’t really need to item by item remember, because it ALL went.
What was in the last room that I attacked with the rage born from exhaustion and frustration?
Just everything I had thought was important enough to move from house to house, even if I never opened the boxes.
The next day was moving day, and I thought the last room would only take a few hours. Although the anxiety I felt every time I went in there over the past year should have warned me.
It was just a corner filled with boxes. Boxes I hadn’t opened since two houses ago, some hadn’t been opened for twenty years.
I had spent the last three weeks decluttering. Selling and giving away the contents of a ten-room house, cellar and garage.
I was on a roll. How hard could this last corner be?
I had thrown away my wedding heels a few months ago, so I thought I had toughened up.
The contents of several boxes had been scattered for weeks, opened and left, the victim of my confusion. Well, I had no choice now.

Tonight, was my deadline and I dug in, armed with kitchen trash bags. It didn’t take long for me to go downstairs and find the huge, green bags.
I always knew I was a good packer, but I don’t know how I fit so much content into those boxes.
I filled at least six green bags with CD’s and cassettes and that was just the beginning.
Some of the CD’S had been special to me. Our ten-year anniversary by Alabama I had signed, “Then Again…Forever, you and me.” I kept that one.
I had listened to and loved each CD at some time in my past.
As I looked through them, I was overwhelmed by how many there were and I began to grab handfuls, shoving them into the green bags.
So many material things I no longer needed or wanted, but surely my frustration added volume to the trash pile.
I was angry, and I was sad, and I just wanted to be free from stuff. Too much stuff.
Our mind is like a computer and it captures every little thing we have ever done, seen or felt and much of my frustration was because I was replaying those memories as I threw each thing away.
My wedding dress got special treatment. It was 3:00 a.m. and I walked outside and hung it on a tree beside the yard sale.
My neighbor was still outside because she was getting ready to have a yard sale with me, and she said, “You have to take a picture,” and of course, I did. As I took pictures, I realized that I was trying to capture my emotional whirlpool in a snapshot of a wedding dress.
The dress had fit like it was designed for me, draping my tiny hips, and it had made Mum smile, because back then, I seldom wore dresses. As I ran my fingers down the silky dress, I could see her smiling face.
I remembered the day I went shopping for it with my mum and how proud she was that I was marrying such a good man, a man who worked and took care of me and my three kids financially.
She special ordered artificial roses for my corsage and for the wedding, because I was allergic to flowers and I remembered how the florist thoughtlessly sprayed them with rose perfume and I sneezed all day.
I threw the still rosy corsage away too tonight, along with a box of wedding day souvenirs.
We never dreamed thirty-eight years ago it would end this way, my wedding dress hung in a tree for a yard sale, all alone in the dark. Us, living in separate houses. Big ouch.
Couldn’t hold on till morning. Needed to let it go, let it go.
He was here helping me finish up the packing and for the closing, and I couldn’t afford to show any weaknesses in front of him. It was a real test.
His heart was hurting as he saw me throw away our memories.
The picture Mum bought me because she thought it looked like us, my IHRA umbrella and hundreds of presents he had bought me.
I think it hit him hardest when he saw my books start to go. Fifteen house and thirty-eight years, and through it all, he’d been complaining about moving my books. I always found ways to resist his demands to get rid of the damn books, because I loved my books. I had learned that if I carried the boxes in and out of the moving trucks, it wasn’t as bad, but even then, the “weight” it added bothered him.
I usually soothe him when he’s hurting, even if he’s sad because he hurt me, but not anymore. Not anymore. Recovering codependent, yes, I am.
Now, as I rerun the night of the huge declutter through my mind, I am proud and sad and proud.
I let it go, I let it go.
I let it all go so I could move on, move into my twenty-foot Coachmen Nano Apex travel trailer and on to the next chapter of this story I am living as I create it.
I took pictures of things that touched my heart as I tossed, and that was enough stuff, for me.

 

 

When Angels Whisper…

What is she running from?

Everything. Chaos, drama, hate, confusion, connections, clutter, obligations, memories, betrayals, lost love, bad love, good love, wasted dreams, pain, wrinkles and old age.

Is that all?

Probably not. She’s a writer. I’m sure she could add to my list.

I heard her tell her four-year-old granddaughter that she moves so much because she is a gypsy.

Well, that sounds better than she’s a runner. And she just might be a gypsy,
but I think she’s confused and looking for home.

Doesn’t she know home is where you make it?

No, she keeps making a home and leaving. This time she left 95% of her belongings behind.
Stuff she’s held onto for fifteen moves.

Why?

She swore she’d never buy another house or let another person manipulate her life.
She wants to have the choice to drive away at a moment’s notice.
I heard her tell her daughter that’s why she bought the tiny house on wheels.

Well, who owns fifteen houses in six states in thirty-eight years anyway?
An extremely tired gypsy?

No, a hurt little girl, looking for her happy ending.

Well, she’s alone now. Is that her happy ending?

Yes and no. She’s happy to be able to think for herself, to make her own choices,
to be free, but she wanted to be happy with him.

Well, he made that impossible.

Yes, he did.

Well then, I’m proud of her for fighting to break free.

Me too.

Do you think she’ll be okay? Is she lonely? She looks so sad.

This has been a huge change for her, and I expected her to feel some sad,
but she’d rather be alone than allow anyone to hurt her again.
She realizes that her happy ending is in her own hands now, so yes. She’ll be okay.

I think you’re right. She’s recovering from emptying a ten-room house and watching
another chance she gave him go wrong. She’s resting, healing, physically and emotionally.

Yes, she got rid of everything, including her books. She let go of so many material things.
A little grief after such a purge is normal, but we’ll stay close to her
while she prays and figures out her next step.

Does she know we’re here with her?

Yes, I believe she does.

Talking to Pain

Knock, knock.

Who is there?

Pain. Can I come in?

I don’t want you anymore, Pain.
Go away.

I know, but I’m lonely.
Remember when you loved me?

Yes, before I knew that you
Would destroy my mind.

You are too sensitive, too scattered.
Too weak. Too soft. You need me.

Pain, go away. I don’t need you.

I know, but I love you.
I won’t hurt you today
Just let me come in.

Pain, go away.

I have gifts, so I’ll just sit here
Outside your door.
I know, sooner or later
You will let me come in,
Because I’m familiar
Because I’m your’s.

I don’t want you anymore.
Pain, go away.

I’m just going to rest here
Outside your door.
I’ll be right here
If you change your mind.
I’ll be right here.

Pain, the door is locked.
You are not coming in.

I’ll be right here.

Sand. Love. Time and me…

Playing in the waves for an hour, letting the beach rock me
lying on my back in the embryonic, turquoise water.
Practicing letting go and trusting God.
Floating in the ocean, trusting that even if the water gets rough,
He will keep me safe.
When I feel the stress melt away, I walk out of the ocean.
I spread the blanket and lay down and reach for a handful of sand.
As soon as I fill my hand, the grains slip through my fingers.
So, you know I had to try again and again to hold a handful of sand.
I hold handful after handful of pure white sand and
no matter how tightly I squeeze, it quickly slips away.
Nothing stays but a few tiny grains of the stunning white crystals.
Time and love are so similar to sand.
I could only hold the sand with my hand open.
I hold our love in my hands and I hold on tightly, trying not to let it slip away.
But always, I am left with nothing but a few lovely grains of what was once
a sandcastle full of hopes and dreams…and the memories of that which was us.
Time and love slip through my hands even faster than grains of sand.
Some things were never meant to be restrained.
They lose their luster if you try to own them.
Sand. Love. Time and me…

Love Me As I Am

You put an image around me and
you tell me to stay inside the frame.
You say that this is who I have to be
do not color outside the lines!
You expect me to be who
you think I should be.
Angry, when I do not conform
I’m sorry to disappoint you
but I am going to be me.
Love me as I am, my son
Before our time is gone.

( #10 SHE Saga) Let It Go, Let It Go

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I feel numb and She is hiding.  I know she’s furious with me and she didn’t believe that I would go through with my plan to get rid of everything that I didn’t absolutely need or want…before we moved into our tiny home on wheels.

I guess it was my turn to pitch a fit. It happened when I was decluttering tonight, when I was down to facing the boxes that I hadn’t unpacked in over ten years.

She objected over every piece I tossed. She cried. She screamed.

She was so upset that she had me walking in circles, holding things to my chest, paralyzed by grief and indecision. After about an hour of circles, I snapped.

“Stop! Stop, leave me the f… alone,” I screamed as I dumped another pile of boxes in the middle of the room. When the pile was gigantic, I sat down beside it with a kitchen trash can beside me.

She left and the silence was eerie.

I quickly filled that kitchen bag, so I went downstairs for the green yard bags and I kept going.

I dragged at least six green bags full of papers, memories, CD’s and tapes down the stairs tonight and out onto the front porch for trash day. Plus, containers and boxes full of stuff.

My wedding dress got special treatment. It was 3:00 a.m. and I walked outside and hung it on a tree beside the yard sale.

My neighbor was still outside because she was getting ready to have a yard sale with me, and she said, “You have to take a picture,” and of course, I did.

As I took pictures, trying to capture my emotional whirlpool in a snapshot of a dress, I remembered the day I went shopping for it with my mum and how proud she was that I was marrying such a good man, a man who worked and took care of me and my three kids financially.

I remembered how happy she was to buy the dress for me, and in 1983, $27.00 was a lot of money.

The dress draped my tiny hips like it was designed just for me, and it made Mum smile because back then, I seldom wore dresses.

She special ordered artificial roses for my corsage and for the wedding, because I was allergic to flowers and I remember how the florist thoughtlessly sprayed them with rose perfume and I sneezed all day.

Our mind is like a computer and it captures every little thing we have ever done, seen or felt.

I threw the still rosy corsage away tonight too, along with a box of wedding day souvenirs. We never dreamed thirty-eight years ago it would end this way, my wedding dress hung in a tree for a yard sale, all alone in the dark. Big ouch.

Couldn’t hold on till morning. Needed to let it go, let it go.

He was here helping me finish up the packing and for the closing, and I couldn’t afford to show any weaknesses in front of him. It was a real test.

His heart was hurting as he saw me throw away our memories.

The picture Mum bought me because she thought it looked like us, my IHRA umbrella and dozens of presents he had bought me.

I think it hit him hardest when he saw my books start to go. Fifteen houses and thirty-eight years, through it all, he’d been complaining about moving my books. I always found ways to resist his demands to get rid of the damn books, because I loved my books. I had learned that if I carried the boxes in and out of the moving trucks, it wasn’t as bad, but even then, the “weight” it added bothered him.

I usually soothe him when he’s hurting, even if he’s sad because he hurt me, but not anymore. (Codependency, which I’m recovering from, one day at a time…amen.)

I probably went too far tonight, when I shoved She away with all my strength.
She left, but I know she will be back, so I’m going to enjoy this time without her.

It’s the first time in forever that she hasn’t been challenging me, quietly or violently.

(# 1 SHE Saga) She Wants What She Wants

Link above will take you to the complete list of She Saga posts.

Legos and Laughter

I am completely content and happy in this moment, playing Legos with my grandson, Jonas, and my granddaughter, Mile Mae, on the playroom floor.
I’m feeling proud of Jonas for sharing half of his Legos with me and Mile, we just aren’t allowed to have weapons or figures, only blocks. (We all have our quirks.)
Later, I am watching them play in their little pool on my porch and squirting each other with squirt guns and blowing rainbow bubbles. Their laughter is so soothing, and the sounds stop time and erase my anxiety.
We go in, and I have to rescue Mile from the pink toy bucket she gets stuck in and I’m laughing so hard, I can barely pull her up.
As the sun goes down, I am watching her hanging upside down on the lawn chair, her long brown curls flowing to the floor. She is so pleased with herself and she makes me laugh inside and out. I would give anything to live in moments like these, every minute of everyday, but they are just that, moments.
At least I know how to absorb and treasure these moments now.
The only sad part for me is packing up her toys that she is taking home and she doesn’t know it’s sad, so that’s OK.
Mile is only four, and right now, she’s simply happy all her toys are going to her house
She really doesn’t understand about Grammy selling her house and moving to a house on wheels and going to live on the road.
Rolling is what they call it. I have a new language to learn.
And she won’t understand, not until she says, “Daddy, I wanna go to Grammy’s house,” and he says, “Grammy doesn’t live in her house anymore.”
It was already a hard choice, deciding whether to stay or to move on, getting rid of furniture and stuff, so much stuff, way too much stuff. Books, clothes, boots, sheets and bedspreads. Towels, dolls and pictures. CD’s, DVD’s, TV’s and furniture.
With all these awesome grandkids, it’s a triple hard choice. And Jodie Lynne…my sunshine, my daughter, my friend, I’ll miss you most of all.
After fifteen houses and six states, I just have a strong urge to leave the clutter behind, wander on my own and to see what I see each day, and to do whatever I want to do in the moment. Stop, go, eat, write, don’t stop, inhale sunshine, go to the beach, whatever.
I also never want to pack up another house and I can’t even promise myself that I’ll stay still, so a house on wheels is my solution.
I want days without people telling me I better do this, or I should do that…weeks where I only interact with my dog, Maggie Mae and God. And rest stops and sweet nights when I can indulge my creative streak.
Maybe I’ll last a month, maybe I’ll last ten years out there on my own.
I just don’t know, but I’ll never know if I don’t try.
If I’m supposed to hold still Lord, you need to show me that because I really have the urge to move on, but I’m not always right, that’s for sure.
Lord, I know I’m stubborn and hardheaded, but show me gently please, I’m already broken.
Amen.

I Have A Plan

I bought a home on wheels and I have a life plan. I have a very intricate, inspired plan and I know what it is, and God knows what it is, but sometimes I feel like my plan is this long strip of taffy and some people keep grabbing it at the edges and pulling it and pulling it, into places it’s not supposed to go, but it is my plan and my vision and God, as long as you have my back, I will keep walking toward it.
I’m done letting anyone pull and stretch my plan into what they think it should be because it is my plan.
My plan may be far from perfect, but I don’t care.
I won’t know until I try.
If I fail, I will have no one to blame but myself.
If I follow what some people want from me, I’ll sit here, stuck, blaming them and I don’t want that to happen.
I want responsibility for my own life for the first time, 100%.
If I don’t hold on to what I want and what I believe I can do this time, it won’t be good.
It’ll be awful.
I haven’t fought for eleven months to awaken my brain and to relearn who I am, just to give up and throw control back to other people. No way.
Thankfully, I also have a fan club cheering me on, and they are awesome.

 

(#8 SHE Saga) That Was In The Past

She had a horrible nightmare last night and we ended up on the floor. Again.
She dreamt that every person who had ever hurt her was chasing her and she was shooting at them as she ran away and the police were chasing her for shooting at them and she was trying to explain that they were trying to kill her, but the police said it didn’t count because that was in the past and she said, but they are still killing me, they are just doing it slowly and in my head.
Round and round the house and out into the dark streets they raced until She knocked me out of bed, and I woke up, shivering, shaking, crying and a bit bruised. It was 5:00 a.m.
I went outside to have a cigarette and I waited for She to stop shaking.
My four-year-old granddaughter had been asleep in my bed and she had felt me leave her side.
She came outside and whimpered, “Grammy, Grammy,” and as she climbed up on my lap, she fell right back to sleep with her arms wrapped around me.
As I snuggled her, I prayed, “Please, dear, sweet Jesus, please keep this little angel’s mind free from trauma so she never has to heal her inner child. Amen.”

(# 1 SHE Saga) She Wants What She Wants

 

Should I Pass The Salt?

From my newsletter, Women Who Think Too Much, 2002

Should I Pass the Salt?
by Jeanne Marie
To salt over the sink, or not? Ah, such a loaded question.
If you are the one who washes the kitchen counters and sweeps the floors, then you may salt wherever you like. However, there are rules for the non-cleaner. Yes? I’m the designated cleaner, and I despise housework.
I’ve begun to employ avoidance tactics in my house, like, if I don’t spill it, I won’t have to wipe it, or if you spill it, you wipe it.
The kids are gone, so I figure it’s time to shift to minimal maintenance here. Now, this week my mate said that he feels bound and nagged by my little quirks, especially my salt fetish.
“You’re driving me crazy,” he said. “I pick up the stuff you leave lying all over the house,” he said.
True enough. But here’s the deal. He picks it up if he feels like it, maybe yes, maybe no. He has a choice. On the other hand, I’m bound by the laws of nature to snatch up everything I see, and put it away, at least every other day. He could and I should, and that is worlds apart.
Another tiresome disagreement centers around the dogs. If the damn alien dogs didn’t eat biscuits under the sheets, I wouldn’t have to shake out the bedding each night, before I climb into bed.
My mate has no problem sleeping on crunchy bits of treats. But as for me, I’ve barely recovered from the “Princess and The Pea Syndrome.”
I become quite nuts when I crawl over sharp bits of meat by-products. To add to the dilemma, my insane, female poodle, Peggy-Sue, turns into the Tasmanian Devil when I sweep my hands across the sheets, to rid my side of doggy debris. Maybe she thinks, “Hey! I just buried that stuff!” and here I am, depriving her of tomorrow’s snack, but geez! Does she have to bite me so hard?
I’ve promised to buy myself a bed for the spare room at least a hundred times, and to lock the dogs out. It worries me that I haven’t carried through on that threat. I’m afraid that the dogs and my mate know I’m just blowing off steam. They all continue to munch in bed. Yes, Lays potato chips are also a problem. Of course, the fact that when I get up to go pee in the middle of the night, Peggy-Sue refuses to allow me back into the bed, is wearing me down. And Charlie, her cohort, loves to run through my hair while I’m sleeping, tangling his paws in it, and tearing hunks of my thin enough hair, right out of my head. He also runs across my face while I’m asleep, and fifteen pounds sounds light, but equipped with toenails, it can smart.
Speaking of smart, if I was, I’d have my own bedroom by now. Am I a masochist, or is cuddling the warm backside of my husband that fulfilling? Is the habit of intimacy so strong, that self-preservation loses its drive?
He said that he’s afraid to tell people I ask him to salt his food over the sink, it’s so perverse.
Well, I’m not worried! I’ll invite fifty people over to watch his salting habits and see if they don’t have some compassion for me, the cleaner.
He is perverse himself, throwing salt on each nugget of corn, from a foot over the plate.
Strangely enough, when my kids come back home to visit, they salt over the sink and they leave their muddy shoes at the door. The weird part is, I couldn’t pay them to do that when they lived here.
For twenty-odd years, I was a slave to kids, housework, cooking, laundry and on and on.
I just want to be free to write, to have time to putter in my garden, to smell the roses.
I guess I shouldn’t complain. My mate does more around the house than most men. He does at least half of our dishes, (I thank him for doing the dishes; he doesn’t thank me when I do them.)
But I am not going to pass the salt.
JMG, 2002

(#7 SHE Saga) Let Freedom Ring

She’s been quiet for a few days, so I was surprised when she whispered, “You know I still love him, right?”
“Yes, She. You remind me every day, several times per hour.”
“Well, what are you gonna do about it?”
“Nothing. I’m going to do nothing about it. I accept that you still love him. He’s been good to you and I understand why you trust him, and you don’t trust me. But that’s not my problem. It’s yours.”
“Wow. You have gotten hard and mean. You used to cry with me.”
“I’m not hard and mean, it just feels that way to you because I used to give in to you every day. I can’t do that anymore. I’m all cried out.”
“I can’t keep torturing myself with accepting unacceptable behavior. He knew what he was doing when he tore us apart this time, no doubt. Of course, I’m sure he didn’t know that it would be the last time. I don’t think that I even knew.”
“Why is it the last time?”
“She, do you remember last 4th of July? We had just moved in the new house. I dressed up in my red, white and blue to go to the block party. When it was time to go, I was already exhausted and couldn’t make myself walk out the door. He left with some neighbors and I could finally breathe again. We sat with the puppies and took pictures all afternoon, so happy to be free for a little bit.”
“Yes, I remember.”
“Well, I’m sorry, She. I don’t want to feel trapped and exhausted all the time.”

(# 1 SHE Saga) SHE

(#6 SHE Saga) Dad Is Dead

She is acting up tonight. Granted we had a rough time last night, and an overly complicated day, but I really can’t handle her fears, on top of my own anxiety.
I whispered to her, “Behave, little one. Please.”
The day began with a phone call from my younger sister.
We have been looking for my dad, a mentally ill, homeless, alcoholic for over thirty years. Checking for at least a death certificate, looking for closure.
My sister has had contacts in the military looking for any information for over a year and today, on Dad’s birthday, she received the information.
Dad is dead. He died alone and homeless in 2000. Buried in a poverty grave by the military.
It hit me hard, even though I had felt that he was gone, I was never sure.
My sister has his Death Certificate and his military records, and we now know where he is buried. The military is even going to put a marker on his grave.
The inner child, She, is taking it much harder than me and while closure is a relief, it’s a rough time to throw more grief into our fragile infrastructure.
Right after I heard the news about my dad, I had an appointment with a local domestic violence shelter and showing up was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I can admit to my family and my friends, my readers and myself that I have suffered and accepted abuse but reaching out to total strangers for a support group has taken me almost a year.
I made the appointment the day before my house sold and I decided to go anyway, if only for an exercise in courage and to give them a copy of my book, Women Who Think Too Much. https://books2read.com/u/md0J5d
Well, they can’t give out their address, so they gave me a meet point and told me to call them when I arrived. I made it there ten minutes before my appointment and called them. No answer.
I started to panic, but I took a deep breath and I prayed. I managed to sit there for forty minutes, calling back every five minutes. Never got an answer.
I left there disappointed, but so proud that I had overcome the anxiety to show up. She even stayed calm, which was surprising. I think she was mourning Dad and wandering in her own little world.

(# 1 SHE Saga) SHE

(#5 SHE Saga) She Forced Me Out Of Bed

She woke me up and forced me out of bed at 3:00 a.m. last night because she was screaming and yelling in her sleep, completely consumed by a full-blown panic attack.
I staggered out of bed, shaking from head to toe, trying to quiet her down at the same time, not an easy task. I unwisely added caffeine to the mix but for some reason, coffee makes me feel better. I paced the floor with my coffee cup for about an hour while I tried to figure out the fight or flight mode I was experiencing.
Yesterday I swapped cars with my daughter so that I could tow her smaller car when I bought an RV.
I know driving different cars triggers my anxiety, but I almost ran someone off the road the first day, because her car has blind spots.
Still, it was bigger than that and I realized I had gone against my best interest when I let myself be influenced by him toward buying an RV rather than a pull trailer and if I got rid of my car, I wouldn’t have a choice.
It’s always you need bigger, better until I am in over my head financially and I want to do it different this time.
All I want is a small pull trailer. Simple.
So, at 3:00 a.m. I wrote three or four texts to my daughter telling her that I was panicking, and I wanted to re-exchange cars. Thankfully she knows me, and she has a sense of humor. We swapped cars back the next day.

(#4 SHE Saga) Thirty Days

 

Wow. Why does she jump in my face as soon as I wake up?
Well, before I handed her over to God, she was in charge. Now, she’s not in charge. She still pops in and tries to mess with me, but I can see what she’s doing now, and I can deal with her fears and calm her down.
Imagine tumbling down a waterfall compared to being pushed in the pool. I’m still getting wet, but I’m not drowning.
This month will make me or break me. I have thirty days until my house keys go to a new owner. Thirty days to take my courage in hand and reclaim my freedom.
Freedom from the past, freedom from material things that weigh me down, freedom from this little girl’s fears. Freedom from this crazy cycle of leaving him and going back to him. He will never understand why I leave him, and he will never take responsibility for his addictions. That’s okay. I don’t need him to validate me today. I’ve spent my entire life trying to explain myself to a man. Game over.
Thirty days to put my faith in God’s plan into action. Just take the right next step. Repeat.
She wants me to hold still, she sees doing nothing as safe when it’s the most dangerous choice of all. Life happens whether you participate or not, resist or hold your breath, become paralyzed by your fears, life, it will just keep happening.
Why not choose my path? That is the least I can do to give God something to work with, trust His grace, breathe and make choices.
A lifetime of letting life happen to me must end.
She’s getting a crash course on growing up, owning her fears and overcoming the past.
I have babied her for way too long.
She must be tougher than she appears, or she would have blended with me by now. Well, I’m stronger than I appear too. And my God is stronger than everything.

(# 1 SHE Saga) SHE

(#2 SHE Saga) She’s Back

(#3 SHE Saga) What are we gonna do?

(#5 SHE Saga) She Forced Me Out Of Bed

(#3 SHE Saga) What are we gonna do?

She was waiting for me when I woke up this morning, so before I even had my coffee, I had to deal with her.
The first words I heard were, “What are we gonna do, what are we gonna do, what are we gonna do?”
I yelled at her, “Stop!”
We just sold the house yesterday, and after a few hours of anxiety, we came up with a plan. She was completely comfortable with everything we decided. Now she’s hysterical.
The plan is the best one I could produce to satisfy her anxiety and mine. No more houses. No more boxes. No more clutter.
We will have enough money left over from the sale of the house to buy a small pull trailer and travel for a year or two, but it’s a long way from signing that contract and getting rid of all the stuff that is weighing us down, to hitting the open road, free at last.
This morning, she’s acting like we never agreed on a plan at all.
I think she stays awake all night freaking herself out while I’m sleeping. I told her, “Stop focusing on all the work we have to do in the next month and focus on the fact that God has given us a chance to live our dream. I know you don’t trust me yet, so just look forward to the adventure and trust that God goes before us to pave the way.

(# 1 SHE Saga) SHE

(#2 SHE Saga) She’s Back

(#4 SHE Saga) Thirty Days

(#5 SHE Saga) She Forced Me Out Of Bed

 

 

(#2 SHE Saga) She’s Back

She’s back, but she has an entirely different attitude.
I’m sure God had something to do with that change.
She asked if she could hang out with me today, and while she admitted that she was sad, she said we could do something that made us happy.
So, I said she could stay. I know, I’m taking a big chance, but we’ve been together since I was born, and I do love her.
She has given me some of the happiest moments of my life, especially when she comes out to play with the grandchildren.
I’d been missing her anyway, not her emotions, just her company and her playful attitude. She’s the one who taught me to chase butterflies and to climb trees.
We sat down and tried to decide what we would do today, something that wouldn’t upset either of us.
I went upstairs to get a book and I saw a pile of my mother’s letters lying on a table, waiting months for me to scan and share them.
I was going to write today, but with the water department digging up the road in front of my driveway and an appointment to show my house at 1:00, I’m a little distracted. (Yes. House Fifteen for sale after barely a year.)
The minute I saw the letters, I knew what we would do today. I picked them up and read them as I walked downstairs. (I know…another crazy idea, stairs and not paying attention.)
As I read the notes, they brought tears to my eyes.
The pleasure of hearing my mother’s words speak to me once again, touching the paper she had written on, envisioning her sitting at her tiny kitchen table, with me on her mind, removed everything that was hurting me.
Touching the letters, physically pulled her back into my life for just a little bit.
I am so grateful because of all the things I’ve lost from moving too many times, I still have every note and card she sent me.
Her love and her admiration poured over me and I felt it as strongly as if she was standing beside me.
When I ignored her, she got restless and I had to ask her to go back to sit with my mum in Heaven. Yes. That’s exactly where God placed her when I released her to His care.
At least I am learning to share my personal space with her, without getting bull dozed emotionally.
l have been learning to set boundaries this past year and I think I left her for last because I knew she would be my greatest challenge.
Funniest thing about this day, thanks to Mum’s notes, I’m writing after all.

(# 1 SHE Saga) SHE

(#3 SHE Saga) What are we gonna do?

(#4 SHE Saga) Thirty Days

(#5 SHE Saga) She Forced Me Out Of Bed

 

 

Not Today

Your energy is so very heavy
and as you spill it all over me,
I withdraw, I stumble from the weight
and before the negative mudslide
completely smothers me, I run.
I’m not healthy enough to deflect
your darkness. No, I absorb it.
Removal from your presence is
the only way I know to break free.
Perhaps, someday I will be stronger
holding my own under your heaviness
brave enough to resist your magic show
your slight of hand that captures my light
killing me slowly to feed your hungry soul.
But, not today my love, not today.

(# 1 SHE Saga) She Wants What She Wants

She won’t leave me alone.
We talk and we talk for hours, going in circles. I explain to her why she can’t have what she wants. I think she understands, and I tell her that I am done, that we are done talking about it.
She sniffles and she walks away.
Not five minutes later, she’s back and she wants to talk about it again. She makes me want to bang my head into a wall until I can’t hear her anymore.
I don’t know what to do with her, how to silence her.
Sometimes, she won’t listen at all. She cries, she screams, she yells, and she demands her own way.
She wants what she wants and nothing I say will make her give up on it.
It’s not possible, I explain. We have tried your way. Over and over with the same pain filled results.
When she doesn’t convince me with her words, she sits there silently, tears pouring down her face.
I hate it when she cries, it breaks my heart.
But if I give her what she wants, it will kill me, I swear.
I don’t want to hurt her, I want to protect her, keep her safe, but she is so immature. Sometimes she acts like she’s two.
When she cries herself to sleep, I feel guilty, but I am also so relieved.
If she sleeps too long though, I get nervous. I make her a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich and I wake her up. Big mistake, but I’m a slow learner.
We start all over again, going through the thousands of reasons why she can’t have what she wants.
I sit down and take a deep breath and try to understand her point of view.
I know she has valid reasons to not trust me. I have let her down so many times, times when I told her everything would be okay if we stuck to my plan.
All the times when I promised that I would take care of her and then I then I threw the plan away and ran back home, all the months when she suffered for nothing.
How can I convince her that this time is different when I’m following so many familiar patterns?
I feel the weariness in my soul. I’m so tired of fighting. Being strong isn’t easy.
She is a little girl in a woman’s body, and although I know her so well, I don’t know how to make her feel loved and safe.
Our boundaries overlap and I struggle to resist soothing her by giving in to her demands. I hurt when she hurts and it’s tough.
I’m always fighting her pain and her fears, while I’m struggling to be the grown-up.
I give her facts. She wants to live blindly. Screw the consequences. I give her reality. She wants the elusive happy ending. No matter the cost.
Yes. She’s spoiled and bratty. So very insecure. I haven’t done much to change that situation.
No matter how hard I try to resist, I always give in to her. Her anxiety is overwhelming, and it breaks through my barriers.
I can’t give in to her this time. I can’t do that roller coaster again. My feet are on the ground now and you couldn’t pay me to get back on that ride.
I’ve even tried locking her away so that I can think without hearing her voice, but my locks do not hold her for long.
I turn around from locking the door and there she stands.
I don’t know when she became so strong. Maybe, she was always stronger than me.
I don’t know how to make her understand that only one of us can make important decisions and that I’m the grown-up.
What’s sad is that she often makes a good point and I become confused.
“I love him, and he loves me! He takes care of me! He loves you too, but you keep pushing him away. You’re ruining everything!”
How much do I need to spend on therapy before she learns?
I end up screaming at her. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.
I want to slap her right across the face. She frustrates the h*** out of me. I should have left her behind a long time ago, but how do you let your little girl go? Especially when she is so helpless and needy. She won’t survive out there.
Some days, like today, she totally runs me ragged, and I sit, and I cry. Just like she does.
I lay on my bed, wanting more than anything to shut down and go to sleep.
No. I can’t do this.
As I get up, my arms are clenched around my body like a straight jacket, trying to hold the pain inside.
I go outside without my phone because I’m afraid I’ll call him and tell him how she feels.
The angels in the wind whisper to me, “You’re going to be okay, just let go, raise your hands to the Father. He will hold your hurt if you let him.”
Slowly, I release the grip I have on my ribs, and I lift my arms to Jesus. I give it all to him.
He is my only hope; I would be lost without him. He reaches down and he takes the little girl from my hands. I hope he sits her on my mother’s lap.
Thank you, angels, for reminding me, he can, and he will, but only if I let go.

(#2 SHE Saga) She’s Back

(#3 SHE Saga) What are we gonna do?

(#4 SHE Saga) Thirty Days

(#5 SHE Saga) She Forced Me Out Of Bed

(#6 SHE Saga) Dad Is Dead

(# 7 SHE Saga) Let Freedom Ring

(#8 SHE Saga) That Was In The Past

(#9 SHE Saga) Big Girls

( #10 SHE Saga) Let It Go, Let It Go