Wow! I haven’t written in a really long time. Had some minor surgery and being laid up, missing work, but catching up on reading and watching movies. Just watched the movie. “The Hollars” and it had me crying through the tears. Funny, sad, characters are quirky and the family dysfunctional … life.
It’s about John Hollar (John Krasinski – who also directed this gem), a struggling NYC artist who returns to his small hometown and reconnects with his estranged family because his mother falls ill. His girlfriend is pregnant, having twins and she is beautifully played by Anna Kendrick. When John admits to his Mom that he is terrified she states, “Don’t worry. You won’t know until you get there that you are okay”.
And that is exactly how I feel. Loved this movie. It was sweet, thoughtful. And it reintroduced me to this great song by Indigo Girls, “Closer to Fine”.
I’m trying to tell you something about my life, maybe give me insight between black and white. The best thing you’ve ever done for me is to help me take my life less seriously, it’s only life after all. Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable. And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear. I wrap my fear around me like a blanket. I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I’m crawling on your shore. I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain. There’s more than one answer to these questions pointing me in crooked line. The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine …
Yes … the closer I am to fine …. with hope in my heart, grace in my step, tears in my eyes, a smile on my lips …
It’s been a long time since I’ve actually written and rambled here on my blog and especially write about my dating woes. One reason was because I have not been dating and all the J months passed me by as did the summer. Now here it is November and I promised my friends I will start dating … and truly dating – not a first date here or there with no real effort or desire for a 2nd date with the same person. I have learned a lot about myself – I have made half-hearted attempts at dating in the past, used my parents and my cancer as excuses. It’s just been hard … letting go of what I thought defined me – grief, obligation, brokenness…
My wish is not to be fixed or even fix another broken soul. My desire is to meet a person that was once broken and survived just like me so that they can fully understand my brokenness, my weariness, because they too have experienced such pain; they have had to battle demons and conquer despair.
So many people will never understand how much it hurts when you experience great loss. So many fortunate people will never understand what it is to wake up with the scent of a person on your pillowcase knowing that it’s all a memory now. We can paint the walls, we can rearrange the furniture, we can even move but that pain stays inside of us; that pain will forever have it’s place. Some of us learn to live with it; some of us learn to hide it well. Then there are some of us – lucky ones – who after many dark and lonely years learn that pain, beauty and love collide, coexist and we start to accept and transform that pain and allow it to bring out the beauty within us. It’s taken me a very long time … but I know I have been lucky …
I have had great men in my life as well as great love and they have taught me how to love soneone as well as how to truly love myself in preparation for what I truly deserve. I love myself enough and need to share myself in order for that to grow.
Many say you shouldn’t rely on another person to fill the empty spaces in your heart. They tell you, you are just as strong on your own. But the way I see it – some of those empty spaces are only shaped for another person to fill it.
Doesn’t matter how much I love myself, how confident I am. I can’t hold myself while I’m crying. I can’t roll over and hug myself to fall back to sleep. I can’t wash my own back. Life is about love and love is meant to be shared.
So I am ready … truly ready to rise in love, learn in love and accept love. FINALLY going to put myself first and start dating, going on 2nd and 3rd dates with someone worthy and not just go through the motions … with grace in my step, hope in my heart and a twinkle in my eye.
I’ve learned a long time ago that life is too short. I’ve buried lovers, best friends, family members, my father and my brother. I would rather honestly express myself and tell someone I love them and risk rejection; if I love you I’m going to tell you while we both have breath even if it makes you uncomfortable. I don’t expect to hear it back I just want you to know because when I’m gone I don’t want any doubt to be there. I would rather give it my all and fail than wallow in regret and uncertainty. I want to be passionate about life again. So, who cares if others think I’m a little crazy – I rather be a tad impulsive, free spirited.
Have you ever just met someone and wanted to grab and kiss them as deeply as you’d like but didn’t because of fear of rejection? Well I hope you went for it. I let an opportunity pass me by this week – and I swore afterwards, I wouldn’t miss it again. I’d rather be rejected. I have to live – we all need to live – before we die … so while there’s still air in our lungs – go for it … with grace in our step, hope in our heart and a twinkle in our eye.
I put up a good front and I selfishly thought having my Mom back home from Florida would be good for me so I could leave my Step Dad with her and actually go out and live my life … but less than 24 hours of her being home – she has managed to depress my Step Dad and I. She is overbearingly selfish and she thinks that she is the physically sick one and we all need to cater to her at her whim. But both my Step father and I are physically sicker than her – she is just mentally and emotionally sick, unstable. She drains us of the little energy we have. The entire mood has shifted in this house in the past 24 hours. I can’t wait to leave and start working again. My mother dearest is pure toxicity.
I feel bad for my Step father but I need a life. I need to start doing things for myself. I have neglected myself for so long sometimes I don’t know where to start.
I wish I could be like my older sisters who have estranged themselves from our Mother. They only come around for a couple of hours on holidays. They don’t care. They don’t worry about her or me; and definitely don’t care about our Step Father.
I have been aware that I need to somehow end this toxic relationship and put myself first. I need time to find what will make me happy and pursue that – but I feel so unworthy, full of self doubt and guilty – just not sure how to move forward.
I keep praying …
I was on the line this past week at the NYC Passport Agency … more than 2 hours in 90 degree August weather … Not fun! Realized that sometimes life becomes less about living and more about waiting … So tired of waiting!
A complete stranger noticed my scar on my back, near my right shoulder blade. They asked me what happened. I was surprised because it’s been a part of me for 40+ years – I forget it’s there. I had my first cancerous tumors at six months old. Forty years ago, no one was thinking beyond me getting healthier and growing old – not worrying about scars and plastic surgery. This stranger mentioned I should look into scar revision surgery. I politely listened to them. But in my head I am thinking please leave me alone. My scars are mine and they tell my story. Some days they bring me comfort and remind me how much I have gone through and of my strength.
The quote by Steve Maraboli – resonates: My scars tell a story. They are a reminder of times when life tried to break me, but failed.
My life has been hard. It still is – most days. I deal with sadness, grief, pain, hurt, anger, loss … I struggle on a daily basis to get out of bed and just put one foot in front of the other, trying to find my purpose and my smile. I struggle to find the tenuous line between what hurts me and what heals me. I struggle in letting go of the past and keep moving forward.
So I need to see beauty in my scars. So many of us have scars – some visible, many not. Some are inside of us, some are on the outside prominently and permanently on display.
So I will show my scars … because I continue to fight and survive. I won’t hide my scars. They are my reminders that I am still alive. They serve as proof that God is forever healing me. And I will keep finding beauty in my life and sharing my story … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.
I cause displeasure to the one
I most desire to gratify,
And from displeasure that I give,
The one who suffers most is I …
Such beautifully stirring words written many years ago by Juana Inés de la Cruz – acclaimed in her time as the “Phoenix of Mexico”, America’s tenth muse; a generation later she was forgotten.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a 17th century nun, self-taught scholar and acclaimed writer of the Latin American colonial period and the Hispanic Baroque. She was also a staunch advocate for women’s rights.
I am finally able to sit and think about my life the past couple of weeks. I have had two funerals to attend. That started a conversation with one of my friends about being an elder orphan – we are both single, no children – we are aging alone with no family available to address our future care-giving needs.
I never actually sat down and thought of this. Now I have to start thinking and working on a plan for aging without a family for support. I am most likely going to grow old alone. So I need to prepare to age alone. I am okay with this. I am and have been a caregiver to many in my immediate family – my grandmother, my Dad, my Mom and even my Step Dad – so I know what it entails. I guess I have to start answering the question, “Who is going to do that for me?” Not overwhelmingly daunting yet … just hitting home that I have to start making more conscious decisions going forward … with hope in my heart and grace in my step.
Emotionally, today has been a very hard day. I am the primary caregiver of my sick, aging mother and step father – today they were down right toxic and I could barely tolerate them. They are so oblivious to my well being and so verbally and emotionally abusive. I am drained. Depressed. Suffering from PTSD. My anxiety is at an all-time high and now that I am upstairs away from them, I can’t stop crying.
I am working on maintaining peace and keeping my self esteem from hitting rock bottom. For so many years, I have tried to have a relationship with them especially my mother, but it has been hard and disappointing. So many times it was painful and upsetting – like today.
I get up early, I run errands for them. I clean their apartment. I pay the bills. I try to be pleasant. But they were both so critical and demeaning today. I was too slow, too stupid, too lazy, too fat according to them. We had torrential rains yesterday and had a leak from the second floor to the first and had to replace some of the drop ceiling tiles. My step dad was insistent on going with me, caused a scene at the hardware store. I found myself apologizing to all. He continued to berate me in front of all these strangers calling me stupid, blind – I was trying so hard to remain calm, not cry. It made me so sad and tired. We finally made it back home. Now I had to write to calm myself down. Words flow out of me, help me focus on good not the bad.
I decided early in my teens to study psychology. I really needed to understand how to survive in a highly dysfunctional family, with emotionally neglectful parents. I know all too well what they weren’t able to give me, how they failed me. I had tried to talk to them years ago but to no avail, They were not willing to acknowledge nor understand. So I kept some distance but the past seven years has me back home helping them full time. It was a decision I made with many doubts but I felt I had no choice. They needed help. I struggle daily on how to handle the pain that I feel every day when my parents treat me as if I am invisible and I don’t matter.
I am a compassionate, sensitive person Always have been – even to my detriment. I understand that my parents did not have the easiest nor best childhoods themselves. I understand how they are selfish and self serving. I am just trying to put some energy into my own healing. I continue to forgive. I know I can’t undo history. I know that I matter and I am not pathetic, stupid nor weak. Just breathing, trying to be patient, love my parents the best I can … with hope in heart and grace in my step.