We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining - they just shine.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
day 34 - many years from now...
church tomorrow. hope i can find something to wear that is flattering. i'm not feeling all together lately. getting my period too. blah.
i have three minor ailments happening right now that are all driving me crazy. i know that so many people are dealing with so much more than this, but i am royally tired of not feeling 100%. old. just feeling so dang old.
i watched my father care for my dying mother. he was so faithful. so present to her. he never, ever shirked anything. i don't think he ever made her feel like a burden or put out by her illness. liam is very faithful, and very committed to me. but i am not getting the sense that he is up to the icky parts of life. i have cared for my dying mother - until she took her last breath. i know what i'm in for. i am not so sure he does - and i am not so sure he's really understanding what this next 1/2 of life could really be about.
it gives me pause. i come from an open family, we talk about our body stuff. i know it bothers him. i have never let it bother me that it bothers him before - but it has begun. will you still need me, will you still feed me when i'm 64? i have never questioned it before these past few weeks, but he just seems squirmy and off put by my lack of health and feebleness. i am a bit shocked. i never imagined that this could be hard for him. i have to admit that i know how easy it is these days for men to trade in for a younger, healthier model. i never imagined that would ever be something i would have to face, but he just seems so surprised and almost resentful that more would be required of him. he gives 120% all of the time. maybe it's burn out? maybe it's just my own fear? but i must admit that it is a real live fear.
i don't think he really gets growing old and all that it means. he visited his dad in the hospital before he died, but i still don't think he's fully understood how that could one day be one of us. it's difficult to fathom how that plays out. i have tried a couple of times to talk about it, but he reassures me quickly that it's not true or real - but i have known this man near 30 years now and i can read him. and i think he's not allowing himself to be truthful about how unprepared this stage of life makes him feel...
anway - i guess that's all for now... i wasn't heading here originally - but i guess that's where my words took me. maybe i'm just projecting my own disgust with my body not being it's normal working self on him... who knows.
Friday, March 30, 2012
day 33 - adult children of alcoholics
support is crucial to my recovery - i could not do this alone. there are sublime moments in recovery where i have felt like everything has clicked and i have the keys to life and just as quickly i can be face down in the depths of despair - so it's as important for me to keep going to meetings when i'm up as it is when i'm down. i'm actually less prone to going when i'm up - and that very quickly can push me into a downward motion.
i love the anonymous programs as they are never trying to sell me anything, promote themselves, answer me as an expert or convince me of anything more basic than the steps. i have found great healing from some other sources too. a gentle path through the 12 steps by patrick carnes has changed my life. i worked through it with a therapist who had some training from him. i did celebrate recovery and it made me itch because of it's fundamental approach to having all of the answers tied up in a nice little box - and everyone needed and got the same box - one size fits all. many find great healing there though and i don't want to stop someone from going if it works for them, it just didn't work for me at the time and place i was when it was available to me.
hazeldon is another amazing facility, everything i have read or encountered from them is top notch.
i found that therapy and support groups hand in hand helped me out of many deep holes in my life. what i appreciate about therapy, at least the therapy i have received - even though they have not been superstars in the field - they gave me a different perspective on my life and problems - and breathed fresh air into my world. i am convinced that if i am open to healing, and they are opened to be used by god then he can use anyone or anything to accomplish my healing.
the truth is crucial - and i have to be willing to face it and own it - god cannot heal a lie.
one thing i learned about aca's is that it does not matter if your family was full blown alcoholic, if they were raised by alcoholics the behaviour patterns are passed down - and repeated - it's like a virus - and so stopping the spread in your own family is worth it. i know that our kids will have some "infection" but it will be far less because of the hard work liam and i have done in recovery and therapy.
co-dependency and co-addiction are also important branches to begin to understand. i have both tendencies - our marriage is (less now than before) a dance of co-addiction - our velcro sticks together for a reason. his loops, my hooks - very entwined. i also find much of my need met in codependency. caring for the needs of others to have my own needs met is as addictive for me as any drug.
once i began to peel back the tape, band-aids or cellowrap that is/was holding my relationships together i was able to see that this had affected much if not all of them.
it is messy, but the alternative of not looking is even messier. it is so worth the work. we end each of our meetings with our little chant "keep coming back, it works if you work it, and i'm worth it, so i'll work it" silly? childish? simplistic? i don't know, but holding those hands in my own each and every week reminds me that i am not alone and that i am worth the work of keeping my feet on those 12 steps each and every day.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
day 32 - 9 days until easter
i helped a friend plan our good friday service today. joined her for lunch and we brainstormed a contemplative night of stations for people to meet with god.
i was able to express how lacking in excitement i am this lenten season - hopeful, but really afraid god isn't going to show up. it was so good to be heard and to allow for us to create a space where anyone, wherever they are on this journey to participate, no expectations.
i'm so glad i'm not in a place that manufactures hype or ratchets up the need for a projected participation level. this will just be a grace filled night, filled with options and honesty and the tension of moving into easter together.
it feels very safe. i haven't felt safe in quite a long time. i like that.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
day 33 - fade to grey
i challenged my sister on health care, she's praying for the supreme court to kill the aca - she knows how social medicine has been a huge blessing in our life, how can she forget that even though our father had the best insurance money can buy that our inheritance was stolen from us because our father had to pay for my mothers medical bills when she died - it left him near bankrupt, medicare is saving him from ending up on welfare and she even has her own children in state sponsored medical care. i challenged her hypocrisy - and she told me i was mean. she made it this strange political war between conservative good and liberal evil. she was on the right side of things, and i obviously had lost my way.
this other woman burned through a whole afternoon blathering on in lingo that i haven't been exposed to in decades - it made me itch and squirm inside. she has started to come to our recovery group and was asking for my help. the few times i was able to get a word in edgewise i challenged some of her inconsistencies in the things she was saying. i pointed out areas that might not be helping her in her hope for recovery and healing.
both painted me as the bad guy, the mean bully. and it's totally possible that i am and can be - but while i usually take this stuff, apologize and move on i decided that this time i was going to sit with this and untangle it. some of the things that i realized were really interesting. fundamentalists are known for their black and white thinking, so are alcoholics. the irony is not lost on me... it was so important for my sister to reduce us to opposing teams - that way she could cheer for hers and hope mine lost. it was empowering to realize this and help her understand that this had nothing to do with politics for me - it had to do with her, and my niece and nephews quality of life. pointing out to her that we are not on teams, and this is not a game helped me smash that false dichotomy she had constructed. i think it helped her to crack the door just a tiny bit.
i also was able to tell them both that their discomfort could just be that - their discomfort, laying it all at my feet wasn't healthy - maybe there actually was something that i was pointing out that really needed to see the light of day, and to blame me because i had aimed light at it might be easy, but in the long run counterproductive.
and the final thing that i was able to untangle was to explain to my new friend, that i can be critical of a system and not be critical of her - if she was tying herself to that system that was her choice, not mine. i explained to both of them that i would sit with the mean/bully accusations, and i apologized if i was mean, but know that i wasn't mean-spirited - i realized how important it was for me to stand up for myself instead of just folding or ignoring and placing some big boundaries between this newcomer and myself. she's got a whole load of crazy she's looking to lay at someone's feet - been there, done that, and not buying another ticket thank you very much. i like my technicolor world, filled with nuance and lovely shades of grey.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
day 32 - oh the drama
but i could tell that her fears were ratcheting up, her emotions spiraling, her thoughts becoming more intense. it broke tonight lots of tears and moaning. they boy she likes is as shy as she is, so only the overconfident girls can get his attention. their shy's cancel each other out and they are just both left looking at their toes. she despises the girls who ooze with confidence - wanting more than anything to have that bravado that can flirt and direct. she does not know how mysterious timidity is, how overdone the flirty can become - all she sees is the immediate response - none of it directed at her.
she is so hard on herself, so driven to re-hash and re-think every single move she makes, it is heartbreaking. she feels such great shame for feeling anything at all. punishes herself regularly for any crack in the armor. belittles herself for any small risk taken by a surety that says it was the stupidest move she could have ever made and life as she knows it will end i a steaming pile of flop.
and i watch this, sometimes from afar, sometimes from up close, most of the time having to bite my tongue to keep from laughing at how very similar my responses and reactions can be. how liam has endured and loved me through these past 25 years? he is a man of steel. i prayed with her tonight, asking for serenity, hoping for peace, maybe a mute button to the escalating drama that is 16...
Monday, March 26, 2012
day 31 - junk mail
the other thing my therapist encouraged was changing metaphor, from the tentacles pulling me back in to something that i have control over. he started with a cupboard, that i can open and close - and set aside and then he talked about mail, how it's not the kind of thing we leave lying around or keep forever. so i really liked that one, and termed contact junk mail, sometimes informative, usually not life changing and can be recycled regularly.
i can't tell you how much that helped. even makes me smile when i think of it.
i told him that i realized that one of the good things that came from this was that i realized how tangled my emotions were around her still - i have worked through a lot of my stuff with him and don't find that i have nearly the amount of emotion or tie-in that i used to - so i need to write out my stuff on her and process the emotion behind it.
so in case any more junk mail comes by the house at least now i know what to do with it.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
day 30 - next stop bizzaro world
i hear by liam's response that she ends with "we love you guys" and i am instantly pissed. so angry at the gall. so angry at the denial, so angry at the fact that i have made 2 amends face to face with this woman and she never once apologized to me for anything - and played the wounded martyr to everyone.
oh how i wish i had blown her cover back then. maybe all of this wouldn't have happened. i really thought that giving her the dignity of silence was the most loving thing i could do. i vent at liam, blow off steam and listen as he tells me that they were out for brunch at a cafe that feeds everyone no matter what their status or ability to pay. it was always a dream of mine, and she had to call and tell us that they found this place.
the levels of denial are so profoundly monumental that i am staggered at her abilities.
their son was close friends with our two kids, and being that he is home schooled now and that i was his former youth worker finds that i am frequently online when he is studying through the day. he chats with me from time to time, and tonight i got a desperate email from him asking if we could talk soon. it feels like that pool outside the mines in Two Towers where that thing lurks in the pool and no matter how hard they try they just can't get away from it. the tentacles on this thing are fierce and they keep sucking me back in.
i keep trying to figure out how to put some closure on all of this for my own good and not theirs, but i just can't seem to sense my way out of this. my usual clarity evaporates when it comes to this family. i guess it's that way with all addictions, eh? any wisdom on this would be appreciated. i am tired of not having any control in these situations. i feel blown about by whim and need. i warned liam that there will be an "ASK" coming - she was priming the pump... all of the other friends aren't nearly as capable or committed as i once was...
i am tired of it all want off of this roller coaster ride.
Friday, March 23, 2012
day 29 - relief
i love this spunky nun more than just about anyone in my life right now - it is no mistake that we have found each other. i adore her. she is as close to extended family as i have right now. she is like an aunt to me, and i adore her.
at the end of our session today i told her that i had been hoping for a more slow thaw to winter than we have had and how i noticed on my walk yesterday as there was no ice for me to break through. i mentioned that i liked to help spring along by crushing the ice on the edges of the road and sidewalks so it melts more quickly - and she started to giggle and mimes god and the angels looking down from heaven saying "oh, you don't have to worry about that block there, bobbie's taken care of that one" :) we belly laughed and giggled for quite some time. it felt so good.
she reminded me when i left that i needed to remember that the calendar is just a suggestion and that my hoped for resurrection may not fall distinctly on easter - i was grateful for that reminder, i said that maybe, like this spring it might even come early.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
day 28 - another clue
as i was walking home from my meeting last night my mind was drifting and i realized that the panic of the day was going to be helpful in unraveling some of the emotion around the collapse of the groups. i realized today that one of the biggest areas of grief is the loss of my friendship with him.
for years we were really good friends. i talked with liam about this today. for years he was an a-sexual, nutty professor type of male - non-threatening and cerebral. he engaged my mind, validated me spiritually and we would have really amazing, stimulating conversations. he really was like a brother to me. i had weird crushy feelings sometimes, but it was never weird with him...
until the day i found out that he wasn't a-sexual. he was looking for intimacy outside of his marriage. with that lens on everything i saw our relationship in a totally different light, and my naivete was shattered and a lot of things made sense.
it was really the first non-sexual relationship (other than a few male friends in college) that i had and i really miss it. the before, not the after weird stuff and energy (well, i guess i sometimes miss that too if i'm completely honest) but the grief, the loss comes from missing that part. i always hoped that he and his wife would spend time working on their marriage, and they never did. trapped like hamsters in a cage rolling across america i still don't think that they are dealing with things either.
but it makes me sad. i long for non-sexual male relationships with someone who treats me like an equal. i have non-sexual relationships with older men - but the hierarchy is different. i so wanted to know that i was safe. that i wasn't dangerous - that it was really possible.
anyway - it helped to identify some of the deep grief - and realize that it has very little to do with him, must the great loss on my part.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
day 27 - hope?
you know how i have been saying that my meeting is so awesome and it's holding me together and we're growing and stuff... well today one of the guys (3 of us are core from the beginning) blew it off for exercise class and the other woman blew it off for assisting her daughter meet with her ex... and i freaked out... it felt like everything was collapsing. it was a total over-reaction, but it threw me for a panic. i was sure i had done something wrong (why is that always my impulse?) but this time i actually wrote them and asked - i just didn't sit and stew. and they explained and love me and reassured me and i felt so much better - but the over reaction threw me - made me understand just how much the implosion of the other 2 groups really did hurt me - i have become so insecure. so weary of weakness, so impatient with myself.
being present to the grief, being gentle with myself for feeling it and trying to just be okay with today was really difficult. i ended up walking to my meeting. it was such a good decision. i got there early to set up (afraid i would be all alone again) and was determined that i would still read it all out loud to myself even if i was. i needed a meeting.
turns out another woman was there early too, and another showed early, and we had time to connect and laugh and just be together - it was a sacred meeting for the 3 of us. important and just what i needed.
my therapist gave me a chapter "to the mental depressive" by agnes sanford - it's dated, but just what i needed to read today as i sat in the sunshine on my porch. she talks about her own struggle with depression "the pilot light of the soul seems to have gone out" - thought that was a brilliant way to describe how i have been feeling this winter. she talked about a deep depression she came out of, and then a time of wonderful healing "the power to think, and even more important, to feel had returned" - i think that is why this has been so hard - because i have known both - and like the thinking/feeling me so much better.
then it caught up with her again, and the words she uses could have been written by my hands "this time, however, the light did not go out, for i had learned how to feed and to tend it in ways that i shall shortly describe. indeed i did not realize that it was once more burning low. i knew that the sorrows of life had increased upon me, but assumed that this was the inevitable result of age and of the tensions of my life."
that is exactly how this feels - like i know better, like it's just getting old, like it's just my lot in life to be here in this place.
she talked about waiting a whole year to get help "it is quite a sensible hesitation, really. we have the burden of life adjusted so that at least we can carry it, albeit heavily and with much labor and sorrow. what if for a moment we dare to put it down and it is not, after all, taken away, and we have not the strength to lift it again?"
that is exactly how it feels... like i'm not strong enough to hope that if i set it down it will really be healed - that i will have to collapse under the weight of it again. why can hope feel like the most foolish thing in the world sometimes?
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
day 26 - not my problem, right?
saw my therapist today. lots of tears. he also connected all of the loss i have experienced as of late. it helped to process it. no great bells went off, but it was motion in the right direction.
have gotten a tiny bit sucked back into the codependency of that former relationship. they have just told us all (old friends here) that their house sale did not go through as planned and that they aren't in the most ideal situation... makes me want to rush in and rescue - even after all of the crap i have gone through. i would like to think it is motivated out of a heart of compassion, but i wonder if it's sadism or just desperate codependency again... but i am not getting sucked in. i will breathe, relax and keep my distance. not my problem, sad for them, but it's unhealthy for me to participate.
i had been doing so well up until that point.
it engages my head though, i find myself solving problems, thinking through solutions and using my daydream time to be creative in how i can help. it's not active thinking, just catch myself in the middle of it. even in talking with liam about it he found himself in the same place. i think we just still really care, have been the people with a big problem and been totally on our own. hate to think anyone would have to survive that alone. which they aren't - and our stories are not similar at all. they chose this. they are as far from their home that isn't selling as they can possibly be physically and still be in the same country right now. rv-ing across america - what the heck were they thinking?
anyway - i write because sometimes it helps free the thoughts from my head so that they stop flying around in there. and i'm heading to bed and would love to have a sleep free of this intrusion.
can't even keep my eyes open as i type. i have learned that in recovery what i pray for people who i have resentments toward is the very thing i pray for myself. so god, peace upon them, help them face their fears, find healing and cause them to prosper. i leave them in your hands. amen.
Monday, March 19, 2012
day 25 - princess
i told liam that writing about that isaiah passage really helped me - just admitting my anger and frustration at god for it allowed some of the poison to get out. while my friends led worship i began to think about that passage and out of the sky dropped an idea. i am firmly convinced that much of scripture is poorly translated, especially when it comes to women, so i'm not sure why i didn't think this through originally, but the idea that it wasn't "virgin", but "princess" - it makes so much more sense when you insert the uppity little princess, spoiled and never grateful for her standing and benefits of her station in life, taking everything for granted - that makes sense to me - and i think that it really works, so much so that i just might write eugene to tell him the problems i have been having with his word choices ;)
anyway - it made me feel better somehow. like god really cared that it bothered me. and that getting down in the dirt with it and my emotions was okay, that he could take it and he actually enjoyed the wrestle.
so here's my paraphrase of isaiah 47:1-12:
"get off your high horse and sit in the dirt,
uppity princess, daughter of babylon.
no more throne for you -- sit on the ground,
daughter of the chaldeans.
nobody will be calling you 'charming'
and 'alluring' anymore. get used to it.
get a job, any old job;
clean gutters, scrub toilets.
hock your gowns and scarves,
put on overalls -- the party's over
your loss and humiliation will be on public display,
exposed to vulgar taunts.
it's vengeance time, and i'm taking vengeance.
no one gets off the hook."
flows a bit better doesn't it?
Saturday, March 17, 2012
day 24 - is it any wonder?
i am living in a world that has gone backwards somehow. the culture has somehow decided that it needs to address areas of victory for women that we have had for decades. it is shocking and so discouraging. i am so weary of it all, and heartbroken and tired that we're losing ground and instead of finding more of a place cf common-ness between us, the differences are being re-shoved in our faces.
last night i read isaiah 47:1-12 - in the message - i'm typing it out here to try to understand why a loving god, whose image i am created in needs to use this kind of ugly, shaming metaphor to portray his disgust in a nation. why some other type of metaphor could not have been found. why is it necessary to use derogatory, hurtful words like these? and is it any wonder radio personalities and congressman can dehumanize half of the human race when this is the best god can do?
"get off your high horse and sit in the dirt,
virgin daughter of babylon.
no more throne for you -- sit on the ground,
daughter of the chaldeans.
nobody will be calling you 'charming'
and 'alluring' anymore. get used to it.
get a job, any old job;
clean gutters, scrub toilets.
hock your gowns and scarves,
put on overalls -- the party's over
your nude body will be on public display,
exposed to vulgar taunts.
it's vengeance time, and i'm taking vengeance.
no one gets off the hook."
is this really the best that the god of all creation can do? this virgin daughter did nothing to warrant this kind of shaming. she is innocent here. why would you strip her and publicly humiliate her? is it any wonder his people feel no shame in speaking like this even today? is it any wonder that males feel uplifted by these words, and women downtrodden?
liam said that i need to put it away, that if it's not helping i need to find another place to read - but i can't understand why i can't be nurtured by the whole of scripture. i have devoted my life to it. i feel so betrayed. i just want to belong. i just want to feel whole and a part of something - i feel like i am groaning with all creation for things to make sense. for the broken to be made whole. for the humiliation to stop. i know in my heart that the god of all creation is better than this. my faith is bigger than scripture, bigger than the church. but i feel crazy hoping. is it any wonder?
Friday, March 16, 2012
day 23 - shattered
the cruelty of the onslaught of sneering, judgmental criticism that was thrown at that man, those people, that foundation - it boggles my mind. pornographers are given parades and someone, maybe not totally well informed, or perfect in their effort, but someone who's heart was to help, to shed light and to seek justice so mocked and slandered is unbelievable to me.
i am just heart broken. i know nothing of the details, but to watch a father shattered - none of it makes sense. it all just seems so cruel.
all i can think of is that poor little boy - i squirmed majorly when he was brought into the kony video, it made me horribly uncomfortable that he was exposed to that brutality, his little innocence lessened - but now, how to bear this? it just all seems so cruel. they never had a clue it would do what it did - it was never their intention to unleash this storm, this tornado, this attention. this was about youth pastors and youth groups and college ministries - not international uproar and millions of viewers. shattered.
where does redemption happen in the midst of all of these broken pieces?
day 22 - poetry continued
I never willed
these forty days
in the wilderness,
of accustomed scars.
But no other way
Source: Contributed by a reader, Nancy Compton Williams
Thursday, March 15, 2012
day 22 - the secret
i have no brain to write tonight, fell asleep watching the office. trying for all i'm worth to put a couple of sentences together, but it's not happening.
i was moved by poetry today, two times. deeply moved. here's one of the poems that touched me:
here's denise levertov the poet reading her poem:
Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of
I who don’t know the
the line. They
(through a third person)
they had found it
but not what it was
what line it was. No doubt
by now, more than a week
later, they have forgotten
the line, the name of
the poem. I love them
for finding what
I can’t find,
and for loving me
for the line I wrote,
and for forgetting it
a thousand times, till death
finds them, they may
discover it again, in other
happenings. And for
wanting to know it,
assuming there is
such a secret, yes,
most of all.
via Brain Pickings
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
day 21 - half way there
we talked about resentments tonight at our meeting and i realized that while i have been in recovery, and have done about 7 step 4's, many dealing with my resentments it is not something that i have ever looked for in my emotional inventories when i am not actively doing a step 4 - and i don't know why. i re-read through my last step 4 in preparation for this one and i was amazed at both, how many things i no longer resent, and how many things i am still holding on to. so much more life could be had if i could let them go. so thankful that i am starting this process again, and that i have an amazing group of people to work through it with.
irony of all ironies... my newest recovery friend and i went out for lunch yesterday. we had met and talked once for a 12th step meeting with her after a phone call, and then she came to a meeting. when we met yesterday she started to tell her story and once she got talking she just couldn't stop. so much church-y lingo and pat phrases, lines well rehearsed and practiced and as she talks i can tell that her journey has brought her from the long haired, long dresses pentacostalism to the head covered, women silent plymouth brethren - i had no idea that there were any assemblies in this area, let alone people i could bump into in my community. but there i sat with this woman in front of me trying her hardest to sound deeply committed and faithful.
she said that the look i had on my face when i figured out her present was my past was dumbstruck disbelief. i honestly couldn't believe there was someone sitting in front of me speaking the very words that would have come out of my own mouth 15 years ago.
i pushed lightly at some inconsistencies in the things she was saying. i tried to be gentle. but i knew i couldn't be faithful to my own journey without challenging those places of damaging belief systems. i know where the weak spots are, i know what that kind of rigid theology does to a person. she has this shell, this candy coating around her real self, so filled with fear and shame. it was so hard to watch. like looking back at myself so many years ago.
my voicing grace and my belief that god doesn't think there's nothing good in her made her really uncomfortable. it was so important to her that we be on the same page, that we speak the same language. i reassured her that in my journey i have come to realize that it's actually important to me that the people i surround myself with are allowed to be their own people and have their own journeys and that i would not reject her because we are at different places on ours. i don't think she believed me, not because of any insincerity on my part, but because of her deep and abiding fear of rejection.
after the second hour though i found myself itching like an ill fitting sweater was being forced on me. i hate all of the coded language, the club speak. it's been so long since i have been around it, i realized that it is no longer my club and i want nothing to do with it.
how very far i have come. a whole world away, and i'm only half way there.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
day 20 - a clue!
i have to be primo vague here because i am dealing with well known personalities and if identified by the story i could leave a trail back to me, and i really don't want to deal with any of that right now... so i'll try to make as much sense as i can w/ very little detail...
influential couple moved into our community, had big dreams and big promises and cast a pretty big net for plans to help in our community. it wasn't exactly what i felt called to, but it was an outlet and i could see where there could be benefit to our community, and where my gifting could be helpful, so i joined in. after the group i was a part of exploded this was pretty much my only outlet and it became another community of sorts. i invested nearly 2 years of my life in helping to plan and assist until influential couple found that they didn't have nearly the influence in our area that they wanted. they were quite used to being the ones that everyone followed without question and when challenged or confronted they decided to pack up the caravan and move to a place where they had unquestioning support.
this too happened, like the last group, with about a weeks notice - surprise, it's over. no real clear explanation given, some blame spread around, none of it theirs and i was left very quite disillusioned and rather cynical. i am so weary of these kind of people. big promises, lots of power and influence and poof, when things get hard they either fold or force - these two folded, not that forced would have been any better, but i realized that it was never "ours" it was "theirs" and i was just staff... disposable.
it was never my dream and it was never a good fit, but it was something - and i had hoped for something for so long that anything was better than nothing... anyway - after watching the video i understood that 4's need a larger vision to participate in to draw them toward their healthier selves (type 1 - integration) and when my efforts are put into individual needy people it is actually very unhealthy for me (type 2 - disintegration) which becomes codependency and i get caught in my internal dialog loops.
so, i can now see how hurt i was when that folded - my first emotions were disgust and anger, so it never felt like a real loss until today. i am still glad that it imploded as it would have at some point and i would have had much more invested - but i need to be a part of something larger than me, something that will bring me up and out of myself. and i need to grieve that disappointment and disillusionment over this couple that i trusted abandoning me and this project so they could take their ball and play someplace else.
anyway - i thought it was pretty cool that i had hoped for a clue yesterday and got one early this morning.
Monday, March 12, 2012
day 19 - following the thread
found out that i missed my therapy appointment last week, kicking myself, would have helped SO much... so that means i don't have one tomorrow... not until next week now... blergh.
really wanted the clarity that comes with talking things through.
woke up in tears last night. had to sit with where they came from and realized that my dearest aunt is missing from my life. she had another brush with cancer in the fall, and i guess it freaked me out so much that i stopped calling her. my dad lives with her, and i haven't called him either - but she i miss... desperately... i guess i just couldn't bear the possibility of losing her, and so i lost her anyway. i have never had that kind of midnight episode. guess i'm bottling things up pretty tight during the day, tears have been quite close to me today. i guess that is good and healthy, but it feels pretty out of control, and i guess i'm not as good at that as i once used to be.
i started another step 4 today. i know it's going to be significant. it will help me to unravel some of the emotional stuff, especially my resentments, envy and anger i have been carrying around. it was just the first tiny step, listing people, institutions and principles - i have a good start on one of the reasons why i am in this place. hopefully more than one, but at least my list is honest and i am doing my best to be fearless.
i saw a small video about the word "clue" the other day called Mysteries of Vernacular - and it originally meant "a ball of yarn or thread". it comes from the story of the minotaur - to get back out of the maze after fighting the minotaur theseus was given a ball of yarn by ariadne to find his way back out of the maze. i thought that was fascinating and felt important, i have spoken of threads and clues and the idea that they might be the way back out of this emotional/spiritual/metaphorical maze i find myself gives me a small glimmer of hope. holding on to the thread tonight with all i've got.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
day 18 - frozen with snow
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Add your thoughts at inward/outward
this is how it feels, missing church today just fortified my feeling left out. it was a great day with a clear head after a good nights sleep - and i needed to get my work done, but i am feeling the affects of my isolation - and realizing that there are very few who notice/care anymore... at least it feels that way here.
found out my therapist spoke today, so i was sad i missed it. looking forward to seeing him on tuesday. will be good to re-engage in that process again. i am a much healthier person when i am in therapy.
but i must admit, i am feeling frozen still. my dreams have died. i have become cynical. i have been fantasizing about the quakers or the buddhists that meet locally. i know that they both tend to be a bit more individualistic in practice, so it really won't have what i'm looking for - i just want to make a statement somehow - cut off my nose to spite my face i guess... i am holding fast to jesus, just grown so very weary with the rest of it all.
i'm sure any who would care to judge would say that it's the bottom of that slippery slope i began years ago, and maybe they are right. would that i could still be a head-covered, left behind preaching, hard-core calvinist - i just can't.
i just can't seem to tease out if it's all interconnected or if it is two (or more) separate strands that i have knotted together in the blah of winter.
so i will sit in my bleak, frozen winter, knowing that the thaw comes very soon. hopefully it will melt more than the snow.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
day 17 - home again, home again
my mom used to say that every time we pulled into the driveway when i was a kid...
trip away was really special - was wonderful to be able to celebrate my kids, bring their friends along, celebrate the money i've been making and not charge one thing on this trip - must be a first for us on holiday. i was really proud of myself for saving and providing for this, i have never made good money before, ever. it's quite fun.
we have determined not to increase our standard of living with these funds as they are not guaranteed forever so it's debt reduction and special purchases (which will increase our standard of living, but not in the monthly commitment end of things).
i decided that yesterday was my sabbath, so i did not blog - and i will make up for it and blog tomorrow as i will have to work my butt off to make up for the time i took off to go away.
i've been skipping church frequently as of late. nobody seems to notice or care. how sad. for us both i mean. it's easy for me to get my nose out of joint. i have heard that many have moved on from our church because they have felt this way. i can see that if my kids weren't having their needs met here how easy it would be to just stop going all together. it's actually them that are up and ready to go before us. amazing. what a gift.
most of the time i am not going to church because of work, boss gets my stock to me late, things like that - taking the time off was so worth it, even if i have to push tomorrow.
got my period on the full moon, synched with my daughters - it's a rare thing, but definitely a "modern family" moment if you watch the show. she and i do and it made us laugh as the leap year episode was about all three females in the house ruining phil's leap year celebration by menstruating together. still makes me giggle. love that show.
well, since we loose an hour of sleep tonight i think i'll head to bed. had already turned off the computer when i realized i had forgotten to blog. sorry nothing of real interest to talk about. hope you're enjoying your weekends.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
day 16 - the invitation
i have found my stride again after the sickness - my body shed a lot of it's packing weight (amazing how a week of stomach ick will do that for a person...) and i feel like myself again. i mentioned to liam yesterday that i wanted to be really aware right now. this is always a fragile place for me and i get triggered with weird attention, or even harmless compliments from people. i led the meeting last night and it was so amazing to be surrounded by my friends and people who get this. it felt so safe.
woke up this morning so excited to be getting away, my thoughts are all over the place trying to figure out all that i have to do and what i need to bring, it's been so long since i have packed that i have lost the system...
and then, this morning i got a fb chat from a friend telling me about a job in our community. while i was chatting with her another chat opened from HIM, the man who has ignored me for the past 3 months and who i had gotten out of my system and for whatever reason, i wasn't questioning it, the radio silence was working... until this morning.
it just said "good morning"... i took me nearly 5 minutes to respond, trying to think of what to do, wanting to both shut it down and pour my heart out into the little white box... but i just wrote "hi"... and then nothing.... another 5 minutes and then he went off line. how can something so innocent totally knock me off the rails? i was doing so well, i was moving on with my life...
i called liam and told him about it and asked him to pray for me as it feels like a trigger somehow. like it's going to sabotage the progress i have made... but the lie is is that it feels like the energy i need to keep going... like the shot of adrenaline - it makes me feel so powerful - i know it was just two tiny little words, but it has re-engaged the story. i have tried multiple times this morning to just set it aside and keep on with all i have to do today, but it just keeps coming back...
now i honestly don't know what it feels like to do drugs, and i don't want to belittle anyone's journey (or magnify my own) by likening how i have been feeling for the past couple of hours. but the struggle to pick up again is fierce - but my body is alive, my pulse is racing, my mind is alight and i want more than anything to write/call/make contact to re-engage in the drama.
but once i realized that it was just that - the temptation to pick up again, things became more manageable. i had tools to deal with this. when it was personalities and drama i wanted to get sucked in - but when i reduced it to what it really is - an invitation back into my addiction, i regained perspective and am able to sit here and write - using the tools god gave me... now, on with the day...
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
day 15 - stage 2
"Almost everyone finds their early days in a community ideal. It all seems perfect. They seem unable to see the drawbacks, they see only what is good. Everything is marvelous. They feel they are surrounded by saints, heroes, or at the least, most exceptional people who are everything they want to be themselves. And then comes the let-down.
During this time everything becomes dark; people no longer see anything but the faults of others and of the community. They feel they are surrounded by hypocrites. Life becomes intolerable. The greater their idealization of the community at the start, the greater the disenchantment. If people manage to get through this second period, they come to a third phase; that of realism and of true commitment.
They no longer see other members of the community as saints or devils, but as people; each with a mixture of good and bad, darkness and light, each growing and each with their own hope. The community is neither heaven nor hell, but planted firmly on earth, and they are ready to walk in it, and with it. They accept the community and the other members as they are; they are confident that together they can grow towards something more beautiful."
so hoping that the push through stage 2 happens and that stage 3 can begin... i was the queen of the idealization and am living out the total disenchantment right now...
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
day 14 - mothers and daughters
nice at least to be back to an appetite and eating my 3 meals. my body feels more like itself again. i don't weigh myself, but it's still tempting. just happy to know that my appetite has shrunk and so has my body.
we leave on our mini vacay on thursday, not sure what kind of access i will have to internet, but i should be able to access wi-fi somewhere. daughter's friend is having hard time finding coverage for her shift. she is convinced more than anything that she will be disappointed. it's heartbreaking. she has the similar personality trait from liam of predicting all of the horrible things that could happen, or how someone will react negatively but throws in a bit of my personality trait that makes it highly personal and fatalistic in regards to her. liam is able to make it outside of himself, but her doom and gloom is all internal. how can she have gotten the worst of both of us?
she started therapy last month, just a casual interaction to monitor her. we have seen signs of some real struggle and knew that she would benefit, she was willing and i think it was a good move. this is a brutal time for her and she is socially so challenged. there is little i can do as i have always known that my influence and involvement would become peripheral and that others would begin to be needed. we have always been the people who were there for other peoples kids enough to know that we would need others around for ours too. so thankful that we have them.
i am just finding it so difficult to not take her moods personally. to rise above... i have seen mothers react tot heir daughters like they are siblings instead of mother/daughter - it is so tempting to want to give back in spades what is dished out, especially when i am not feeling well, but i have refrained.
am learning much to look back at my own relationship with my mother. giving far more grace than i have ever given. understanding that my emotional make up would have made it very difficult to navigate. i know it's why i spent very little time at home at this stage of my life... regretting that my daughter does not have the same outlets i did. a safe camp to work at, filled with people who will teach her how to work and grow. i want that for her. i tend to reinforce the weakest parts of her instead of strengthening. i hate that.
wish i had something pithy and intelligent to say to wrap all of this up, i don't. i am falling asleep at the keys. doesn't really matter anyway, it's just for me.
Monday, March 05, 2012
day 13 - those who wander
physically i think i might be on the mend. wasn't so sure yesterday. was fine as long as i didn't eat. but was so weak and felt so hungry when i didn't. but when i ate... oh dear i felt horrible. wondered if i didn't pick up a case of food poisoning instead of just the flu. i have gi problems at the best of times - i think our well was too close to our sewer growing up and we never realized it. it was only in college when i was at a camp having the same problem that it was identified and my sickness finally made sense. my mother always just told me i had a nervous stomach. listeria seems to be something i am really sensitive to. lots of people in our community are raw milk people - and i didn't realize that they might have put it in the pot luck food - will have to make a bigger deal about finding out about that in the future.
today i was able to eat and up until about 30 minutes ago felt like 75% back to normal. so relieved as we have booked a couple of nights away for the family on the shore. has been far too long since we've gotten away.
i didn't make it through church yesterday, but did make it through worship, and found myself thinking about the last blog and realized that while i am still grieving the wish dream and the death of all wish dreams, i am still an optimist. i still have so much faith. i am still expecting god to make this lent mean something by the end. i thought of that story they tell about the twin boys, one an optimist, one a pessimist, it's their birthday and one gets a pony and one gets a pile of manure... the optimist keeps digging looking for his pony. at some point he realizes though that he just got a pile of sh*t. right? at some point he looks up and realizes that the joke is on him, he was a fool. i hate being foolish. more than anything i hate looking foolish.
i have told liam forever that if he ever screwed around on me it wouldn't be the screwing that hurt me, but that i looked foolish - that i couldn't trust myself. that i wasn't smart enough to see the signs, figure it out. thank god liam is faithful and trustworthy, but i am completely honest - it would be that i couldn't trust myself to know that would devastate me. that's kind of how it feels now. how could i have been so stupid? how did i ever trust THOSE people? how could i have been so naive to think that anything i envisioned would really come together? that's the part in all of this that really digs at me. i'm sure it's a self-fulfilling circle - my shame over this stops me from moving forward, which causes me shame, which stops me from moving forward... blah, blah, blah...
i have heard it all, get out of your own way... don't be afraid to fail... every pinterest poster that exists is in one of my files just waiting to encourage me...
it's not working. i just can't seem to forgive myself for whatever fatal flaws i have that have placed me here, right here in the middle of this mire. every book series i love has a book that bores the snot out of the reader, every one. taran wanderer, the silver chair, the two towers... i know that this is part of the process - that i'm supposed to spin and wander and figure out what is really important, but just like i loathe all of those books i loathe this place in my life. i'm tired of wandering, i'm tired of walking. i'm tired of not having the damn map.
i guess i'm just tired.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
day 12 - death of the wish dream
i realized the other day this is truly what i am grieving - the death of THE wish dream, yes, the death of my own wish dreams, but the fact that ALL wish dreams must die... i just can't seem to stomach a world or a church, or a community where it's all just the nitty, gritty of life - and no hope for something grand, something whole, something that changes everything. i know that my wish dream of community, that group that met weekly needed to die, it was unhealthy and could have even become an idol of sorts, it makes me sad, but i can grieve that and move on. it's the death of the large hope, the big, glorious picture that i just can't seem to be able to stomach...
i realized also that this coincided with the death of my calling. i know that the two were linked somehow. i feel adrift, purposeless. as discouraged as i was after leaving bible college, being told that the fields were ripe for harvest and liam and i banging our heads on the door of every ministry we could find over and over and over again, a whole decade of disappointment and rejection.
i had such big dreams, such high hopes, so MANY ideas... but as DB says, better to be shattered, to be disillusioned, because god forbid, community couldn't bear it... but i don't know why. this echos the cry of my heart from yesterday - why isn't god big enough for this? why couldn't he dream bigger NOW, yeah, i get it, kingdom come... blah, blah, blah... but my wish dream was real and was going to feed people, and teach them better, healthier ways to be in THIS world, right NOW. so instead i collapse instead of community. okay, you win.
Friday, March 02, 2012
day 11 - turning my stomach
i don't know if other people in recovery are superstitious, but if i was, which i don't think i would word it that way, but if i was i have wondered if it was that sitting on the edge of my bed every night reading "next" is what has kept me going. once i finish a book in the bible i pick another, doesn't have to follow. i am in isaiah right now. should reading the bible kill your faith?
i don't think that it should. i mean i have devoted myself to this, i have a bachelors degree in biblical studies... but for the life of me i am so done with slaughtering people groups to protect another, war, punishment and what seems to me to be spite. i know it's not, in my head, but as i read it i cannot for the life of me understand why it all came together like this... i would have at least written about it differently.
i am so still there with jesus, but this old testament stuff, even the gushy parts of isaiah seem to turn my stomach right now. could just be the phase i'm in, but i honestly look at it like it's the punishment of my day now instead of something keeping me on track.
i would just do it so differently. so many things that could have helped us put things together in a better way just seem to be left out, and we've got so much of what seems to me to be total crap left in... again, probably just where i'm at in the winter of my discontent - but really? is this the best that could have been done? i have done a deconstruction and had my second naivete and maybe that's over, i don't know... i just feel like i need to rip some pages out to keep going...
bible college wisdom taught me that if we can imagine god that is proof for his existence - so can i take that one step further? i have a really good imagination - and my imagination doesn't include genocide as part of gods plan. i don't expect him to stop it like some people do to make sense of god, i get that evil is evil - but for some reason i do expect that he wouldn't need to make it a plan to protect his favorites.
the god i imagine has so much more creativity and problem solving skills - and is a much better writer. still totally down with jesus, even orthodox on that front, but this old testament stuff is just making things worse and not better somehow.
if i was going to leave my followers sacred texts they would be filled with life and light and stories about people doing it right. i just am not getting it anymore i guess. it just keeps turning my stomach.
day 10 - on the mend
had a huge ah-ha the other night at my meeting (which by the way is the highlight of my life right now - years and years and years of trying to start a real meeting - i have one now, and it's filled with amazing, wonderful, fun, funny, real people - oh how i treasure it) and we're starting step 4 work - and i realized that i had at my fingertips the exact tools i needed to get through the whole load of crap i just blogged about and NEVER once thought to do it... i had finished step 12 with my sponsor last april and she flaked on me, and so i hadn't been working the steps until we started this meeting back up - but it never once occurred to me to deal with my resentments and fears by putting them through a step 4, duh. how dense is that?
thankful that i have the cycle of the steps to keep me on task even when my brain doesn't realize it's moving in the right direction. oh god i am so thankful for the 12 steps.
so, i will be moving toward filling in those names and moving through that process - and hopefully come out the other side of this empty of resentments and filled with peace, less on fear and more on hope. duh. still makes me smile and shake my head. better than giving my head a shake, eh?