|This Is My Life, Rated|
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|This Is My Life, Rated|
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I sent this email to my dad just about 5 minutes ago... you'd have to understand.. it was like 23 years in the making... I am seriously freaked out (and a little proud) that I did it... (no more Oprah marathons for me!!)
I have been thinking a lot about what you said in our last phone conversation and about our relationship and how I feel about you. And I guess that for some reason I feel more motivated to actually talk about things than I have in the past.
First of all, the way I see the development of our relationship as adult to adult. One of the things that made it possible for me to re-establish contact with you and mom after all the years of relative silence was that we were all adults now and while I would not want the parent I grew up with, maybe it would be possible to have some kind of relationship as adult to adult. If it had not been for the (a Christian community I lived in) and the spiritual focus there of reconciliation and of honoring parents, I would not have made the effort I did to reconnect with you. I say that because when I think back on the visits we had, they were very unpleasant for me because I felt very alienated and terrified.
That fear has been a constant presence in my relationship with both you and with mom. The day you came to [the place I was living] and told me that you and mom and (my sister) were moving to [a state half-way across the U.S.) without me, that you had already begun the process of terminating your parental rights, that was the single most painful day of my life. The only other day that comes close was the day that I found out the guy I was dating seriously had committed suicide while I had been gone on a week-long trip with my church.
I know that this is the first time you are hearing about (the guy who committed suicide) and that you had no idea that I went through that. The truth is that there is a whole lot you don't know about me. I don't share those things with you or with (my sister) or with Mom for a very good reason. I have never gotten over the pain you caused me when you left me in [state]. It has probably been one of the single most formative experiences of my life. I keep about 95% of who I am and what I think and feel hidden from you because I can't trust that you will be there when times get tough. I have had this thought countless times over the last several years, "He wants to be a part of my life because I am doing something he can be proud of. He would not be in my life if the chips were down and I really really screwed up." I have pictures of the mothers (and fathers) who go to court when their screw-up child ends up getting convicted of murder and they cry and talk about how much they love their child. That is unconditional love.
There are so many times on my job too that I see kids that act in ways that you could not even imagine. And there are times where they have well-meaning, terrified parents who want to do what they can, will do what they can, don't know what the hell to do... and it never crosses their minds to give up their son or daughter. Never. The thought is so completely alien to them that they can't even conceive of a time when they would do it. And trust me, their kids act a lot worse than I ever did with you and mom.
I know the "reasons" for what you guys did. I want you to know that this is not about judging you and choices you can't possibly change. But I also think it's about time you knew how much that affected me.
A big part of why this has come up for me so powerfully in the last year is because when I got together with V (my ex), I became a part of the extended family, and V became my family, "we" were family. So losing V is like losing a family all over again.
I have spent most of my life since that day in May 1984 looking for a place to belong. I have an image of myself as a "stray" cat - they aren't pretty to look at and they can be damn mean when they feel threatened, but they make it on their own and they are tough as hell. But, they don't get to be inside cats with the love and warm places to sleep and food and petting. They don't get nurtured by others. When you and mom left me, I cried so hard I couldn't stop. One of the nurses offered me a sedative and I remember looking at her and thinking, "That won't make this stop hurting." Do you remember Mom's fuzzy light blue robe? I had it when you guys left me and I would sit holding it for hours and crying. What I found out was that there were not enough tears to heal the pain of losing you. I learned to be tough. I learned to drag myself forward with my fingernails if need be. I didn't learn to trust people. And I didn't learn to build emotionally intimate relationships.
One of the reasons I did manage to get where I am.. because I don't know of a single person I was friends with back then - between ages 14-18, who has been able to find their way back from the edge they were on.. what made a difference for me was taking personal responsibility for my life. I do not blame you or mom for the decisions I made. I don't blame you or mom for the things that happened to me because of those decisions. I am responsible for my own life. I hold that as one of the most powerful and meaningful lessons of my life. But I also know that the choices that you and mom made back then had a devastating impact on me, some things that still affect me to this day. And I know that I will never have anything close to resembling a genuine relationship with you until I know that you really understand and hear how deeply you hurt me back then. And that's not a one-time thing. Because while this is a very long email, this is just the barest of details of the parts of my life that I have kept hidden from view all these years.
What I want most right now is for you to be able to hear me and to listen to me and to be able to respect what I have to say enough to not have to defend against it. I also know that it might not be something that you want or can do right now. Most of all what I needed was to be able to write this email and to at least start telling some of my Truth in a way that honors me. I want to be able to be the kind of person that is ready to listen to your Truth with an open heart. The reality is, right now, I can't be that kind of person for you. If I was talking to a parent I was working with, I would say that there are times as a parent you have to *be* the parent and that you have to take care of your needs in other relationships because your kid won't be able to meet your emotional and relationship needs at this point in their lives. (I would also make a particular point to keep encouraging the parent to get their needs met so they are able to handle what is going on.)
I feel so sad, grief, for having taken so long to take this kind of risk. All I can say is, the memory of that day that you told me you were leaving me, has stayed with me vividly.. and I have not been in a place where I was willing to "risk" losing you all over again, for any reason, even being true to myself. What I want the most is to have a real family, where that fear is acknowledged openly and we can do something about it. I hope that it is possible to make a real connection rather than a distant, mercurial one. I don't know if the words I've written are enough or too much or whatever. What I hope is that you can take a breath with me, and listen to my heart. Because I do love you, more than I can ever say.
(signed by me)
I have had the BEST time surfing http://futureme.org/index.php
it's a place where you can write a letter to your future self.. and there's a place where you can read others' letters and click on "random" letters..
It is interesting and entertaining and.. people are so fucking cool aren't they? I like reading everything from the kid who will have been a commercial pilot, retired, become a chef, then go to 6 years of college and maybe do some football. :D
What kind of outrageous dreams did you have when the world was your oyster? I was sure I'd get the Nobel Peace Prize... for what I am not sure.. but I was gonna get it for something.
I will probably write more about this later.. right now I'm in a coffee bar and it's fREAKING COLD (yeah, air conditioner ain't always more=better)
I so love the process that people do.. this looking inward and speaking/writing/expressing what they see/hear/feel... it's amazing. If there was anywhere I might see a glimpse of a divine light, it would be there.
I've been cruising various journals and omg can I just say some people's LJ's make me insanely jealous as I have no clue how to make mine look 1/156th as cool.
How how HOW do I get my LJ to look as cool? *sigh* I need a how to manual - with pictures.. :-/ somehwere there has to be a way to get cool.
I have started writing out how I want my days to go.. this is very different from the endless lists I write (I am a compulsive list maker) because it's more narrative than listing. It can be (I'm sure to others) excruciatingly boring for someone else to read... what I am trying to do is to feel out this "character" I want to become. I try to think of ways that "she" would act on a day-to-day basis rather than how I would act... in kind of a Seinfeld-ish do the opposite of what you would ordinarily do kind of way. At some point I might make a livejournal about it... somehow it seems writing it out longhand works for me for now.
I'm *over* my whole evil self being resentful of babies.. if anyone's feelings were hurt by what I said yesterday I am sorry. I am working to find ways to be more honest and genuine in my self-expression and it may take awhile to find a balance... :P
Right now I'm going to write out some more of that alternative narrative stuff and then work on *living it out* and I'll probably post more later.
I like the new background I came up with - I scanned the back of a journal I liked and dinked around with it so there it is.. I still don't like the colors I have set up (entirely TOO cutesy - reminds me of that car commercial with the fairy who turns everything into cute pink and green crap).
I so enjoy reading all of the entries on my friends list... I considered making up a new identity to start some new writing project I'm considering but NO WAY am I giving up my friends list :) yeah yeah I know I could have more than one but then there's all that signing in and out and crap :P I am entirely too lazy to do that.
Today one of my coworkers had a baby shower... yippee... (not) I know I am supposed to be happy for him (yeah it's his wife that's having the baby but I work for a place that has showers regardless of gender). I still miss so much the loss of having a baby.. and the longer I live, the less and less possible it looks for me to ever do that... I even wrote about it in my inked journal and I don't know if I want to get into all the pain and sadness here... not right now anyway. Anyway, of all the freaking coworkers I have, somehow *I* ended up having to be the one to 1. find out what Jason (the dad-to-be) really wanted and then 2. collect the money and go to the freaking baby store to get it. Turns out we needed a gift certificate so he and his wife can get this glider rocker chair they want. I resented having to get the card. I resented having to go to the store to get the gift certificate... I just walked in to the registers, barely crossed the threshhold, and gave the lady the damn money. I was snappish when she asked me for my phone number, no thank you. Fuck if I want those people sending me things... I already am on some stupid asshole's mailing list who keeps sending me mail "to the daughter of..." whatever.
I love babies. I used to love spending time with them and wanted to hold them when mommies (or daddies) would allow.. but since the failed pregnancies.. and subsequent failed marriage.. GOD I just wish I could push a button on my invisible force field and sneak out the back door for all these events.
I am tired of people telling me that I can still have a baby someday. I am tired of people telling me that I can always adopt.
I am tired of people who treat the baby-less (the ones who want them anyway) as if they should just go ahead and *get over it* when they have no idea what it's like to be reminded in a thousand different ways each and every day how childless they are (and may remain) and all the losses - big to small... that it entails.
Anyway, I'm going to go cheer myself up by reading all the entertaining things other people have to say.
(People with children should not comment on this post - I have a screen button and I ain't afraid to use it! hahahah)
Universal Waite deck - one of the "standard" decks of tarot.
Spiral Tarot Deck (the one I use the most)
You are the Judgement card. Judgment has also been called the Aeon and Rejuvenation. Judgment is the final decision that allows for a new growth. The concept of Judgment day refers to a time when those in existence are brought into a new era. This new era may occur symbolically in your own life, but it may appear with mystery, not declaring itself boldly but instead promising a new adventure to be had. The feeling may come within, as the desire to make a change in your life. This change is one that is actively persuaded by your own actions rather than one that is thrust upon you. Image from: The Maninni Tarot deck, Mike Willis.
Which Tarot Card Are You?
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Post your results in the comments!
Obviously I haven't been using my livejournal much lately.. lots of personal stuff going on and sometimes writing in real time feels better than typing in cyberspace...
However.. I am going to re-do my journal so that I can begin using it to organize and work on my Tarot studies.. so be prepared that this journal is about to undergo a major makeover and shift in focus!
bye for now...
Writing is exploring. It's grappling with what's going on and finding a way to bring meaning, organization, and expression to my inner world. I see writing as a way of documenting the past, memorializing it outside the "Self" so the "Self" can move onto other things. I see it as a way of exploring the present. Exploring is everything from grand Hubble-telescopelike exploration of the outer reaches of space to the minute tracings of little events going on under a microscope. Writing (and reading other people's writings) is a way to learn about things I would otherwise never know. I adore reading things I would not traditionally pick up or find and LOVE when I find some new author or genre or idea that I've never considered/seen/heard before. There is never enough time to write. There is never enough time to read. The world is so full of things that wait to be "discovered" by me through writing and reading. I know I've already incorporated "reading" into this and I do see it as nearly impossible to be a good writer without being a good (and prolific) reader. My greatest sense of connection to others are to others that both love to write and love to read.
Life is not meant to be lived on passive consumption. "Because it's always been that way," is not a response worth owning. I want to know WHY it's always been that way. I want to know who decided that this was "the" way. I want to know why everyone has gone along with "the" way and what happens to those who don't accept "the" way. I also want to know how "the" way originated. I want to understand what the challengers to the accepted "way" are. I want to know where they come from and what their thoughts are. And I won't accept the "anti-way" at face value either.
Life was meant to be explored, tasted, felt, seen, experienced in every manner possible. All of life is amazing and purposeful and precious. I consider my metaphor to be the Lewis and Clark metaphor. They went *out* and wrote/drew/contemplated the whole thing prolifically. Life without exploration is.. well, boring. Life without writing about the explorations is.. well, stagnant. Give me a compass, a map, and a journal. That is my metaphor for writing. (The compass and map are, at times, optional!)