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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

I have spent the last two days cleaning.  Scrubbing shit out of hardwood floors – literally shit.  Scrubbing walls that had something I don’t want to know on them.  Vomiting as I cleaned.  And I have spent the last two days trying so hard to convince myself that this was not my fault.  That I have not caused it.  If you’ve ever been raped, if you’ve ever had a home invasion, you know the feeling.  Of no safety, of crawling out of your skin, of utter devastation, of thinking that if only I had been more aware, or paid better attention, then this would not have happened.  But the truth is, there was no way to foretell or to know to prevent what happened.

What happened?  Well, you know I’m a story teller, so let me tell you my story.  Please keep compassion in your heart for everyone involved – right now my anger and hurt may not allow me to write from the perspective that would reflect the compassionate womon I strive to be.

If you’ve read my blog all along, you know that last year I went away and left my son in charge of my home for a week, during which a large, scary, home destruction party took place.  You can read the entry, called It Feels Like Rape.  Anyway, this year I knew I would be away for a couple of months and I really wanted to get someone I could trust to come in and look after my cats, keep my home, and mow the lawn.  I found someone who was a friend of a couple of people that I really trust and respect and who was looking to move to the area.  And she was a Festie! What a win/win!  She and her partner could stay here for free and look for permanent housing, and I could go work for Fest with a sense of peace.

Two days ago, I came home.  The lawn had never been mowed.  The grass was a foot and a half high.  My house looked abandoned.  Have you ever watched with morbid fascination the videos of animal control officers going into “the cat lady’s” house?  Seen the shit and urine everywhere?  The open cans of cat food that have been there for weeks, in the can, on plates, covering the floor?   The piles of dirty dishes and laundry in every room?  The tub filled with water and bad, bad unidentifiable things floating in it? The mold?  The slime on the walls?   The ripped down curtains?  Things broken and not cleaned up?  And then the interview with the cat lady who doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about?  Yeah, that is my house.  Be grateful you can’t smell it, too.

I can’t tell you what happened to the womyn who stayed in my home and destroyed it.  I can tell you that I found many prescriptions for pain and anxiety.  I suspect that they both have issues that bloomed in each other’s presence, and someday I will truly be able to believe that they were doing the best that they could do.

Right now,  I’m feeling… I don’t know what.  On the verge of tears, hard core anger, total helplessness,but mostly numb.  I have a couple of really good friends who keep reminding me that small and compartmentalized is best. 

I can’t really describe what has happened in my house – but it, and I have been violated.  I smudge often.  I am having to spend money I don’t have.  Small, but important things have been broken or sullied.  I slept in my car the first night, because there was no safe space for me.  And the lies.  The lies.  The lies.  I have tremendous fear that there will be more that I have yet to uncover.  I want to read my mail, but the cats have shit and peed all over it.  I want to clean, but when I opened the drawer to get a rag, there was dried cat vomit and piss all over the rags.  Every place I turn, every cupboard I open, any place my eyes can see, I cannot find safety.  Today I will clean the shower – because I need to take one.  But I cannot find my towels and really, it doesn’t matter because I couldn’t let them touch my body anyway.

I’ve cancelled my credit cards.  I’ve notified my bank. 

And as to the cat ladies?  Well, they really don’t seem to think anything is all that wrong.  They did take my cats to the vet (for fleas?!?)  And I am actually grateful, because what I thought was old age in my oldest guy  turned out to be something treatable.  They fed them expensive veterinary food, treated the fleas, bought lots of cat toys with feathers and catnip.  They even listed me as a reference while apartment hunting.  Really?  What they have never done is apologized for the horror that was my home.  Or even acknowledged that they had done something so out of bounds that it could send them to jail.  Or offered to help clean.  Or offered compensation for the things that I will need to have repaired or replaced.  And now they want to let me know that the cats are due back at the vets for follow up treatment for ear mites and fleas.  Really?

So, I know I am notoriously hard to buy for, and my birthday is coming up.  Here’s what I want:  chopsticks (don’t ask what happened to the old ones), sage for smudging, your good thoughts, and that feeling of safety and security to come back.

Soon, really soon, I hope, I’ll be able to write about what an amazing, life changing experience I had at Fest, and about the beautiful loving womyn who are a part of my life because of it.

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Okay, what I’m about to write seems like it’s not going to be so popular, given what my friends are all posting on FB.  Or maybe I just haven’t reached a high enough level of non-judgement yet.  Michael Jackson is dead.  And the death of a person is a sad thing.  Yes, he was very talented and his music was the soundtrack of my generation.

But, the man was a pedophile.  He was cruel to animals and the things he has done to his children – they may never recover from.  I vowed a long time ago that no money of mine would be spent supporting this man.  I did not want to financially support someone who seemed to live above the law.  Many of my friends, when downloading his music, would give excuses – “But it’s just such a good song!”   “He did this one BEFORE he molested that kid.”  “It’s only a dime to download.” 

I’ve never understood the lack of moral outrage at what this man got away with.  The excuses for his behavior – from an abusive father – to childhood stardom made him lose touch with reality, are just that – excuses.  Pedophiles are mentally ill.  Michael Jackson was the poster boy for mental illness, but he should have also been held accountable.

As an abuse survivor whose molester was a high up muckety-muck in his company, I know the helpless outrage of others working to protect his reputation instead of saving me.  How must Jackson’s victims feel? 

The man died.  It’s a sad thing.  But I won’t use his passing to celebrate his life.  For me, his music is the soundtrack of abuse and I can never celebrate the man who harmed so many.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about personal boundaries lately.  How to keep them safe, when to stretch them, how to be graceful about them (putting them out there and making it known the line is getting pushed) and what to do when they are ignored.  This is so much a part of living fearlessly and being intimate.  All of it goes into trust.  But my personal emphasis right now is on self-respect and responsibility to myself.

I’ve had a couple of incidences lately that have violated my boundaries in large and small ways.  Taken individually, I think that the relationship between myself and this other person would have been able to build some kind of bridge to healing and helped us grow together to become closer.  When I brought up the issues, though, what I received was flat out denial and lies. 

This makes me think that I have become more invested in this relationship than the other person.  I keep assuming that they care about me, and that they want what I have to offer and, in order to get that, will respond in kind.  What I have come to realize is that they want what I materially have to offer, but feel no sincere motivation to be reciprocal or respectful.  In the past with this person, I have tortured myself with what might happen if I stood up and held my ground, and then allowed myself to be emotionally manipulated.

I can’t do it anymore.  We want different things from our relationship and our lives, and I can’t be a party any longer to my own destruction.  So, tonight I will set the boundaries really, really far away from the reach of my home and heart and make clear the conditions upon which I would be willing to spend time with this person down the road.

The hardest part is that the love won’t ever stop, and I had to choose between two griefs – losing him, or losing me.  Maybe one day…

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Crocus

Something is eating my crocuses.  Not the white ones, and the purple ones seem to be it’s second choice, but the mixed whited and purple striated ones are gone.  History.  Eaten down to a stump with not even a leaf left.  I wonder, do the the different colors taste different?  It’s kind of sad, because they got a late start.  While my neighbor’s daffs and even tulips are blooming, my little garden just started with the crocuses.  They got one day, and then they were food.

My son called a couple of weeks back, sobbing, asking for a place to stay.  It seems the GFs parents were tired of supporting him.  It has been almost a year, after all, and it’s probably not his fault that he hasn’t found a job yet.  I relented, I took him in.  All was well for the first week and a half or so.  I had jobs around the house he could do for money.  He was polite, considerate, followed the rules.  Then came the day I told him I had no more jobs for him.  Wow! NY minute!  It all came back.  The sullenness, the name-calling, the taking over of my living room, just the general pissiness.  Loud music, refusal to talk, especially about future plans.  I told him he has to find a new place to stay.  It breaks my heart that he and I fall back into that parent/child dynamic so quickly.  It also breaks my heart that he hasn’t reached his bottom yet.  I no longer think he’s doing drugs (hard ones, anyway) or drinking, but he seems to think that others should provide for all of his desires and needs.  I fear that he will be chronically in this socio/economic mental place.  How do I give him non-judgemental love?

I miss my little boy.  I miss my flowers.

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I have a friend who is adopted.  She and I have talked about her internal struggle with ‘having to feel grateful’ to her adoptive family for adopting her.  The thing is, her childhood was wonderful, she was loved deeply, and her (in her mind) special status was never an issue, never used as a weapon against her, either subtly or overtly.  But she did have interests and personality traits that ended up being very, very different from the rest of her family.  She’s got some concerns that she’s not girly enough, that being gay has let them down.

I lead with this because she and I have also had a few talks about reincarnation.  We both believe that we meet the beings that are important to us over and over again with each successive life.  Those beings may be a lover in one life, a best friend in another, an influential teacher in yet another.  When I brought up that they could also be our parents, and that we choose, even in infancy, where we will be and who we will be most influenced by, this was a new thought to her.  The next logical thought that she then didn’t need to feel gratitude for being “chosen” by them – that she, in fact, had been the chooser was pretty radical.

When I look back at my life and the beings that have been most influential, I find myself with a bit of confusion.   If I apply my belief system to the fullest, it means that my abuser is really a being who has been important to me in past lives.  Or maybe that being is trying to learn some lesson (that, in my opinion, they have obviously failed at in this life) and I for some reason volunteered to play a part in that.  What is my life lesson here?  What am I sent to learn?  Did we preordain that this would happen?  Would someone else have stepped in to provide trauma to my childhood had this not happened?  Is this karma or is it about a sentient being trying to learn some important truth?

Okay, I’m totally rambling here.  I’m preferring to believe that I am a sentient being, occupying this body to learn some specific lessons, and that the others who are important to me have volunteered to step in and guide me to where I need to be.  Hmmmm – that doesn’t sound all that right either – it smacks of forgiving my abuser and realizing he is on some learning path, too.  I’m not sure I want to do that.

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