Sunday, February 9, 2014

My LIFE in 4 letter words - NOT always a bad thing

I know what you are thinking and it is true - this gal can curs like a sailor and won way too many drinking contests in my youth but without fail I find that most of those bad words are just another name for HURT or FEAR.

Growing up the word "Damn" was never uttered and when I went to work as a bill collector and repo gal many many years ago to pay for college I had no clue what the words meant that were being yelled at me.  I learned quickly but never took it personally.  My husband was always amazed how I could hold my own in the back rooms of business deals being crafted over large amount of straight shots, smoking and card games.  He would "Turn me Loose" as he would call it on folks who gave him trouble and then watched as I cut them to their knees.  A skill set I am not proud of but was seemed to be a natural hidden talent to this gal....

My mother speaks of events even when I was little where I could give a cold and icy stare to someone and they would crumble but never would she tell my stories of times when with a gentle look I could comfort or heal a broken heart. How I could touch the hand of a stranger and connect right up to the hidden pain that needing a kind ear.  

In the last year I found my language to define my Fear, Hurt and Pain - Yep - see all those 4 letter words.  However I added a much more colorful spin to them which released that gal back out of her box.  The girl who knew how to fight for herself and those who needed a protector.  I forgot that this gal walked in the world fearless and bold.  Now I am not saying I need to cut everyone at the knees but rather I became "Silent" and not even protecting myself from those who took great pleasure in crushing me.  WHAT THE F**K???

One night when I really had no clue if I could hang on - the homes for the animals were all screwed up, folks where not honoring their agreements, the same folks expected their problems to take front and center while I was dyeing here and time was getting too close I just needed to release.  I walked to the peaceful forest and first apologized to the universe and the animals for what I was about to do...  I gave fair warning to all that their peace was about to get engulfed in a storm of FOUR LETTER WORDS.

Now this was not just an exercise in seeing how many nasty words I could shout but rather with each word I also listened.  I took this very seriously because WE or should I just say "I" do not pay attention to really how I talk to myself.  The words mask the true feelings and so I was needing to say and hear what this gal was saying and believing.

I did this exercise of reprogramming when my in-laws took everything from me after my husband's passing.  The cruel and horrid things that I shoved down deep without saying a word until I was ready to kill. I believed if I just did not give their deeds a voice all would be well but I was SO SO SO SO Wrong.  Did you get I was wrong???  I remember standing in my new log house several weeks after we moved in and the kids were at their new school.  I told the universe "You want to see the real me - HERE IT IS".  Thank the universe no one saw that crazy shit show but without doing that until my voice could take no more, I don't think I would have created the wonderful life we lived at the farm all these years.  So it was time again to draw the line in the sane and STOP my negative 4 letter words.

Now today I am searching for more FOUR letter words that represent what I wish to create in my life today and what I know to be true for me in this moment and beyond.

HOPE, LOVE, BOLD,  HUGS and CALM are ones that popped into my head as I woke this morning.   I sure would love to hear more... 

What would be yours today??? 

Live and Die with the Blanket - Finding New Threads

Last night another lesson showed itself all wrapped in blankets with MORE then a past... I will unravel this tale and hope you see and feel what I am trying to share.

When I met my husband back in 1977 he had a Ralph Lauren Polo Blanket in his apartment that was given to him as a graduation gift.  I never really liked it - brown, beige's and not a soft one to cuddle under.  With the birth of our first son Nicholas my poor husband had his lower lip shaved off due to cancer and started the process of daily radiation for more days then I care to remember.  I had taken a picture of this man under the blanket laying next to our son in such pain and illness that I feared he would not even see our son's first birthday.

Fast forward 4 years and the birth of our second son Conrad.  While I was having a C-section performed to help our son enter the world after 3 months of bed rest, hospital stays and all sorts of bad news my husband was undergoing a surgery to remove cancer on his forearm for the second time in two years.  When we reunited back at our house we all got under the blanket and hoped for a better year.

Through the years that blanket laid on my husband through many illness, hardship and pain.  My sons and I knew that it was to wrap him up in love and hope.   After the passing of Curt in 1996 I tucked that blanket in a box and could not handle to gaze upon it.  So much pain and sorrow I felt within it threads.  When a couple of years ago I laid out all the treasures of my husbands past upon the tables in my house I asked the boys to take what they wanted... One of the items Conrad took was the blanket.  I was glad to see the treasury go because the ghosts locked inside them always weighted so heavy on my heart.  I would struggle to remember the good times but it seemed as if only the bad times would surface and I could feel those feelings as if they were happening right that very second.

Fast foreword to this week.  When I arrived at Conrad's apartment there nicely folded on the arm of his couch was that blanket.  Like another reminder of all I had lost it made me burst into tears.  It was not the blanket but rather it was a physical reminder of ALL THE PAIN I had gone through and how NONE of it has left my heart.  Tucked away like I had done with that blanket I had tucked away all the feelings that I had experienced the last 32 years and had hope never to revisit.  Yep, there I was a puddle again without the words to even say what in the heck I was crying about now.  My son stood there like a deer in the headlights - what a wreck I have become. He struggled to find words to make it all better but that was like sticking a finger in a bursting dam - not the best idea

Each night I lay under the blanket during this bitter cold snap and the ghosts of all the past smothered this tired gal.  Each night I was willing to revisit those memories and face them head on.  Sometimes I could shake them and other times I felt as if I was being wrapped like a mummy in her tomb - to be buried alive for all time.  Then something amazing happened last night....

Conrad had a friend come over after they both got off work.  He was coming to purchase one of my antique wool blankets that I collected over the years.  They are military blankets from all over the world and have special meaning to me. You see I have had a soft spot of blankets that have covered the ill and dying - no wonder there but I have also felt that to honor those blankets was to honor those who suffered so while under them.  Anyway. the young man could not decide and although I gave the history of which country, which war and so on - he was not able to make a choice.  So I said in my usual weird way - "Close your eyes and hold each one and just feel"..  Yes, I got that strange look I am so use to but he complied - I think he only did it because he that he was being polite. 

As he picked up the first one he held it and nothing.  Then he reached for the next - one of my favorites  from Switzerland WWII but nothing.  Then he picked up one that has always been what I call " the special one... "  I have been known to pick it up in times of stress and squeeze it.  The clam, peaceful feeling that covers every inch of me during that time is like a hug from an angel.  The moment it was in his hands he pulled it to his chest and squeezed.  I smiled at Conrad and we knew he had found his blanket.  The young man opened his eyes and I could see he found what was missing.  Through our conversations about all sorts of other things this kind soul with many wounds kept petting and stroking the blanket. When it was time for them to leave - meeting up with friends for a fun night out Conrad came back into the apartment and asked me what I saw??? I told him what I saw in the young man the moment I met him but then I told him what the blanket showed me.  I know you are all giving this page that weird look but trust me when I say this...  Conrad's face changed to stone.  You see he never told me any of this young mans history, I never met him until this night.  Conrad stated I was spot on and that we needed to talk in the morning....

As Conrado closed the door and I locked the bolt - I took a very deep breath.  I walked over to the couch and grabed Curt's blanket.  I held it tight and let all the pain and sadness fill me.  I allowed buckets of tears to follow and did not try to tuck them away.  I allowed the story of this blanket to tell each tale and then release it's power.  I then took the blanket outside at 2 am and gave it a good shaking.  Releasing all the past and bringing it into the present.  As I did that I also said "Grace I am releasing you from the past and giving you new threads" I said this over and over until I felt the release.  Good thing now one is awake at this time or we might have had visitors from the rubber room appearing.

This morning as I made the bed I for just a moment revisited that blanket.  Again, I stated I am working with new threads....  I know the past is what we build on.  I know the events that are behind us give us knowledge, strength, joy and YES, pain but with each new thread we add we can change and so  TODAY I START WITH NEW THREADS.//

What is your blanket made of???   How have you wrapped yourself in pain, loss and sorrow???  What are you going to do to find NEW THREADS?  Would you share your blanket with us????

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Is Anybody Out There ???

Since my last posting life for this gal has been beyond what I can put on paper.  There is no way to sift through all that I have gone through and am still going through in some logical or light hearted way.  I have not had strength, time or clarity of mind to even begin and not sure if I will even attempt to do so in this posting or even to continue blogging.  Needless to say this gal got hit, slapped and run over by CHANGE.  This has tested me and is still putting me up against the wall with fear, sadness and excitement but by sharing I hope I might ease my own panic and maybe, just maybe show someone else that when we see NO WAY it is because we are stuck in control and fear.  Then again I might just be trying to convince myself that I will survive and that "THERE IS A REASON" for everything.  I have to be very honest - I had many many well meaning folks telling me the saying "When God closes a Door he OPENS a Window".  After hearing that maybe six dozen times in a three day period I went outside and said "GOD, WHERE IS MY F**KING WINDOW and why in the HELL couldn't you just leave my door alone?"   I know, not very kind, spiritual or even sane was that screaming outburst but as I say when this gal is pushed too far CRAZY comes spilling out all over....

I stopped counting all the melt downs, crazy screaming and huge puddle crying activity I did for the past two months. I even stood and pound the ground with all sorts of instruments such as pick axes, shovels and many other sharp tools.  I even had one evening where I carefully got a box, heavy plastic and started breaking glass and pottery to just release my anger, frustration and hurt.  I at many times thought "THIS GAL IS BROKEN and SOMEONE BETTER TUCK ME AWAY IN A SAFE PADDED ROOM"....

I did all the stages of grief and in some days I did them over and over and over and over till I really thought - "Can't this all just be done and I just fade away to a land of unicorns and nice people?"

I at times sat in MY PITTY PARTY fully dressed with party hat, streamers and a crappy look on my face - all the while being completely present that compared to other's in my life what was happening to me was workable.  Then the little girl in me said "BULLSHIT, I am sick and tired of always being the strong one, the one that everyone passes by and says Oh GRACE will figure it out"  Crap.... Just when can I have someone else fix things??  Why is it that NO ONE sees just how much I am hurting and bleeding inside for the losses I am going through?  My inner child what running a muck... Hell, she was running with scissors and ready to do damage to anyone who was going to hurt her.

Then the strong Grace would stand up dust off the little girl, wipe her tears away and give her a big hug.  The strong Grace would say "We never had someone there before so just get over it and push on - STOP all this crap and take a step"  Heck, RUN because the wolves are at the door and they are smelling blood"

As I sit writing this I am at my youngest son's apartment, ear a lovely dinner I cooked and trying to decided if I will hit the post button or the delete button.  In less the two days I will be taking a train to Elk WA to staying with a friend who has been so kind as to offer me a place to stay and to gather myself up. We have never met in person but we have talked for years - O.K. I do most of the chattering but she has always understood this gal and never seemed to mind the whirling mind mush that is Grace.   I have learned so so so many things during this last couple of weeks that as I said I am not sure if I will bother you all with it.   As I have said before on this blog and in other places - I never feel heard and if I am heard it is taken wrong by those who really do not know me or understand me.  Especially when I seem to compose my words so carefully and yet it blows up in my face.  I know that this is the other person problem but I must say I am too too tired of other people's fall out screwing everything up for me. Yep, did you catch that life lesson tucked into those few sentences???  Those people who blew up recently at me for reading things wrong - did you get it - it was YOUR problem.

So I will do what I have done in the past - I will put it out there - DO YOU WISH ME TO CONTINUE or should I just fade away???
This is NOT, repeat NOT to get approval or for folks to hold my hand but rather just asking if and why I should continue to write or should I take up a different outlet for my wee hours??  You won't hurt my feelings - after the year I have had this tough bird can take it...