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09 December 2013
Monday - December 9th and I'm just now sitting down to journal at 3 in the afternoon. Busy day in the shop. I was quite pleased to make a nice sale earlier this morning; it ALMOST covered the money I spent shopping yesterday. But then I had a seller come in and I spent my sales and more so I'm back in the hole. Ah well, all in a business day.
Yes, I buried the lead - I FINALLY made it out of here, off Bella's Deserted Island as it felt. And I shopped the way a death row prisoner eats. I started at Lowes to get a Christmas tree but their holiday shelves were as barren as the food shelves at the grocery store. So I bought some beautiful, thick, soft, plush, colorful warm toned area rugs. And I put them in the bathrooms and kitchen. I figured if I didn't intend to play by the 'standard rules and regulations for Widows' I didn't need to follow them in decorating either.
And, it's official: I'm a redneck. As I wandered aimlessly through the Lowes I discovered a mountain of inspirational wall art ranging from $12 to $25; things like 'Don't Dream Away your Life; Make your Life about Living your Dreams' or something like that. Others about hope, faith, quotes from Mother Teresa. I love them and am squelching my obsessive compulsive behavior to go buy more this evening. I'm surrounding myself with inspirational messages and laugh every time I look at them. I can hear Foxworthy now: If you buy your art at Lowes, You are a redneck. I don't care. It makes me smile.
Then I picked up another assortment of pyrex dishes with lids. I don't want to make my cooking about 'single serve meals' so I'll be freezing the other portions as time passes. I have never been that good about 'leftovers' so I may just send them next door or hand them out as people come visit. But at least I'm still cooking and eating what I love.
Speaking of eating what I love - I had to remind myself that's exactly what I am doing now and that's okay. I was begrudging the same up 3lb up and down bounce hoping for maybe, please, just one down that didn't bounce back up. But nothing. So I had to remind myself to be happy with the weight I am now as long as I'm happy with the way I eat. I'm not hungry; I'm not deprived. I'm grateful.
The only thing I regret today is I was so occupied playing with my wall hangings (I even bought some of my own paintings out of the studio and hung it in my bedroom) that I didn't get anything simmering on the stove before opening the shop. No worries for lunch; that's why they make tuna. Quick bowl of tuna & sauerkraut and I was fine. And I'm thinking a nice spinach, mushroom and ham omlette for dinner would hit the spot.
The BCF phoned me this morning and asked if 'the customers aggravated me' over the frozen weekend. I keep forgetting to act like business has gone to hell in a hand basket when I talk to her. I'll get better. But I did have to let her go when a customer walked in an have not been in any hurry to phone her back. I read a passage recently about not picking up the emotions of others; especially the negatives. I have no desire to converse with an Eor today.
My Son-in-Law's father was rushed to the hospital Saturday - pneumonia. He's in his mid to late 70's and they transferred him to a heart hospital yesterday due to the discovery of a bad valve. Earlier this year my (step)daughter lost her step-father (Mother's ex husband) and then her own Father (Cutty) at Thanksgiving. I don't think those kids could survive another loss right now. Prayers for them.
One of my customers brought me a Starbucks this morning. Color me shocked. I fully believe though - as hippy dippy as it reads - it's because I decided to let all that disappointment at my IRL friends minimal demonstrations of sympathy go. I woke this morning saying 'today is going to be a good day' and as I proceeded with hammering nails into the walls to hang my Lowe's Art (LOL) I repeated over and over 'I am going to attract love today. People love me and will show it in real life as long as I show it to them.'
So first, Starbucks guy. Then my contractor showed and did a few little jobs for me; I paid him and ... I'm a little ... well, I'm vulnerable right now, I know that because I'm on my toes about everyone around me. It's just, he never made it a point to want to 'hug' me when Cutty was alive. Two visits; two hugs. Time to put the breaks on that. I mean, he's a nice (and really good looking young man ~ wowza) but he's also married. Hopefully he's just being kind. But he repeatedly asked 'what else can I do for you?' as well as 'as you have little jobs like this come up you be sure and phone me'. I think he's just being a good kid.
And as I began typing this a florist from a small town over phoned to get my actual address; saying she has a delivery for me. How cool is that?
Additionally, for all sadness I feel missing Cutty, I do force myself to balance it out and recognize the little benefits of finally being alone again. I hate feeling LONELY but I never really minded being alone that much. Little things like being able to soak in my spa tub with the door open and just meditating; in the past I'd have to shut the door, could only use minimal bath salts as the fragrance bothered his breathing, and had to watch a movie or listen to music on headphones to drown out the noise of Family Guy from the bedroom. Last night I enjoyed the wonderful aroma of the candle mingling with the bath salts and relaxed in peace.
The flowers arrived (okay, I'm a slow typist AND I've had several phone calls) and they are from the daughter of my Brother in Law. How wild is that? I haven't talked to that young lady in at least 10 years (not purposely, just our paths don't cross) and of ALL of the family, SHE sent flowers. Too cool. Now I have to find her to send her a thank you card and phone her. On top of that the delivery person wouldn't accept a tip. Man, this is my day.
Whoops, spoke too son. Son-in-law phoned and was giving me an update on his Dad's condition but then made it a point to mention how much money he's spent in gas this weekend running back and forth to his Dad's sooo... yeah, I'm no dummy. I considered playing dumb but I offered him money so he'll be over here soon. Ahh well, he went to two different stores to pick up Knorr for me this weekend when I was frozen in; I'm going to have faith he'll repay this loan.
After all, that's what I live on these days. Faith.
Take care all ~ I need to wrap up a few things in the shop and go to the bank. I may slide back over to Lowes. I'm loving these inspirational art messages and the way they make me feel right now. My stepdaughter tried to give me a little grief last night when I was arranging them on the walls, telling me *she* was hanging photo's of Cutty.
I managed to squelch my 'really? Why now? Why not last month, last year, last ... ' but let it go. I am struggling myself to stop using the 'we, us, ours' in conversation and remember it's 'I, me, my' now. To stop referring to the second bathroom as 'Dad's bathroom'. I did say, gently, 'Sweetie, I'm not going to turn my (see how I did that) home into a Shrine for your Father now. He told me he did not want me to grieve forever or be alone after he left.' She said she didn't either as long as 'whoever' comes into my life accepts that I come with a family.
Geez... seriously? I can barely muster up the gumption to change internet providers. She thinks I'm going to open my home up to someone new that quickly? Get real. I just got the beds working on one remote; I'm not about to split or share them for now.
Make Peace with Myself
07 December 2013
Saturday afternoon and I know the cure for Stir Crazy: falling on the ice and busting your behind. Suddenly the need to 'get the heck out of here and go somewhere' doesn't seem that important. Nothing like limping back inside wet, cold and bleeding (I skinned my hand when I fell) to make me appreciate the warm dry comfort of home. Especially as I could smell the heavenly scent of my homemade chicken and dumplings simmering on the stove. So I closed the shop early, replaced my wet jeans with warm dry pajamas, and had a cup of dumplings.
In an ironic way, this was the first time I thought 'ya know, a year ago I'd have had more padding back there'. Usually my comparisons are for the better, the improvements from weight loss. It felt as if I hit pure hipbone. I'm sure I'll be feeling that a few days.
And in my ever misdirected focus way, I'm totally ticked that I dropped the very old very heavy glass tea pitcher I was using to pour lukewarm water on my car door trying to thaw it enough to open. That pitcher was at least as old as I am and I'd had it probably 20 years. Damn.
So here I sit. All alone on date night again. But I knew that was a possibility when our marriage vows included 'Til Death Us do Part'. Yep, they put that warning right up front in the opening of the brochure. Not even in small print.
Think I'll go paint. Thanks for reading. Hope you're dry, warm, comfortable and having a good evening where ever you are; I'm going to go try to make mine that way.
Make Peace with Myself
07 December 2013
Saturday Morning - December 7th. Sad journal. Read, don't read. No obligations.
The reality that Cutty is really not just in the hospital and never coming back is finally starting to sink in. It began yesterday morning as I found myself mesmerized and sobbing in grief from just touching his clothes still hanging in the closet. While I was able to detach and discard the medicines and oxygen tubes and all other evidence of his 'sickness' with only the emotion of anger for the life we were supposed to have had, trying to remove the other personal items are not as easy. I won't rush it. I will take care of it in time. A time where I can touch things without sobbing.
I tried to rationalize the power outage yesterday was the universe speaking to me and reminding me had he still been alive and home it would have required a constant and frantic rush ensuring his oxygen tanks were adequate, he was as comfortable as he could be as his electric chairs and beds would not be functioning, and he would have been in withdrawal from the TV. My temporary lack of internet access would have seemed so minimal at that point. It would have been three hours of torture helping him stay calm.
Or it would have been like the previous outage - him at the hospital wondering why I wasn't answering the phone here or coming to visit him. And if he were at the hospital he would have insisted I not travel the icy roads but he would have been so lonely and miserable without me there. He repeatedly told me there was something about my presence that made him calm, made everything ok. I thought it was just 'one of his lines' but confirmed it many times watching the vitals monitors when he'd be sleeping. His heart would literally stop racing too high if I slid my hand in his. His daughter would comment 'no matter what I try to do to take care of Dad when you're gone it's never the same. You just have a way of making everything right for him.' Even his vascular surgeon would let me talk to him on the phone 'during a surgery' to help him stay calm because putting him to sleep for it compromised his breathing.
Seeing him so sick for so long, on respirators and life support after many surgeries, eyes closed in post surgery recovery and more blocked the impact of him on the table at the Funeral Home from having the 'this is it' effect. Picking up his ashes seemed surreal. It felt disconnected. Temporary. Just part of taking care of business before I could get back to the hospital.
Earlier this week I decreased the channel line up on the satellite receiver as I rarely ever watch TV. It felt a little uncomfortable but not as bad as last night when I discussed discontinuing the service on his cell phone. It remains fully charged and available in his 'catch all bowl'.
As he grew more incapacitated, he valued his cell phone with the same importance, if not more, than his oxygen. 'It's my lifeline, you know.' Yes, I knew. To discuss turning off his lifeline felt like pulling the plug on him.
I lost it. Sitting there at the laptop, the quiet of the house serving as the perfect acoustic background for my grieving and painful sobbing, I felt so disconnected. I wondered if the Sprint representative 'chatting' thought I was just a slow typist? Did she have any idea my blouse, arms and keyboard were soaked with tears? I finally wrote, 'I'll think about it and let you know what I decide' and clicked the conversation closed.
Following on the advice of my dear friend here also in recovery from recently losing a loved one I emailed two real life friends of the pain I was experiencing. One sent me an email response 'virtual hug'. That was it. The other has not responded. In my ever pathetic way of taking the blame for most things in life I decided it was my fault; I'd portrayed 'Stoic Bella' too long for anyone to take me seriously now. Perhaps they felt I was just 'Crying Cutty' instead of really crying out for help.
I was so sad, felt so lonely, and with this damn iced in weather felt so trapped. Additionally I felt anger, disappointment, betrayal, cynical and destructive. I wanted to, as another friend advised, not only burn bridges, I wanted to pour cement on them and build a mall. I'll proceed carefully the next few days but I may be weaning myself off those two friends much as weaned myself off processed food. Just as I decided to choose good food to feed my hunger, I will now seek and choose good friends to feed my soul.
But for last night, I suffered sanely. I didn't do anything. I didn't binge eat (there, FS, my contribution to all things food). I didn't stuff my feelings down with food but I didn't purge my emotional binge on anyone else. I did do something that in the light of the day now seems totally creepy and pathetic. I texted 'I love and miss you' from his cell phone to mine. That was dumb. Silly but dumb. Cutty was not a texter. It has just been so hard not seeing his phone number appear on any of the other phones as he called me constantly during the day.
Rather than yelling to get my attention in the shop, he'd phone. Along with the little routine we worked out at the tradeshows where I'd call and ask about decreasing a price and he'd respond with discussing pizza, we had signals in the shop too. He'd watch me on security camera's. If I stood and folded my arms over my chest it signaled 'phone me and help me get rid of this customer.' Little code words. Inside secrets. It was our private intimate communication.
He was the first I'd phone in the morning and last I'd phone at night during business and trade show travel. It took years to get him to stop panicking when I didn't phone 'as soon as my plane landed and I was safe in the rental car' and explain the difference in 'scheduled arrival time' versus 'actual taxi to the gate, letting us off the plane, and getting the car time'. Once he phoned me six times in six minutes. Turning on my phone to discover this I panicked. He explained he was worried I'd had a wreck. I argued 'if I had, I may have been on the phone with 911'. And in my ever sarcastic cynical way explained 'uhm, Babe, if the entire vehicle around me was bent up in an accident you really think my 'free with upgrade' cell phone would survive? You have to calm down.'
This may read as shallow but I'm frustrated with this damn iced in, nobody's moving, stay in and stay safe feeling. It may be hard to write this accurately but I rarely close my shop on Saturday - probably 3-4 times a year except when I'm at trade shows. So of course, scheduled to close last weekend for the holiday and Cutty passed; at a time when I would normally have enjoyed a little freedom of a routine schedule but I was in mourning. This weekend the feeling of grief is even greater and I want to balance it out much like yesterday where I recognized the power outage was unpleasant but not as great an inconvenience or health risk as it would have been with Cutty here. Today, I want to get out because the shop is scheduled to be closed. I want to go to breakfast again. I want I want I want ... anything but to sit here with my sad thoughts. But I'm stuck. Frozen. I may as well be shipwrecked on a deserted island. I feel like I'm lost at sea and the cruise ship is passing me by and not noticing me waving for rescue.
If you're anything like me (and many of you are) by now you'd be feeling miffed or insulted reading this... thinking 'Good Grief Bella, we come here every day and read your journals and comment and support and encourage you. We notice you. We're rescuing you. Don't we count?'
The answer is YES, you do. More than I can ever express or share. You have kept me sane when I wanted to pull my hair out. Offered me peace when I wanted to go to war. You are for me, my lifeline. And I love you all and will always appreciate everything you've been to and done for me here in this forum.
I'm merely writing of the 'offline' life. The life around me that has me frozen in my home, frozen in my ability to move on and balance out the grief with the opportunities. I feel better though getting this all out and into my journal. I'm so glad this is here, that you are all here, and that I have been blessed with such wonderful friends here. Once the streets thaw, hopefully my heart will as well. I know 'looking for a friend' is a lot like 'looking for a mate'. It can't be forced, it has to happen naturally and allow time for the trust to build. But I need to find at least one who will, upon receiving an email from me that my heart is breaking, do more than email me a virtual hug. I need one who'll at least pick up the phone.
All in good time. For now, I think I'll dress and open the shop anyway. I've had one call of someone who wants to come in to do business. I'll save this 'wasted weekend' for a better, sunnier day.
And life goes on. One day, one minute at a time.
Make Peace with Myself
06 December 2013
Friday afternoon and I'm wondering if I need to throw a question about diets, food or weight loss into my journal now and then just to keep my presence here on FS legitimate regarding 'all things food'. I seem to journal about everything 'but' these days.
But not this journal - I want your feedback regarding U-Verse internet. I've had DSL forever and in 25 years of marriage I inherited Cutty's 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach to new services. But after a THREE HOUR POWER OUTAGE my wireless modem was acting really finicky and my provider keeps telling me I need to switch, it's better, yada yada. I've heard otherwise. Opinions, please.
The tech warned the modem, though finally working, was indicating it was trying to go out ~ so know that if I'm offline a couple of days I'm probably in the corner having a nervous breakdown waiting for service to be restored. Or I guess that's why they invented the Starbucks, right?
I was glaringly aware of just how much I do rely on the internet for my 'downtime activity' during the power outage. Without the normal 'white noise' produced in a home - the hum of the fridge, the intermittent heat cycling or just the sound of the washer's in the background I became ever so fixated on every single sound. The house expanding or contracting to the lack of heat. Cars driving past the shop. And Mushy - good grief does that baby SNORE. I began wondering if they make Cpap's for dogs.
And while I can find plenty to keep busy when I do have lights and heat - painting, tidying, organizing, newspaper, heck I was even thinking about the treadmill but again, no power.. I didn't like feeling so disconnected. I had thought to charge my cell phone prior to the outage but didn't want to drain the battery with chitchat.
So along with ordering just a plain old phone to plug in when needed, I have made a note to order some battery operated lanterns in preparation for future Winter outages. In the past I'd have been so busy tending to Cutty, checking his portable oxygen, meds, etc., I'd not have been so darn aware of every single tick of the battery operated clocks. Tick, tick, tick. It was like water torture.
Ironic to feel that way living right downtown; it's not like I'm on a hilltop in the middle of nowhere. But I recognized being alone in the dark with my thoughts and no distractions wasn't as pleasant as I'd always imagined. It felt like being in detention. My crayons had been taken away and I was instructed to 'just sit there and think about what you've done'.
During one of our many marathon debates about 'being snowed in' I'd always denied I'd go stir crazy; I would just sleep. Sure, that sounded like heaven to exhausted stressed out me. I. Was. Wrong. Cutty, having lived in the hills in the middle of nowhere and endured being shut in during winter storms would say I was talking out of my butt. He. Was. Right. Within 90 minutes I was even considering braving the cold and navigating the icy slick sidewalks to go check out the boutique up the street, anything to get out of the house and interact with real people as my substitute social life, the internet, was unavailable. No Fat Secret, No Netflix, No Amazon. And I didn't want to burn up my laptop battery watching a DVD in the event I had to journal to keep my hands busy. Heaven forbid I find myself having to journal by hand in the dark. Those little candles provide a pleasant scent but are hardly illuminating. Apparently I'm not as existential or comfortable in my solitary as I'd claimed.
Well, what else? I'd phoned the owner of the furniture store yesterday to plead my case to at least return the adjustable platform for an in-store credit but didn't reach him. Elusive guy. So I went thru the story one more time for one more general manager who promised he'd talk to the owner today and phone me. I'd not forwarded the phone to my cell prior to the outage but no voicemails. Either they too are iced in or the answer is no. I think I'll live in denial over the weekend before I follow up.
My big-buyer yesterday was a $2k sale instead of the $5k hoped for; he's having some cash flow issues right now so I genuinely appreciate the sale, period, as it was still $2k more than I started out with or would have had if I'd closed so it's all good. Once power restored today I came out to the shop and have seller coming who'll probably relieve me of most of that but as my business is buying and selling .. the old saying goes 'you can't sell what you don't buy.' This item is an easy turn though, unlike the crap the BCF tries to dump on me. Haven't heard from her all day either. Hmmm... you'd think I wanted her to buy a bed back, LOL.
The novel was not Deliverence but thank you. It's pathetic to think a book nearly 40 years ago stuck with me that much yet the title escaped me. I know it was likely paperback and probably purchased at a yard sale so .. goodness, I just don't know. Prior to the power outage I'd found a website called 'good reads' ~ maybe one of the member's there will have the clue that I don't. I may check it out this evening if the power and internet holds.
And finally, I thank you all again for visiting with me and commenting on my journals. I do so enjoy writing and getting this nonsense out of my head and into print but it's ever so comforting to be read and heard. I'm always so amazed when people compliment my writing as I NEVER heard that in school - I was always criticized for poor grammar and sentence structure. But I think if I WERE to write my story anywhere but here, I would just now be reaching the 'arc' of my life. So maybe in a few years. Let's see how things play out for the Widow Bella, shall we?
Thank you again,
Make Peace with Myself
06 December 2013
Friday - December 6th and it's definitely ICE DAY here in Bellawood. Doesn't quite have the same ring as 'snow day' but more accurate. Debating on whether I want to even open the shop. Definitely could use the business if anyone does venture out and while it's a commute free trip for me despite local news advising 'if you don't have to get out, stay home' I know creeping all the way to my shop on ice just to find it closed would leave a bad taste in 'their' mouth about me.
So I guess I'll go salt the sidewalks and parking spots in front of the shop when daylight arrives. In the most moronic of road construction ever, the pavement downtown dips 'in' to the sidewalk from the center of the street. Last year I had take my floor runners up and put them under the tires of a truck with only front wheel drive (seriously? why were you even OUT on this ice without 4wd?) because the driver was just spinning his wheels trying to back out into the street. And I'll confess, because he'd been rude to me in the shop the only reason I helped was because he brought his wife and two screaming toddlers in the store and the only other option was having them all wait in my shop to stay warm until the tow truck arrived. Adding that explanation for anyone who thinks I'm a southern Mother Teresa.
A dear friend here shared a theory with me this morning that most likely explains the absence of demonstrations of sympathy from even my closest of friends. I'm not fully ready to accept it justifies the absence of flowers or even a card - gosh I'm shallow - but it did remind me to 'look at myself through their eyes' and recognize I've likely put most at a disadvantage to take care of me in my time of need. How can they prop someone up who isn't leaning?
As many of you have commented here, yes, I am a strong person. My 'sortof sister' (a relationship I've yet to explain - maybe I'll get to it today with all this frozen time) gently asked and advised that I not feel the need to take on the role of caretaker for anyone else now that I've finally been relieved of caretaking Cutty. She has a friend who has been caretaking one person or another for the past 30 years beginning with her mother, then her husband, and so on.
I'm not judging her. Some people are true caretakers at heart. These are the doctors, nurses, home care people and families who hold the look of care and concern on their face instead of the 'what time is it, where's my check, I'd better be in the will' expression. But despite all of the love and caring I had for Cutty, this is not a role I want to find myself in ever again.
My Grandmother was a nurse. I did work in the business side of healthcare for a long time and even considered being a 'surgical nurse' a few times. When I'm not overweight I can stand still comfortably for long periods of time, rarely ever blink or panic under stress and have no aversion to blood and guts but I wanted a guarantee the patient would be unconscious. Other than Cutty, I have no patience for people whining and complaining about their boo-boo's.
Cutty learned that when we first married. Like most men, he could probably endure a gunshot wound to the head better than he could a simple common cold. And like most women, I can endure both and still serve up dinner.
So the first winter of our marriage when he had a cold and decided it was time to curl up on the sofa with his binky (blanket) and whine ... I knew I had to remind him he'd not married his Mother. He began by testing my patience. "I wab a tylenol .. my heb hurtz'. I brought him tylenol and he whined, "not dat kine.. ah need capsuls not tabitz". *trying to type how a stuffy nose conversation goes ... that's enough of that.
So I went out to the drug store, in the rain, and picked up every single over the counter cold symptom relief medicine I could find with a 'nightime' or 'do not operate heavy machinery warning' label on it. I think I even got him something for PMS and served up the little cocktail with a bowl of hot homemade chicken soup.
He slept and recovered. There is no cure for a cold, just stuff to relieve the symptoms and allows a person to sleep and let the body to heal itself. Or as the medical opinion goes .. it takes a week to get over a cold. With meds, only 7 days.
While he slept I soaked in the tub uninterrupted and even got to hold the remote while watching TV. When he woke, I was standing by with another cocktail and more chicken soup. He never whined at me over something as simple as a cold again and although he didn't even mention that when he truly grew ill he did joke back then 'I hope I never get really sick, Bella will have me put down like a horse with a broken leg.' I did not, of course. And when he was truly sick, I was truly concerned and caring.
From where did this, the 'walk it off, give it some air and you'll be fine' attitude originate? I'm sure it was a defense mechanism to being abandoned as a child that I've always felt short of bones sticking through skin or blood pouring from the eyes or ears I needed to 'suck it up' and move on. I cannot recall ever being nurtured or babied. I'm sure I was but the memories of the abuse and neglect wiped those out.
This journal is triggering memories. When my Mother passed away last year, before my half-sister and I went to war and stopped speaking forever, she phoned and told me Sue ( I was never allowed to call her Mother, Mom, Mommy or anything that would indicate she'd birthed me) was diagnosed terminal with cancer my response was .. as usual.. strong and clear. I did not have any last minute urge to run to the side of her deathbed and make amends. We'd already burned far too many bridges to begin building one last minute.
You know those movie scenes where the person slips and falls off a cliff and bounces all the way to the bottom of the hill? I did that when I was 13 but without the stunt double. We were fishing at a spillway late at night and my Mother shoved me (drunk and angry) and I slipped and bounced downward for what seemed like forever. I'd say I broke bones or cracked ribs but will never know as the only caretaking I received was her gentle comment, 'get out of the ditch Bella and go get my car.' I'm not kidding. No wonder I was the only person laughing in the theater at "Mommy Dearest" - I would have taken Joan Crawford any day.
Eventually Sue sobered up and apologized and schmuck that I am I accepted it. Years later whenever we were still talking and shared a challenging time, feeling bad, etc., we'd say to the other 'get out of the ditch, ok?' as it had moved from a memory of abusive neglect to an inspirational punch line. When asked if I had any last words I wanted to convey to Sue I said 'tell her to tell her to 'get out of the ditch.' I don't know if it made her smile or regret her life, but it was accurate.
Memories of my youth are minimal. From what I've read it is likely my brain protecting me from the horrors I endured. At times I wonder if hypnosis would help me release them and move on but my protective instinct stops me for concern it would wipe me out altogether. Based on the history of the women in my family who've preceded me in death, I probably have another 20-25 years to live (barring accidental death.) I don't want to spend those weaving baskets.
But, I can't blame it all on Sue. I have been googling now for an hour trying to find the novel that inspired this behavior .. this.. tough gal persona. I cannot remember the name nor the author as I read it probably within the same year as my spillway stunt but I believe the combination of the two firmly implanted my need to be strong under all circumstances. I know I was already strong before that; I can remember a step grandfather pulling me out of bed at midnight when I was six years old demanding I 'cook him breakfast' when he staggered in drunk. There I'd be, standing on a footstool praying I didn't break the yolks of his 'eggs over easy' because I'd already ducked far too many plates thrown across the room at me to know better than serve up less than perfect eggs. Grease popping in my face or burning myself was a distant concern compared to breaking the yolk. Amazing I actually still like to cook, isn't it?
The gist of the novel was something about some war veteran buddies were out hunting in the woods and suddenly find themselves under fire from other hunters. One of the buddies was name Lou, I believe, and he was always the butt of their jokes because he was fat, slow, clumsy and not very sophisticated. (basically, ME) But when the sh*t hit the fan and shooting started, the hero character commented 'I looked down and there was good ole Lou, cigarette hanging from his lips, totally focused, unphased firing away'. And another role model for me: Dirty Harry. Isolated, existential and relentless in the quest to 'get the job done'.
Those are the images I've carried with me throughout my life. It was my defense against being overweight or less than sophisticated; I could always be counted on to hold up my end. I know many of you are very sophisticated when it comes to internet searches; I'd love to know the title of that book if you have anyway of referring it to me.
I'm nervous; the lights keep blinking. I hope we don't lose power. Sure, I'd be fine and not need to worry about Cutty being stuck in his electric lift chair will I scramble to get the portable oxygen. Yes, my security alarms are on battery backup, Mushy is curled beside me snoring, and the cell phones are charged. My stove is gas and can be lit (electric pilot) with a lighter if needed. And I have plenty of blankets to stay warm. But I still don't want to lose my power. I want to sit in my home and be quiet but warm.
I'm not sure I came to any conclusion with this journal. No real answers just a few clues. Maybe another day, another journal. Maybe even later today if the power holds. Thank you for reading. Bless you.
Make Peace with Myself
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