Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Friday, May 30, 2014

an assignment to write from my adviser

So, anyway, I meet once a month with a spiritual adviser.  She is a great person and all-round rockin' nun, and I love her.

A few months ago, after many months of meeting together, I had a pop to the consciousness and a strange and wonderful break-through.  That is for another time, though.

We met yesterday afternoon, right after my therapy appointment, and, you know, after an hour or so of that you would think that I would be worn out and talked out.  But, something magical, as in truly and wondrously amazing happens when she and I sit down across the table from one another.

Sometime last fall I started attending church.  I chose a Lutheran place downtown because I am attracted to their social agenda.  Were I more fit, I could easily walk there in a reasonable time.  Even in icky weather.  I mean, that is why the Goddess gave us umbrellas.

Then, in October I became ill.  I still attended when I could, but I finally was sick enough that I could not make it to Christmas Eve services.  Since then I have been back only once.  It is only recently that I am improved physically and factor in my newest job that until now has been every weekend, my intention is to go next week Sunday. 

So, I was talking about that, my desire to connect in some way to something outside of myself, which may be a deity or the community or something.  I do not need, nor do I have time for another volunteer gig, so it is not that.  I am not confused or conflicted, just stuck.

I mentioned that I was thinking about finding another Catholic church, that it might be nice ti dip back into those experiences, and she told me that she knew of a church here in town that might interest me.  More importantly, they have a Sunday evening mass that I could attend every week.  I could get back to town when I am visiting my daughter and all the boys.  I could go after work on Sundays. 

I am going to go there this weekend.  Sunday.  After work.  I am going to sit there and observe and absorb, because that is all the extra energy I have lately, and I am going to allow it to be what it is.  No expectations.  No looking for revelations.  No being struck with anything exceptional.  No speaking in tongues.  Oh, never mind, that is another spiritual practice. 

When I was in high school I just could not take the church and its administrative folk.  I stopped going to mass.  I felt betrayed by the priests and nuns because the whole family would show up on Sundays and look oh-so-darling, our tiny town's very own Brady Bunch.  I digress, but I do not think that anyone could begin to imagine what it was like to have the little community, and especially that church and its members and rulers make all kinds of comparisons between our blended family and that television show.  Most especially when the rulers there knew much of the chaos and mess that was going on behind our closed doors.

I wonder what they thought when I came to school disheveled, pajama bottoms rolled up under my skirt because I did not have under garments to wear.  I wonder what they thought all those bruises and abrasions were about.  I wonder what they thought or what the purpose was to punish me for all of that stuff.  I have recovered, gotten over, most everything in my life, but those church folk and the doctors that patched us back together, because of the times back then, did not intervene or even talk to my parents about what they observed.  No one did anything.  There were no mandatory reporters like there are now.  Heck, I have been a MR on and off for most of the past thirty years, and I understand how difficult all of that is, can be.

And, yet, I hold pain about the people who knew and did nothing about that long ago pain of myself and my siblings.  I am not sure how I want to go about healing from that, or how I can find a way to cast that thrall away.  I am sure that it is a big part of my frustration when I observe injustice of any kind.  Anger, as well, although breaking through and acknowledging that I actually have anger is still a struggle for me.

The thing is that I am now aware that I am not alone.  I have always believed in something greater than my self.  I did even when I was barely more than a toddler, although for most of my life I could not articulate any of that.

Another thing is that whilst I have some amazing and wonderful friends, I work (all my jobs and gigs) with some amazing and wonderful co-workers and clients, and that I am out and about five or six days each week doing something cool...even laundry, which I like so much...the truth is that I am lonely.  I do not know what to do about that.

Someone tried to ask me out for a date this week.  I shut him down before I would be forced to decline.  My hope is that he thinks me merely dumb and oblivious.  I also hope that he does not try again.  He is not the first one to do this, approach me this way, since I left that other life.  It is not that I am not ready or anything like that, it too difficult to imagine that I will ever be able to trust anyone with the more vulnerable parts of myself.  It makes me feel pathetic.  I need to be safe about this now.  I need to not be taking any risks now. 

That and the whole church community thing are part of the same things.  At this time, church seems a much more safe place to step out of my isolation.  That I can do.  I can attend mass this Sunday.  I can participate to just the place where I feel comfortable, until I can make it to the next place where comfort beckons.

If anyone asks, this is what PTSD is like. 

1 comment:

  1. J, as we are the same vintage... things were much the same here in those days. I was thinking about those school days recently especially about how we used to get the 'cuts' with the feather duster handle if we misbehaved or didn't! These days it would be called child abuse I guess. What happens in our childhood influences our adult life more than we realise and yes, there were a lot of injustices with some being treated better than others and I was one of those through no fault of my own. One of my classmates however was badly treated and is now a fierce defender of the underdog. She holds no malice but she won't let anyone she knows be treated badly. Your post reminded me of her a lot. I hope you heal! Big hugs. Chel