Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2006

Forgiveness

I used to say, up until recently, how messed up I was from abuse in relationships (see previous post). It was almost as if I was giving myself permission to have emotional issues, be upset about something, have some drama in my life. Did I genuinely think that I was not capable of taking care of myself, of allowing others to control me and what I did, wore, said…???? Well, yeah.


Alot of healing has come recently.

This summer, I confronted my abusers. There are 5 of them. With the help of my therapist, I tracked them down via the internet and 411. The purpose was to say “this happened and it made me feel this way”. I wasn’t attacking them or expecting or wanting a response from them, or an apology. It was merely a process for me letting go of it.

The first guy listened as I brought up specific incidents and how they made me feel. I spoke for about 4 minutes. He was quiet when I was done and all he said, quietly, “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I don’t do that anymore”. And then he hung up.

The second guy listened as the first guy did and at the end yelled “FUCK YOU, DON’T CALL HERE AGAIN!” and hung up. It made me shudder because his wife had answered the phone when I called.

The third guy, I found out was dead. I still haven’t figured out how. But he is dead.

The fourth guy was an emotional abuser, we actually have had some email conversing over the course of the last few years since his parents are friends with my mom and we had a continued connection with each other. I called him and I told him what I was doing and we discussed more and found true healing in the last few years in our correspondence. He was curious more, to hear how he affected me in the relationship.

The fifth guy, well, he was the worst. He actually asked me questions and wanted to talk more about it. He was calm and I actually think that perhaps he has attempted to move on from that behavior. But I cannot be sure. From what I know, abusive men cannot move on from that behavior very easily or speedily.

I dont feel ruined or messed up. I DID feel screwed up and screwed over at one point for a long time. Through the last few years of leaving my marriage and making a new life for myself and my girls, and going through the confrontation.

I have gained perspective and healing and realize I am my own boss of my emotions and with how I live my life, treat people, think of myself. No one can control that for me.

I was reading a story about the Amish dealing with the recent shootings and how the day after, the Amish started a fund for the family of the shooter. And some Amish families requested to attend the funeral of the shooter. Forgiveness. One man stated in an interview “the burdon the family of the shooter must feel is far greater than our own in loss of our children”. What a way to look at it. The men that hit me, whatever pain they are going through, whatever guilt they may feel, whatever unsettles them to feel the need to take it out on innocence, is far greater than what has been done to me by them. It just kind of clicked for me when I read that.

I realize that if I knew the pain of my worst enemy, I’d be at their feet in love.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I was walking down the road to the beach the other day and passed a couple walking. He had his hand around her upper arm, as if he was leading her and she reminded me of someone.

Me.

I couldnt help but look back after they passed and her hair was pulled back loosely and behind her ear and along her neck to her shoulder was a large bruise, like it had happened the day before. That reminded me of something too from long ago.

Me.

In highschool, I had my first boyfriend and he pressured sex on me. He never got it. I was a Christian Scientist kid, who was taught not to have premarital sex, drink, do drugs or take medicine. Religion or not, I was too young for sex and definitely not ready. So he hit me because of it, all the time. I broke up with him after 5 months. 5 months of being abused, me, a 16 year old.

My first college boyfriend was the one that led me around by the upper arm, as if I were his possession. He would walk away from me, go out without me, hang out with girls in their rooms when I was waiting for him to call, he trashed my room, he threw an iron at me and it hit me in the side of the face and neck because I turned my face away when it was coming at me and gave me that bruise similar to the one of the girl I saw the other day.

The boyfriend after that didnt hit me, thank goodness. But he would tell me I wasn’t pretty enough or good enough for him or happy enough or that I couldnt do anything right for him or by him. He couldnt figure out why I wasnt better at making him feel loved. He would give me the silent treatment for days. He’d cuss at me and tell him not to call him, he’d call me, and then eventually he’d call and be sorry and sweet and want everything “good” again.

The guy from Roanoke, Virginia was fun. He saw me talk to the cashier guy at the college bookstore, I dont even remember what I said or asked, but I was making a purchase and must have smiled at him when he handed me my change and the Roanoke boyfriend pinned me down with his knee to my chest and told me to never smile at another man again, unless it was at him. And then he made me have sex with him. It happened again when he scoured my room one day when I was in class and found a letter I had saved from a crush I had in 8th grade. (mind you, this was 6 years later!) He threw a chair at me when I studied with a study group of all guys, before midterms. He tore my phone out of the wall when I was making a call to my sister’s boyfriend who was like a brother to me, in California, who’s father had just died. He held me against the wall by his hand, at my throat, until I couldnt breathe and when I was on the verge of passing out, something changed in his eyes and he let me go. I left for Spring Break and told him I didnt want to see him again and I never did. He didnt come back to school.

I dated a cop. He had a gun. It made him feel powerful and he liked to show it to me alot when he threatened me. Put it on the table between us, that sort of thing.

I got married to the man who is now my exhusband. Because he was safe. He wouldnt hit me or threaten me. I was safe. I was home with my kids. Big house. Country Club. Trips. Cars. Whatever we wanted. Whatever I wanted. What I wanted wasnt important though, because I never got it from him. I was controlled. I was berated. I was disrespected. I was emotionally put down until I was empty and cold and ready to go. I realized I wasnt safe, not really.

So, no more.

Staying true to myself is my number one priority and what keeps me safe. Even in a relationship with Chef, where we are each dealing with our own demons and old habits and playing old records in our heads, I have to remain true to myself.

It is painful sometimes, and difficult, to realize I can fall back into my own patterns of “letting things go” or not standing up for my beliefs. What I am realizing is that with Chef, the little conflict we have can be, and has continuously been worked out as we communicate better all the time with each other. With the courage to do so, I have never been let down by him as we come together and figure it out. It is nice for a change. I love

Read Full Post »

I was inspired to write this after coming across a blogger who addressed the issue they had with their hearing loss. It isn’t something I talk about much other than with “the man I am seeing”. Since I no longer have a husband who used to yell in my face “DO YOU HAVE POTATOES IN YOUR EARS?” when I asked him to repeat himself, I have not endured the impatience or abuse I took for many years because of it.When I was going through the divorce, I decided to go get my hearing checked for the first time ever. I was hoping it was just wax buildup, or even potatoes, but my ears were clean. At least I have good hiegene.

I found, instead, that I have congenital hearing loss. (“congenital” meaning “we have no idea why you have hearing loss, you just do”.) I have significant hearing loss, but since I have not had my ears checked in my entire adult life, I have no idea if it was always this way or progressively gotten worse over the years or what. It is worse in my right ear, better in my left ear, but still not too great. I remind “the man I am seeing” to whisper “sweet nothings” in the left ear, when he felt the urge to, that is.

The thought of hearing aids is a struggle for me. I never thought myself vain. Maybe insecure about the stretch marks from having my babies or self conscious on a bad hair day or pms-breaking-out-day, but when the idea of having hearing aids arose, I kind of freaked out. Have I gotten hearing aids yet? Nooo. Why? They are damn expensive…they can get up to 5k a piece if you want the good ones. And, well, because I guess I am vain. I dont want to stand out and show I have a problem. (even though I am smart enough to know that regardless of hearing aids or not, I DO have a problem. I can’t friggin’ hear!)

I have managed over the years to read lips a bit. If someone is turned away or has their hand up to their face or a scarf around their chin, I just hear this mumbling and cant see anything to help me out. Lipreading came in handy when I went to court for the divorce proceedings. I would watch my ex and his scroungy lawyer across the room and read their lips. My lawyer was in on it with me. “What are they saying now?” she would whisper. “Oh, they’re just saying that my measely child support should cover preschool, college and what-not”. Or “I think he just said the “F” word.”

I miss out on conversations at parties, especially when there is loud music. I used to pretend I was tired or spaced out so I wouldnt get approached and dragged into a conversation that I couldnt hear. I missed half of Brokeback Mountain because the speech was so soft but the visuals told me everything I needed to know, I missed most of “Capote” because the tone in his voice was hard for me to hear. I miss the dialog of movies where the background music is loud. These things can sometimes be fixed if I am at home by changing the bass or surround sound levels.

When there is soft music playing in stores or elevators, I have a hard time identifying the song while my kids are dancing around in the aisles singing it word for word at the top of their lungs. I can hear the music but have no idea what it is. I hear voices, muffled, but have no idea what they are saying. (I HEAR VOICES!) I strain and sometimes between straining and reading lips with people, I can get the jist of what is being said. Sometimes not.

I have had a few embarrassing encounters. People with thick accents are difficult to understand for people with hearing problems. I was once spending a weekend with two couples, the men each being British. Not only were they British with these beautiful accents, but they were from different parts of England, so they had DIFFERENT British accents. Imagine that. Fortunately for me, I knew one of them men fairly well and quickly adjusted so I wasnt left out in the cold for very long.

In college, there was a man from Africa with a VERY thick accent. I could NEVER understand him. I worked in the Career Development Center and he would frequently come in for career help. When I saw him coming, I would rush out to run an errand or hide in the back and pretend to be sorting books so that another employee would help him. If he cornered me and spoke, I would just stare at him and be afraid to say “what?”. Which I did often because I had no choice. And the man was speaking English! He caught on over time and would laugh at me when our paths crossed on the road…one thing I managed to understand was him yelling after me through his laughter “WAIT! I WANT TO TALK TO YOU!” and I was like “I’m late for class!”. It was mortifying.

Frustrating? Slightly. It is embarrassing to ask people to repeat themselves. The neighbor over the fence used to talk to me from about 30 feet away and I would have to put my hand up to get them to stop and have them wait for me to walk right up to the fence and have them repeat themselves right in my face.

Chef has this great deep man voice and the majority of the time I can hear him. If the water in the sink is running or he turns away from me, I sometimes miss what he is saying. If I ask him to repeat himself, he has yet to act frustrated or mad or yell “DO YOU HAVE POTATOES IN YOUR EARS?” And for that I am eternally grateful for his lovingness in this.

The fact that I have two young children complicates things a little. I have to have a sharp ear. Currently, I keep a baby monitor on next to my bed on “high” to hear them if they wake up in the middle of the night. Fortunately for me my kids are now in “big girl beds” so they can come to me and jump and scream to get my attention (wake me). When they get older, I will need hearing aids to overhear their conversations on the phone with their friends, or whispering in the corner with each other conspiring something or another, or to hear them when they come in past curfew or sneak out at night. See what I am up against?

 

Read Full Post »

I’ve been stepping over junk for the last week or so and have been somewhat rejoicing over it. What it means is that I have finally rid myself (slowly over time) of the obsessive tendencies I had somehow picked up in my young adulthood from my mother, who has increasingly gotten stranger and stranger every day in her older age…or at least, I am realizing the more I get to know her as an adult, she has always been a strange duck.I have finally rid myself of the urges to pick up every frickin’ thing the moment it hit the floor.

To clean every speck of dust every day. To wash every dish the minute I finished my meal, short of licking it clean. I’m not slob by any means, but I dont rush to do the laundry every 6 hours. 
My living room floor is covered with Crayola markers and torn pieces of paper that say backwards in my lefthanded five year old’s writing, “I love Mommy” and “I can jump” and “chock-late is nice”. The three year old just keeps drawing pictures of “Mommy” with a big green nose and earrings that date back to Cindi Lauper days. Next thing I know, she’ll give me leg warmers.
I step on seashells, sand, plastic horses, bits of string, pipe cleaner flowers.
After two years of single motherhood with my two young daughters, I have gained tools to deal with baggage dating back to when I was a kid, because it all begins when we are kids, you know, “they” say that our “messed-up-ed-ness” comes from our childhoods, the parenting we had or didn’t have.
Here, you will read about some of it. Some of it, you will have to find between the lines. And sometimes I might write about things as simple and meaningless as the two damn flies that have been circling my living room for the last two days. I killed one a hour ago and the other one seems stuck between the window and screen finally. Which means, hopefully after a light frost tonight, it will be dead on the sill in the morning and I can vaccuum it up tomorrow…..I mean next week maybe.
I’d say that our whole lives can mess us up if we let it. I lived with it, messing me up through young adulthood, marriage, divorce. In a relationship now with another man for the last two years, I am attempting to step over the junk and use that baggage to “carry on”.

Here’s to Stepping Over the Junk.

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »