Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blade Runner

We went to see Blade Runner at a concert hall last night.  The building before the 2008 bust was a Catholic Church in a pretty wealthy are of town.  The city purchased it and turned it into a concert hall. It still look like a church from the outside.

With this kind of movie there was a interesting group of viewers. We were doing some serious people watching. Pretty much a packed house. I had a talker behind me for the first part. Giving a blow by blow of what was happening to her movie partner as if he was blind.  Luckily the intensity of the movie took over and either she stopped talking or I stopped paying attention.

The movie is futuristic movie released in 1982 about the 2019. I love this movie because it is so visually stimulating. With all the action and visual details there is an underlying human story that gives you something to think about.

Way in the future 2019 they have developed human like androids for doing life's dirty business. Working basically as slaves on other planets. Very beautiful slaves nevertheless. They of course start developing human emotions. A group of them have escaped and Harrison Ford has been hired to hunt them down and kill them before they kill more real people.

They are searching for their creator because they have an internal termination date and want to live. They were given this genetic termination to keep them from becoming too human.

Our star a very young Harrison Ford hunts them down and kills them very graphically in this directors version. They are not real people but the Harrison and the audience starts to feel conflicted. This whole movie takes place on earth where only the less than perfect live. You can't leave the planet if you have any physical problems.

I thought about how we as humans always want to feel superior to someone or something. Whether it is a particular group of people or a race or even animals.

In the movie they have created what they think of as a product and one that is disposable. At the end the harshest character saves Harrison's life instead of killing him. Showing in that moment how sacred he thought life was and showing forgiveness in those last moments.

Plenty to think about and an excellent movie.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rinse and Repeat

I had a tough day yesterday. I had a job go south after a ton of work. I knew when I started the relationship it was going to require a lot of patients on my part. I have had enough experience to know when there is going to be trouble. Why do I think this time it will turn out different?

On the surface you might think a job is a job and I am just not turning away business. When I got home last night I had plenty of time for reflection and came up with my truth. I could tell myself I am a people pleaser and need the praise and adoration of others and maybe that it true sometimes but not in this case. It is ego really or is that the same thing?

My ego tells me that I am the one person that can take this person on and come out ahead. Who am I kidding, really? I want to satisfy the unsatisfiable. I can be the one person to solve the unsolvable puzzle.

The was the story of my life as of this moment. This is how I have ended up in relationships with people that need serious help and I am the one willing to lay my life on the line for them. I have had difficult bosses, co-workers, clients and spouses. Hum. What is the common denominator? Me.

We all know difficult people but not everyone wants to help them, fix them or support their cause. It is not because I am so good at it is more because it makes me think I have special powers. Well it turns out I don't and I don't want to be that person anymore.

At the core I don't give up until I am laid out on the floor. This would be one of my character defects and assets. My mother would always say "where there is a will there is a way".  I stay too long and then feel I have invested too much time to give up now.  If I just wait things will get better.Hah.

The dilemma of dysfunctional relationships. This is how I ended up in an alcoholic marriage and then Al-Anon. I thought I was special because he let me into his world it was just me and him. Rinse and repeat comes to mind at this point. 

I have grown and can sometimes feel special on my own. But the temptation is strong to be the one that is chosen. Even if that is in the business world.
What I have learned for the 99th time is that it isn't my job. I don't want this lesson again. Can I let the lure of glory and my egos desire to be special pass me by next time. Maybe.

Letting go again.....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Photographs and Memories

I worked in the sweltering heat yesterday cleaning the neighbors side yards that butt up to my house. They both are oblivious to the jungle growing there and on one side I  think we attracting big beetle bugs. They are appearing my my bathroom. So I spent three hours in the humidity and it looks great now.

I like the heat it runs through my southern veins on both sides of the family. My mother's family were very poor and lived in the tobacco barns during cutting season. My dad's parents had a farm but my grandmother supported the family by working in the textile mill. Hard workers all of them.

It feels good to get out and wear myself out. I always take on too much. I don't leave enough energy to clean the tools or even enough energy to take a shower. It does feel good to use something besides my head.

I was spent last night but my mind was racing. I wasn't much interested in TV or really doing anything else. I started reading a book about life after menopause. Boring. Then something said to me what about reading the Bible. My my said "What!"

After reading the Sue Monk Kidd book I started thinking about her journey which included migrating from being Baptist to Episcopalian. Finding her own way in life.  Maybe it was time I took a second look.

I was taught to read from my mother's bible and still have it. It along with a half a dozen others that were gifts from people trying to woo me back from the devil. One is a hip version from the 70's that I covered in a groovy fabric. It was suppose to get us to think God was our buddy cause he knew our lingo. It was the kind of bible that you were aloud to write in.

I went the shelf and picked out my mother's bible. It is yellow now instead of white and has a little zipper with a cross on it that doesn't work anymore. Inside I had written my name and address at clearly a young age. Didn't want to lose your mother's bible.

Inside I als found a picture of her family. There they were or what was left of them. Two died before reaching five. Kids without a father raised on hard work. Destined to be poor without a man's income. My mom the youngest and the only one to stay at home past 14.

You can see that my grandmother was tough and no one was smiling in this picture. She was god fearing. She never married and never got a regular job. She didn't complain about her lot in life and went on to build her own house with donated materials. I don't remember seeing her ever read the bible but she talked about Jesus all the time.

I decided to read the red text. All words I had read and heard before. No resistance this time. It is just a piece of my own history that I can accept now. It wasn't the words that I ran from all those years it was the people that were saying them and using them to justify their own deeds.

It felt good to see that I have really let go. I knew early in my life that I wouldn't be a great sheep. I had to find my own way and I am still working on that. I have found that life doesn't have to be about living against something just about living for yourself. Separating your own ideas from ones that you picked up from someone else along the way.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I have been re-reading The Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd this was one of the many books I read during my journey to the outer limits of my mind. At least I think so.  It is a great book and I really don't remember anything about it. I know I must have read it because someone has highlighted certain passages throughout the book and since I live alone I am making the assumption that it was me.

It is helps me to know that I am not alone in my mid life crisis of faith and that someone else has gone to the dark side and returned. Isn't that what we all want to know that we are not totally alone in our suffering. We are not unique even though we still want to feel like we are special in some way. Our story is different and no one could possibly understand where we are coming from. It is life and if we are suffering it is a good bet someone else out there has been in our shoes.

I live for the most part in my head. I have let my heart in over the past four years reluctantly. Some how deep inside I knew it would be real trouble and I was right.  I thought I had done this before earlier in my life but now I am not so sure. Maybe it is just a little deeper.

To really know yourself in an honest way is pretty frightening. Realizing that you have been living with the expectations of an child is a hard pill to swallow. That is really what is going on with me.

I really thought that life would be different than it has turned out. Granted I had a rough start with my mother dying but I got back on track. I married, we found good jobs and we bought a house. We were talking about the next step of having kids. He was a kid and one that drank more than regularly. I felt alone and thought I would be a lonely mother waiting at home for him to return from his constant party.

He found someone else that could straighten him out and was willing to have those kids. They are still together and have two kids.

At 30 I decided no kids for me. I didn't want be on the hunt like so many women I knew at the time looking for a man so they could have children. I did meet someone in my mid-thirties but I had already decided no kids for me.

Being left again in my mid-forties was a shock. I know that now that I have been in shock. I turned that inward and blamed myself. The choices I made in my life has left me alone and sometimes lonely.  Once again this situation is not unique to me but it wasn't where I expected to be.

This pain has been compounded by my recent turn inward where I let go of my vast network of friends and associates. Another barrage of blaming heading my way. See you did this to yourself, you are the reason you are alone. It is your fault something is wrong with you. No one to blame but yourself.

This is what I hear when I am at my lowest. I took yesterday off thinking it was a great idea and ended up paralyzed in these kinds of thoughts. I didn't know what to do with myself. I felt I had no one I could call. I have used up my grace with the people left in my life.

I am over myself today. I feel like so what this is the way things are for now and not the way they will always be. It is just one day and doesn't mean I am slipping back into shock and pain. It is normal to have feelings to have bad days to feel alone and lonely. I am just like everyone else like it or not I am not special. The feelings I am feeling have been felt since the creation of man and women.

For those in a life transformation or grieving for was has been lost I recommend the book. She does reference the Bible along with many other authors. It is not a religious book just a book of her journey and where she found hope to go on even when she didn't want to.

As for me I will be alright somehow as always I will make my own way. I have been lonely when I had someone sleeping beside me every night. I am practicing acceptance and understanding that just because I think I am to blame doesn't me it is true. There is no one to blame it is a part of life. Stuff happens and you just have to deal with it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seeing things as they are and not as I wish them to be

I have been working on my house the past few days. Accepting my life as it is now instead of wishing things were different. On Sunday a friend of mine helped me to replace the 1984 microwave oven over my stove.

I had an hood microwave that the previous owner of our business gave me a few years ago. He told some story about why it was returned I don't really remember the details now. I thought there is no way the new one will last 28 years. It was actually still working but it was really scary and probably radiating my head every time I used it . The new one looks so nice and clean.

Yesterday I spent the day making some screens for my windows. I noticed for the first time in 3 1/2 years that they were missing. While working I thought a lot about my dad. I got the fixing gene from him. My fathers only son I always told people.

He was a patient man a lot more patient than me. I used to think he ruined my life.  The truth is I didn't really know him I only knew him from the perspective of a child. I was too hurt and immature to see that the man I thought I knew died with my mother. I wanted him to take over where she left off be there when I needed him. He didn't have that kind of strength but waited for him to show up anyway.

In my meditation last night I began to visit the house where we all lived when my mother was alive and during her illness. I could see every single detail of each room and all the furniture and rugs. I could see the ceramic yellow and red rooster sitting on the counter. I could see the blue couch that my mother laid on month after month while she was sick.  Every detail frozen in time.

She made our life a fairytale my mom. We had the pentecostal June Cleaver version of life. We prayed together, read the Bible together had ice cream socials with the sisters and brothers from the church.  There was a constant flow of visitors in our home even missionaries from other countries, life was a constant party.

So why was this coming back to me now? It occurred to me that as a child I believed that this is how   life would always be. My mother made things happen she took care of us and life was great.

This is and eight year old's view of the situation. I think I have been trying to get back to that eight year old's version of nirvana all my life. My mother wasn't there to help me deal with the reality of adulthood. Help me to deal with the reality that sometimes things don't work out and sometimes mothers die. To show me what life behind the scenes is really like. Life isn't always a party like it is at eight. I think now I have been eight most of my life. I get that now.

Life taught me that life can suck when your mother dies and your dad remarries someone that wishes you would disappear. But somewhere I believed I would find the happiness I had at eight again if I just kept looking. It wasn't real except in the mind of that little girl.

My mediation made me realize that in my mind that was the last time I was happy. A childhood happy that would have disappeared even if my mother hadn't died. I have thought all this time that I could get that back. It is like when you first fall in love and it is bliss and then eventually you have to decide who is going to take out the trash. There is no permanent bliss.

In my imagination I had it all at eight and the rest of my life has been a big disappointment. Never living up to that standard. Sounds ridiculous I am sure. It wasn't all roses back then either my mother whipped me daily so who knows what life was really like outside my imagination.

So the past lives only in my imagination and it is time that I focused on just what is in front of me.  I can see things just as they are instead of what I wish them to be.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Emotions - A choice to make

I went to a memorial service today for the husband of a designer that use to work with us. It was really nice and I became very emotional even though I didn't really know him.
The former owner of our business was there and he ask me if  I was getting emotional because it made me think of my own losses or because of the music.  I had to think for a moment but answered that I am sensitive to the emotions of other people. I could feel the sadness in the room and it made me cry.

That might sound silly but as I have realized sometimes my emotions are not my own but of someone in the room. I believe we are all connected and if we are willing to be open to emotion you feel what others are feeling.  Most of us have from time to time walked into a room where the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife or a party where the mood is up.

I learned early in my life that it wasn't good to cry or get angry. After my mother died life was much easier without emotions. This is what attracted me to my first alcoholic he was full of emotions and I had none. He said I was cold as ice. He was right I was afraid of my feelings. Who needed the pain of emotions.

It served me well professionally to be shut down. I was a work horse and I expected the same from the people that worked for me. This all changed when I came to the program. Life dealt me a blow that I couldn't push down. I opened my heart to my alcoholic the first person since my mother died and he left me. The only one I had trusted since I was eleven. I was broken in half.

I scrambled to contain my emotions. I worked harder than ever and spent all my waking hours at the office. It worked temporarily and I was promoted twice during a time in my life that I was emotionally at the bottom. I slept in my clothes and got up in the morning and showered and went back to work. Dead woman walking. No one knew. I had no friends. When you live with active alcoholism you don't have friends. That is part of the family disease.

The program saved me from a life of being shutdown. I met someone that never gave up on me. She became my sponsor and twenty years later is still my friend and sometimes still my unofficial sponsor.

It is because of the program that I can live my life more  open emotionally. I have learned it isn't all or nothing and that I can separate my emotions from the emotions of others. I can accept people where they are and I can do the same for myself. Most of the time.

It is harder to live with feelings but more rewarding. I didn't like being stuck in grief so long but this is part of being emotionally alive.

I was emotional today because I knew the family would be beginning their own journey of grief. There no way around it only through and when you get to the other side you are better for it. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lies and half truths.

I am never really sure what to do when I am dealing with someone that is dishonest.

I know when someone is drinking or drugging it is a sure bet that what ever they are saying isn't true.  I can kind of understand how the addition is running the show. You are just an innocent by-stander that is between them and the substance. It isn't personal even when it feels like it.

What if you are dealing with someone that doesn't seem to have addiction problem but regularly lies about things where there doesn't even seem to be reason to lie.

I wonder what would be the point? In my life I have done my share of lying, mostly to myself.  When I was a teenager I lied a lot. These weren't blatant lies most omissions. Where I was or who was there. I like to call that withholding all the facts. Half truths, if there is such a thing.

I am dealing with someone that is doing a lot of lying. I am not even sure they have any idea just how many lies they have told or who they told them to. I can't get away from this person right now. I am not sure what I should do if anything.

I am going to look at them like they do have an addiction. For some reason they think no one knows. This does sound like the addicted. Doesn't it?

I am going to wait and see what happens. This of course sounds like the Al-Anon not wanting to upset the afflicted. Avoid conflict at any cost.  I am just trying not to force a solution.

In the program they say " Don't float their boat or sink their ship." basically let life take it's natural course and it usually does.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Everything is changing - Awesome Chocolate Cake

Everything is changing. Isn't that always true?  Sometimes I just choose not to see the changes. I am content to stay stuck in the same place for as long as it takes. Life just goes on without me whether I like it or not. When I am ready to see the truth there it is waiting for me.

I am getting on with my life. Looking and what needs to be done and making plans for my future.

Work has been busy with many hours of computer time and no energy or eyes left to write here. I spent the 4th at a friends house with her neighbors.  Three teenage boys with $500 bucks of fireworks it was really quite spectacular. It was a good change for me to be with people that don't really know me or my have any idea I have been half  (more than half) out of my mind for a really long time.  How refreshing. I made them laugh a few times. Imagine that me making someone laugh. I remember now I use to be funny.

Of course the friend that invited me knows all too well where I have been. Once we went shopping at an antique mall and I just sat down completely incapacitated. After that I didn't see her for about 6 months. She said she felt helpless and just couldn't be around me.  I could relate I felt helpless and couldn't be around myself.  No where to go.

Lately I have been looking at every part of my life. Starting with my physical space and seeing what needs to be done and where to begin. I am actually want a future now.

Recently in my busy state suddenly I will just stop and think about how normal I feel. This brings tears to my eyes tears of joy. I am taking care of myself again and happy to do it. I am buying and cooking food. I made an awesome (my new favorite word) chocolate cake for the 4th.

For those out there that are dealing with grief and loss or menopause.  To me these are basically the same things. I am here to tell you that there is relief and freedom somewhere down the road. One day you will just wake up and wonder where you have been.