Morning After

Granted, I woke up tired and could use another two hours of sleep. 

The world did not end. 

People showed themselves, as they always do when things are dark. I was gifted with lights from more than one candle. 

What does today hold? 

A friend is visiting and I don’t know if I will confide that I needed to “Save Myself“. 

Why? Because she’s no idea how far I’ve fallen from my true self.

He will call, more than once. He will attempt to convince me to change my mind. He will not, cannot, break my resolve. 

All of these words sound strong and resilient in the early morning. 

I ask my angels for strength.

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Her Father’s Daughter: A Short Story (in progress) – Preface & The First Step 

Her Father’s Daughter: A Short Story in progress

Preface:

She walks in his well-worn shoes and is not conscience of the great parallels of their lives.  

In her mind he is a myth: brilliant, perfect and strong; a memory that she clings on to each day for survival.  

In her world his flaws, obvious but always forgiven, are overlooked because his love for her overshadowed them by far.

Too proud that she carries many of his traits, it is of surprise when she realizes that his darkness so closely resembles her own.

Her father died far too young with a simple few years of true freedom, if that at all.

Expectations. Did she fulfill his and did he live up to his own?

Did he ever resolve his sense of obligation? Would she?

On a cold January afternoon she sits perfectly still as the ferry bounces up and down along the choppy Hudson River.  

Once again her mind filled with unanswered questions.

Step One:

This session left her questioning her mortality; the quality of the shrinking years of her life. 

Hearing the reality: “you’ve probably got thirty years left – twenty where you can do anything you want” left her breathless.

What was she waiting for, her father lived within the same self-imposed confines but managed to find sorted joy. How?

Where was her joy?!

Her love of dogs, now a source of pain and loss, compartmentalized. “I can’t – not until – what if“. 

Each and every day missing the unconditional love in her world of piercing emptiness; it would never be “the right time“.

Staring out at the fog as ferry ride turned Manhattan into a fading illusion, she screamed.

Before she lay her head on the pillow that night, she had adopted fraternal twin basset hounds. 

Heart bursting with excitement, the boys would arrive by the end of the month. Is this joy?

The ridiculous happiness that she believed could never be replicated, the warm smell of ears and paws, it was going to happen again!

A life filled with guilt, self-loathing and almost void of the flutter of love; how did this happen? 

Childhood memories of her “perfect” father’s face when he thought no one was looking was now a mirror of her own self-sacrifice. 

He adored her dogs almost as much as she did; they gave her comfort every moment of each day before and especially after he passed. 

Waiting was not an option. She looked down at her feet and his shoes – it must be time to stop punishing herself for unknown crimes.

Just as he adjusted by the decade in order to survive, it occurred to her that she could walk barefoot in the grass. No shoes – his or mine. 

The romping of two excited hounds and a barefoot girl, imagine: no guilt. 

Be Happy“: Her father’s mantra repeated time and again since she was a child.  Because there was no example she invented masks to fulfill his edict. 

Hearing his words, she had an overwhelming secret guilt in any happiness that was exclusively hers. 

Get Rid of the Guilt!“, her doctor had said week after month and year. His words filled the quiet office, he spoke in a language foreign to his patient. 

And so…

Days later, despite commentary, lack of help or mutual excitement; she knew it was right. She was due.

These sweet dogs would help her untie the first notch of the self-imposed noose. The noose; a painful and cumbersome necklace she’d worn for almost as long as she could recall. 

Yes, slightly loosened: Small Step One.

  

Step One: The Boys!

“Be a Butterfly”, they screamed!

While alone (so alone) during a “family vacation” (his) while getting a fabulous hot rock massage; I cried

BE A BUTTERFLY“, colors flooded my blurred eyes while the masseuse continued to work her magic. My father was a butterfly, he didn’t become one upon death. My Dad lived his life to its fullest each and everyday. Yes, he felt pain, depression and the feeling of responsibility – but NONE of that stopped him from enjoying his life. 

I could hear him saying these words to me as I lay on a warm table while a woman worked the stress out of my neck. 

My sweet but departed (how I still ache) dogs LIVED their lives!  They jumped and played – they didn’t hold back; borne BUTTERFLIES

What the fuck am I doing with my life?  

Living in the shadows and “doing time?  

My husband is loving the vacation with HIS family while I have this BURST of truth:  I must live MY LIVE

Not his, or his parent’s, his sibling’s or even what others think my live should be – fill in the blank. 

I need to find me!  

Whomever she is: ________ (fill in the blank please – NO, let me). 

Now

NOW I’m the crazy one – NO WAY!

NOW I’m the one who doesn’t sleep, shower or eat

NOW I’ve no place to live but continue to support his lifestyle 

NOW I live under the roof of the enemy and must change my mask in order to survive

I’ve been foolish and have trusted the wrong people; NOW it is time for me to change my attitude and save myself 

NOW there is no other choice but to stand up and take back my life despite all of their cruelty and insanity

NOW I will do what is best for me instead of what is best for them, only I will do it covertly 

Nobody will know what I am planning until well after I am done

Surprise!  It’s my life!  I exist!  

NOW it’s my turn to be a person rather than a servant or your means to an end

The world is about to change, this time next year, things will be different 

NOW I must begin my plan, no details just yet, simply day by day – until it is time to make the world mine

NOW or never, I’m not spending my life in a holding pattern any longer 

NOW it’s my life!

My Rules For Peace

IF EVER…

If ever I am going to find peace, than I must set down rules.  These rules, I have believed for far too long were for others to follow.  It has finally hit me over the head (like the cliche:  ton of bricks) that the rules must be MINE.  

My overall survival depends upon setting up RULES to live by; if not I will perish under the oppression of my captors.  Stockholm syndrome – whatever it may be – I must figure out a way to save myself from this constant barrage of self inflicted abuse.

My Rules For Peace:

1.  Say NO

2.  Ignore negativity

3.  Find out what makes me happy

4.  Look forward

5.  Do NOT accept pain

6.  Love myself enough to take care of ME

7.  Remember what my father would want for me; not what others want for me

8.  Selfish is NOT always bad

9.  Always choose the dog

10. Peace is possible

This is an evolving list, please feel free to add, comment and give me your thoughts – I need and am open to your input.

Butterflies are free –

Twenty Years

He and I have been together nearly twenty years and there are parts of me he’s never seen or touched. 

Last night he calls out to me with a grand epiphany:  “if anything were to happen to me, you would take the dog and move far away, never looking back“. 

He says this as though he has discovered the cure for cancer.  

Or, that he has realized that he has eleven toes. 

I agree, this has been my truth for as long as I can recall. 

Austin, Texas or Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

He is astonished and begins but then stops himself before he can pepper me with questions. There is no reason for me to be here other than him. My best friend can join me anywhere at anytime. 

He is my anchor. 

My anchor in the shape of a heart. 

Still, after all of these years, I am an enigma to him. Just as easily as I could disappear;  is as quickly as I could become the CEO of a National Bank. Neither matter in the grand scheme of the Universe. 

What keeps me alive are my secret dreams of passion, music and wildflowers.  

Swear drenched nights, sunlit mornings and a different life. 

  

Stupid Statement:  “You’ve Had Time Off, What Are You Complaining About?”

Seriously, you must have had some sort of absence of blood flow between your brain and mouth?  A seizure?  There is no way you can say that to me when I’ve cared for your ailing parents, taken care of you both physically and financially, arranged huge gettogethers for relatives thousands of miles away, bought excessive gifts and redecorated our home for your family. I have accepted insults, slaps in the face, rudeness, I’ve been taken for granted and treated like the help by the very people I’ve been told are “family”. 

“Family”, my ass!  My dog is family. These people, with a few exceptions are parasitic mammals dressed in the latest designer fashions (which I’ve purchased on your Mother’s credit card). 

This has not been a party and that is MY FAULT. The time has come for me to seek out my goals and shed those leaches that continue to hang on. 

I love you.