Sunday, January 8, 2017

It's QUIET in Here

I adore winter.   I adore snowstorms.  As long as the power stays on.  Soon the snow blowers, including mine, will break the 13 degree silence, but for now we live under this pristine white blanket. 

Sixteen tabs are open on my computer.  Two of my ninety-two Kindle books are open.  One paperback - "The Map of Heaven" by Eben Alexander, M.D. is almost finished.

Countless CDs - maybe two hundred - lie on the chair, and on the couch next to me, leaving me just enough room to sit and stretch my feet out on the coffee table.  My cat is upset.   He can't curl up beside me, so he perches on the couch's arm, then leaves, stopping briefly to glare at me.  It's temporary!  How can I make him understand?  The CD cabinet was too heavy to move out of the hallway into my freshly painted library without emptying it.  Over the holidays I added two dozen CDs to my collection.  CD's on the couch, the chair, in piles.  ONE boxful is on its way to Goodwill.

The shelves are still bare, two weeks after they were painted.  How long should you let paint cure before putting stuff on shelves?

It is  a w e s o m e l y peaceful behind these eyes.  I have been meaning to tell you this for days.  Not knowing HOW to tell you, though.  How does one tell about an absence?

The PTSD pinball machine I was trapped inside for 58 years is G O N E.   Yes, the balls, springs, levers and flippers.  Felt like me, with me all the time.  Some call it our Inner Critic.  Just last month I discovered the co-host in my head and named it the Mad Hatter.  That Mad Hatter was playing my pinball machine for all it was worth.  Making me crazy!  This was when I realized.... someone inside me must be independently observing the Mad Hatter.   the  'Real' me.  Hello?  sweet Flo!

You've probably experienced me differently here.  Not completely addled. I wrote right through my Mad Hatter's antics.  Now the Mad Hatter is gone.   Took the pinball machine with him.  Where?  I don't know.  On another planet?  Do I care?!? I can't even relate to it except in some dry historical way.  Victim 


It really took 'going back there' and redoing the ending for me.  Not everybody needs that, do they?

Goodness. Why does bad stuff happen in the first place?  Maya Angelou didn't speak for six years after she was raped as a child.  The attack I endured had not one finger touching me, yet its surgical precision stripped me and delivered its load of shame all the same.  What happened to me was a bit like what happened to the developmentally disabled young man in Chicago recently, lured by a [false] friend into an apartment, where he was humiliated and pummeled.  The emotional pummeling, will that heal?  Will he ever trust again?

My pinball machine and Mad hatter were born one spring day in 1958 or 1959.  One can say that day put the icing on the cake, because the cake had already been baked.  Evidently that's the day my core belief shifted to 'I am developmentally disabled' and never shifted back.  Until 9 days ago.  Argh!  I spent my whole life trying to disguise a false fact!

Unlike Maya Angelou, I spoke afterwards, but no longer as the 'real' me - after all 'I' was developmentally disabled.  Thereafter, I spoke as a 'pretend' person, playing the part of a pert, unflappable doll.  I rarely uttered a peep.   Sometimes in life, in those rare moments when the stars lined up, I was Missy Pert.  Like on my wedding day, when my family was nice as can be.  But afterwards, even basking in the glow of a husband who pretty much adored me, the levers and flippers never ceased reminding me I was really a fool underneath.

But I'm not.

Here's what's I discover in my Celebrant's heart:

We can't escape the realities of life when we open our heart.  We will be prejudged, critiqued, misunderstood, laughed at.  By some people.  Blind people.  Tell them how you feel, but be prepared to leave these folks if they aren't taking you seriously. You can love them from afar. We will also be invited, appreciated, enjoyed and belong with some folks.

Conditions of heaven are rather spotty on earth.  When necessary, move your chair.

Forthwith, I will be mapping out heaven and earth.  Any tips?

Uh oh.  Here comes my cat again.


  1. Your progress makes me smile. Much.

  2. My wish for you is that this new found inner peace is here to stay and you can concentrate on making the cat happy...just kidding about the cat. They are never happy when you make changes in their invironment.

    I need to do what you are doing---painting and purging---but right now I'm obsessed with knitting. This too shall pass.

    1. You are working on the shawl, yes? That is absorbing! On my knitting project, picking up needles for the first time in 40 years, I cast on, then put my project down. But that's OK. I'm facing a deadline - in one week I start working with an architect to remodel half of my first floor. I'll squeeze in here when they gut the other rooms, though that's months off. But it inspired me to tidy up this other half, where this tiny library is. It's right next to the front door and 3/4 bathroom. When I'm too old to do the stairs I can spy on my neighbors and pee at the same time.

      Love in, love out, I say. Make this kiddo happy and the cat will follow.

    2. I got side-tracked making hats. Seven done since Christmas. Can't wait to follow your remodeling project!

  3. Oh. My. Gosh!! I love this post and as I read it, I had a moment when I actually said, "Aha". The first few years I was with Fred, I kept waiting for him to see the "real" me. I had quite decided to quit being the person "everyone thought I should be and act," before I met him, so he was seeing all the mess that was inside and, on occasion, bubbling out of me and....he still adored and loved me. What the heck? Although he was very close to my Dad, Fred never tried to explain away my Daddy's abuse of me--as everyone else I shared with had. I felt free to talk about it more openly with Fred and then one day, about 5 years ago, I realized it was gone from my mind and now, I don't even think about it. How lucky we are to finally realize that WE weren't the ones to install that horrifying pin-ball machine inside us.

    In my house, paint needs to dry for a few weeks. Until I can figure out how to arrange all my books or DVD's or CD's--in genre? or alphabetically? HAH!!!

    1. This brings tears to my eyes, that this post touched you this deeply. Fred was a gem! Yes, how lucky we are to realize we weren't the ones to install the pinball machine in us. aaah, now I'm unwinding. I'm guessing you also understand the shift from an adversarial relationship with ourselves to an 'Oh, well, I'm me and I love me. Somebody's got to!!'

      I will organize my CDs alphabetically, in genre, and label the shelves. My brother visits me this weekend, and will help me install a music system for this room (fingers crossed!)

  4. Hugs to you! I can't even imagine that life. I can't imagine the work to get through that life. I can't imagine the joy coming your way!

  5. Yes! The joy and confidence is so relaxing. :-D