Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When Voice Matters

Counting Mutant and Girly asked me why I haven’t been writing.

I didn't have an answer.

Sure summer’s activities have kept me hopping. When I’m not running around, my body goes into shut-down-recovery mode.

I realized today, underneath it all is this soul sickening truth: voice.

Photo taken by Alvimann
Then I stopped by a dinner with the Parentals. My faux pas was simple enough. As usual it blindsided me. Three days later my ears still sting from the whispered correction.

Parental told about a notorious corner in their neighborhood: a blind intersection that all the residents ignore. As the story wove, it sounded as if Parental thought both the Sister at the table and I were in an accident there at one point in time. I asked Sister if she had.

She said no, but asked me about mine. Answering was my mistake.

Here is what I remember:

I was 15 and my friend freshly 16. A week previous my knee underwent the new endoscopic surgery. I only used crutches for a few days. Without crutches, Friend drove me home after some adventure. We cruised through that infamous blind intersection at about 20mph and met a 70ish Corvette.

Photo taken by photojock
Headlights clapped. My knee met Friend’s truck door. We were both a bit rattled, but nothing more. I hobbled the block to my house for Parentals. On the walk back and the rest of the evening Parentals went on and on about God’s miraculous protection that neither of us had a scratch from the accident.

Weeks later, Friend’s insurance company contacted my parents. After a few refusals, Parentals accepted their offer and praised God for the provision. Now they could get braces for me. The check came; shown to me and deposited; all with fan fair and glory.

After that, I never heard about it again. Years ago I determined the money must have absorbed into bills or something. Times were always tough.

Years later, Parentals found a different revenue stream and the braces plan moved forward. I protested; It was my senior year of high school and my desire for braces was simply cosmetic. My sisters needed them. I was put in my place with a lecture on ingratitude towards God. So, I quietly obeyed. In the middle of my senior year my mouth filled with metal.

Photo taken by imelenchon
Back to the dinner: I began to tell the story and within three sentences, Parental took over and added: “You had a gash on your forehead.”

I blinked. The glorious injury free, God’s protection haze began to dissipate. Foolishly I corrected.

The debate was on.

Not one thought completed before Parental’s correction put me back in place. A feeling of defensiveness began to build as Sister leaned over and whispered,

“It doesn't matter.”

And years worth of frustration flew out in a breathy whisper before the thought even hit my brain: “I don’t matter.”

Sister rolled her eyes and turned back to Parental.

I sat there as thoughts tumbled through:
My voice doesn't matter.
My story doesn't matter.
Don’t make Parentals upset.
Don’t antagonize Parentals.
It doesn't matter what stories they tell. It is their truth. That is what matters.

In Wonderland reality is relative to the one speaking. Truth can be a debated topic. As long as my voice agreed with those around me it was encouraged. If my voice disagreed then I either needed to defend it fiercely or shut my mouth.

And here I am. Filled with stories full of hope and healing still struggling with voice.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ten Things Of Thankful #57

Ten Things of Thankful

It has been an amazing month and a half. I needed to take a break from writing and social media in order to manage the Real Life demands. It all came to a conclusion last week.

1. Las Vegas- Ase made it to West Coast Dance Explosion Nationals. As an Elite dancer, he competed with a solo and was scored well. Another perk of the win was a Gala performance at the end of the week with the Pointer Sisters. The whole experience was exactly what he needed. I plan to write more about the journey this week.

2. Yosemite-The Mutant and Ase’s girlfriend’s Dad-GFD- planned a Father Daughter hiking trip months ago. GFD applied for a four day backpacking trip in Yosemite and was approved. While Ase, Girlfriend and I were in Vegas they bought the yummy backpacking food, bug repellant and all the other things for an adventure. Mutant, GirlyK GFD and GFSister faced the wild. Fathers and Daughters bonded and had many stories to tell.

3. Zany- managed two houses while we were off. His adventure was responsibility as he juggled working as a lifeguard, walking two dogs, snuggling a cat and making sure nothing exploded. He did well and learned some valuable lessons.

4. Sissy- The day after we all arrived home, my sister needed to move houses. Mutant, Ase and I helped Sissy, Niece and Neph move. We were all hot, dirty and stinky together as we helped them settle into a new place. I am so grateful to have her in my life, full of honesty, love and freedom from judgment.

5. Ruth- My Mother In Law passed while we were all away. Her funeral was a celebration of her life. She was kind, patient and supportive. Her health had been degrading for a few years and we are all at peace knowing she is at rest.

6. My birthday- 46 doesn’t look so bad. Mutant made me ribs and I shared a margarita with a sweet friend. The family dinner was filled with stories from Vegas, Yosemite, Home and Australia-where my friend’s daughter is on a Young Ambassador’s trip.

7. I caught a few hours of rest on Thursday. Downton Abbey was my companion. Each time I watch it, I learn something new. Growing up in an emotionally explosive environment I marvel at the dignity with which the characters in that show express the same emotion.

8. School shopping- YUP! I did it. GirlyK had an entrance exam to take yesterday, so since we were out anyway and all the good stuff is on the shelf, we went for it. It feels good to have the main items out of the way-backpack, dayplanner, folders, notebooks. This week will be spent planning the curriculum and schedule.

9. Padre Pio- A Catholic friend of mine gave me a book about this saint. With all of my Protestant teachings put on my mind shelf, I marvel at the accounts people had with him. Somehow in this old theology of ritual I am finding peace of mind and new perspective on suffering and life’s course.

10. Writing and rest- After applying the word NO, I find myself getting back on track with writing. After posting this, I will lie down and allow my body to catch up with my life. Fibro Ferdinand is not too keen on the heat, the sweat it’s had to excrete or the mad pace life’s agenda has been.

Hopefully with a day or two of rejuvenation, letting Fibro sit under the cork tree like Ferdinand the bull, I will be back to posting and sewing twice a week. Maintaining a Normal is exactly that: a work in progress