Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 13, 2004
I Have A Lot To Learn
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 13, 2004 – Just when I was thinking that perhaps I understood a little bit about being a human being – “bam” life delivered a solid smack upside my head and I realized that I know almost nothing. Big and I had unpleasant words with each other last night when she was at my home.
I won’t elaborate, because it’s not really relevant to what I’m writing about tonight, but our altercation did act as a catalyst for some fairly deep reflection on my part. Big and I have been pals for a decade and I value her presence in my life, her sense of the ridiculous, the fact that she is almost always up at midnight which is the very best time to talk, her loyalty and her steady friendship. We talked for a long time and some of the tension eased between us.
As we sat and talked and recounted stories of our families, friends and some of the significant events in each other’s lives, I felt so much sadness welling up inside me. She left about one-thirty in the morning. I looked after The Alphabet Boys and then went right to bed. I slept fitfully and this morning when I got up I felt raw and profoundly sad. I don’t much care for confrontation, unkind words, accusations and feeling diminished or being the cause of that feeling in another.
I thought of my parents and some of the painful things that happened between us. I remembered an event, involving my Mother, that occurred when I was three years old. It hurt me deeply and I can still feel the lack of gratitude and the sense of being dismissed that I experienced as a little girl. I am an adult now – that should be behind me – but it’s not. I’ve carried that pain in my soul for fifty-two years. It’s time to give that little girl, who is still alive in my heart, a big hug and tell her it doesn’t matter anymore.
I recalled painful disappointments with my brother and the terrible sense of betrayal I experienced with my Father, when I needed his help, and he said “no”. That was a very painful, lonely period in my life and I had no one in my corner. My family wasn’t there for me. I’m certainly not alone in the category of family suffering, but I was floored by the casual way I was ignored. I would never have treated my family members this way.
The important point to realize is that I’m still suffering with the bitter taste of these events. I’m angry, hurt and disappointed. My brother is alive but my father is dead. Unfortunately I never talked these issues through to a satisfactory conclusion with my father. My brother isn’t very comfortable discussing emotional issues with me. That leaves it up to me to deal with my reactions, my hurt and sense of betrayal. I can’t change anyone else – ever. I wonder why this is so incredibly hard to accept?
I don’t deal well with confrontation or being attacked verbally. I get defensive. I’m impatient with verbal trickery – it makes me feel diminished. I am a person who understands loyalty and my intentions are always honourable. I’m not mean-spirited or malicious. I can be bitchy but I’m not a bitch and I have a soft, caring heart. Perhaps Big and I had this extremely unpleasant encounter for a reason.
It made me realize just how tired I am of feeling bitter and bruised. I want the tension in my gut to leave. I’m fed up with my own noise and self-righteous indignation. I want to be quieter, less affected by others and softer in my approach to life. I need to go through a period when I keep my head down, distractions at bay and focus on my life. Not where I’ve been, but where I am and where I want to go. It never matters where I’ve been – it matters what I do next.
They say there are no coincidences. This bout of unpleasantness may test my friendship with Big, but it won’t break us. The core of our friendship is stronger than this turn of events. But surprisingly it happened at the end of the year. It’s time for me to reflect, re-evaluate, make fluid plans, forget, forgive, dismiss blame and spend a bit of time alone.
I need to pull back into the gentle part of my soul for awhile and be still. When I’m ready to come back out perhaps I’ll feel that I’ve tap danced on the heads of a few of my dark shadows – and I’ll be ready to invite them out into the light. I sincerely hope so.