My Massage

It’s been a little gloomy around here, so I think it’s time for some R&R.

Today I am going to take you to a place of rest, relaxation and renewal. Where your body will be lavishly lathered with wonderful coconut oil. All your senses will be engaged as you hear the sound of the birds, amidst the ocean waves crashing and taking you into a place of total bliss. The aromatherapy with it’s lavender scent will calm and relax you…deep breath…can you smell it? Let yourself go…relax!

That is until “Genna” (not her real name) walks in!

Picture Rocky training to “Eye of the Tiger”. Can you hear the knuckles cracking?

AND SO IT STARTS…your relaxing massage – ha!ha!, so you thought 8-\

Snap, crackle, pop! Wait, should I be fighting back? I’m confused…

She asks, “how are you doing?” My thoughts, “do you really want to know?” In a barely audible, squeaky whisper I manage to say, “ok…”

The torture, I mean massage, continues. Ouch! Was that an elbow to my…OUCH! Ok, never mind…uncle, uncle! Whatever she is pressing is making me lift from the table…really?! I’m paying for this?

Finally, she is done! The 60 minute relaxing massage, which turned into an all out beating, which I must say was totally unfair.ย  I should have fought back…just sayin!ย  Anywho, it was finally over!

On the bright side (cause I’m really trying to find the “bright side) it did take my mind off my emotional pain ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where will I go next? Stay tuned…you just never know ๐Ÿ˜€

The Runaway

Running, running…always running. Have I ever stopped? Has it taken a different form? More than half a century of living, or attempting to live or what has it been? Am I still the same? Am I different?

Memories of a 9 (or was it 10) year old, “running away” cause her “no” wasn’t sufficient. Then shutting up about what happened because she was afraid of the outcome, of the repercussions.

Then her louder “NO” explodes into a cry for help, for understanding, for protection. She finally opens her mouth and speaks, only to be told to SHUT UP.

She runs away attempting to find a refuge, only to end up used and abused and cast away like a used, filthy rag. Really?! She was only 14.

My mind is filled with voices, lots and lots of voices…”SHUT UP!”, I scream.

I’m tired! I don’t want to run anymore. I just want to be STILL…

The Fork

People, places and things give me anxiety. I think I have always been this way, but I’m told that the grief/ptsd makes it worse.

Because I can’t just lock myself in a dark room (although this is very appealing), I’m learning to navigate life and it’s many duties in a way that is “healthy” for me. BUT I seem to be a magnet for…well…I’ll just say “quirkiness”. I think you’ve gathered this from my previous posts –The Saunaย andย Not A Robot

What does this have to do with a “fork”? Well, nothing. I just needed an introduction ๐Ÿ˜€

Early morning grocery shopping. “I made it out without having one meltdown…yes!” Making my way through the parking lot, in a race to make it to my car unfrazzled, I look over at a parked truck. What do I see? Double take! “Am I seeing what I’m seeing?” I almost lost it! Not from anxiety, but from laughter…yes, laughter.

By the way, did I tell you I did a double take, and a triple take…and another take, just to confirm what I was seeing. I would say that this is a verifiable fact and not fake news. I repeat, this is not fake news!

The sighting:ย  A guy sitting in the parked truck busy “grooming” his beard and mustache. You ask, “What’s so funny about a man grooming himself in his truck?”ย  Glad you asked…are you ready? Here goes, he was using a WHITE DISPOSABLE FORK (in all caps for a dramatic queue) to comb and style his beard and mustache. Yup, he was!

I wonder if he used the fork to eat before or after his grooming time? If you ask me, in my humble opinion I’d say, “please use fork after eating your meal so as to have the oil residue help untangle, smooth and moisturize your beard and mustache. You will create an all day silky smooth look without any frizz,” said in a commercial like voice so as to create a desire for this magnificent product ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ok, back to my normal voice. This was weird and I could not believe what I was seeing, but on the positive side, it sure gave me a chuckle that lasted for the remainder of the day.

Have you seen anything “quirky” or that made you do a double take? Just wondering…

Dad

At 14 she already had her share of “life”. Just a little girl…her innocence a distant memory. She “decides” that home was better than the streets or was it?

Feet as heavy as led, step by step she makes her way to the front door of her home. Can she call it “home”? She hopes so…soon she’ll be rudely awakened. She’ll realize that this place will just be a “holding place” until her next escape. Where does she belong? Does she belong anywhere, to any one?

She opens the door…heavy as a bolder, stuck like glue. She manages to take a step inside, then another. “Oh, he’s sitting on his couch…his spot!” He doesn’t move, doesn’t turn her way, doesn’t even acknowledge her. It’s as if she didn’t even exist. Maybe he wishes she didn’t. Maybe that would take away the shame and disgrace she has brought upon the family name.

She manages to make her way to the kitchen. Mom is busy, as always. She’s quite the homemaker. With a side look, she acknowledges her, but the frown confirms that there is no joy in her coming “home”.

Mom barks a command, “Go! Kneel before your father and ask him for forgiveness!” The girl turns and walks back to the living room, her feet even heavier than before. She approaches the strong man, still sitting in his favorite spot. She kneels. Through tears she manages to speak. Her shaky voice comes out in a whisper, “Dad, please forgive me for running away.” Silence! No movement, not even a flinch. Her mind raising with thoughts, “What will he say? Will he forgive me? Will he slap me? Well, if he did, I deserve it!” Finally, a slight movement of his head…only to dismiss her to her mother. Not a word…not a look…just a small gesture.

The heaviness! The hurt! The disgust!

She stands…walks away…her mind assaulting her with more thoughts. “Did he forgive me? Can I stay? What happens next?”

A Little Boy

I knew a boy nicknamed “coco”. The nickname was not an endearing name, it was more of a play on words. He was nicknamed “coco” (Spanish for coconut) for his round head, and for apparently being thick headed. He couldn’t have been more than ten years old. He lived in a small village with his large family.

It was a typical stormy night. The downpour could be heard loudly inside the house, with its rumbling thunder, and lighting that could make an otherwise very dark night look like daylight. Was it a routine night? Was it a special night? Not really sure. The activity of the other family members gets lost as the memory of that little boy comes into focus.

There is a knock at the door. Why is he knocking? Doesn’t he have a key? This is his home, after all.

Home – a place one should always be welcomed. The place where love and protection should be.

Home – can you picture the perfect postcard with the beautiful cottage, surrounded with its white picket fence?

Home – is it a man-made structure? Or is it what or who is in it?

The door is opened. The little boy is standing in the pouring rain, soaked already, yet still “getting wet”. His round face with those big brown eyes with an expression of fear, terror, anxiety, pleading for help, like he was running, escaping from something…yet he remained composed. He’s crying, but not a sobbing cry to match the look in his eyes. It’s almost as if, even those tears rolling out of his eyes are escaping what he so desperately is trying to hold in. He is just a little boy, why doesn’t he cry openly and freely?

He is covered with “something”…well, it should be covering him, but it is just not adequate enough for the downpour. Yeah, nothing like the pictures of cute little boys with their yellow rain coats with matching hat and boots. Nope, this is far, far from that.

He finally manages to open his mouth to speak. Almost in a whisper, with a tremble in his voice he says, “I’m scared. I don’t want to go back. Can I just stay home.” He is still standing outside. My heart! My thoughts…can you please bring him inside? Can you hold him? Can you change him into warm, dry clothes? Can you make him feel safe?

Finally, he is inside! Yes, I can breath! Wait! He is being scolded for leaving that “scary place”. He is told to change and get some sleep, cause tomorrow he has to go back…

The Graveyard

Normally, I would say cemetery, but today I will use a more unpalatable word, GRAVEYARD!

The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as, “a place, often next to a church, where dead people are buried.”

I spend lots of time here. Somehow, I find solace and peace in the midst of pain. Somehow, my moments of great anxiety are calmed and eased as I sit in the place where the shell of my daughter’s body remains.

On one of those visits…

I see a handful of people sitting under that “dreaded” green canopy. Those chairs…they make your already achy body feel even more stiff and unsure. That green “carpet”…really?!?! Why? Is all this to make an otherwise unnatural setting look a bit more, don’t know, natural? Would it be better to keep it “natural”? Would that make the process easier? Yeah, probably not!

I wonder what makes for the size of the gathering? Popularity or can it be that this family wants a private moment, with their loved one, to say goodbye? Brings back to mind past experiences. The onlookers, the huge crowd, the whispers…my mind all over the place. At times, having been told “not to cry”, holding my breath until I would pass out. Another time, everything in me wanted to run…to never stop running. The crowd, the accusatory looks, more whispers, the looks of disdain.

Many experiences, each with its own story. However, NOTHING ever prepared me for the day I would sit before a beautiful white casket which held part of my heart. Yanked, torn, pulled apart! Can one ever be prepared for such a gut wrenching departure? I think not!!!

Sitting, standing, knowing what’s next. Realizing that eventually that white container, with such precious cargo, will be lowered down into that cold, damp dirt.

Stomach tight and heavy as rocks. Chest heavy, unyielding, yet ever so full of an ache that threatens to explode into a cry that will shatter every glass house…that will never end. The sobs, the wails, yet nothing calms the reality of an absence that is so deep within my soul. This side of heaven, this is my reality…this is my journey.

How? Why? Who invented this torturous process? Can it be done any other way? No! The pain is the pain no matter how kosher the process. There is no way of making “this” look pretty. Hey, maybe, we could all sit or stand like statutes – emotionless, unyielding? Maybe, we could make everyone around us think “this is normal”, “everything is ok”? Yup, no! Been there, done that…know the drill…it doesn’t work!

The “duct-tape” has been yanked off! Reality…feeling it all is much better than the alternative.

I have learned that grief is another name for love. ~ author unknown

It is impossible to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have. ~ Cheryl Strayed