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Friday, October 29, 2010

Today is a day for introspection.

The time stamp on these posts is always, always wrong.

I had little patience today for unkind people. My sweet egg friend said to me "you're interesting tonight." I wasn't sure what that meant, and she pointed out that when people had barely started to annoy me (speaking unkindly of others, talking to me like i was a child and making me feel stupid) I was done with them immediately. I don't get this way often, I am non-confrontational, but I think it's because all day today, as I ironed, cut, and sewed, ironed, cut and sewed, ironed, cut and sewed, I was thinking about people.

In high school, there was an extremely small number of people that I trusted with my truth. (I say it was "my truth" rather than THE truth because it was the truth as best as I understood it inside my little soul, a truth that was not as accurate as it should have been.)

It started with one friend, Kate. she was wonderful and accepting, and she believed me. In a moment of desperation, overwhelmed with the feeling of letting go of my deep, dark secret, I told a group of her friends - kids I barely knew - during a game of truth or dare what had happened to me. I then immediately got scared, and took it all back. I told these few people that was I had told them was a lie. After all, better to be a liar than a victim, and everyone already thought I was a liar, so no big right?

I cannot even imagine the pain I caused these people, not to mention the pain I inflicted upon myself burying the truth deeper and deeper into the infected wound that was my body and soul.

I have been searching for some words, some kind of... salve to apply to this metaphorical wound, some apology to offer these people, some way of coming to terms with the trust that I (for lack of a better word) abused. I have been searching for a way to pay restitution, and finding neither the courage, nor the magic words, the best I can do is an attempt from now on at complete honesty.

If this ends up being a letter to myself, that's fine. If any, or all of those young people who took me into their circle of truth or dare, somehow happen to read this, that's okay too. No more lies. No more hiding. What happened, happened. There is no taking it back this time, no pretending it didn't.

1. I was abused by some of my classmates. 2. I reached out to people for help and then I pushed them away.

I can't change these facts. What i CAN change is where i go from here. I can use what I've experienced to motivate myself to go forward with kindness. I choose to be honest. I choose to look for the good in every situation, and I choose to have no patience for the unkind. That is all I can manage today.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Right now, miss Liza Love is sitting next to me coloring in a picture of a turnip. I am thinking about halloween. I was going to be a lost boy because Charlie and Emily are being Tinkerbell, Saige is going as a pirate, and Colleen as Wendy. ALAS, it is much more difficult to find a skunk tail at halloween time than one might imagine.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things feel sweeter to me in the fall. Halloween is upon us and I am taking the kids Trick-or-treating. And tonight we will go look for costumes right before we carve pumpkins! Hooray for the simple pleasures in life. I got a fortune cookie once that told me "you see beauty in ordinary things. never lose this ability." I took this very seriously.

Yesterday there was a woman and her grandson sitting in the car next to mine while I waited for my friend. This little boy was pretty cute. He was bored, and he wanted to talk to her, and I could not believe the words that came out of her mouth when talking to this child. "Shut up!" she told him. "You are so @#$%ing annoying. Why do you have to be that way?!" Everything he did was wrong, and I was so grateful for my family in that moment. I am so grateful for my sweet niece and nephew for being so easy to love, and I'm grateful for my momma who loved me even when i was really hard to love. And for never telling me to shut up.

The world can be such a beautiful place when you're young. People want the children in their lives to grow up so fast. Sit still, don't talk, don't play. Why not let them talk to you while they still want to? Why not let them throw rocks at the gravel? (seriously? do you think he's going to mess up the other rocks?!) Why not let them jump in rain puddles when the only place you have to go is home? Why not try to see the world through his eyes for just a little longer, and let what he sees be beautiful?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Today I am glad to be alive

This morning, my dog jumped on my bladder to let me know she was ready to get up. Ouch. The sun was warm today, and the wind slamming against my face as I drove over the mountain was crisp and cold, that almost painful chill. Today I accidentally sliced two fingers with a rotary cutter while making a quilt. Today an almost-stranger pointed out that when I'm not indulging in my "annoying" childlike habit of coloring to help me pay attention, my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is "obvious." Hurts.

And I love it. The pain is what lets me know that I'm still alive. It's good. I am lucky to feel the wind on my face, and the stinging of a paper-thin cut, and the pain in my chest when someone points out my flaws. I am lucky to be alive. Thank God.

Friday, October 22, 2010

She'll Be A Morning Shadow

As I am starting this entry, it is 11:11 pm on October the 22nd. When I finish it (more than likely) it will be October 23rd. October the 23rd, 2010. In 49 minutes it will have been one year since I was raped in a grocery store bathroom by someone I knew.

My life took a sharp swerve that night. In some ways, the girl I was that day, and the girl I am today are not so different. Our faces are the same, our core beliefs, our hidden talents are shared, but she had something that I can no longer afford, and that is the luxury of denial.

This one incident brought up more painful memories than I can share in good conscience here and now. I haven't taken a picture of myself once this year. Making art is painful now. There are some days when I can't bring myself to get out of bed. The nightmares kill me. Last night, I didn't sleep at all. I tossed and turned all night, my mind filled with visions of violence, black and white, and slow, with mouths moving, trying to yell, scream, cry, argue, but no sound coming out. Like an old silent movie.

I often wonder if people notice that because of this, I walk around in a fog. Sometimes I feel like they must be able to see that my nightmares walk beside me, but no one says anything. In fact, the people closest to me have noticed a steady change in me from that night, and not for the poorer. It's hard for me to see sometimes how relatively normal I am when I feel such a wreck, but as a line from one of my favorite songs goes "you've come far, and though you're far from the end, you don't mind where you are, cuz you know where you've been."

Today I stand as a woman who has taken only the first few steps in a lifelong journey, but I go forward with the knowledge that, although there may be no real end to this story, there is something better to look forward to. I also press on with the knowledge that I no longer have to walk alone.