Rough Waters

I am in rough waters. Not that I am afraid I will not make it. I can handle the turbulence. I just wish I did not have to. I know I dream at night, but the latest variety is leaving me with thoughts plaguing in the waking hours. Many people who I have talked to are sensing this upheaval also. Summer to me is supposed to be a time of relaxing and hedonistic pleasures like lying in the sun on a beach and doing nothing. Not this year. We have had a ton of rain. This weekend was the first we had sun for a complete day. It is the one of the few where the air conditioner was necessary at night. The rain is ok, as I find it refreshing. But too much and it becomes as depressing as snow is here in March. But the garden does look magnificent. I’ll post some pictures soon.
I have been off center since my birthday. I had a hard time with this age. My Mom died at the same age. It was a benchmark I feared since I was twenty-three when she passed. I thought she was old. I ran into my best friend from high school and did not recognize her because she looked so incredibly old to me. I do not think I look that old and I certainly would be able to be recognized I think. But I could not recognize her. It shook me. Getting old is so finite and out of our control. I am blessed that I am working on my health and in a much better place than I was ten years ago. I realized that this weekend was another anniversary of my moving into this house. I bought this house by myself and on a prayer, but I made it work, somehow. But I realized I have been here eleven years and I am acutely aware of how quickly time flies. I almost own the place now instead of the bank which is amazing to me. I also will be able to sell it for quite a profit as this area has only increased in house value. It was a good decision to buy this place, even though I was cautioned not to and to rent. There were so many years when we were financially broke. We ate cheap food and did not waste any money on frivolous things. We worked three jobs each so that the mortgage was always paid and on time. One time the roof leaked so badly I had buckets on the floor and plastic on the windows to drain the water off. There has been a lot of joy here in this place and my garden is now my sanctuary.
I am going through a change in boundaries of what I will tolerate in my life. I want relationships that are not me always doing for others. I am no longer looking the other way at lies and indiscretions. In order for me to grow, my relationships have to be built on dual respect and companionship, not me playing counselor or mother. It is not that I won’t do that occasionally, but not for long term and not as a steady diet of the relationship. I will always be there for friends or anyone in true need, but I seem to have distorted the reality of some of my relationships and it was causing me to feel bad about myself. It has brought some hardships and alienated some, but it is ok. It just exposes what I thought was going on and I do not feel like such a fool. My marriage is better than it has been for a long while. We also celebrated ten years together this May. I have grown even closer to one friend which is fabulous as we have known each other for over thirty years. We will grow old together and often laugh at our plans of how we will be. There is a great comfort in that. For now, she and I take turns in restoring each other. She encouraged me to go back to church. That was a big thing for me. We are now in the process of doing a church crawl, which is basically visiting different churches to see what they have. We have not been at this for long and returned to our first selection already. The Church itself is what attracted us as it is very historical. Susan B Anthony and Fredrick Douglas and others all attended there back in the 1800’s. But what we found was a lovely group of people who really want their parish to grow. We will be back there as I really liked the service, which was Universal/Unitarian. Very different.
Something that is haunting me is a coming up very soon. I have known about this event but sort of buried it so I would not perseverate on it. It is slowly seeking my attention. My two brothers are coming East for the first time in ages. One brother actually stayed here but the visit was strained. He actually came to ask for money. I was hurt and did not have the funds. It is something he has done to my older brother and sister-in-law and he never paid them back. It was a significant chunk of change too. He is the father of the two nephews who I hold dearly in my heart. It is hard for me not to judge him as I have spent years listening to the pain these two wonderful young men went through at his hand. One of the boys has two kids and my brother has never seen them. He lives in Colorado and my nephew in Florida. But my brother has sailed out on cruises from a port less than twenty miles away several times. It is so hard for me not to judge. My other brother is only two years older than I and we were raised together. I have not seen him in over twenty –five years. He stopped talking and sending cards in the past years, and I am not sure why. I think it is because he would rather not remember our history, which of course is now all in my face too. I am not going to share it here, but it is extremely painful and unresolved, and very full of shame for both of us. One of the last conversations I had with him was when my father died and he screamed at me like it was my fault. He has two sons and they are close. He is actually traveling on to visit with his oldest who had a son. His kids would not know me now if I walked up to them on the street. They all lived in California and so when they married, the trip was too expensive to make. But there is a lot more to this separation which is bringing me a lot of anguish. When my oldest brother who is hosting this reunion wrote to invite me, he offered three evenings to visit. I wrote back our selection and he replied with:” No, that is the night THE BROTHERS are having a special dinner.” In other words, nothing had changed with the family dynamic that women are beneath men and basically there to serve. I am not sure I can accept that. That comment opened the wound I bore for years of having to take care of the mess and illness, but when it came to the good stuff, I was excluded and demeaned. Being the youngest only alienated me further. I took care of my parents, especially my father for years. When it came to the funerals, I was shocked how they all took bows for something they had no part in. I was starting to list all the indiscretions and hurtful things that they inflicted on me and I am very aware of how raw and in my face all this still is. So I am not going to continue in that vein. On top of that, there is a huge chance I will have to spend time with my sister which is going to be awful. She will take it as a sign of connection and will start hounding me to rekindle our relationship, which is not going to happen. I know the easiest thing to do is not go. The reality is that the next time we get together it will be for a funeral. I really want to see my brothers, but the anxiety is pretty bad.
I am trying to put this in the perspective of healing. The stress is already undoing some of the work on my physical abilities. I know part of my pain issues are still stemming from my spider bite and my inability to walk with a full foot. I started to have Charlie horses yesterday in my thighs. Oh that is painful. I was able to calm myself enough to sleep without them going off, but they are still lurking there this morning. And I know this is all being brought on by the family stress because as I wrote, the right thigh really started to hurt. The more I wrote, the more I hurt. I have learned from my guide and teacher that my body has many indicators and to pay attention. This had my full attention. I noticed that the strength in my legs is being affected and that is one of the biggest physical signs I get. When I am feeling trapped, my body lives like a trapped animal and I am unable to move. I am facing this whole thing as a lesson and an opportunity to heal a deep hurt. But there is a huge fear that the reunion is only going to exacerbate the wound. On top of that fear is the fact that I will not be seeing this therapist regularly and I am afraid. I admit it. He has done so much for me and taught me things that ….. He saved my life. It is a very hard transition for me. I cannot put it into words without it coming out wrong so I am not. Let is just suffice that it is very difficult but clinically the right thing……. I think.
So I know water flows and eventually all this will pass. I am so grateful for all the good people I have my life and the safety I feel to be able to grow and learn. As a friend says all the time: “Namaste.”


One thought on “Rough Waters

  1. not an easy decision …but one I think you will have thought out
    in a way that is best for you….which is what matters, for if you don’t take care then how can you take care of another….
    I wish you well…and peace in your decision .
    I understand more than you know…….
    Take Care…You Matter…

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