It has been a week here in Oklahoma as everyone knows. Sunday, May 19th a tornado hit Shawnee - 2 died - & Monday, May 20th an EF 5 hit Moore - 24 died. We knew from weather reports that a bad storm was headed out of Newcastle (which also was hit by a tornado) toward Moore. The news helicopters were up & the storm chasers were out, & we watched the whole thing on TV at my office. You could see the storm gathering energy, you could see the flashes as it hit power lines. You could see the debris flying as it continued to grow and gain power. Then it hit Moore. No we did not see it actually hit the schools and houses but as it moved on & was being tracked again by the storm chasers we saw the devastation just moments after. Then we watched the tornado, still on the ground, keep moving until we saw it begin to weaken, then rope up & disappear back into the clouds. Tornadoes are frightening, devastating, but they are a thing of beauty that carry the wrath of Nature, of elements banging against each other with perfect timing of pressure, temperature, & unknown power.
I was born & raised in Oklahoma. I was taught to "watch the clouds" at a very young age. I still watch. I can read the weather (my son always found that funny because I did it all the years we did not live in Oklahoma - when we lived places that had never seen a tornado, but still I watched). I can tell you if a cold front is approaching or if a wall cloud is forming. I can tell you how bad winter is going to be by looking at the coats the animals are growing. I can tell if it is going to snow or rain by smell. I have outrun storms & tornadoes all my life. We never went to the cellar when I was a kid & to this day I do not go. I know logically that in a storm with the capability of being an EF 4 or EF 5 that underground is the best place to be, but I just cannot do it. I think it has something to do with my panic/anxiety attacks. I strongly dislike tight enclosed places. But I do hunker down with my fur-babies in an inside closet with pillows when the sirens go off, & I am always poised to cover them with my body. The Boys watch out for me & I am responsible for them. Zane is affectionately called Zane the Weather Dog because he can sense a storm before it gets close. Several years ago I knew there was a bad one coming because of Zane's behavior. He was right. So, if he isn't freaked out, I see no reason for me to be worried.
I was raised by men who read tracks, could tell you whether a car had been in your driveway that day or the day before. I am intuitive & superstitious (I am Irish & Native American so I got a double dose of both). I get a feel for people by shaking hands, and sometimes I don't want to shake because the energy is so bad coming off that person. I can tell if someone has been in my house just by walking inside. I feel the energy they leave behind. This has only happened a couple of times in my life but I have been right each time.
So, it has been a tragic, sorrowful week in Oklahoma. But weeks like this certainly put things into perspective. While there is a lot going on for me personally, none of it is tragic or sorrowful. I'm not loosing my life or home or car or loved ones. I have lost loved ones...I know that pain. Material things can be replaced, homes rebuilt, cars replaced. Lives lost leave a hole that cannot be filled.
Life is precious, fleeting. It is meant to be lived fully in the Now, fully present. This moment may be all you have. Don't waste it thinking about tomorrow or yesterday. You cannot change either of them. One is gone, the other may never arrive. And, one day, for each of us tomorrow will not arrive. So, LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH!! Do those things you said you would do "one day"...today is the day. Wear that "Special" outfit...what is more special than today?!?!? Use that expensive perfume. Wear your nice jewelry. Use the "good" dishes every day. Don't wait for anything "until". Until the kids are grown, until we retire, until the house is paid off, until the car is paid, until ... until...until!
Tragedy changes a person. Who you were five minutes before is not who you are when you emerge from the ruins. The person who emerged is who you will be, in some way, forever. You will never recover fully but you will go on, you will move forward, you will live. The essence of your Spirit is changed. How you live with the change is up to you. It can harden you, destroy you, or it can lift you up to a higher purpose. But forever it will define you. You will always remember where you were that day & who was with you. There will always be a certain look deep in your eyes that will never completely fade away. I know those days that are forever etched in your heart. Those days that can be brought back in an instant. Those days that transport you back in time to "that place."
While I cannot compare my days to the days of this week, I have been transported back in time to places I thought I had long ago left behind. Somehow I am back there right now. I was there before the storms hit because my own private storm had already hit. But I am soldiering on, moving forward, doing what I need to in order to put those places & events behind me once & for all. Or at least get a better handle on dealing with them when the past rears its ugly head.
I am strong. I do know that about myself because I have survived. I am capable. I know this because I continue to get up every day & do what must be done. I have thrived these almost 20 yrs. In many ways, I am better than I have ever been. So, this is simply a bump in the road...a part of the Shift that is occurring & that many people I know are feeling. There are big changes coming. Big changes...
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I used to define myself by several things:
- Who my people were (this is Southern thing)
- My education
- My job
- Everything that happened to me (Hi , I'm Donis. I am a__________(fill in the blank with any of several things that applied depending on the venue where I was)
- Who I dated/was married to
- Who I birthed
Well, I came to the conclusion that those were all true & the majority were unhealthy for me. My people are my people but they are not me (I was, am, & will continue to be a very different person from any of my relations). I am blessed to be smart (it's genes & hard-work) & while, yes, I graduated from college in 3 yrs with a B.A. degree it is not all that I am or who I am in my Spirit. I have a very good job that I love, but it is not my real life. In the past I have always had very good, well-paying jobs, but those were what I did not who I was even though I used the labels of those jobs to define me to others so they would think I was worthy. My addictions & tragedies are the result of choices I made as I journeyed along. Again, not who I am even though they did shape an outcome. For many years (through 2 marriages & a few serious relationships) I allowed myself to be defined by the men I was with. For some reason (again I think it is a generational/cultural (Southern thing)) I defined who I was & my worth by men that I acquired. I acquired a few & I was very good at being a chameleon in each one. I use the word acquired because that is what I did. I saw them, I wanted them, & I got them. I am a good judge of people. I knew how to make them think they wanted me because I, in most cases, instinctively knew who they wanted & that was who I became. So I acquired them. I was who THEY thought I was. Maybe it was easier or maybe I just thought they wanted a better person than I thought I was. I am an actress & that comes in very handy in relationships because I just played a part. The guys I was with were the directors & I played the roles they gave me. There were a lot of roles & I changed my looks & personality to mirror each one. Then I am a Mom - that is an identity I will not explain, give up, or wish away. I chose to be a Mom. I planned to be a Mom. I made sure I was a Mom. I fought to be a Mom. I was not always a very good Mom. In fact, I failed miserably sometimes. Most of those times were because of the other roles I was playing. But I make no excuses for my mistakes. I made them. They are mine to own. But as Maya Angelou says "We do the best we can, & when we know better we do better".
Each of these personalities I put on eventually became too much to handle. After all even TV shows finally come to an end - they cannot just run on & on forever except in reruns (and believe me I have been in reruns many years). As Me, the true authentic Me, started to fight to come out & began to show up I heard "You've changed" "This isn't you". Well, no I really didn't change I was just hidden & yes, this is me. When you have played a long-running part people don't want to see the real you. They don't know the real you. So, I would just pack up & run. Running has always been easy for me. I am comfortable in "Fight or Flight" mode. I hate confrontation & arguing (even thought I have done it quite a bit in the past). Running is easier because it requires no explanation. One minute you are there & the next you are gone.
No more will I run, literally or figuratively. No more will I play a role. No more will I choose to be someone I am not. I will be authentic, I will be true to me. I have slipped into old patterns because they are comfortable & because I do not have to admit to my illness if I am someone else. I sometimes joke that I was raised by crazy people & it is a wonder I am as sane as I am. Well, I am not all that sane sometimes. Too many head injuries, traumas, & tragedies I think. But I am going to be sane. I am going to put it all to rest this time. I am going to take meds if I need. I am going to be healthy not just in body but in Spirit, Mind, & Emotions. Fasten your seatbelts, I think it is gonna be a bumpy ride.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
For once in my life I was speeding along the Road of Life, enjoying the Ride, & totally loosing sight of not only the Road, but myself. All of a sudden I came to an abrupt stop at the four-corners. Like Robert Johnson I had the choice of making a deal with the devil for everything I had ever wanted, or I could go my own way & learn more about myself, my Journey, & my Destiny. Trouble was I could only move forward if I took the deal but in order to go my way, get healthier, complete my Destiny, & walk the Path I know I am supposed to be on...I had to TURN AROUND!
This week I choose to turn around. Go back to therapy. Admit all the horrors what had happened to me. Be honest that the relationship I have been in for the last 6-7 years was not working, & was in fact becoming quite toxic. I had, once again, given someone else control over my life. It happened so in such a subtle way that I never noticed. At least not until I was in such a panic anxiety-ridden state that I was almost to the point of completely losing the last essence of me. I had once again almost given over who I am to another person. I cannot blame that person for this. I gave permission to be treated this way because I did not say "no" or "stop" or "I don't want to". I put aside my hopes, wishes, dreams, likes & dislikes so that another person would not be unhappy. What it got me was an unhappy me. A me who was ready to self-destruct. A me who was ready to blow apart into at least a million pieces. My head was ready to explode. I was the closest to a complete breakdown that I think I have ever been. I got very scared. Very, very scared.
So, I am back in therapy. I ended a long-time relationship. I will be seeing a psychiatrist for an assessment as well as a consultation on medication. I most likely have PTSD. I have had several head injuries over the years & abuse throughout my life. I have had traumatic events, & suffered many losses. Evidently I have not completely dealt with those things because now I have triggered something awful. But, I took control of my Life. I will be back to being me, but it is going to take some time & some deep work. I almost completely disappeared but I am going to fight my way back. My Sister-Friends, the Sisters of my Heart & Spirit, have been amazing this week. Very supportive, but also calling bull-shit on several things. They have made me see some things very, very clearly. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for loving me enough to do this.
My crazy, off-beat sense of humor is returning. A sense of peace is returning. I am less anxious. I got a lot done today. I will be back to my blogging. I am supposed to Journal & this is the format I find most useful for that. I am doing a daily reading/meditation from "The Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie as well as her "52 Weeks of Conscious Contact". This is in addition to my daily meditation practice. I will also be going back to Yoga, I will be returning to my Reiki group (already have in fact). I actually gave Reiki to a co-worker on Friday (felt good). A serious, regular walking regime is on the horizon. I already eat good but will be incorporating more raw foods. I am contemplating going back to vegetarian.
So, I hope there are still some readers there who want to follow me on this Journey. I will once again be posting on a regular basis. I am also on Facebook.
Turning around so I can move forward!!