Bury the Hatchet or it’s going to rust.

via Daily Prompt: Bury

Sometimes when we’ve got our hatchet out, the reasons are legit and we need it.  We’ve got work to do, and the hatchet is the only way to get the job done.  When the job is done and we don’t need that hatchet any longer, sometimes we hold on to it just in case.  The problem is we get used to the hatchet and it becomes comfortable to carry it around.  So we carry it around…. everywhere.  After a while it starts feeling heavy and it’s tiresome, but now it’s become such a comfort how could we ever let it go?

Then one day, quite by accident we leave it in a coffee shop and go about our day.  On our way home we realize the hatchet is missing.  WHAT?!  How did this happen?  We race back to the coffee shop to grab that hatchet so fast our head spins.  NO one else can have that hatchet, it belongs to us.  As we pick it up, we realize this blasted hatchet really is heavy, but we persevere and take it back home with us.  It’s ours after all.

We get up the next morning and realize what a splendid day we had yesterday.  It really was nice to get some shopping done, eat lunch with friends, and simply enjoy the day without the hatchet.  We know that the work was done a very long time ago, and the hatchet served it’s purpose.  As we look at our hatchet, we realize what must be done.  We open our back door, dig a 6 foot deep hole and drop our hatchet into that hole.  We cover it with dirt and go about our day feeling lighter and happier.  That night as we lay our head down to sleep, we feel peaceful and we are glad that hatchet is gone.

Our story starts with… Pain

…that which wrenched my heart…

Pain.  No one I know likes the word, I know I don’t.

A few years ago, my youngest son and I were watching an anime series titled Naruto Shippuden.  If you’re not familiar with it, regardless of your age, I highly recommend watching or reading the series.  One of the mini plots centered around 3 friends who as young children lost their parents in one of many wars, endured horrific childhood trauma and emotional pain that some never know their entire lives.  As adults, they’re determined to end the world and at first seem evil and malicious.  That is until the story unfolds and the truth is told, they simply want the pain to stop.  In their opinion ending the world means ending the pain.  One of them is even named Pain:

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As I sat watching their story unfold, tears fell many times.  My heart hurt for them, their innocence lost as children, their loss of faith in humanity, and so many more details which I won’t go into here.  There are blogs about Naruto and the show itself is worth your time.

What I’m diving into here may take some time to unfold.  I’d like to start at the beginning and have this nice, neat, orderly blog that’s chronological, logical, and perfectly sequential:  each post building on the previous.  However, anyone who’s lived longer than a couple of decades knows that’s not real life.  Oh, it’s chronological all right, but the rest – HA!  (Fighting the battle to keep life logical and rational and in sequential steps is a subject for another category on another day.)

So here we go.  Yesterday I was thinking about what I wanted to say to my youngest son.  The emotional trauma he has suffered in life, has led him to make the decision to numb his pain with weed.  If I’m to be honest and forthcoming, a pretty large chunk of that was due to decisions I made and things I did and did not do as his mom.  (We’re going to take a side bar here and get one thing perfectly straight:  I LOVE MY 2 SONS WITH MY ENTIRE HEART AND SOUL!)  In thinking about the pain my youngest son has endured, about my role in it, about his decisions for numbing it, I decided what I wanted to say to him was, “I love you and with all the pain you went through I don’t blame you for wanting to numb it, for smoking and I don’t hold it against you.”  So that is what I said to him.

The thoughts continued about the pain I caused my youngest son. This isn’t to say that I did not cause my oldest son pain, but today I was specifically thinking about my youngest.  The thoughts of how he’s used weed to numb the pain of what he’s endured ran around in my mind.  I remembered missing his 5th grade Christmas program at school and the heart wrenching, gut wrenching pain it caused me and the over 3 liters of margaritas I drank that night to numb the pain.  How it must have hurt him all those years ago.  How can I condemn him for numbing the pain I caused him?  I’m not talking about normal childhood pain, I’m talking about abandonment, neglect, and enmeshment, codependency… you know the ugly stuff no one wants to talk about.  I’m talking about a mom who left her 10 and 14 year old sons with their dad so that he’d step up and be a dad.  (No, I am not going into that now.  I’ll dissect that another day.)  Yes, I came back exactly 2 years later to the day, but the damage was done.

I thought about my pain as a child of an abusive, often raging violent alcoholic dad and my mom who did nothing but witness the abuse.  This is when the light dawned, my worst pain that which wrenched my heart, my mind, and my gut was for the pain I’ve caused my sons.  This is the worst:  hurting people you love and realizing it.  All I endured from my dad (and mom by default) humiliation, degrading names, yelling and screaming at me, his beatings… none of that compares to the agony of hurting my 2 sons. It doesn’t come anywhere close.

So why put all this out here?  Because I believe as a society we’re going down a slippery slope attempting to numb pain instead of navigate pain.  When I numb pain, I’m not treating the wound and the pain comes back if nothing heals.  When I navigate pain, I treat the wound and it hurts, BUT IT BEGINS TO HEAL.

NO.  It is not easy, but I have to decide do I want to numb my wound(s) and never treat them?  Or, do I want to treat my wounds and eventually heal?

Finally Authentic

I feel alive

When did my authenticity journey begin and why is it so important?  Those are 2 questions that over the course of time will be answered in probably more detail than I realize at this current moment.

Here’s what I know right now:  I feel alive.  I’m sitting here with my work laptop starting this blog and I actually feel like I’m living.  I haven’t felt this way in a very long time.  I don’t know what it is about expressing myself through words that brings life and rejuvenation to me, but it does.  So for the first time, again in a very long time, I’m going to go with it.  I think I’ll even run with it!

I do have much to learn about blogs and how they’re set up, so my hope is any readers will be patient as my journey in blogging unfolds.  It’s already filled with excitement, some anxiety in learning how it all works, definitely some humor among many other adjectives and adverbs that describe life.  Yes, this blog will definitely contain humor.  One of the greatest gifts I’ve given myself is the gift of laughing at myself, especially when I try to hard and well, you can only imagine what happens when anyone tries too hard…..