My 2 year vacation, part 4

sooner than later, more beautiful than ever

As this finally gets purged from me, there are images that seemed burned into my soul.  Images that after 12 years are as real as if it was last Saturday.

My hope is that someday (sooner than later) this will be the result:

Image result for Kintsukuroi Symbol

I went searching for my favorite Kintsukuroi image, and found one I’ve not seen before.  I believe it was brought to me right now on purpose by Someone who loves me more and in ways that I’m not even aware of, they’re not in this realm.  My Father I thank you.  You are truly using this blog as a healing journey for my soul, my heart.

Image result for Kintsukuroi

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Sometimes the trajectory of your life is altered by circumstances you could not have imagined.  Getting back on course takes the strength of a few armies.

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When I got back to my moms house after being gone all day so I could breathe, here is what I experienced.

The first image I saw was my oldest son (then 13) standing next to my sister with his arms rigidly folded across his chest and glaring at me.  My mom (and whoever else) was yelling and screaming at me, cussing me, calling me names, and accusing me of spending the day getting drunk and sleeping with a childhood friend.  My mom was screaming at me to get out of her house.  (I had stayed with her the days before dad passed and the 6 days before his funeral.)

At first I tried to defend myself, but no one was listening.  The screaming and yelling, cussing and name calling continued so I went in to throw my things in my suit case and leave.  My youngest son (then 10) was upset that I was leaving, not by my choice.  He had a cell phone I had given my sons for emergencies and I told him I would call shortly and that I would be ok.  My mother came in the house yelling and screaming to give her my house key and get out.  I tried again to explain, something, anything and to try and figure out what was going on, but like I said no one was listening and everyone was angry.

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Now that I think about it, it’s an excellent example of what happens when mob mentality takes over.  No one listens, and chaos ensues.

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I left and went to the childhood friends house they had accused me of sleeping with.  The truth is the day was spent riding around in the mountains, period.  I had 1, that’s ONE Bloody Mary.  That’s it.

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We’re going to pause right here for a moment and look at some things.

I was accused of getting drunk and sleeping with a childhood friend.  Hmm, well, how come I wasn’t staggering in drunk or even the slightest bit buzzed?  Also, I suppose you can sleep with someone on a motorcycle but I didn’t.  He simply seemed to understand my need to be alone, and he left me alone in my own thoughts the entire day.   Again, no one asked me anything, but they assumed and accused me.

Let’s rewind a little to the evening my dad passed.  The hospice nurse checked his vitals and confirmed that he had passed.  The nurse actually checked them twice, the 2nd time per my moms request.

After they took dad’s body away I remember everyone being out in the back yard, except an aunt who had gone to bed.  I also remember almost everyone drinking, including my mom.  It felt to me like they were celebrating and they were glad he was gone.  It’s not like dad hadn’t given people plenty of reasons during his life to be glad when he was gone, but in my mind it was macabre.  It felt wrong.  I sat there completely sober and tried to be ok.  I’m sure everyone thought I was: like I said, I’m a recovering people pleasing enabler.  It was somewhere around 2, probably closer to 3a.m. when I finally went to bed.

On the day of the funeral after the dinner that evening, several family members, some family friends, and I went back to my parents house.  My mom rode with my sister and her husband, and they weren’t back yet, so people sat out in the back yard and some in the house visiting.  While we were sitting there visiting, my mom went to a bar with my sister and husband and proceeded to get so drunk she was sick.  When they got back, they told one of my aunts she was just “sick”.

The day after the funeral when I went to clear my head and drank one Bloody Mary, all hell broke loose because I was supposed to be back at a certain time and wasn’t.

I guess it was ok to drink the day dad passed and get tipsy / drunk, and I guess it was ok to get so drunk you get sick the evening of the day of his funeral.  But the day after, I went to clear my head and had one drink and I’m ….. (lots of words).

Double standard anyone?

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Before we continue the next part, I want to note something.  My sister and I have had countless conversations regarding the above and we both agree that at any given moment, mom could have “saved the day” had she simply told the truth.  But she didn’t and consequently my actions deeply hurt not only my sons, but my sister and several family members.

We both wish we would have talked, it would have made all the difference.  We’ve mended our relationship and I believe it’s stronger, deeper, better than ever.  Perfect?  No. But we’re on a journey to excellence and maybe someday I’ll convince her to have a blog or guest write on mine if I figure that out.  I also believe we’ve laid the gold in and it’s settling in the cracks more beautiful than ever:

Image result for kintsukuroi heart

My 2 year vacation, part 3

a ship at sea adrift

The biggest catalyst for finding my authenticity and living even remotely comfortable in my own skin began when I lost my dad.  The series of life decisions I made in the days and weeks immediately following his death clearly show I was, in many ways, a ship adrift in the sea of life, no anchor, no captain, no navigational charts, no charted course, merely going wherever the waves and storms of life took me.

There’s no way I could tell my story without this crucial life altering event.

I’ve learned that sometimes you must go backward to go forward.  If this happens, it’s important to remember it’s not the end of the world.

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By the grace of God, I was in the room when my dad’s spirit left him.  I saw it happen with my own eyes, and nothing or no one will convince me otherwise.  That night, I learned there’s a miracle in death as there is in birth:  both are sacred.

The events that followed, were in some ways emotional torture.  I have often hoped that I would wake up and find that it all was simply a nightmare.  There were things that made no sense to me, things that deeply hurt me, things that all but destroyed me, and things that I truly regret.

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Now we go backwards a year maybe 2.   My divorce was final and I came to realize that almost my entire circle of friends had crumbled almost immediately.  In retrospect I see many things so clearly, although at the time it was truly painful.  I had never felt so alone.

Up until my divorce, I would have said I had many friends who loved and cared about me.  I went to church with the majority of them and the others went to another church.  The problem is this particular religion believes divorce is immoral, and whoever is “wrong” in the divorce is going straight to hell.  I was awarded the title of the scapegoat.

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Now we go backwards almost 2 decades to 6 days after my wedding.  My then husband and I were sitting outdoors at a restaurant, and the next day we would be heading back home as Mr. & Mrs.  As that thought swirled about in my mind, my chest tightened, I couldn’t breathe, my heart raced, and I felt trapped.  I said, “I can’t do this.  I’m not ready to be married.  I’m not ready to be a wife.”  His response, “You’ll be ok.  We’ll be ok.”  (Note – you may want to run, fast, far and not look back if your new bride says this. Just a thought.)

~~~

So when I lost my dad, there I was with a couple (I mean 2) people who were actually my friends and are still dear to my heart, divorced (the scapegoat), and feeling like I was being smothered with family and “friends”.

I believe when someone dies everyone means well, but what few seem to understand is we all process emotions differently.  Some of us need to be surrounded by people, while others need to be off by themselves.  This difference started a chain reaction of events that if I’m not careful, I can still get angry.

The day of my dads funeral, the following processional to the grave site and at the dinner that night, if anyone asked how I was, I said ok:  I knew what I was supposed to say.  It was expected that I would participate and go along with what everyone else decided: whether I agreed or not was irrelevant.  I’m a recovering people pleasing enabler, of course I would agree.  But, I was also expected to participate when no one let me know the plan the day after the funeral.  What I needed was some space and time.  One person seemed to understand.

I desperately needed some time to be alone in my own thoughts so I could breathe.  This was not the case for the rest of the family (except maybe my youngest son).  They all seemed to thrive on being together.

Early the next morning following my dads funeral, I got up before everyone except my mom and got ready to take off for the day so I could clear my head and take at least one deep breath.  When I was leaving that morning, mom asked if I knew when I’d be back.  No I did not. Just heading west.  She laughed, smiled and said, “ok, have fun.”

The rest of the entire family woke up later that morning, including my 2 sons, and asked my mom where I was and when I would be back.  My understanding now is she told everyone that I knew there was a plan to meet at the grave site early that afternoon so I’d be back before then.

The cold fact is no one had said one word to me.  I knew nothing of this plan.

When I wasn’t back “on time”, I was _______________________________ (fill in the blank). According to my family, I had abandoned them and I had abandoned my sons. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.