Exiting the Merry-Go-Round

I’ve been trying to write this post for about a week now. I feel like it is vital for me to talk about and yet I feel like what happened to me isn’t as horrible as what many other women have experienced. On the other hand, I think it’s important not to downplay what happened either. A couple of weeks ago I had to cut all ties with the neighbor who helped my mom and me out so much for past four years. I had been riding a merry-go-round with him for the past several years of turning down his advances towards me. He’s married to his third wife and would often express his desires to be more than friends, and I would always tell him, “No.” He would try to rationalize it by saying things to me like, “You know, you wouldn’t be the first woman to be someone’s mistress.” Or “I’m not going another year without sex.” Or the day he brought me his copy of “The Joy of Sex” which I promptly handed back to him. My stance on the subject never wavered for a moment, and it frustrated him. One day he told me how once he wanted something he never stopped until he got his way. Maybe I should have cut ties with him then, but he helped us. And I was so burnt out taking care of my mom by myself; I let him help. I was grateful for the help. Grateful to have someone who understood my point of view and was willing to be there for us at the drop of a hat. But even silver linings cast shadows. And I was willing to ignore the shadowy side of our relationship until what I’m not very creatively calling “The Incident.” He had come over to help me with something, and before he left, he decided that it was ok to pull me to him and forcibly kiss me. I posted a poem about the incident a few days after it happened. It was shocking and as I struggled against him and kept saying, “No!” it didn’t matter. But that wasn’t the worst part. Before he left, he turned back around to me and looked me dead in the eye and just said, “Yes.” Then he turned and left. At that moment, I knew I had to cut ties. But going about life alone scared me to no end. I felt so overwhelmed by the idea since I’ve always had some kind of help to get me through tough times. I didn’t sleep for days weighing the situation. But it always kept going back to having to protect me from him. That kiss shattered all the illusions I had been wearing like blinders. I had talked myself into the idea that if I told him “No” enough times, he would stop. If I reasoned with him enough, he would see the situation from my side. But there is no reasoning with him. He wants what he wants, and I know now that how I feel about it and how it would affect his wife, should she find out about it, didn’t mean anything to him. Fast forward six days when he came over to weed the garden as nothing had ever happened. I went out onto the porch and told him that I had found someone to do that. He simply said, “Very well.” and left. I haven’t seen him since, and that was almost two weeks ago.

Facing the world alone for the first time in 46 years has, as I said before, overwhelming. I’ve been waking up early in the morning having anxiety attacks over this. But I’ve also made great strides in finding the help I need around the house which has bolstered my confidence. But dealing with my neighbor’s assault while continuing to mourn my mom and deal with the loneliness I’ve been feeling has left me emotionally drained. Throw in the failing health of my older cat, and it has me just wanting to pull the covers over my head and hide. Hide from the suffocating weight of everything that is going on. It’s just too much for my heart and my spirit to take. I’m trying to move forward with what I want to do with my life, but it’s hard doing that while dragging around all this emotional baggage. That’s why my posting of original content has kind of slowed down, I’ve been dealing with all this other stuff in my life, and it’s sapped my creativity. There have been days over the past couple of weeks where it’s all I can do just to take care of my pets and myself. But I’m working through it, and I just have to be patient with myself and listen to what my heart needs and continue to work on what I need to get past all the recent trauma I’ve experienced.

Current Mood: Puppy Whipped

I originally posted this back in January. It’s how I’m feeling today, so here ya go. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a certain Goldendoodle outside… again.  lol

At my desk working away and he’s there.

Head on my lap looking up at me

His big brown eyes stare into my soul.

They plead. He whines.

I know what he wants

But a deadline looms large over me.

Ignoring the warming weight on my leg

I try to concentrate.

But the rhythmic thumping of his tail distracts me.

I sigh, get up, grab his leash, and head outside

With him happily dashing ahead of me.

What can I say, I’ve been puppy whipped.

Ghost at the Medical Building

I returned to the medical building today where I had taken my mother so many times. It was the first time I had been back there since my mom passed away and, as I walked along the curved sidewalk, I was overwhelmed by memories of pushing her wheelchair towards the door. I felt like her ghost was everywhere as I walked inside. I could still see her waiting in the lobby while I went to get the car. Or in the laboratory waiting room, fretting that her wheelchair was blocking the walkway. I was not prepared for how sharp the dull ache in my heart would feel.

Until You Did

You swore you’d never hurt me

Until you did.

Today your control snapped

Like an overstretched rubber band.

Your rough hands holding me.

Lips smashed against mine

As I scream “No!” over and over.

My hands feebly trying to push you

Away.

That wasn’t the worst part

That came as you were leaving

I was still feebly saying, “No.”

In shock and mindlessness.

You turned back to me and

Emphatically said, “Yes.”

Like there was no arguing the point.

I was yours to do

With as you wished.

Then the door closed

And you were gone.

And I was left

To pick up the pieces

Of my shattered reality.

The Sneeze That Woke the Beast

***A fable about the last few days of my life***

 

Sitting on the sofa, I watch some mountain monster hunting show and breathe. The night before had been one of the most torturous of my life. The left side of my back had been seized by some creature’s claws that kept squeezing the muscles over and over again. I was wracked with pain so intense it left me uttering shuddering moans in between its grip. With the help of heating pads and painkillers, I had gotten the thing to let go, and now, in my mind’s eye, I could see it slumbering. I could also see its bony hand loosely draped against my back. I hoped it would stay asleep forever. Then I felt it, a foreboding tickle in my nose. My heart sank as it grew and I realized I was going to sneeze. My shoulders shifted forward, and my back curled over on itself as my nose exploded. I sat in terror waiting to see if it would set off a new series of spasms. I closed my eyes and prayed. I could see it, eyes still closed but its breathing was uneven, and as I watched I saw the whites of its eye appear and then its pupil roll down. It stretched and wrapped its claws around my back again and started to squeeze. I hobbled hunchbacked into the kitchen to get the heating pad again. Hoping a warm blanket would put it back to sleep so that I could sleep tonight. Unfortunately, it didn’t, and I didn’t.

*** A few years ago, I was plagued by back spasms every few months. They had gone away as mysteriously as they appeared and it wasn’t until Monday night that I was reminded just how excruciatingly painful they were. I’ve been pretty much sofa-bound this week, unable to even type because the action of leaning forward would cause the muscle to tighten again. This morning, my back began feeling normal again. I’m still exceedingly cautious in every movement I make. I’m living life at the speed of a tai chi master.  ***

Inner Fire

On those nights when it’s the darkest

There’s no light within your eyes.

All your hope has faded

And the tears will never dry.

That’s the time to regain focus

To close your eyes and breathe

And calm your mind and your soul

To reclaim what is underneath.

Center yourself, and you will see it.

A tiny burning spark.

Your ember of inner fire

That can still conquer the dark.

Let it draw you to it.

Like a moth to proverbial flame.

It will never hurt you.

But you won’t ever be the same.

Once the fire consumes you and

The flames extinguish your tears

The strength you feel will overcome

Those troubles you’ve had for years.

Keep those eyes closed tight and watch

All the negativity burn away

Let your entire self become the light

And wake to a brand new day.

Telephobia

The one seemingly monumental hurdle I’ve had to get over since my mom passed away, is my fear of talking on the telephone. With my stutter, the phone has always been a source of immense anxiety and not fear exactly, but a strong avoidance at all cost. I hid behind my mother and let her make phone calls for me, and now that she isn’t here anymore, it’s been difficult for me. I will sit at the kitchen table and stare at the phone with an ever-growing sense of unease just bubbling up from within me. I’ll pick it up, start to dial, then hang up and put it back down again. Then I feel angry at myself to giving so much of my power away to an inanimate object. But it’s not the object that scares me it’s my social anxiety and not knowing how the person on the other end of the call will react to my stutter. For the most part, it’s been positive, but there have been a couple of times that scarred me. Of course, those events happened when I was much younger but the feelings stuck to my psyche like crazy glue. Like the time I was trying to call someone from grade school, and I had to call collect, and the operator told me that she could trace my call and would send the police to make me talk correctly if I couldn’t do it on my own. Yeah, something like that leaves a mark. Now, I admit looking back on it, it was something I should have just let go but, being so young, I just let it stay with me. And, in letting it stay with me, it grew to be a bigger thing than it ever should have. But I think we all do that with something in our lives. Let something small, grow out of proportion, and then it seems all consuming.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been making progress with my telephobia. I just told myself that making telephone calls is part of making my way through the world on my own. It was time to rip that band-aid off and let the old wound be exposed to air so it can finally heal. I still keep having false starts, but that’s to be expected. I just need to be patient with myself.