It’s been awhile…

It’s been awhile…

Fall has always been my kind of season. When I moved from L.A. in the 80’s I’d never experienced all four seasons before. That magical low humidity high clarity time of year, the lower angle of the sun and change is in the air.

I had a roofer come over for an estimate the other day and as I met him coming from the yard he said “Holy cow, did you see the two great blue herons? Like literally right there?!?” Uh, yep…they’re kinda always…around??? And it’s true. I’m blessed with proximity to nature’s ultimate HD experience day in and day out! I just chuckle and we watch the last one give us the stink eye for spoiling his fishing before taking a swooping flight around the pond.

_DSC5221-1Update: Right after this post look who dropped by for a visit.

Let’s see… Anxiety, check. PTSD and its related derivatives, check. Progress on processing early childhood trauma and its context to human connections today, major check.

Going through the #MeToo movement via Twitter, Instagram & Facebook has been an eye opening experience. On the one hand I have greater awareness that I’m not alone. I’ve also learned there’s a lot more layers of complexity out there when it comes to the over all topic of “Childhood Trauma” within the sexual abuse category alone. I still haven’t found anyone who’s had my personal experience but that’s okay.

I won’t get into categories or descriptions regarding the topic either because it doesn’t really matter. No ‘one’ person’s story is ‘less than’ anyone else’s. To take that a step further. None of our lives or stories are any ‘less than’ each others. When I think of things in those terms I don’t get stuck living ‘in the trauma’ and find it easier to live in a solution.

Growing up on my grandparents farm in Arizona meant everyone was exposed to geology. Whether it was something like the International Tucson Gem & Mineral Show or even The Grand Canyon itself, you kiiinda pretty much had a clue that the earth has been around for quite awhile. Sorry Ark Experience folks but no…uh uh. Not buying it. Hence my obsession visualizing and trying to find a way to express my personal timeline in some manner. I have a zillion childhood photos of a very unique time in Los Angeles I just gotta figure something out. Watercolor, mixed media, who knows.

Think about it. In the longevity of mammals we’re literally shot out into the world in 16-18 years and then, with fingers crossed, we’re expected to somehow stick the landing and not land on our face. That’s a preeetty narrow window of time when your little childhood sponge of a brain is literally sucking up every image, sound, scent, feeling, phrase, touch, lighting angle, fabric and surface texture along the way. Assuming you find a decent career or living after all that, then the next 30 years are kinda on auto pilot. That’s a pretty big if…

Recently I reconnected with an old Hollywood High School friend and it’s made a difference in moving forward. I’m trying to keep using FaceTime so that it pushes me to keep up with things around the house. The joints had me down most of the summer and given the mosquito issues it’s probably just as well I didn’t get to work in the yard as much as usual. I can’t get to a gym and keeping a 1c yard cleared, mowed, trimmed and stacked with wood is quite a bit.

I took some time off from ‘processing’ the tough stuff from my childhood. Not because I let it go or found any sort of resolution, but because some of it sorta just resolved itself. #MeToo got me in touch with owning and living my truth. Now it’s time to live what’s next rather than keep treading water and wondering why I’m still stuck. If you’re reliving the trauma over and over via social media. It makes it harder to transition to a more positive affirming life approach and that’s pretty important to me.

I closed my FB account and definitely don’t miss it one bit. I’ve unfollowed a lot of news media outlets/hosts from Twitter and Instagram. I use Tweetdeck because I can put in filters, which I cannot encourage strongly enough if you want maintain some sense of sanity. Total lifesaver during the FratBro confirmation hearings for example. Definitely didn’t need those kinda triggers in my life.

Rambling, I know.

My whole reason for firing up this post was because I spoke with my Dad today. I never thought I’d hear his voice again to be perfectly honest. Not in a mean way. Just in a way that I really didn’t have a clear idea of just how bad he was the last time we spoke. I make leeway that he’s old and can’t stick to any one topic for long so I’ve always just let him go from one to the other. Today was no different…almost.

He left a voicemail last Friday but didn’t say anything other than. “No I don’t want to leave a message, thank you.” and hung up. I’m guessing at 79 with parkinson’s he thought the VM prompt was a real person and more a result of old age not dementia. Another side effect of old age is answering your phone no matter where you are because you’re old and you’ll do it if you damn well want to. Lol.

When he answered there were some musical instrument sounds in the background. It’d fade in and out, sometimes it was quiet on the line while he moved around. I’ve learned not to revisit any past phone conversations and I can sense he appreciates that. I casually ask how things are and let him go from there.

Definitely not happy he can’t drive anymore but seems to understand it’s his parkinson’s that make it unsafe. “Can you believe it? You don’t do good on one test and boom, no more car. One, ONE test, sheesh.” I commiserate and support the absurdity, he slightly chuckles and moves on.

His reaching out to me is his own way of trying to be fatherly, I can only guess, with him it’s never been clear. The conversation went on for awhile as he discussed each physical change that has now limited movement. More of the ‘gee whiz’ exclamations and how he’s fighting having to use a wheelchair and how he definitely doesn’t want to be in a home. He wasn’t angry but logical and accepting of the fact that of All the conditions he’s been through Parkinson’s is the worst. He says worse than going through both Prostrate & Colon Cancer which is ming boggling.

The hardest part of today’s call was hearing the constant jangle on his phone while his voice was sort of far away. He didn’t want to admit it but his admission earlier of having to wear a bracelet now and with his left hand being the most prone to shaking, it all eventually made sense. He’s left handed and he was trying to use that hand to hold the phone hence the rattling bracelet. Sigh…(that kinda really hit home tbh)

So. Where am I with all this shit? Tread lightly I suppose. Even though he’s at the root of most of if not all my childhood trauma. I want to be able to look at my childhood photos again and keep the good memories like a normal person. Put them in actual frames, on the mantle or bookcase and not keep living the life of a ghost like I have.

The question of forgiveness hasn’t been resolved but it doesn’t have to…for now. For now, I just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other and be okay with not being okay. 

It’s Fall in New England, time to get that camera out even if I feel like shit! And I own that in all of it’s profane positivity!

 

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