In Trevor Noah’s autobiography, “Born a Crime,” he gets all manner of punishments and whippings from life and his mom, but always feels safe, loved and recovers to go out in the world and be bold again. Toward the end of the book, his step-father, drunk, gives him a beating that he knows is different. His step-father, Abel, wants to hurt him, kill him. After that, no matter how sober, how kind, his step-father was, Noah never let Abel get between him and an exit door again.
As I read that feeling, I realized, life is my Abel. No matter how good things appear to be going, I don’t trust it not to turn. I don’t want anyone or anything between me and an exit door. Trauma is a funny thing.
After reading that, I am wondering, what would it be like to be in my life. Sit in this room, in this day and roll with the punches. The older you get, the easier that prospect becomes. Inch by inch, day by day. I’ll come back.
I recently came back from visiting my mother who just checked herself into a “home.” Overwhelmed by taking over all her financial responsibilities and seeing her short term memory fading, I tried to tackle a task beyond my abilities at the end of a 16 hour day of errands, and a day of facing the fact I would have to one day clear out the house of a – I want to say borderline, but I don’t think I really need to say borderline – hoarder. I called Comcast/Xfinity to move and change her service.
Maybe I had absorbed some of mom’s good old fashioned paranoia that everyone is trying to flim flam her, but at one point I thought I’d given her social security number to an identity theft ring, this after two hours and four customer service reps saying they had no record of my confirmation number. I spiraled quickly, as I do, into – why am I living? I really don’t want to be. (It turned out fine after a few more phone calls, just always ask for the “moving/transfers” department if you call. They won’t jack with you.)
This morning, I started listening to Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime…, and thought, I need to marry someone like that, who’s had actual problems, like getting thrown out of a moving car at age 5 by his mom and with his mom and baby brother to avoid his mom getting brutally raped. Someone like that as a spouse might help me get some perspective on my life and the actual size of my problems.
Of course my therapist would say by feelings are justified. And she’s a smart cookie, so who knows.
Also listening to the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the flight to and from the visit, I have been trying to find a place for the information that children who have been cared for and protected have fewer survival skills and tend to be the first to die in concentration camps. Not great for the species, I understand, to be OK with death over suffering, but as a pampered white child that seems to be my go to response to discomfort. Take me now God, take me now. Not that He does.
I think of Trevor Noah’s mother driving sternly and commandingly through war zones to get to three churches on Sundays. That’s style. That’s some serious style. I wish I could find my style.
Wait – I, Me, Mine are words that make you more likely to have a heart attack. Scratch that last sentence. May we all find our style. Our serious style.
I think this would be mine.
Posted in Healing, Inspiration, Recovery, Spirit, Writing
Tagged anxiety, Dalai Lama, depression, Desmond Tutu, emotional healing, healing, health, humor, ideas, Inspiration, journal, life, style, Trevor Noah
Walking in the woods, a big tall breezy green woods over a glorious sparkling bay, I stood, looked out, felt that angels would swoon at such a sight, and yet myself, I felt sad, frozen, and alone.
Walking down a sunny street in the seaside town nearby, I smelled cinnamon rolls, hops brewing, passed flower baskets dripping with pansies, heard the buzz of the occasional car, click of the occasional cane, chatter of the occasional town occupant, and I, myself, felt so overjoyed.
Revelation at 51 – I don’t like walking in the woods. It makes me sad and lonely. No matter how much Thoreau enjoyed it and no matter how poetically he portrayed it, I, being me, don’t happen to feel uplifted by it. Revelation part 2 – That’s OK. In addition, it is OK to like small quaint streets with flowers and people and cars. This is what some people like. This is OK. I don’t have to keep forcing myself to walk in the woods thinking it’s supposed to be spiritual and peaceful.
How long does it take to get it? How you feel is how you feel. There is no supposed to, in the “what you enjoy” department. A long f-ing time, in my case. 51 years and counting.
Is there something you ever forced yourself to do because you thought you were supposed to like it?
Posted in Meditation, Spirit, Travel, Writing
Tagged aging, enjoy, flower baskets, happy, I'm OK You're OK, life, nature, quaint streets, revelation, travel, walking in the woods