Friday, May 25, 2007
School’s out for summer! I promised my daughter that she could host a overnight camp out. The girls varied from eleven to thirteen years of age. There was a brief introduction of each family as they dropped off their children. A glimpse of who they are and their status in the community. I couldn't believe in the few moments time how much you could learn about people. Some opened up more then others to talk, but they all opened up. They shared lack of employment, gas prices, family issues, A chapter in their life that they wanted heard. I was amazed how much I knew about each family as they drove off.
I watched the girls mingle, viewed the different personalities, they were all having so much fun. One young girl, seemed extra attentive, bubbly personality, maturing. She said I like it here, I’ll call you mom, she came and sat beside me on the swing, cuddling up close the blanket wrapped around her. She spoke and I imagined her life flashing like candid pictures. The description of her home life very clear.It’s not uncommon families with stepparents. In a very short time, she spoke of her stepfather, her desire to know her real father, her love for her grandmother and feelings of not being wanted. I felt sad as I held her, knowing I could do so little. I said have you spoke to your mother? she said “she gets angry when I bring it up. “I felt helpless and yet I knew she just needed to be heard. We all need that at various times in our life, to be heard. Sometimes it gives validity to a secret and sometimes it a earmark of a cry for help. I am here if you need to talk and if you need some place to go you can always call.
I had written letters for years to a person who rarely responded to them. Some would say why would you do that, continue to write letters to some one who is not acknowledging you? If I was honest with myself, I would say, I had hoped that they would answer. I could have written all the same words in a diary, why did I need to write them to someone.? Many times as I wrote the letters the questions that troubled me the most, had the answers hidden in my own words. If only I dare to listen to myself, but also there is something about sharing what you have shared with no other soul. Someone was listening, I was being heard. My secrets, my silent cries, my tears were falling on someone else’s shoulder ,even though the response was minimal.In writing those letters I broke the golden role of the dysfunctional family " what goes on in the home stays in the home" It was brainwashed into us, share nothing, speak only when spoken to and above all keep it home.I can't say I never had a response from the person who for years read those letters. They did speak, very little, but there were a few comments. One was "your life is like a roller coaster." I think that is very true of dysfunctional families, that is how they survive so long.The up and down, the good and bad, the ying yang or the balance of good and evil. It some how plays on the optimistic personality, giving hope, having faith. I thought of it both sides of the scale, given enough rope to hang ourself, or enough rope to reach the floatation device.
I went back five years into my life, I remember looking into a photo album to find a picture of myself. When I finally found one, I was viewing a picture of the stranger I had become. I didn't like the person I saw. I felt ugly, stupid, sad and lost. The years that followed were the makings of a survival journey an acceptance of my own self worth an exploration of life and a growing experience. I needed to be heard and someone listened.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The more I looked through the albums thee more distant I felt, as if the pictures contradicted the stories of abuse. Inside the book a view of little children well dressed, birthday cakes, picnics and what appeared to be parents in love. Rare as I remember were these occasions and yet they existed. A small glimpse of a dysfunction family on a functional day.
The eldest member of my siblings, was dealing with alcoholism, so drunk he had fallen down the steps and ended up paralyzed with a spinal injury, from the neck down he lay unable to move. He was assigned a psychiatrist in which they dug into this childhood. He told the stories of repeated attempted suicides , knifes under pillows, loaded guns going off in the night and horror stories that are so unimaginable. He talked with my eldest sister he said you have come and talk to them, they don’t believe me he said. They think I am making it all up. Soon he learned to do just that make up stories, he told them he was a pow in the Vietnam war and converted his fears and anger into that of war. The doctors easily excepted the stories of a soldier being tortured, and yet refused to believe the truth. How could this be doctors who were sent to help denying the facts over fiction.
I felt a sadness of the heart, as I thought of him lying there is body twisted and the once intelligent young man fighting for his life. Why is it we don’t want to believe the truth? Adults closing their eyes and allowing children to remain in abusive situations. My mother had Betty Davis eyes, you could read them and sense the day that await Skeletons in the closet, we were told everyone has them. But this was different, people knew it was in the papers. When my mother was hospitalized she has us convinced she was on sabbatical on leave from work. Numb I am as I try to brings those days to the forefront of my memory. I can’t really recall when it all ended when it all began. Pieces here and there occasionally surface, some not necessarily good or bad, but more like existence. I struggled in first grade, the private school said I was very smart and that I was incapable of doing the school work. I finished the year out there and then for second grade was placed in the public school system. Life must have been some what calm as I remember the teacher, no name just that she was pretty and nice. Of course we didn’t change classes in those days you had the same teacher all day long. She taught all the subjects. Nothing really stands out children in the class are a blur, but I remember getting a ribbon for being behaved.
I went up to the hospital auxiliary today, I look forward to talking with the volunteers. One woman her name is Katherine she must be close to 90 years old, “she said everyone has one good story in them. She said the difference in those who succeed in life is knowing when to move on. Letting go of heavy luggage. “As I write bits and pieces of my life, it is like blowing in the wind, each word written down, closes the chapter as I move through them. I don’t dwell but accept that it happened and pray that I never repeat the same mistakes as my parents. I laughed as I wrote that I don’t need to repeat theirs, there are plenty of our own mistakes to work through.
There is one illness above all that fosters many social problems and that is loneliness. it spreads like a wild fire and isolates large populations from one another. The world over we are just people, variances to undetermined degrees but yet people with the handful of emotions that makes us tick. I remember not knowing my place in the world not having enough time to find my place in the world. For my children I promised stability at any cost. Sometimes I felt it was a high price to pay but that I owed it to them when I brought them into this world.
The sooner people realize their own worth, the sooner they will find that we are all people with just a little bit different stories. We give actors, actresses, musicians , sports players ,etc way to much credit for they
are merely people whose talent is widely known, there are so many that have a talent and never get there day in the sun. I remember my daughter being afraid to ask questions of her teacher in school and I said never be afraid to ask questions, your teacher is on the peoples payroll, she works for us.
A new law will be passed in the state of Pennsylvania making those who negect to report highly suspected or known cases of child abuse to the authorities with fines or upto a year in prison.Watching and doing nothing is as guilty as the person who pulls the trigger.
Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) TDD: 1-800-2-A-CHILD Childhelp USA is a non-profit agency which can provide reporting numbers, and has Hotline counselors who can provide referrals.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
I wrote a post and some how deleted it .. maybe it wasn't meant to be. It was about the sign of weakness, the vulnerability that we all meet up with. Illness, employment, finances, domestic abuse, isolation. I decided rather then rewrite it, that I would talk more about breaking the cycle and what we can do to deal with it. We are human and vulnerable to everything in the world around us. I find that we are sometimes beaten down and that more times then enough the old adage rings true " when it rains it pours."
|1.||a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.|
|2.||the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.|
|3.||the belief that goodness pervades reality.|
|4.||the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.|
Self pity is not a strong trait and yet we find ourselves questioning why me? The Balance of life on the scales of justice should weigh out the negative and positive. Occasionally due to timing, the scale leans heavily to one side or another. I find the biggest problems are not necessarily why? but how how do we turn any given situation into a positive and what is expected of us and what are our limitations.? So many questions so few answers at times.
I found that for me I woke up at the age of ten and some may say I managed to get stuck at the age of ten. I was in fifth grade and it was another new school, once again the new little girl. I sat in a class of strangers and I glanced out the window. The blue bird caught my eye and I couldn't help but stare. Optimism... I thought it is the" blue bird of happiness. " My eldest son said" I am never optimistic, for if I think the worst and something positive happens then I will be grateful but if I think the best and it falls short, then is that much harder." I felt bad that he held a pessimistic view of life. But I understood the one two many falls and how much harder it is to get back up when your down.
There is no one book that has all the answers because no two situations are identical, like the people involved in each scenario there is positive side and a negative. I find myself caught in my sisters rule of giving advice, and then I find myself having to listen to what I have told others. I believe that the path as rocky as it can be is meant for each of us to travel. It reminds me of the lucky stones, the little white ones. We would spend days hunting for a lucky stone. That is the simplicity of life, a day for a day.
Have faith...... faith that tomorrow we will wake up and the sun will be shinning for when the sun no longer shines or we no longer wake up then worry.
Hold to Hope... that goodness will reign over evil, which means what goes around comes around, sooner or later we all meet our maker.
Embrace Love.... allow the passion for life warm your heart even on the coldest days, for to embrace hate only holds you down to the level of evil.
Know Peace.... for hell is allowing someone else's anger next to your spirit, allow peace next to theirs.
Believe in Dreams... to let go of a dream is to die and it's not time to die.
I know nothing about raising son's but here I am with five of them, I shared a blog that related to a issue my one son was going through. He said "what good comes from knowing that someone else shares in the same pain" I said it is not n knowing that we share in the same issues of life, but that we survive through some of the same kinds of problems.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I Woke up early to a cool morning, the windows open and the birds in symphony singing throughout the hills in such harmony. We have never had much of a tradition on the Mother’s day holiday. The younger children always make a gift or card at school and It is always so much fun to see what their imaginations have created this year. Sweater weather, you’ll need one in the morning but later in the day the sun will have burned off the chill.
I looked back at life and the path I was on, I can’t say that I imagined all that came to be. It’s not whether we have had a good or bad life, it is our ability to processes and function through times of crisis. As my sister says” life could have been better but it could have been worse. “ That is where the concept of " a day for day” comes into play. More then a day can be over whelming. I looked back and I can’t believe the years that have gone by. I believed that I walked a path meant for another, as very little of my dreams and desires had ever stepped up to the plate for a play and then I realize I stood at the crossroads many a time and choices were made.
My new oil paints arrived and my son said "paint because you enjoy, not because it is going to sell." Hey! we are in reversal roles, I am being given advice by my son. It brought to mind one of the funniest moments, a canvas I was working on , I had just painted the sky blue and a little water, lol Ironically... placing into it a little turbulence. I had not come close to finishing the painting, but accidentally it was packed in with the work that was to be displayed. At the event everyone was rushing to set up and they pulled out the blue canvas and they said where do you want this one? I said that wasn’t supposed to be packed, place it in the back. Through out the day people stopped and read some of my writing and viewed the paintings and there was such commotion over a picture of nothing ............ ah that is so beautiful, hm I thought the canvas is blank, or was it? What appeared unfinished to me was interpreted by many in the most amazing ways, I even had another artist stop by and comment , she said it doesn’t need anything else. I laugh every time I think about it. It reminded me of the gallery at the Carnegie and my eldest son was looking at a contemporary piece and he said its a blue box, my two year old could paint that. Everything is based on interpretation and that varies for each individual. I had realized that some of my words reached large audiences because they could be widely interpreted. Some people would go about trying to analyze them to come up with my thoughts and others would give me their own insight to the work.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Every answer to ever question exist in the world around us, we have to take the time to look. May is my celebratory month for my first year of having a drivers license. I get to places faster now and experience moments that I would have never had before, but I don't regret the struggles to get that point.
It was 9 years ago that I walked fourteen miles round trip to town. I had to get there to make a mortgage payment on the house. As I walked the miles that I have previously been a passenger on, I saw that same path very different. There are many more hills then you recognize driving but there is also so much beauty that you never take the time to see. I never noticed the white country land fence with the apple tree bent reaching for the sun. I stopped picked two apples and continued on my way. The sound of the crows cawing in the distance and the hawk perched waiting for a rabbit to enter the field all to seem blend into natures most beautiful and neglected masterpiece. A canvas in motion, a wave to the farmer, a glimpse at a doe and her spotted fawn. Magical it was this journey I tread, tiresome a struggle on every hill and bend.
I stopped for a rest down by the stream and ponder on the struggles of life and what they all mean. Life is a diamond with facets of many, reflections of light for each a new beginning. Memories accumulative , one building upon another to create a individual with character like no other. Similar are the emotions felt through out life and on every page in a story shadows of happiness and strife.
Some call it baggage, others call it old luggage, memories.... good and bad that we carry through life. It is the internal and external components of character. Parents are granted such power, as we are instilled with a privilege to form the memories that a child will carry through life. What does it take to be a good creator? We need patience, for listening creates understanding. A good measure of love, as love will warm us on the coldest days. Unselfishness for the greatest gift you can give to your own child is a part of yourself.
Good Memories Through a Child's Eyes
Fun, friends, being happy, sharing, family,
swimming, eating, snowboarding, building
a tree house, shopping, playing........
Our job as parents is to make sure that whatever a child likes to do that it is done in a warm and safe atmosphere.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Children learn what the Live
I had a teacher who once said the
Lord helps those who help themselves. I realized in helping our fellow man we in turn help ourselves to be better human beings. They say ..ya gotta love the they say people ... "that no one person is all bad or all good. " My father was in world war 2 when
segregation still existed in the military, he had bonded with a man whose skin was a different color and during the height of the racial riots he
would remind us that we all bleed red blood. He ain't heavy he's my brother. I don't think I will ever understand hatred, but it exist as surely as love.
I always said the Lord was shy when giving me patience, my sister said I don't believe that I have seen you with the babies in your arms and have seen no warmer and more patient mother.
I think life is just that a long and winding road. Where it leads, how we get there and how long it takes teeters on the bigger plan. No matter how good or bad life seems there is always something to learn from it.
Packing your bags add a little love it never runs out and will take you much further then you can ever imagine. I don't always think I carried out my responsibility to my children to the best of my ability, a little fear and insecurity seem to surface in my younger years. I remember telling my sons " I am growing and learning with you" The next time you think to holler take hold of that person and hold them close and give them a big hug. Amazing what a little love does.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Neglect and abuse is the worst betrayal of a mother to her own child, for she has been given the beauty of life. Intuitive or knowledge we have the ability to form like the soft clay of earth a child, one that will stand in the world to face what is sometimes a very cold place. Parents are the first set of teachers, for we give to the world hope, wrapped in the most precious of gifts.... our children.