… I Am Just Tired …

… I Am Just Tired …

Do not be concerned by my tears, by my lack of enthusiasm, my withdrawal from what is outside my front door… I am just tired. 

What is the meaning, I am just tired? I will let you know, it is when my wall of excuses is breached and the truth washes away my delusions of grandeur for why my life is meaningful. In truth, I am full of hate and contempt for the betrayal of my brothers. I am a good person, compassionate, and never once did I turn my back to any one of my three brothers, but my being to them has become worthless. That includes the psychopath who raped me when I was thirteen. The images of those moments are so vivid I want to throw up. I have never confronted him on this. We grew up over the following years as if it never happened.

My mother was in the last weeks of her life. She was sitting at my dining room table with her lawyer when she called me into the room and said she was leaving the psychopath out of her last will and testament.  I protested and argued she should not do that, “it was not fair,” I said.  She was persuaded and he was put back into the will. Afterward, as she predicted, he conned me, trick me out of my inheritance that is now worth over a million dollars.  When I asked how he could forge my name on court documents, he said, “I am the only one who can afford to keep the estate.” We have not talked in over ten years. 

My eldest brother by six years, Ronnie, was the brother who was always there to listen as I was for him. He joined the Air Force at Eighteen-years-old. I would live with him and his wife from time to time. When he retired twenty-two years later, he settled in North Carolina. He was employed as a jet engine mechanic by a company that was an hour drive each way. At least twice a month he would call me to talk during his drive home. Then the following happened, I wrote to him many times before this last message, none have ever received a reply.

9/12/2016 > Two years ago you called me worried about having your pacemaker replaced. To make sure everything went well, I told you I would call the next day. However, I have not spoken with you since. Two years and I have no idea why you stopped loving me, two years and I have no idea what I did, two years without a clue of why you didn’t want a sister anymore. A while back, I would sometimes worry you might die before I learned what happened to separate our lives. I feared my last memory would be the day you called and never did again, Within these last years, I have been able to reconcile this event of the heart. The emotions that I had after your rejection have been compartmentalized so I’m okay with you not wanting me to be in your life. I am sure you have your personal reasons for not caring about me and if those reasons help you to live a happier life then it is okay with me. Recently, I visited your page, once I saw your photo a flood of emotions and that familiar ache of sorrow filled my chest. There are so many memories we shared that I hold in mind, made more valuable by knowing there will not be additional memories.  What did I say, Ronnie, what did I do?  You broke my heart and you think that I don’t deserve to know why? I’m so tired, I am going to say Goodbye, Ronnie.

When my mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, she had no reaction. Not once did she speak of her impending death. Not one tear was shed. I understand why because my life is a mirror of her life; no friends, no family, ignored by her children, disabled by mental health issues, and treated as such by the professional community. She was tired, I understand now because I am tired, too.

 

 

 

The will of my Sentiments

The will of my Sentiments

Tonight, I will finish my compilation video titled, My Brother in Arms. It is my way of supporting the ongoing Palestinian prisoners’ hunger “Strike for Dignity”. I bought an editing software program called, filmora, this video will be my first project using the many new capabilities offered. What I did not expect was how the suffering of Palestinians has affected my emotions.

Unfortunately, my knowing has created a conflict between my allegiance to Israel in that “my people” in Israel are the cause of the killing of innocent Palestinians including children. I do not want to identify myself as being Jewish even though I was raised Jewish, lived six months in Israel, resided for two years in a Jewish boarding school where I studied for my Bat Mitzvah, in addition, I married a Jewish man, raised my children as Jews and attended Shabbat services with my children in the same temple as my mother and I had done for decades.

I pray there will come a day that these tears I shed will be for the joy in all humanity. Until then, I must walk aside those treated like sub-humans by those who claim that it is the will of G-d, that victory is the destiny of our people. Therefore, to the Zionists. whether victory is won through the destruction and death of those who came before, then so shall it be done.

Nonetheless, if our G-d judges me as my people have, as a traitor, that they say I have Jewish blood on my hands, then I alone will answer to our G-d. Placed within my heart, soul, and my conscience is the sentiments of justice and virtue to promote the utility of others. Therefore, I must believe and will try to remain confident that G-d would want me to act according to the direction of my will, and so shall that be done.

Without the Way, There is no Going

Without the Way, There is no Going

My life became void of routine and responsibility, three years ago, after early retirement. Often, I stay awake at night and sleep during the day, eat breakfast at three in the afternoon and dinner at midnight. Most often, I do not know the day of the week or the time of day, what useful purpose would I have for such knowledge?

Having developed a dire need to keep myself occupied, the idea of taking a moment to breathe is contrary to my current constitution. There is always something to do even if that something is cleaning the floor cleaned yesterday.

Consistently, my thoughts will turn to matters of the heart if I sit still too long, causing my emotions to become chaotic and depressive. Thereafter, my sense of self becomes depleted and hungers for the conversation and companionship that was lost after moving away from my hometown.

Unfortunately, Merced is not conducive to forming friendships. Believing in the idiom, “Birds of a feather flock together,” I am a rare bird.

Make the Day a Good One

Make the Day a Good One

Today is my birthday as with each birthday people wish me happiness with the advice to make the day a “good one.”

Two years ago, this day was no longer all about my birthday. My birthday became the day my children’s paternal grandma passed away. Now I learned my dear friend, Blake, passed away last week after suffering for years from many physical ailments. Blake’s friendship was of exception for he was an exceptional person. To me, though painful, I think his death is a blessing. 

Each year, when the calendar reads February, I will remember what I find more important than the coming of my birthday, my dear friend, and grandma who will remain in my heart until the day it beats no longer.

Note: The photograph used for this post is of Blake with my now twenty-seven-year-old son, Jacob.

Next Stop, Planet Forgiveness

Next Stop, Planet Forgiveness

Where can I buy the book, Forgiveness for Dummies? After commenting against forgiveness another blogger questioned my proclamations. As I tried to formulate a response, I realized I was not sure why I felt so strongly about not forgiving someone.

Searching online to further understand forgiveness, I read articles with titles like, Forgive and Forget, Let Go of The Past, and Why You Should Forgive. However, there was not an explanation on how to accomplish the written suggestions, for example, “Think about the incident that angered you. Accept that it happened.” What does that sentence mean? Do I accept that what happened in the literal sense, like C’est La Vie? Is the advice suggestive that I tell myself it is okay that my personal belongings were stolen by my nephew while I was involuntarily hospitalized for bipolar depression?

Another piece of advice that was confusing, “Acknowledge the growth you experienced because of what happened. What did it make you learn about yourself, or about your needs and boundaries?” Absolutely nothing was learned save the belief family members cannot be trusted. How does one gain personal growth from being robbed by your nephew or learning your brother has swindled you out of your inheritance? One article ended with the words, “Forgiving the other person is a wonderful way to honor yourself. It affirms to the universe that you deserve to be happy.” Okay, but I thought the age of Aquarius was over decades ago; now I feel frustrated. Have my life experiences clouded my perception of the key components necessary to understand the concept of forgiveness?

After my over thinking forgiveness, I checked the definition which only caused me to become more confused. How could the following definition be helpful?

Forgive / Definition of Forgive by Merriam-Webster: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong): to stop blaming (someone): to stop feeling anger about (something): to forgive someone for (something wrong): to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed).

Going back to my prior blog posts, I found several instances where I had used the word “unforgivable.” What came to mind was the question, why am I so resistant to the idea forgiveness? After my two-day search for the Holy Grail of forgiveness, I realized that I really need to forgive myself for how I treated my mom in the last weeks of her life. Although twenty-five years have passed, I cry all the time for not telling her I loved her. At one point during her illness, while stopped at a red light, my mother turned to me and asked, “why is it that you haven’t cried after learning I am going to die?” I did not have an answer then, but I do now, I had not forgiven her for being an abusive mother.

“The thoughts you have are vital to leaving the past behind…” This line I found in a post written about moving on. I have a sense that this is where I should start.

 

 

 

Pathology of Life

Pathology of Life

Alongside the driveway to the house I lived was a three-foot brick wall. throughout my teens, twenties, and thirties I would run and jump over the wall rather than follow the walkway that led to the driveway.

One day, in my forties, as usual, I ran toward the wall but was not able to jump high enough, consequently, I stumbled over the wall and fell flat on my face. Not wanting to admit I was limited by age, I searched for a reason not to accept that there are physical limitations when you reach your forties and they are undeniable.

Concluding my thought was a revelation that aging is a trade-off process. My thinking is this: There is not in existence nor should there be a measured formula to slow the pathological processes of time. By which the detriments are most severe to one’s body in comparison to the curative effect to one’s mind. As the latter benefits one in the acquisition of wisdom, the other is inherent to the tragic adverse of one’s physical decline.

What Is in a Heartbeat

What Is in a Heartbeat

The hardest thing I have faced was watching my teenage daughter, Emily, risk her future by not taking the present seriously.

When Emily became a sophomore in high school her homework would often have incomplete written across the top. Furthering her education by attending college had always been my dream. However, just a few short months into her first year of high school, she was falling behind in algebra and English. By the middle of the year, fearing Emily’s failure, I paid for an Algebra tutor and an English tutor and they came twice weekly for one hour.

Extroverted would be an understatement if used to described Emily’s exuberance. Clearly, for Emily, attending high school had become a social event and the opportunity for a rounded education was secondary. Emily’s father and I were divorced before Emily’s graduation from a private middle school and I couldn’t help but think that I was partly to blame for Emily’s nonchalant attitude toward academics. Emily had devoted a great amount of her time in the development of a social life, by the end of her first year of high school, she knew half the student body. Holding onto my dream, the more I talked about her attending college the less inclined she was to listen. Yet, her grades had improved and I went ahead with the certainty of her pursuing a Masters’ Degree. During this time, my employer of twelve years filed Chapter Seven Bankruptcy. Subsequently,  wanting an advantage when competing for employment, I entered college to earn an A.S. degree.

Soon enough, all seemed to be going well, even though I was forced to deal with more than occasional cutting of classes but a GPS installed on Emily’s phone put an end to that problem. To this day, I can remember her screaming in horror from the passenger seat as I sped down the freeway toward home without responding to her extreme distress. Then time, true to its nature, passed into another year. Emily was now seventeen-years-old, good natured, personable, generous, and loving. We were heading toward the finish line and as I started researching different colleges, with enthusiasm Emily began her senior year of high school and 102I the second year of college. I found it difficult to work full-time, rush home to prepare dinner, rush off to classes by 5:30, return home around 9:30, and then study into the late hours of the night to complete assignments. 

Only weeks into her senior year, for the first time, Emily brought a boy home and introduced him as her boyfriend; his name was Carlos. He was pleasant enough yet knowing he had graduated high school two years earlier, to me, was worrisome but, I thought Emily would be off to college soon enough. One day, Emily started complaining of stomach aches that would come on as quickly as they left. I suggested she be seen by her doctor and made an appointment for the following week. At the clinic, Emily was asked to provide a urine sample and was handed a small plastic container and left the room to use the restroom. After Emily returned, it wasn’t long before the doctor entered the exam room. I was sitting in a plastic chair against the back wall facing Emily who was sitting on the edge of the exam table. After the usual once over of Emily, the doctor did not show signs of concern and left the room to check the test results of Emily’s urine sample.

Together, we silently waited, my thoughts drifted to the possiblilies of what was the cause of the stomach aches; flu, appendicitis or maybe teenage nevers. Lost in my thoughts the door opened and in walked the doctor. Immediately, all the blood drained from my face, my heart raced with the adrenalin my fear released and my eyes were fixed on what the doctor held in her hand. Without a glance toward me, she stepped to the side of the exam table and showed Emily what she held. The doctor asked my seventeen-year-old, college-bound daughter, “Do you know what this is?” With innocence, Emily replied, “No, what is it?” Tears had begun to flow from my eyes as I hung my head down. “You’re pregnant.” said the matter of fact doctor as if she had closed the case and was moving on to the next medical mystery. The doctor exited the room without another word.

Seconds later, when my eyes met my daughter’s the look on her face I had not seen before. Tears streamed down her cheeks and her lips trembled. To me, she looked like a lost child who was engulfed with terror, shock, and disbelief. Wth some effort, I stood up and took the few steps to be at her side. On auto pilot, I said, “We will get through this.” I could see my words had been interpreted that I had all the answers. With a defeated tone, Emily asked, “Okay, mom, so what emily-500should I do?” I hid my panic and uncertainty, knowing it was not my place to make the decison that would alter Emily’s life. In a split second, our lives had just taken a left turn into the thick fog of the unknown and whatever was to come could never be reversed. What was felt as a tidal wave, unbeknownst to me, would become a destructive tsunami permanently washing away the landscape of my life. Breaking the silence, I said to Emily, “I cannot tell you what to do, but I will gather all the information regarding the choices that are available to you, then you must decide what do.” Emily hopped off the exam table; now in a surreal world, we quietly left the clinic. My racing thoughts were in conflict as we walked through the parking lot. I was struck by the fact that this was not just her baby, this was to be my first grandchild and that shifted the balance making her decision a personal one for me as well. Over the next week, as reality sunk in and the choices were known, Emily made the decision to become a teenage mother. She also made the decision to move in with the father to be. Although I was against that decision there was no way to alter her direction. The first night Emily was gone, I cried myself to sleep feeling helpless and as lost as Emily had become.

Over the next nine months,  busy working days and attending college at night, I didn’t speak with Emily as often as I should. Two weeks before her high school graduation, Emily gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Two mdamian-1-3onths later, before my employer closed the doors, I graudated with honors. Then tragedy struck, I was diagnosed with advanced glaucoma. In that this disease is asymptomatic, I was unaware that my optic nerves were being irreversibly damaged until the day I could not see with one eye what I could with the other. I could no longer see well enough to work and was granted Social Security Disability. My income was now 1/3 of what I was earning as Key Accounts Manager for the company that was now closed down. Ultimately, the harsh reality was that financially I could not remain in the city I was born. Subsequently, within sixty days of my diagnosis, I had moved nine hours away, leaving Emily and my two-month-old grandson behind.

Through Facebook and texting, I remained current with what was happening in Emily’s life. Before the end of the first year, she left her boyfriend, moved into her own apartment and was granted full custody of her one-year-old son. My daught15055853_1355462954494117_4436050304080569902_ner was attending the college of life and in the first year, the tuition was steep. Nonetheless, by the grace of God, Emily was offered a prestigious position at one of the most sought after employers in Santa Barbara. This job afforded her the financial stability to be independent as a single parent. 

Through the next five years, what I have learned is that my daughter is not the child I wanted to keep in mind but rather had grown into a beautiful young woman and a loving mother herself. To me, she shines like a rose freshly blooming and when I see the joy she receives from parenting and the love she has for her son, I see what I thought was going to be the hardest time Emily would live through now appears to have become nothing more than a walk in the park.