Random Thoughts

Today I was listening to a podcast about Apartheid in South Africa. I started thinking about how people can be controlled and once control is familiar, some people gravitate toward people who will control them.  I wonder sometimes why I ended up in an abuse relationship in college, then later with the husband who was a control freak about finances and everything else.  In the seventies when i was growing up, my mother instilled the importance of kindness into me, not standing up for myself or speaking my mind, but being kind and polite and not to make a fuss.  I did have a few strong women in our family as role models, but I got the message that these women had done it wrong. One of my aunts married and chose a career in a big city over children, another had a 18 year marriage and left her cheating husband then became bitter and hated men for the rest of her life and then there’s my dad’s baby sister, Mary whom we affectionately called “Crazy Mary”.  She became a go-go dancer in the 60’s to put her husband through college, then she became a private investigator, wore her hair in a bleached blonde bouffant, drew eyeliner out toward her temples, became addicted to facelifts and stopped wearing a bra, and all this not just for the duration of the sixties, but FOREVER.  None of these seemed attractive examples of independent women I wanted to emulate.

When I separated from my kids’ father my daughter was twelve.  I stressed and worried that she would become a doormat for men later in life due to her father’s efforts to control her.  I began having conversations with her about being strong and standing up for herself and the importance of character.  It’s now four years later and I couldn’t be more proud of the young woman she’s become.  She’s sweet and smart, and no-nonsense about stupid teenage behavior, especially if it’s risky and dangerous. “I told them that was a bad idea and I’m not doing it,” she said one day about something her friends wanted her to do. When i tell her about some mistakes of my youth she says, “You must have been really dumb.  I’d never do that.”   I am confident she won’t tolerate bad behavior in friends or boyfriends because she’s too timid and polite to speak her mind.  I used to worry that I might drop dead before I’d raised my children and leave the job half done.  I feel peace knowing that I have done a great job with all three kids and that they have the information and skills they need to succeed in life.  Of course I plan to be around another  fifty years, but if I’m not, I know they will be just fine.

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Dream Messages

A few weeks ago I went to an angel reading and the woman told me that my mom was with me and I’m surrounded with love. Strange things have been happening since then. I had a strange bible verse vision in a dream and woke still recalling the verses. I Googled them and they both were stunningly similar to things I’ve been working on and reading about in meditation and books. It kinda freaked me out.

Colossians 3:12

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

John 4:18

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

I have to make this clear that I have no real familiarity with the Bible. I grew up in a church, but I have no bible verses memorized and can’t find my way around a bible at all. I don’t even have one around my house. I’m not sure it survived the move.

About a week after the first dream I dreamed that I had a burst of absolute knowledge that “God does not give us more than we can handle.” What???! I was so puzzled. In my dream I was thinking, “wow, I sure got that one wrong. I was pretty sure truckloads of bad stuff can happen whether you can handle it or not.” And I woke up feeling absolutely sure that I’d received divine wisdom. My only explanation is that my mom who died in 2015 is sending me messages, but I won’t know for sure until she tells me to cut my hair short because it’s so cute on me.

Less than a week after that last dream my 81 year old dad got pneumonia and I took him to the hospital and things have been pretty stressful for the last week. He’s still extremely sick and I’m pretty sure mom is trying to comfort me and get me through this. I wish she’d do it with chocolate, yarn, and winning lottery tickets instead of bible verses, because this religious stuff is freaking me out. I really think she’s trying to tell me that dad is dying. Im trying to be optimistic, but I don’t know what else it could be. Stay tuned.

The Secret

Once we become adults it’s amazing how much clarity we have about situations that happened to us long ago, sometimes decades in the past.  When we are children we are at the mercy of adults, who we rely on to keep us safe and meet our emotional needs.  The lines get a bit blurred with siblings as they can be older, and although sometimes close to adulthood, elder siblings are often guilty of bad judgement.  They’re more responsible than a child, yet not quite “ready for prime time” of adulthood and the decisions that accompany it.

In the case of my brother and sister, I was oblivious to this growing up. I trusted them completely and at seven and nine years older they just seemed like cooler, more unpredictable versions of most of the adults I knew. I think my life was probably in danger more times than I knew when they were supposed to be looking after me.

When I was ten years old my older sister Robin was eighteen and newly married with a baby.  Her husband David was twenty one, had been in jail for theft at least once and was not on a good path in life. One summer day we walked the railroad tracks (trespassing on railroad property) picking up coal that fell from train cars. He and his friends planned to sell it. Robin and David often argued about his greasy friends hanging out at their apartment smoking joints in the living room while I was there.  I don’t remember any of them having a job. My sister worried that I would report back to my parents about what I saw, so they often whispered around me.  I never told my parents anything I heard or saw there.

My parents disapproved of the match, but had been unsuccessful at preventing the marriage.  They fretted about my sister and her baby girl and desperately wanted more for Robin than to be a high school dropout and new wife and mother at eighteen.

Visiting my sister at her apartment was great fun for me.  My niece was a happy baby and I loved helping to take care of her.  I remember the first time Robin let me take her out in the stroller alone. I was very careful to keep the baby happy and most of all to pick up the toys as they fell, keep her from kicking the blanket to the ground, and to just keep moving so she would stay content.  When we arrived back at the apartment my sister had started dinner and we sat down to eat eat together.   Sometimes I would spend the night at the apartment if it got late and I’d sleep on the couch in the living room.

My sister was trying hard to make this new life work and she was a good mother and wife, but her husband was the wrong man. She had no idea how wrong.

One summer night when I had stayed over at the apartment I woke up on the living room couch with the sensation that I was being touched. I recall slowly waking up, not sure what was happening, if I was dreaming or awake.  I kept my eyes closed as I  began to fully realized what was happening. David was touching me between my legs, rubbing me.  I froze, trying to stay in the exact same position I been when I awoke.  In my ten year old mind I knew this was wrong.  I wanted him to go away but I was terrified to let him know I had woken up.  I shifted my hips sideways, trying to make it look as if I was moving in my sleep, just enough so that his hand would not have such easy access. His hand became still for a moment, then he pulled his hand away.  I didn’t open my eyes, but I think he knew I was awake.  The only light was coming from street lights outside the windows, but I’m fairly certain it was too dark for him to see my face.  I lay still for a long time, afraid to open my eyes.  He sat there awhile.  I had no idea what he would do next.  I was ten, but I knew what pedophilia was and I knew I wasn’t safe.  Then he walked away.  It never happened again.  He never spoke to me about it.  They divorced two years later after she got tired of him beating her.  I never told anyone about the incident until I was in high school.  I was twenty when I finally got the courage to tell my sister and I did so only because I was concerned that he might be abusing my niece as well.  He wasn’t.  Her reaction was distant and without emotion or empathy. Then it was never mentioned again. I never told my parents. It never felt necessary.

I reflect back on this night sometimes and wonder, why didn’t I scream? Why didn’t I tell my sister or my parents?  I could have told the school counselor and utterly caused a shit storm, but I kept the secret, the secret he had not even asked me to keep, but I kept anyway, because I felt shame.  I felt I had caused the incident by being nice to him, by not being covered up on the couch that night. It was a hot night and I had kicked off the covers.

I worried that I would cause trouble in our family if I told my parents.  I worried I’d make my sister mad if I spoke up, that my parents would have more reason not to like David. I didn’t want to be the reason her marriage didn’t work out.  I didn’t want to inconvenience everyone.  So I swept it under the rug, but it refused to stay.  It resurfaced as sexual promiscuity, insecurity, self doubt, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol when I was thirteen. And although I didn’t realize it at the time, my relationship with my sister became tainted as well. She was my protector and she did not protect me.

One effect of this experience is that once I had my own children, I was overprotective about where my kids spent the night and with whom.  My daughter’s friend down the street invited to her sleep over and I remember asking her a million questions about the mom’s new boyfriend and where he slept, etc.  I never fully trusted that my kids were safe when they were away from home. Some of this made me a better mother, but mostly it just stole my peace of mind and made me constantly on guard that my kids would be molested by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

I know that when we know better, we do better.  David was a broken person and on a self destructive path.  He did not break me, but I felt tarnished because of the incident. I kept the secret and it felt dark and dirty and still does.   I knew I’d done no wrong, but because of where he had touched me, I knew I’d never tell.  I hated having this secret and hated that I was protecting this scumbag from what he deserved.  I did it for my sister, but mostly I did it because I did not have the courage to do anything different.

Thank God we live these times and that I have a much different relationship with my kids than my parents had with me.  I don’t know for sure if my kids would tell me if they were abused, but they know that when they are struggling that I will listen and believe them and we will work through any problem they bring to me.   And hopefully, that is enough.

Ex Meditating

Years ago I had an ex boyfriend Aaron from high school whose wife was battling lung cancer and I was feeling very bad for him and didn’t know how to help.  We had dated for over three years on and off and we were very close.  When I heard about Aaron’s wife I found myself worrying about his family.  They had a daughter about the same age as my daughter who was four.  At the time I had been experimenting with meditation and decided to send him some love during my meditation for a few days.  The meditation made me feel better and I soon moved on to other things.  A few weeks later I had a strange dream that I saw my ex-boyfriend and he was telling me about his dad having a car accident and passing away.  I remember his words, “It was an accident, but it wasn’t an accident.”  I recall standing in the kitchen making coffee the morning I had the dream.  I was so puzzled by it.  I hadn’t dreamed of Aaron in years and why did I get this bad news? The next morning I got a phone call from a friend that said  Aaron’s father had been in a car accident on an icy highway while on business in another city and had slammed into a semi and had died instantly.  Later it was determined that he had a heart attack prior to his losing control of the car and was already deceased when the car hit the semi.  I practically felt the ground shift under my feet at the realization that I dreamed about the incident before it had happened.  “It was an accident.” Semi. “But it wasn’t an accident.” Heart attack.  This taught me about the power of mediation and how it can not only make us feel good, but can reach out into the ether to people we feel connected to or whom we have been connected to in the past.  I don’t have any explanation at all, all I know is that it was real.  I will admit I need to tighten up the screws a bit as the effect wasn’t at all a part of my intentions.  I guess I need to put much more practice into this meditation practice.

Lately I’ve been trying to “exorcize” e-husband  out of my thoughts and heart.  I remembered this powerful mediation experience from several years ago and decided to give it a try.  I started by  lying down and closing my eyes and focusing on my breath.  I’ve never had good results sitting to meditate.  I think they tell you to sit so that you don’t fall asleep, but I’ve never had that problem. I began by generating a flaming hot ball of love from my abdomen in my mind.  I made it spin and expand and flow out of me and into the ether.  I imagined it floating above me and out of my room, outside and across town and to ex-husbands house.  Then I envision it speeding up and flying full force and pummeling him in the head,  knocking him off his feet and flat on his back.  Then the flaming ball of love enters in to his chest with red hot heat and making him scream out in pain as the ball fills his body with fiery love. I suppose I could imagine it in a kinder, compassionate way, but I gotta do this gradually.  He’s lucky to be getting any love at all from me, so he can lump it.  Eventually,  the love flows through him and heals him and relaxes him and realizes he’s doing everything wrong and changes his ignorant ways.  That’s the nice version. In other versions his head explodes and he lays writhing on the ground bleeding out his eyeballs and begging for forgiveness.  Divorce is tough stuff, folks, definitely not for sissies.

In a meditation podcast today I heard a meditation on “cutting the cord” to free yourself of a broken relationship with a loved one you cannot stop thinking about.  I imagine he’s an astronaut in space and I cut his oxygen cord/lifeline and he floats off into black space with his face becoming red and gasping for air.  Bye-bye, bad husband.  See ya!

I find these visualizations extremely helpful and healing.  I know there’s a bit of cruelty and even violence in them, but my goal is to let go of whatever anger and resentments I’m feeling.  Eventually, I think I will be able to honestly send him the love without the blood and torture.  Maybe.  Until then I’ll enjoy my scenarios because really, if it makes me feel better that’s what matters.  It doesn’t matter if it’s real or not and the beauty of it is that I CONTROL IT ALL. He can beg forgiveness and I can laugh and laugh, or he can apologize sincerely, we can embrace and our hearts connect for a brief moment before I wish him well, cut the cord and sent him off on his journey  speeding toward the sun,  at a five hundred miles per hour.  Where he bursts into flames upon impact.  Honestly, I could do this all day.

Talking to Angels

I recently had a chance to have an “angel reading” at a new age store downtown with Lara Steffensmeier of Fort Madison.  I have had a few psychic readings over the years and usually feel like the person really didn’t tell me anything particular to me and that they weren’t all they were cracked up to be.  This time was different.  Two of my close friends had their appointment before mine and when I walked in I could tell they both had been crying.  They said, “Brace yourself. She’s REALLY good.” I wasn’t convinced yet. I approached her table and introduced myself and she stood up and gave me a warm hug.  She said immediately, “Your mom and grandma are with you and you are surrounded with love.” I asked if it was my mom’s mom or my dad’s mom and she put her head down, closed her eyes and focused and was silent.  Then she said it was my mom’s mom.  She said there was another woman present and it seemed like my husband’s mother. “I’m not sure if you’re married?” she said.  I said I was divorced and that it did make sense that Donna’s spirit was present. Lara said she can sense living and deceased spirits.  Then she said that my husband was present.  She said “he’s right HERE” and she waved her hands in the space between us next to the table. “He’s standing with his back turned to you and he’s crying.”  “Good,” I said.  She told me that he wants to be happy, to move on and for me to be happy. That he could not open himself to me although he had tried through the years, but although it was easy for me, that’s not who he was.  He knew I was an open person but he could not be.  “He wants you to accept him for who he is because he isn’t capable of anything else.” (basically I take this to mean stop asking him to be a better human, to let him suck at compassion and empathy with the kids and let him move on in his selfish turd way.) I said I suspected he had been unfaithful two years before our marriage ended from some evidence I had found and asked her if this was true.  She put her head down again and closed her eyes and became quiet. “I am told that yes, you can trust your intuition on this.” About my mom she said she was being very quiet. “Was she a serious person?” she asked. No, she wasn’t. “My dad was a serious person and my mom was weighed down by him.  Is she at peace and happy now?”  She said yes, she is full of joy.  I asked if it was her time when she died or if it was a choice and told her what mom said in the hospital about “going to be with Lois” and told her of the circumstances of her death.  She said that mom saw her angels and the portal open up and knew she would die soon.  She said it was not a choice.  She said a few other things like that we are in people’s lives to learn lessons from them and to teach them lessons.  She said Dickhead and I had our time together and it was over. THANK GOD, because later Missy told me that Lara told her that she and K are soul mates and must stay together. I’d shoot myself.  I can’t imagine how I’d have tortured myself if she’d told me that.  She also told me to let the guilt go by finding compassion.  she said I need to forgive myself because I did the best I could.  True.  She said things aren’t working in his new relationship and it won’t last because he is still closed up.  And because he hasn’t learned, he will continue to make the same mistakes over and over in his life.  She also told me that the kids need to choose about their dad and I need to stop passing judgement because it’s harming them.  She said she she sees Stella with tears down her cheeks and i need to work harder on compassion for the situation and less judgement of everything.  She asked if I had someone special in my life and I said yes.  She said he doesn’t think he’s good enough for you, but he is. “I can’t see him well because he seems a bit on the outside of things.”  She said he needs to be more involved and we both need to embrace the kids with love-both of us.  She said she sees that we hold back in front of them and it needs to be more real. she said they might not like it at first, but that’s real love to show affection to each other and they need it in order for you to be a healthy family.” At the end of the session she hugged me again and I left.  As I walked to my car she followed me out and said, “I just wanted to tell you that I saw that rose quartz can help you.  It can be a necklace you buy here or amazon, but I think it can really help you.”

I’m not sure what to make of it.  I did feel that she feel and see things that I did not tell her.  Whether she felt it from me or truly from angels, I don’t know.  I would like to think if my mom were really there she would have said something.  I’m puzzled by that.  I have a feeling that she might have been trying to tell me something bad that will happen soon like maybe dad dying or maybe she’s unhappy that Robin and I aren’t speaking.   I have felt her with me all along and I know that she is here always.  I think the other woman there that she said was Dickhead’s mom was indeed Donna or maybe it was Linda.  If it was Donna I have a feeling she isn’t happy.  I’m shocked that Lara got that much out of Dickhead, which might mean he really does want to communicate at some point.  Who knows. She was right on a few things: he was a closed up mess, his life is a still a mess and always will be, and I tried my best and I need to get past the guilt.  Such a wise woman.

Since the reading two days ago I’ve been crying off and on and ruminating about all of it.   I thought maybe it was because she stirred it all up for me and opened old wounds.  But now I wonder if she opened up a little portal and I can feel it all more now for this brief time and it will slowly close again.  I feel raw and I’ve been obsessing over the divorce and all my shortcomings in all of it.  A woman at my church once told a story of seeing her husband’s dead mother one day in her kitchen.  She said although she was in a fine mood at the time, she instantly started crying for no reason the second she saw her mother in law. She said it was the strangest thing.  I think it must be a weird side effect of being close to your dead loved ones.

Today I started a new book on judgement.  I’ve meditated today and worked out.  I am striving every day to be my best self, but I do not know what to do with him having an affair two years before I left him.  I cannot deal with him not being open with me about how he was feeling.  I cannot deal with him blaming me and allowing others to think that I caused the marriage to fail by being with Chase.  I cannot deal with his inability to discuss any of this because I have no closure.  He is a broken lost man and I just do not know what to do with it.  I failed to help him.  I failed myself.  I failed my family.   Onward.