Fearless Journal – I know, I know, you have to go – Part 1

This all started out as a response to the Daily Prompt –   You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story? _ I started with my most prominent childhood memories  and the story  took on a life of its own … Here’s what I have so far.

The bones of my mother’s hand are piercing my pudgey paw.
“Where’s Daddy?”
“He’s not coming with us.” Her voice is matter of fact and unyielding.
We squint-stare into the wind.  The port of Oslo diminishes, melting down into the ocean.
Sea-spray stings my face.
I bite my lip, breathe deep and refuse to cry.
I want to kick her ankles and bite her arm so I taste blood.
I am 3.

The living room is blurry with darkness.
I feel the cold planks under my bare feet.
Am I dreaming?
What is that shadow?
“Daddy?”
His thick fingers smooth my face and stroke my hair.
He whispers, “I made you something special for Christmas.”
“Are you staying?”
“I have got to go, Moonface.”
He opens the door and is out.
“Daddy?”
I am 4.

I am gripping the hard plastic of the phone to my face.
“When are you coming home?”
The kitchen light slices into the shadows of the darkening apartment.
“Do you want to come with me to Ed’s?”
“No, I want to stay home.”
“Well, I need to see, Ed tonight.”
“When are you coming, home?”
“Tomorrow morning.”
“I am hungry.”
” You can make a sandwich, or have some cereal.”
“Please come home!”
“I need to see Ed.You’ll be okay.Be a good girl and don’t stay up too late.”
It’s no use.  I hang up.
I go to every room and turn on all the lights.  I turn on the stereo radio full blast. 
I turn on the tv. I sit  inches from the screen.
I wrap myself in a blanket and dig myself into the beanbag chair.
I watch the black and white images. I scream till my throat is raw and cry myself to sleep.
I am 6.

I am standing in front of the rest of the kids.
She announces that I have a story to read to them.
The pencil marks between the blue lines become sounds in my mouth.
They are quiet and listening with amazed eyes.
I finish.  My classmates clap and hoot praise and mumble compliments to me as I walk with jelly-legs to my desk.
I have become a star in my small world.
I am 8.

I am crashing down the streets in metal skates.
I am singing and running through the grassy hills barefoot in a long cotton print dress.
All day, all summer, the apartment is empty, except for me and maybe a forbidden friend.
We are sitting in my mother’s sunny bedroom on wrinkled sheets.
I balance the weight of the “Joy of sex” between our knees.  
We flip through the pages and say – Grooooss!
She is 10 and I am 9.

I am wearing a pink and white  knee-length dress with lacey ankets and patent leather shoes – dressed up for my  first day at school even though it is October.
The black expanse of the parking lot separates me and a crowd of kids staring, boys and girls dressed in jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers.

I am the only girl that raises her hand in class to answer the teacher’s questions.
During recess the other girls giggle about boys and what they did with them after school.
I go a  year without friends.
The boy in the desk in front of me is nice to me, cause I let him cheat off my paper.  
In the schoolyard, in front of the other boys he ignores me.
He is my first love. I am 11.

I run after the siren for a half mile – and stop short of my house.
Charlie’s garage door is wide open, and a  rope-noose is hanging from one of the rafters.
Charlotte and I were neighbors and best friends, and an hour before we are skipping and laughing, enjoying our freedom a week before school.
I had convinced her to leave her house even though her mother had begged her to stay home.
I said – “Your Mom will be okay, what is she going to do, kill herself?”
At school, whenever I pass Charlie in the corridors, she pulls a kid over to her and points to me, and fake whispers to them  with her hand cupped over their ear.
“She murdered my mother!”
They stare with mouths open like evil fish.
I go 2 more years without friends.
I am 12.

I show the stylist a crumpled magazine picture of Farrah Fawcett.
I want the “feathered style ” to show off my “fashion sense” at my new school.
What I get is bangs cut like two angel wings.
I enter my home room in stiff new Levi Jeans and a Rolling stones t-shirt.
They stare back at me in their Izod sport shirts, chino pants and skirts.  It is rock and roll versus the Bee Gees.
Someone mutters that my hair looks like bat-wings.
The kids laugh.  The teacher says nothing.
I am “batwoman” for a year.
In the empty hallways, I get special attention from the boys who punch me in the arm or take flying karate jumps at me.
I am 13.

The night air covers us like a warm, damp blanket. The river  lap-licks  the side of the boat. We are nearly invisible to each other on the bow.
Lying to my left is my cousin Lewis, who is  stoned and sweet-talking the neighbor-girl on the far-left, who is usually my competition.
But tonight, Alex is all mine, on my right. I reach my bare foot over to stroke his bare leg with my toes. 
He asks me if I am cold.  I lie and say – Yes.
He pulls me close into his armpit .  I  turn to look at him, his nose is shining, and his eyes without glasses wander around in their sockets like they are lost.
Our first kiss rescues us.
I am still 13 and he is 19.

I get up before my mother, dress for school, and then hide in the backyard until she leaves for work.
Every day instead of being bored in classes, I call in sick to the new highschool, impersonating my mother’s voice.
I spend the rest of the day handwriting letters to my love, reading Anais Nin, masturbating under covers and roller-skating around town.
One afternoon, after 6 weeks of missing classes, the school administration calls my mother. 
They are very concerned about my health.
My mother asks me – “Why?”
I can’t explain. I am shaking and repeating – “I am sorry.  I am sorry.  I am sorry,” like a mantra.
She says – “Shhh, shh, it’s okay. Let’s go out for dinner.”
I have never loved her so much.
I am 15.

I am holding her really tight so she won’t fall apart in my arms.
Her body is heaving and shaking.
I have never seen her cry before.
She was always the rock upon which my waves would break.
It was turbulent that morning, but he still wanted to fly and shrugged off her doubts.
Thirty minutes later, his glider is caught by a jagged gust of wind and he is smashed against the face of the cliff.
He lives for less than a week, until his impatient family unhooks him from his life.
She breaks into his house and brings back a bag of his clothes.
Night after night after work, we eat the dinners I make.  She goes straight to bed. I tuck her in.
She falls asleep in one of his shirts, clutching her knees to her chest, meeting up with him in her dreams.
I never saw a man treat her so well.  I never saw my mother so in love.  
I am afraid of EVER being THAT in love.
He was 26  and she is 40.  I am 16.

We have waited 5 years for this. I am no longer “jail-bait.”
Inky light filters through his curtains.
We are shadow-beings, running our hands over each other, polishing each other’s skin.
He tells me he will take it slow.  I feel a pinch of pain where I usually feel pleasure.
He writhes on top of me for a few minutes, stops, and then rolls off of me, kisses my face, and then falls asleep.
I don’t know what to think.
The next morning our steps navigate between the slick of ice and the crunch of  gravel to his car.  
I am walking like a cowboy.  He asks me if I am okay.
I tell him it was no big deal.
He drives me to the airport.
I am 18.

The sky is still grey.  Has it been this way since I left? I wonder.
He meets me at the airport gate.  I give him a smile so big, my face feels like it is going to crack.  He returns a half-smile.
I chit-chatter next to his silence in the car.  The warm air whips through my hair.  A sharp pang of joy fills my lungs.
Finally, we are together, and this time I don’t have to leave him.
We roll up to my Uncle’s house, and I ask him what we are going to do together for the rest of the day.
He shakes his head and tells me he can’t stay and that he started seeing someone else, months ago.
I ask him – “Why are you telling me this now?”
He says something unsatisfying, and tells me – “I have got to go, Elizabeth.”
I get out of the car and watch him drive away.
It is the beginning of a very long summer.
I am still 18.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/flash-talk/

 

 

 

 

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Fearless Journal – Tools for Personal Peace – EFT and the Sedona Method

One of my many intentions in writing the Fearless Journal is sharing tools for managing or releasing fears, and general icky-stuff, that have worked for me in the past and in the present.

As I said, I have felt very safe, calm, tranquil of late … generally.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t ever feel pain or sadness, or the murky emotions, but rather they flow through me like a river.  They do not take over my life as they once-upon-a-time did.

EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique also referred to as the Tapping Solution

This is a stress relief technique that combines physically tapping acupressure/meridian points with statements on the particular issue you are dealing with – could be anything from physical pain to emotional pain, to fears, etc.  Anything you want to change.  For a while I resisted this particular technique, because it seemed too simple and I just didn’t buy it.  But about 6 months ago I started giving it another chance, and it has worked for me on a number of issues.

EFT  with Nick Ortner- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfZBHWSbrsg&list=PLY2m8pQCEK0LpD-O5RMR0_2tsc7WMdj1W&index=33

Tapping Solution Website that Covers things more in Depth  – http://www.thetappingsolution.com/eft-articles/

The Sedona Method – is a very simple system of releasing beliefs and emotions that are controlling our lives.  Basically one goes through a series of questions, where you are cognitively questioning your habitual way of thinking/feeling in a very gentle way.  The result of this questioning is a sense of calm and absence of the grip of the emotions/beliefs that once held you in their grasp.  Below is their website and a YouTube video without visuals that goes through a particular exercise that allows one to release negative emotions/beliefs associated to a relationship with a particular person.  This can work with any relationship of any sort, romantic, familial, business, etc.

Sedona Method – Main Website  – http://www.sedona.com/What-Is-The-Sedona-Method.asp

Sedona Method Relationship Release –  http://youtu.be/gQuPPEATGkM

Just wanted to share these … they are deceptively simple techniques, but quite powerful when used on a regular basis.   Much better than spending years in a therapist’s office or taking meds forever.  They are free and you can do them on your own without the need for a professional of any kind.  So even if you are skeptical, as I was with EFT especially, it doesn’t hurt to try with an open mind and heart.

At some point, I may elaborate upon how these worked for me in particular circumstances, but at this point – I am just offering them up, without the personal details.

Day 4

Fearless Journal – Short Reflections upon the Personal and the Political

In the last few days since I started this experiment, I have been reflecting upon the following

  • I am generally feeling safe and fearless at this point in my life, so it is a bit ironic that I started this journal.
  • I initially started this blog with a number of political pieces – and then moved into very personal material – What is going on here?  This critical voice in my head, adopted from criticisms I have encountered in the past is saying, “This touchie/feelie share your emotions and fears has NOTHING to do with politics.  Why are you wasting people’s time?”  (This is what I imagine folks that prefer political diatribes over self-reflection might think or say) – But one of my core beliefs is that you can’t have deep national political consciousness if the majority of the citizenry are personally unconscious of themselves and how they live their lives. For instance, prior to the American civil war, the Quakers were leaders in the anti-slavery movement.  The Quakers have a very personal religion, which guides their everyday life decisions and inspires their political action.

    Quakerism 101

    Quakerism arises out of a radical interpretation of Christianity that understands Christ as being a living reality in personal experience, not only in the Bible and Church tradition. The basic discovery of the Friends movement is – in the words of George Fox, the movement’s founder – that “Christ is come to teach his people himself.”

    While Friends today understand this in a variety of different ways, the foundational belief that underlies all of Quaker faith and practice is that God is knowable by every human being, and that the Spirit of God will lead us into all truth if we are faithful in hearing and obeying God’s voice in our hearts. Friends believe that all people have the capacity to know the truth in their hearts and to discern the will of God. Furthermore, Friends believe that not only are we able to know God’s will, but that through God’s grace we are empowered to do it.  http://www.quakermaps.com/info

  • Fear, I believe is at the basis of every evil you can come across.
  • Fear is one of our most basic human animal characteristics.  And it is the dark side of unification of people.  People can bond through love or fear.  And politicians are forever manipulating their constituents by throwing up fearful scenarios of this tragedy or danger if you don’t support their causes.
  • If we as individuals, have the capacity to understand, and then manage and ultimately release our fears – we have liberated ourselves from political ideological controls – our power lies in our clear consciousness that can participate in the political system without worry that we will be corrupted by or that we will corrupt the political process.
  • I would like to research how leaders create a fearful environment in order to control people, and compare how they use the same tactics of fear as a bully/abuser would use upon a victim.
  • One of the most powerful things you can do to reduce the POWER of one’s fears, is to face them.  Something in the shadows is far more threatening that the same thing standing in the light.  Truth and transparency level the playing field, because even if the Truth is a great challenge, seeing it allows one to come to terms with its actual effect upon one’s life, and one is able to adapt one’s life to deal with it.  Here is an example – If one of a couple is involved in an affair, and the one that is being “cheated on” has a suspicions but no confirmations of the affair – this is a very tenuous place to be in for both of them.  They are both supporting an illusion by not having full knowledge of the truth.  When the truth is revealed, there is an opportunity for change in the relationship, that could perhaps change things ultimately for the better.  But in the shadows, fears take over and create a hostile environment within the relationship feeding insecurity, deception, and estrangement.
  • How a great a part fear plays in the part of relationships of any kind determines the actual health of the relationship.  I would argue that much of what draws or binds people  together is often motivated more by a generalized fear, than by a unique love for  a particular person.
  • Fear in relationship to “loss of identity” and to the experience of “insignificance” – I want to investigate this more thoroughly, because I believe these two fears are enough to fuel evils of every size and category.

Each one of these could be a blog in and of itself … but for now, they are just ideas.  Ideas that have spun my mind in many directions.  What is it that I find the most compelling?

This was Day 3

 

 

Fearless Journal – It’s Much too Late

How would you get along with your sibling(s), parent(s), or any other person you’ve known for a long time — if you only met them for the first time today?

Day 2 – Fearless Journal

Fear may be the enemy of Love …  But curiously we often confound the one for the other. It is equally binding and compelling.  When is the drive to be attached to an abuser, an addict, an alcoholic, a lackluster lover, a player more about the fear of experiencing loss than about the love of keeping connected?

I know, that if I met my father again as a stranger, and he verbally struck out at me the same way he did a year ago, without cause or warning, just his habit to be an A–hole to whomever and however – I would have probably written him off as a crazy malcontent.  I wouldn’t have lost my shit entirely, cursing him and every crime he had ever committed against me, my mother, or any other family member.  I would feel more at peace because the only people who can hurt you – are the people you allow to hurt you.  And at that point in my life, I wouldn’t have given a stranger the power to hurt me.

For about 15 or 20 minutes, I had been his demon child.  And only later did I realize that this had been an agreement that I had fulfilled on his behalf.  The day before, he told me, out of the blue as I was walking away from him to the house – “Every person in my life, has betrayed me in one way or another. ”

I looked over my shoulder and thought – “This is the way he experiences life, so at some point, I will betray him too, whether I intend to do so or not. ” I believe that certain people’s life agendas are so strong, as to how their life will go, that they will drag other less willful people into their experience.

Fear plays tricks with one’s mind. Any sort of change that it imagines as threatening, even the love of a daughter, really any love at all,  it will destroy before the love can take root.  The next day, after we had spent a peaceful morning together.  I set up an account on Skype for us to keep in touch, as we have been largely estranged for years now.  I remember him giving me a heartfelt thanks.  And I thought it odd, how sincerely grateful he was, because it wasn’t a big deal for me to do what I did.  I was being regular me, and routinely helpful.  I barely believed that we would talk on Skype in the future, but I was willing to set things up so we could.  But his sincere thanks, opened my heart again, and I dared to hope – maybe  we could be the father and daughter we never were.

But I should have known – that his routine – was always to pounce on me when my heart was open and I was most vulnerable to his verbal attacks.  When my heart was open, I had no resistance to his LIFE agenda of that focused upon betrayal and other dark visions.  And this is the reason, I generally avoided contact with my Dad for most of my adult life.  To be close to him, meant giving into Fear.

  • Fear that I was a bad person for not maintaining a connection
  • Fear that if he didn’t love me, no man would love me
  • Fear that there was something WRONG with me, and I had to try to repair it, so he would love me
  • Fear, that if I didn’t heal my relationship with him, that it would poison my relationships with all men
  • Fear that I was permanently damaged by the toxicity of our relationship
  • Fear that I was like him in so many ways, and that not loving him unconditionally meant I couldn’t love myself unconditionally

And you see, in spite of the fact that these FEARS would have kept me more closely connected to him over the years, it would have had nothing to do with love. Because honestly, if I were to meet him right now, first time ever – I wouldn’t like the man, much less love him.

These Fears all had to do with me, and my precious identity as a good and lovable person, without addressing his needs or the needs of the relationship.  Fears are just about basic individual survival (including survival of identity) and deny the import of connection.

But I didn’t just meet him today.  I met him a lifetime ago – my lifetime, and it wasn’t all bad, and some of it was beautiful.  I have beautiful painted puppets and furniture he carved for me.  I remember his outrageously funny stories and lofty promises to me.  I remember how much he wanted to give me the things he never could.  Even if they were promises always broken, I remember the joy in his eyes and the hope in his voice when he made those promises.  Perhaps my love is largely based upon an illusion of a father that never  really was, and never could be.  But the only way I found to keep that illusion alive, has been to keep safely away from the man he became as his personality embittered through the years.

On that last  visit – he informed me that he couldn’t change and I would have to accept his bad behavior at times.  But the thing is, after many years of dealing with the bad behavior of lovers and an ex-husband and realizing the harmful effects of my own bad behavior upon others – I was DONE with consciously accepting another person’s bad, let alone atrocious behavior, as a matter of course .

And looking at it from this perspective, perhaps the most loving thing he could have ever done – was to release me from the daughterly obligation of maintaining a familial connection that was hurtful.  The last thing he wrote to me was a 2 sentence email.  The second sentence being – “I am done with you.”  And so the year long silence ensued.

Some people believe that before we are born, we are spiritual beings who pick their own parents, who will teach us important lessons.  And if this is true, the most powerful lesson and truthful lesson I learned from him – is to respect my own sense of truth and if I encounter a person with whom I feel so out of balance that I respond to them in fear and aggression, they are dangerous.  And if I get into a situation where I feel compelled to be hostile, no matter where I am or whom I am with … I need to understand the urgency of danger and that very harsh things can occur – lives and relationships can be destroyed permanently.  When fear rules the atmosphere, love disappears, peace is a very distant memory, and war is at the top of the agenda.  And sometimes, the only way to keep the peace is through detente.

– http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/delayed-contact/

Fearless Journal – Getting up the Courage on Ground Zero

There are still fears that consume me for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday – even though I am fricking 50. Even admitting my age, makes me quiver.  Let’s do a countdown on fears – just for this – admitting my age thing.

  • I am a woman, and 50 is death of attraction – at least in the eyes of most cultures and men.  This is what media sneers at me. And I have experienced this as well.  I have seen the glimmer of attraction in a man’s eye, and then a question mark.  He asks me my age.  And I think – “Oh, no, here we go.” I tell him, and I can see ( My fear has X-ray vision) his dick wilt in his pants as I pronounce the tee  of fifty.
  • I am at this age where I should be taking 20 somethings under my wing as a mentor with a fabulous career, showing them the ropes.  And I am more interested in playing the accordion, or writing a blog, or studying Italian, or gabbing with friends on the phone about near-death experiences than working on a portfolio so I can start a new career in Interior Design.  How will I ever get to the WHERE of anywhere – when I am living a life as if I were a kindergartner?
  • I have been single – in the sense of not having an “official” culturally approved relationship for over a decade … See the first fear.

And here I am making a treacherously thick fear soup, the aroma so strong and bewitching that I am starting to forget that I am actually happy.

I AM happy, because I have been satisfied with “just being” for months now.  But I do realize the significance of waking up in the middle of  one too-early morning a couple of weeks ago and realizing that THIS  is my year of Anti-Fear. (Year starts with September)  And I need to write about it, my process, and share it.  Because one thing we ALL share is that we have at least one fear or two that has us in a strangle-hold.  And -Dammit – I don’t want to be my Fear’s bitch anymore.

How I do this, over a year’s time, is what I plan to share, all the icky, naked,stinky, vulnerability, which makes me humbly human, hoping what I share will matter, or at least that I won’t be kicked when I am down.

So if we are going to count this thing – This is Day 1.

This is my 10 minute contribution – and then rewrite – for the Daily Prompt – http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done/