Sunday, April 01, 2012

Whoa, poor neglected blog!!

Oh my goodness, it's been far too long since posting on this blog!!  I think the main issue is simply that life is very full and very busy!  Turns out working is taking time and energy, who knew, HAHA.  Just kidding.  Work is amazing - I'm so lucky to get to do the work I do, but it can be hard, and sometimes depressing.

I've not been doing much in the creative world at all.  Almost no knitting - I meant to finish a baby sweater and time got away from and the baby is arriving TOMORROW!  Yikes.  Gotta get moving on it. Step one - figuring out where it is.

There's been a whole bunch of other stuff going on though, and I'd like to ramble a bit about it, to see if I can make some sense of it all.

So - DH and I are still not in the same place on all this church stuff.  He told me that the place we've landed (an Episcopal church two towns over from us) just is the wrong place for him.  I think the Episcopal church in general is not the right place for him.  It's hard, because it's really the first time in our marriage (coming up on 12 years) that we've just been so...far apart on something that feels so important to both of us.  I had an interesting moment.  A few weeks ago the Bishop was speaking.  Oh, back story, the priest of 12 years left at the beginning of January, and the new guy started a couple of weeks ago, more about that in a moment. Anyway, so the Bishop was talking about transitions and said "Do you believe that God is working in your life at this moment." My immediate reaction, I have to say, was "NO. I don't believe that AT ALL."  I am still very unsure about the whole God concept - I recently described myself as an agnostic, but practicing, Christian with a strong Bhuddist bent.  So, no, I don't know that I believe that.  But I thought about what it might mean if I *did* believe it, and realized that it would mean that I could trust that DH is on his own journey, whatever that might be, as I am on mine, and that even if our journeys take us in different directions, it's okay.

So the new guy started and I think he is FANTASTIC.  Smart, well read, humble, human, holy...I believe he has so much to offer our church, and me.  I'm pondering getting in touch with him to see if he'd be willing to talk with me 1-to-1.  I don't know, is that done?

Anyway, fast-foward to a week and a half ago.  I have this stuffed tiger from my childhood, named Amy.  She is, well, very special to me.  My daughter found her on my armoire and got her down and was playing with her.  Somehow, she misplaced her.  I. Was. Devastated.  Way, way beyond all appropriateness about this.  It felt to me like someone had died, I was mourning the same way I mourned my grandfather, the way I imagine I'll mourn my parents some day.  Devastated.

Now, I have perspective, and I was able to keep saying to my little girl, "I'm not mad, it's not your fault, I'm just sad."  She was devastated as well.  No lack of empathy in that one, for sure.  And, I get it. It's just a thing. It's NOT that I lost my parents, or my husband, or a child, or anything like that.  Just a thing. But I was trying to articulate why it hurt so very much, and there are a number of reasons.  One, I just felt stupid and careless. No one likes losing things, but I am so controlling and anxious, it really sets me off and I get, well, crazy.  Also, I had several childhood things that I lost when my HALEB (that's "heroin addicted loser ex-boyfriend) forfeit a storage space we share, using the money for the payment to buy drugs.  Among other things, I lost a quilt that my mother made from the fabric she made a bunch of clothes for me as  kid.  I still mourn that loss, years later.  Amy is all I have left from my childhood.  That, and a necklace that I don't trust myself not to lose, so my mom still has it for me.   So I'm really sensitive to losing things.

Also, I went through some truly horrific things as a child, and Amy is what got me through.  When I really thought I would die from it all, she was what I held on to, literally and emotionally.  The thought that she could be gone was unbearable to me.  Part of what is so striking to me was my struggle with hope.  We kept thinking "she's got to be here SOMEWHERE" but we looked everywhere we could think of (and, basic truth, the lost thing is always in the last place you look), and no Amy.  DH couldn't figure out why I was so distraught and unwilling to consider the possibility of hope.  I realized that for me, hope was too painful.  I could not bear it, so I felt that I had to just accept she was gone, for good, and not coming back.  As the days went on, we couldn't think of new places to look and DH started to lose hope too.

Now here's where it gets a little spiritual and all.  I've been praying.  I do yoga, every morning when I'm in the groove, and I end with praying.  I'm doing this spiritual practice where my prayer begins and ends with "thank you." I use the word God as my shorthard for my complicated beliefs, and I give thanks every day.  I've been praying for help with all of my pain - not that Amy would be returned to me (though of course I wanted that), but for help living with the hole that had been ripped in me.  My mom taught me this new agey technique of muscle testing, where you use a form of applied kinesiology to ask yourself questions.  On Friday, I asked myself, "Will she be found?" "Yes." "Today?" "No." Tomorrow?""No." "Sunday?" "Yes."  I told myself I was an IDIOT and that of course she would not be found.

This morning, Sunday, I did yoga and again prayed for help in carrying my pain.  I took a shower and as I got out, I prayed again.  "Hey, God. I know I keep bugging you, but please.  I can't do this. It's too hard.  I'm not going to ask for her to be returned.  Just help me deal, help me stop making my family crazy.  Please help me carry this."  I stepped out of the bathroom, turned and looked at my dresser, and there she was, at the very back, behind a pile of clothes.

As far as I can figure, my daughter carefully put Amy back where she found her, by standing on a chair and tossing her onto the dresser.

I immediately burst into tears, called my husband in, and showed him, and showed the kids.  Because, seriously, I've been a freakin' nutcase ALL WEEK and I've made them crazy too.  Everyone was happy, and I felt like I could breath for the first time in 9 days.

I've spent most of today (when I wasn't off teaching the Easter story at Sunday school) pondering what to make of all of this.  First and foremost, it shows me that if I can be ripped open like this, I've got some healing to do, both around my childhood stuff and around my HALEB.  I never truly dealt with the abuse I suffered at his hands. As soon as he was gone, I shut the door, and not too long after, I met my husband and life took off.  So, I've got some work to do, and I need to figure out how to do it. Man, stupid PTSD.

But, it feels very connected to this whole struggle around faith and spirituality that I'm going through as well.  My rational self doesn't believe in a personified God who hears and answers prayers like this.  And yet...and intuitive self knew something.  Do I think God put Amy there? No.  Do I wonder if some diving hand turned my head to say "LOOK! She's right there." I...don't know.  Do I think the very act of praying for comfort and help creates that comfort and a help within me? Yes. Yes, I do.

So, that's probably enough for my first post back after a good 6 weeks away. I'll try to be more regular, maybe this can be a place to ponder and wonder about this journey.


toysmith said...

Good to see you back! There is so much I wan to respond to in here, in particular reconciling my own quest for spiritual community with a pretty immovable atheistic world view. Wish we could all just take a long walk on a sunny Sunday afternoon sometime...

I'm glad you found Amy, too!

Will probably follow up via PM at some point - thank you, as always, for letting us into your life this way.

Dorothy said...

So, the Bible says, in Matthew 7:7, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

I don't think God is talking about finding things, but rather, finding Him. It's been my experience that God is big enough to handle all of our questions and our doubts. Perhaps, in your awesome practice of prayer you should just ask God to make himself clear to you.

And yes, people meet with ministers ALL THE TIME 1:1 to talk about spiritual matters.

I think it's awesome that you're seeking, and that you're willing to share that journey with us blog readers. I hope that you and your husband can find a way to seek together.

You'll be in my prayers!

sally12 said...
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