ellensagh

1. It’s Okay to Cry

PART Journal # 77 – May 6, 2002 – August 5, 2002

Book III I guess? It’s okay to cry – why can’t I just be happy? Going too fast; burnt muffins. Burnt buns. Am I trying to get things to go too fast? Want things figured out. I am all over the place. Invite friends over when I already have a computer guy coming. What does it matter? I went to a movie with my son and cried when a father talked to his daughter about how much he loved her.
My son asked what is my worst feeling and best feeling? I said despair and joy. He said love for both.
I am missing church, missing God, missing a marriage. Sewed on green coat till I bent the needle. Going to lunch with a woman who found out she has incurable bowel cancer. All seems overwhelming. My career is now me working in an auto insurance company’s garage. Like I want OUT of life!
Maybe if I only do what I feel like doing. What am I not connecting with inside? How much I hurt; how much I need to cry? Pain is in the top of my chest. What is it connected to? Maybe all the old dreams that are dying…. Tamara’s House; the house that would support survivor’s of sexual abuse is ending; thinking that it would be there for me; doesn’t fit anymore; scary part is that I have to be out in the world and be how I am. In a way guess that’s how I’ve been for last year or two and maybe just realizing it now.
Haven’t found my comfort zone yet; an area of city I feel comfortable in; a house of my own. Glad I have what I have; want to give my kids more and unsure how to do that. This coffee and smoking has to end. My nails and hands need care. I am not going to pressure myself about anything. Will all happen as it’s supposed to and I will allow myself time to come to terms with church thing being over, Tamara’s House being over, me being a survivor being over, my being a personal injury representative in this insurance company being over, life as I knew it on the east side of the city; no wonder I’m wondering what is left.
Ireland trip still feels right. A big part of it is to put closure to the church thing. A civil suit with the church that took nine years is over. In all things alone and have to accept; alone as in what was, isn’t anymore; but there is lots of new; if I let it and them in. No wonder the grief; as all through my life, I collected religious and spiritual quotes. My first year away from home in Malaysia and second year up north on a native reserve, I really got into Catholic teachings. I even studied religion and catholicy.
A book of quotes is what got me through my marriage; kept writing new ones and was still doing it during my makeup artist tenure in the nineties. It all ended; pretty abruptly; with seeing life as it really was. Memories of being abused in a church by a priest ended me wanting to read religious quotes.
Still having that song in my head based on bible words about what you hear in the dark to speak in the light, being salt of the earth, light of the world,let your light be seen….. songs, songs, songs. Message seems to be to get on with a second book. Ireland is part of that. Sitting here yawning. Feeling a little better. Less stressed.
Saw my friend who is dying. She gave me a bunch of winter clothes that were her daughter’s. Quality clothes. Probably a $1000.00 worth. Her daughter’s a BC lawyer on maternity leave who said will get new ones when she goes back to work. The clothes are not really me (Beggars can’t be choosers as my mom would say); and yet can be/ are/ as I strike out in the world in a different way. I talked to my supervisor about how I feel working in the garage. It will take time to be confident. Looked at injury department and that was a downer; not what I really want to get into.
Been spending spare time I have sitting in the sun, although going through something. Cold air coming out of my body; my ankle and feet area; and sometimes my hands. Don’t know what that is. Closed out my credit union book bank account. Had $1.50 left. Was able to buy a stamp for the thank you card for the lady who gave me clothes. Crying in car at noon. Went through such hell for what? Still so much pain. Want to let go and guess I am. I hurt so much. Reality of it all.
May 8/02: At Robin’s donuts early in the morning; still feeling rotten; brought all the fund raising information to do a Marathon in Ireland. I have lists of people from when I sold my first book, brought them along and even went back in the house and got envelopes. Do I ask the arthritis society for help with this as all the funds raised go to them? Do I want to put an insert in regarding the civil suit for the people who didn’t know how it ended? Maybe just do the envelope addresses for now.
Had a New Hope survivor meeting. I went deep and able to let out a lot of pain. Did more envelopes. Was able to work in the garage, on switchboard and up front yesterday. Debating whether to type letter to people I know????
Had a day off and now have ninety envelopes done for people from my home town area and not finished. Went over to my son’s and typed the fund raising letter; the back of the letter and an insert. Last time I was on switchboard at work; a co-worker phoned me as if to put in a claim; and when I asked for license plate, it was FULEDU. Glad I can take a joke and yet feel as naive as always. Didn’t really feel funny.
Had a meeting at the Arthritis Society. This might not be as easy as I thought. Went over to the Sexual Assault Center. They were so supportive; and offered photocopying of the letters. By weekend of May 13/02; have about three hundred envelopes with return addresses complete. Letters looked like this:
My letter to all who were there for me:
Hi,

My newest adventure – MARATHON in IRELAND – October of 2002.

Why? Saw a T.V. ad – raise $5000.00 for the Arthritis Society – thought, “I can do that.”
I want to stay in touch with you; you who believed in me and supported me through the last decade. The civil suit is just over (see insert) and I want a new beginning. Celebrate Life! It will be fun. 26.2 miles. (When I first thought I could do this, I thought it was 26km; this is 42km.) I’m feeling a might challenged.
I can look at it another way; get to walk on Irish soil; where some of my fore-mothers and fathers walked. Cool! More than fun. Exciting.
I have a friend with Arthritis and know many with forms of arthritis such as lupus and fibromyalgia. I went to school with my friend for our first 12 years. She has lived with arthritis since childhood. This and misdiagnosis has her struggling with always present pain, lack of understanding from others of what she goes through and limitations such as writing difficulties form the loss of wrist movement and strength in her hands.
Personally, I shrunk ¾ of an inch in the last year and losing bone density similar to my mother’s struggle with osteoporosis so an increase in walking (training for a marathon) will dense those bones again.
I am asking you for a donation to the arthritis society. This will help me, my friend and countless others through the ripple effect. All the money goes straight to Saskatchewan Arthritis Society and you get a tax receipt. My goal is to have the money in place by June 15, 2002 so I can concentrate on the training. It is actually on Oct. 28, 2002 in Dublin, Ireland. The back of this sheet has a fun way of looking at a contribution. Thank you for being there in the past and I look forward to connecting with you.

Sincerely,

Sharon Speaks

I choose to sponsor Sharon Speaks and honor her friend and others with Arthritis by giving the following amount to The Arthritis Society.

$5000.00 A stunningly generous sum. Together, we shall end Arthritis.

$2000.00 I want to know more people like you.

$100.00 Yes, I love it!

$78.60 At $3.00 per mile, I will think of you every step of the way!

$20.00 Very symbolic for me of how many wonderful people there are in our world.

$2.00 Please reconsider. Did I mention this is 42K?

In any case, I appreciate any and all donations. Cheques would be made out to the Arthritis Society. If you would rather mastercard/visa, phone me the details. Take care.

SHARON SPEAKS AN ADDRESS SASKATOON, SK PHONE NUMBER

INSERT:First, thank you for buying the book. I mentioned the civil suit is over. Wish the pain and anger were gone too. Still a struggle some days but much better. In Oct. 2001, the church offered me $20,000. I had originally gone to the church in 1992 and to a lawyer a year later. It took 4 years for the civil suit to be filed and the first $20,000 was the first concrete offer. I said No, and went through an Examination of Discovery in Nov. of 2001 where a church lawyer questioned me. It was hard. In Jan. of 2002 the R.C. Corporation wanted me to gather more information such as every Dr. I had from birth on, police and court records, etc. That was a struggle for me and in March of 2002 when they offered $50,000., I accepted it as a full and final settlement. After I paid the lawyer and repay the Dept. of Justice the $1000.00 they loaned to me in ‘93-‘95 for counseling, it is over. I have $40,027.28. I put away for a year until I decide what to do with it; maybe put towards a house or something. Interesting that when I accepted the offer, the money was sent immediately. I am writing a 2nd book about the whole process and the marathon will be a light relief.
Thank you very much for being part of my life journey and for your support. Many times it was that, that kept me going. I do grief and pain well. The next decade JOY and PEACE, right?

I gave out about forty letters to family. Left some at my aunt’s as she said she was going to help me in delivery. She was angry that I told people what I got from the church. Doesn’t matter to me. Maybe she’s right.
Still to do: figure out how to honour the woman I am walking for in this marathon; how to deliver letters all over Saskatoon. When? Looked up Justice address; will I write them? I am pretty focused; doing a good job; mailed about thirty-five; drop off about ten to fifteen a day. Had training in the Injury Department and manager asked if I would come back till the end of the year if there was an opening. Said, “I would come.”
REALLY MISSING MOM since going out to Prairietown and doing this fund raising. My friend said the despair is depression. I guess the marathon is my way of keeping fighting. I have fear that when it’s all over; it’s all over, there will be nothing left. Will be interesting what or if people will give me money for doing a marathon.
I do like that I am doing this; makes the days fly by so quickly, exciting; I’m beaming like a child sometimes. Still wanting a man; a relationship and why isn’t this enough; when will it be? As if my third eye was opening one day at work this week and now again today
May 19/02. Something feels really spiritual about this. I guess that’s a good thing. What isn’t feeling good is my close friend dying; and I’ve been going to see her a lot. Realize on weekend when I can’t hand out the letters; it’s okay; it’s okay to mail them. Will be interesting how it all comes down ; have a lot of fear over it and yet don’t.
Don’t think I’m supposed to work at SGI. Feels right on and yet as weekends draw to a close; want to cry at the thought of going to work for Monday. Don’t think this is where I’m supposed to be in life. Lucky I got a refund of two hundred dollars from when I took the correspondence course. I’ll put it toward the mailing of letters.
My friend not knowing me at the hospital was difficult. I stood and watched her tears flow through her smiles as she listened to the taped music I set up.
May 23/02: Have nearly all my letters delivered. High point was a Mennonite minister phoning and aked me to put one hundred dollars on visa right while he was on the phone. I was in shock.
May 26/02 Song in head with music:
I can do anything I want
You can do anything you want
I can do anything I want
Life is living free.
Tell me what you want to do
Tell me what you want for you
Treat me nice and gen-ti-ly
And that is what I want for you
I can do anything I want
You can do anything you want
I can do anything I want
Life is living free
Living life so aimlessly
Living life as it was meant to be
Listening inside for the seed
And creating whatever I need
I can do anything I want
You can do anything you want
I can do anything I want
Life is living free.

Was feeling so good; then my landlady came over; wanting the driveway cleaned up; saying not wanting it to look like a rental unit. There were some oil drips. Went into not good enough and shame happening or something. I have a right to be here words in my head; know there’s anger inside at being in a little girl state. For days went into biting my tongue. Quite symbolic. Really sore.
A bit worried about the training part of this marathon; until I remembered being in a Canadian City for one day and spending the whole day; well six hours walking around to see it all before my plane took off; so if I can walk there for six hours straight; feel better about my marathon idea. Also ,when you think about it; people go to West Edmonton Mall and shop for hours.
Bought some stuff from a hardware store and scrubbed drive way brick by brick from 4 am – 5:30 am. Marathon meeting night before. Enjoyed. Bleeding feet story shocked me. Pea as you go; I don’t know. Run/ walk will be the neatest learning. Travel arrangements by July 19th; fund raising will happen they say. Six donations in mail. Just as many letters returned. People have moved. Fantastic what people give.
June 1/02 – Pretty scary that I have no mail this morning; wonder where I go from here. Better start asking or will be quite the expensive trip. Starting to enjoy my new work environment. Dad came in and gave me one hundred dollars. Every day trying a different solution for cleaning bricks. Seeing our family friend with dad and she crying; later deep pain in chest area; after he leaves I am able to wail.
By mid June; have close to twenty five hundred dollars raised. Up most mornings, out walking; this morning walked forty minutes against beautiful rain. Pants and feet are soaked but I feel good. Today no donation letter; just a letter asking me to repay the Provincial Victim’s Fund. I always knew I had to repay the thousand dollars they gave me towards counseling if I were ever to get compensation from the church. Went to work and Injury Manager phoned; offered me a job for the first few weeks of July till end of year. Know best for me but wonder if will be any better.
Woke up lots during night; knowing conquering fear is what it’s all about. Wondered for a minute if all the body pain I experience is from walking; but know it’s not; is from what was; don’t want to be like mom; her last years of life whole body wracked with pain; so want to let it go now. Spending most of my time sending thank you cards.
Went to Oiltown for the weekend; walked seventeen kms; wailed while my sister listened; in country to watch a sunrise; had two ice cream sundaes and wailed most of the way home.
July 5/02 Our family friend died yesterday afternoon. I lent thirty five hundred dollars to my daughter for a car; to be a loan until Sept 5/02. Talked to a financial adviser about rrsp’s; a down payment for my own house and how to plan for that. Forgot about paying Justice back. Will do that today. Need to come up with a long term strategy re fund raising.
Think back to the last few months and would call it ‘My Winter of Discontent’. Yet must be a spiritual crisis I go through as I’m in this absolutely wonderful house.
Going to get Zyban today to quit smoking. So wonderful the amount of people who phoned to say sorry about my friend dying and were able to listen to me cry. Went to a Unitarian church service where a lay person led a visualization. Felt totally comfortable closing my eyes and following the directions: in your mind; leave and go down road; up hill, river bank; up a path; where a little hut is; open door; my future self is in there and has a package for me and after I leave, open package; is a beautiful white alter cloth; square with little designs on it; know that it is telling me I am priestess. Make my own altar, rituals; can do it on my own versus a catholic priest.
Agreed to read at the funeral; the reading was a tough one; about lay down your life for your brother. Cigarettes are starting to taste awful with the zyban; pretzels and food taste the same. Wrote out an email to put in work newsletter.
“ Want $$$$ so others can WALK/WRITE. I love walking and I love writing. Some with arthritis can’t. This spring I agreed to raise $5000.00 for the Arthritis society and be in a marathon. (It’s in Dublin, Ireland Oct 28, 2012). Since May I worked hard and raised $3041.25. I am now out of friends and family so would ask if any of my colleagues would give a donation to the Arthritis Society (you get a tax receipt). I and others will appreciate and benefit from it.”
I said how to do it and signed it with my name and Clerk II, West Claims.
This Saturday morning is the thirteen km walk/run and I’m learning about technique/pacing. It is supposed to be thirty seven degrees today so glad I did run from 4:45 to 6:45 instead of 9-11. Quit day to do with smoking is Monday, July 15, 2002.
I did it! Three days without smoking and am shocked at how much my friend stunk when she came in from having a cigarette. One bonus; whiter teeth. I like it.
Wrote a typing test. 56%. I must have high rate of speed considering number of errors. Sitting in coffee shop is a lot different not having a smoke. Probably one of the last times I come here.
Now know I’m going back to injury claims center downtown Aug 1/02. Can’t walk to work anymore; have to drive across the city so I usually take the bus. I registered for the vocational rehabilitation second level class. Challenging the counseling class as have had my share of that. Look around my coffee places with new no smoking eyes and reminds me of what was; poverty, no money; loneliness, alone, desperation feeling. Yuck! I deserve better and am making it better for myself. Nails are getting a bit longer. Have been thinking about getting them done. Some guy told me that craving for a smoke only lasts two minutes. That helped.
End of July have thirty five hundred dollars already. Walked eighteen km yesterday. Am supposed to write something so did:
“Marathon update as requested: “What I have found out about myself. I do not like fund raising. This is probably the only marathon I will do in my life. I have walked eighteen km at one time. I am not a runner or a jogger but still love to walk and many with arthritis can’t so still believe in what I am doing. I’ve found out people are very generous. I am now at thirty five hundred dollars and the whole five thousand dollars has to be in by mid October. Thank you to all who generously gave.”
I sat on the floor crying after I wrote it. It’s seven am and haven’t been able to get dressed for work. Think of Dad; of church and I cry; realizing what an impact my life has had on me; that I no longer believe in God, no longer believe in the Catholic church. Stayed home; cried most of the day. Called in sick. No clearer but finding my life sickening.
No chairs in my living room; have a laptop but don’t know how to work email. No food in my house. Landlady said she doesn’t want me slamming my door. Didn’t know I was. She wants my daughter filling car with oil at her home; not in front of my house. My not getting groceries does concern me. I am visualizing getting through and excelling. Have some good things on the go: starting the new job; have August to get the marathon money; tomorrow’s ten km race; have ninety minutes to do it; cut the coffee; enjoy the summer; don’t think ahead. Nothing I have to do. Am happy I’m finished work on the west side; can now walk to work.
All that visualizing and then my dentures broke. Able to get them fixed right away and then like on a roll. Lots done. Bought New Balance shoes; got a haircut; picked up reading glasses with a pewter string for them; zyban and groceries. Reading the book, Vinyl Café. Laughing and laughing. Now it’s Aug 4/02 and a counselor from Saskatoon just sent fifty dollars in the mail and wants a book. Fantastic!

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