13. Listening Inside to Live

Journal #89 March 4, 2006 – June 23, 2006

COLLAGE: “ I am a natural woman when I’m around women. Woman to woman. Feel at home at last, am excited about life, the quest feels over, appreciate that I can feed myself, love that I can learn new things, love Saskatchewan, the planet and how we are all one family, so interconnected. Share the energy; want to find a safe way to live; to slow down, have better food, more massage, interest in taking care of self and the planet for the future of others. Travel through time, explore my aboriginal history and the role of money in my life; whether I can live differently; live on less; the activism of inner city social justice. Wants for myself; inner me cared for; that I can speak out; no fear of being shot; breaking the energies of the emotional child in me who has now been heard; who for so long was scared of men; felt exposed and could empathize with women around the world who’ve been put down, robbed of their innocence, degraded, disappointed, betrayed, pursued, seen it all; sickened by the imbalance of power, raped and murdered. Can’t relate to the last word on a personal level except; guess I can; the woman next door murdered by her ex-husband just awhile ago; but I am ending having abusive men in my life; time for play, fun, music and dancing; caring and sharing; fun in the sun.
Mailed a one thousand and seventy – nine dollar cheque to a tour company for an April trip to Victoria. Told my supervisor at work that I am gathering information as thinking about job sharing at work.
Relooking at the last four lines of my last poem or song that says: “Don’t take care of others, they all have a home; a place of sweet communion and lots of room to roam. They create as I do, they will softly say, I can listen. I can be the way.”
People in my past always referred to Jesus, the Bible or Christianity as THE WAY; goes with my contention that we are all Jesus; Jesus still part of us as is Mohammed; all living things; past; present; future as NO TIME.
Went to an Open Door Society’s presentation on refugee’s experiences. They spoke of the chaos they lived. That was my growing up and I want out of that. I wrote a mission statement for work “Allow the Being in Myself and Others.” No longer a part of all I’ve met. Saying good-bye one more time. Emotion in my heart; in my shoulders, neck and jaw; held in; has to be let go. It’s like a rage, an inner rage, a red zone; red rage; terror creeping up my insides; this is rage; rare rage that I have held on to do with work; to do with growing up; all held in. Why do I say yes to all I’m asked​?
Thinking of this loss
This pain and toil
The deep darkness
Gangrenesh oil.

Hellishness so deep
Despair nonetheless
Scared I’ll not get through
Can’t get back to sleep

I am so tired
Can’t begin to explain
How much it matters
Not to go there again

What to do different
Will I ever know
How close to madness
Someone can go

As if I had a few days of clear and now as if sunk into another hole; another layer of shit. Work feels chaotic and horrible. Feel overwhelmed. Have had thoughts about writing the Canada Council for an arts grant to do with book but seems like way too much work. Don’t have the energy. Despair and loneliness. Do realize that it is easier and easier to talk to people about it; that many, many people at work and outside of work know what depression, despair and loss is all about.
Something changed for me in the middle of the night. Woke up in bad shape; scared, worried; sick; like sick to my stomach so did a bit of yoga. Had the thought to change my hours of work. Felt better. Could breathe again and went back to sleep.
Did a collage:
On Back of Paper: “On my back, years of no money, lack; hard work; women prostituting themselves to get what they need; doing what others tell them to do. Still creeped out by mens use of sex to get what they want, sad it’s my history; but sick of it as well; tired of it all; trying my best; tired of that; tired of telling it like it is; wanting change; seeing the hurt and pain on people’s faces; their bodies; bodies crying out in pain; people not knowing what to do. Think of the women around the world who want to please others to get their needs met and don’t have the power they need; want to know the how of making it different; seeing young people in despair; these things I want to end.”
On front of paper: “We are designed for play, for fun, for laughter. I want an end to feeling exposed. I want to be REAL, authentic Me. Wherever I am I can’t forget my sisters in China and around the world who don’t have the freedom I do. If I take care of me; in taking care of me, allowing my authentic self to shine, the rays shine out.”
I went to a store. I have a hard time going into stores. I hate the amount of things in them. Nearly get sick in stores; so much stuff; none of it feels life giving. Bought glue and a journal for a dollar and twelve cents. Was glad to get out. A young woman emails me. She has read my first book, said her social work professor told her I was looking for someone to listen to me as I read the second book. She would like to do that as one of her final assignments for her social work class. I was so happy; so excited. I walked around the house and was singing the music from the first television show I’d ever seen. I was ten years old in Grade four. BONANZA!!!
I wrote her back talking about what I was looking for; that I wanted a witness and if she will listen; she will represent the world; the masses; the general public. I want her to have an okay experience and to have debriefing in place if she needs it.
DREAM: Walking in dark; as if leaving this woman behind; go into the house of the guy I have been dating; lots of light; leather couches, watching what’s going on; he’s got a baby to take care of.
Next day he phones. We’re going to go out again. I wake up that night in this emotional pain again; realizing how near impossible it feels that I will ever have a normal relationship when I go through this much stuff. I still see things as all my fault; disgust with myself; who would want to live like this; high pitched crying comes ; how much it hurts; who is going to hear me over and over if I can’t hear myself; crying like a child; quietly; can’t even make noise; then it changes; pain is around my heart. Where does this come from; the anger, pain and fear.
I don’t want to be angry. I want to be nice and want others being nice. Guess doesn’t always happen. Was talking to my aunt saying how I do think we need men in our lives for balance. Maybe it will balance out the maleness in me. Sick of this up at nights; not sleeping; the false hope that it’s over. Think of going out with him again and in this much pain!
Fear of the future; anger that I don’t know what will happen; not knowing whether I’m making the right decisions. This wailing that comes; more like high pitched keening. I am sitting in my bed remembering as a young girl in fear; never knowing what was going to happen; how angry I used to get at amount of work I had to do; the unfairness of it all; and the boys didn’t have to do as much.
I tell myself to let it out; it’s okay to be heard; accept the powerlessness of what I went through as a child; don’t have as much choice over it as I thought. I know I get triggered at work; the lack of training, support and caring.
Had my date with Wes and he talks about concern he has about retirement as no hobbies and plans. He’s said it before and both times in my head is the phrase “You can take care of me.” I don’t say it. I don’t even want to be thinking it. Feeling like I’ve been there for others and then when I need it; no one is there for me.
It seems like I have people caring and sharing; and coming to my place for potlucks and yet can just hear Mom saying; “what more do you want?” I obviously need more than I’m getting. No, that’s not true. Need to be able to listen to my pain. Anger is telling me something is not right. I have to take the message to heart. Take care of me. Listen to what I need. Put myself first. Heal the pain.
A friend of mine described her mom’s death; the experience of her mom taking her last breath; and knowing she’d take no more; and her laying her head on her mom’s chest and knowing she wasn’t there anymore and crying with abandon; and that is happening for me right now as I release the pain of it all; the hopelessness I went through; the kindness I want, the caring I want for myself. I have to find ways to get that; to give it to myself.
It still pisses me off that the supervisor at work said they had overestimated my abilities and underestimated my needs. That rankled. Hurt my feelings. Felt undervalued and not appreciated. They don’t realize how much work I’ve done and the good job of it. I do. I am at a place I can appreciate myself; my contribution in keeping myself alive, my gifts, abilities; knowledge, skills, experience; that I can accentuate the positive.
Woke up thinking that I am craving connection with the Spirit of Old; wondering if the Spirit of New is same thing. Yesterday someone said, Soul and Spirit are different things to them. Wonder if part of this is the after menopause thing; is this what Mom went through as well? Do most women? And it’s not talked about? That it gets this bad and that’s how it is? Keep thinking of things Mom would say such as, “Wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone!” That’s for sure.
Reading my BOOK II to the woman volunteer. It talks about expressing our grief and pain and in the releasing , it heals it; allows the joy to be front and centre as well. I’m ready for that. Right now; have idea the next book will be called Beyond Understanding. Was amazed when the volunteer came to my house, that I had the idea to show her my pictures of me baby to forty years old; and then later when reading from the book; I was reading to her about when I put together my pictures from baby to forty years old.
Am wondering if I would ever work half time. I like the money I am making now; want to be able to travel; go to a place like Danier and buy a leather coat.
Wrote a different type of poem:
My Spring
3 bluebirds
Robins galore
A Gopher
Birds Singing
Pussy Willows
Hawks Circling
Dust in my eyes
Water running
Birds trilling
Drains running
Kids biking
Kids singing
Buds on the trees
Gulls gathering
Ice cracking
River rising
Muddy brown water
Melting snow
Shoots of green
Hello there neighbor
Caw caw caw
Horses bucking jumping
Rubber boots
Making rivers
Water splashing as cars go by
Geese honking
Lone gopher
A field of geese
Spring freshness in the air
Open windows
Gopher squeaks
Gopher hole
Dandelions growing
Sage moss
Cold wind rising
Burrs on my socks
Sink in the black dirt
Mud oozing
Grass peaking through.

Made runes on the weekend; looking forward to getting them back; a woman is going to fire the clay.
Woke up this morning thinking about the aspect of myself that is like driven; works so hard; still so pissed off that I didn’t have a father I could go to; or got what I needed. For last few months at work; like driven and scared of speaking out. I’ve been representing employees; and collecting results of employees who had things to say about management and scared to hand in to management. Now I’m scared as if I’ll be in the wrong. As day comes when I’m to send in; am in the deep. The sweating; stomach rolling. After I email it; concerned will get called into office; wondering how I can explain it; how to take it back, live with it. Is this from present or from my past speaking out?
Went to inner city singing again last night; first time I spoke out there; saying unsure about coming back when I heard it called a ministry; and last night when they mentioned the word I was speaking out. The one organizing the space said it’s not religious. When asked why I come, had to say ongoing benefit of spiritual resonance, sense of belonging; place of community is manifested; and a chance to sing. Didn’t say that out loud; thought it as they passed out a survey. Writing is easier for me than talking.
Went out to my Dads and my aunt’s senior complex. I took two friends along. Rented a suite in the building and stayed overnight. We joined the communal supper they were having and then I was part of leading the singsong the next day with the whole village. When I got home; all I could do was spend the whole next day in my backyard. I guess better than in bed. Tears come easy when I think of mom being gone; that April seventh is still an anniversary of when my memories come back and it’s still having an impact. This is the first year I went home on that anniversary and it’s been fourteen years.
I’m still reading my book two to the social work student volunteer. She is so there. This is so working for me. She said my speaking out allows others to give voice. I recognize it’s really sad how many darknesses I’ve had; that when I deeply connect with someone; the peace; the contentment that happens is quite rare. Soul touch I will call it. Contentment when some need inside is met.
My note to the other bus tour participants following my three week tour to Victoria, BC read, “It has been a pleasure to be with you on our tour of Victoria in Bloom. A time of renewal and rejuvenation; a relax and fill me up time and now I can go back and be a caring, giving grandmother, mother, friend, co-worker and personal injury rep.”
Home and it’s snowing outside and it is May. My little blue flowers are covered in snow. Wonder if I would ever do a bus tour again. Was fine but no great shakes like the Mexico trip. Wanted and did get a holiday from so much grief, crying, emotion all the time. No desire to write and didn’t. Did love the freedom, the caring for myself; abundance feeling. Didn’t need to spend any money. It was just being.
Home and Wes, that same guy I’ve been dating took me to his social mixer at the golf club he belongs to. Good and not so good. Didn’t live up to my expectations in some way. I have to say though, he is more considerate, more there, younger, fitter, in good shape and it is the first time I felt an electrical like attraction when his arm touched mine. Wonder if there is a social consciousness there; golfs each day; has set up his life so can do that. Know I have to do the same; let the old go and create what I want.
Thinking of life as spiritual journey. Read about a woman who when thought about God as a woman; could think about God. I can’t. I think about God and I think about betrayal of church; of men. No feeling that it’s magically going to go away soon. My aunt says give it up to Him. There is no him for me like there is for her. There is universal oneness maybe; all that is; benevolent peace, unspoiled; untouched. My aunt does thirty pages of prayer a day and I know her faith works for her. I don’t know what practice I could consciously choose to find that sacredness or to connect with a Higher Power. To me it’s Energy, Oneness or Connection. This writing is doing it so guess I am in my practice.
Maybe I can think about spirit. I serve Spirit when I listen to myself and others; am being truthful to my creativity by journalling. I’d say also when I’m at work listening and assisting others to be heard.
I woke up next morning with a new way of writing to work customers that was kind and informative.
Had a wonderful gentle Mother’s Day with kids in the downtown park by the river; playing Frisbee and catch; going for a walk; sitting and talking in the sun. Their natural gifts; bamboo place mats; fig and lavender body mist lotion as well as garden gloves. Finished the day with volleyball.
Spent another day golfing with dad. Trying to decide do I buy new clubs or just go with the old set a woman from work offered to sell? Been meeting once to twice weekly with the beautiful volunteer who listens as I read my book two. My daughter asked that anything to do with her or her son be deleted from the book. I’m trying to do it; and I am in constant angst over making sure it gets done. I still am not sure why publishing this book is so important to me. Wonder why I can’t put it away.
June 22, 2006 YEAH, I am finished reading Book II out loud.


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