2. Walking Away

Journal #78 – August 5, 2002 – November 10, 2002

Aug 5/02 At a different coffee shop. New runners. Hurt feet. Did 10 kilometers. 1 hour, 22 minutes. Projected time for marathon is 5 3/4 hours. That’s okay.
Started another new job. Gave my daughter money for a car and to get the plates. It’s a 1995; newer than mine.
All this walking has changed me; didn’t write it but think my rear end has changed. Still amazes me not smoking and no urge. Have thirty eight hundred dollars raised so organizers tell me I’m on track.
Mid August my left hip is in pain; especially the daily walking; supposed to do the 18 km this Saturday; then 20 km next.
Reading a book about reclaiming my life through owning my shadow. Oh yeah! My shadow would be a bitch; really, really angry; really raging. Raging at men and the injustice, the pain, the fucking disgust I have for what some men do. How little they value women; see them as objects. I heard a man last week. I know he has a new girlfriend and I hear, “I’d rather do her daughter.” I can’t stand that they see women as objects, call them names. Most of my repressed feelings are rage, vindictiveness, as if I’d like to get someone. Feelings are affecting my life in all the pain I experience.
During my morning walk, a porcupine walked with me along the river. A woman from work gave a two hundred and fifty dollar cheque to me yesterday; same day it’s in the paper a woman died after finishing the Boston marathon. She had just finished her dissertation on how marathons help the grieving process.
I’m studying to be a permanent Personal Injury Representative I at the government insurance agency. Four hours will be longest exam I have ever written. That’s how long they tell me it takes to write. I know I can’t get the job as others writing the test have more seniority but it will give me the experience for a time I get another chance.
People I’d never expect are giving me money; or saying they will sponsor me. It’s Aug 17th; and I am at home. In grief. Yesterday morning, twenty minutes of wailing before I went to work. Really, really loud.
A guy gave me a book by the Dalai Lama about the how of being happy ; the crux of it is to identify factors that lead to happiness and same for suffering; then gradually eliminate the suffering factors and cultivate the happiness ones. Sounds easy. Questioning – Is crying suffering? No, it’s healing. I am doing a lot of it. Really, heavy crying. Know I am not okay with some things in my life and having a hard time figuring out what is okay and what isn’t. Feel like something big has changed.
Walked 24 km yesterday; think I learned I’m not doing something right; not enough warm ups, cool downs or maybe not doing the cross training right. Thinking about swimming a lot so may follow up on that.
Spent the weekend at my dad’s; saw most sisters; home and crying lots. Write: What is it; what could be so bad. Grief over mom – she’s not here anymore. Is that it? Is it me not having a marriage; everyone else does? I’m crying. Feels like will never be over; never be better; lots of nevers. Feels like my back behind my heart so full – like can’t get a deep breath; so uncomfortable. Let my heart break. It’s actually hell what I go though. I said other day suffering is holding it in. I’m not trying to; just am. Actually feel sick to my stomach and what is that about?
Did a 28 km walk. Feeling not bad. End of August. Have 4 days off and not in a panic that I have to do anything. Friend coming to stay tonight. Going to Elton John; my friend’s way of celebrating her fiftieth; want to sort my money, my clothes, clean my house; get a few groceries; decide on whether to join Computer Date; thought my pay cheque would be more in this new job. Debating about doing the RRSP thing. What am I waiting till I’m old for?
Nearly annihilated myself yesterday; went through a red light thinking it was a three way stop. Car from left and right squealed and honked horns as they screeched all over the place. Felt bad at what I made the guy go through. He was looking right at me.
Notice in mail box that rent has gone up to four hundred and fifty dollars a month; feel okay about it.
The 21 km was hard today; the last 15 minutes of it; must be really tired from the Elton John concert. Best ever for me. Went to an East Indian restaurant before it started. Yuck; not my type of food. The chocolates and a toe ring for her birthday present was a hit.
End of August I’m up to four thousand seven hundred and sixty dollars.
Sept 2/02 .Amazing. Summer gone and had to put on sweater and coat to walk this morning. Really enjoying Book “A Time To Live” by a 91 year old minister; was a retreat leader; really speaks openly about all things, grief, sex, sorrow, soul work, despair, embracing it all, bringing it into our table, still very Christian but I seem to be able to deal with it so that is good.
Back at work. Had to take typing test three times to pass. Glad they let us pass at 50 wpm. People who already passed when it used to be 55 wpm are ticked. The SGI casual day money, where everyone puts $2.00 in to dress down on Fridays was a total of $230.00 and given to me yesterday. Made my $5000.00. Yeah!
Went to the arthritis societies’ Hero Party last night. Honoring my friend. She could not come but I went anyway. Realize how much my legs ache; my muscles ache; back of right leg as if skin chapped from me rubbing it. Right now my back full of grief; like waves of grief; don’t have faith that it will be gone. Stories from “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books really work for me; keep my heart open; compassion flowing.
I enjoyed golfing on the weekend. Went to a wedding where my son played clarinet and I organ. They gave him money; so nice we could do it together. Maybe swim or yoga tonight will help the leg pain; did walk 10 country kms Saturday; beautiful walk. Didn’t upset me playing the organ in the church but know waves of heat was pouring off my back throughout.
I am in pain and exhaustion though; concerned or worried about marathon. Talk about fear. Angry the Tamara’s House Board asked us to do a workshop for twenty five hundred dollars when they know it costs five thousand. We told them. My cousin’s wife from BC is coming next weekend. We will train together for two days as she is doing the same Ireland marathon. I started two different vocational rehabilitation courses to try and secure better paying future permanent job. Fairy cards at a friends: Past – Breaking Free; Present – Quiet Time; Future – Creative Expression. I don’t put a lot of store in it. Did not feel real connected to that or my friend.
So glad I get a Friday off; slept in till 6:45. Amazing! I never sleep in. Did bathrooms, beds, swept floors, put dishes away. My daughter did the dishes after supper last night while I was totally enjoying being gramma.
At work, called to the office; first in line for a promotion; told need to write a three hour test; then two one and a half hour ones followed by a targeted selection interview if something opens. Body pain a lot less this week to do with hips. Did yoga twice; swimming once; tomorrow the 30 km training walk with my cousin’s wife.
Went to an Art Gallery installation with a friend. Another friend phoned. When I said that’s what I was doing, she said she was hurt; would have liked to have been the one I invited to it. A lie came out of my mouth saying the first friend had invited me. Couldn’t believe I did that.
I keep forgetting to take the drug to end smoking; and having no cravings for cigarettes. People are still giving me money Weekend is over and lived through it. Actually lived through it well. 30 km Saturday. My cousin only did 20. I never want to walk a marathon again but feels good knowing I will only do two more long walks in my life; the practice one and the real one. Went swimming this morning for twenty minutes. Have a headache but could be from not smoking or writing all those exams this morning.
Passed. Was quite difficult but okay. All interesting. Three person interview. All on customer service. Last few days a bit of a craving for cigarettes but not bad. Downed the Tim Horton’s coffee like no tomorrow. I met a woman in training who has not met her fund raising goal; so put my extra money towards what she needs. I still give the money to the arthritis society; but now she will have made her five thousand dollar goal so can go to Ireland too. Her and I will share a room. Felt right. I wrote the thank you cards.
Strange phone call. The friend who I didn’t invite to the art gallery phoned. She feels our relationship has changed; doesn’t like it and wants to talk about it. I right away think I’ve done something wrong but don’t know what. We say we will meet.
My daughter comes over sharing that my son went to a four hour psychologist appointment as having suicidal thoughts on a daily basis. I can’t get him out of my mind.
I am now a Clerk III in the Injury department. Said good-bye to the West Claims Staff. Talking to my son daily. He has a University Wind Ensemble Retreat this weekend; hope it’s better for him.
Met with my friend. Wrote in my journal: “Well can’t say that didn’t have an impact. It did. Met with her. Brutal is the word that came into my mind. She doesn’t see relationship as equal; said it’s harmful to her; doesn’t know how to protect herself. She said it’s like I am asking for things. She wanted more from the friendship. I asked what her expectations were where she said she needs more and before she even filled me in, I noticed I’m telling her I can’t give it to her. She said it would be easier if I said I don’t want anything to do with her anymore. Like I was saying – Is it like this? Is it like that? Like a mother/daughter relationship? Rich/poor relationship? I asked if she is taking on my stuff? That irritated her. When I brought up grief, she said she doesn’t have any. She feels used. Does not feel safe. Whew.”
Glad my daughter and son are spending lots of time together; doing things for each other. I am sorting in my head what went wrong to do with my friend. We got together again. This morning lots of sadness over it. Big part of me feeling like this is her stuff, her wanting me to take care of her, be there for her. Is it her connecting with her feelings when we talk or is it triggering her pain when I speak of mine. She is saying she is giving to me all the time; and she is so angry; says I’m always asking. I am hearing her asking too. Was like I am helping her sort out. Now I am angry; want to say: “If you want to tell me to get lost, then please know why you are doing it prior to meeting with me.” Expectations is a big thing here. I’m feeling vulnerable right now. Wore a coat to cover up. Biting my fingernails.
Struggling over it all. Bought some more drug for ending smoking. Know would not bother me if I hadn’t loved and thought a lot of her. Seeing issues in all areas of my life. Know there was the day I was in her house and told her about the marathon fund raising and she said she’d give me money. That day I left her house feeling awful and not knowing why. She mentioned counseling and I wonder how that would work; who would choose the counselor; makes me re look at my life; what do I want in my life? In the future? A man over top of my friends? Will things always be – end to the old and on with the new? I am pretty good at that and yet am very good at keeping or transforming old. Wanting something for nothing comes up this morning and hot shame washes over me; want someone to give me what I need without being asked and if I ask; to give immediately; and when they don’t; think there’s something wrong with me.
More thoughts about it: feels like teenage years. I don’t like you because…; feels like I was dumped. Was it things we talked about; her sharing her teenage years with me and that’s bothering her? I’ve always told her deep stuff and she the same.
How hard it is that I committed myself to this fund raising marathon. Deep grief about all this.
Excitement! Amazing to me. I found Carey’s Bed and Breakfast in Ireland. Internet is beautiful. (My mother’s maiden name was Carey). It’s like five generations back. According to what I read, their descendents are still on the family farm. Haven’t emailed them yet. Scraped windows this morning. Flowers didn’t freeze. About three weeks left till marathon.
Feeling like an old person; like I don’t know how to be a friend; know that isn’t right; am a great person. Am who I am. What is friendship?
Left a message for Computer Date. It’s to be my reward for quitting smoking and that I completed five of six classes. I am now permanent Clerk III. Three exciting things in one week. I can walk to work again. A nice man sat beside me at the fundraiser; really enjoying men so that’s interesting. Went swimming again; met a man in the pool. Got a referral to physiotherapy and went first time. Excruciating and not fun. Must be from the swimming and not doing enough stretching? Not understanding it all I guess; thinking I’m doing good for my body and not.
Did pay three hundred and fifty dollars to the computer dating place so guess this is it. Thought about it for a year so may as well do it. Chose not to do the 33 km walk as the pain is screaming in my hip. But that’s not all.
What is the pain in my rib about? It hurts in one teeny spot less than the size of the end of my finger? My friend said maybe a bullet hole from past life. Out of my mouth comes “it’s to do with the creation story – Out of rib – God made woman is the story and maybe that’s what I am trying to create right now; me as a new woman.” I’m not knowing it’s already done.
Not worrying about money like I used to. Will get my tuition money back from taking this class; will get five hundred dollars from Tamara’s House if I do the workshop; kids may be able to pay back more soon. Debating about putting less in RRSP’s? Did email the people in Ireland. Debating paying for a good food box even when in Ireland so kids each have a box. Am I in guilt again about not being a very good person; not doing enough for the kids; for other people? Wrote out a sixty second sound clip for the computer date thing.
“Hi my name is Sharon. I’ve been wanting to try this dating plan for awhile and now that it’s happening; a bit about me. I’m employed in a steady job; working with people who have been injured; it suits me and my background of social work and social activist issues.
My two children have been out on their own for last two years; so I have been enjoying new things; golfing, travel; walking in a marathon and I do enjoy the quiet alone times as well. I have been on my own for ten years and am at a place where I want to meet a man who is interested in sharing everyday life things; to me everyday is such an adventure; and that’s my spirituality.
I love nature, walks, the country. I am a morning person. I could watch the sunrise every day. I love meeting each moment; being real, creating what I need. I care about people and what is going on in the world. I no longer feel the best is yet to come. Those times are here and sharing those times adds to life’s specialness.”
I read it to a friend who was joining same time as me. I changed some things. Know I want to be at home in any situation. Getting my picture taken for the computer date thing was stressful; nearly put make up on; took it along but didn’t. Really could have used a smoke. May buy nails until I quit biting mine.
Spending money on massage and physio. Now going to try acupuncture. Very emotional; tears come easily. When I was getting my picture taken at the date place; was not important to straighten my necklace. Made me laugh. I have to give myself credit here; for what I am doing; that I am doing this; that I have quit smoking. That is awesome and feels awesome.
Oct 8/02 Feeling best mentally I’ve felt. DREAM: “All these children playing with balloons.” My hip is a bit better; went to acupuncture; supposed to open up chi; my good energy. My cousin’s wife sent me something; really stinks but feels okay after rub it on outside of my hip area. Kids over last night; told my daughter I’d pay the hundred and fifty dollars for the al-stat exam or law exam or whatever it’s called if she wants to do it. Next day tried a cranial-sacral massage; best yet for releasing hip area. AWESOME! As if had lots more energy after the massage.
As I was thinking how to stretch after the thirteen km walk today, as if pain shot out of my hip up to my waist. My body telling me things. Have to keep up the carbs over next while. I’m leaving for Ireland soon. Finishing my sixth class essay today; the last class I’m taking I think. Studying for test number one of class six. Head was foggy all through test. Feeling overwhelmed. My daughter went with me to send off party for the marathon. We sat with the woman I will share a room with in Ireland. We are going to have fun. It’s kind of scary too. They gave us our plane tickets with a letter from the premier. I got home and read the marathon travel package. It’s all pretty amazing.
Oct 19/02 Sitting in coffee shop Saturday morning after six km walk. I’m wondering what’s the matter that I was awake so much during the night: the ibuprofen? The glass of red wine at friends? Picking out the photo for the dating website? First time seeing pictures of the men on there?
Was not excited about that. Was, about buying three sweaters but then took them back. Had physiotherapy and couldn’t feel it; was that from the ibuprofen? In injury at work, there is too much to do. Outside of work, I’m doing too much studying; thinking about what to wear ; what to pack; what am I taking as only a few days before flying away. Cleaning house as landlady coming over; all seems too much of everything. Glad I had a weekend to read the tour information. Am getting excited. Still have to study and rest and eat well . When Monday morning’s exam is over, have to confirm ticket with airport. Have to figure out a phone card or something to phone kids.
Envelopes and a beautiful gift in my mailbox the morning before I go had me crying. Couldn’t believe all the words; the well wishes; the kindnesses. All so beautiful!
Dream: “pushing wheelchair with girl in it out into the yard.”
I love that I’m spending lots of time being gramma too. Friend brought me a traveling aromatherapy candle. Another friend brought me a homemade card with sixty dollars she wanted me to take to Dublin and do anything I wanted with it. Made me cry.
Final test for class I need for the injury work. Will get mark when I get back.
IRELAND: GREEN that I can’t describe as the plane lands. Two days of tours; getting ready for the run; didn’t realize 8000 participants; they track us by a disc in our shoe; wearing a numbered bib; big city Dublin is; lots of incredible streets and buildings. Love the people; the bars; the singing happening on the streets.
Completed the MARATHON. Twenty six miles took me 6 hours and 45 minutes. Longer than I expected; but better than I expected. Lots of scenery in those 26 miles; lots of people came out to watch and they really like Canadians. Was a long day. Exhilarating going over the finish line. Fun with the team. After, we were dancing at our hotel. Fun went on for days but could hardly walk.
Big highlight was the cousins I found in a book and internet who own a bed and breakfast came to see me at my hotel.
London/Calgary/home/ankle/can’t walk. Came home and was in the rage, disgust of sexual abuse as the person closest to me, talked of abuse memories she had while I was gone. Immediately waking up over and over during night. I am livid; thoughts if I could kill and later the hurt in my chest. Know I’m not connected totally. Maybe a good thing. Hopefully will move to the other side.
Also have major pain in my foot. Body will heal. Will see if minor emergency clinic has x-ray open today. Five days later , my life feels a little bizarre after Ireland; still can’t walk on ankle; miss the half hour morning walks; miss how my body feels after the walks. Wonder if can plan something in my life to take the place of coffee and biting my nails. My nails are in bad shape; don’t want the long white square nails but would like to find a gel nail person who could do some nice natural looking ones.
Gave souvenirs I brought back out to people. A note in the mail from the cousins I met in Ireland tells me they want a copy of my book. I’m doing yoga most mornings; that feels good as I realize how stiff I am. Glad I took my son out for his birthday. I was sad he seemed like in a depression until all the waiters and waitresses sang him happy birthday. Made me want to cry. I bought him an exotic raspberry red flowing ginger looking flower and then to YWCA for volleyball. Tried my first half hour hydrotherapy massage. My ankle still swollen and hurts. Life!


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