5. Not Enough Time

Journal # 81 – March 10, 2003 – July 26, 2003

Not enough time is a big theme but part of it is just doing so much. Each day and probably being hard on myself for being so tired. Not having a partner is a big thing. Recognizing I work so hard. I feel really great mentally and spiritually; just so much grief that I went through all I went through; deep, deep grief, in my back. I want to let go of it before I go to work so better go for a walk now.
The Board of Tamara’s House: Services for Sexual Abuse Survivors wanted to know my experience of it. I wrote a talk. Unsure how I feel about giving it. Gave it. Next morning dream about snakes: “Sitting on a rock and realize the snakes around me are alive; took stick and moved them; realized they could get up to me. Got off the rock.”
My dream interpretation: The rock would be the church and words from a Serpent song of Carolyn McDade’s “She crawled upon the swollen stone and loosened her only garment,” comes to me in relation to the dream.
Yesterday’s speech must have brought up a lot of bitterness as feels like bile in my throat and grief in my head; want to get rid of it today before hits my chest. Was interesting; talked the whole hour; told them am so cynical re Tamara’s House. Today bugs me that they they gave me a card; written on before I gave the talk; saying what a wonderful talk. Some women there did surprise me when they said Tamara’s House wasn’t there for them. Others said my talk validates what they have experienced. One said angry at what I brought up; others thanked me; said similar experiences of pain and agony. One wants to meet for coffee; said never knew all that was going on for me; said glad I did civil suit; feels justice was done. A First Nation woman said felt the creator supported me and felt love hearing my talk. I said “Listening in Love” is what I felt from them.
Things that weren’t in the speech that come to mind now for me: for four or five years, nearly every day driving to country to see the sunrise; now I have a house where I can see the sunrise. Still don’t have a place can scream, yell, wail; but getting better; need for it is less. Still trying to figure out what I saw on Sunday morning; like a Jesus on the cross or during a resurrection; all in light, but was out in the country. Try to explain that to someone. Makes me cry anyway just writing about it.
Did tell them in the speech about how some people could not read the book; and about the silence; how no one talked to me after they read it. The silence bothered me. Want to say “Hello out there. Is anybody Listening? I am still hurting. Still choking on my words. Healing at a new level. Holding on to some old shit that I am now ready to let go. Live and Learn was a saying of my moms. She said it like a put down to us when she didn’t think we had listened to her. Maybe we weren’t but it wasn’t my fault I got hurt. Why was I with him anyway? Why did I have to bury it? There was no one there for me. I was a special, special, little girl. Why was I biting my nails? Punished, threatened; no one there for me to say what is wrong. I’m saying it now. I don’t understand what he did to me. It hurt. It no longer physically hurts but hurts emotionally like a child and sometimes comes out physically. Hurts spiritually as I get mixed up like a child as if God is a man like the priest; know now isn’t. God is the wind in the trees – the spirit that connects us all – the energy I see around me and yet if it is that – it was in the priest too – and that is so confusing – the church wasn’t there in a way that was helpful and family – not in the way I needed them and yet life was there or that Spirit – Energy – that connects us all – always new things – people were there when I needed them. I don’t have a lot of fear anymore. Anger and grief; waves of it go up and down inside my body. I can let it go as it is over; don’t need to hold on to it anymore. I can be there for me. I can trust others and new experiences will be there for me as I need it. I have a lot of skills and abilities and I will take care of myself. I matter. I am important and a worth while human being. I have a lot of grief over the pain I see in the world; a young man’s death; don’t get it; that a close friend said she’d saved my letters to her and then when I asked her if I could reread them; she really hadn’t; and over that I feel so betrayed. Seeing all the women who’ve been hurt; the ones that are healing and then all the ones in the world that aren’t in active healing and aren’t even aware of abuse; yet they are living it. The bitterness I have over not being needed in the world; not enough money; times of not having a job; still trying to get a job I deserve.”
Sitting in the sunrise; the hymn in my head “The strife is o’er; the battle done” and think of the talk I could give. “It’s over; have to tell that new aspect inside of me that it’s over; don’t have to go back to go so deep; transform that part. Today understand my dream; I can be the rock; healing comes to me; out of the deep; don’t have to be scared of it.”
A seventeen year old young man I knew from my life prior to memories of sexual abuse coming back, phones me from provincial jail; was doing drugs. Wrote him a letter this morning saying anyone can change their life; that I believe in him. My daughter came for help with income tax. Realize snake message is sleep, rest, relax, will be transforming for me. Sit. Enjoy.
Sounds good but all night like my body wracked. Can’t sleep. Can’t get in touch with what needs transforming. Watched an opera; couldn’t be quiet; low level noise, rage; low level song coming out of me through it all; took pain rigidity out of toes and it moved up from left side to chest area. May go out in country; cry and scream. So what the hell is going on? Said to a friend I was pissed off so many times re work in my life. I don’t usually use those words. Am behind in correspondence class I’m taking. Why do I long for country?
Did go out in the country. Couldn’t get to the issue. Home. Baked bread and buns. Turned out. Deep, deep crying when read somewhere that our lives are like a V; get narrower as we go to the depths; many doors to get distracted; but if we close the doors; be in the presence of heart love; we will have connection to Universal Oneness. We are all connected.
Journalled my own definitions for the following words:
Bravery: facing fear; standing up for my beliefs for myself and others.
Honesty: as in speaking, living, think, speak, do.
Love: caring as above.
Humility: acceptance of who I am and what isn’t healed.
Respect: treat as I want to be treated.
Truth: My knowings.
Wisdom: living with mine and others knowings; caring for the planet.
Dream: In an old house; checking old things in it; wondering if want to save; not liking; going to be there awhile; wonder if there will be water.
Dream: In an old, messy house; management from SGI telling me I did well; surprised when they said they’d read an article about me in the paper; I’m trying to figure out where all the bathrooms are.
March 21/03: War started in the world. Spring has happened. Sometimes feel a little connection; closeness to people; but mostly have that feeling of disconnection to all of the world. From a song line: “veil of isolation in my eyes.” I see it. Shocked at how my clothes are out of sync. Fingernails; there’s two little ones hurting and bleeding. My house not feeling clean. All not okay in my world and trying to have compassion for myself. Think of war and what it must be like on the other side of the world. Saw a person’s house on TV; reminds me of Arizona and the feeling I want more of. Don’t like that I think about myself so much.
Went with son to a Drag Show in a church. Speaking out at work. Doing lots of work on an insurance class outside of work hours. Went for a long walk and into a box store; feels kind of unbelievable amount of things in one store; sure tell I never go in stores. Saw a large building of seniors with a small suite where Dad may move. He said it reminds him of a pig barn. I went all dressed up to a ballet with my friend. Totally enjoyable. Was surprised how my mind shut down. YEAH!
Writing lots in my journal and wondering when life will be centred on living instead of writing about it. Deep grief still going on. During the night awake 1:30 – 3:00 so had time to think about whether I’m depressed. Started packing for Arizona. Checked temperature; to be about 77-79 when I’m there. Hope I get along with the other women travelers. I have in the past with basically everyone in my life.
Took a friend to the bus depot; and realize one thing that’s changed in eleven years is now I go to airports; not bus depots. April third I’m at the airport for my trip to the desert. Snow and Blowing Snow. Minneapolis. No snow. No leaves on trees. Circular farming in Kansas and it’s turning green. Canyons along the Rio Grande. 547 mph. Albuquerque. Mountains to the east; plains the other side. Red soil like PEI. Phoenix. Palm trees. YES! Flatter than Saskatoon An overpass for a plane that goes right over top of our van. Flowers! Are they fake? No. Oranges on the trees; two on the ground. 70 degrees and blue sky.
Drive to Botanical Gardens. Sign on way: Do not enter when flooded. Guess they have flash flood rains. Orange hedges in towns; cactus fences in country. Keeps cows in. Mistletoe grows in the AloeVerte Tree. Called nurse plants; they nurse each other. We spend a couple days in the Desert; see open range for cattle; up and down country roads. A feeling like I have come home. To the Santa Catalina Mountains; yellow barrel cactus; ditches full of wild lupin; and a roadrunner at 10:00 exclaims one of the women. When they start using numbers and explain why, I realize I am on a bird watching tour. Binoculars came out as soon as we were in the van.
We tour a San Xavier Mission in the Sonoran Desert. Who would have thunk I was going to a Catholic Mission. I picked up a paper and sat in the van after a quick browse of the buildings. The paper tells of the shock of a parish finding out a priest’s abuse of kids from years ago and it being found out just now. Oh yeah; right at home feeling. That night around the table; the tour group leader says to all; we’ll go round the table and our motto is “tell us about yourself, knowing you can bring luggage on this trip but not baggage.” Ironic.
Next day see the petroglyphs from the Hohokam and Palio Indian tribes; some of them 10,000 years old. Jesuits didn’t come till 1600’s; same as Spanish; and then in 1800’s the Mexican farmers; then ranchers and miners to mine copper and iron ore.
Gas is about 76 cents a litre when you change it back. Tuscon covers 500 square miles. Water table dropped 200 feet in 80 years. Coronado National Forest! Switchbacks and canyons. 3000 to 9000 feet. At the 3000 feet, started with cactus called a shin dagger; then oak woodland, chapparel trees, sycamore at 5000′; Juniper and Pinion Pine, then on a ridge between two canyons enjoy the ponderosa pines and look over the side of the road into sheer space. They use landscape fabric to secure the slope. English and Spanish on each sign. Pull/Jale. Same elevation as Banff. 8000 feet. Snow here.
Box Elder and Maple by the copper mines in the valley. Prickly pear cactus candy. We were up to 9100 and some feet at the summit. Saw a ski hill and a Cork Bark Fir tree that to me looks like a Douglas fir.
Down we go. Stopped at Inspiration Rock; a rock of garnet. Did a 20 minute meditation and began seeing aura’s again. Another Copper Mine. The world’s largest Pecan Grove and in the store on the property, pecans $5.50/lb. Employee of the Month gets a parking space. See an Indian Pounding Stone close to Madera Canyon where we are staying, They have 9 kinds of hummingbirds. Saw an elf owl; the stars at night and when went to the Patagonia Lake and Marsh area bird sanctuary; saw the red male of the Vermillion Fly Catcher and a great Blue Heron. Pretty impressive. Three hour hikes.
One day I’m on a hike; thoughts of going home and like my knee gave out.
Dream nearly every night of past; family members, dealing with melting ice and snow, near drownings. Could write pages of dreams and sometimes did to get rid of fear. Knee settled down.
Lots of birders in the area; looking for a rare bird called the Elegant Trogan. Spent one day in Nogales, Mexico. Different. One day walked the San Pedro River Bank; the only free flowing (not dammed) river running through Arizona. To Tombstone and Boothill Graveyard. In the , saw seven of the nine hummingbird species.
Speed limit is 75 mph; woman driving can’t keep up at 80. See sign: “Fight Terrorism; get out of the United Nations.” Saw thousands of mobile homes; one adobe mobile home. Other things: second largest military post; plane graveyard; second largest aviation training centre. That night I dream I’ve been in a holy war.
Our last night full of laughter; decision that we saw 123 bird species. The lifers kept track of that; one saw 23 new ones.
Back home. What did I learn? People are the same everywhere. Many things same too. Didn’t cry the whole time. This morning crying in bed when I woke up but feeling okay. Think back to the newspaper about abuse; in same paper was ad for “CPR for Catholics that have left.” If I was there, might explore that; might not. “Fleeting thought; would I move there and live; could I work there from ages 65-85; come back to die; come back to Saskatchewan each summer. Pouring rain and cold right now.
Long nights of dreaming that everything has changed. Nothing same anymore. Wake up exhausted; as if in slow motion. Back at work; all the locks have been changed. Co-worker threatened to go postal; put his fist through the wall; the one who left messages at three am on people’s phones with song lines “I’m leaving on a jet plane….. etc;.” had been escorted out and locks had been changed. Going postal was taken seriously by management as some postal worker had killed others at one time.
Read a book about someone experiencing spiritual desolation and thought “I can relate.”
Spent a weekend sorting out dad and mom’s stuff as dad is selling the house. I brought back eight boxes of papers to sort; from the 1950’s to present. May sort them into decades.
Wondering why I don’t have the emotional break throughs I used to have; clarity, visions, feeling in the flow. Think I need to look at my life instead of Mom and Dad’s. Sometimes irritating that I am cleaning up their stuff. Have been in two golf tournaments in last few weeks and realize how much I love being out on the course.
Changed my hours of work; now 7 am to 4 pm and love being out at 4pm. Realize I’ve spent a couple months sorting the boxes of dad’s papers. Wow. He had saved every grocery bill, power bill, basically every piece of paper regarding anything throughout the years. In my empty basement I divided the papers first into decades; then into years such as 1961; 1962; 1963 etc. There were ten kids in my family of origin and twelve months of bills of every kind so had enough of everything to put a month of bills or interesting papers from each year for each kid. Was interesting what I was seeing!!! Sometimes as if yuck energy stuck to those papers; can’t wait to get them out of my house.
At work wrote three parts of an exam to try to get a better paying job as a personal injury rep one. Had ninety eight per cent on one of the tests.
Drove to Oiltown to see my sister; and Sunday morning found myself in the coffee shop writing: “Down is the word; discouraging, disappointing that I feel like this; despair; depth of feeling runs deep; want to describe it; deliver. Sister said won’t be happy till go back to God and serve; give myself to God; what’s that; who’s that; the energy in the universe; serving it the best I know how; thinking of a house again; is that deluding myself again; so don’t have to think about these feelings; get by; distract is the word; desire is what I’m looking for; what does my heart desire? Heart sing; my eyes water when I think of knowing love; that my heart sang; that I have known love; once you have known love; you want it again; it wants to make you look for it again; no wonder my heart is closed when a love isn’t returned as I loved.”
I’ve been waiting so long for my heart and my soul
To meet again so that I could feel whole
I’ve been in despair and I know why
There’s nothing I’ve found that will be around
Five thousand years except the earth and the sky.

Flew to Abbotsford to be with a friend. It’s like a spread out valley between mountains. From Mount Baker can look at the States. Like the West Coast smell; the denseness and darkness of shady, deep forest growth and the walking of the Trans Canada trail. I liked seeing people knee deep fly fishing salmon in the Fraser River. Great seeing White Rock, being there was an ocean going experience anyone would love; but being with my niece was the best. Sights I won’t forget is the purple star fish, blobs of jelly fish, my sand dollar find; miles and miles of crab shells and flower garden restaurants. Golfing the picture perfect scenery. Cherries and more cherries. One day an all day rain.
Home and was content to stay home. Make my own coffee in the mornings; not go to a coffee shop or donut shop to write; can write at home. What’s that about? Made a T-Shirt into a unique long skirt. Worked really well; using arms across the bottom. It’s cozy and warm and looks like a designer skirt!


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