Monday, April 14, 2014
I don't know why he began talking to me, but I try not to question perfect coincidences.
It began with a simple, "Do you save and invest?"
Sheepishly I conceded that I did not but that I was interested in learning.
From there he went on to talk about how he wanted his kids to learn that and then began to chastise those that gave 10% to the church.
Something I had been raised to do.
Though now I made a promise to help anyone in need generously.
He recounted owning three homes, creating a hefty retirement, all to be lost to alcoholism.
His ex wife had allowed him to no longer pay back child support payments
And then he moved on to his childhood, growing up poor and in the country.
I asked him what had attracted him to his wife, what the special "thing" was.
He said something to me that I'll never forget.
He said, "I wanted someone to control me. I could do all the other things and I was successful, but looking back now, I wanted someone to control me. She was like a parent."
I want to tell you that it's not me.
I wish it was that simple.
So much of my time was spent wishing I was "normal", whatever that is.
The therapist in training will tell you normal is the place you're at in your life where you're happy and healthy, in most or all respects.
It just seems like we're all brought up to be strong, not show our emotions with others or at the very least in public, and there's a recipe of what's correct to share in a relationship and what you need to handle yourself.
There are just all these people in the world and some are like me and some aren't.
I was eight when the principal asked my parents to come into the office to ask if I was being sexually abused at home.
They saw signs they said.
At eight years old we just know that we must hide our emotions.
All day long I deal with emotions.
With families, with veterans, with friends and family and my so called significant other.
I tried to be more sensitive and empathetic to the needs of others but do you realize how hard that is?
People are always putting you into the place that they inhabit mentally and emotionally, always.
They show pieces of themselves in the way they hold their glass, the look in their eyes when they aren't focused on someone or something, the way their body moves when no one inhabits their space and when someone does.
Look to the inflection of their voices both high and low, the wetting of the lips with the tongue, fingers brushing through hair, wrinkles of the face, the genuine quality of a smile.
We are a beautifully written book, perpetually filling pages.
Look closely, you're in the middle of watching a story being written and they yours.
We are spilling over at the seams, try as we might to keep it in.
We need desperately for others to get it, to see what we have created, to share.
Maybe some of us have egos and are too prideful to share, yet there the story is, seeping out in the dimly lit TV to a twenty-three year old girl.
I've never claimed to know or have seen it all.
In fact, I find myself wide-eyed at the magic and tragedy of all that is this life.
I'm grateful for this job and for him.
I'm afraid and I like being controlled to a large extent.
Now what to do with this knowledge I don't know yet, but I'm ever grateful for the moments in which someone's story has the power to alter mine for the good.
So grateful for the lives people have lived and shared with me and others so that I might learn and be better and help others better, whether they're aware of the miracle they've created or not.
Something beautiful is happening.
And I, I the broken, mending, young, naive, biased (at times), and searching young girl (woman) am able to catch glimpses of the sheer magnitude and beauty of what it is to be human.
Hard as it is.
We are so blessed if only we open our heart and eyes, even if we open them to the hard truths about ourselves and others that leave us bare and vulnerable.
If you can, embrace it. And if you would be so kind, share something someone said to you that has forever impacted you.
Can I see a few of your pages?
Because I love all of you and your stories.