Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~ Robert Byrne

Today is Sunday.

We got up about 7:00am (no alarm), had coffee, and been to church and back. Good service this morning about service and finding opportunities to serve. You don't have to believe in God to believe that it is important to know, volunteer, give back, reach out and care for others. There are thousands of ways to serve.

So, when we got home, I changed clothes and we were off to Tucker Creek Trail. I put a new podcast from Podrunner on my iPod. I've decided not to use the intervals for running right now. The podcast I used, "The Pound," is for running, but I walked instead ~ 2-1/2 miles ~ at 137 bpm. It was a little fast, but when I finished I felt great. Tom and Goldie went with me. Tom would take Goldie down to the creek occasionally, but instead of drinking the water, she'd just lay down in it. I suppose that was refreshing enough for her.

Now I am sitting out on the back patio. It's about 70 degrees outside with a slight haze and a light breeze. It is glorious after being cooped up in the house since the cold weather set in sometime in December. I am wearing my Nike cold weather sweats (because they are very comfortable, not because it is cold), a Margaritaville t-shirt and orange LL Bean flip-flops...really....see...

It was even more beautiful yesterday. The windows in house have been open for two days. It's been just amazing. I spent some time outside cleaning some of the stems and leaves off the water plants in the pond and cutting dead branches from some of the other plants. For dinner, I made Chris' ribs on the grill outside and made potato salad and deviled eggs to go with them. We ate dinner outside on the patio. It was wonderful. I'm taking full advantage while I can. Thunderstorms are forecasted for tomorrow and another cooling trend to follow. That's okay. It's beautiful now.

I am sipping an iced coffee from the orange coffee leftover from this morning's pot. And I have a lot on my mind, so I will take this opportunity to just write down a few things, in no particular order.

I have been thinking a lot about how survivors of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual) often always think of themselves as victims in any given situation. That's the only role they know because that's how they grew a victim of someone else's dysfunction. Sometimes even maturing doesn't change their view of themselves. They continue to move through life as a victim. It's a hard role to shed because it's familiar and feels comfortable.

Those of us who grew up in abusive families tend to find it an endless challenge to look at situations in our lives and say, "I'm here and this is happening because of the choices I made, not because of what someone did to me." It is absolutely necessary to take full responsibility for one's life, stop blaming someone or something else and relinquish the victim role. Well, enough of that...

I have been thinking about summer vacation. I don't know how much time I will be able to take off from my new job or where we would go, if we go anywhere. But this is about the time we start planning. Maybe we won't plan anything. I don't know. I'm waiting for a bright idea to merely appear!

Karen has started smoking again. She had quit shortly after coming to live with us and had been using some kind of stop-smoking lozenge. She seemed to be doing okay except that she thought she had become addicted to the lozenges instead of cigarettes. Then one day, she came in from outside and I smelled cigarette smoke. I asked her if she started smoking again. She said yes, but only a couple of cigarettes a day. But, to me, smoking is smoking no matter how many you smoke. It is hard for me to comprehend. Our father died of lung cancer caused by smoking. Our mother died of heart disease caused by smoking. Our sister died of lung cancer caused by smoking. Karen has had heart bypass surgery that apparently has a significant chance of failure. If the bypass does fail, her only alternative is a heart transplant. If she smokes, she will no longer be considered a candidate for a heart transplant. End of story. End of her life. But, she smokes anyway. I honestly don't understand. It makes me sad for her.

Chris smokes, too. If I thought I could ever get away with it, I'd smack him silly until he stopped. He says he will quit smoking when his life is stress free, which of course means never. I think that's his way of telling me to shut up and mind my own business. But, he had a cancerous lesion on his face that he had removed several years ago. To my way of thinking, that makes him prone to cancer. He, too, saw his grandfather nearly wasted away just before his death. How he can smoke after seeing that, I don't know. I guess because he cannot, or doesn't want to, envision himself like that. I can. It makes me sad for him, too.

I am so glad that I quit smoking so many years ago. It was probably the best thing I could have ever done for myself. It took me three times to quit, but I finally did and I haven't wanted a cigarette since...well, that probably isn't completely true. I think early on, there were times ~ stressful times ~ that I had a craving or two, but nothing really serious and not a craving so strong that I actually wanted to start smoking again. I was lucky.

So, did you notice in the photo above that my toenails are painted? I did that first thing yesterday morning. It was the first time in months that I actually sat down and painted my toenails. I used to do it regularly. I don't know what happened. I did it every single week for years. I almost always had clear polish on my fingernails, but you'd more than likely find "Heat Wave" (Lancome), "Exhaust" (L'Oreal) or "Tangerine" (Revlon) on my toenails. It had become a personal grooming requirement for me. I have a whole array of different colored nail polishes to choose from and I would constantly add new colors to my collection. But, sometime after last summer I just stopped; for no apparent reason. I just quit doing it. I thought about doing it but I just never did. I think these last several months, I've just ignored myself. I lost parts of who I was and where I was going, emotionally speaking. Stupid as it may sound, painted toenails represents finding myself again and getting back on track. It's about freakin' time!


Anonymous said...

You are so right. What victims need to learn is if they don't move forward in a positive direction they will always be that same victim. Why give the abuser that power over the rest of their lives? Wasn't once enough? No one should waste their life like that. How can they feel the joy of accomplishment if they don't take control of their lives? To me that's just a sad waste of a life.
I'm with you 100%. - Blessings, Robin

Terri said...

You make very good points, particularly about giving the abuser the power over the rest of your life. Relinquishing your own personal power leaves you with no motivation, hence no accomplishment in which you could be proud. I is very sad.