Saturday, April 29, 2017

Breaking up is hard on whom?

There's that old cliché about breakups, "It's not you, it's me". I recently wrote about my convent life. That is coming up on 14 years ago. And, all those years ago, that cliché proved to be true.

I've been thinking about the breakup lately. That is what it was. I was in a relationship; I realized it didn't fit; and, I ended the relationship. Did I end it in the best way? No and I can admit that. When I look back on it, I wasn't in a single relationship. It was a complex dynamic.

There was the relationship with God or what I tried to believe to be God. That breakup wasn't too bad. I mean, once you admit to a lack of belief, then the rest just falls into place. So, this one doesn't really fit the cliché.  This is more of, "It's not me, it's the lack of you".

Then, there is the breaking up with the Catholic Church. Again, not quite so difficult, especially once the God breakup was done. But, for this one, I will admit that it wasn't the Church's fault. I just was no longer able to be faithful (see what I did there).

Here's the part I've been thinking about; this part is kind of messy. In the history of the Community of Sisters I was #998. While I was there, I once said to some friends that the song says, "One is the loneliest number", but for me, it was 998. Then I broke up with a Community, over 100 women. I walked out on them, literally. I packed up my shit and left.

Every so often feelings will come over me, pangs of, I'm not sure what word fits the best, perhaps guilt? In a group of that many women, I cannot say that I knew them all, but some I knew well...very well. Those are for whom I feel the pangs.

While I was visiting back in Cleveland last month, I was shopping and spotted one of the sisters with whom I had lived. I immediately became uncomfortable. She was busy with her cart and looking around. Then, we came close to bumping into one another. We made eye contact for a brief moment. But, I can honestly say there wasn't a glimmer of recognition in her eyes. I was glad to avoid actual contact because, well, awk-ward. But, that incident did bring up thoughts about the breakup.

The other day, I saw one of the sisters on Facebook because we have mutual Facebook friends. She was one of my teachers for all 4 years of high school. I was struck by how much she has aged. Then, I started to think about her. I wondered if she'd take my friend request if I tried. She is a kind and gentle person. Then, I thought about things being strained between us, perhaps, because of how things ended with me and the Community. I'm just not sure what I want to do.

Every once in awhile, my parents will see some of the sisters. They will tell me, "Hello" from them and how they asked about how I was. I always wonder, in these moments, what they thought of me when I left. Maybe the breakup was harder on me.

One of the messiest parts of the breakup was losing one of the sisters who had been such a presence in my life since I was 14 years old. I didn't order a class ring in high school. She ended up giving me hers. We were very close. We tried to hang on after I left. I would still talk to her when I moved to Colorado. Things changed, though. Life was different. I lost the connection to her that I once had. The change in our relationship made me feel that I should no longer have the school ring she gave me. I sent it back to her. That was not her, that was all on me.

Would I go back to those relationships? No, absolutely not. The reality of the reasons for leaving would still exist. Would I change the way I left the sisters? If I knew how to, then I probably would.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Skill set

It's funny the way people will tell you what "you should" do.

I've had a number of people tell me, "you should write a book". They usually think that because I can share a good story about my experiences. That doesn't mean it would make a good book or enough pages to make a book. I write a blog. It's not the same, but it's what I do....too bad money isn't involved, but I'm not sure there would be money in a book by me, either.

People also tell me, "you should do improv". My kind of funny isn't really cutout for improv. I took an improv class and decided it wasn't something for me. I didn't continue to the next level. I think Shawn's disappointed in me for that. I think he thinks a gave up on it to quickly. But, I'm snarky and sarcastic, not someone who can ad lib a scene. So, no money there.

Neither of these things is helping me figure out a resume and a career.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It's been a year

I began my 8 month journey through ECT one year ago today.

What difference did it make? Well, it stole almost all of 2016 from me. Even though ECT started in April, it managed to rob me of memories all the way back to January. I continue to find out more and more things I was a part of, but didn't experience. What I mean is that when a see a picture from something last year, I can see that I was there, I was physically present, but I didn't experience it. Experience, in my opinion, is in the mind and not fully having my mind available to me, I was not having the experience.

Did it change anything else? Honestly, I don't think so. Shawn is probably the better one to ask.

Would I do it again? Probably. I mean, when your brain is so fucked up, you look for options. Also, in some ways, having some of my darkest moments "erased" with electricity brought respite.

Now I'm in the beginning of a 12 week group therapy course. I don't like it. The vibe just isn't working for me. But, I should continue to plug away at it because maybe it will strike something, other than annoyance, in me. I guess we'll see...

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jarvis, the reluctant...hero?

So, just a little description of the neighborhood to help with the story. We live near a retirement/assisted living/ nursing home/rehab facility compound-ish thing. We also live amidst a paved trail system. The two things come together when the trail goes along the back of the patio homes portion of the old people village. Shawn and I refer to it as "the retirement home path". So, the north side of the path buts up against patio homes and the south side is next to grass, trees, benches, and a waterway. At a certain point, the patio homes end, there's a space (probably two car widths) and then the start of a series of garages.

There you have it; our stage.

Last week, Jarvis and I were on a routine walk on the retirement home path, heading east toward home. We could see an old lady staring at something by the split rail fence near the garages. As Jarvis and I get closer she says, "This must be yours." I look and there's a little, white dog just hanging out. So, obviously, I have a big dog on a leash and I'm heading toward a roaming little dog, it must be mine. Dog parenting for the WIN! I told her that it was not and kept on our way with Jarvis' poop in a bag on the way to the poop station.

Then, an older man comes from the other direction and I hear, "Certainly, this must be yours." Again, her theory gets rejected.

DAMMIT! I can't do it. I can't keep going. The dog must be rescued; the owner must be found. We head back. I try to find something to hook Jarvis' leash to so that he secure while I go play some kind of  canine savior. Once Jarvis is hooked, he loses his shit and barks like the goddamn Mailman is trying to do his job and deliver shit.

Meanwhile, I head over to the little dog. I'm not good with breeds, this one looks like it took a frying pan to the face a la "Tom & Jerry" and is forever pissed about it. It also has a tail the stands up and strands of hair hang off of it, kind of like the ribbons on a May Pole before they are May Poled.

I pick this light weight, white, ball of fur up. I'm not sure he's even ten pounds. He gives me the evil eye. What the fuck? I'm trying to find his fucking home and he's so ungrateful.

While all of this is happening, I'm hoping for a large number of seniors who are hard of hearing to living around there because Jarvis cannot get his shit together. I look over and he did some kind of twisted flip without actually strangling himself. Resting bitch (I know, Oscar is a boy dog) face is shaking and growling at Jarvis. I sit down on a curb near Jarvis hoping he might shut up because the dog is not a threat to him. I'm looking at Oscar's collars and I try calling the licensing office. It is a recorded, pick-a-number menu. I decided holding the dog and Jarvis barking are not making this phone call easy. Then, I decide to go to the apartment building hoping for a front desk with a receptionist who can take over for me. Me walking away brings Jarvis' desire to be recognized and hear to the next level. I get to the apartment and there is no front desk and you have to be buzzed in. I don't think a random buzzing to some apartment tenant is going to get me anywhere.

I go back to Jarvis; back to curb sitting; back to collar tag looking. Oscar's "Oscar" tag has two phone numbers. One didn't work. The other went to voicemail so I left a message with my phone number. There I am with Jarvis chained up and barking and a small dog giving me the stink eye. I unhook Jarvis and he wants a piece of Oscar. He's jumping and Oscar is growling while giving Jarvis the death stare. I'm trying to get Oscar to higher land (aka my upper body) because Jarvis wants an ass sniff and a piece of the angry little devil. Fuck me! Jarvis pulls out a tuft of hair. Then another tuft. I get Oscar almost on top of my head while using my other hand to try to choke up on Jarvis' leash so he can't jump high. And, while all this is happening, while Jarvis is jumping around me, there is a bag of shit in my pocket!

I'm almost in tears while also wanting to laugh thinking about what this must look like. For a moment, I think, well, I'm going to have to bring Oscar home and wait for the call. Then I realize, how the fuck am I going to walk home with these two and then what am I going to do with them once I get their. UGH!!!

Finally, I decided it would be best to walk around the senior village and hope for someone to know or own this dog. I didn't pay attention to the name on the voicemail so I call back and get the lady's name. We're walking along, the three stooges, and Jarvis' gets one more tuft of hair!!! Then, there is a woman out in front of her home. I asked if she knew the woman from the voicemail. She did and told me she was in the home next door to where I was. She said something about how it must be Oscar or....I stopped her and said that it was, indeed, Oscar.

Jarvis and I take Oscar to the door. The woman was asking him if he got out again. She mentioned that he did spend a night in jail once. That was about it. I kind of expected a bigger thank you, but I guess if this is a pretty routine experience, she has become hardened to the ways of appreciation.

Maybe Oscar is trying to get away from something and maybe that something has frozen his face into a permanent expression of hatefulness and inner rage.