Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Warning: Personal Content

I was washing up the dishes just now and reflecting on a few things. Suddenly I had the urge to write, so here I am.

I was thinking about how I go to see my therapist on Friday and what we might talk about.

1. How unbelievably angry I felt a few days ago at being treated rudely by the stylist who was supposed to cut my hair that day. Not my usual stylist, so I left and came back on another day when my favorite woman was in.

2. How unbelievably angry I felt this week that a well-meaning person's ignorance cost me 20.00 that I can't get back. I know it's not the money that makes me mad; there's something else at the heart of it. Having to pay the consequence for someone else's action? Now there's a theme in my life.

3. How panicky and upset I felt last week in church. Our pastor spoke on anger, and at the beginning of his sermon, he played a sound clip of Alec Baldwin abusing his eleven-year-old daughter Ireland over her cell phone. I understand this item has been a major news-cycle hit for the last few weeks. When I heard his voice and his words, I was instantly transported back into my three-year-old, five-year-old, fifteen-year-old (you get the picture) self. Me standing helpless and terrified while my dad screamed such things into my face, often with threatening gestures, and even with terrifying physical roughness.

4. And, I reflected at the kitchen sink, it is That time of year. What time of year? The time of year when my body knows that something terrible is going to happen soon, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Every year for the past five years, since I started working on all the crap in my head, I have this awful recurring body memory that starts about three weeks before Mother's Day. Somewhere in the April 20's my body feels tight, tense, and packed with fear about the thing that will go wrong. The thing went wrong 28 years ago, but try telling my body that. My body remembers, and every year it reminds me that I was the last person to see my 18-year-old sister alive, about two or three weeks before Mother's Day, and that on May 14 -- Mother's Day -- she hung herself.

I was standing at the sink, thinking about these things, thinking about how much more I know about myself now than I did five years ago. How I know what these feelings mean. I know that they won't kill me, and they don't have to send me into a dark depression for the next three weeks. I just need to notice them, acknowledge and feel them, and experience them for what they are.

It still feels like crap, and I am NOT an every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining kind of person. Life is sometimes shitty. And it can be full of joy. Both things are true, and I try hard not to forget that. Life is full of mystery.

At the sink, I was aware of how gloriously sunny and beautiful it is outside today. A good day for a walk, and I want to get my chores done, so that I can go out in total freedom. I thought about how great it is that I get to work as an artist. How great that I am this far along on my journey of discovery, and I'm not trapped in the old terror and panic attacks. How nice it was to have lunch yesterday with a long-time dear friend.

I want to laugh and cry at the same time.


Joan said...

Jayne, I emailed you.

Sharon said...

{{{Big hug}}}

I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Grace Yaskovic said...

If you want to laugh and cry at the same time---do it, I wish you peace my friend, our families are our true test of strength!

CatBookMom said...

My dear friend, I send you hugs and encouragement as you work your way to a better way of dealing with all this. I hope the visit to your doctor this week will help you through the next days.

jayne said...

Thanks for your email, Joan, I really appreciate it. I emailed back. :)

Thanks Sharon, and Grace.

Hey, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger right?

Gaile said...

Go ahead, laugh and cry all at once! It can be a really good thing (not meaning to sound all *Martha* on you).

There was this little catch in my throat when I got to the part about your sister, and I thought that if we were face to face, I'd have just offered up a hug. And that's a lot, I'm not known for being real huggy. I wish you peace, and sunshine and whatever else will get you through this difficult time. I have issues with Mother's Day too, but for different reasons.

Cozy said...

Mother's Day can be tough for many reasons. What also struck me was the common practice of figuring out life over a sink full of dishes. It is always my time because everyone disappears not wanting to help. I wish you peace and love.

TracyKM said...

Wishing you peace and continued self awareness during this hard time. It doesn't just make you stronger, it makes you who you are, and aren't artists known for conflicted souls?
Maybe you need a dishwasher :)

Kim said...

Go ahead and laugh and cry at the same time. The crying gets it all out and the laughing makes it start to feel better.

Having a Knit Fitt said...

Thanks for sharing, Jayne. I will be thinking of you especially on Mother's Day.

jayne said...

Thank you all very very much.

Irene Johnston said...

Just wanted to write and tell you that I feel your pain as I also had very abusive parents, both physically and mentally. After many years of therapy and a lot of time in psych. wards I, like you, have learned to live with the pain from the past while enjoying my present with all its wonders, especially my knitting, grandchildren,etc. Thanks for sharing, I'm sure that you have helped many others who are still unable to express their feelings because of the stigma that society has placed on people with emotional problems. I also wanted to direct you to a blogger in Australia "Popolina" who has written about her struggle in coming to terms with her mother's suicide. I don't have the link but I'm certain that you can google her name and it will direct you to her website. Wishing you peace and joy ..Irene in Wpg. Mb. email me if you wish at -

g-girl said...

you know what? I have to say that it sounds as if you are doing an awesome job of working through what has happened in your life. You've come a long way and like everyone else has said--if you want to laugh and cry @ the same time, you go right ahead. btw--it's millsgrad from etsy. :) in case you were wondering! I'll be thinking of you on Mother's Day too. And like, you, I'm a firm believer in whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

benne said...


I'm emailing you.

Trish - My Merino Mantra said...

Oh, Dear Jayne, I have been through things like that, where it took me years to allow the bad anniversary date to pass without a glancing thought. I'm e-mailing you, too.