I was expecting it to be a great year, 2017…
I lost my best friend, Edison: the little Yorkie dog I had since he was 3 months old, and his birthday was coming up of 12 yrs. on April 26, 2017. I haven’t had one day’s peace without remembering him and shedding a few tears, with a breaking heart. I miss him that much.
So, yesterday was his birthday, and it’s April 27th, and I am lost in thoughts as to why I am taking this so hard. It occurred to me, I would not have taken this contemplation as far as I am now, were it not for the fact that I’ve lost my best friend, my substitute love, my child, my son, my baby, and my pet, all in one fell swoop, and now I think I know.
It’s not secret I’ve had a tough life. Many people think tough lives are being in gangs, taking drugs, being considered handicapped, and those are all true. But no one really thinks of a neglected and abused child, who’s grown up to be a super-sensitive, neurotic, suicidal and terribly lonely woman, while on the outside being comical, friendly, being liked, and appearing extrovert, only a little flaky, that’s all…
I know most people don’t tell anyone their secrets, but believe me: everyone has secrets they don’t like to share, much less think about. The people that have been neglected or abused are the most secretive, because they somehow seem to have come out of the worst of it—childhood. Yet, people wonder why these kinds of people never seem to be able to confront issues, they never seem to be able to achieve the directions toward success they wanted, they never seem to be able to keep friends, for lack of trust. In short: they are truly the most to be pitied. Even if one is handicapped, if they have parents that took care of them, showing their love and concern, then that person is better off than those quirky people whose parents were too busy being in their own dramas not to notice their children being abused by someone, or neglected by them. The worst and most sad, is that these neurotic people end up raising their own children the same way, especially if they are either in a bad marriage (brought about by lack of good role modeling), or in a single parent situation. The pre-claim I just made is not necessarily so about all parents. There are single parents that know how to love their children, but just could not stay in their marriage. And of course, there are all sorts of exceptions to the rules of life, including those children that were abused or neglected, and defied the odds by making it through life extremely successful–don’t ask me how they did it, I am not one of them.
I had an epiphany today. I think because I am embarking on a great change within, and it is becoming more evident to me as I am moving through life’s offerings, that I had this epiphany. This epiphany I have had, is both trivial and substantial, that it is enhancing my thoughts, emotions, and intellect.
It all began with the last couple of arguments I had with my husband, whom I was sure no longer loved me, but was simply in denial. He had no more affection for me, nor did he seem to enjoy my thoughts or motives for what I usually say or do. I accused him of having an affair so many times, it’s embarrassing to me at this point. Yet, something was lacking terribly in our marriage: it seemed the romance had gone out of it, and there was no other similar interests.
So, because of this, I had been analyzing myself very deeply. I had been observing everything I would say, everything I would do, and in my mind I asked: why did you say that? or why did you do that? or do you think maybe what you just said (or did) might be the reason for that kind of response he gave you?
In educational terms its a part of the strategies we teach students to activate: metacognitive strategies, hence, the journal, narratives about oneself… etc.
Anyway, then I went about on a discussion of the matter, to myself, of course. So this epiphany, let me get back to that. I have long put away the aspiration to leave, as I am much too old now. And for a while there, I was becoming despondent, and felt like I would not live very much longer.
But curiously, I seemed to be falling into love with my husband more and more (but I will come to that in a bit; there is a reason for it, I am quite sure now).
About my husband’s and my issues, is not this conversation, but the epiphany that was brought about due to my distress, is. If I may make an aside here, distress or desperation sometimes are the godsend for an epiphany, that will actually help get you out of a rut. And so it was for me, though it may sometimes be very painful, I became elevated by the epiphany, which made it all worth the pain.
Henceforth, I began to wonder about our relationship, especially wondering if all relationships go through a period, after having been married for so long, that the spouses just stop loving each other, or just love differently. They still feel the lustful feelings occasionally, (mostly from seeing other people who are desirable to look at). But they have been through so much together, that they feel bonded beyond the norm, such as a friendship, or a parent. Marriage has its own bonding type, and it is very strong–by the longer spouses are married, and by the more obstacles over which they have succeeded.
But what really made me think about all this, is the fact that, many people I know who have been married for many years, fall into one of two categories: one, they live separate lives, in which case one may thrive, the other may die, or they may both thrive, having other interests–including affairs; or they may both be miserable and die younger. Two, they may be separate for a long while, having many things happen to each in their own sphere, similarly to camp one (affairs, ills, etc.), but then, they come to value each other more deeply and become very close whether they are romantically involved or not, and remain together for the rest of their lives. I have been told many times that I am very observant; I thank my observatory persona for this assessment.
I believe my husband and I are from the second camp. All the separate experiences we’ve had, has created in us a higher appreciation for each other, even if I do make stupid accusations; he’s made them with me also. But bottom line, we are seemingly coming back together and closer than the past.
My heart goes out to those who are in camp one… as I thought I was in that one, and may have very well remained there, were it not for this epiphany. I have met so many who have been in that group. Most of the times, the women die off young: sad, depressed, emotionally vacant, then ill, then death. Or if it is the man, it would be because the woman has found herself having been left to herself, and has evolved as an independent, having a wonderful time with others, and now it is he who is left out: sad, depressed, emotionally vacant, then ill, then death.
I was heading that way, when this epiphany came. Now I am learning to cope with our differences, making ways for me to find other interests aside from venturing out and doing stupid things, like affairs and such.
I have come to accept those things I used to complain about, in my husband. He is who he is, and I have come to respect who he is, AS he is. Where I complained of his weaknesses, I have learned to strengthen my own in those areas, so that I can keep myself company in such areas. His strong points are still strong points, and so I am able to focus on those points, which makes me look at him more positively. In that small change, I have begun to love him more, and this has changed me for the better: I am less sad and depressed, I am becoming emotionally independent, I am less ill, and I feel I may just live a long time, after all. Thanks to mind blowing epiphanies. I hope to have more, about which to write.
Much of my life’s progress has been delayed due to my strict adherence to rules, whether I understood them or not, and the sacred obedience to authority–ANY authority, meaning: anyone who knew something I did not!
What was more disturbing is that I found out there are more aged people like me, than I ever imagined!
I listened to those who were more astute than I, or at least seemingly so, for the credentials we were taught to revere; those who had seniority, and of course, those who held more power than I. What I found was that most of them that counseled me, did so without truly considering my personality, my character, my frailties and my strengths, when they advised me.
If one looks at historical documents of my education and credentials, it is an absolute document, however, the person assessing my credentials is not absolute, but subjective to their own views of such credentials. They advised me from their own perspective, saying they believed I needed more of this or that, or various other types of classes or credentials, because they would note: “educational rhetoric is continually changing, etc.,” and therefore, they would set me always behind my goals and the time at which I thought I would be ready to teach.
So their advice was not a good fit most of the time, but they were my ‘authorities.’
We could compare it to a person who has had a suit tailored exactly to their bodice, and then someone comes a long in the clothing industry and says, “You should really be wearing a seersucker suit, which is more acceptable to the times–here: you must wear this one.”
But what if the seersucker suit to which they are addressing, fits awkward upon one’s body, and is not conducive to the body at all? This is my argument with “credentials” that are non-specific to the general educational practice, rather than the person’s use of it, or the person’s personality and character skills, in spite of it.
The reason for this rigid assessment, I believe, is that they do not care about the person on any personal level, but they simply want to gain revenue for the schools to pay for professorial and administrative paychecks that are furnished from governmental entities. Meantime, the jobs go to their friends, colleagues, family members, and so forth. So when I am unable to pay loans, they simply get new blood to go to college, with the threat of shortages in each field, so that students believe they will be hired by the time they get out of college. Instead, a number of them will be like me: unable to pay for student loans, being hounded by the student loan lenders, making us ill, and finally having us become criminal to their view, because we begin to disappear.
Let me return to my personal dilemma. I spent too much time tailoring my education to others’ assessment of the general market, rather than my personal life, so that by the time I was finished with my master’s program, no one hired me because I was too old. Further, do not let the law convince you otherwise.
The law regarding discrimination has been created mainly to cover those who do discriminate. They can say they do not discriminate, by handing out the documents that say they are not discriminating, yet they do discriminate. It is a ruse of the worse kind. Most people worry about race, creed, gender or disability.
What is the point of all this discussion? The most discriminated against are the aged. They do not hire them because they are slower, less strong, and do not jump as high as someone younger, without needing a bit of time to process mentally the instruction given to them. On the contrary, many older persons have wisdom of experience, and could benefit younger people, but youth hate being told something they think they know more about by virtue of their credentials!
If there really was no discrimination against older aged people, there would be an appendage to the law of discrimination, which would read that when an aged person is hired, employers will need to allow for their differences (such as a disabled individual) and make accommodations for them in that way.
Thus, the story ends that I am saddled with the grand educational total of loans, of $150,000, and growing, for the interest rates applied are not stationary. Why would those types of interest rates even be imposed on students of any kind, I do not understand! My loans started out being about $90,000. Interest allowed from the government, on student education loans, caused those loans to increase.
I can in no way pay them back by the time I die, as I am unemployed, and by now–from the harrassment of the multiple daily phone calls I have received for all these years by the lender, (Navient, in this case) I am gradually becoming more and more disabled with Arthritis, Stress, Fybromialgia (excessive nerve pain and inflammation), and various maladies that are known to be caused by acute stress. It is comparable to PTSD. If only the interest STOPPED, and I would be able to pay what I could (my Social Security check is $500.00 per month) I might at least feel contributive to my situation. I have received notice that I must pay two loans that add to over $2000.00 per month. That would make anyone sick!
What I’d like to do is sue the education department for false representation, having been told that teachers are needed, but never hiring me in interviews due to excessive interviewees! It was advertising on television from school like University of Phoenix, and others similar, that created a hoopla about not having enough teachers to hire, because even after I acquired my master’s and credential for teaching, after over 200+ job applications to unified school districts and colleges, I was never hired. Specifically for colleges I was told I need yet MORE credentials to tie to my general education master’s degree.
What a fabricated ruse of a corporate business we’ve conjured. I say corporate because most corporations are owners of the schools, colleges, well…. just about everything.
I want to see changes made to the law of regarding the discrimination against aged people, to allow them to work, but to allow their differences to be accommodations as is the disabled. They cannot be held to the same standards as young and physically youthful people, because they are not the same.
Otherwise, if the aged are slower than a young person, they will simply write them up and tell them they cannot “keep up” with the others… of COURSE they can’t! Their bodies and minds are heavily laden with years of activity, and while they still need and WANT to be active, our country needs to help them remain intact, by giving them jobs, and expecting those jobs to be less fruitful, but rewarding in t he long run, to our entire country.
I suppose this whole post may seem embittered but that is not the intent. The intent is for people to consider and make a concerted effort to hire aged people, but make accommodations for their “differences.”
The idea that I am touting here, is not in the law, but it should be. I would like to work to make it so. Most older people do not WANT to simply die because they are old; they want to be useful until they die naturally. Why not let them? They may have a wealth of wisdom to impart to the younger generations. As a country I think our greatest weakness is that we have no respect for the elderly. By respect, I don’t mean to tilt your hat when they walk by, but allow them the same involvement in the work force, if that is what they want, or to be home, if that is what they want, but to just give them such respect that you trust them to make the right decisions toward their ends.
It is interesting to me how so many people write, whether in private, never sharing their writings, or publicly, not to publish but just to tell out loud how one feels about certain things in their lives. What is it about the act of writing? More to the point, what is it about the act of poetry? Poetry is trying to describe emotions, events, things that have affected either you or me or someone we know, and putting the emotional response in a format that is pleasant to the eye and heart. Thus, we might say that Poetry is a writing of the heart, or that Poetry has a heart.
Many people see my poems as though I am a depressed person, writing about misery. I am a reality poet writing about reality for the population of our world that many call: the have-nots. It’s unfortunate that we do not have a balance in the world, and if I say so, I will be accused of advocating communism. Nothing is further from the truth. Communism, human style, is no better than Capitalism, Socialism, Nativism, Futalism, Anarchism, any-ism one chooses. Once an -ism takes power it always becomes lop-sided anyway: those that have and those that have not. Because not everyone on the playing field has the rules, and if the rules ARE available, it may not be in the layman’s language–well, we must remember: we all have a way of communicating, and it is not the same for everyone.
So. Bear with me, and open your heart to what I write, it will be good for us all… it especially heals my own wounded soul. Yes, I have a wounded soul, and I believe everyone does too, for if we really delve into it, we will find some hurts here and there, in some past even, or by someone who was careless with our hearts. It does not mean we give up or die physically or instantly, but we all die a little inside when something goes wrong, and some of those things leave scars. EVERYONE has little wounds and scars in their souls, truth be told. If I were to advocate anything it might be a form of Communism, but nothing like that of human making.
Anyway, not meaning to get off on another direction and subject in this posting. it’s the poetry I wanted to talk about. Poetry is a language of emotions, don’t let anyone tell you it is not; it is. And when you read it, it does not necessarily have to make sense for you to feel emotion about it. You are meant to feel the heart of Poetry, not the mind of it… but the Heart.
Robert Frost, Poet Lareate
Today, a Face book friend of mine named T. R Bell, posted something that ignited a great big question that has been in my brain for a very long time. Let me explain what she posted. Here is the post:
T. R. BELL’S QUESTION:
“If it were possible to gather all your Facebook friends in a bar, who would you gravitate to first?” Sounds like an innocent, simple enough question. Here was my answer:
“Definitely, my son first (he’s a bartender!). Then my other son, (I just want him there!). Then, Jim (my bodyguard and husband, haha!). And Finally, EVERYONE else on my list of 2,264 friends… I want to meet them ALL!!!
Oh! And especially all the writers: I want them at my table, “Reserved for WRITERS” so we can brainstorm about our Art.”
Simple enough interaction. Why is this exchange so valuable you ask? Because it made me realize something about myself. First, note: she did not ask me who I would want to have come to the bar and interact with me, but who I would gravitate to first. In my mind, I imagined all these people strolling into a bar, never even registering the last part of the sentence, “who would you gravitate to first?” I was too busy getting excited about all the 2,266 friends I have on Face book, coming to hang out with me!
(Frankly, I would probably freak out if I really had people wanting to hang out with ME!)
As I read other answers, and thought about them, it struck me. I never consider myself as gravitating from one to another, because for me, I saw the whole experience as a pleasure of being inside of the whole group at the same time, with everyone mingling, chatting, laughing, etc. all at the same time, with me, and with each other! This made me feel a part of everyone else.
When the imagery of that moment ran through my head I sighed. I saw it clearly: I am so terribly lonely that I want to just be surrounded by lots of people that know my name and I know them right back!
But it isn’t enough to want to be in a place and hear the song where everybody knows your name chanted. I realized that the biggest problem in my life has always been that I am lonely even if I DID have people all around me that knew me and I knew them. The reality is that I have been suffering acutely with the idea of being alone deep inside me, for all my life.
Since I have always been a curious nature since a child as well, I look at everything in a clinical way, too. Thus, I needed to explore that reality due to the fact that it hit me as an epiphany.
I realized that I am an acutely lonely personality and have been all my life since I was a child. I felt different than my siblings. They all could get along in the world fine, or at least it seemed, since each of them managed a consistent career. I was the only one that floundered around throughout my life, and found myself being led by others into different pursuits, and I never actually took a decisive action for my own life’s direction. I was the only one that pursued education in my family to a much higher level, all the while, taking orders, following everyone else in their own endeavors, doing paper work that achieved a certain steady flow of grading, and acquiring a certain level of approval in the form of grades and awards. All the while I was seeking after acceptance and approval—which is what I lacked all my life—I was also racking up terrible school loans and never worried that it would come back on me, for I was sure I would be accepted immediately into the teaching field. After over 200 applications and a few interviews, I became disillusioned…and job-less.
I then began to wonder why I had such a deep sense of loneliness. Sure, everyone may say they are lonely or feel lonely once in awhile. But I realized that this loneliness I felt was a perpetual feeling I had been saddled with for my entire life, it did not matter how many degrees I acquired, nor how many awards, group memberships, or people surrounding me in a bar; I always felt that terrible loneliness, and I am positive there are others like me who have either realized this and don’t know what to do about it, or they have not realized the gravity of this concept. I began going over as many memories as I could muster, to gather evidence and to make an assessment and create a question that would take me into a journey in the discovery of my own true loneliness.
Is there a set of components that can trigger or allay such a perpetual emotional limitation? And if so, can it be recognized and changed in time?
I have come up with memories that makes me see the kind of child I was. During my youth, I was told in school that I was an exceptional little girl, brighter than the average child. In those days, there were no gifted programs or 2e programs, or learning handicap examinations; at least, not in my school. It was only a counselor that tell parents “better do something with this child.” If parents did nothing, the child’s talents were never discovered, and if parents knew not how to deal with such a matter, the child gravitated to cultural cues, in my case: what was expected of a girl in the poor economic community in the early 60s; I got married and had babies.
I graduated at the age of 16. In high school my counselor warned my mother that I was highly intelligent, but did not seem motivated, nor did I apply myself to anything. The only thing I did apply myself to, was drawing, acting out, and singing. Everything else was met by my clowning.
I was depressed even back in my childhood, as I could remember looking out the window crying, and waiting for some thing or one to come and get me. How odd. It seemed I was waiting for someone like me to make me feel less alone. I never found that person, because that person was ME. The ME I should have been. After failed marriages, I can truly say, my loneliness is most likely irreparable. The only thing necessary is to accept it, understand it, and write about it, which is what I am doing. I am hoping to help younger others like me, find that someone who is like them, in themselves.
I have come to the conclusion that psychological researchers today have begun searching the answer to my situation. I think it has become noted due to so many suicides in our culture and country.
I believe it has to do with my being a Hyper-Sensitive Personality (Dr. Elaine N. Aron, The Highly Sensitive Person. (1996, 1998).), and I have needed much more support as a child than most. But, my senses were stunted and took me a long time to grow up emotionally, for the reason of being fairly neglected, since no one really ever tried finding out what was going on inside me; I had five siblings, and I was the youngest.
Now that I have realized how HSP affects everything in my life relationships, I am slowly reaching the level of assertion to process and utilize what needs I may discover for growth and health. This should have happened a long time ago, of course. But if it did not, it stunts one’s ability to FEEL the love of others later on in life, and creates a perpetual need of love and affection. Don’t worry, it all sounds like mumbo-jumbo, but I’m writing about it. I THINK it has to do with touch, attention, authentic interaction as children, but not only physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. If a child is not given the proper stimulation from parents, that child will ALWAYS feel lonely no matter the environment throughout life. The trick is to recognize it, and create the prosthetic to not only survive but thrive in spite of it. I hope to change that loneliness feeling for many lonely people through my writing, and I hope to spur medical and psychological research further in regards to this topic of HSP (Hyper-Sensitive Personality).
I become anxious thinking about large concepts if I do not separate them into bits or pieces of the whole. So it is with years.
Many people talk about their resolution (s) for the year, I cannot do that. If I do, I will exacerbate my breathing each day, as I will view each day as a failure to the whole of the year because if I fail one day, it is to a larger goal–the entire year! Therefore, I must take little slices of a concept, such as the need to decide how I will keep a consistent routine on things. Lets take a few of them.
Exercise. My greatest fault here is that I am inconsistent. If I take a calendar (and I did buy a beautiful desk calendar just for this purpose), I will have to fill in a time for each day I decide to exercise, how long, and in which way. So, I know that I have a tendency to gain weight easily because I sit writing all day. I also love to eat. Thus, the combination creates fat. Therefore, I must write in my calendar: 9am, until 9:45 am, of exercise M-Friday. The routine: quick step walk for 15 minutes, jumping jacks for 5 minutes, and then leg lifts for 5 minutes, then running in place for 10 minutes. Then rotate sit-ups, lunges, and squats for 10 minutes on different days. THAT is a carefully planned exercise plan. But I cannot say I will do it for the entire year. If I miss even one day, I will feel completely inadequate regarding such a large goal. A weekly goal is much more palatable. If I fail within the 5 days, I have a chance to readjust the time, and the quality of exercise, all the while not being consumed with 365 days of potential failure. Mind game, I know, but I am the only one playing, so it’s permissible.
I have grocery shopping, and I hate to do it. I never notice a problem with having no toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, etc., until it’s completely gone! Therefore, I must plan the one day per month in which I acquire the necessities, apart from the weekly food items. That means in one of the weeks within the month I will be going to the market or store(s) in a week, with two shopping lists, but the other weeks only one. I simply post in my calendar the best day for such an excursion, say: Thursdays each week, but for the monthly necessities, I buy them also on the last Thursday of the month.
Calling clients should always be marked on a calendar. Not because I won’t remember, though I won’t. But because I must make a note of when it was, and what the conversation was about, and mark a note as to anything I have to do to carry the next conversation with them further. Also, I can assess what it is I am doing well with my clients, and what it is I am doing poorly, by the notes on conversation pieces.
These things seem trivial, and many may say: “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff,” good advice from the famous author and guru of the book so titled, the author Richard Carlson, Ph.D. However, one may be OVER simplifying Dr. Carlson’s meaning. It is true we should not panic and get overwhelmed by small things such as I have mentioned above. But it is not true we should ignore careful planning such as above-mentioned, because when we are over extended in some way or some day, or if some thing comes up that delays our plans and kick us off balance, we have already done “the small stuff,” while in the comfort of our own scheduled plans in our calendar, and during the unbothered period of time, that we never do get into a sweating position with the small stuff, as the big things run smoothly because the little things have already been accounted for and are planned carefully and executed automatically then.
So I have decided, and perhaps one may call this my New Year’s resolution, to keep a calendar filled for the first week each week, and be consistently keeping each week planned in advance. I will let you know how it turns out next week. Cheers!