Will I ever make it home....
Monday, August 28, 2006
Grudges
I think there is a lot of internal work that I need to start. I wish I could rewire myself sometimes, and sort of start off new. But it's hard to. I don't know where to start. I am one of those people that forgives easily, but believe me I will never forget. Once someone crosses me the wrong way, my defenses will be up permanently. It is the one aspect of my personality that really bothers me. I mean sure I have many others. But they all sort of tie in to this one. This is the after effect of those emotions. I do put up my defense in new situations. I am terribly sarcastic, and even rude at times. Why? Because I don't want to get hurt. It's sort of a veil I hide behind, as I walk down the aisle of life. I hide behind that. I am scared and wounded. I don't want to be seen for who I am. I am sensitive and emotional. I am also honest. It is my greatest strenght and weakness. I can't just "get over" things. I have never been able to. And I am ashamed to admit it. I know I am not perfect, and I know I should damn well try to be. But it's hard to feel so damaged. I am jealous without reason, I get angry over the smallest thing, and I am passive aggressive. I don't want to be these things. It's not a healthy environment for a child to thrive, much less love. I doubt myself a lot these days. I am insecure. I need reassurance from those around me that even though I may be a tyrant with my words, that I am still capable of being lovable. And that they wont abandon me once I let them down. After all, I am human. I fall, I get dirty. I crash to the earth, and bleed like everyone else.

With the availability of myspace now, well it makes it easy to keep in touch with people I haven't talked to or seen in years. Even the ones that I never have forgiven for past misdoings. For example, this girl (let's nickname her Blonde Girl, or BG for short), found me. We used to be inseparable. We would hang out and my family loved her. It was cool. We were complete opposites. But together we began to rule my high school. We were a team. And with that came certain privledges. I know, this sounds like the plot to a stupid teen movie, but hold on...okay?

So, in the escense of the movie Thirteen I was her Tracy to my Evie. She was the bad girl, and I the good girl. I had never done drugs, had sex and so on. She exposed me to so many things. But I wont go into great detail about it.

A couple months go by. I see us being divided, slowly. Mechanically. All I will say is we fell out of touch. She really hurt me. And misused my trust. Well, she found me on myspace. And now she wont leave me alone. It's not that I still harbor bad feelings, but I feel like I can't trust her if she has screwed be before. I told her that I was still upset with her, she said she was sorry. But somehow, I find it hard to believe. I know I am not perfect and that I too have hurt people along my path. But I wont ask for forgiveness unless I truly know that I am sorry. I am not sorry for a lot of things, and maybe I am just immature, but I'll apologize when I am ready and truthful about it.

I have learned a lot in the past couple years about people who misuse your trust. I have learned that I used to retrust so easily and just look like a bigger fool in the end. So, I have used these instances as examples for everyone. I sort of have a throw away policy. If you screw me over once, I throw you away. It may not be right, but it's the truth. I have been hurt too many times to be wasting my time any longer with people who are just out to use me. I am honest. It's not like I don't let people know of this policy. I don't have the patience to keep forgiving and to keep letting things slide.

Yes, I am a keeper of a grudge. I just....well, I am ashamed to admit it. But you know what, I guess the first step to recovery would be acceptance. I am recognizing the fact that I have a problem and that I want to work on it. I wish I wasn't so cynical. I wish I was more forgetful and mindful that I am not the first person in history to have had my heart broken, or been hurt by someone's words or actions. And in all actuallity, I guess I don't want my son to be so unforgiving like I am. I am setting a bad example for him. I am not being a good catholic as my family would say. I mean he is still learning about himself and how to conduct himself. I don't want him to think that holding a grudge is an acceptable form of behavior. I don't want him to get trampled on and become cynical as I have.

So, how does one get past indiscretions, or past hurts? How can I help myself past being navie but not all the way to cynicism? How can I get to that place of utimate forgiveness, or of patience with mistakes that people make? I want to be different. But would that alter who I am so used to being? I want to be a better person. For my son, for Randy, for my family, but most importantly for myself. I don't mean to keep rambling, but I feel so lost. So confused about which path is the one to take. So wish me luck.

Because I think I will try to put down my grudge. And I will try to be friends with BG and with the other whore who screwed me over.

Again.
posted by The Devil @ 8:45 AM   0 comments
Monday, August 21, 2006
For Sale by Owner
My latest entry for the S project. Link in "The Ones I Adore" section. Criticism welcome....Except for the bad kind...lol....

When they had planned on moving, they hadn't expected to fall for a house so out of repair and broken that it was looked at as a waste of money and time from their close friends. But the house had a magnetic force that drew them in. It was a rainy day in October when they drove by an old country road. Vast expanses of fields surounded the little house and the trees in the yard were over a 100 years old.

They drove in to the drive way in order to turn around when she looked towards the abandoned house with a gleam in her eyes. It looked like a haunted house out of a cheap movie, but something drew her in. She whispered to her husband to wait, as she immediately stepped out of the car. She slowly walked up the withered path to the front porch. The rain seemed to dance around her figure, and her husband watched perplexed from the car. After hesitating for what seemed like hours, he stepped out of the car into the light drizzle and stood aback in the sheer ugliness of the house. He could have sworn he felt a whisper near his ear, so he rapidly caught up to his wife. They stood in sheer amazement in the disrepair of the wilted porch.

The quaintness and monstrosity of the house sucked them in. In one of the dusty windows was a sagging "For Sale by Owner" sign. It was faded and dirty, but she jumped in delight when her eyes fell on the omninous sign. He looked at her and rolled his eyes. As he quickly reminded her that there were still two houses their realtor wanted them to see just up the road, he realized she wasn't budging until she saw every nook and crany in the house. Mold was winning the war on the wood, trash was littered about the roof, and an old shack sat askew from the house.

But he didn't see that, for a flashing moment he saw the house in a different time. The gleaming fresh white paint on the house, the navy blue borders, the beautiful wood porch with a rocking chair, the young sapling growing in the midst of the softest green grass, the forget-me-nots, roses and morning glories rocking gently in the breeze. He smelled the fresh cut wood, the aromatic scent of the small garden and the disticnt tinge of fresh apple pie floating from the open and immaculately clean window sill. He thought he heard giggling inside of the kitchen. All this happened in a second. He blinked and it was back to the old rundown house. She had started to walk towards the porch, and rose upon each step gingerly. Her hand reached out for the doorhandle, when he finally spoke.

"Are you crazy?! What are you doing? This isn't our house, you can't just waltz in!" He shouted from the overgrown walkway.

She jumped startled at the sound of his booming voice, and her weight crushed the decayed porch to the ground. She shrieked and he ran towards her. Disturbed ants and beetles crawled out from around the hole. And they both crashed agaisn't the open door into the foyer. Even though the outside of the house had a haunted appeal, the inside was almost new looking. Rich mahogany wood panels stretched up halfway up the walls. The walls were a mint green, so pale and innocent appearing, that it reminded them both of Easter. The colors contrasted drastically but made such a wonderful impact on their eyes that she started giggling and he couldn't help but smile. As he rose to his feet and dusted off the ancient dirt, he noticed she had already began treking troughout the house. She found herself in the kitchen. It was evident that it hadn't been used since the early 40s, as the vintage kitchen was cluttered with empty boxes. All the appliances were severly outdated. The cabinets and counters were reminiscent of a dinner.

She stood behind the island in the kitchen, and struck a pose. "Could you imagine us living here? Wouldn't it be great?!", She giggled. He could almost see an apron on her small waist, a Rita Hayworth hairstyle, pearls on her neck, and vampy red lips. His smug grin turned into a wide smile. She was walking towards him.

He stood there looking around the kitchen and dinning room. The floor was the same rich mahogany wood as the entrance, and it had been perserved well under the dust. Spider webs hung low from the bright corners, and you could see a lost bettle strutting accross the floor.

"It's a lot of work, but I think it would be great. Almost as if we built it ourselves. And you know you wanted to build a house. Please? Pretty please with a cherry on top, dear???" She murmured as she scooted into his chest. "We could make it so beautiful. And then when we have our kids we would have all this room outside....", she continued to whisper into his chest. He looked around and shook his head gently. He wasn't convinced. But he knew she was extremely stubborn and that is why he struggled not to groan at the idea of having to fix the place up just so she would be happy. She looked up at him, questioning him with her eyes.

*******
As the years pass, and Ican't help but think of how my mom must have been at 22. Just married to a wealthy family, with a handsome husband. How beautiful, how delighted she must have been when she first saw this house. I remember her telling us about how she saved this house, just for us. Saved it! She isn't doing too well now, seems this cancer thing the docs talk about it spreading to places they can't get to nowadays. Most days she stays locked up in the master bedroom. I have heard her cry out that this wasn't done or she never got to finish this on the house. Dad passed on 10 years ago, and it's been rough. It's just me and Maryangelina to try our best. And we try to keep up with everything mom wanted to do to the house. Her greatest fear is to let it fall into the disrepair she found it in. And like the good girls we are, I promised her I would care for it, just like she did.
posted by The Devil @ 11:25 AM   2 comments
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Where'd she go?
This is another entry for The S Project. It is partly FICTIONAL.......


"Hello, dear" I said. I always pronounced hello differently. Maybe it was the over emphazising on the hell part that made people's eyes dart nervously around. I stuck out my hand towards her. She flinched slightly, but took my hand and shook it lightly. Her eyes watched our hands meet, and she gave me a fake smile. It didn't even touch her eyes or cheeks. The muscles stretched up like curtains at a show. The eyes were timid, scared.

"Follow me this way, hun" I said. I tried to use a gentler voice. But I had a more direct approach when it came to talking to them. Who is them? You'll find out in good time, dear. Just wait. So, she begins to follow me down the halls turning and winding down to my small office. I gestured towards the chairs. "You can sit wherever you like," I said in a syrupy voice. Hmm, maybe too sweet, for she eyes flinched and she stared at me like a deer caught in the headlights. I smiled as she took a step forward looked around and started to remove her jacket. She put her file down on the table next to her, and was desperately trying to look around. She was looking for something of comfort. I cleared my throat and was about to commence my usual drawn out speech of ethics.

"Uhm, I don't know why I came here... I just feel so....so...sad. And it's so hard to like-hmm...to go on...and I don't know..." She exasperatedly blurted. I could see the weight being lifted off of her shoulders as she said it. She smiled once again in a neurotic manner. Her eyes darted this way and that. She once again scanned the room for comfort.

I introduced myself, we exchanged nuisances about weather, politics, religion. You have to build a trusting space for the patients we saw. They all range in severity! But eventually, I got her to warm up to me. I continued to question and prod. Jotted small notes in my file. I watched her responses to my questions, and her mannerisms. She was neurotic, depressed, and from the sound of our talks suffering from body issues. The way she knotted and tangled her hands, the way she couldn't make eye contact. Or the way she bit her lips, nervously. She shook her leg constantly. I didn't want to push too far, so I stayed in what I call a "Safe Zone".

The first few encounters were simple enough, we talked lightly for a half hour twice a week. She began to open up. Flourish. I could see the tears start, but her composure was shut off. She was trapped inside of herself and she wanted out. But something....always held her back. Eventually she began to trust me. We began to talk about her current life. How it made her feel. How she was coping with all that had been "dumped", as she put it, on her. The tears would flow freely now. She was angry, repressed, and depressed about her situation. She felt her station in life was making her feel miniscule. She spoke about her mother. By then it was an hour a day once a week.

It was a brisk morning and she came in for our weekly appointment. We had worked on her depression, things were looking less bleak for her. I had began to monitor her food intake, and had her see a nutritionist. I hadn't heard much about her family, much less her mother, but today something had set her off. She came in sat down quickly and began. The story was long, but informative. She thought it might be the root of the "problem" as she referred to her mental state.

"I always thought it was me...You know that I was somehow broken, or undone. Or hmm-whatever you want to call it. Like something was missing, but I think it was her all along. Like....as though it were....Oh, I don't know...what am I trying to say....It came to me last night...and it was like...click....there's your answer," She said excitedly. By this point in time her smiles were genuine, I had become accustomed to her inflections of her voice. She was honest, and had a sense of humor most would not understand. She went on trying to describe this so called epiphany about her mother. And I was waiting patiently for her to sort out her thoughts. Her progress was very quick, and she was doing much better now. She had begun to gain weight, and sleep better.

"...I guess....you know all the stuff she said all along, wasn't true. Like she can't unblur the line between reality and her lies. I guess she was just born that way....Or is it like....a learned attribute...is it....You know, like she was so unhappy with herself she had to do all those things to me....and be how she was to me...Because she was just wired that way," She stammered quickly. Her hands opened and closed and she gestured what she was trying to say with her body language. It was almost inconcivable that this was the same person that had walked in here so grimly four months before!

She hasn't come in for some time now. I saw her for a couple months after her grande epiphany. She had learned how to deal with her emotions on a smaller scale. I wonder, if she thinks about coming in, but hesitates. I haven't seen her in about 6 months. She had relayed information about finding someone she thought she was in love with. I guess they are happy since she hasn't come in here with a crushed heart. I am glad that her life is going better. I almost wish she would come in to let me know she is better.

We all have emotional glitches. We all experience bad times, bad things, and bad relationships. And we all need someone to lend us a helping hand when life becomes too much to bear. We all go through this life without instructions. It always is reassuring to know someone is willing to listen.

If only I had access to her mother. I would love to see if she really was born that way.
posted by The Devil @ 10:38 AM   1 comments
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Anna Quindlen's Commencement Address at Villanova
The following is from Pulitzer Prize winning author Anna Quindlen's commencement address to Villanova University, Friday 23 June 2000:


It's a great honor for me to be the third member of my family to receive an honorary doctorate from this great university. It's an honor to follow my great-uncle Jim, who was a gifted physician, and my Uncle Jack, who is a remarkable businessman. Both of them could have told you something important about their professions, about medicine or commerce.

I have no specialized field of interest or expertise, which puts me at a disadvantage, talking to you today. I'm a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first.

Don't ever forget what a friend once wrote Senator Paul Tsongas when the senator decided not to run for reelection because he'd been diagnosed with cancer: "No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time in the office." Don't ever forget the words my father sent me on a postcard last year: "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat." Or what John Lennon wrote before he was gunned down in the driveway of the Dakota: "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

You walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your minds, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've gotten back the test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe. I show up. I listen, I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout. But call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.

I would be rotten, or at best mediocre at my job, if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are.
So here is what I wanted to tell you today:

Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a cheerio with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad. Get a life in which you are generous.

Look around at the azaleas in the suburban neighborhood where you grew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night.

And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Once in a while take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister.

All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives: our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of the azaleas, the sheen of the limestone on Fifth Avenue, the color of our kid's eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of live. I learned to live many years ago.

Something really, really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had my druthers, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, seems to be the hardest lesson of all. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and to try to give some of it back because I believed in it completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this:

Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness because if you do you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.

Well, you can learn all those things, out there, if you get a life, a full life, a professional life, yes, but another life, too, a life of love and laughs and a connection to other human beings. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Here you could learn in the classroom. There the classroom is everywhere. The exam comes at the very end. No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office. I found one of my best teachers on the boardwalk at Coney Island maybe 15 years ago. It was December, and I was doing a story about how the homeless survive in the winter months.

He and I sat on the edge of the wooden supports, dangling our feet over the side, and he told me about his schedule; panhandling the boulevard when the summer crowds were gone, sleeping in a church when the temperature went below freezing, hiding from the police amidst the Tilt a Whirl and the Cyclone and some of the other seasonal rides. But he told me that most of the time he stayed on the boardwalk, facing the water, just the way we were sitting now even when it got cold and he had to wear his newspapers after he read them.

And I asked him why. Why didn't he go to one of the shelters? Why didn't he check himself into the hospital for detox? And he just stared out at the ocean and said, "Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view."

And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view. And that's the last thing I have to tell you today, words of wisdom from a man with not a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be. Look at the view. You'll never be disappointed.
posted by The Devil @ 8:37 AM   0 comments
About Me

Name: The Devil
Home: Somewhere in, Texas, United States
About Me: I'm a young mom, who stresses out far too much.
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"Before you do anything, think. If you do something to try and impress someone, to be loved, accepted or even to get someone's attention, stop and think. So many people are busy trying to create an image, they die in the process."-Salma Hayek

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