Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the tag “fears”

Catharsis

I haven’t posted anything on this blog in what feels like forever. Occasionally I have ideas; after all I’m a writer and that’s what I do. Or I do write something, but by the time I get around to typing it up, I have sort of moved on….?

I have however written quite a lot. I intend to look through it and see if anything still feels relevant enough to share. This is from today, sparked by a video-clip someone shared.

Catharsis

I should be happy
and all the other shoulds in life
is what’s actually ruining lives
The constant pressure to ‘be happy’
or at least put on a happy face
to be acceptable.
We could learn from our ancestors
their stern faces in early photographs
there is nothing wrong with not putting a happy sticker on.

It comes with immense pressure
and invisible fingers pointing out
not happy.
Not being happy
suggests
no implies
you’ve failed
as a person
and at life.
Denying what we feel is perpetuating it
allowing to feel can be the first step towards
feeling better.
When it comes to depression
‘fake it till you make it’
really is the worst piece of ‘advice’ and
one of the cliches I hate indiscriminately
with a passion that’s completely disproportionate tells me
it’s the worst thing I could do to a best friend
-and thereby also to myself.
We were given a range of emotions
all as valid as the others.
The stigma surrounding depression and other related states of being
prevents us from being able to be open about it
perpetuates it
prevents us from seeking and receiving help.
Nobody wants
that label,
and yet it is part of who we are
every last one of us.
Sometimes it takes chemicals to redress the balance
Other times all it takes is to be heard
really listened to.
Think about that all you habitual chatters
who can’t get enough of hearing your own babbling voices.
When was the last time you said
no really, how are you? and meant it.
Allowed the other person to reply with something aside from
Fine thanks.
But don’t push.
They may not want to.
They may not want to be seen as
a undesirable state however temporary.
They may not want you to know
or want any unsolicited advice,
or allow them selves to be that vulnerable
fearing comebacks
in a world so inclined to judge
anyone who isn’t happy
a write-off
a failure.
May be judging themselves
just like I judge me.
I should be happy
I should be grateful
I have no reason to -fill in the blank
Hot on the heels of should is guilt
I’m not grateful enough
I’m a bad ungrateful person
I’m not enough.
I haven’t tried hard enough
because if I had
I’d have got this
done that
been
happy
successful
and I’m not so I clearly have not
must try harder.
And like a punctured balloon
or every spoon
drains out of my being
faster than physics would say is possible
but it is
because it’s letting me know
I’m on the wrong track.
Not that I know what do do with it
in that moment
or the next one
or the next day
the next week
month…
The feeling of letting myself down
judging myself by the lack of outward signs of success
is my hamster wheel.
I know what I want and
I haven’t got a f-kin clue how to get there from here.
I refuse to accept maybe I never will
refuse to lower my standards for myself
setting myself up for more failure
Not allowing myself to recharge and regroup
sufficiently fortified with rest and care
because I’m not worth that
because I have not tried hard enough…
No rest for the one who has nothing to show for it
who has not accomplished enough
for their own liking.
I know what I want damn it
or not.
And I plain refuse to kill myself trying to prove just one thing.

To give up my entire existence for one goal
when I want realize so many more.
Even I recognize the madness in that.
Still I refuse to give up trying
because then I’d be lazy too
another unforgivable trait in my programming.

Sorry for taking your time
I have to go now
and pursue that holy grail once more
the one of joy and happiness.
It’s what I say
when I don’t want you to see how much I am really hurting
being a failure in my own eyes
longing
for what I thought was a given
craving
what I clearly can’t have.
Not in this life, buddy.
Get over it.
Take one for the team, loser.
Who the hell would want you as a friend?
Freak.

But I really am sorry for wasting your time.
I love you.
Remember that.
If you remember nothing else

remember that.

And never tell anyone to ‘smile!”
or ‘fake it till you make it’.
Or I will make it a point to haunt you when I’m gone.
You will not like it.

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Small Victories, 1 December 2015

I’m counting small victories. Being able to sit up for ten minutes. Having a shower unaided. Manage laundry. Still to come are simple things like mop the floor…

This is my first time at my computer in a while. After researching for almost a year, I wrote the first draft of Seeds of Soultraction in a month during October and early November. I’d gone back to editing Andino Andina, then walked to the local market and stocked up on vegetables. It was an ordinary day, or so I thought. When my husband came home we considered shopping before or after dinner: I was hungry, he wasn’t, and since he often falls asleep after dinner I chose to go before dinner… straight forward.
I knew to leave my new phone on the kitchen table, didn’t question why and since I expected to be gone for less than an hour my rational mind agreed.
Off we went. Supermarket one, supermarket two, purchases stored in the compartment under the seat, back home. Easy peasy. Only on the way back we got ourselves hit by a drunk driver. We had right of way and were going slow (25-30km/h). I was looking the other way, and the first I know is screeching breaks and shouting. A drunk youth on a borrowed bike, without a license, ran a stop sign.

It all happened very fast and I don’t remember much, and what I do remember is in odd snapshots. I remember screaming until someone got our overturned bike off me. Too stunned to move, I just lay where I’d landed after pulling free, in the middle of the intersection. Two young men carried me to the curb. When the ambulance came I could not remember where we lived, or even my date of birth. That’s when I observed I must be in shock.
I stared at my left leg and knee that had taken the full impact complete with road-rash, swelling, disfigure and Hurt, as did my neck on the right side. The arm that had protected both our faces on impact was scraped a little. Other scrapes and bruises were at that point to minor to worry about. I could not move and when I tried to stand on my other leg, nausea and blacking out forced me down again. I scanned my body and my guides confirmed no bone was broken, but tendons and ligaments were torn etc. All I could think was “They’re going to cut off my favourite pair of denim shorts -indeed the only ones I have right now. Crap.”
Just touching the knee made me retch with pain. Later, back home, any time I tried to stand up, the nausea would be instant and the feeling of fainting immediate.

Then everything is a blur again. A young man who spoke good English bought me a bottle of water and an icepack. He also reminded me the bike was not as important as us being alive. Much as I agree, well, it’s darned useful to get around and we’d only finished the repairs from last years incident three days prior. Honda no longer makes spare parts for the BizPlus.

The next day in a desperate bid for coffee I’d made myself stand up, holding onto and retching into the sink. That’s when I saw the portal open and understood. It was classic and so bright it was difficult to look at. This had been a choice point, the pain I felt in my neck was where the other me had snapped hers. The fainting spells was where she surfaced briefly to consciousness. I felt rather than heard a voice say Are you coming? And I mentally stated NO; I’m not leaving my husband, our cat, and I have two books I want to see out in the world first! I felt the other me die and the portal closed again. It was 11am and in the moment of closing the nausea and faintness was gone in an instant.

It took me a while to process. I was almost vegetable state, snoozing and staring at nothing for the first three days. Milou slept with me on the mattress, purring whenever the pain got too much in spite of the med’s. All energy I had had to be preserved for getting to the toilet.
I was not angry, or resentful, and that surprised me. Somewhere in my mental fog I knew there were bigger things at play here. Seeing portals and feeling the word co-creation on replay in my head does that.
We could have screwed the driver and the bike’s owner for every penny they would earn for a very long time, but ruining their lives just was not the way forward, I knew that.

After a week I had the bright idea of “I could spend this time writing, just give me a pencil and paper”. I found I could not. There was severe mental fog going on as well as a knee filled with what felt like razorblades and a leg under constant Chinese burns. I read some books instead in my waking moments. I could only sit up for minutes at a time.
Still, I was truly grateful. It sounds odd but it’s true. I was at home, I could recover with my beloved cat, instead of in a hospital I could neither afford or wanted to be in. Here, in ordinary hospitals, few speak English and family is expected to provide most of the care. In my case that would have meant Mario, before and after a 14 hr work shift, still recovering himself? In a room with several others, in pain, comings and goings all the time, no mosquito protection and the food… It does not bear thinking about.
Milou overrode her inherent dislike of sleeping close to anyone – cat or otherwise- and have spent most nights next to me – except on the full moon when she took the night off from nursing me to attend the cats allnighter party!

Thus, no matter how long it takes… there’s a lot to process. Some really old stuff that I really have zero desire to revisit. And sure, I rage against that, but I’m not going to bore you with it. I also rage against desperately wanting to move house and being stuck at home. How can we look for houses when I can’t walk? It’s likely to be a long time before I can, and before I can ride pillion again. I’m learning to ask for help and being dependent and I’m not enjoying it one bit. So here I am, watching the slow aurora borealis of bruising come and go on my leg from mid thigh down to my toes and occasionally wondering wtf?

I also sad because wanted to do the December Art & Crafts market on Isla; I spent a lot of time this summer and autumn making things especially and here I am… There’s work I promised to do and that now has to wait, and more work that I was looking forward to do that I will not be able to in the foreseeable future. There may be emails and enquiries in my mailboxes that I have not been able to reply to as I’ve not been able to get to the i-net cafe. I’d only had my phone for three days and thanx to being left at home it is intact, but I’d had no opportunity to download any apps for it before this happened. It makes me worry that I’ll thereby create for myself a reputation for being flaky and unreliable.
I have a little go-juice but equally it can be zapped by pain in minutes. When it’s spent it’s gone; all I can do is pass out on the mattress for the rest of the day. .
I was listening to a recording of Wendy Kennedy being interviewed by Rob Gaultier on a downloaded episode of Enlightenment Evolution Radio where she mentioned choosing the slow road rather than a near death experience, and that helped with the processing too.
I want to take this time to thank the Sisters of perpetual disorder on isla who helped in our time of need, with a care-package and crutches so I can hop around the house. Your help is so appreciated you have no idea and has helped enormously making life less difficult.

I know I’ve asked for an exit point quite a few times in recent years, but one where my beloved blames himself just would not do. Not one where he will forever ask himself Could I have done it better? No. I never blamed him. He did all anyone could have done in that situation, certainly more than I, being a lot more experienced at driving a bike.

It also makes one question the self, what if we had gone shopping after dinner? What if I hadn’t gone back to get… whatever? The queue had been shorter? What if we’d driven just a little bit faster/slower? What if the bike had started on the first kick? You can drive yourself crazy thinking like that. If it’s going to happen, it will, one way or another. My soul clearly thought I needed this experience so here I am having it. As the little voice after the X-files used to say (at least on English tv) I created this (or was it I made this?). If the option was to have died, no matter how long I take to recover, it is progress…
All things considered it’s something I’d have preferred not to have had to go through.
So please, next time you’re tempted: drink OR drive. One or the other. This is one way you don’t want to change another’s life, trust me on that.  And always wear good knickers.
The furry Angelic wants her dinner. I can do that.

IMG_20151125_155647

Lauren Z accident

The Paperback is OUT!

At long last THE PAPERBACK OF THE SPIRIT OF FLYING IS HERE!!!  And what a long strange at times completely exhausting trip it’s been!
My labour of love – I hope you enjoy reading it.

Currently available in the UK on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1v0tQUL
And in the USA  http://amzn.to/1uHjSFr

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

Tug of war

(written 21 September 2012)

Since wordpress keeps removing my formatting, I will type the first line on each ”verse” in caps…

THERE’S A TUG OF WAR going on inside of me

the part that wants prosperity

vs the part that holds fear

Fear of feeling obliged to help

I don’t what to work hard to give it away

to someone I judge irresponsible perhaps.

IN MY HEAD I know I don’t have to.

In my head I know we are both creators.

So this is how I set it up for now.

If I have no money, then

I can’t feel guilty for saying no

when someone asks me for some.

THING IS, it doesn’t work

coz the guilt transforms into guilt for

not having any

not living up to expectations, mine and perceived others

and a hundred little unidentified

illusive fears that sneak around like dust

on stagnant water it festers and hatches like mosquitoes

then one by one they come for me.

NOT HAVING money can’t keep me ”safe”

any more than having money can

but it can keep me in fear – for now.

Fear of not having funds to go and see family,

to be unable to bail us out,

plus all the ones that come from not being

in a network of friends to catch a fall.

TO SOME it is real, to some it is a game

but at times the game does feel ever so real

no matter how much I remind and reassure my self.

When with all the skills we have accumulated between us

we can not find work and funds are low

coins rather than notes.

This is a place of contradictions

the well off live side by side with poverty

sometimes co-existing within the same family.

I am amazed. How do they do it so easefully?

I want to learn!

If you saw your nephews in rags and no shoes

would you not feel some sort of human obligation to help?

Instead get in your fancy car

leaving the aircon on while you go to work.

DO YOU REALLY think your brother/in law

who slaves away for 12 hours or more a day

is not working as hard as you

and deserves a break too?

Am I really the only one who’s head observes these things?

Of course, you are in no way obliged

but if you so easily could

how can you not want to?

I NEED TO LEARN from these people

learn to not feel like I want to help

because I’d want that hand if it were me.

I need to learn to let everyone have their experience

without wanting to change it.

Let the complexities just be what they are.

Respect the choices of others &

get on with my own.

Choose and choose again

choose a different experience to explore for myself

and let everyone else have theirs.

I’m having a hard time viewing poverty as a ”choice”.

IT IS NOT EXCLUSIVE to this place

it’s just that the extremes makes it more apparent.

The have and the have nots.

In England it’s behind closed doors

even if those doors are ever changing doors of a b&b or hostel.

OBLIGATIONS to help…..

It reminds me of other times…

looking after siblings

looking after parent and grand-parents

because it’s what the eldest/youngest/ugliest daughter did.

Love does not come into it.

It’s what you do.

No matter how much you begrudge

a chance at a life of your own

a family or a (”suitable”) job

teaching or nursing .

Through the centuries I hear the echoes

”why do you want to look after other people when

your brothers and sisters need caring for?”

Yeah. A little bit of freedom? Break from the unpaid labour (read slavery)?

An end to a working day rather than 24/7 thankless ”duty”.

WHY DO WE perpetuate the cycle?

Like the crabs in the crab bucket…

grab hold of anyone trying to climb out.

Any branching out

no matter how small

stirs the fears of all the others, whispering:-

Is it so simple as to—

Did I make the right choice?

IN MY MIND I can clearly see

a picture of me and the class of -83.

On one of the facets we’d just got back from a great adventure

a dream we’d nurtured for 2 years before coming to fruition.

In a mere week we’d grown

seen things, experienced so much

and changed irrevocably.

And here we are

asked to step back into the selves we were before.

Go back and fulfill the choices made before.

Before we grew, before we knew our selves

and the facts we now hold in our hands and heart.

I’m sure most didn’t give it much thought

lucky are those who can be content

doing what is expected of them

without questioning.

LIKE A caged bird

had flown around the room

and worry turned into jubilation,

now back in the cage you go.

But I’m different now!

I’ve seen an other world

and you want me to go back and be that small again?

I may not know what I want

but I still would like to reconsider.

Collect a few more facets of life

and my self

before I make my choice.

THE GIRL ON the lawn again;

I’m not sure about this anymore

but what else is there?

She does not want to cause a scene

she does not want to be rude

she does not want to cause trouble

But the question unformed

unasked, unanswered

swirls around like a restless ghost.

It will follow her for years to come

What else is there?

Even when she finds the words,

then she becomes somehow invisible too.

Unsure if anyone can hear her

or if they are just ignoring the question.

Because they don’t know? Don’t comprehend?

She sets out to find her own answers.

IS HAVING a choice

even if it is an illusionary one

a luxury?

A right?

Is this introspection purely an introvert thing?

Or is it an indigo trait?

To see so much, think so much,

contemplate more angles of life

than a team of devils’ advocates?

SO THERE I am again

back outside the school on the lawn

in my dress with daisies on,

wishing I was thinner

with a flat belly and slender legs.

This is where our roads parted for college

where we get to start spending our days

in the company of those who have chosen to study

something we were supposedly interested in

rather than bundled together by age group.

I STILL SEE me on that lawn

the buses in the street

the break from all we’d known up til then.

Knowing there were other choices I’d rather make

but that were not available to me.

And a little voice whispered – unfair… isn’t it?

I hissed at it to shut up.

Keep your head down and get on with it.

Three more years and I’d be free.

Forget it feels like a prison sentence,

just get the darn qualifications

then I can choose where to go

and what to do.

Then I can LEARN TO FLY.

So what’s underneath the onion

The sewing machine is ”playing up”.   So I don’t feel inspired to sew now, but the next fayre is a week away and this stuff needs to be finished before then. I felt inspired when I designed, cut and pinned them, but I ran out of daylight and sewing black in the evening does not work for me.

So what?  I doubt there’s anyone who always feel inspired, just f-ckin deal with it! I rarely feel inspired to clean or cook, go food shopping or do laundry, shower or brush my teeth, yet it has to be done. Deal with it.

So I scream and punch the sewing machine – I don’t need you to have a highfalutin opinion about my lack of enthusiasm right now – just do your f-ckin’job and sew!!!

It’s not just that it is full moon though it probably contributes.   Hubbys family is coming today, and no matter how nice they are as people, for me it is always fraught and highly stressful. It means ridiculously long and late nights, not enough of and poor quality sleep, guilt over needing apparently twice as much sleep as everyone else, and general frustration.  Creative projects and writing gets put away until they leave.

For days the frustrations of feeling required to behave to fit the extroverted social norm, with the fake smiles and pretending everything is just fine. All while at the same time being bored to tears by the same old drama, but too well brought up to pick up a book and zone out the way others play with their smart-phones, play games or fb. Of hours of waiting around for nothing.  Of concentrating like crazy to try to understand and follow the conversation, until my head feels like it’s going to explode.

Sick of the glib jibes pointing out that I have not learnt spanish yet even though I live here. How I should go out and practice with everyone any opportunity, how I should take the opportunities and practice here and now. How I must be sooo lazy because I still can’t speak. Learning a language when immersed in it is sooo EASY…

And noone has any understanding how hard I have tried to learn, how much I have studied and how f-ckin’ impossible it feels by now. How deeply embarrassed and frustrated I am about this.

Nor does it stop there.  I’m not Buddha or Jeshua; if you poke me repeatedly I get hacked off. If one more shower of unsolicited ”helpful” hints as how I should live my life; not scratch at the hundreds of insect bites on my legs and feet, what to buy and use (same sh-t I have tried and then some) and how terrible the scars on my legs look, I WILL loose it and SCREAM. They may not understand the words but I’m sure as hell the meaning will be perfectly clear. You’ve trod on my boundaries one time too many so back off!

Am I mirroring their own suppressed anger and frustration if I let mine show? The fear that this is all there is (so let’s keep on dancing) ?

I’m so damned polite and unwilling to offend, but I’m also so darn tired of the same old dance. I ”behave” as is expected of me, in a grown-up friendly manner. Even if it feels more like a parody at times. How much I despise the same old ”well-meaning” small-talk and would love to be able to have a meaningful conversation.

I want to be my usual quirky inner self and for that to translate and come across as the loving and affable me my friends know and love.

But right now I feel none of those things, or rather I feel anger and frustration as well and those voices are so much louder right now.

I can just imagine the unspoken words. Leave that english bitch and and get a nice mexican girl who will be up to date on soaps and drama, is a good catholic instead of a bad influence and who will cherish his children. Unlike me.

And you know what? He had 40 years looking for one of those and he chose me! For who I am, for how we get eachother, for the spiritual bond and love we share that makes the struggles worth working our way through.

Underneath that lurks my fear that whatever I do will reflect badly on my husband. I don’t want to come between him and his family. He gets frustrated too but is hell bent on ”fixing” it, fixing it here meaning waking everyone up and get where he is coming from. I gave that up long ago. Everyone does their own journey following their own divine timing.

How do you ”interact” with unconscious extroverted people, when you are a conscious, highly sensitive introvert? When there is no common ground and no common language?

My personal answer was to step away and find friends to fill those spaces traditionally held by family. People who like me for who I am, and who’s company I enjoy.

It is like being 16, 17, 18 or 19 etc and going to visit my parents for the weekend. This time it will be different. This time we will get on. This time will be the new beginning of a new relationship between us.

Every time with an open mind and the best of intentions, ready to forgive, forget and let bygones be bygones. Let the crap slide and not raise to the bait. To ignore the put-downs and criticism and focus on… what exactly? What I wanted to have; mutual respect and appreciation. If you treated your friends like you treat me you’d soon find yourself lonely indeed. Yet, it’s me who’s finding her self alone here. What irony.

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