A Sudden Thought


I have been drowning in the middle of the ocean, probably my entire life and no one has been willing nor available to throw me a raft.

This came to me while thinking of a scene in my life that occurs to me often.

I was working at a privately owned drug store about 45 minutes away from home. I still lived at home with my parents. I took the job for the pay, even though it was in an area I wasn’t familiar with.

It snowed a lot that winter and each time it did, the roads were scary, slippery and dangerous.  But I made every effort to get to work each time, even though I would’ve been quite justified to stay home.

I was terrified to get fired. My boss was the kind who made it obvious that it was not OK to be late. And so calling out for snow made me afraid. After all, just because it was bad on the little back road I lived on, didn’t mean it was bad out there on the main roads. I felt obligated to get there.

One particularly bad morning, I went outside to clear off my car after I’d gotten ready for work. Bundled up in winter gear, I grabbed a shovel and ice breaker from the garage. The snow on my car had hardened to ice.

It didn’t occur to me to start the car to get it warmed up, but I couldn’t open the door anyway. Both of them were frozen shut. I remember the distress and panic I felt about being late. I can remember so well my body tightening with the stress and fear of getting that car to a point that I could get in, start it up and drive it to work.

No one came to help. Not anyone from my family came to help me clean off my car, not a single neighbor came out to tell the naive young me, that if I can get the door open, I can get in and start it up, get the heat and defroster running, then the ice and snow will melt faster.

No one tried to stop me. No one said, the roads are too bad, please don’t drive to work.

I swung the ice breaker, teeth clenched, face red, to chip away at the snow and ice. I had to hurry. I would be late and my boss would be mad.   And if he fired me, my mother would be angry and disappointed too.

I didn’t know that it circled back to my mother at the time, but throughout the years of looking back into my past, I have come to understand this.

I tracked this back to a time when I’d been let go from a job for reasons I thought were not fair. My mother picked me up that day and I told her what happened and the reason they gave me for letting me go.  The look of disappointment in her eyes and on her face crushed me. She only cared that her daughter had failed, not that I was sad about losing a job or that I felt treated unfairly.

I know now that the underlying reason I made a point to get to any job let alone that one almost an hour away, was because I couldn’t bear my mother’s disappointment in me. I couldn’t bear to be the disappointment I already felt that I was.

The memory of chipping away at the ice on my car is a composite of a few different incidents that winter, since we got a lot of snow that year.  One particular morning, I got stuck on a main, four lane highway that I decided to take, thinking that would be the better option. It was a mess.

Somehow I got to a phone and called a friend who had a Jeep type of vehicle. This was before cell phones and I do not remember where I called from. But she came out and got me, took me to work and then drove away.

As I walked through the door of the drug store, I was told they were getting ready to close the store.


Giving from a Dry Well (Helpful Words From A Friend)

kid_drywell“You give from what you’ve already received. If you haven’t received there’s nothing to give.”

This was said by a friend of mine years ago. I wrote it in a journal because it really had an impact on me.

Having been abused in such a covert manner and in insidious ways, I have grown up to wonder why my relationships were so fucked up. (That’s a technical term for unhealthy.)

I don’t remember now what exactly we were talking about when he said that, but it’s very likely that I was lamenting on how unhappy I was and probably something about how I’ve felt unsatisfied in every relationship I’ve ever had. That includes romantic and non, just the same.

Sometimes I think I’ve given too much, even though it was from a dry well. So that would make it fake wouldn’t it? I guessed a lot about how to be, how to act, how to talk and what to give and what to take. I wanted to show that I cared but I also wanted to be honest, which at times worked against me.

A friend of mine used to tell me that I was ‘too honest.’

A relationship at any given time could be unbalanced where I gave more than I felt but I wanted to keep the person from leaving or felt the need for approval.  Other times I felt I was receiving too much and I would say something or do something to sabotage the relationship.

And then came the desperation in selling them a reason to stay.

After that I’d feel trapped and dishonest for making that sale and break it off or tell them they were calling too much. And then I’d feel lonely.

In truth I had nothing to give. Because there was nothing in the well.

Update on 10/27/16:
Since writing this, I’ve written a post about how I’ve been mostly a taker in relationships and friendships.

To add to this though, when I was “giving” anything, it was out of codependency a lot of the time, being a people pleaser, wanting them to stay because I didn’t want to be alone/lonely. It wasn’t authentic most of the time. I may have liked them, but I also may not have. I didn’t take much time to really know. Much of the time I was running away from myself.

Some cases I wanted to feel special. In other scenarios I wanted what they had, much of the time that was pot. There were plenty of times I would choose someone to call and hang out with based on the high possibility of them having weed.

Pathetic to think about that.

All that time wasted…in more ways than one. All that time I spent high or with someone that treated me like shit or with someone just to avoid being by myself, I could’ve been getting to know myself.

I’m trying to do that now. But it isn’t easy.