Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

Life June 7, 2014

Life is not about making perfect choices; it’s about making mistakes and learning from  your mistakes. Life is messy and not meant to be perfect. Perfect is boring and vanilla. Now, there’s nothing wrong with vanilla, but no one wants vanilla 100% of the time. Life is full of vibrant colors, each one vying to be the favorite. Don’t pick one favorite for your entire life; have different favorites depending on your mood. Colors should be savored, explored, and loved. Same as food. Life is full of flavors.  Life includes trying different tastes, different combinations, exploring the bursts of flavors in your mouth. Life is about adventures. If you don’t get out there and see the world, how will you know what you love? Every day should bring wonderment at this world around us. Life is about being in the moment and seeing, really seeing, the commonplace items we take for granted. Life is about noticing, as you drive in to work, the single yellow bloom poking through the sidewalk concrete on the side of the road. What a fighter, that bloom. We can learn from that. Life is full of emotions, both good and bad. You need the yin and the yang to have a balance and to appreciate your emotions. The trick in life is to see even the bad as a learning experience that helps you grow. Life is about getting dressed every day. No, I don’t mean the clothes you put on, but the attitude. You decide, consciously or unconsciously, to put on a good face, or give in to the negativity in your heart. It’s okay to give in sometimes because you need to allow yourself to feel all of your emotions. It’s not okay to wallow in self-pity or anger or any other negative emotion because it poisons your soul. When you allow your soul to be poisoned it’s hard, damn hard, to get rid of that poison. So life is about feeling all emotions, but not allowing day-to-day emotions poison your soul. Life is about being true to yourself and not allowing others to sway you into being what, or who, you are not. Life is about laughing long and hard and as much as possible. Life is about listening to your heart and soul, because that is how you stay true. Life is about what goes on inside  your own head. Listen, but don’t live there because it gets too lonely. Live who are truly are, not what you think others expect you to be. Life is about loving who you are, faults and all. Carry a little too much junk in the trunk? Learn to appreciate your curves. Got wrinkles? Each one tells a unique story about your long and wonderful life. Hate the way you get too bossy at times with friends? Develop a sense of humor and learn to laugh at yourself. You are the one and only you….celebrate it.

 

Life, my friends, is about living. Live, because this is the one and only life you have as you.

 

Shattered May 24, 2014

When she goes off the deep end, I break inside. Every tiny little piece of carefully built hope shatters.

I live every single day with fear, hope, and dread. Fear of what she will do, fear of the unknown horrors the day may bring. Hope that we will both come through this day unscathed. I live with dread. Dread invades me with every text or call. But I also live with happiness. Happiness fills my heart and soul when we roll through problems and make it to the other side. I’m happy when the day goes well.

She started drinking again; binge drinking alone in her room. I suspected it, but had not confronted her. I called her at 3 in the afternoon because I needed her to meet me somewhere. She had to admit to me that she couldn’t because she was drunk. (She just got off work at 2:45.) I couldn’t help myself; I was filled with rage. I didn’t let it out at her though; I simply made a statement that she was drinking a lot lately and then said I’d talk to her later and hung up.

She, of course, could not let it go. Text and phone calls began…”Are you upset?” “Are you mad at me?” I tried to ignore, but I finally answered the phone. I didn’t let it all fly, but I told her the truth…I am angry. I am angry because you are choosing an old crutch…drinking..that I thought we’d conquered in the past. I said I wish she would learn how to live through the tough times in life without using a crutch that made things worse.  She got very mad at me and said I was being mean and I had no right to be mad at her because she wasn’t doing anything to me and why did I say these things to her? I reminded her that SHE called me, and I was trying to keep my distance until the anger passed. She hung up.

I was looking forward to this nice, 3-day weekend. In fact, I left work a little early yesterday so I could get home. Instead, I drove around for a while, did some shopping, did anything to avoid going home to her because I could feel the storm brewing.

We avoided one another at first. A couple of hours passed before she came at me, screaming, “Are you not going to talk to me?” I told her I was still angry and felt it was better if we didn’t talk right then. She kept on. Usually I can remain in control of my emotions, but honestly, I’m just tired. Work has been hard, living with her is always difficult, and I feel the tiredness like a disease deep in my soul. I tried to explain to her that I am allowed to have emotions, too, and I’m tired of holding them in because of her. I didn’t unleash the fury of what I felt, but she saw a peek. She turned it around on me and said I made her feel like crap for having addictions. That I was the only one she had to turn to (which is not true). I told her I couldn’t be her “only one” that sometimes I needed a break. She became furious and stormed out, got in her car, and left.

She began sending “I’m sorry” and “I just want to die” messages to her sister and a friend. I couldn’t even find the energy to be worried. Does this make me a horrible person? I didn’t really even get scared because it felt like another manipulation game. She was trying to punish me for being angry.

She eventually came home…after I gave in and played her game. “Please come home so I will know you are safe,” I wrote in a text. Her sister went out and found her and convinced her to go home.

We had an event that my daughters and I were to attend this morning. They went without me. I just don’t want to be around her, or the world right now. She is fine today, happy and having fun. Me? I’m tired. I’m shattered. I’ll be here alone, trying to put the pieces back together so I can make it through the next storm.

 

 

Peace December 25, 2013

I know that it is difficult for many to make it through this time of year (myself included). Just know that you are not alone in your feelings, and that there is a brighter and better tomorrow. Take a deep breathe and take it one moment at a time. If being around relatives is difficult, just remember: YOU control how you feel. Do not give others that power. Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of being reactive.

If you are alone (not by choice) try volunteering at a soup kitchen or shelter. You will be lifted by what your kindness can do for others.

I wish you all peace, love, and joy this holiday season.

 

Unaware December 11, 2013

Filed under: about me,all,love,personal,Poems,poetry — rainey46 @ 8:20 pm
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Telephone

Telephone (Photo credit: plenty.r.)

 

What would have happened

 

if I had answered the phone

 

Would you and I be the couple

 

on the cake happily ever after?

 

Or would we hold hatred

 

against our cold, broken hearts

 

throwing looks that kill

 

and tossing deadly, verbal darts?

 

The choice was made for us

 

I, unaware, was never informed

 

of your efforts to reach me

 

and life carried us apart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Will Tell November 17, 2013

I stumbled upon a Facebook page of my old high school. I live within thirty minutes of where I grew up, but high school was not a good time for me so I put that time of my life behind me- along with the people I knew then. For some reason, I scrolled through a few screens of people trying to reconnect, or announcements of class reunions, and a name suddenly jumped out at me…the name of one of the men who gang raped me when I was 16. I closed my eyes and almost didn’t look at the page. After a moment, I looked: it was his death announcement.

I followed a link to an online obituary that showed pictures of him: with his wife, then children and grandchildren. The younger pictures looked just like the man I knew: cute, almost shy smile; slightly mussed blonde hair; and clear tan skin. As he aged, he got a little heavier, but seemed to maintain his “boy-next-door” good looks.

I expected to feel rage that he lived an ordinary life when I lived so much of mine in emotional pain. I expected to feel relief that he was dead and had suffered from the ravages of cancer. But I felt neither of these emotions.

I really felt….nothing. Just a little twinge that someone I once knew was dead.

Does this mean that I’ve really finally healed? Did I take back my power after all these years?

I hope so.

Only time will tell.

 

Happy September 4, 2013

Filed under: about me,all,musings,personal,thoughts — rainey46 @ 7:45 pm
Tags: , , ,

Give yourself permission to be happy, then just be.

 

Different Doesn’t Mean Wrong August 12, 2013

Why is there so much hatred in the world for anyone or anything “different” from the norm? Do we really want a world filled with carbon copies of bland sameness? I think fear plays a role; many fear what they don’t understand. But it goes so much deeper than that. The old “Survival of the fittest” instinct kicks in, even in this day and time. For some reason, things that make us “different” are viewed as weaknesses. In reality, it is often those differences that make a person a survivor. These differences bring us, as humans, forward as a race. Without these wonderful differences and the unique qualities of people, we would not have the scientific genius of Einstein, the artistic genius of Van Gogh, or the mental genius of Aristotle.

I remain hopeful that the internet, yes, the great World Wide Web, will help erase the stigma of different. The web allows humans to connect in ways we never imagined. It is doubtful that I could ever afford to travel to Uganda and share ideas, but here, on the ‘net, I can do that with a few strokes of my fingers. I can get the opinion of  a sassy Colombian lady who lives in Canada, or check in on life in the United Kingdom. Do these online friends have different opinions than mine? Yes, sometimes they do. Do they have different experiences, heartaches, triumphs? Certainly. I learn so much from their thoughts and adventures! I see the uniqueness of each of them and I feel blessed that they share that uniqueness with me and the rest of the world. Perhaps, one day, we can learn to celebrate those qualities that make us each uniquely human.

 

 

Time For Big Girl Panties July 8, 2013

Okay, I’m putting on my big girl panties. It’s time to get back  up, brush myself off, and give this life of mine another shot. I may be down, but I am never down and out for long.

It doesn’t mean I’m not still hurting; I am, believe me. I still hurt in my heart every single day for Riley. I still hurt for J and all of her problems. But I cannot function this way for long. I am, by nature, a very upbeat person. I see the beauty in small, everyday things. As bad as my life seems to get at times (lately it has been very bad) I must find the good and rise above it all.

I still feel depressed. It is not the overwhelming, clinical depression I sometimes feel (Thank God)! When the clinical depression is out of the picture, I can overcome. It is just a matter of my mindset and my attitude.

So today, I choose to live and be happy.

 

I Took Back My Power From the Rapist June 9, 2013

 

TRIGGER WARNING: Rape

It’s strange how J mimics my own life in some ways. I wish it wasn’t so.

She saw her rapist at the grocery store.

The same grocery store where I saw mine.

Years ago, as a very young and wild teen, I was gang raped by “friends”. Long story….I know I wrote about it already, but I don’t feel like searching for it to create a link. Maybe later.

A year later, I moved on. I made all new friends, cut my ties with that so-called group of friends (all of them, not just the ones who raped me). I literally moved on to a new boyfriend (who became my husband) in a new town. The first town is about a 35 minute drive to the town I moved to. I grew up, married, had kids, and became a teacher. My life moved forward, but my soul did not. Just as I did with the molestation I endured as a child, I covered it up and pretended it didn’t happen. If I don’t think about it, it can’t hurt me, right? Or so I thought.

One year, one of my students happened to be this weird little dude I will call Paul. I taught fourth grade, and some little boys having a crush on me was the norm; it goes with the territory. After a week or so, they usually get over it and fall for a more appropriate love interest, like the cute blonde with freckles who sits next to them in class. Paul, however, persisted to fawn over me all year. Like I said, a weird little dude. I met his mother several times during conferences and we laughed together over his strange infatuation with me.

At the end of the year we had a big awards ceremony. The day before, Paul gave me a strange smile and said,”My dad is coming to awards tomorrow.” I was slightly shocked,  as Paul’s dad had not attended any events that year. In fact, Paul NEVER talked about his dad, so I assumed he was a very un-involved parent. Then Paul said, “My dad knows you.” He giggled and ran off.

I truly didn’t think anything of it until the next day. I was standing in my classroom when Paul’s dad, my old friend and rapist, stood in my doorway. Time stood still as our eyes met. The world around me faded away and all I could see where those eyes in the darkness. I was unable to blink or breath until he smirked and turned away. He told his son he would see him at the ceremony and then he was gone. When I was able to move again, I looked at Paul, who stood there, staring at me, with that same smirk. Like he knew.

Somehow I got through that day. I pulled Paul’s records and realized I lived one street over from my former friend. We lived one street apart and I never knew until that day.

But he knew. He knew the whole time that I was Paul’s teacher.

That summer I saw him again. This time at the grocery store. I left my groceries in the cart and walked out.

It began to eat away at me. I couldn’t sleep without nightmares. I began spending most of my waking hours doing the “What If” game. What if I had pressed charges. What  if I called him out in front of his wife. What if…

Finally I realized this was very counter-productive for me. I had to take my life back. I could not run from this anymore. A few days later, in the same grocery store, I saw him. I followed him. When he saw me, the blood drained from his face. I was angry and I did not look away. I would not back down. I took back my power when I looked him in the eyes and loudly said, “Fancy meeting you here. Does you wife  know you are a rapist? Does she know how you gave an under-aged girl drugs until she passed out, so you and your sick friends could rape her?” I saw true fear in his eyes for the first time. In that moment, I got my power back. He and his fear no longer controlled me.

Life is funny. That was years ago, and I have not had a chance encounter with him since. He still lives one street away, but it no longer haunts me. In fact, I hadn’t thought about him and those events in a long time.

I wonder how long it will be until J gets her power back.

 

 

Life Goes On June 1, 2013

TRIGGER WARNINGS

She refused to do anything about the rape. After that day, she didn’t want to talk about it. J is  much like me in her ability to bury things deep inside. It kills me to see her do that, because I know what burying secrets does to you. The secrets come out at night and haunt your dreams. They creep up randomly in the middle of the day and make you unable to breathe. Secrets that you keep buried eat away at your soul, swallowing it bit by bit. Trust me, I know.

But burying secrets is a way to survive and keep living. It is a coping skill; a bad one, but a coping skill nonetheless. I was once gang raped by a group of guys who I thought were my friends. I was drunk and high on drugs, so the next morning I buried it away. After all, I put myself in that position. It was my fault. Those were the thoughts I had at the time, so I pretended it didn’t happen. Even when I saw them later in the week, I pretended nothing was different. Inside, I felt dead. I continued doing drugs and drinking heavily for a few more years. I attempted suicide several times. When I wasn’t attempting suicide, I lived as recklessly as I could. Dying seemed better than living.  I was in a bad place for a long time. It was years before I could grieve and even admit to myself that I was raped.

I worry so much about J. She carries so many wounds and she is not tough like I am. She feels every little jab deep in her heart. She is so trusting, yet she keeps getting hurt. J is a good, loyal person with a heart of gold.  She trusted that when she said no, he would listen. It wasn’t a playful, ambiguous no. She was crying. She meant it.

My anger is still boiling. She begged me not to tell anyone, not even her dad or sister. So I have another secret that I must carry, because when I make a promise I keep it. I do not know what will happen if I run into him somewhere. In this small town, it is bound to happen. I know where he works. I could easily find out where he lives. I lay in bed at night and dream up scenarios of what I would do to  him if I could. I will not share with you what my twisted mind concocts because it frightens me to think I can even  dream of such terrible things. But she is my baby, no matter her age. She is handicapped mentally and he took advantage of that. To me, that is more inhumane than the horrors my mind creates.

I am here, drinking my coffee and beginning my day. J spent the night with a friend and is planning her best friend’s wedding. The birds are chirping and the sun is rising. Life goes on.