adult parenting

Rising from beneath: April 2021 NaPoWriMo, Day two

Today’s prompt is inspired by Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” It’s based on our own personal journeys. What might our experiences be if we took a different path?

No matter how many times I wanted or tried to veer from the path I was on, I wasn’t able to. Having travelled this far, I realize I don’t want to have taken a route other than the one I’ve been on.

Why?

People. My children and my grandchildren might not exist. Or, if they did, they wouldn’t be who they are. I wouldn’t have or know the people in my life, not the way they are now.

My life has always been challenging and full of stress. It’s made who I am. There’s more work to be done. I like who I’m becoming.

Rising from Beneath

I was told I could be anything I wanted…
But I wasn’t taught how and
I never met anyone who was.

I was told that if I had knowledge I would have power.
Helplessness was all I knew…
despite my accumulated information

I was told, “Aim high! Shoot for the stars.”
From my depths my aim was as high as other’s low.
I shot just to see the stars.

Years of climbing, fighting, struggling
Always landing back in the hole
Anchored by the trauma of my past.

Cycles of poverty and neglect,
Generations repeating the past.
Lord, let me be the last.

Breaking through, crawling out
Eyes blinded by daylight
Skin scorched by the sun.

Someone (not Churchill) admonished one and all,
“if you’re going through hell, keep going. It’s no place to stop.”
no longer energized, yet, here I am…still going.

I think it’s a good fight. It’s been a hard one.
Redemption, restoration, rebuilding
Self and relationships once lost.

Constantly feeling weak and lost
Continually infused with life’s breath,
Molded by refining love.

But wait, there’s more…so much more
Five decades to grow up.
Here’s hoping for another 3-5.

New battles rise up,
New fears to face.
The war against self goes on.

More to see, more to be.
My future resides with me.
My path lives in me.

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The doodlebug effect

I know I kind of dropped off the face of the blogosphere after Thanksgiving. There are a few reasons for that.

The first reason is that Jerry had gotten home on the Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving and didn’t head back out on the road until the following Monday. I always have more difficulty finding the time and solitude I need to focus on my writing when he’s home and we have so much going on. However, it isn’t really a reason, it’s just a factor among many.

The second factor is glitchy technology. About a month or so ago, several important letters on the laptop keyboard stopped working. W, E, R, U, & I are more important than I had ever given notice to before. However, since a few of those letters are required in order for me to access my profile and rather necessary to the correct spelling of quite a few words, I didn’t have the use of it until I figured out how to use the on-screen keyboard. That tool is nice to have in a pinch, but the fact that I have to disrupt my mental flow in order to use it gets beyond frustrating. Since I tend to write in order to process my frustrations and organize my thoughts, the use of writing tools that create the opposite effects is somewhat counterproductive. That being said, this isn’t a reason to not write, merely another factor.

A third factor is the fibromyalgia and it’s physical and cognitive symptoms. I do have the WordPress app on my phone, and while it is still a slower process with fewer formatting options, I have managed to write a good number of posts using this tool. So, what’s the problem? Numbing and tingling in my hands can reach the point where I can’t hold onto the phone or accurately touch the letters on the keyboard. Combine this with perpetually blurry eyes and the fact I can’t seem to keep track of my reading glasses, well, it becomes only slightly less problematic and frustrating as using the glitchy laptop. Concentration and fatigue issues have also factored into the equation.

Ultimately, I think the real reasons I haven’t had the wherewithal to push through all of these things does have a lot to do with some social/relational anxiety issues.

I have had some really constructive and significant encounters with LaLa recently and, while I need to be able to write about these things I also need her to know I respect her need for privacy and since there are now those who read my blog who know who we really are in our real lives, I’m fearful of how what I write can be misinterpreted and possibly misrepresented in a way that could break the fragile trust that is being established between us.

I didn’t want my writing to change and be affected by having those who know me personally read, but it has and I have to find a balance. For me, the first thing that tends to happen is what I call the doodlebug effect.

When I was a kid, outdoor play was encouraged even though I didn’t have much of an affinity for the outside, natural world. I wasn’t athletic and had difficulty keeping up with and relating to other kids. However, one thing that all little kids seem to universally enjoy and get fascinated by are bugs.

One bug in particular that I found fascinating was what I grew up calling a doodlebug. Other common names include roly poly and pill bug. This is not the larval form of the ant lion, instead it’s a tiny little critter – yes my southern roots are showing – that is shaped like an elongated oval and looks like it has segmented armor like an armadillo. Whenever it feels threatened it curls itself up into a little ball and that armor keeps it safe from outside harm.

So, in my case, the doodlebug effect is that whenever I feel emotionally and mentally overwhelmed and the thought of how those who know me may react to me being completely open and honest about my thoughts and feelings, I circle in on myself and withdraw until the ground beneath me stops shaking.

I offered this thought to LaLa a few days ago:

“You are honorable and living in a world that has tried to break your spirit and take those things away from you. To deny grief and sorrow is to separate yourself from your soul. There is no weakness in admitting vulnerability and sadness, only strength and courage.”

She later reposted it with the statement:

“Sometimes the wisest people we know we’ve known our whole lives.”

The thing is that, for me, it is less wisdom and more of a goal and a reminder of who I want to be and how I want to live and it’s something I am just now learning and beginning to understand from living my own life and forging my own way through all the mistakes and a few successes. That just means I’m intelligent enough to learn my lessons through direct, firsthand experience.

However, for her, if she can learn from my experience and make it her own knowledge, it becomes wisdom.

I can say this about our recent encounters, I think she is finally able to see and believe that I am here for her and want only the best for her. One of our conversations included her telling me that she really didn’t want to be like me, no offense. I jumped on that and assured her that I didn’t want that for her either. I want to teach her what I have learned so that she won’t have to relearn everything I’ve had to teach myself. I want her to be able to make her own mistakes and develop her own wisdom to pass on.