Tuesday, January 31, 2006

the death knell

(for those who read the previous post of the same title above and wonder where it is now.)

some things are better left unshared. speaking about them accords them attention and energies they don't deserve.

"what you give attention to, grows; what you neglect, dies." i'd rather it die its own natural death, without me revivifying it by talking about it.

thank you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

interesting horoscope

January 24, 2006

Today's Outlook: The shift of energies from watery emotional Scorpio to fiery inspirational Sagittarius at 1:38 pm EST lifts our spirits as we aim the arrows of thought into the distant future. But all is not as light and easy, for mental Mercury conjuncts melancholy Chiron. We remember our old wounds now and need to talk about what hurts in order to move beyond it. Even if we've been mired down in a difficult situation, the potential for healing is great today as long as we are willing to speak the truth.


it doesn't say anything about my very painful stiff neck, though.

my Google searches say stiff necks are basically caused by stress--own thoughts and actions, people and circumstances who are literally a "pain in the neck".

ouch.

(at least i am getting my humor back.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

my grief, my anger

j thinks my grief is over the fact that my marriage has legally and is sacramentally ending, and that i still harbor some love lost over the past.

j thinks that i am jealous because the ex is publicly announcing that he is getting married soon.

it is taking many explanations and many assurances that it is not so, but in the course of the many explanations and many assurances, i am seeing it more clearly now too, thanks to j--

my grief is over a grave injustice not yet righted.

i endured the horrors of a ten-year loveless marriage, mustered the courage enough to leave it and speak my truth. and yet, when it came to the civil annulment proceedings, because the ex filed it, of course it was to be my fault. i couldn't afford an attorney then to represent me through the costly proceedings, especially as the ex has been mean with his sporadic child support; but neither could i qualify for public aid, as my official income goes beyond the "official poverty line". so legally speaking, although i was the one victimized, i had to swallow sh_t just to set my self free, too.

now here comes the church annulment petition, and it is the same sh_t all over again.

***

still, i did not and do not take sh_t anymore, too bad for them.

during the psychiatric investigations, i was able to convince the psychiatrist, who openly admitted his dilemma on who to cite as "psychologically incapacitated" (the only loophole grounds for civil annulment here in my country; and the law is funny-- you're psychologically incapacitated only in terms of how you relate to the ex-spouse, not in terms of how you relate to other people!), to consider citing us BOTH instead. i did my research and studied my annulment law before i visited the psychiatrist. so i knew i was on solid ground in my sales pitch to him.

thankfully, the psychiatrist followed my request. he happens to be the husband of my former classmate and group-mate in MBA class, too.

the ex's family might have the money and legal connections, but i still have the charm. : )

***

writing about this this way now, it doesn't seem so grievous anymore.

the anger is back, but it is the righteous, holy kind of anger now-- clean and pure.

today

it is soo easy to despair, when one finally musters the courage to look at the blood-and-gore destruction in one's life, and finally see-- promises unfulfilled, hopes dashed, dreams killed, illusions broken.

today has not been easy.

ive re-started my Silva meditations, just to feel better... but going so deep within opens up a lot of hitherto closed and secret chambers of your heart and soul. letting the light in, yes, but also letting the darkness out.

i started out well enough with good intentions, to be extra gentle with my self today even as i go about my life and work, but the kids and i overslept. i woke up to the sound of the ex's car horn impatiently honking outside. i told the maid to just get the kids' allowances from him, as i will be the one to take the two older ones to school, as well as the youngest one too.

it was a dark and cold rainy morning earlier today, and waking the reluctant kids up was a struggle. they wanted to continue cuddling up together and sleep. i decided i will not unduly stress my self out even more by going against the tide. so we all self-declared a holiday for ourselves today, and just stay cocooned at home.

since they were all still asleep, i figured id do my Silva meditations then. it was good, it was wonderful, calming and relaxing, as it always is. but when i went out of the meditative state and stretched to "fully wake up", i felt a painful twitch at the back of my neck when i raised my head to stretch it back.

it was so painful that for twenty seconds or so, i couldn't move as i just let the wave of pain crest and subside.

when the pain subsided, i decided id go back to bed and rest instead, after informing my students that we won't be meeting today.

sleep didn't bring much rest, as snippets of conversations and snatches of images from the past haunted me even as i moved this way and that to shoo them away. i kept waking up in a half-dreaming, half-awake state, and then id find my self tearing up and crying silent tears. it didnt help that the kids decided to camp out in our bedroom where i was trying to get some rest; i asked them many times to move to the other airconditioned bedroom but they said they wanted to be near me.

do kids sense when you need comforting, too?

still, their prattle and little noisy arguments were more an irritant than a comfort this time.

***

it is 2pm now, and i just woke up again. this time from a stab of pain slicing through the back of my neck. at the same time, i was jarred by the image of when i last felt such pain, in the same place.

it was may 1998, two weeks after i gave birth to our second child and only son.

i had a high fever then, but it was to be the last day of the grace period for paying my insurance premium. i asked him to make the payment for me on his way to work, but he said he was too busy, that i should just pay it my self, or let the insurance lapse. : (

so despite my burning fever, i dressed and went out to pay. i was feeling groggy and headachy and feverish by the time i hailed a taxi to take me home, as the car stalled earlier in the garage that morning and wouldn't budge. my breasts were full with milk too, and were as feverish from the engorgement. there was pain everywhere in my body.

i remember thinking how the black taxi i hailed looked almost like a hearse, just before i got in. but oh well, i wanted to go home more than i wanted to wait for another nicer-looking taxi.

it happened at the intersection leading to the entrance of our subdivision gate. the taxi paused at the intersection to let cars coming from the opposite side to pass before it turned left to enter the subdivision gate.

as it turned left, i suddenly saw this big pick-up truck rushing towards us, honking hard. my last thought was, ohh it can't stop.

i don't remember much after that except that people told me later the taxi was crushed so bad as the pick-up rammed into its entire side, the side i was sitting on. luckily for me, i must have instinctively bent down, with my head pushing into the cushiony back of the driver's seat, as that's how they found me, thrown onto the other side of the taxi.

i vaguely remember people putting me into another taxi to take me to the hospital, and i also remember telling the taxi driver to take me home instead.

the maid and my eldest daughter, who was only five then, told me that i walked like a zombie when they opened the gate for me. i stared glassily and walked straight to the bedroom to lie down and curl up and sleep.

the maid told me how my eldest daughter followed me and climbed into bed with me, and that's when she saw the scratches on my arms and body and legs, and even tried to put a band aid on one really ugly scratch on my ankle. then she remembered to dial the only numbers she memorized, my parents-in-laws' house, and talked to her grandmother then, who confirmed what happened from the maid (the maid is illiterate, doesn't even know how to dial).

my parents-in-law quickly came to pick me up and bring me to the hospital for tests.

it was not a very good day. on the way to the hospital, there was a car accident, and some man's body was hauled out and put on the back of a passing motored-tricycle. i remembered how my very sensitive mother-in-law cried out and covered her face from the bloodied man whose arms and legs were hanging out of the tricycle we were following.

anyway, the tests proved okay, i was just a little shocked, the doctors said, but physically okay, except for the few scratches and my painful neck, for which i was given some medicines to take. my parents-in-law brought me home, and i climbed back to bed to finally get some sleep.

he arrived home from his out-of-town work late in the afternoon, and i could hear the maid and our daughter greeting him and beginning to tell him what happened to me earlier that day.

he burst into our room, but his first words were-- our budget is ruined! how much did the hospital bill cost?


beyond rage

when rage has outlived
its purpose
to protect
and
to empower

then
you have to
sit down with your self
and peel off
gently
what lies underneath:

the harrowing pain
of seething,
gnashing,
howling
ghosts
which must be
laid to rest.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Descansos

i just mailed out my answers to the church's questionnaire on the ex's petition for church annulment, this morning. basically, i wrote them that i've said all i've needed to say, wish to be informed of the progress of the case, but don't wish to participate in the proceedings anymore.

on one level, i feel relieved that the last of the vestiges of an unhappy past is done and over with.

on another level, i am bleeding all over.

even if i did not answer the questionnaire in detail anymore, but just attached my personal response to the Court that i sent the Court in february last year, for the civil annulment proceedings, the researcher and writer in me still had to re-read the response to the Court one last time, to check for typos, etc.

sigh.

re-reading all those sordid details from the past got me down.

i am feeling more than sad. i am beyond rage and fury even.

maybe the time has come to fully grieve, all those little deaths, all those little blows that almost spelled the final death of my own spirit.

ive been weepy the whole day.

i come home now and look for comfort, but my usual sources of comfort cannot do enough to bring me out of this darkness again.

i am reminded, though, of my woman's bible, the one that got me through all those horrendous last years, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes' Women Who Run With the Wolves, that well-loved, many times-read and reread book occupying a special place in my bookshelf now.

i turn to the only chapter i hastily read through before, as it was the only chapter that i couldn't really get in sync with before-- Chapter 12: "Marking Territory, The Boundaries of Rage and Forgiveness".

i am rereading it again now, and am reminded of descansos, an old Mexican ritual for marking deaths along the road or highway with small white crosses.

i weep as i read, as the words resonate to the core --

Descansos are symbols that mark a death. Right there, right on that spot, someone's journey in life halted unexpectedly. There has been a car accident, or someone was walking along the road and died of heat exhaustion, or a fight took place there. Something happened there that altered that person's life and the lives of other people forever.

Women have died a thousand deaths before they are twenty years old. They've gone in this direction or that, and have been cut off. They have hopes and dreams that have been cut off also.

To make descansos means taking a look at your life and marking where the small deaths, las muertes chiquitas, and the big deaths, las muertes grandotas, have taken place. We mark where there were roads not taken, paths that were cut off, ambushes, betrayals, and deaths.

I encourage you to make descansos, to sit down with a time-line of your life and say, "Where are the crosses? Where are the places that must be remembered, must be blessed?" In all are meanings that you've brought forward into your life today. They must be remembered, but they must be forgotten at the same time. It takes time. And patience.

Descansos is a conscious practice that takes pity on and gives honor to the orphaned dead of your psyche, laying them to rest at last.

Be gentle with your self and make the descansos, the resting places for the aspects of yourself that were on their way to somewhere, but never arrived. Descansos mark the death sites, the dark times, but they are also love notes to your suffering. They are transformative. There is a lot to be said for pinning things to the earth so they don't follow us around. There is a lot to be said for laying them to rest.

***

i guess it is time for my own descansos now.

wish me healing. wish me wholeness.