+THEN WHAT?

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As always, I have very little definitive or comprehensive or even enlightened to say about my father who knew of the severe abuse my mother did to me for 18 years and ignored it all.  If there is one clear pattern about Father that appears in Mother’s written account of the Alaskan years of my childhood that began just before my 6th birthday and flowed into a ridiculously consuming process of homesteading on an Alaskan mountainside, it is that Father knew how to work.
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The account of some of the working patterns Father accomplished testify to nearly superhuman stamina, perseverance and accomplishment against overwhelming odds.  But was Father’s stunning commitment to work more about escaping his wife (her insanity and abuse), escaping his responsibilities to notice, care and take action on behalf of his children, escaping his confusion, his conscience, escaping his feelings and escaping the reality of his and his children’s life than it was about the products of the work he did?

I think I and several of my siblings certainly inherited our physical stamina from Father.  Then we either inherited his ability to work with concentrated focus on difficult tasks — or we learned it from him in combination with our natural inherited ability.  After all, I just spent all of last winter digging up and sinking a large yard — did it well – and loved it!

(see series of posts:  LINDA’S ADOBE PEACE GARDEN)

Maybe those of us who enjoy and can accomplish hard physical work are born athletes.  But now that I am 60 my body is developing some serious quirks that are warning me that my delight and escape through hard physical work is going to end — and perhaps so in the not too far distant future.

THEN WHAT?

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2 thoughts on “+THEN WHAT?

  1. Hard work was my escape, too, all my life. That and grueling swim team practice, diving, gymnastics, ballet… all wonderful difficult painful exercises that became easy much later on, and gave my life joy. And allowed me to escape the living hell of both of my parents. The garden, and working in the garden, has always been my escape and my “church.” It saved me more than once, and I worked out there down by the creek every single day.

    Now that I’m 61 and have had severe physical problems for a number of years (chronic fatigue and more, all I believe stress related and emotionally related, the more I work on my interior issues), I can’t work hard like I used to. Can’t walk far, can’t dance much, can’t move around like I want to. But I thank God every day for the internet and for laptop computers now. Every single day I am grateful for this. I forget about my bad back and physical disability. Most people aren’t even aware of it. So that is “THEN WHAT” for me.

    I’m also working on all the quiet things I love, such as design work, working with the Mayan artisans doing beadwork, calligraphy, and I’m doing a quote blog with artwork and photos with a friend of mine and I’m doing a prayer / phrase book for me. One that I can relate to, that has words and sayings that speak directly to me. In my situation. I haven’t found that yet and I have longed for it and now I’m writing and collecting for it and it makes life sing.

    You have plenty of songs, that is clear. Your garden sounds wonderful. And yes, I believe your father escaped into his hard work, whether he knew it or not. I learned to be a workaholic since my mother escaped into her room to “study” spending ten years to get her PhD. Her doctorate became the “holy grail” in our family and she was the only one allowed to have one. My father got two master degrees, but no doctorate, and it was a family tale that there was “only room for one Doctorate in the family.” And everyone but me seemed to think that was A-OK.

    Yet my mother pushed one of our siblings to get a doctorate too – and it took that sister ten years to finish and then she taught at a two year technical school, so go figure. Not one university professor in the bunch, although we had plenty of teachers. But no university professors. Not even my mother. With her long worked for doctorate, she worked for the State Dept. of Education in an administrative role. My family is full of military, engineers, teachers, and administrative bureaucrats. Lots of OCD in the family, too. Alcoholism, prescription drug addiction, mental illness all ignored and denied but very high intelligence. High functioning Narcissists, Borderlines and OCD’s, well paid white collar professional jobs, so it doesn’t show “as much” in the daytime, at work. Go figure.

    There’s so much I will never understand, but the more I read here, and read my own story over and over on the internet, in every “room” I go into, I realize I don’t really have to understand. All I have to do is heal myself, and stay away. I ask God every day to heal these wounds that have not healed, and please show me The Way.

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