I will not be broken. Too sick coughing to sleep, oh well. All alone this day before Christmas, tomorrow, too – so what? I have nowhere to go anyway, and I am not going to take this cold flu bug out of the house to infect someone else. So here I am up long before dawn. I must be feeling better after a week of being knocked flat with this thing because I can feel a little bit of FIGHT coming back to me.
Lying in bed hoping to sleep coughing hard all night has not been a whole lot of fun. But this has been necessary. There is no way to get this crap out of my chest before it heads into infection except to be able to cough it out.
As I lay there I saw a huge high arched ceilinged chamber with a heavy iron barred cage suspended high above the floor from massive chains. Inside? My Writer Within. I am feeding her reality honed from hardship. I am working to give her full permission to say exactly what she needs to say once I let her out, once she is fully grown, once I am ready down here to let her tell a story that belongs in that book I NEED to write.
As I lay there and wondered about the large raw bones dripping with sinew from some ancient beast I am feeding her to gnaw her teeth sharp upon I began to hear the music. I jumped out of the confines of that stupid bed that has no intention of seeing me slumber upon it. Donning my down parka (it is cold in this house, cold outside, too meager the funds needed to keep it warm when it lacks insulation) I uncovered my keyboard and began to play those notes. Those notes. Those notes.
A few minutes before I saw my Writer Within growing fighting strong and tough within that hanging cage I found myself wandering in wondering through different lives that perhaps I could be living at this moment in time had something — perhaps a whole lot of somethings — gone so differently in my childhood.
Always when this kind of wandering happens there are loved ones, family, friends and even needy strangers surrounding me in a large and comfortable architecturally intriguing and warmly enchanting villa of a house I live in. Always I am professionally happy. I am healthy, fit in all ways and my spirit rests knowing all is well with the world.
I do not find myself in those wandering wondering moments sick alone in a cold house on a holiday weekend. Yet this is exactly where I am. For whatever reason, reasons have brought me here.
A week ago my daughter brought my 21-month-old grandson down the 1700 miles to visit for a week. Baby brought the bug. The visit was all it could be. Then they went home.
I was not prepared for the depths of my sadness that settled in every cell of my being once the little angel was gone. Overwhelming heartsick! I sunk below those waves. My immune system said, “I will fight no more” and BAM! Here I am sick — not surprisingly so.
Cold alone and sick on the holidays. But I whined this whine already.
Where is the goodness in this? I turn to God with prayer to have my sadness dispelled, my difficulties removed. I pray to be shown ‘the way’…..
In between all of this last week I communicated with the 85-year-old woman who I discovered again in very recent years who used to be our family’s neighbor during the Alaskan homesteading years of my childhood. This woman generously offered to write some of her memories about my mother, difficult to do because Mother brought no joy to anyone. In her vast sickness, she could not.
I had hoped for a written letter of confirmation about what Mother looked like to outsiders to our family that I could include in the back of my book as affirmation of some sort that all was not well with the Lloyd family. By the end of her reminiscing this woman was expressing — what? Guilt for speaking ill of the dead? Pity? Shame at herself for daring to call a dangerous crazy woman less than perfect?
I return-emailed the first 2 chapters of my (and my daughter’s) book back to her — along with a sense of empowerment growing in my belly as I wrote that I wish to address in this book the issue of why NOBODY ever saw what was happening to me at my mother’s hand (with my father’s complicity).
I wrote that I hold society responsible for allowing those 18 years of insane horrific abuse to happen to me.
I guess that would include this neighbor.
I have not heard back from her.
I will not retract my words.
So spoken, do I have the GUTS to write my own story from inside of that hell without cowering or stalling or mincing or skipping what has to be told?
Do I DARE to write the truth?
That Writer Within being fed mastodon bones in her cage. She is sharpening her own teeth into fangs. She needs to sharpen her nails into claws. She has to build muscled power of her own. She is going to do this writing I need her to do — and she has to do that writing — ALONE.
I cannot see leaving my home in the Arizona high desert to return to live in North Dakota where my grandson resides. Long story there, but the best choice is to finish and publish this book so that I will have the money I need to freely travel there to visit.
This heartsickness of mine — I want to turn it into something else, something healing, something helpful, something far more real than misery. I am asking to transform.
No doubt will write this book. No worry about how it will sound to anyone else or what anyone will think about what I say will write this book, either. There is nobody but my own self and God that I can tell this tale to rightfully. There is no other way it can be told but straight out of the both barrels, straight out of the gate as I write as hard and as fast and as truly as I can as if I am still running for my very life.
Two months ago I stopped the book writing because the misery of my story was crushing me. That will not do. If it takes the one powerful thought that in this book and its selling lies my own great hope of freedom to travel to see my loved ones who live in places I cannot reside, so be it.
I will toughen myself up for this work. Resolve. Determination. Talent. Hope. Belief in my right to do this work and in this work’s rightness CAN carry me forward. I set myself a deadline to get myself in order for this task by the first week of this upcoming new year. As hard as these days of journeying may be right now, I am moving in that direction.
Bows and tinsel and merrymaking with company is not a part of this task for me, so it seems. Getting myself strong and ready to do battle with human evil as it found its way into my mother so that she could do what she did to me — is.
And if this takes finding some more mastodon bones to force through the bars to fully toughen up my Writer Within to make her strong enough to accomplish this task I need her to do — believe me, I will find them.