Saturday, March 29, 2014. Above my head. Blue sky this morning. And an eagle circling. So high above me. One solace taking me away, for a few moments, from this ugly, foreign city. I was comforted. The eagle has long since left this place where I could watch it. I won’t forget its visit.
Stricken with a surprise – of course unexpected – unanticipated in any way. My new computer arrived at a friend of mine’s office, delivered there to avoid any possibility of loss as I am not sure what happens in this apartment complex when something arrives here that does not fit in a small mailbox. I was grateful for this help and looking forward, finally, to this new computer’s arrival in my life.
A “not really but yes really” kind of dreaded hopefulness. I am not technosavvy. I hate change. My current slow laptop runs Windows XP which will not be supported by Microsoft after April 8th. I really didn’t have a choice. I needed a new one.
Intimidating. At my son’s recommendation I bought a Dell 17 with a processor upgrade running Windows 8.1. Everyone I know runs Windows 7, but I figured that I would try to get a little bit ahead of the curve knowing in the future 7 will drop off of Microsoft’s radar before 8 will.
I ordered David Pogue’s, “The Missing Manual” for 8.1. In my own way I have been mentally and emotionally preparing for my “new baby” knowing I know next to NOTHING about all-this-jazz. But I’ve been PLANNING for this (unwanted but necessary) change, creating the most positive attitude I could manage. Last night my friend called, had the computer up, running, online – NOT at my house!?!?!
I could not explain my reaction. My friend was instantly enraged that I could possibly object to their assistance in “setting the computer up.” That rage shut me down so completely I have been leaking emotion out the soles of my feet ever since.
A BIG DEAL?
I had internally arranged to meet-n-greet this intimidating new technopartner-of-mind right out of the virgin box. MY hands taking the computer out. Nobody else’s.
I find now that I WANTED to “do this” my way. I WANT very little as I have written about on this blog before. WANTING anything during the 18 years of my childhood was TOXIC to me because psychotic abusive Mother USED any wanting/wishing/hoping I managed to touch inside of myself against me in VICIOUS ways.
Over and over again she set me up to want/wish/hope KNOWING somewhere in her deranged mind EXACTLY what she was going to do to crush me next. It always worked, too. In my innocence I never saw her evil attacks coming. NEVER. (Dissociation was handy that way.)
Nobody’s perfect. “Everyone has glitches,” as someone said to me last week.
It’s not my business what contributed to my friend’s explosion last night over the phone as I “dared” to have FEELINGS about – especially – not being ASKED if I wanted “help.”
Blah blah blah – fast forward through my emotional mined-quicksand to this moment nearly 24 hours later. Yes. The computer is here, delivered sweetly by a third party. I took it out of its box (but not FIRST and without the joy I had “planned for”) and it sits on my kitchen table like a lump of dead, broken toy.
Am I overreacting? From an outsider’s view, I suppose so. But not from mine.
I KNOW my history. And I know that this is the first new computer I have ever scraped the money together to buy for myself. I know how hard this move has been for me. How hard living in this cramped dark gardenless cage of an apartment through the horror of a frigid North Dakota winter has been for me. More fast-forwarding through blah blah blah.
How fragile any state of well-being — real and hoped for — is for severe infant-child abuse survivors.
I have been blessed with two long calls with a friend who lives far away from me but is very close in my heart that have helped me process the crushedness that arose for me over this teensy miscommunication and the explosion that followed. He is a survivor like I am. His kindness, compassion, empathy, understanding and wisdom helped me stop the inward craters from opening within me any further.
I don’t believe humans evolved to process information at the pace required in today’s frenetic world. My friend, meaning good, not harm, is evidently moving far too fast through life to be able to slow down far enough to HEAR ME. Truly hear me.
That is OK. It has to be.
But I am reminded yet again about how hard it is for me to make peace inside of myself and when I find any way to do that, how terribly delicate that peace really is.
Not a lasting peace. I have to come up with an entirely different plan about how I am going to cross the chasm that exists between my comfort and dexterity with this old computer and the entirely new, intimidating, downright scary transition I will have to do to make peace with a new computer which will, eventually, give me so much more of what I need than this old one does.
Peace again with my well-intentioned friend? I trust our relationship. We will of course “get past this.” At the same time – having been built through trauma the way that I was – I have yet another strange wound ricocheting down the corridors of time within which I have more wounds than I can barely bear as it is. So – something has now CHANGED inside of me regarding my relationship with this person. I learned something the hard way. I don’t forget these things.
Not even if I want to.
While all the sweetness I had worked to put in to the computer change in my life has gone away, I did manage to hold onto the precious sweetness of happiness about my decision to invest in professional drumming lessons for myself.
A friend took me to my first lesson today and I could not be more tickled. Gently, sweetly tickled. Brett spent this first 30 minutes carefully – and I mean CARE-FULL-ly arranging my shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers into precise shape as he dictated precise motion. I felt like an awkward mannequin assemblage, clumsy and lost – but also feeling delighted in being on that little stool in that tiny (I have claustrophobia) room with that amazingly gifted musician-teacher.
I was not scared. I was not crushed. Nothing big like a mammoth trampled my joy or my hopes that I can ACTUALLY learn to play DRUMS!
Not a note. Not a tap of sound today. Hey! This is the RIGHT way to learn an instrument! I am SO Happy!
And happy has such precious value to me. I was formed to be nearly constitutionally incapable of feeling safe enough in the world to feel joy – or to play! All three are intimately connected — safety, joy and play are inextricably intertwined.
So while any possibility of playfulness has at least currently been removed from my interactions with this new computer in my kitchen, I DO have hope at least I can plow forward, trudge along forward, live through whatever it takes next to get my computer-plan back online in some sort of fashion.
And I most certainly have drumming hopes! Next weekend is the all-day percussion event at a local college I mentioned here recently, so no lesson again for two weeks. By then I hope to be a much-skilled mannequin moving my elbows this way while my wrists don’t swivel as my drumsticks go that way – and then reverse. I will PRACTICE as if my life depends on it, you can bet!!!
I am STARVED for the experience of inner personal joy (is there some other kind?) that I imagine non-abused people can at least some of the time simply take for granted.
PS. Personally, I don’t think anything about being alive is simple for early severe abuse and neglect survivors. EVERYTHING has a cost – good or bad. Trauma survivorship requires HUGE outputs of resources that we have ALWAYS had great difficulty in providing for ourselves. We simply pay our entire life for the shortages of goodness we did not receive and the abundance of harm we did receive.
Yet sometimes I just marvel at the SWEETNESS inside of me. It was there in me as a child. It has always been there, always been a part of who I am. I am extremely tender – and yes, that does mean I am extremely sensitive.
I am done apologizing for that fact.
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