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Each of us has our own unique GPS system... Truth-telling is the most thorough navigation tool.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

IF ONLY A DISTRACTION COULD DIVERT MY DISCOMFORT

My mother said, “You’re not the same person anymore. It’s like there’s a whole new you coming out.” Two days later I said with a shortness in my voice, “It’s easy to be this other person. He’s not calling. If he was calling I’m not sure I could be this other person. I’m so needy and hungry for affection and sexual attention, for the breadcrumbs of love he knew how to deliver to me in those hours that were mine... I’m not sure. I like to think I could say no more if tempted. But I’m just not sure.”

Mom then asked if I wouldn’t like to get a manicure, pedicure and facial? Wouldn’t I like to come down next Saturday and she would gift me these services. I said I would think about it.
Later that night when she called I hadn’t called any of my hometown local friends to see if I could hang out with them while my folks were at the symphony that night, all so I wouldn’t have to drive home in the rush of Saturday activity. She asked, "Don't you want to get your nails done before we see Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays on Thursday night?"

“Mom. I'll look nice on Thursday. I don’t want to take the time right now to get my nails done," I said with exasperation in my voice. "That’s external... What I’m working on right now is so internal and important for me to heal, I can’t be split off from it with something that will just chip in a few days, need constant attention and upkeep. But I do thank you for this generous offer.”

Mom said, “I understand dear. I just wanted to offer you a diversion.” I know she knows I’m in pain. If only getting my nails done could make it better. If only a diversion could ease the daily agony of missing someone who is not good for me. if only it could indeed divert my energy. Nothing is diverting my energy these days.


I read some magazines the gal at CBS gave to me on Tuesday. All day on the 22nd when I wasn’t sleeping due to a lack of sleep the night before, I was reading those magazines and catching up. I use to pay attention to what women magazines said. Now what their proclamations are of little priority in my consciousness. I don’t look at those magazines much anymore because I usually come away from the experience feeling dirty. Madison Avenue hype says life should be glamorous. Reading what they say I should be and seeing pictures of what I should look like by wearing what they determine is worthwhile, makes me hate myself because I don't want to live that way. Closing the magazine, and returning to my life, I usually feel I don't add up and start nit picking myself even more than usual.

When voted Best Dressed (as well as Most Friendliest) in 9th grade, I gave up that award, and chose to receive Most Likely To Succeed because I could only have one award at the end of the year and for insertion into the yearbook. The latter meant more to me than looking good or being popular. This is absolutely still true today. At least some things stay the same.

What's becoming more and more clear to me? Self-loathing causes addiction as well as most of the illnesses or irritations we claim to be part and parcel of our identity.

Most advertising dollars are spent to make you wish you had something you don't have and immediately go out and CONSUME what is being fed to you so you add up in this world. Such a silly surface concept, and yet, most of life in the civilized world buys into it.


Billy Crystal was raised with love, humor and encouragement to shine. When young he was surrounded with a family structure that supported and invested in entertainment and joy. During his first fifteen years every day was alive and exciting. Most situations had a punch line. All this before his father died unexpectedly. After his father died, only the struggle of reality remained. The curtailment of financial ease. The agony of his mother's late night sobbing through paper thin walls. She kept the stiff upper lip during the day, yet at night, behind closed doors the shock of going back to work at 50 having not worked for some twenty years prior was too much.

Life happens. Deep feelings exist. Mostly behind closed doors and hidden from the world. “Smile and the world smiles with you... cry and you cry alone.” I wish I could be funny like Billy and sometimes I can. I’ve made friends cry till they weep or pee or plotz. I’ve done it... but never on demand.

I’m not one to do much on demand. This frightens me. Our world demands ON DEMAND, yet rewards those who break away from the pack and shine their individuality brightly enough to sparkle and get noticed. We pay those who distract us from our pain. What do we do with those who help us go into and make a safe space to feel that pain, those tears that never lift until they are experienced fully?
Where is there permission to process? Kind of basic, like budgeting or valuing intuition, subjects necessary in life that are never taught in school.

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