DEEPER INTO THE BOX

 Is it better to live with your head in the clouds or your feet firmly planted on the ground? I myself need a balance of the two. 

Lately I feel like I have had too much ground and not enough clouds.  In fact, in the span of 24 hours I feel like I have hit the ground from a very high altitude. Yesterday I woke up in a mixed state and on general assessment thought I was good.  On second assessment I reached out to a friend. I expressed myself, got feedback and  pep talk and felt really positive. 

I had a plan. I was going to do what I had been doing for the past month and wait until the overall assessment on the 13th and go from there. Easy peasy, right? wrong. 16 hours in I made the wrong move, said the wrong thing and triggered an avalanche.

It took some cool down time, but 20 hours in I had dug out two of the three of my cohorts out of the snow and was able to not be buried under the weight of that metaphorical snow. In the light of day I really don’t know how to do recovery on the third party. 

The elephant in the room is the third party which is the issue. It is my issue but touches all of us from our own places.  Place anyone other than the elephant in the situation (any situation) and the response from my mates would be different, but because the elephant is the elephant the elephant is being brutalized and I am the one doing it, which is in fact only a smidgen true. 

My 50 years of experience with this elephant means nothing comparatively. Mother doesn’t know best in the eyes of the lambs.  Mother is just being a hater.  Forget that Mother is concerned that the elephants behaviour is borderline and the wolves, dressed in sheep clothing as they graze around the elephant, lie in wait for their moment to swoop in and bleed him dry. 

For me it is hard to watch the elephant being set up. The elephant and the lambs are all important to me. The elephant expects nothing until he has an itch on the back  and cant find a branch.  He hold those wolves up on a pedestal. He gives his time and energy to those wolves and I have seen the outcome of this before. I don’t have to divert my eyes because the kill won’t be in front of me, but in the end the elephant will be blindsided and call on me to be sympathetic and fill the void.

I could behave as the elephant has taught me. To walk away from those things which are not easy or which require time and attention, love and nurturing. Afterall, you live what you learn, although the elephant was not taught that from his own parents, but that is what he taught his children. His children in turn thought that behaviour was normal, as it was also reinforced by the elephants wife, who also selectively picked and chose her obligations to suit herself and not that of the whole unit. 

Life was always fun when the circus came to town.  The tent went up, the stage set, bells, whistles, clowns and theater. I was fooled and thought the circus was the life and didn’t realize that it was all just one giant show and you two can step right up, get your ticket and have a ball. Life is just one big game right?

Not to me, anymore, as my feet have been planted on the ground. When the lambs were little and the circus came to town I had to review the contract and set rules and limits on the content of the show. My lambs could go to the circus for the experience but the performances needed to be scaled back because I didn’t want them exposed to the dark side of the circus, metaphorically, as I was. 

Maybe I should have let them buy the ticket and take the ride when they were younger. Now the lambs are grown and the elephant ages and I do too. The lambs look at the elephant as cute and nice and able. I see the whole elephant. Well, the parts that he lets me see on occasion, but not too often because the elephant knows that I will see him how he is. I think he fears that.  The elephant likes it when I have my head in the clouds way better than when my feet are on the ground. 

The elephant also likes the company of the lambs.  They don’t see the whole picture.  They see what he shows them.  He shows them a different picture than the one he shows me.  They hear complete sentences, detailed conversations.  They don’t get none of your business when you ask how their day was.

It is difficult for me in this role and no matter what I do I see the whole elephant.  The more I see what that elephant is doing the less I care (?) or rather the less I WANT to care.  It is a battle within myself.  It is not a thing I take lightly.  Whether I am biting my tongue until it bleeds or sitting on the end of a phone listening to empty air instead of words their is no middle ground. 

I know I am different from the elephant and his wife. They had the ability to not care about not caring. I care too much.  I have caring children who also care enough, not too much, but just the right amount, except when it comes to their understanding about the new and unwelcome dynamics between me and the elephant (and his long departed wife; not dead, just in the wind).

Regardless of how the elephant or his long gone wife behaved in the past to me or to them, now that the elephants are aging it seems as if age gives a pass for past indiscretions, I am not old enough to get such considerations, and while they do, it is always pointed out that one day I will also have odder behaviours than I do now. I say possibly, but not probably….probably will if they continue to wear me down with the inability to try to be concerned about the elephants behaviour (even though he is an adult and it is none of my business).  No doubt, when they look at me they already think I am demented.  The elephant has been demented all my life, so the odder behaviour should be overlooked instead of examined? Sure thing boss. I am sure these lambs will send me to slaughter the first signs I may display as I am also a female which is a shot against me also. Makes me sound crazy and feel crazy when it is crazy, straight up. 

Last year I went to an event and sat with a stranger and had my tarot cards read.  Two takeaways from that were that I was surrounded by the beat of a drum.  At that time we were in a death watch time, just days away as it turned out and I stated that they were death drums, and the second was about yelling. Yelling is an interesting subject for me, as I used to have sudden emotional outbursts, kinda like I do a facebook rant when I am LIVE and out of control. (or feeling very strongly about something as passion has two sides like everything else). 

I have always been pretty quiet and mellow in general.  A listener. An Advisor.  A comforter. I have not always had it easy growing up, but I had all the comforts of a home and food and clothes until 7th grade, a couple of presents at Christmas until a teenager and a cake and dinner on my birthday until I was 16. As long as you were walking the path of the rules you were good. Step out of line and the elephant mom gets involved and trouble with a capital T. 

I only got vocal or riled when I got overloaded with bullshit that I would take until I couldn’t and then explode and then everything was all good once again. Not very healthy I know. I can recommend D.B.T. and mindfulness, both great tools. So I had periods of time when yelling seemed like a regular,but only to shed that excess emotion. By the point I had gotten the reading I was not a yeller. Not externally. Inside my head I was and I think that is what he picked up on. It was from two years of not responding to that elephant and the ridiculous things that came out of his mouth and the obvious misleading information to me as confirmed randomly from conversations with one of the lambs. 

Or maybe he was just having a premonition of what was to come the next evening, I don’t know. That is another story which I am not going to share right here and now, as that is down another rabbit hole and this Alice is too tired for that trip today despite it being 9:30 in the morning. 

I just want to live my days with the lambs and the elephant in calmness and drama free and not be the cause of drama without having to ignore the elephant in order not to be reactive to the elephant or cause the lambs to crucify me and feed me to the wolves.  I am tired of those wolves and tired of the drama the elephant causes by his behaviour. I struggle to not care. If that is a crime I am guilty but I do wish at times I could just hit the highway and run away from the elephant but that is using the taught behaviour which is what is also conflicting. Good old do as I say not as I do. That doesn’t work for me. I have always taught by example and what kind of example would I be then???

REALITY IS.. WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE TO FOCUS ON

 What is this nonsense?, I wondered as I lay wide awake n the early morning sunlight.  I lay in bed thinking about the course of the past month and down that slippery slope of years gone past.  Where, when, how? Experiences and happenings of the past eleven years, scanning back 15 even 20 years to see where the original glitch blipped in and past without a flicker of recognition. Or, was it on the radar and fell off when more serious and life threatening in their own way, non medical survival, pushing the medical thing onto the very back burner and then ignored, explained away, a concern no longer a concern, just melted away back into the wonderful machine of my body? 

My thoughts race to the next month ahead.  How? What? Who? What? Single word questions which go deeper in my thoughts flicker back into the yesterday.  A day of days.  Ordinary by the past months standards, but not ordinary for me on the regular. My second opinion appointment. My first opinion appointment led to questions and tests and the need for fresh eyes or someone to tell me what all of the tests and things equaled with the assurance that we don’t want to step on the toes of this other doctor in case their plan is more than the first opinion guy.

It got weird firstly when I was asked repeatedly if I would like them to call someone. I didn’t have ghostbusters on speed dial so the question became Who you gonna call?  The answer – no one.  Who would I call and more importantly why do I need to call someone? Why do  I need to call someone? There is nothing you can tell me from the results of any of the massive tests and blood works that are going to be conclusive enough for me to panic any of my loved ones. I had been leaving them with minimal info, as I only had minimal information until I had diagnosis and game plan and we were only on that unless someone isn’t telling me something.

The fact that Oncology was in this doctors title didn’t really bother me, the first opinion guy and the second opinion gals office made light of it, saying it was a part of what she does.  She in person again, asking if I had someone to call, and me again like no, why? even with, you know you are in a Oncology office, yeah, in my head that part was nicely glossed over, but my  question was, did any of those tests say I have cancer? of course I knew that none did.  They didn’t take samples and without a biopsy you are just speculating. So of course, the answer was NO. So then why are you trying to scare the living shit out of me??? (Unasked)

So then I begin to question myself.  No, I walk alone, no I do not have a girlfriend to discuss girl issues with, no partner to discuss life issues with, no, no and no.  I have adult children, male adult children and a elderly father and a brother. My female relatives are in the ether. My mother doesn’t even answer the phone on Mothers Day or the door for homemade chicken soup. The last time I was around her she was in the hospital out of it and didn’t even know I was there, something I would not have dared do if she wasn’t unconscious. 

Two hours after walking in, or was it longer?, pre-op surgery blood work drawn in a lab downstairs, a walk to the car, gps on and back on the road.  If I ever needed a back road ride it was then and there. The GPS had different ideas and kept trying to get me on the Pike. I defied it’s order to take exit 11 and took the next exit to Lower Westfield Road to connect to my now familiar mostly without GPS (sortof) enough that even when I accidentally took a scenic route through the small town with 150 residents, I didn’t panic, I just thought, wow, this town has little but they have some really nice houses and intersected at a familiar spot on the road I normally take. 

(I chuckle at the use of the word normally in the above paragraph, normally I am in my small city, on my little street in my apartment. There is some irony in that word. )

So, again I return back to my question…what am I doing up? Too many of these recent days have been up with the sun days. Is there a thread of a whisper in my head saying hurry, hurry, time is short, hurry, hurry, time is short and I just don’t hear it yet.  Did I hear it in that dream? Was that premonition a foreshadowing? Is it better to be safe than sorry?  Do I need to hurry? how short is time?

Questions, and more questions. Of course I have no clue, as do any of you. I know that there isn’t time to do all that I would hope to do in case this goes tits up on me. For right now in the moment there is time for me to purge these thoughts and think about the decisions I need to make in the now like who the hell is going to drive me home from the hospital?  Why change what has so obviously worked so well for me in the past? (Sarcasm) So, for now I think I write, I make a tea, I pull up a chair in the sun and enjoy the beautiful morning.  It seems so much nicer than feeding the demon that feeds on the fear of the unknown.  That is about the best for a silver lining that I can do for now. Tea is ready and I am as ready as I can be for that tea. 

Blessings on your day 

                                                             photo JMG 2021

Crazy daze

Easter, it feels so far away. One second I am celebrating life, enjoying the trading of traditions, passing the torch this time for my son to cook that delicious ham which was so very flavorful. The love and attention he put into the cooking and glazing for the final half hour, he really outdid himself.

My plans after that got a little skewed. Meeting a new doctor, in person physical and the resulting seemingly non stop blood work, tests, more doctors, more labs, more tests.

Since the 13th that has been my life. Forget the fear which stems from (haha) 13 years of little to no treatment or care with doctors or on my own. The fear from zero to 100 tests and personal phone calls regarding tests and outcomes is so foreign that the extent of the care is mind-bendingly scary.

Little can be kept from people who have been around everyday of their lives. Somehow ze boys sensed a change in my demeanor. Their teasing and intensity lessened, help with cooking, comedies after dinner, kindness and compassion and apparent concern rose to the surface and has brought our little tribe to a whole new level.

Since my role is caregiver, it has been a little daunting when I consider getting older and losing my abilities to take care of myself as I have done for what seems like an eternity. I watched my middle son help his Dad care for his elderly Dad, and then care for his own Dad as he was treated for and succumbed to Cancer little more than a year ago. We banded together to support each other and continue to do so. I pray that we are not on wash, rinse and repeat.

I have been as vague and open as I can be with them and myself. Since I haven’t gotten proper care since 2008 there are little to no records or tests. The pre 2008 records and tests are, you got it, gone. My new team is now in investigation stage from where we are now.

Searching out a missing notebook for a lost story has nothing on me opening the closed boxes in my brain as I try to recall dates, tests, history. of my own health. I am surprised with all this technology no one has thought to make a permanent data base of peoples medical history. I guess that would be too easy and too much work. Medical records are only kept for 7 years.

So today, after another call from another doctor, I am both happy and sad. The new normal. I am hopeful and fearful. Most of all I am extremely grateful to have a powerhouse of supportive people some who know me, and more importantly, some who don’t who still take their oaths seriously. It has been a long time coming.

Whether this scare is a normal level scare or a life changing scare I feel confident that I am back in a place, with people where I matter as a human being on this giant marble floating through space.

switching gears

SUNDAY’S SIX SENTENCE STORY WORD PROMPT

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

I began to panic as I realized it was already Friday, I knew I had to get my butt in gear to have everything finished before Sunday. I may have given up the cooking of the entree for the meal, but that doesn’t mean a walk down easy street for me.

I had tripped over a recipe for peanut butter eggs (a three step process) which I decided would fill the gap and a craving at the same time. I hadn’t realized the steps required, and therefore time, and the yield this recipe produces (with 60 pieces chilling in the freezer) I wrapped the large grapefruit sized ball of peanut butter filling in plastic wrap and retired it to the fridge for the night. Tomorrow the fun would begin with the melting of the chocolate and the dipping of the carefully rolled eggs.

Like I said, time to kick it into high gear.

A box within a box #2

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

Beatrix looked back over the journal entry of the previous day. Anyone reading her words would think she hated her father, which was so far from reality. It’s what she didn’t write down that was so frustrating and connected more dots than she would have liked.

She was angry, wasn’t she always? Beatrix got accused of being angry even when she wasn’t which led to actual anger when she tried to defend the fact that she wasn’t angry to begin with. Was she just a toy to be played with? Sometimes I wonder, she thought.

One thing from the previous conversation that stood out in her head was her dear old Dad telling her ” I never said that”. Was the lack of comprehension in her head? Words are not the only way we express ourselves. Body language, actions, lack of actions….they all factor in.

The daily phone calls had gotten rough over the past few years. It was fine if he called and wanted to chat. She spent over an hour a day on those days listening to things that really didn’t interest her…sports mostly, but listened with a yup, and an oh yeah here and there.

When she called him, he would listen, if he answered his phone at all. Some people should just stick to a landline. His inability to answer his phone all but drove her crazy and those times when he finally finds his phone log and all those missed calls and doesn’t notice they were over a period of weeks are not pointing out his inability to use a simple phone, rather an indication of a nagging daughter.

She could see his eyes glaze over through his voice, distant in the phone as she checked to make sure he had everything he needed or to tell him about the covid numbers or covid safety trying to feel out if he was actually protecting himself.

Beatrix thought about all the hours in therapy trying to work out new ways to communicate which would not set him off. The two years she had literally bitten her tongue when he said outlandish things so he wouldn’t misconstrue her response. ..

The words cutting like a knife through her heart…”are we friends or enemies.” Daughter I am, daughter I have always been and daughter I will always be. Sometimes I feel like his answer would be different than mine.

Beatrix thought about all the hours in therapy trying to work out new ways to communicate which would not set him off. The two years she had literally bitten her tongue when he said outlandish things so he wouldn’t misconstrue her response. ..

The words cutting like a knife through her heart…”are we friends or enemies.” Daughter I am, daughter I have always been and daughter I will always be. Sometimes I feel like his answer would be different than mine.

a box within a box

I find myself changed. It is more than the grayer hair, the wrinkles on my forehead or etched under my eyes, especially on days like today, awake now at 10:30, longer than I actually slept.

It wasn’t my intention to be awake before the day had come to light, but that is where I found myself. Something I regret today, more than most days that I am up early against my will and not just because of the exhaustion I feel.

Would I have been able to crawl back to bed and fall into deep sleep if I hadn’t looked out the window? If my brain hadn’t connected dots from last nights conversation? If that conversation hadn’t revealed the box inside the box?

Did you ever just have a general conversation regarding something as benign as one’s day, what they did, how it was? Of course, you have, we all have. Then have that same conversation in the conversation where the story has changed, although the event didn’t, you were just given more details of the actual event.

Expand it a little further to be told that the details, which were omitted in this still benign conversation, of a trip to the eye doctors, benign because you, the listener, do not like a person in the story, who was omitted and as such, so were the details of the actual day.

Imagine being the listener, daughter of subject, neighbor as well and after the revelation be told, you know my comings and goings, as if said daughter was the guard at the gate. As if!!!!

Then a random inquiry – what are you doing tomorrow? Making conversation… have to be somewhere at 6 – I mean 8 (with said he whose name is not spoken).

No biggie to me. Like I said, until I looked out the damn window. 6 a.m. the car is gone. No biggie, except for the box within the box, or is it a box within the box, within the box and so on and so forth?

Rewind the past 4/5 10/20/45 years. Okay, stop at the 4/5 year mark, but you get my point (boxes within boxes) A total breakdown of ability to communicate to the revelation of last night/this a.m. why? because keeping track of lies is a bitch and it is easier to avoid a person and talking to them because you are involved in some ridiculous subterfuge.

The best part…being made out to be the problem and casting shade on your daughter because you choose to lie about stuff that doesn’t matter to begin with.

And that, boys and girls is why truth matters.

SERVICE

This is my second week in the


#SixSentenceStory; Service

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

I was both full of eager anticipation, and extreme trepidation as it was the first time I was relinquishing the cooking of the Easter Ham.

My son had practically begged me, but let me have the fun of the mashed potatoes, other vegetables and dessert. He is a novice at cooking but I had absolute faith that he could pull it off.

We arrived home to the delicious aroma of baked ham and the table was set and ready to go. I sat and had the best service ever from dinner to dessert. It would be a disservice not to acknowledge what a great job he had done.

UNEXPECTED pARTS 1-9

It recently came to my attention that this story, which was previously published as part of a 500 word photo challenge on glipho.com, which is now defunct, was left incomplete. Part 10 was written, but is now in a closet notebook and me and my elves are looking for it.

In the course of discovering that gem, I discovered that all of my glipho links are broken, which means I lost a lot of good writing which saddens me very much. I archived, but what does that even mean and where does that even go??? If you know feel free to enlighten me.

I had forgotten that I had set up this wordpress account and am now going to switch here from gclawdia@blogger.com. Feel free to check it out as that was my main writing space, although I did share some of it here as well, but not much.

Bear with me as I dress up things and get used to the program and the keyboard again. I am also trying to fire up the cylinders which began, well, yesterday. I don’t know how long or what the old brain of mine will type out. I am an automatic writer, and it seems that connection is working just fine. I have been plagued with brain freeze or writers block for too many years.

The following is, as I said a post that turned into more. The posts are dated, and I released them as I wrote them. Sorry if this is the unedited switch of person piece, I will go through it all AFTER I locate part 10.

Photo Jennifer M. Gallant (not original photo for prompt) (long story)

In light of being really busy today and not having time to write before my granddaughter arrives for our fabulous and long overdue sleepover and to have my story all in one place so I don’t lose anymore of it accidentally, (long story ~ me and the nook do not get along)(notice part 8 is different than the original!) I decided to share the entire story to date in one place up to the newest part 9 which I wrote the other day.
I do hope you will take a moment to read, comment, like and share.  I hope to be back up and running soon, since I have been feeling better and may be able to get my own computer up and running before too long.  
Without further adieu, my unexpected 9 part story which began from a 500 word photo challenge off of Glipho, whom I love!!  This piece, written and posted as cliffhangers  has taken me to a whole new place as far as writing goes.  I also have more fiction which deviates from my “normal” blog writing which I had been doing regularly.  Feel free to check it out.
I also have decided to opt out of the Novel in a Month during November since I do not have regular access to a computer, so for now this is the best I can do ~ Part 10 is in the works and who knows after that!!
UNEXPECTEDJennifer M. Gallant aka GClawdia

It was getting dark as I walked down the wooded road.  I was not afraid.  Being alone in the woods was only scary if you let yourself be scared.  A twig cracked to my right.  Okay, maybe I was  a little scared.

After escaping from the basement of the house I was held up in I had less to fear out here in the woods than what my captures might have done for me if I hadn’t of used my head and taken the one opportunity to escape.

What a freaky day it was turning out to be.  I  was minding my own business when I found myself thrown into a car and dragged into a house I had never seen, to be left alone in the creepy basement.
They should have tied me up if they didn’t want me to escape.  Thankfully they were not that smart. Now I found myself on this wood road as night fell.  I should be more concerned that they might find me, but I was more concerned about trying to figure out where in the hell I was.

The car ride wasn’t that far, so I can’t be too far away from where I had been snatched up.  I thought as I walked.  Crossing the stream and heading as far and as fast as I could away from my prison, I was happy to be away from there.

Since I had left in a huff, storming out of my house and swearing I would never come back, I doubt anyone back home had even begun to worry that I wasn’t home yet.  They probably wouldn’t worry for a couple of days and it had only been a couple of hours!

No service on my cell, what would I say to anyone if I did have service?  Hey, would you come get me?  I am in the woods but I don’t know where – I could see how that would play out!  Safer in the woods ~ I thought to myself.

I had a feeling if my captures were looking they would be driving on the road, not searching the woods, thinking I would go to where I could flag someone down and escape more quickly.  No stranger to walking, and knowing it is better to be off the main roads, I chose the woods.  After all I didn’t look like I would be an outdoorsy girl, but looks can be deceiving!
I saw a solid stick along the path, that would make a good weapon I thought, in case I was wrong and they did run into me.  Chances are ~ I was okay, but better to be safe than sorry.  I continued deeper down the wooded road.
Night fell.  Now I was beginning to get scared.  I kept walking, listening for voices, noises in the woods.  Any signals which would alert me to be ready for fight or flight.

Unexpected Part 2
Sunday, 23 February 2014 12:15 AM

I noticed an outcrop of rocks off the path.  It was up high so I decided to check it out and have a rest after walking for what seemed like days.  I gratefully sat upon a nice smooth rock, back up against a tree and feet up.
I was glad I had my sneakers on and not some stupid pair of uncomfortable shoes.  I lit a smoke and looked around.  Not too much to see, and now it was even darker!  I finished my smoke and explored my surroundings.  
There was a little shelter under one of the rocks.  Maybe I should take a rest here and start out in the daylight, I thought to myself.  I was very tired.  Nothing had looked familiar.  No idea where I was.Better not to light a fire ~ in case they were in the woods looking for me.  A fire would be a dead giveaway to my location.
The woods were quiet as I gathered some dried leaves to make the hard ground more comfortable. Glad I had my gloves and hat with me to say the least and my fleece under my coat.  I took my coat off and used it as a pillow.
As I lay there, I began to think about what the hell had transpired.  All I did was get into an argument with my son, storm out and maybe if I wasn’t so mad I would have noticed those sketchy people before they grabbed me and threw me in the car.
I wish I had been more observant!  Getting mad at myself would not change the situation that I was in.  I thought back to the basement of the house I was put in.  Not much to go on there either.They had blindfolded me after putting me in the car so I don’t even know what direction they took me ~ or if I was headed in the right direction towards home.
What I wouldn’t give to be home right now, sipping a tea, laying in my bed watching t.v. with my son.  I hope he isn’t too worried, I thought as I fell into a semi deep slumber.  I woke with a start ~ a twig broke very close by.  It was darker than it had been when I sat down to rest.  I could barely see my hand in front of my face.  What time was it?  Was that an animal – or a person??

I listened.  Thankful that I had found this little cave under the rocks.  I held my breath and listened harder.  My eyes adjusted to the darkness, but I still did not see anything.  Maybe it was just an animal ~ I thought.

I was too wired to go back to sleep.  After ten minutes I did not see or hear anything else.  I decided to keep walking and maybe I could make it to the road and flag down a car ~ would it be safe?Were they still looking for me?  Why had they taken me?  These and many more questions flooded through my brain as I walked back toward the path.

UNEXPECTED PART 3
Monday, 24 February 2014 11:18 PM
In the pre-dawn light I could just about make out the warm glow of a light about a quarter mile down the path.  For a second I was nervous, but as I approached I saw one car in the drive and a cat sitting on the stoop outside.
Should I knock and find out where I was, perhaps use the phone or should I head toward the road and try to get a location marker, I wondered as I neared the house.  I decided to knock.  At the very least I could call home and let them know what had happened to me.

My son should be worried by now.   He usually called me if I was gone more than an hour.  With no service he was probably frantic by now.  Hell, I was beginning to be a bit unnerved myself.  I knocked on the door.

I heard noises inside the house as someone approached the door and slowly the door opened.  I am sure no one expects visitors before it is even light out and I probably looked a mess after sleeping under a rock in the woods.

Before me stood a middle aged man, coffee in hand.  He did not seem too surprised to see me.  I did not recognize him.  I explained I was lost and needed to use the phone if he had one.  He invited me in and offered me a cup of tea.

The phone rang while he was in the kitchen making my tea and I could here some of the conversation from the other room.  ” …she is here.”  That was enough for me ~ I quickly ran out the door ~ my heart was pounding a million beats a minute.

Fuck!  What the fuck did he mean “she is here?”  Who the hell was that and who was on the other end of the phone.  I ran!  I did not know what else to do!  Shit!  Now they had a location on me and it was getting lighter by the second.

Things were not looking too good for me at the moment!  I needed a place to hunker down before they located me.  The road would not be safe ~ why hadn’t I just gone to the road in the first place! Just my luck the one place I see is a danger zone!

UNEXPECTED PART 4
I stopped running to listen.  Scanning my surroundings for shelter ~ safety.  Someplace to stop and think and get my bearings on not only my location but the entire situation.
I didn’t hear anything ~ no dogs barking tracking ~ not yet, mainly I could hear the sound of my heart pounding in my ears over all else.  I hadn’t run like that in 30 years and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack!
Looking behind me, I saw nothing, heard nothing.  Good sign?  It was hard to tell.  Knowing now that two separate houses of people were involved in snatching me up and bringing me to this desolate place ~ which was not too far a drive from my local neighborhood store~to an area which I was unfamiliar with!
To my left ~ up the hill ~ I remember thinking to myself ~ why is the option always up????  I saw another crop of rocks which might offer some shelter/safety and give me some time to think to catch my breathe and to figure out what my options were here.
I headed up.  I was glad that the ground was firm and there were no tracks being left to give me away. Had it been the week before with all the mud after the rain I would not be so lucky.  The shelter of rocks would do I noticed as I reached my destination.
I sat down and listened some more.  Not  hearing a peep ~ including birds I noticed, had they gone silent because of me, or did they know something I was not privy to yet?  I took a chance and lit a smoke and grabbed some broken branches which were laying around the rocks to make my hiding place less evident.
I lit a smoke and settled into my little cave.  I could see the wood road I had come off of below me through my “doorway”.  I felt pretty secure for now.  I rummaged in my bag.  Checked my phone again ~ still no signal, damn mountains!  
What else was in this bag that could be helpful??  Some gum ~ good, unwrapping a piece of Spearmint gum and popping it in her mouth.  I got a rush from the sugar and some saliva. My stomach grumbled as a reminder of not having eaten in two days, and wished I had gotten that tea before the phone rang.

He probably would have drugged it, I thought, and then I would not be free in the woods (hiding in a rock cave).  I would take the rock cave over a basement ~ or who knows what would have been harsher conditions since I had escaped the first time.
Not for the first time the words “What the fuck” flashed through my brain.  This indeed is the most bizarre situation and did fall in that category nicely.  Focus ~ I thought to myself, as I chewed my gum.
Noticing the birds had begun their music once again seemed to reassure me that the men were not looking in the woods at this moment in time for her.  My heart was slowing to a more manageable pace now.
Good, calming down, I thought.  No one  could think with their heart pounding like that ~ not clearly anyhow, and I need to think.  I needed not to know what this was all about, more immediately, I needed to think about how to get out of these damn woods and back to home (safety).
Maybe they thought I had gone to the road and got a ride.  I wished I had done that earlier, now it did not seem like an option.  Maybe not right away ~ maybe later.  I will play it by ear.  I rummaged some more.  Nothing to eat ~ I had only bought some cajun seasoning and gum at the store.

I had long ago stopped carrying the knife and the pepper spray since the dog was gone ~ they had been protection from other dogs after the two attacks of her dog while they were walking in the city.I thought about my dog ~ a source of comfort and sorrow combined.

I wish he was here with me now, just to have companionship, petting him always made her feel better ~ and those teeth would be good protection.  But he was gone now, I never got used to the idea of my fearless protector not being there protecting me.
Not that I had ever needed protection before ~ not like now!!  Focus ~ don’t start getting all sad and mushy ~ I reprimanded myself for straying off into loss and sorrow.  I had no time for that right now!

UNEXPECTED ~ Part 5
Sunday, 16 March 2014 3:19 PM
I must have fallen asleep as I thought and waited.  I awoke and the birds were chirping again ~ that was a good sign.  I listened and peeked through a small opening in my shelter.  Everything looked good, safe, no signs of life in my immediate sight.

Carefully I removed the door from the rock cave, crawled out and got to my feet.  I needed to stand and stretch after the refreshing, yet cramped nap.  I still had no idea what to do.  I looked around and noticed a paper on the ground about twenty feet away.

I walked over and bent down to pick it up.  It was a couple pages of the local paper.  I looked at the print and then looked at the date. Well, how could that be?  I thought to myself?  The paper was dated two years later than it was in reality.  Was this some kind of a joke?  I wondered.

The implications of the date on the paper were lost on her.  How could it be two years later than it was when she walked out of her house and to the store?  That was messed up.  I had no clue!Damn, I thought, my sons really must be wondering where I was!  Two years?

I was having trouble processing this information rationally.  It must be a joke paper…I thought to myself again.  I tried to remain calm and process this new information.  I walked over to a tree and relieved myself and headed back to my shelter and lit a smoke, processing this news.
Where had I been for two years?  Who were those men and what did they want with her? Had she been in that basement for two years???  I wanted answers, but I needed to find my family.  Needed to get out of these woods and back home.
I smoked my cigarette as I thought, enjoying the normalcy of smoking a cigarette.  The only normal thing that I could grasp at the moment.  Stay calm, I thought again.  Don’t freak out ~ that paper could not be right!

I could feel myself losing control ~ reacting emotionally and that was the last thing I needed right now.  At least I was not in immediate danger.  Then I heard a branch snap down the wood road from whence I came.
Quickly, I took shelter and put up the door…did they see the smoke?  Did they see me?  Was it them? Panic rose inside of me.  Stay calm, I thought, calm, peaceful, Quiet!  I held my breath and waited for them to find me or walk on by.

UNEXPECTED ~ PART 6
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:55 PM

I watched from the safety of my small opening as a boy and a dog took a stroll in the woods.  If they were with the people she fled from and the house whose door she knocked on she could not pick up on it by the body language ~ they appeared harmless enough.

My heart once again began to slow down to a normal rate.  With this new realization that I had been gone for two years I was at a loss for what to do.  Now, not only was I somewhere I had no clue about, but it was suddenly two years later?!!?

Someone sure had a lot of explaining to do!  That could wait, however, until I could pinpoint my location and  family.  I thought about the day I had left in a huff ~ a minor misunderstanding ~ yet, hadn’t I said I was never coming back as I stormed out?

Suddenly, I became concerned about my family.  What if I couldn’t find them?  What if they thought I really had planned this and no one had noticed or cared that I was gone.  Sure, I said I was never coming back all the time ~ but I always did after a brief cool down ~ but two years!

Now the desire to get out of these woods seemed more urgent.  I decided then and there that I would find the road and find out where in the hell I was and try to get back home.  Home, would I even find it?  
What if my kids thought I had left ~ would there be anything but anger to go back to?  They were going to be very angry with her indeed!  As a Mom, they should realize that she would never go to such extremes over a stupid fight which quite frankly she could not even remember!

Had anyone been looking for her? Where had she been for such a long time?  I waited for the sun to drop down, but not completely set before I got on the wood road to try to find a main highway, knowing that I would get no answers hiding in a shelter in the woods.
I was worried, hungry and tired.  Now she was something else as well ~ determined to get back to her family safe and in one piece and find out what I had missed over the course of the previous two years.

When I was on the wood path again, I began walking in the direction of the boy and the dog.  I was fairly confident that I would hear the noise of the traffic or see street lights ~ something to indicate the road.
I remembered when I was knocking on the door the day before that the driveway led to a road ~ so one could not be too far away.  With any luck it wouldn’t be a secondary road.  At the very least I hoped for a sign so I could get my bearings.

Was I even in my hometown?  This question and a few others filled my head as I walked through the woods.  The birds were still making noise, despite my presence.  That was a very good sign indeed.As night fell, I was grateful for the warmth of my fleece and my coat.

The night air cooled as the night sky deepened first orange slowly changing to pitch black.  It became very dark indeed.  I listened and heard what sounded like running water.  Just in time ~ I thought ~ I sure could use a drink.

I continued to walk towards the sound.  Down the path and further down the hill ~ I saw the twinkling of headlights in the distance ~ a road!  I began to get excited ~ thoughts of water completely out of her head now ~ warmer thoughts of home and my family occupied my brain instead.

UNEXPECTED PART 7
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:53 PM
 I made my way in the direction of the headlights careful to be aware of my footing as I made haste to get to the road before dark.  I wanted to be able to (hopefully) assess the drivers of the stopping car to avert another poor choice in judgement.

I was still careful to be mindful on my way through the woods  down the rocky and rooted way towards the direction I had seen the car lights coming from.  I took a piece of gum out of my bag, forgoing the water I had originally planned to scout out and I looked around to make sure no one was around.
Ten minutes later I made it to the road.  It was a secondary road, not quite dirt but close to it.  Hmm, which direction should I head?  Since the house I had knocked on was behind her, I chose to move forward and stick to the edge of the road in case I needed to duck into the woods if my intuition kicked in.
Pretty quiet, somewhat warmish evening with a pretty sky was before me.  Soon it would be full on dark.  I didn’t mind walking, keeping my eyes open for any signs or landmarks I might recognize along with trouble as I made my way down the road.
I thought some more about the boys.  Sure they were grown men, they had been when I left but they would always be her babies.  I wondered what they thought about my “disappearance” as I made my way, hopefully, in the direction of home.

I  hoped I was heading in the right direction.  I needed to find out where I was.  Why was there never any signs when you needed one?  With any luck she would hit a main road soon.  There were sure to be markers on a road bigger than this.

A phone would come in handy right about now.  I took mine out to see if I had a signal.  I was surprised I had battery life.  Still no bars on the phone.  Oh well, maybe once I broke free from these mountains…

I remembered how on one stretch of the road the phone would just be dead ~ no warning, no service and then just as suddenly good to go, that was in a car not walking.  I wondered how many steps I would  have to walk to get service!

I began to count as I walked on down the road.  “Think happy thoughts”, I thought as I counted.   Check the phone after 100 steps.  100 steps and still no service ~ no traffic either.  This really was a remote road, must have been someone coming home from work.
I wondered if I would be lucky enough not to have to walk down this stretch of road without getting a ride and some answers as to just where I was.  I began to think about how to bring that up without giving up to much information.

Too much information ~ now that was a joke considering that I had 1) no idea where I was 2) no idea how I got there and 3) what had happened in the two years!  I would have to be tactful.  I would also have to be super cautious.

I knew that two separate entities were involved by the fact that I escaped the basement in one house and knocked on a door for help at a second house and those two places/people seemed to be connected somehow.

I stopped to check the phone again ~ no signal.  I decided to have a cigarette as I walked.  I liked to walk.  I used to walk to think ~ driving to think was her favourite with the radio blasting… I was lost in thought when I saw a car approaching.

I could not tell if it was friend or foe but I tried to flag it down.  My luck could not be all bad.  Think positive ~ happy thoughts~ trust your instincts ~ I thought to myself.  The car slowed down and pulled over just ahead of me.

I cautiously approached the car.  The driver put the passenger side window down “Hey, you look like you could use a ride.” said the driver of the car.  I ducked my head down to get a look at the person speaking to me.

A young man around the age of her sons.  Okay, that was a slightly positive non threatening greeting. “Hi” I said, “Where are you headed?”  Hoping his answer would give me a clue as to where I was.”Heading to the city” said the young man.

No help there, but I did live in what was the “city” so with luck they were on the same page. Anywhere was better than that basement or the woods.  I had enough of sleeping on the ground for a while.

“Hop in, I will give you a ride.”

UNEXPECTED PART 8

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 3:09 PM

I hopped into the car, sat down and put on my seat belt.  I did not sense any danger from this curly headed young man.  “I know how horrible this road is to walk ~ it gets long.” said the young man.< \ The radio was playing quietly and the car was warm and cozy after her days in the woods.
“Where are you headed?”  I asked.  “I am meeting some friends in town to see a play at the Theater.”  he said.  I could only hope it was my city.  I would soon find out.The young man seemed to sense that conversation was not something I wanted so he turned up the radio a little and soon the sound of the tires on the road lulled me to sleep.  I wasn’t sure how much time had passed when he said “We are almost there.”
I opened my eyes and rubbed the sleep out of them.  It was the best sleep I had gotten in a while. Good thing he wasn’t one of the bad guys I thought to myself as I looked around.  I was relieved to see a familiar sight ~ the lake she grew up on was to her right.
I tried not to let my excitement show at the sight of it.  Relief passed through me.  Perhaps I would see my boys and get some answers to the mystery of what had happened to me.  They arrived on the Main Street of the city where I had been taken from.  A very familiar sight indeed.
Closer and closer to home and family.  I was excited!!!  “I hope this gets you closer to where you need to be.” he said.  “It is perfect, ” I replied, “Thanks for the ride ~ I totally appreciate it!  Have a great time at your play.”
“You’re welcome,” he said.  They both got out of the car.  He headed to meet his friends and I lit a cigarette and contemplated whether I should call home first or just show up.  I was still a little groggy from my nap so I decided to walk in the direction of my son’s residence.
Not too much had changed in the two years I had been away.  Perhaps that paper in the woods was not accurate ~ I was less concerned about the passage of time and more concerned about seeing my family.
I wondered what they thought about her disappearance and if they would be angry with her for the millionth time.   As  I walked nearer to their home I got nervous about their reactions.  Maybe I should call.
I took out my phone and began to dial and hung up the phone.  What would I say over the phone to them?  Maybe I should just show up.  It was early, just beginning to get dark and it wasn’t too much further now.
I became more anxious and excited as I neared the boys home.  I decided to phone after all.  I dialed the number and the phone rang and rang.
UNEXPECTED PART 9Wednesday, 12 November 2014 3:53 PM

The phone continued to ring as I walked towards the last place I knew the boys were.  I hoped that they were still there.  I was so nervous as I anticipated seeing them and their reactions to seeing her.
I began to wonder just how angry they would be.  What could they be thinking?  I did leave the house angrily, but not so angry that I would leave and have no contact for a couple of years and I hoped they knew that.
I walked the familiar roads not passing any other pedestrians as I went.  Now that I was in familiar territory I was not afraid at all.  First things first, I thought ~ see the boys and find out what they know.
After that all I wanted was a shower and some food and a real bed to sleep in.  I was sure that their anger would be minimal and that their relief at seeing her alive and well would override that anger. Time would tell.
I arrived at the street where the house was located, passing the second elementary school I had attended years before, which was now converted into condominiums.  The house was halfway down the street, I could see it from where she was on the corner.
It was difficult to tell if anyone was home due to the angle of the house.  I dialed the phone again to give them a heads up and to feel out their reaction.  Still the phone rang and rang.  I dialed the other numbers I had for them.
Still no answer.  That was odd ~ or was it?  Sometimes they neglected to answer the phone when they were busy.  I continued down the street  trying to keep my nervousness at bay.  This was almost as intense as walking down the road and waiting for a ride!
I tried to clear my mind. I had no idea what I would or could say to them to explain my absence.  I knew that they would not believe me, yet some part of me hoped they had developed some compassion in the time I had been gone.
Each step closer made her more anxious in anticipation of seeing them and about their reactions.  I lit another smoke and approached the house.  The house looked the same and as I walked up the driveway towards the front entrance noticing a familiar car in the driveway.
I took it for a good sign and my nervousness abated somewhat.  I took a final drag off of my smoke and tossed it to the ground and crushed it out with my foot before I walked up the porch steps onto the enclosed porch.
Everything looked the same so I could only hope that they still lived there and that someone was at home.  I had figured her youngest son would have moved in with his brother and his Dad after her sudden departure, otherwise I could not even begin to imagine where to find him.  I wondered where all of my belongings were as well.
Knock, knock, knock on the door.  My heart was pounding and my pulse was rapid as I waited for signs of life.

FILTER

When I was little I learned to read early.  My Mom got me into kindergarten early because of it.  I was younger than everyone else.  Looking back now, I realize it wasn’t my classmates fault that they picked on me like they would a little sister, all I know is that I didn’t take it lightly and I would chase down the offender and kick them for picking on me.  I don’t remember if it always was that way.  Now I realize that my brain filtered my memories, good and bad, in that way it enabled me to continue on the path of life.

SOLICITING FEEDBACK FOR A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING

I couldn’t sleep last night despite having slept like a rock the night before, I was worn down and tired all day with no reprieve.  I fell asleep alright but woke during the middle of the night with a little niggle of a bother on my mind.

(Right now you are saying “niggle” isn’t a word (and you are probably right), but it seems to fit.  Over the course of the day it hit me as to what is bothering me.

Since I write my blog for myself, and I write to clear my head and work through things to reach a better understanding of myself and the world and how I am affected by it.  (There I go using one of those dread words and I hope I used it properly!)

So, over my first cup of tea I realized I had disrespected myself and I am not proud of it.  In the moment it seemed like I was doing the right thing, but not really and I did it anyway.  Curious yet?

As you might have realized by all of my writing I am a people pleaser.  I hate confrontation and I hate to make waves and I overall like to help out where I can.  That being said, a friend of mine who is going through a loss and who has major anxiety on a good day had a problem.  I offered a solution and it seemed to be positive.  My solution was accepted and all was well in the world.

It was a simple storage solution, I had room, they didn’t I offered they accepted, done and done.  No problems there.  The next day the friend decided that she wanted to trade what I was storing for a duplicate ~ same size, same space ~ again ~ no problem.

The problem came when I agreed and then got accused of being argumentative (which I wasn’t)(and why do I have to defend myself?????  Now, I was questioning a whole lot (internally) and it turned into a “Do whatever you want” kind of situation.

Now, if you know me, I hate to be accused of doing something I am not doing AND  sometimes it makes me reflect the behaviour I have been accused of. (not in this case, however). Something I am not proud of and am better at not doing it, since people generally do not make that mistake with me.

In my frustration I accused my friend of not listening, which is an undeniable fact.  My friend came and picked up her possession the next day and made other arrangements for it.  Fine by me!  I was just a storage option anyway!

The problem that I am having with myself is the fact that I apologised for bad behaviour which I didn’t own.  My apology was accepted.  Fine, done, right??  Be the bigger person, although I was NOT responsible for the situation and drama caused.  The person like I said, was dealing with a loss of someone very close to them so I thought it might be a good idea to take some of the situational anxiety away and have them not worry about the situation at all.

Now, I am going through no sleep and don’t feel all that great about compromising my self.  I feel like I have personally taken three steps backwards in my growth as a person for doing this ~ especially considering the day before I wrote an affirmation that I was not going to take responsibility for another persons actions.

Sure, my friend feels better that I apologized for her DRAMA ~ I owned it like it was mine and she accepted it!  (Who wouldn’t?) She even said she was going to work on listening and on keeping her thoughts and words more positive.  I hope she sleeps better at night than I do!

I just don’t know what to think about this.  It is not a situation at all except for the fact that I am now bothered greatly for going against myself!  Selfish?  In line with the situation?  I am not sure.  I was truly sorry more that I helped when someone needed it and part of me never wants to make that mistake again.  In the meantime I am stuck with this nagging and bothersome self betrayal!!!

I do not want to let it affect how I relate to people in general and most specifically this friend.  I am wondering how it can not affect me in a negative way and learn to grow from this ~ since my life is all about learning and growing especially in interpersonal relationships.

I am curious, and feel free to leave a comment or email me back on this one @GClawdia@aol.com if you would like to keep your remarks personal.  I am soliciting your advice, opinions and options.  Please mark in the Subject line something to indicate that you are responding to this blog.

I don’t normally solicit feedback but I want to know overall what you might have done in a similar situation, and how you might resolve the conflict in your own minds.  

Exploration