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November 8, 1998

Grief

Finally, finally, finally, I realized, tonight, that that intense, awful emotion I finally let out in the bathtub was grief. Grief and sorrow and pain has been underlying the whole weekend. After the brewhaha of Friday night, I felt like a mortally wounded animal, wanting nothing more than to Get Away and to curl up about my hurt and try and get it to heal again. I found myself trying to escape anyway I could, but at the gut of me was this incredible pain.

I mean, I'd been proven right, again.

I have always been scared of churches. I have always been leery of organized religion, and I thought I was cynical all to the core about how human beings work in any organized political situation. But I was kicked in the teeth by the vehemence of the hatred in that room. By the labeling, the emotional blackmail, and the sheer, overpowering rage from pain and fear. True. It was just from a few people. True, there were many that were there to listen. But those that were using their exits from the congregation as emotional blackmail just enraged me.

I was all set, tonight, to go back, and yell back at all that, tell them exactly how much they enraged me. But I really thought about it. Really thought about it. About whether or not it would be useful, or helpful, or even if it would help me.

And came to the conclusion that it wouldn't. That I should just heal my grief without trying to tear others open, and that I should just deal. They had enough of their own problems to deal with. That's when I realized just how hard I'd been kicked. I mean, all my time in a church I've always said that I didn't believe it could last, but I am slowly and gradually realizing just how much I'd come to rely on the congregation to listen, to love, and to support those that needed support. And that to lose that was, for all that I might belittle it to myself, a huge wound in my trust in normal people.

I mean. I've never been normal. I've always associated with people that were like me. Technical, smart, educated, usually fairly wealthy, some and more with kids, only a very few older than forty or younger than twenty, pretty much none without a college degree. A very elite minority, on the whole. And I've felt, in some ways, that I missed out on meeting more normal people, regular people, average people that are good for a reality check. We used to have some of that on our soccer teams, but with the loss of soccer, recently, that's gone away as well.

Anyway.

Basically, I feel a lot like I've been betrayed and had people turn their backs on me by both sides of the conflict at the church and it's just been a bit too much for me. It was so weird to go through the rest of the actually pretty nice weekend with this great, huge wound at the bottom of my soul, knowing that no one else, outside the church, would have any idea of what was going on or, really, could provide help or solutions that knew all that had gone on. So both John and I just buried it in the normal interactions we got into, all of which were really cool.

The main consequence of it all was that, for the first time in quite a few years, I went through Saturday and part of Sunday on just about six hours of sleep since Friday morning, because I couldn't sleep with all the arguments and voices going through my head, and I know that one of my little girl personalities finally surfaced, told me a story, and finally got another memory into my head that I just hadn't wanted to know before. She cried a lot, and got held a lot by Rommalb and got healed a lot by finally being able to say something. To tell the story, not only to the rest of me, but to John and have the reception simply be a hug and lots of love rather than getting driven away from all love and safety.

It was weird to feel the shuffling, to be conscious of it happening this time, but I've spent years trying to become aware. I also think that it's why I was able to not sleep without completely falling over myself all weekend. Odd the benefits one gets. I do know that the twelve-year-old girl, after telling her story, was very content to curl up and read, again and again, about Cordelia and Miles and how they fought through the times that they had it rough. That single moment in Memory where Miles finally discovered himself, that silence, that balance, that was what she read, over and over and over again to be ones self. And that she loved P.J. and Harvard's take on God and marriage and love and violence, and she took Raven's quote to heart. That, sometimes, in order to be true to oneself, you sometimes have to piss off other people.


The boys played two tournament games, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Both games were awful early, and both games were hard-fought, though, in the first game, the boys got into a funk and they lost four goals, nearly in a row before they managed to get out of it. But they fought back the second half, and they tied the second half. They figured out that they had what it took to meet them, and they did what they could do to prove it to themselves. That was very cool.

The second game was at 8 a.m.. I'd gone to sleep at about 4 a.m. and woke up clear-eyed at 7 a.m. and was pacing the sideline during the game, for a while. Fezzik came with us on Sunday morning, because the game was at Marymoore and he could come. All the boys said that he was their good luck, and they all petted him before and during the game. They loved having such a huge dog as an almost mascot. Throughout the game, people came up to pet Fezzik and talk about him. That was pretty cool, as they all enjoyed him.

They won the second game through sheer determination. They didn't want to lose again, and they weren't going to lose again. They'd decided it and showed their decision by running towards every free ball, they were aggressive, thorough and completely overwhelming. They were the ones that won by three goals this time. It was amazing to watch and encourage and see that wave of determination just work for kids learning what they could do when they set their minds to it. I think that was the best part of it all, they knew they'd been the ones to do it.

That was cool. They have games next weekend, now, but John and I will be in Portland for OryCon. Ah well.

Another marvelous thing that happened was on Saturday, after the first game, when we met up with Carol at Victor's Coffee Company. She'd made John and I two mugs, lovely mugs, with the Victor's logo on the side, which is that of a hand holding a coffee cup up, surrounded by a lattice arch under the word Victor's with Coffee Company underneath. She'd made lovely, solid mugs, with good hand holds, and amazing, coffee-colored glazes that really blended well with the logo and the cup's future usage.

It was really cool to present it to Victor and Jane and watch their jaws drop.

They loved the mugs, and they loved the comments people gave when they came in and just wanted to order them or own them on the spot. Personal creation is the cornerstone of Victor's place, and it seems that these handthrown, hand glazed, carefully shaped for utility mugs were perfect for their way of doing business. So Carol may have business to do with them. That would be cool.

All this from a small dinner conversation and a fun idea.

So John and I now have Victor's mugs that are unique and wonderful in their own right, and they're shaped to be travel mugs and they work great that way. That was very keen.

Another thing we did was finally tackle Fezzik and wash him thoroughly. Get all the ook and oil and smells out of his fur and then, when he was dry, I spent a few hours just getting all the knots out of his fur with a brush. It took a long, long while of brushing, brushing and grooming to get his fur smooth and happy again. We did that Saturday afternoon and I got all the brushing in that evening. At first, Fezzik was unhappy with the pulling at his fur that I was doing, but later on, he got better about it and actually enjoyed the stroking I could do through his smoothed out, unknotted fur. He was really luxuriating in the massaging I was doing as the fur smoothed out to silky softness.

This was all done before the second game so that he'd be decent enough to pet. He also seems a lot more comfortable, too.


After realizing what I was feeling, I finally was able to crash. On Sunday afternoon, after the boys' game, I just went directly upstairs, took a long bath and then just curled up in bed and slept six hours straight.

Woke to to a dark afternoon, rainy, misty, and as dull outside as I was feeling empty inside. So I lay in the warm dark, in the soft comfort of my bed and thought about all the wonderful things that I'd had with the church I was with, the congregation, the love, the acceptance, and the cool things that had happened to me there. And I let them all really be, and let them all go. What happens happens.

That's when I could get up and go downstairs, make sourdough pancakes, watch football and give up on the meeting in the evening, and make out my proxies for next week on the vote over the issues that doesn't seem nearly as important as how the rest of the congregation approached it. It really isn't. We also decided that neither of us were going to extend ourselves anymore for a bunch of people that were only hurting us, not helping us anymore, so that was simply that.

So. On with life.

I also called my parents, for the first time in a month or two, because of busy times at work and other things, and just talked with them for a while. It helped, it relaxed, it got me connected again in their lives. I learned more about my past, about my grand-uncle, about my mom's upbringing and about some of the family history. That was cool. Also that my grandfather picked up calligraphy because he couldn't paint. That was amusing for me, as I knew he was very, very good at Chinese calligraphy, just as I believe Mom is great at Chinese style painting.

Though, being her, she denied it as ever modest.

It was great to just talk with them. No sorrow, no barriers, no second guessing what they meant. It felt so clean in comparison to the other. And I'd done what was needed to make things right on that arena, and I had no regrets and no problems.

Afterwards, John and I just called Tony Roma's and ordered our dinner to go, the full-slab dinner being just about perfect for the two of us. We ran into some friends at the restaurant, talked with them for a while, and I realized that it was a very, very good thing that we'd gotten our food to go already rather than coming to the restaurant. Neither John nor I were in any shape to deal with other people. Still too wounded and raw.

I think we'll both do better, with time. Time and thought and consciousness and healing. We enjoyed out dinner greatly, and tried out a new juice place called Zuka Juice, that had cool juice smoothies of all types for fairly expensive prices, but they were very yummy.

We ate, drank, watched Sunday night football contentedly in the safety of being with each other, and with Fezzik. Everything was pretty much excellent and it was a great way to finish and take care of ourselves. It gave me plenty of hope for long-term healing.

And when we went to sleep, we slept well, for the first time in a while.

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