Magic Hope

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(or listen here)

Newer humans are extraordinary for many reasons. They are empirically undeniably beautiful. They grow and experience everything at light speed. Their very essence and existence personifies hope.

I am one of the luckiest people in the world because I still get to spend some time around newer humans. While I don’t currently have teeny tiny newest humans in my circle, there are still some smaller ones around spreading their hope here and there. I miss the toothless to toothy sweet smelling kissy cheeked babies and squishy squashy runny drooly toddlers, for realsies. If you know, you know.

One of the newer humans I get to occasionally hang out with while her brother plays with SonHerisme (in very determined and competitive ways now as they jump into the teenager times), has taken her time to acclimate to the imaginations I bring to the table of life. She has always had very specific ways of entering into play and pretend, and I am more random with a bit of fantasy. Of course, neither way is the right way or the wrong way, they are just how we are. Over the past few years, though, she has increasingly graciously afforded me some space for my whimsies, which also means that she too is growing up. *sigh* Bittersweet as this also means that she is somehow even lovelier every day. You’d think with all of the children I have known in my years that I would be used to the growing upness of things. I am not. It is heavily hard and amazingly beautiful in every single instance.

This newer human little sister friend spends some time with me at each of the almost teenager boys’ soccer games. This soccer season has been difficult for those beloved boy-man giants, so we have a new game ritual involving harnessing magic hope.

A while ago a dear kind friend gifted me a small roll-on of an essential oil blend called, “Hope,” which I carry in my purse for stress emergencies. Occasionally I take it out and roll it onto the insides of my wrists for a calming reset of my senses as I go through the: what can you see? what do you hear? what can you touch? what do you taste? what can you smell? deep breaths in between, exercise. As one does (ptsd raise the roof – what what! put my hands up, they’re playin’ my song, the butterflies fly away, noddin’ my head like yeah… well, they don’t always fly away of course, but the sensory pause helps and now I have to listen).

At one of the soccer games when the boys’ team was struggling, newer human little sister turned her sweet squishy face to me while sitting in my lap making cookies in a cookie app on my phone (I KNOW COVID, but I did have my mask on and what am I supposed to do when miss adorable needs extra attention – I challenge ANY ONE of you to look into her big brown eyes and deny her this. Impossible – you cannot. I am eternally grateful that she continues to enjoy my company and never asks me for a pony. Do not let any of your sweet babies ask me for a pony! gah!). She said that she hoped the boys would win this game. I told her I had some magic hope in my purse, and maybe we should get it out and see if that helps. I took out the oil roller and showed her how to roll it on the inside wrist. I did one of my wrists and she did the other. None for her, though, because she carries the worries of a newer human thrust into the weirdo world of COVID isolation and has feelings of texture/smell anxiety as a result. As soon as we put the oil roller back into my purse, one of the boys made an awesome play which led to a goal! “Magic Hope Works!” she yelled and jumped about in excitement.

For the past two weeks, we’ve continued our ritual of harnessing the magic hope for the boys’ soccer game – and they’ve won both games. The newer human sister friend is now convinced that I carry magic hope in my purse. I do – I absolutely do, little puffin shakin’ bacon, I carry that magic hope for you, for your gentle brother, for the two brilliant girls of the friend who gifted the oil to me, for amazing sweet SonHerisme and all of the newer humans.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo (I’ll carry the Magic Hope for you as well!)

ps. those pre-teen boys turn into teens soon. One this weekend and SonHerisme over the summer (watermelon weather – only the Bing Crosby recording). They still play on co-ed teams bc that’s how they roll and their girl peers are also fierce as hell on the pitch!

“hope can take on a life of its own” ~Michelle Obama

While I know this post is about hope, the magic hope, and carrying hope, today is hard in my brain and I am grateful to have this experience in my memory cache for however long it can be there. Thank you for extending your kindness by reading, liking and listening

Joe Jackson and such

There’s something going wrong around here

 

Ahhh, 1979.  Many of you weren’t alive then.  I was.  I was living in Germany wild and free on my bicycle, sneaking onto the ferry, eating spaghetti ice and liquor filled chocolates (as one does in childhood).

 

I knew everything.  EVERYTHING.  Being all pre-pre-teeny. And I marveled at it all.  I was the kind of kid who unwaveringly knew that magic was spiritual and real.  I could feel it in my very essence and could see it everywhere. I could tune anything out in an instant in order to experience some magical sense.

 

Fast forward, fuh reahls, to today.

 

All of the wrongs swirling around me, in my brain, on my skin, in my house, with my family, in my town, in my country, in the world etc  are completely overwhelming.  I have had a few tantrums.  Most of mine are internal because they cannot be tolerated in my current personal circumstances, or in writing (not posted bc feeeeeeelings), or on almost daily brief #$%^@&#*$&^%^% phone convos with my endlessly patient life-long soul sister.

 

My life-long practice of flipping the switch and tuning out has a name: disassociation.  It’s so very difficult for me to embrace tuning in for any period of time to purposeful sheer sharp painful unpleasantness.  This is why I cannot tolerate the Zoo.  Also, it recently occurred to me that this is why I excel at creative diplomatic problem solving.  I am compelled to make the difficult things disappear, be worked through, resolved.  I am quick, concise and no nonsense about resolution.  Even if the resolution only happens internally for myself, it happens very quickly.  I do not linger in distress.  Not by will, but by instinctual life-long self-preservation practice which is now ingrained habit.

 

It’s like my “meet-er/great-er” disease that is joked about in various circles I have inhabited throughout my life.  When someone is approaching, or I drive past someone walking on the road etc, I can’t stop myself, I greet them.  I make eye contact.  I say, “hello!.”  I wave.  People receive this as me being super friendly.  I am not.  I am, by practice, anticipating and resolving any potential friction we may experience as two humans, by offering a greeting as a peaceful cleansing wash over our potential interactions.  Again, this is not pre-meditated or meant as a manipulation, it is an ingrained habit I have cultivated over my life as a means for survival.  It’s a tangible example of my switch flipping mechanism at work.

 

The other day in therapy (SURPRISE! I’m in therapy), my therapist was attempting to get me to connect with my own skin as I am currently waiting on results from my latest melanoma biopsy.  She attempts to bring me back to and connect with my physical self.  My brain is supremely resistant. (insert life story here)  It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  She says things like, “when you place your hand onto your arm, does that feel pleasant or unpleasant?”  I feel like an idiot because I do not know.  I can clearly feel that I am touching my arm (I do not have a neurological disorder), and that my hand is warm, my arm is cool.  I do feel things when I am pointedly asked to think about them.  It would not occur to me to wonder how my hand feels on my arm, to even be aware that I have placed my hand onto my arm, or that my hand was warm and my arm was cool, if I wasn’t asked about it.

However, what has me disturbed is that niggling notion that I am supposed to know if my hand on my arm feels pleasant or unpleasant.

I do not know.

Not in an obtuse or try-to-guess-what-I-am-feeling way. I truly do not know.  Then my hand and arm feel like nothing because I am trying to figure out what is pleasant or unpleasant, and worried that I cannot tell the difference that seems like it should be easy to describe.  Then – WHOOSH – I am gone off into thinking about trees and how do they feel?  My son, how does he feel?  How is his arm?  Does he still have the tick scar? How strong my son looks when he does chin-ups with his gangly boy arms. etc. I bet the universe has arms it is desperately trying to hug us with to quiet all of our earthly crazy fear-based interactions.  Why can’t I feel anything yet?  Is my hand even warm? Gah!  I can’t feel it!

 

So, anywho.

PTSD

Melanoma.  It’s on the skin that I am in.

I hope that therapy is not a pass/fail thing.

 

Which brings us back to Joe:

 

Tonight’s the night when I go to all the parties down my street

I wash my hair and kid myself I look all smooth

Look over there! (Where?!?)…

 

 

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

 

Hopefully not on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Hopefully still on my NewPath

*POOF*

img_4323

 

Hardly anyone phones me up.

This is NOT a plea for anyone to call me on the telephone.  I am horrible on the telephone.  Without physical conversation cues, I’m all flustered with silences, weird pauses, speaking over each other, dropping the phone and then explaining how the phone dropped, wandering mind, etc

 

Actually, even with physical conversation cues, I am quite awkward.

 

Anywho…

 

When my telephone buzzes (I rarely have the sound on because the noise is too jarring for me – and, yes ALL the ringtones are jarring to my sensitive ears, including harp, but thank you for the suggestion), and I do not recognize the incoming number, I do not answer the telephone.

 

There is always this lingering worry that it will be MrexH, or someone in his family, and they will be angry and horrid with me, MrexH might express his interest in murdering me again.  Or something awful has happened and a Police Officer, State Trooper, or even worse, my attorney, is contacting me with the bad news.  I am not ready for any of those things – again.

 

Or, it could be a telemarketer, and I do not want to speak with them either.

 

Last week, my telephone rang in the morning, with an incoming number that I do not know – however, this was a number for my city/state.  ALARM BELLS went off in my brain and I let the phone ring 4 times before I decided to bite the bullet of fear and answer the telephone.

 

It was the assistant from my attorney’s office.

Uh-Oh

As soon as I heard her voice, my stomach split in two and dropped into my legs.

 

The call was benign, as calls go.  But, it took me a while to calm down just from the stress of contact with my attorney’s office.  The office assistant is a lovely person, and has gone out of her way to be kind and welcoming to me.  It’s the whole idea of knowing why we have a relationship at all, that is upsetting.

 

She wanted me to stop by the office and pick up some hard copies from my divorce case, and decide if there was anything that I wanted to keep.

We set up a time for me to do that.

I drove into my little downtown, parked in the courthouse parking deck, and walked to my attorney’s office across the street.

 

By this time, my mind was completely blank and numb.  I have to go into this space of, “What would Oprah do right now?” and just keep moving forward.  Oprah would just jay-walk across that one-way street in front of the courthouse and all of those parked police vehicles, and be confident in her stride into her attorney’s office.  Or was it Dr. Phil’s office that she strode confidently into?  It was somewhere, and Dr. Phil was there, the cattle farmers lost their case against Oprah, and Dr. Phil got his own show as a side bonus!

 

I did the jay-walk thing, minus the confident stride, and plus twisting my hair into a giant knot on top of my head as I walked because it was ridiculously hot and humid – so also minus any of Oprah’s presence or finesse.

 

The paperwork consisted of a 5 inch thick stack.

 

It was too nervewracking for me to stay in the office and look through the daunting stack, so I said my, “thank-you”s, and skeedaddled out of there.

 

I felt more confident walking back to my car, because I had an impressive stack of papers to hold – like a comfort blankie.

More Linus than Oprah.

Out of that stack of papers, the only piece that seemed worth saving was the less than 1/4inch bound deposition of MrexH official transcript.

That transcript = $640

Just for the copy of the transcript.

 

This amount does not include the cost of my attorney’s time, SonHerisme attorney’s time, or my time, or my severe emotional strain, or the stupid (yet delicious) take-out tomato soup I stepped out to eat at our lunch break, OR my parking costs…

 

Ugh

So. Much. F’in. Money.

Just gone.

*POOF*

 

The rest of the paperwork?

I shoved it into the chiminea at 10am and had myself a lil’ ol’ bonfahr

*POOF*

 

Sadly, no marshmallows were consumed.

This fiery episode sounds like it should have been cathartic.  It was not.  I did not feel anything other than now I did not have to file the remainder of the papers.

*POOF*

Do not panic if you are unable to reach me by telephone.  I have not disappeared, although some days I would like to do so.  I am only nervous and awkward and frightened and concerned.

 *POOF*

 

I wish I could magic all of that away too!

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps.  Thank you, oh great tribe of friends, for sticking with me!