I woke up thinking about Flowers and Garbage so I figured I would just dedicate myself today to trying to put this into words again. Not an easy task, as it is a concept that spreads out in all directions like a drop of water on a still pond. That's why I was curious to see what I had written down almost 30 years ago because, since then, flowers and garbage has never left me and has actually grown over the years to cover light and darkness. (The above sunrise this morning seemed quite appropriate--LOL!) Don't worry. I promise I won't overdo, so this could end up being told in parts for all I know. I won't know until my timer and I really get into this. ;)
Okay, I need to start by telling you the backstory of how my arrogant, self-pitying, demanding, stubborn self was given this whole concept in the first place. ;)
I had already had my heart broken more than once, been raped, robbed, lied to, cheated on, back-stabbed, homeless, seen miracles, cheated death with Dagan, and always managed to survive and land on my feet without my spirit being broken. I still loved life, had faith in people, and had managed to retain my optimism and my belief in goodness and in love conquering all...kind of by the skin of my teeth through sheer determination, despite evidence to the contrary--ROFL! My tattered flower child soul had managed to survive.
My relationship with Dagan's father was oddly sterile, unhealthy, one-sided, and heart-breaking. We were together and apart, together and apart--before we were married, during the marriage, and after the marriage. He'd want me, tell me everything I wanted to hear, get me back, lose interest, and discard me--and later Dagan, too. (Dagan was expected to die, after all, so he didn't want to get attached to a son he was going to lose.)
It was Dagan who changed my perspective. Freezing me out and insulting me was one thing, but hurting my baby boy was another thing altogether. I left Dagan's dad whenDagan was two and didn't go back to him.
A few years go by and lots of things happen. I am more and more confused by people--and how to remain a good, open, honest person when some people seemed to take that as an open invitation to attack. But most people were nice, life went on, and I assumed I would figure it out one day if I just tried hard enough and didn't give up.
I had been in PWP (Parents Without Partners) for a couple of years when this guy I had seen around for a long time kind of zeroed in on me. He seemed too good to be true. (Red flag, people!) Was divorced and had custody of his two boys--so must have been a great guy to have custody, right? (I had no idea you could frighten an ex-wife into handing over a child.) Long story short--he told me toward the end of our brief one-year marriage that he had been watching me and listening to me for over a year at PWP functions and knew exactly what to tell me--what I wanted to hear. He cut way back on his drinking and even quit to "get me". After we were married he went back to steady drinking, secretly. Confessing all this, he honestly believed that I would forgive him and stay.
Stay with a man who (within six months of our marriage) was like Jekyll and Hyde, who beat his oldest son, who screamed in my face, smashed things when he was angry, who threatened to shoot me, who refused to get help for his confessed perpetual drinking, whose devoted 9-yr old attack dog put his muscular doberman body between us and growled at his master when he threatened me? I don't think so. It's one thing to leave me shaking and trembling while the kids slept, but nobody messes with my Dagan. This was escalating quickly. I saw the blood and bruises on his own son when he slumped back into the house after his dad "taught him a lesson". I knew eventually it would be me...it would be Dagan (he was just seven years old).
Nobody hits me. Nobody messes with my son.
I secretly borrowed the money, found an apartment, had Dagan staying elsewhere, and broke the news that I wanted a divorce and was moving out. He kicked and beat the dog out of the house, spittle sprayed on my face, furniture flew, but I didn't flinch or back down. (GA gave me the "red rubber ball" vision that helped me so much--explain later.) He threatened to shoot me...in tears, to shoot himself. I learned that when it comes to my soul...I'd rather be dead than give it away.
The divorce was volatile, to say the least. He'd go from begging me to come back, to threatening and stalking me. I was moving things in a Pacer (had just learned to drive that year at 30) and needed him to help me move the bigger furniture. He'd bring over one thing at a time to drag it out. Give me things. Ask for them back (including the used Pacer). I'd never argue--bring whatever back the next day while he was at work (including the car) and then he'd call and tell me to take whatever again. (Even yarn plant hangers!?)
Guess who started coming around telling me how much he'd changed in the past five years and wanting to be a shoulder for me to cry on? Yup! And guess who was gullible enough to believe him? Yup! Frying pan into the fire.
Several months later I was over at Dagan's dad's house washing clothes, running a bit later than usual, and the phone rang. When I answered this young girl was really upset and demanded to know who the hell I was. His ex-wife. Click. Suddenly memories of other young girls (waitresses from work) and other odd things kind of fell into place...and I decided to hell with trust and scruples...and went thru his house. I found love letters from this girl...who dotted her "i"s with hearts. Took them with me and left.
That night I left Dagan with my sister and drove to his house to confront him...threw the letters in his face! And you know what he was upset about? He absolutely could not believe that I had gone through his things--was shocked! He knew me that well. Had been so confident I would never break my own moral code that he let me come over and wash clothes by myself at his house for months. He informed me that he was bored with me, anyways. I was no challenge because I believed anything anybody told me. "You have sucker written right across your forehead." He laughed. I cried.
My soul cracked.
I had always told myself that if people really knew they were hurting other people they probably wouldn't do or say what they did. They are just self-involved or misguided or damaged, as we all are to some degree. I'd make excuses. I'd forgive. Sometimes with gritted teeth, but I'd forgive, right? But he had known me better than anyone. Knew the hell I had just endured with my second marriage. He had hurt me deliberately. With malice and cruelty--and for sport, apparently.
I had looked evil in the smiling face. Could find no good...no excuses...no forgiveness.
I was destroyed. Stricken to the core. Devastated. I laid in bed and couldn't move for two days. Overwhelmed with the bleakness. Immobilized by fear. How do I live in this world? How do I function? How can I protect myself? How can I protect Dagan? I have just been a human target with a big neon arrow over my head...with "sucker" on my forehead...and big sign on my chest shouting "foolish flower child soul--strike here".
I saw evil everywhere I looked--in some form, on some level or another--including my own dark side I had been battling all my life.
I gave up.
I became bitter. Hard. Sarcastic. I didn't trust anybody. It was a dog eat dog world. I had just been too naive and blind to see it.
People who were close to me were very worried about me. Please! This isn't you! You're not like this!
How the hell do you know?
People had told me over the years--you have your head in the clouds--you're just weird--you think too much--you're not being realistic--normal people aren't like that--you're not like other people...
Well, maybe I wasn't!
But you get your heart ripped out and your teeth kicked in enough times and you finally wise up to how things really are in this world.
It was a dark, dark year.
To be continued......