September 20, 1998
untitled journal entry (2 August 1998)
My father reached deep into the vines, plucking a blackberry from its home. He eyed it in the palm of his hand and then popped it into his mouth, going, "Mmmm," as he let the flavor explode.
He looked at me and asked, "You want one?" I nodded, yes, as though I were being given a special honor. And then, I felt anger. And I felt sorry for my father.
You see, my stepfather took me to his garden a few months ago. He was filled with pride as he pointed out each row of produce growing there. When he spied wild strawberries, ripe at the edge of the garden, he gasped, pointed, and whispered, "Bonnie, look at that!" I bent down and oohed and ahhed, looked up at my stepfather and caught the smile I was hoping for - the one that said, "Pick them!"
I plucked the three, tiny beautiful berries and ran up the hill to show my mother - ran in to wash one for each of us, then, encouraged by Art to eat them all, I did just that. And giggled at the feeling that came over me. "I am special!" I thought. And I grinned and grinned over how sweet my stepfather's wild strawberries were.
My father is stingy with his love like he is with berries. A simple gesture of generosity from him could've changed our relationship forever. But he did the only thing he knows how to do: took care of himself first and turned to me as an afterthought.
My brother Bill was on the path with me as I fell to my knees; breaking skin, swelling, shaking it off. Once he saw that I could walk on back, he moved ahead. He never was around the next corner - (see, I would look, expecting him to notice that he'd gotten ahead of me and wait).
When Uncle Dick saw my bloody knees, he, without a word, went to the car for a first aid kit and began to doctor me up. Bill stood nearby, watching cautiously, as Dick said, "If she were MY sister, this wouldn't have happened to her." I wanted to scream, "Yes! You big bully; you're mean to me and everybody knows it!"
Of course, Uncle Dick was only joking, but it was fun to hear.
I swabbed alcohol onto my deepest cut and begged, "Oh, Bill, come here and blow on it!" From his safe distance, all he could say was, "If that breeze isn't enough, there's nothing my blowing on it could do."
I knew then, "Bill, you have no idea what it could do."
I write this and notice parallels - notice how, for once, I am attracting men who will balance the cowards who hurt me so deeply.
First, there's Art to counter my father.
Then Uncle Dick to Bill.
And, if I think about it, Scott said to me, "No one defines you but you," which really was the flip side to Keith's demands that I defend the life choices that brought me to this moment.
I can only hope that this is the sign of a healing in progress, as I've never let a man help me heal from a man's damage.
The emotion is stuck in my throat. My anger / sadness / pity / pain / rage constricts my throat in such a way that only emotion can. And I pray, pray, pray that I will soon no longer have this sensation. That the wonderful, protective cells of my body will release the emotion they've taken on for 20 years, and allow me to feel it ALL - until it's ALL gone.
I do not want a body that is a scorecard for all that has happened to me in my life. I relinquish it of that duty. There is plenty of room in my brain for memories of all life's journeys. The rest of my body can now begin to let it go. I permit it. In fact, I command it.
Father, please bless the cells of my body as they release the memories to my brain and become the cells that they are meant to be. The scorecard is blank, now. Let it all go.
Posted by bonnie at September 20, 1998 06:57 PM
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