Friday, March 28, 2014

I'll Get You My Pretty.....

"Nothing is easier than to denounce the evil doer; Nothing more difficult than understanding him." Fyodor Dostoevsky

I hope you'll all humor me reading this post, I am not sure how much sense it will make, but I am wide awake and am hoping I can sort my clouded mind out by writing, so here goes.....

I never found great satisfaction in fairy tales growing up. While I know others got teary-eyed that the glass slipper fit or that Prince Charming awoke sleeping beauty it never worked for me. I was much too busy focusing on the fact that the rotten step sisters were allowed to get off and go on to bully someone else or that no one dealt with the wicked witch. For me it wasn't a happy ending because the bad guys got away.

I much preferred movies like the Wizard of Oz, where houses fell on witches and evil melted. It wasn't until tonight that I realized why my all time favorite movie is Willy Wonka. That entire movie is not about Charlie winning, truth the scene with him at the end where he is rewarded is only a couple minutes, it is about the other characters being called out and held accountable for their bad behavior. To me that is how the world should work, and I struggle because it doesn't.

Over the years I have read a fair share of research on how growing up abused changes a person's brain. There are theories on neuroplasticity, on how the limbic system (which regulates emotion) is altered, how the neurotransmitters and their synapses change. No one disagrees it has huge impacts. But what I have never seen is any writings on how it changes ones perception on right and wrong, yet I am realizing this week it has a huge impact, especially if the abuser was never held accountable for their actions.

Where is all this coming from tonight?

This has been a tough week for me in the realm of good and evil. On Saturday afternoon I
was stopped at a red light and my car was rear ended by a drunk driver. Both cars were totaled, I have been to the ER twice now and the doctor's office once. I am beaten up, my brain has been shaken around and I am lucky, incredibly lucky, to be alive.

The first few day after the accident I was in a fog, side effect of a concussion, and I just kind of functioned but didn't really face what had happened very deeply. As Monday and Tuesday rolled around I had to start facing it all, even though my brain wasn't ready. I started to learn the facts of what had gone on (that the driver was more than 3 times over the legal limit, that her employer allowed her to drive home that drunk). And more importantly I had to face that once again right and wrong, good and evil didn't pan out the way I believe they should. The driver was released from jail without having to post any bail and for now go on with her life, and possibly do this again before her next court date. I learned that the insurance industry is a racket far beyond anything I imagined. One of the biggest slaps in the face I had this week was learning that yes I have lost wage coverage on my insurance but it pays out at approximately $6.75/hour ($250 max a week), so I will be compensated at less than minimum wage despite having a really good paying job. I also learned that the entire system is so messed up that states like Minnesota are pretty much pre-designed to burden the innocent party no matter what. MN is what is called a no-fault state related to insurance. This basically means no matter how wrong someone is, they aren't held accountable off the bat. Everything first has to be paid through my insurance and then if we fight hard enough it gets repaid to my insurance by hers. This whole concept has floored me. Add on top of that that insurance looks at the cash value of your car and not making sure you are back in a functional vehicle (yes I now have a car payment also) and it was too much for me.

Growing up with a father who had no moral conscience, having been paralyzed by a surgeon's mistakes who was never held to task for it, this being the second time I have had a car totaled by a drunk driver (was in a similar accident when I was 16 and that person was never fittingly dealt with either despite it not being his first or last DWI) I have a hard time emotionally with this kind of situation. It makes me terribly angry. But anger is a weird emotion for me. A therapist years ago helped me understand that because my father's anger was big and explosive and ended up with people being hit or the likes I do everything in my power to hide from anger (mine or others). When I get angry I turn it inside myself and it ends up as depression and some not so pretty thoughts about my life.

And that is definitely where I headed this week as the fog started to slowly clear and reality started to sink in.

But looking back over the last few days I am seeing it differently tonight, because just like Cinderella had her Fairy God Mother, and Snow White her dwarfs, I am surrounded by some amazing people, and one of them chose to kick me in the butt and remind me how dangerous my line of thinking was. That I was giving the very evil I was angry at more power over me by making the bad the focus and that I was missing the good parts of the story, and was doing it at my own expense.

I was so laser focused on the drunk who hit me that I was not even seeing all the people who have rallied around me this week. The friends who in the minutes after the accident dropped everything they were doing to come take care of me and protect me; all the folks dealing with the new home I was in the process of buying who worked together to change the closing date so I could get that done before I had to buy a new car; the friend who pushed me towards a great lawyer who has navigated all the insurance stuff for me; the friends who are giving up their time to pack my house and move me since I am physically not up to doing it myself; friends near and far away (and my new found brother and his mom) who have checked in on me and offered support over and over; the friend's mom who moved all her work to the ER this morning so that I didn't have to drive myself.

There is way more glass slipper in this story than there is evil step sisters, and I just needed to be reminded the stories are written that way for a reason. That they are still happy endings even if the punishment didn't fit the crime. That I do get to ride off on the white horse (ok she isn't white but go with it) into my new life in my new home despite all this. That which pages we choose to remember of our fairy tale are a choice that we make, not that are made for us!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Home is where the heart is....

Time for another big change (definitely one for the better). I am making the next life leap and moving. For the past almost three years the important things in my life, especially my horses, have been shifting north. My riding and my horse time and being with most of my horse friends required a 40 min to an hour drive in each direction, and my life was dictated by weather, and road conditions and being able to commit at least 3 hours of time. Too often my heart had to accept canceling a riding lesson or skipping a ride or bailing on friends, and it was wearing on me. The end of this month that changes.

I will be moving to Stillwater MN, and will be just over four miles away from the barn. Close enough to give treats and get hugs even if I am not riding. I will also be much closer to Joker, and will get to see him more too. 

Moving to Stillwater feels in a lot of ways like going back to where I grew up, a small town, with rolling hills, historic buildings, large farms and nestled on the shores of a beautiful river. It looks a lot like Columbia County. The plus, it also has a business core, so unlike Germantown where the nearest grocery store was 30 minutes away, I can get to the real world in about 15 minutes from my new house. Best of both worlds.

As I have been planning for the move it hit me how much how we decorate our homes really represents where we are emotionally in our lives.

This will be the third house I have owned.

My first home I bought I was barely out of my 20's. I was just coming off 10 years of being seriously ill. I was in the process of making a huge career change and wasn't sure where that would go. My life was very unsettled and unsure, and my house ended up the same. Most of it never got decorated or even had furniture even though I lived there about 4 years. I made sure the bedroom and my office were functional, but I never even put a couch in the living room. My life was out of sorts and so was my home. I wasn't sure who I was headed to be and my house reflected that.

Fast forward to 2008, I was approaching 40 and I was well ingrained in my new career, I was professionally stable and that was my prime focus. My personal life was pretty non existent due to travel and my work focus, life was about making a name for myself and that was all I saw. I picked up and moved to MN because it was the best option for my work life. I bought a very classy, elegant townhome in one of those upscale developments where you drive in and think "wow, she's made it". My home was decorated the same way, to impress. Beautiful art on the walls, great furniture. A great place to entertain for work, which I did. But the irony to this home, there was and is very little of me visible anywhere. In my home office I have pictures on canvas of my cats, but other than that anyone could move into my home and it be theirs. The personal effects are so minimal that it was staged and ready to start showing for how I lived in it. I had made it professionally, but I really had no clue yet who I was on the inside and had very little comfort with myself and that was clear in my decorating choices. I was trying to fit in and impress.

I find myself at a very different place as I think about decorating my new home. I have come a lot closer in the last few years to a comfort level with myself and I want to surround myself in my home with things that matter to me not that will matter to anyone who enters my home. I want pictures of my horses and friends and family. I want warm, cozy, comfortable. I want people to know I live there and what is important in my life. If I see something that speaks to me I want it out and visible even if it doesn't match the coffee table or go with the chair. I want to come home and feel surrounded by my life not living it for someone else. If you come to visit expect the curtains may not match the cool cowgirl boot I am using as a door stop or that my show ribbons are going to be decorations in the guest room. I am moving into that time in my life where I am ready to enjoy the life I have built in every way. I love where my life is right now and my house truly will be my home this time!!!

Hey anyone with a truck want to help make that happen in 3 weeks *smile*