My Week

Sometimes you don’t quite know how much you’re freaking out until silence replaces the rhythm of madness in your head.

No more crazy voices.

No more urges to go back to old habits.

No more grasping loneliness.

Just a gentle quiet that washes over like the nearby beach waves and lulls you back to what you came here for. Serenity.

This week was hard. And I didn’t realize how hard until I came out on this end of it. It’s taken all my effort to stay sober. With all my new found friends luring me towards alcohol… Well no, I don’t think that’s right. Alcohol was calling my name. My new found friends were echoing that call. And alcohol tried to assure me that it would take away this loneliness.

I’ve never been so far from home. I’ve never had to make a life on my own, without some kind of built in identity. I’ve always been, at the very least, “that” girl. Here, I’m not even “that girl.” I’m just Laurie. Who is she?

I’m a little kooky.

My jokes fall kinda short of the punchline, most days.

I love the beach, the salt wind in my face, the endless, endless water that touches the sky.

I play music.

I like studying and I get perfectionistic about it. I want to impress, impress, impress. How do I let it go? That’s a curious question.

In the mad rush and tumble to become something in this world, how do I let go and let God? Everything in me rushes to assure you – I am capable. I am worthy of admiration. I am good enough. When everything in me believes I fall far short of that estimation.

I try to make you tell me what I should tell myself.

“Hey girl. You’re worth it.”

And I don’t need Ryan Gosling to say that to make it true.

It just is.

So when will I let go and believe it?

One day at a time, that’s what I’m gonna work to do.

And this blog may not make a lot of sense to most people, but at least it makes sense to me. And that’s why I write anyway. It’s not for the masses to see how incredibly brilliant I am. It’s not to make everyone else like me. It’s to push out all these thoughts that torment me day and night so I can realize, they’re just thoughts. And sometimes those thoughts don’t even make up who I am. They just drift into my mind and try to drag me down. Or up. I am the one with the choice of which direction I’ll let them take me. That’s why I write. So I can clearly see the directions I’m trying to go. So I can decide which direction I want to go in.

So that I can know, I’m trying to get you to believe in me. I’m trying to get you to accept me. I’m trying to work harder, harder, harder so maybe someday, you’ll validate me.

It’s good to know that because it shows me what I need to give myself.

Thank you for being, Laurie. I so deeply appreciate you. You are a brilliant person. You made it through this last week. That’s just incredible. With all the social pressure and the deep loneliness you felt, that is amazing. You are amazing. Your family life was fucked, you lost your dearest sisters, and you went through a divorce. You’ve got it in the cards to be mentally ill and alcoholic, and you are likely both of those things. But you just keep going! You’ve got resilience, girl. You’ve got bravery, and guts, and talent. Your music is pure. Your voice is powerful. Your words are worth hearing and I love hearing them. And on days when you’re scared out of your mind you’re gonna fail your recovery, instead of going and drinking, you go to the gym instead. And maybe you push yourself too far, almost to the point of throwing up, you don’t drink. You push past it instead. You keep holding on to your truth. Despite your terror. You chose to go to a meeting tonight! And you chose to spend time with people who have what you want. You just keep going, Laurie, and not in a grit your teeth way. You of all people know how close to the edge you were going into that meeting tonight. You finally got that you needed people. You didn’t need to grit your teeth and make it alone anymore. You needed support cuz you’d fail without it. It’s not about gritting your teeth to get through anymore. Because you’ve finally learned something, Laurie! You’ve learned you can get up and keep going in resilience. You can get up and keep going while holding onto precious hands. You can be super brave without bolstering your own self. You’ve learned – you can ask for help, and it just makes you ten times more brave. You have no idea the power you hold, Laurie Anne Works. But you are a special person and a deeply valuable friend, and I’m glad I know you. I hope you continue to get to know yourself, because the more you do, the more you will love what you see. I know I love everything I see in you, Laurie, even the most flawed. Each part of you has some particular beauty. Know that. Remember that. Discover that. I see it in you. Thank you, thank you with all my heart for sharing yourself with me.

Love always,

Laurie

The Girl Who Was Raised by a Ghost

Ghosts are unpredictable. They are never really present. Shaking, rattling, scary footsteps pounding in the hall at night – that’s a ghost. So how is it that a little girl was raised by one?

Little girl was born into a strange family. As we’ve already discussed, one of her parents was a wolf. She had to try her very damn best to sleekly avoid the pain that one caused, sometimes by pretense and sometimes by avoiding.

The other parent was a ghost.

When Little Girl was a baby, she and her (twin) sister babbled happily in their crib from day to day. Childish little laughter echoed in the Mama’s bedroom, and a beautiful real mama touched and babied her two beautiful children. She loved these two babies with all her heart. But her heart was eroding. Each time the babies cried, she felt desperate. What to do for these crying beauties? Gradually she became angry.

And one day, she disappeared.

The babies cried and cried, but Mama didn’t come.

They stretched out their tiny, fat baby arms for the empty air. And that was all they got. No Mama came to wrap them up in big Mama arms and tell them that everything was gonna be just fine. Between their outstretched arms, air rushed through and pierced their tiny baby bodies, ripping up their hearts. Then Ghost Mother pulled her empty-air arms back and silently drifted away, leaving ghost-like cackling to echo in the room behind her.

This was Little Girl as a baby. As she grew, it often happened that Wolf Father would come to take bites out of her, and she wished for her real Mama to come back. Maybe Real Mama would be able to scoop her up in safe-Mama arms and take the bites away. Little Girl stretched out her arms crying, trying to find Real Mama.

Instead, The Ghost Mother often followed the Wolf Father into the room. The shelves would rattle, scary footsteps would creak across the floor, and Wolf Father would come to take bites out of the Little Girl. Then The Ghost Mother would reach into the bites with her empty arms, leaving a lot of Alone in the empty holes. Little Girl was always terrified. All she wanted to do was go and hide.

There were days she’d crawl under her little bed and curl up into a little ball. The Ghost Mother would often creep into the room and lean down to look under the bed. Now, as scary as The Ghost Mother was, the scariest thing wasn’t that she rattled the shelves and knocked over the glass knick-knacks. The scariest thing about The Ghost Mother was that sometimes, she brought the Real Mama with her. Sometimes, she became Real Mama for just long enough. Long enough for Little Girl to hope that Real Mama was back for good. When Little Girl crawled under the bed, this happened a lot. The Ghost Mother would look under the bed and in that moment, Real Mama appeared. She reached out her silken hand and rubbed Little Girl’s back. “It’s okay, honey,” she’d whisper. “Don’t you want to come out and eat dinner? I made Mac and Cheese, it’s your favorite.”

The first time, Little Girl was fooled and crawled out from under the bed. The moment she came out from her hiding place, The Ghost Mother came back and disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Little Girl sat up against the bed and cried. Her little stomach heaved with tears that she couldn’t stop even though she tried. The Wolf Father often came in at that moment and growled at her to stop crying. “Only babies cry,” he snarled. But Little Girl couldn’t stop crying with no Mama to tell her it would be okay, so then he’d start biting her.

As Little Girl grew, she tried to forget that she had a Wolf Father and a Ghost Mother. She sometimes tried to pretend that she didn’t exist at all. That was so much easier than always feeling afraid, trapped, alone.

There were days she couldn’t deny it away. Days where pain came. Little Girl denied where the pain came from, but it was overwhelming all the same. She often would be bent in half by the sweeping emptiness left by The Ghost Mother.

As a teenager, Little Girl became Middle Girl. Middle Girl was a master at trying to charm others into liking her. She was the sweetest girl in the world and everyone loved her. Middle Girl had learned many relating abilities at the hand of The Ghost Mother. They were effective yet stunted. Often, to try and coerce Real Mama to appear, Middle Girl would ask The Ghost Mother questions. In the car on the way to the store, Middle Girl quizzed The Ghost Mother, asking about The Ghost Mother’s life, feelings, thoughts. The Ghost Mother would fade and Real Mama would appear on top of The Ghost Mother’s face. Often the two would mix together, but Middle Girl thought it was better than just having The Ghost Mother. And the Real Mama would often show up and talk to Middle Girl about her life. The Real Mama and the Ghost Mother started liking Middle Girl a lot because she was always interested in them.

So everyone loved Middle Girl because she found that in order to get people to like her, she could ask questions and the Real Person would appear, even if only halfway. Because people like to be seen as their Real Selves, they would fall in love with her. It was a simple plan, but Middle Girl mostly just used it for one reason.

She was looking for her Real Mama.

Each question was achingly asking, like one of her favorite books from childhood, “Are You My Mother?”

But a dog was not Real Mama. A plane was not Real Mama. A big machine was not Real Mama either. And Real Mama never quite came back.

And so even Middle Girl was left with the ghost. She could pour stories into The Ghost Mother’s ears, and talk and talk and talk. Yet she felt like she was talking into nothing. She was pouring water into an endless hole. And The Ghost Mother would talk back, telling her thoughts and stories, but The Ghost Mother was just vomiting out endless pain.

Even worse, Middle Girl had to hold all this pain. The Ghost Mother, and the tiny part of Real Mama she had left, came to expect that Middle Girl would always listen to her pain-stories. So Middle Girl would always hold The Ghost Mother’s sadness. The Ghost Mother had too much agony to even begin to ask Middle Girl about Middle Girl’s life. Middle Girl felt almost guilty even bringing it up. What was her pain in comparison to The Ghost Mother’s pain? It was nothing, really.

But Middle Girl’s pain was not nothing. It showed up in cuts on her legs after her Grandpa’s funeral. It petered out in a pediatrician’s office after a checked box showed family troubles. It came out in a glass of scotch and a handful of aspirin after The Beast left. It was a great storm after the Twin and the Confidant were snatched away by The Dark One. It showed up in her choice to marry, and then leave, The Masked Man.

Yet of course, no one really cared about Middle Girl. Wolf Father obviously had no conscience to care. And Real Mama was lost, roaming about her empty haunted house trying to find some closure for herself.

So Little Girl, and Middle Girl, were left with a Ghost.

 

Playlist:

Dean Blunt feat. Inga Copeland – The Narcissist
Ed Sheeran – Small Bump
Emily Browning – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Eva Cassidy – Fields of Gold
Glen Hansard – You Will Become
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – When Your Mind’s Made Up
Florence and the Machine – Only if For a Night
Hans Zimmer – Maestro
Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerard – Elysium, Honor Him and Now We Are Free
James Blunt – Goodbye, My Lover
James Newton-Howard – The Gravel Road

7 States in One Day and a stay in Virginia (Virginia is for Lovers <3)

Some things I’ve learned in Phase 2 of my grand and excellent adventure to NC:

I will never, ever drive for 17 hours straight again. Especially not without another driver, but with another passenger. Two people get super cranky after 17 hours with only one of those people driving. But – 7 states in 1 day = LEGIT!!! I rock the steering wheel, baby.

Sometimes you don’t get along with the person you think you will. (No, not talking bout my sister. Other friends.) Age isn’t a prerequisite for relating. However, if you just let yourself BE you’ll get along with the person you need to. Interesting how that works out. Connections happen for a reason so just be and see what happens. (as long as you’re also maintaining boundaries. Important)

Thrifting is FUN! 🙂 cheap pretty clothes FTW.

Even after many years, some bad habits/urges never leave you. So you have to be persistent in re-routing your mind away from it. Especially if it’s a pattern that’s been passed down to you. If you can be gracious with yourself in this you’ll learn some graciousness with the person who passed the habit on. Because you’ll realize how fucking hard it is to actually STOP something that’s so ingrained and thrilling. Thrill is addictive. Man do I love the sudden rush.

Oh and when that rush gets overwhelming – for the love of God use your lifelines.

 

Ohio has a place called Tom Raper’s RVs. Seriously, if you have a last name like that, couldn’t you call your shop Tom’s RVs? Don’t you realize that EVERYONE will make fun of you?

“Oh I’m gonna go buy a Raper RV *snicker snicker*.”

Phone call to RV sales center: “Do you sell a 70’s Winnebago with smoke stains and an orange stripe down the outside? I need it for… my collection…”

Dear Lord people please be more wise.

Coffee shops should ALWAYS have a slow brew bar. I’ve decided it’s not a coffee bar if it doesn’t have one.

The shuffle button on Ipods are controlled by a Higher Power. How else does Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” get followed by Maroon5’s “Moves Like Jagger”? Thank you, O Almighty Ipod Shuffle god for ordaining beautiful music to be played at random right next to each other in such beautiful fashion.

Kansas City Moments

Here with my Grandma in Kansas City. I feel really aware of a few things.

To begin with – my anger at my parents is a strong little fire right now. Having to do with the texts I’ve received from both of them right now. Is it justified? I don’t know. But it’s there, and it’s a warm burning in the pit of my stomach.

Being here isn’t easy. I push aside my discomfort in order to shower. Grandma has a shower chair in the shower and has to do several other things to maneuver around the house. It’s uncomfortable. And it’s awkward and strange for me. But I wanted a shower. So, I tried not to think about how odd it is.

It also makes me think of getting old. It’s going to be weird. People will feel weird around me, especially the young who don’t understand the old. I want to be a certain kind of person though. One with less negativity. I want to always try to find a way to make my day better and make someone else’s day better. I want to still try to enjoy my life. Why not? I am still alive.

I want to find a companion who doesn’t care that I have to be wheeled everywhere, that I have to use a seat to help me use the restroom, that my teeth are stained brown and my hair is white and flat and I wear sweats all day long. Someone who will help me and love me anyway and call me his cutie pie. I am awed by my grandparents and how they love each other! Still. After 20 years and being together in the not-so-easy years. They kiss each other and call each other sweetheart and cutie pie. Can I have a serving of that love, please? 🙂

One day I am going to learn how to accept my parents as they are, with all their disease. They are doing what they can with what they have now. Someday I’ll get that and just accept instead of hanging onto my anger at what they do, or even worse, what they DON’T/NEVER HAVE/NEVER WILL. But apparently I’m not there yet. So I’m gonna sit back, relax, and breathe… and just be me. Take care of myself and who I am and the rest will follow.

Even with doing that for the past few months, I’ve found increased selflessness and ability to be in the moment with my Grandma. It’s been really nice to be so intentional with her. I never have been. But it flows so naturally for me now since I have done so much work on myself. I am genuinely one hundred percent interested in her and her story. She told us today how she and her husband met. It was lovely. And about her hometown in Iowa. I love these little pieces of her life that I get to see.

I think the best thing was that I related to her on a spiritual level. I find kinship in her spirituality because she has so little judgment in that way. She actually used to host an interfaith concert! She is friends with the Hispanic bus boy at their regular morning restaurant – she knows his name and pieces of his life. (Intentionality!!) She’s been to Hong Kong, Turkey, and I’m sure she’s been elsewhere. She convinced her interfaith concert to use a Navajo song as a hymn in their concert… a HYMN. What acceptance and grace!! And she refused to call it anything other than a hymn.

Now that is how I want to be someday in my spirituality. Open. Gracious. Accepting.

Even of my parents! Someday I will forgive.

Today I will just breathe in the moment, work with the process, and try to let go and let God have it.