Holy Hecklers

Lordy. Lordy. Lordy.

What in THE holy hecklers was I THINKING when I had nothing planned for the wee ones after school let out for summer break last friday?

I’ll tell you what I was thinking….

I was thinking….

“I got this”.

“oh summer! Watermelon, mud-pies, popsicles and sprinklers!”

“Picnic anyone?”

What I’m thinking now….

“Military school can’t be that bad”

“Why are all these monkeys crawling on my head?”

“Is it too early for a cocktail?”

“It’s only June 13th”

“HEEEEEELLLLLLLP!”

nomomever

Wanna Migrate?

bird

Loyal followers… I wondered if you’d consider migrating over to my other blog and following me there?

I’ve blended the content so that I can continue to write with both voices, and would sure love to have you follow me here:

The Revelation Project Blog

The Revelation Project on Facebook

The Revelation Project on Twitter

and….

Here we are on Pinterest :)

My recent diagnosis of ADD comes with some insurance… or is that assurance? Hmmmm… anyways- it means that the treatment has allowed me to focus more and more on my writing, and I’m working to improve . I’d love to invite you along to help me get there.

Game Changer

Had one of those conversations with my parenting partner today that made me want to bang my head on frozen cement and stick and ice pick up my nose.  Ever had one of those?

There are a few hiccups in trying to have an “amicable” divorce.  The first is thinking that it’s always going to remain that way… like everything else in life worth having- you have to work at it. There are always “game changers” that come in to threaten the foundation of amicability every once in a while, and although usually worth an attempt at grace- other times I say:

“to hell with it- this is WHY most people can NOT stay amicable so why do I EVEN try????”

But then I come to my senses and think:

“this too will pass”

.. or not.

Here are a few game changers that stick out in my mind….( like the aforementioned ice pick)

1) The Divorce Attorney: regardless of any and all attempts to remain amicable and stay that way, the fact of the matter is that there are some negotiations, actions, adjustments and realities that need to get ironed out that NO ONE is left feeling completely awesome about.  There are lots of life changes and adjustments and lots of compromises that need to get made by all parties involved.   An Attorney by nature is set up to have the best interest of his/her client so when it comes time to put pen to paper and make everything legal is when usually the apple cart initially goes rogue.  This can be a game changer to the best laid plans to stay “friendly.”

2) Two homes = More places for homework to get lost or eaten by the dog.

3) Introduction of children to new partners, a *new girlfriend, or a few. or is it several? what’s the difference between those now?- I always get confused by “a few “or “several”  ok, never mind, which ever one is more.

4) A blogging X wife

5) A *new* girlfriend who reads said X wife’s blog and is not “happy” with what she reads  (???)

Now, I’m not at all implying that these are actual things that happen to all of us who have worked our asses off to think outside the box on this whole divorce thing….

just the lucky few.

 

Eight Types of Intelligence and Why You Wore the DUNCE Cap

I hated school.  I’ve written in the past about how I feel the educational system failed me.

I felt dumb.

My grades did not disprove this theory.

I could not sit still in my desk for long periods and though I could focus on subjects the words spoken at the front of the room held very little meaning to me and abstract concepts went completely over my head.  The logic required for Math and Science seemed completely illogical.  Why was I so different?  What was wrong with me?

Insert Howard Gardner’s Seven Intelligences theory and the answers become immediately available! Whoo hooo!!!

His premise is that there are EIGHT ( count them EIGHT!) learning styles and intelligences and that traditional schooling largely focuses on only two – that’s bad odds  right there ( any idiot can see that!)  ( oh, and they recently added an eighth to the original SEVEN so it’s not that I can’t add.. just sayin)

Gardner pointed out that schools usually focus mainly on verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical skills but that these fall into just two of eight categories of intelligence. Some students who are weak in these traditional areas may actually be highly intelligent in other areas.

I was highly visual-spacial, kinetic, and even interpersonal... all three of which fell outside my intelligence spectrum! I can easily get math and science concepts now- but this is because I’ve learned how to apply concepts like this in ways that make sense to me.

Check it out! 

Tell me about YOU.  What was school like for YOU?  Where were you on this intelligence chart? I’d love to hear.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

So this weeks photo challenge is called “Solitary” I when I saw the challenge I knew exactly what photo I would use.

This one is of one of my very dear friends little girl.  When I took this photo I felt that it so captured a part of her essence.  There is a place in her that is solitary… in a quiet, special, no one can take it from her kind of way.

This one is called “A Moment of Solitude,” and was taken after a long summer day of playing with many children and being amongst many adults at the lake.  This quiet  moment was captured by the stairs of the summer camp – she simply put her head upon her hands as she leaned against the railing.  This peaceful moment seemed so beautiful. So serene. So Solitary.    Please “Like” if you like, and as always… thank you so much for reading. xo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

Today I am adding this photo as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge and plan on doing one each week.  Although i am not a professional photographer by any means- I sure love images and love the challenge of capturing the “mood” in the moment.  This one is called “Hanging Under the Umbrella.”   Please “Like” if you like ;)

 

 

Double Digits

The evening of September 12th 2002 around 9:2o pm I met my daughter for the first time.  Since that time I’ve been a student of  joy, compassion, humor, honor, humility, patience, and above all love.   The past decade of my life has been filled with gods light, and her presence in our lives continues to make us better people for having known her.

Happy Tenth Birthday Manon.  You truly are a gift to the world and I am honored to be your mother.

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A Call for Love and the Origin of Cyber Bullies

It begins here.

This morning I was reading one of my favorite bloggers posts, by author Emily Laden.  It was about cyber bullying, and it made me super sad.

The post was revealing how middle schoolers are using social networking sites like Facebook without making the distinction between who they are online and who they are in real life.

Her young brother is the object of cyber bullying, and one of the students in his network of “friends” asked his online community to LIKE if you HATE him (UGH!)

57 “Likes” later this poor child must face his haters this Monday morning, and will ( possibly) every morning for the rest of his life (in his wounded heart).  What would you do if this was happening to your child?  What would you do if it was your child who was one of the ones who “Liked” the post?

I remember being bullied and what it feels like… we’ve all been there… haven’t we?
Isn’t that how bullies become bullies in the first place?

I saw a quote the other day that resonates for me:

“The way of the miracle-worker is to see all human behavior as one two things: either love, or a call for love.”― -Marianne Williamson

So what I am struck by here is that there are 57 children who just “outed” themselves as a call for love!

they are calling out – TO US! We, the adults.

Are we failing them?  How is this possible that there are so many that would think it’s ok to openly “hate” someone in a digital setting and then be willing face that other child in a school setting … with their “gang.”

Sticks and stones?  No.

Words kill. They kill our hearts, our spirits, our creativity.

Emotional abuse in it’s most insidious form…..

Are we creating conversations about LOVE at home, and how are we demonstrating that love?  or… are we just not talking?  Are we all simply too distracted by other things that dominate our attention?  email, tv, chores, shopping? I’ll get to that later?

Well… later is coming… and it’s not looking so hot.

Later is coming and all of us can see it’s impact now ( if you care to look) with the political war campaign that’s all over our screens and in our faces everyday.  Lets look at who these middle schoolers are role modeling.  How many adults do you know who openly HATE and align themselves with disrespectful messages that downgrade another’s choices or opinions or feelings.

Who are you aligned with?

Oh… No – I’m not asking you if you are Republican or Democrat.

I’m asking: Are You LOVE?

or A Call For LOVE?

If our words create our reality then we must make the connection that social networking give our words power that are borderless, and can affect and impact THOUSANDS.  When you hit “LIKE” you send a message that can openly align you with thoughts, ideas, love or hate with just the click of a button.  Words hurt people.. and I think it’s these hurt people who, over time , act out their deep pain of rejection in our society… which is what we all hear… everyday on the news and in our communities.

I’d love your feedback and comments.  Please feel free to share this post if you feel there is something worthy of spreading here… 

If There Be Dragons Part 2

Rumi said that the origin of the wound is where the light gets in…..

Yet before it does, the darkness will always have it’s way with you.  To really know the difference means that each must have a waltz on your dance card. To dance with the devil was an experience I will never forget.

Initially the darkness came for me in the form of all things dangerous and destructive. Life suddenly felt better with wild and reckless company.  I  felt the sweet surrender as I let it have its way with me on it’s canyons edge taking me further and further from the terrain of hyper vigilance and overly capable.   It made me feel powerful to rebel against life’s constricting rules and unpredictable atmosphere and finally I stood in the face of all that I could not fix and jumped from it’s spring board as I took a full beautiful arching swan dive over it’s deep dark end.

It felt good to stop caring who I was hurting and how often I was doing it- it was a relief to plunge into the body of  indifference and finally escape the cloying, choking , trapped feeling that held me suspended between two worlds in which my opposing parents each stood, heels firmly dug pulling me in opposite directions like an under-dried wish bone .  The love I had for each of them had turned to a black unrelenting fear in the impossibility of not hurting one or the other and rather than face that end I turned inward until I could stand the agony no more.  My own fury and fear unleashed a path of chaos and destruction that blazed toward epic proportions as my inner inferno combusted from my own sense of helplessness and self loathing.

As I look back now I realize that I’d checked out long before my teenage years but had never had any wisdom or perspective to be able to understand that this is what I had done.  Even in elementary school I was always “distracted” and “If Monica would only apply herself..” but the truth is evident now as mother to my own girl child who holds an eerie resemblance to my former self in looks and in spirit.

At her age, I was simply too busy trying to put the pieces of my home and family life together to have the stamina for anything that seemed less important. The history of my own legacy seemed far more urgent in nature than something that happend in world history.  Textbooks seemed so factual and precise… and offereed less stimulation than my heightened senses allowed for.  “Is everything all right at home ?” I remembered Miss Crysta asking when I was in the second grade as I sat frozen in place absorbed in some far away land as my classmates filed out for recess.  I had no idea at that time what was even wrong with me except that I was kind of thick apparently – my grades said so anyway.

After I joined Al-Anon later in my late thirties I learned about those roles that adult children of alcoholics play inside the home.  I sat in shock as I listened to the participants describe my life.  I’d felt like an alien on a strange planet who’d finally been reunited with it’s species. Kids in these situations will become the caretakers, the pack mules and the sentry for the events and situations that take place in an effort to survive and make sense of the pain and confusion. They will assume the roles of little adults who work overtime to keep the peace, distract, entertain. Tap dancing through the wreckage as the the tension continued to grow –  it’s equilibrium so delicate it teetered dangerously in this fragile pressure vortex that felt a lot like a balloon at overcapacity for more air intake….

****POP!!!*****

As I danced cheek to cheek with the darkness we shagged and tangoed with abandoned over ballon covered ballroom floor empty of eager party goers popping everything in our devastating wake.  BLAM!! BLAM !!BLAM!!! – I crashed his porsche, I smashed her things, I cursed and hurled and defied and howled.  I beat my sister, I stole from stores. I lied, I drank and I snorted. Even as I sat at the police station (again) waiting for my Dad to come and pick me up I steeled myself for his look of disappointment knowing that this fate was far better than the one that would have rendered our relationship extinct. I would rather die.

At the height of my performance as the anti-christ he was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer.  Our house seemed to heave a great sigh of relief as each side on enemy lines put down their weapons of mass destruction and began the peace treaty that all of us would sign.  There was still time to rebuild the city and restore the burnt out buildings and they did their best to mend the catastrophic woundings that took place there over the past five years in the name of progress.    There would finally be an end to the madness,  but it happen only after months of steady downward prognosis , grimaces of pain on progressively brittle bones as the cancer spread, and ineffective medical procedures to contain it.

The compromise was cuddled at home in a hospice bed centered in his favorite room, surrounded by his all of his leather bound books and his classical music collection. My mother was never far and most often curled by his side as she swept his hair over his still handsome irish brow with her soft forgiving hands, while murmuring nothings to his neck as we gathered on surrounding couches and armchairs shifting with the discomfort of their newborn intimacy.  Adagio for Strings would play along with classical pieces that met my fathers mood as his graceful surgeons fingers composed his opus on octaves outside our range. He died at age Seventy,  September 28th.  I would be turning twenty one.

Life is a paradox… filled with opposites and contrasts and events that must be gathered to each of us in our own time. As mortal humans we gather their confusing  straggling pieces to our chest  like a burdensome laundry pile one struggles to contain as it’s carried up the narrow dark cellar stairs only to realize that each sock that once had its match is now somehow,  mysteriously and maddeningly missing.  By the time the next pile is dirtied enough for that new lightening and brightening formula it’s formerly unavailable partner shows up out of nowhere like a long lost lover for game. set. match. to help make some sense of it all.

As his vitality lessoned over those last three years so did my bend toward destruction. On the day of his funeral I was utterly wracked with the greif of losing him, yet not a pew behind was the surprising rush of relief that comes when any horrible alternative end so narrowly missed releases you safely into the extended arms of mercy.  I had been rescued from the bitter taste of betrayal and the irrational fear of losing him in my life to losing him instead to a seemingly expertly choreographed death.  There these two impossibly incongruent emotions held each other in a tight embrace as my life seemed to know some strange yet certain alignment with fate.

I’d been allowed to love him without having had to call him out on the dapper coat tails of his hideous disease . It’s lack of decorum. spontaneous whims, and unpredictable mood swings  had held us hostage like a wedding party of wildly wilting buttonholed boutonnieres for so very long , yet we would miss it’s familiar hold on us like those who’ve known the blind bait and switch of Stockholm Syndrome.  Who were we now without him?

Al-Anon would also teach me that alcoholism is a “family disease” and once you know that the family unit is truly infected by it’s intoxicating fumes you won’t be surprised when I tell you that we all continued to flirt with it’s company as each of us set out for our own black tie event to live, love, and marry into the fun house mirrors of our fractured selves.

To be Continued…..

(ok- so it keeps comin… I thank you for reading and those of you who know me also know I struggle with writers block and have not been writing for some time.  Somehow last night as I was sitting with the keyboard this is the story that was coming up … and it just seemed to flow out but please know that it’s only my “story” and not my TRUTH if that makes sense?  This is all the past and I am happy and healthy and thriving and I’m telling it from a place of peace… so please know that I so appreciate you reading and commenting AND… I’m really good! -I love my mom and Dad and I love my family to pieces!  I think somethings just unplugging or something so I’m gonna keep it coming as long as it’s flowing and please feel free to read, ask questions, laugh, or none of the above. XO)

If there be dragons

When I was a little girl I had no idea that my father was an alcoholic.  I don’t think any of us did, well… not then anyway.

He was pretty happy-go-lucky when I saw him… but then I rarely saw him without a drink in his hand.  Upon returning home ( usually late) he would immediately head for the ice box as he prepared for his evening ritual getting his martini just right, or perhaps a scotch on the rocks.  Terms like “Beef Eater”, “with a twist” , and ” strait up,” were household terms, and I often modeled my father’s mannerisms in my play by dressing up in one of his suit jackets and patting the front pocket of my button down shirt as I blindly searched for my Pall Mall non filters. I could mimic his facial expressions expertly as I placed my drink order with the bartender (my brother) who usually could never get it right the first time, meaning it would have to be sent back and returned to me for final approval. “Now thats a good martini” I would say to my imaginary dinner guest as I smacked my lips together fishing around for another smoke.  His very presence fascinated me and I studied him with intense scrutiny.

Usually by the time he got home each night and was out of his suit and into his cocktail I was fast asleep upstairs in my bed.  No harm, no foul.

As I got older ( five or six) I got more curious about my Dad and really looked forward to our time together over drinks (mine a glass of milk or ginger ale) and had figured out that if I could stall bedtime just enough, I could even be ready to receive him in my pink footed pajama bottoms.  I’d place his empty cocktail glass on the table with ice… waiting, and sometimes watching the ice melt a few times over in protest to the warm chubby hands that clutched it’s heavy bottomed design.  There I would sit, and wait, in the warm kitchen with the warm Cim-in-on colored lim-o-li-um ( as I called it then) floors. The dishwasher would sing it’s gentle chuggling lullaby and I could sometimes catch myself as my elbows slipped to the side – my eyes heavy. Can’t I just stay up till Dad gets home? Would be my repetitive plea trying my best to look fresh and awake.

Those nights he guest appeared are forever etched in my brain like shining diamonds on the bottom of a tinder box. I was in heaven as he told me stories of his life and “when I was a kid”; and do you believe he could buy a whole bag of licorice for only a nickel at the corner store?! I was simply mesmerized by the veins in his hands that stood out like a map to somewhere, and the twinkling lights in his eyes that flashed their brilliance at me and the gruff tenderness with which he would tousle my hair and then swat my bum sending me up to bed.  ZUBEDGAN!! he would say ( and told me that’s what people said in some other language that meant that it was time for bed, and my Dad was really smart like that…)

Sometimes in the morning rush as he was seated behind the newspaper I’d vey for his attention wondering why things felt so … distant.   When he did look at me I felt a Beatles moment coming on….

“I’m looking through you,  where did you go?”  
“I thought I knew you, what did I know?” 
“You don’t look different, but you have changed…
“I’m looking through you, your not the same..”

When I was in my early teens I realized that unless I got to him before a certain time he’d repeat his stories to me – as if it was the first time he was telling them to me.  It was also when I was older that I’d have to kind of gently guide him up to bed after he’d “fallen asleep” in the armchair downstairs.  When I caught my sleepover friends snickering as my father stumbled around the kitchen trying to make his way upstairs I finally clued in that something was different about my Dad. I’d just always assumed he seemed different because he was “old” well- he was fifty when I was born so he’d always seemed – you know, like when he came to girl scouts for the father daughter night the troop leader asked me to introduce my grandfather.  Not cool.

When I turned fifteen my father retired from his position as Chief of Vascular Surgery at St. John’s Hospital in Detriot.  There was much to celebrate and our home was a revolving door of retirement and going away parties as we readied our wagon for Kennebunk Maine. We were moving.

My Dad (bless his heart) was not used to life at home with his wife and children but did his best to accomodate us by beginning cocktail hour around noon each day.   I grew very close to Dad after my mom moved out of the house and next door.  She was “Impossible” and I wasn’t to “stir the mud” with any of my teenage antics.  Dad bailed me out of a few scrapes – silently and with pursed lips with a warning look that said – “Don’t upset your mother.”

For my part- I wasn’t sure anymore what the hell was going on between them- only that my own grasp on reality was sandwiched between terse family dinners and the occasional blow up.  It wasn’t uncommon to hear a thump in the kitchen ( floor, meet Roast Beef) followed by a string of profanity and in an instant, our Sunday night dinner spirit would be dampened by the empty chair where my mother usually sat as co-pilot to compliment her chef.

By seventeen my mother and I had declared war.  I could not understand her behavior and felt righteously bonded and protective of my Dad.  She could be very difficult- he’d told me, and I’d witnessed it myself first hand- I mean, who sits at the kitchen table in the dark just waiting for their daughter to break curfew so she could catch me and parent me.  A little late for that aren’t we?  I’d turned rude and petulant and could barely stand to be in the same room- the air was thick with judgement.  When she came to me – finally, crying to ask for my help- I was utterly in shock.

“He’s sick Monica” she’d say.  It’s called Alcoholism. I need you to help me….”

“What?”

“ME?”

“Never”

and I told her to go to hell. Repeatedly.

She’d wanted me to be part of something called an “Intervention”

“OOOh no you don’t” i’d think to myself.  It had taken me my whole life to have a relationship to my Dad and she was NOT going to ruin it with this alcohol malarky.

I started to watch him more closely… taking notice of his movements… counting his drinks, his timing, his mood swings.  The unease that was already alive and well in my chest grew to gargantuan proportions.  I began to have anxiety attacks regularly.  The weight of the world seemed to press my shoulders into the ground and I felt constantly rattled.  My inner fears turned to rage and my uncertain world took dark winding turns through reckless sex, drugs, and wild adventure.  I wanted out of this crazy place and yet the paradox became evident….

The only way OUT was IN.

( To be continued… maybe… I’m not sure why this came out of me today or even where it’s coming from but It’s just coming out – finally i guess… on paper so we’ll see if I can keep the thread going with another post another time…thank so much for reading!)