I Am My Father’s Daughter

Me and Dad

I have his hammer toes. One, two, a toe in the middle of each foot. Crooked over, a knuckle reminiscent of possible ape ancestors. Human evolution skipped my feet. I have Dad to thank for that.

Broken skin, forgetting my phone in the refrigerator for the second time this week, forgot to lock the back door. Absent minded professor, I walk around inside my own head only half conscious of the outside world. Just like Dad I am a walking bruise of forgetfulness and day dreams.

A yes man who bends corners and break rules. He is a walking paradox of eager to please and unwilling to conform. Just like my father I ruffle feathers and attempt to smooth them down all at the same time. We do not follow blindly – we respectfully ask questions.

The only two in our family who could whistle through our gaps growing up. I have my father’s teeth. The dentist told me I had a big mouth when explaining that even with my gaps there was still room for my wisdom teeth to grow in without having to be removed; I said thanks, I get it from my Dad.

Dennis the Menace and Calamity Jill our nicknames say it all. Trouble makers, tricksters, telling a joke, plotting a scheme. I am my father’s daughter.

Today driving home from a client session I realized again just how much I am my father’s daughter. For 20 years he worked from his car, going out to client’s homes to perform his job as a public servant. He enjoyed the freedom and resisted being shackled to a desk 9-5. I am my father’s daughter, paving my own way, enjoying the freedom, bucking against the traditional 9-5.

There is no getting around it. I am the apple, he is the tree. I am my father’s daughter.

 

 

 

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Weird

My work schedule is such that right now I am getting lots of time for self-care and exploration, which is nice, AND at times I can feel myself get lost inside myself. Sometimes I introvert a little too hard. I can crawl inside my head, my art, my books, my writing, and disappear for a while. Tomorrow is my Monday in terms of the start of my work week and I feel the need to resurface after multiple days of deep processing.

One way I thought would be fun to do this is to write a surface level post to start my grounding process.

My inspiration comes after a conversation I had with someone recently about our weird. Our weird being the stuff that makes us different, our unexpected parts that people wouldn’t know just by looking at us, it is what it says it is: weird.

5 Weird Things I Like

Black olives. When I was a kid and my extended family would get together for birthdays and holidays, black olives were one of the snacks put out by my grandma. She would literally just open a can and dump them on a plate for us. My cousin’s and I would go into the kitchen and put one black olives on each finger and then run around the house with black olive fingers. I love black olives.

Lots of pillows. I sleep with 6 pillows compared to my husband’s 3. 4 under my head and then one on each side of my body for me to throw a leg over when I sleep on my side. It’s kind of a Princess and the Pea situation but instead of lots of mattresses for me it is lots of pillows.

The smell of new pool floats. That rubber/plastic smell that you breathe in as you are trying to blow up your inner tube for the pool, I love that smell.

My lower back always hurts during my cycle so I lay on my stomach on the floor and have my husband step on my back. The pressure it puts on my back and my uterus feels SO good. I have him do this multiple times a day as needed.

Lunch for breakfast. My entire life I have not been a breakfast person. I wake up angry, not hungry. And even if I did wake up hungry it would not be for stereotypical breakfast food, it would be for vegetables or soup. I skip traditional breakfast and opt for an early lunch instead.

5 Weird Habits

I talk to nature. Animals, plants, trees, water, dirt, rocks, all of that. Animals and trees especially.

I struggle with eye contact. Some people do and I am one of them. Even with people I know really well I am able to hold it for short bursts but it’s hard to keep it for too long. I have a hard time thinking straight and getting my words out because I get so disarmed by this feeling that the other person in able to look inside of me. It just feels really really really intimate.

I carry a small heart shaped bell in my pocket everywhere I go. I picked it up at a shop near the beach on my way home from the first Soul Camp I ever attended. That was a weekend filled with heavy emotional healing work and this bell made me feel light and joyful which was needed. I’ve been carrying it ever since as a way to keep light and joy with me out in the world.

I carry ear plugs in my wallet. I have sensitive ears and I never know when I might need them unexpectedly.

I get weirdly particular about certain things. I think everyone does. For example, certain cups in my cupboard are for certain teas and certain cups/mugs are only for coffee. My dark blue tea cup is for bed time tea and relaxation teas, my golden yellow tea cup is for spicy teas, and my “You’re the Best” mug is only for coffee – never tea.

5 General Weird Things About Me

I have a really hard time with the word portrait. I drive my husband nuts because whenever I try to say this word I end up saying it over and over like 7 times trying to get it right. No matter what I do it says wrong coming out of my mouth. I say pOtrAIt, then I say pORtrait, then I say pORtrAIt, PO-trait, PO-trait, POOR-trait. Then I give up and say picture instead.

I have a hammer toe on each foot. They are not cute AND I love them. They are a gift from my father, along with the dry lizardy skin on my arms. I got all my dad’s best traits.

Funny dances. Funny dances are a very big part of my life. Funny dances come up in my relationship with my husband, my niece and nephew, and my spunky dog (she and I have dance parties when my husband is at work all the time!). Funny dances make everything better. Hubs is having a bad day? Bust out a funny dance and everyone is happy.

I can pick my nose with my tongue. To be clear,  I don’t, it is just a weird fact about me. I have a long tongue.

I have a stationary collection AND I am anti-birthday cards. I love cards and stationary for the purpose of letter writing but I do not give birthday cards UNLESS I have a special sentiment I want to share with the birthday person. Birthday cards for the sake of a card I do not do though. Call me a frugal ass but I think it is a frivolous obligatory waste of money.

 

 

 

Luna Moth

I had a meditation recently centered around the moth which I recognize as one of my chakra animal symbols and from there was inspired to paint. When I was browsing reference photos I found this beautiful picture of an almost translucent green moth who felt half fairy/half animal to me. After doing some research I found that this stunning creature is the Luna Moth and everything I read about it completely hit home.

This is my piece honoring the Luna Moth.

luna moth

Playing Pretend

Last night at my parents house my husband and I were playing pretend with my 7 year old niece, Moo. We were all superheros and we were working on a plan to hoodwink Robin (of Batman and Robin) because he had pranked Batman (played by Moo) by painting the Batcar Pink. Moo made me Wonder Woman and my husband Beer Man. When we asked who Beer Man was she said the guy who gets everyone beer. I almost cried laughing. Neither of us could figure out where she came up with this as my husband rarely drinks and her parents do not drink AT ALL, beer should not really be on her radar. Then when she started coming up with more villains we figured it out..

She named one villain The Evil Mimosa. What?!

We saw her with one of my mom’s Home and Garden magazines. She was flipping through the magazine and whatever page she landed on that is how she was coming up with names. She had landed on a page with recipes for craft cocktails and home brewed beer. Suddenly everything made sense, my husband and I thought it was pretty funny.

We all dressed up to get into character. I took the cotton scarf I was wearing off and tied it over my shoulders as a cape and then put on a pink fuzzy hat I found in the dress up box. Moo found a black magicians cape that was perfect for batman, then my husband tied a scarf as a cape as well along with a pink fuzzy winter scarf thrown over his shoulders.

So Batman, Wonder Woman, Beer Man, and Bat Dog (played by Lucy) were hatching a plan to bamboozle The Evil Mimosa and Robin at their secret hideout AKA the dog bed next to the fire place in the living room.

The big plan was that we were going to adopt all the animals at the zoo/pound and out them on Robin and The Evil Mimosa’s doorstep so when they try to leave their hideout they can’t.

Moo and I rounded up all the stuffed animals in the kid’s playroom at my parents house, snuck into the living room on our hands and knees James Bond Style – Lu trotting behind us trying to figure out our game-, and stacked them up in the dog’s bed. Their dog was befuddled.

A few minutes later I saw my husband, Moo, and Lucy dashing across the house, my husband swinging the ends of his pink scarf like nunchucks. They must have been in a battle with Robin or The Evil Mimosa. In that moment I was so freaking in love with him I could have popped.

Playing pretend never stopped being fun; my husband is grounded and realistic AND he totally gets it. I love him so hard.

pretend1

Seeing Without Knowing

I am really happy with my first official position as a therapist AND I feel like the clock may already be running down on this experience. I am quite content to keep at this for a while; I love the schedule, I feel good about what I am learning, and I am enjoying the work I am doing with the clients I am working with. All last week I started receiving very clear signs about a change that is coming and it feels that this change is related to my job.

I do not know yet where I am supposed to be going, maybe I am not even meant to leave my current position, maybe it will be something I do in addition to what I am currently doing. I know a change is coming though, the Universe has made that much quite clear.

Even in Our Dreams

My husband opened the curtains this morning as he does every morning so I am able to wake with the sun rather than an alarm. After he crawled into bed to cuddle. Laying next to me he teased me about the pillow I had wedged up against my butt ( I think it ended up there due to all the shifting I was doing in my sleep last night). I told him it was to keep me safe from one of his wild donkey kicks. We both laughed and laid together for a while.

I talk in my sleep, my husband fights in his, and what I realized this morning as I teased him about his kicking is just how deeply ingrained our gender roles are into our psyche.

I have nightmares, less regularly than before but still quite frequently. When I have these nightmares my breathing becomes rapid and I begin to talk in my sleep. This talking I do is typically more of a beg or a plead or a cry. In my dreams I am being attacked, I am being violated, and each time I am helpless. I cannot fight back, all I can do is beg for mercy and cry for help.

My husband has nightmares, less regularly than mine but from time to time. In my husband’s nightmares he is fighting someone usually. He is being attacked or someone he loves is being threatened and he fights which results in arms and legs flying around in his sleep.

In my dreams I am being attacked and even in my dreams where my mind could manifest the scenario anyway it wants, I am submissive.
In my husband’s dreams he is being attacked and even in his dreams where his mind could manifest the scenario anyway it wants, he is aggressive.

You could chalk this up to our different fight or flight responses, and I am sure there is something to that. I believe it speaks to how deeply gendered our brains are as well. From a young age boys are taught to be masculine, aggressive. In the 80’s my husband had toys like GI Joes – the Real American (War) Hero-, and Ninja Turtles who do karate and fight bad guys. I had Cabbage Patch Dolls and Barbies.

I was programmed to be passive and nurturing, he was programmed to fight and claim dominance over another – “the bad guys”-.

And now 25 some years later I cry and beg in my sleep and he fights in his. We have society to thank for our nightmares. It makes me think twice about the messages I want to send my future children.

Odd Woman Out

I attended another women’s circle today, it was my first time with this group, and it was not the experience I hoped for. So far I have had good experiences with the different circles I have been part of, even when feeling triggered or sitting in one of my shadows they have all been good experiences because of the work they have brought me to focus on. This one brought me work as well so I am grateful for that AND I know I will not be returning to this particular group.

There were a few things that did not fit for me and by the end I was feeling disconnected from the group and myself.

One area where I am uncomfortable is the structure of the group. For me to feel safe to do this kind of work with others I need someone (like a trained professional) whose sole function is to hold the space and facilitate. The group is tackling a very big, emotionally charged topic, which invites the members to go deep, without a set facilitator. I think it is great this group exists, it is important work and the fact that there is a group in the community that holds space for this work is beautiful AND I know this set up will not work for me.

The woman who started the group and held the first meet up today made it clear that she wants us all to be equal members with no formal leader. I love that idea for some work but for me this work is too deep, I need that anchor that exists when one member is only there to hold space for the work and not actually do the work.

One reason for that is projection, which  I saw happening a bit today. I think for the group to truly be healing you need a way to hold space for things like projection, which did not happen.

Another piece that did not speak to me at all was following a book. There was a lot of talk about books in this group. I am a reader, that is a big part of who I am and how I take care of myself AND I am not willing to read something out of some false sense of obligation (this did not include my text reading in college, I absolutely did obligatory reading in college).

My truth is I read what I feel called to. My therapist gently suggests books all the time because she knows I am a reader and there are some I do end up reading but not because I felt like I had to because she brought it up, because I knew it was time.

With this group because there is no formal leader they are following this book that deals with the topic the group was formed around. I think it is great to reference a book that is relevant but in order to be part of the group they are making it feel like you have to read this book.

I call bullshit on that.

Between the feeling of pressure to buy/read  this book in order to belong and how they plan to structure the group around the book it started to take me to places in my life where I have been injured by religion.

By the end of group so many names and titles had been tossed around that my head was swimming. It was exciting to be in a room filled with women who read AND it was too much. Everyone had a book that the rest of needed to read to heal this emotional wound or that one. There were a few women who were furiously writing all the titles down the entire time and I was just not into any of it.

I will not follow someone else’s word. That is not how I will find my truth. My truth is an inner knowing and it is sprinkled in world all around me; as much as I love to read no book is going to heal me, unless it is my own story written by my own hand.

I know I am sitting in some judgement right now. I am definitely experiencing my own self-righteousness about the group thinking this is wrong and my ideas about how to do it are right.

This group did not speak to me AND there were moments of true connection AND there were moments of discomfort and disconnection AND I have a lot of judgement about my experiences AND it is so important that this groups exists for those who do feel called to do this work this way.

The last thing I will say is that this group taught me the importance of diversity in groups. Every other women’s circle I have been part of up to this point has been made up of women from different cultures, women all across the age spectrum, women who have varying identities, from different socio-economic backgrounds, who have different belief systems..

Sitting in a room of women who all felt overly similar, and where I did not feel I fit in, intensified this feeling of otherness for me. I felt like the nobody in high school sitting at the lunch table with all the cheerleaders.

When I got home I texted my Soul Camp sisters and shared with them this minor epiphany I had around my gratitude for the diversity in our group.

When you are in a group of people you tend to look for someone like yourself. This makes you feel safe, and comfortable, and understood. I did this when I started with my Soul Camp women and this woman I found is my roommate every time we go to Soul Camp because we help anchor each other after group. I am so grateful for the diversity amongst the other women in my group though because if every women there was my age, with my story, and my background, how much work could I realistically get done? You need people who are similar so you can experience yourself from the outside but you need people who don’t necessarily reflect you back images of yourself as well. That is where the balance and perspective and true healing and growing happens.

So yeah, I was disappointed that this group was not for me. The topic is important and it is absolutely part of the work I have been doing for years, this is just not the space to hold that work for me though. That is okay. I had a lot of important take aways none the less. Sometimes you have to experience things you don’t want to know what things you do want.

clique