Thursday, September 4, 2014

Accidents Of The Heart And Body

Lord. I feel like Gibson jumped up and down on my back yesterday.
Oh wait.
He did.
Well, he only weighs thirty-four pounds.

I tell you what- one thing about getting older is that it just takes longer to recover from everything. I slept nine hard hours last night and woke up ready to take a nap. Not all of it was the boys. Not by any means. Some of it was pure emotional hangover.
I think I'd held out just the tiniest bit of hope that my wrist could be, if not fixed, then at least tidied up in there. Maybe there was just a bone spur. Or something. I sort of knew that wasn't true but still...maybe?
And to be told that no, no, really there's not much to be done at all and that it's only going to get progressively worse was sort of depressing. And it brought back a lot of stuff. The accident itself which I had all those years ago when I fell off a roof, helping my boyfriend and some other friends repair the shed roof of a friend of his father's. Such an innocent thing and I was such a good girl back then. My parents had taken my little brothers off to the beach for the weekend and trusted me to stay at home alone and I did not abuse their trust. I sent my boyfriend off on Friday night with a kiss because I WAS A GOOD GIRL! And the next morning he picked me up and we went to Lake Wales to help repair that roof and I stepped somewhere I shouldn't and fell and boom! I looked at that wrist and I knew it was broken. It was not a shape one should see in nature.
It was a mess- the hospital in Lake Wales had to get ahold of my parents to get permission to treat me and this was long before cell phones and they finally did and my mother was so upset but not really because I'd broken my wrist and might be in pain but because this was all such a hassle and anyway, they set my wrist and my boyfriend drove me home and my stepfather, my abuser, had to drive all the way back from the beach to pick me up and take me back to the beach with the family and I really don't remember much of anything except the feeling that I had screwed the pooch, I'd somehow, by breaking my wrist, become THE PROBLEM.
Looking back, I know my mother was so unhappy. She was clinically depressed in those days, I believe. She had four children including two little boys which she'd had later in life,  and was teaching school and visiting her mother in the nursing home every single day and worrying about her father who really needed more help than he was getting but beyond all of that, she was married to an extremely insane and abusive husband and she tried so hard to keep the peace in the house and to keep the image that we were all just a normal, every-day American family! Smile for the camera! Click!
And probably that fall, that wrist, that worry, was the last straw. Or one of them, anyway.

I remember after the fall feeling as if I was done being the good girl. Before the broken wrist I'd almost died from mono and had spent weeks in the hospital in a lot of pain and quite honestly- agony- and after I came through all of that and was treated as if I'd purposely set out to make things harder on everyone, I believe I just said, in my seventeen year old heart, fuck it. 

I lost my virginity with that cast on my wrist.

So. That's the story of my wrist and I've been thinking about all of that. About how I so obviously looked for love where it was being offered in whatever way it was being offered and if that meant having sex with a boyfriend I thought I loved and whom I thought loved me, so be it. If it, as a bonus, offered some sense of autonomy, all the better. Rebellion too, quite possibly. I was certainly overdue on that particular teenaged activity.

Ay-yi-yi. I'm just so lucky I didn't get pregnant. So lucky.

And I'm thinking about all of that this morning with sadness and realizing how one  misstep can lead to so much so many years later and also feeling like I should be doing more with the Shebooks promotion. They send you a document with suggestions on how to get the word out including having a "Shebooks Shebang!" event which makes me shudder to even think of.
I suck at such things.
So instead of doing great promotional stuff I'm going to run away to an island with no bridge and no wi-fi for the weekend.

My husband and I both need the rest and there ain't much to do at Dog Island except rest.

Good for the body, good for the soul, good for the marriage.

Peace, y'all.
Watch your step.


  1. There's so much here to chew and think about -- all the power and story that we put into seemingly insignificant events, even normal events -- how much weight we carry, how heavy our stories are. No wonder that wrist hurts -- it holds everything. Your post made me think of Greek tragedy -- how parts of the body (the eye, the Achilles tendon, etc.) are so utterly symbolic. I guess this is one of those times that "it is what it is" is called for -- but I sure wish that you had received some more relief.

  2. Life is so fucking complicated. Growing up is so fucking complicated. How do any of us come out of it not completely fucked up. and mothers just trying to hold it all together because isn't that what we're supposed to do? Dog Island sounds great.

  3. Elizabeth- Well, you know. Nurturing wasn't really my mother's strong suit although she did better with some of my brothers. It was hard for her. I know that.
    Still. And yes. It is what it is.

  4. I am glad you got all this down, all the not very obvious connections, everything that hurting wrist brings up for you. I am so sorry it cannot be set right; but perhaps knowing how everything connected back then can help you to put the emotional pain of it on the shelf, because in spite of all that you have gone on to create such a beautiful life and family, and that is what is real in this moment, that and, sadly, your aching wrist. You are at your core a good girl, but you're a rebel, too, and I think that is what saved you, the part of you that was able to say fuck it! And if it helps at all, I did nothing at all publicity wise for my book except tell some people and put it on the blog and Facebook. I think its perfectly ok to allow it to live its own life and find its own audience. Don't let it be a weight on you. We are, none of us, going to get rich off publishing, but it's still good to have your creative effort out there in some way, and now you can just exhale and let it be. That's how I see it anyway. There are no "shoulds." Enjoy Dog Island. Kiss that wrist for me.

  5. That wrist of yours has a big story. Reading it, I was thinking that if this was in a novel, I would love that girl, and be rooting for her. And in real life, I am.

    Yeah, book promotion. Lots of stuff. I figured some of it out. While you are away basking in the lack of WiFi, I'll bet many of us will be reading your book.

  6. That wrist, it holds so much and it reminds you everyday of a life of sadness and neglect. I wish I could go to that 17-year old girl and just love her.

    Enjoy your time away. xo

    Are you taking Maurice with you? We take our other cat with us sometimes and he loves it.

  7. Speaking for myself it seems as I get older (we are the same age) I just have to keep things simple...I have all the everyday stuff also but finally have realized that none of it really matters and I do what I can / want to do and strive to just be happy....and we have a lot to be happy about! As far as the shebook thing...if you want to be a writer then just don't have to promote doesn't matter in the end. To me she book is almost just an extension of blogging...if you are happy with what you wrote then that is enough.

  8. Your poor wrist. I'm sorry.
    About promoting yourself... I think your blog is a fantastic promotional tool. :) I am waiting impatiently to be able to buy your stories off of Amazon, once it has its pricing info.

  9. I've found, that no matter how hard I try to put things away, paper over the cracks and try not to let the past intrude and affect life and decisions and choices in the present, there's always something that creeps up and reopens old memories. It can be something as trivial as a song or an old card or letter which brings back those old memories and feelings. And when they come, they can feel as raw and painful as they were when they happened. And then it takes all kinds of effort and strength to work through it all, yet again. Your poor wrist is a more painful reminder (literally) and with you constantly. At the time, you were free from the horrors for the weekend and happy, even for a few days. When you fell and broke it, your carefree time came to an abrupt end, but cherish the time you did have. You are a good girl Mary, and the best kind of rebel there is... one with a good caring heart. The terrible times you experienced have created you and brought you to where you are now. Putting those broken pieces back into the box isn't ever easy, but I'm so glad that you have your beautiful family... children, grandchildren, and your dear Mr Moon. They know. They "get" you. They love you... as do so many of us who are so lucky to share your remarkable life through your writing. Take time this weekend to love yourself and rest in your own world, free from distractions and demands. As for your book promotion, I have no doubt that all of us who follow your blog, who read it will share it with friends. The best promotion comes by way of personal recommendation and word of mouth. I really can't wait till I can download (not having a kindle or reader) and read it myself. Love that girl you once were, and love the woman you are... they are both the same person deep down inside. Enjoy your escape on Dog Island, it sounds like exactly what you're needing right now xox

  10. Holy motherfuckingjesus!!! Another "supposed to be a few words" epic. Sorry! x

  11. I watched Oprah's Master Class this morning with Billy Bob Thornton and he talked about his brother dying and how he never got over it, never will and doesn't want to. How he will never again trust happiness and will always carry this sadness along with any happiness. We hold onto pain and sadness because it serves us in a very concrete way. All the horrible ugly shit we go through makes us who we are, it grows our compassion.
    May you have a restful and beautiful weekend.

  12. I'm sorry about your wrist. But, hell, have to say that I don't think any of what happened was your fault. You aren't responsible for what your mother felt or the crazy abusive step-father. I can so easily blame myself for everything in my past but realize that doesn't do much good in the here and now. Dog Island sounds like just the ticket to relax and feel better.

  13. Ellen Abbott- How DO any of us make it? And so many do not. Not really.
    Dog Island is great. May it be so this weekend.

    Angella- I read this and sighed a big sigh of relief and kissed my wrist. Just like that.
    I thank you. I love you.

    Denise- Fortunately (unfortunately?) I will have my phone and iPad so I will not be completely out of touch. Dang. Did you have a Shebooks Shebang? Doesn't that sound a little bit...wrong?

    Birdie- We are taking no pets at all. We shall sleep well. And you know- the wrist- I think I had finally decided to nurture myself by taking myself to the doctor for it and well, nothing to be done. So. I have to face that. I have to go on. And deal with what is.

    aintforcitygals- Yes. I agree with all of that. I write because I love it and I must. And all else? Well, whatever.

    anonva- Thank you! And it is now available, pricing and all.

    Sandy- Oh my god! You got it completely! I was just thinking of that- how I had an entire weekend to myself with no stepfather there and then...done and finished and a broken wrist on top of it. I don't think the pain of the wrist could compete with the pain of the loss of freedom and release. And yeah, we just have to keep going through this shit and working through it again and again. Maybe eventually we let it go. But then, as you say, something reminds us.
    Please never apologize for writing a long comment. Ever.

    Ms. Yo- I love Billy Bob Thornton way more than I love Oprah. That's the truth. I think she has just convinced herself that she's "let go" of the pain of her past. And that she never will. But bless her. We all do it the way we do it.
    And I do know that I am grateful for pain because it has given me the gift of compassion. That is so true. So very, very true.

    Syd- I don't think I am blaming myself here. I think I am just trying to offer up some reasons for my mother not being a nurturing person. To be honest, it doesn't really work very well. She made her choices and they impacted horribly on her children and I know that.

  14. A Shebooks Shebang! Ha! I am terrible at promotional stuff too.

    I wonder if you'd have taken that step with your boyfriend even without the wrist incident. I suspect you simply thought it was time and you were ready (whether you really were or not) and it would have happened one way or another. Don't you think?

    Once again, I admire you for writing so openly on your blog. You are my blogging hero.

  15. Steve Reed- Doesn't that sound sort of...wrong? You're probably right about the boyfriend. It WAS time and I WAS ready.
    Thanks for your sweet words, dear friend.

  16. I suspect one who believes in such things would find there's a lot of unhappy energy bouncing around inside that wrist :(


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