So, by nature, and by my upbringing, I have a very strange relationship with FEAR!
I grew up on an exotic animal farm where I came face to face with Lions, Buffalo, Bull Elk, Tigers, Bears, Russian Hogs, Fallow Deer in Rut, the list goes on and on! Every day after school I would go out to do my chores and feed all of our many animals and on any given day of the week, I could be mauled, gored, eaten or trampled to death. So my very upbrining and environment taught me to NOT fear, yet, at the same time, I had a parent who wanted me to FEAR everything, including them. My novel "dead in a ditch" was a warning I was given so so so many times growing up. I was told to be fearful of PEOPLE..."bad people" were always out to get me somewhere, lurking in the bushes, laying wait around every corner. I was constantly being WARNED, and made to feel this feeling of impending doom was always just over the horizon. Especially when I pissed my mom off and she WARNED, "I'm calling your dad!"...which mean we were going to get a severe punishment if we actually allowed her to dial the phone.
THANK GOD for ROTARY PHONES btw....
it allowed you more time to straighten up before she could actually GET my dad on the line...all that dialing took some time now!
So to say that I'm conflicted when it comes to fear is an understatement. It's no secret that my father and I are estranged and have been for what seems like an eternity now, and with Father's day quickly approaching, I always take a moment to reflect on the fact that I had a dad, and the lessons he taught me while he was still in my life, some good....some bad.
Sigmund Freud Said:
And this is in no way a dig at my Father, but seriously, HOW exactly was I supposed to turn out when my FATHER told me:
"here, stand behind this little metal handheld shield,
don't let the buffalo get past you!"
This is what I saw coming my way...
"Ok, now get up on this horse, they said he was broke to ride real well at the horse auction, take him out real quick and lets see if they were lying!"
Which SHOULD have looked like this:
But always turned out looking more like this!
In case you are wondering, Horse traders ALWAYS SAY they are WELL BROKE!
and is only true about 35% of the time from my calculations.
AND LET US NOT FORGET THE INFAMOUS:
"Take this raw meat and throw it in with the Lions"
"If one gets you down on the ground, play dead, and hope they go away"
This is pretty much how my childhood felt:
Me being the little guy in the overalls
My Dad being the guy with the gun for his own protection..and him saying..."go on, grab that water pan, I'll shoot him if he gets a hold of you!
But you know, When your dad tells you "it'll be fine" and "you can do it" whatever the case may be, you just instinctively believe him...regardless of how many times he has been wrong in the past, or how many times he was WRONG on purpose just to see you learn a lesson the hard way.
To say my sisters and myself and my brother were raised in the school of hard knocks is an understatement.
So, you can imagine how confusing it was to grow up being told that I should be scared to death that someday someone was going to snatch me up and murder me, therefore being found "Dead in a Ditch", or my mom telling me I'd better be scared if she calls my dad to whoop my ass, yet, on the other hand, always being told:
"Don't worry, you PROBABLY won't be killed by a wild animal."
Which is it? Fearless, or Afraid?
One cannot be both.
Anyway the point of all of this wasn't to re-live the whole "estranged dad" thing, it was to talk about THIS:
My dad taught me some great lessons, he taught me to be respectful. He taught me to be self-reliant, he taught me how to get my ass kicked, how to use a crow bar, how to drive a tractor, how to shoot a gun, he taught me that sparrows are "junk birds" and they were ok to pick off with a BB gun in the barn, he taught me to "suck it up" when things are shitty, pity from others and especially from one's self is for the weak and he taught me that if you want something done, nobody's going to do it for you, so just do it yourself. He taught me to expect nothing from others, he taught me that if you are going to do something, do it right or don't bother doing it at all, he said, "don't trust people", and taught me that LOVE quite LITERALLY HURTS.
Now, before you say "Um, Heather, wait, there's a couple of those that aren't necessarily GOOD lessons!"
Let me assure you that in fact they are, because sometimes the people you shouldn't trust are the people who teach you not TO trust.
Sometimes the people who teach you to not rely on anyone, can't be relied on.
Sometimes the people who are supposed to Love you...are the ones that hurt you.
Which is why I'm so happy to have learned those lessons early on.
I'm happy I learned for myself HOW to apply those lessons in life.
I'm happy that I know how to use a crow bar, that I am respectful by nature, I know the value of hard work, a dollar and family. I know that words said can hurt just as much as a fist thrown.
or if you didn't.
Which is why, I am so blessed! I mean, so very blessed.
Why you might ask....
Well, how much time have you got?
First, I am blessed because my lessons continue...
I have a new family....
one that enriches my life
one that loves me
and has made me whole.
I have a home...filled with dogs and dirty laundry and love..
I have wonderful sisters, a brother and mother...
I love that Jerimy has so much to offer me...he has so much knowledge...and I swear, I do so admire his ability to just DO things. Even if he doesn't know how, he just figures it out. He's not afraid of trying things and failing. He tinkers, he toys, he takes things apart and sees how they work....I LOVE that about him. A natural curiosity, a natural problem solver...and even better, he bestows his knowledge on me from time to time.
Just last night, he taught me how to use a miter saw! I loved it!!
I sawed some serious boards last night! It was awesome!
Before that, he taught me to use a Sawzall.
before that, he taught me to ride a dirtbike, and then a motorcycle.
E. has taught me what it feels like to be a mother....even thought I'm not one.
He's taught me just how stinky "boy laundry" can be...
And I helped teach HIM how to drive and parallel park.
And he taught me the absolute joy of the "Big Bang Theory" which I once thought to be a "stupid geek show"!
If there's one thing I can say for my new family...
it's that they believe in me.
Jerimy, doesn't doubt my ability to do anything....and he doesn't ever use fear to make me doubt myself or to keep me from doing something he doesn't want me to do.
sometimes that's good, sometimes that's scary
but all that believing in me has taken away so much of my fear.
The fear that once crippled me, is less and less with each passing day.
To be free of fear, is like when Dr. Needler (My Chiropractor) puts my ribs back into place...it's like suddenly being able to breath, after not being able to for such a long time.
Today I posted THIS on Jerimy's Facebook Page:
And that's a truth I've discovered.
His faith in me, gives me strength I never knew I had.
His love gives me security...in a unstable world.
Lastly, just his being around...gives me a sense of peace and utter chaos that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
Which is why I'm so so so so excited to be planning our wedding.
I bought invitations yesterday!
How freaking exciting is that?
Is it just me, or does that NOT make your stomach do little flips and stuff?
Really, so it IS just me...
Oh, who cares...if it is.
This is stomach flipping goodness I won't refuse!
Ok, shutting up now....
have rambled terribly
feeling like I should have started this out by saying Dear Diary...
*slaps myself in the forehead and hits "PUBLISH" before I have a chance to change my mind.