Thursday, August 29, 2013. FOCUS. Without being able to find my focus right now I am watching myself acting like I have its opposite: Attention deficit. I can still concentrate on my sewing most of the time but on little else. I begin to do something moving related and find myself off on another task and then another one without completing much of anything.
All 6 of us kids (myself and my 5 siblings) seem to have what might be a genetic trait of extreme ability to focus. (Signs of this are in my two grandsons, as well.) Did this ability come to the six of us kids in consequence of surviving a childhood in hell with an out-of-control abuse psychotic Borderline Personality Disorder mother and her ineffectual husband? Were we born this way?
I have never until now so clearly seen that the opposite of focus is certainly within me. I am most uncomfortable this way – but this way I at least temporarily AM. All of this is coupled with extremes of restlessness, although THIS I am familiar with in my life. Now that I am moving perhaps my restlessness has come out of dormancy and is taking its place among the host of “Who is this person?” characteristics that seem to be hounding me right now.
My garden has always soothed and solaced me. The opposite of that is happening, as well. I grieve leaving it and fear for all life it contains and supports. Efforts so far to locate someone to rent here that will truly care about and for this garden have not been successful. Now even my garden friend is a source of concern, stress and distress for me. I cannot care for it, connect with it or interact with it as I have these past 7 years.
I am fading away as a part of that small ecosystem that is a part of all life on this planet. My attachment relationship with my garden is failing me.
Quilts start with pieces. Never in the years I have had this blog have I not been able to write. Never have I had to take the time to collect in handwriting a collection of my thoughts before writing a post. Like the bags I am sewing — cutting pieces to create a whole other whole — something useful — hopefully appealing to people so they buy those bags (I need moving money) — all of my thoughts are in bits as pieces themselves.
I am planning to step out of my discomfort zone this coming Saturday — my 62nd birthday — to take these bags to our local farmers’ market to see if some of them will sell.
Dissociation. It came up this week in conversation with a friend this week that taking public speaking classes can be unsurpassingly difficult. I was reminded of myself at 17. Our family moved into Anchorage my senior year. I was forced to attend a large school full of strangers.
We were required to take a speech class to graduate. I received a D+ on my first speech. I quickly learned what the teacher wanted and that is exactly what I gave her. Shy, abused, timid, terrified me in front of a class of 30+ students out performed them all.
Of the 400 students that teacher had this year only four As were given for the year. I received one of those As. My teacher highly complimented me. ME?
I simply dissociated myself from myself and created a different version of me while I put away the other real me — somewhere else where I couldn’t be bothered by her bothering me.
I lived my entire adult life like that as long as I had one of my children (I have 3) under the age of 18 and needing my care. I gave 100%+ to being a mother just as I had to being a speaker.
But those pieces of me!! They used to be bigger dissociated pieces. Now they seem to be so much smaller and the dissociation happens so much more often. These fragments only clumsily seem to fit together. But not really. They only do so because I am the one person in this one body having all these experiences.
Of course strangers traipsing around my garden and house have no idea of my current struggles as they respond to the poster I put up about a garden for rent with a two bedroom house. (I went into town yesterday and found that some jerk has been removing my posters.) Nor would I want a stranger to have a clue about me personally, although this very messy house here is a sign of some distress — if anyone could tell that — which I know they cannot.
I cannot pack more than one small box before my anxiety sends me off to do something else somewhere. Anywhere. I certainly do not care about decor or dusting. I just have to go through and get through all of this happening right now — on so many levels.
I just finished sewing the most difficult bag I have created yet. In a large part it is because I sewed together such vastly different kinds of fabrics which all acted so differently as if they did not want to be sewn together. (Oh no! Fabric bias!)
One was corduroy, one a faux suede and one was a thin rayon. The bag was sewn with strong quilting thread on the machine. All fall colors. Very sturdy. This bag will last a long time.
There is great satisfaction for me when I make things knowing they are all one-of-a-kind originals. Never has there been one like it. Never will there be another one like it.
It is the artist and the art therapist in me that created my adobe peace garden (link is on a tab at top of this page to pictures of it) and sews my way through the ending of a 14-year stage of my life. Dirt and mud and seeds — or — repurposed fabric and thread. Makes little difference to me in the end. It is the living process of creating that fascinates, captivates and heals me.
Life is such a quilt!
Thank you for caring enough to read this. I have nothing fluent or gracious to say. I have made a decision to radically change my life. Making that happen has some anguish involved.
I think about myself as an abused child escaping Mother occasionally. I had to disappear into some invisible nook of silence. I often made wallets and purses out of cut and folded paper. I became a kind of wizard in my lonely play.
It is these same hands that sews these bags now. And in their final creation stages they are turned completely inside-out. It strikes me as a kind of birthing each time a bag reaches that point of unfolding its desired and desirable form. All rough seams disappear to be sealed away inside the bag and lining never to be seen again. Only something lovely remains.
I slide toward the small hole of a very large funnel. I am being pared down in my old life to take the final steps into being born into a new and vastly different one 1,800 miles northeast of here.
There is a very large part of me that is a mother. I am moving toward my children — and my two little grandsons — with every passing nanosecond.
Many parts of who I am are “organized” (sewn together) that have to do with those attachment relationships I am missing here. I need that vitality. I need and want this change which may end up feeling just that much more important to me because it’s taking some genuine struggle and sacrifice to get there.
I will endure this fire. I will emerge from ashes. At this instant I see that I believe in myself. I believe in the future. I will do what it takes to help make it a good one. I will.
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3 thoughts on “+PATCHWORK QUILT OF THOUGHTS”
Keep on truckin’!!!
I find it very interesting that you talk about your ability to “focus” and how it seems to have abandoned you. I wonder if it isn’t really control rather than focus and the fact that you have decided on a significant change in your journey, thus having to give up so much control, that you are actually experiencing the beginning of the freedom yet to come.
After losing my home, three family members, my restaurant and my husband leaving me, I moved from CA to TX to re-build a nearly-demolished house as my therapy. I took, on three different occasions, three truck loads of “stuff” to Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.
Having lost nearly everything that mattered to me, I was able to make choices I would not have otherwise made. Mind you, I was devastated, but my one remaining brother said that he was so relieved when I told him about the move because that meant I had finally realized what was NOT working and was now at least moving, if not forward, somewhere other than where I was.
I am still healing, (always will be now, just like an alcoholic), but I consistently feel stronger and better, maybe not in each day, but on more successive days.
I believe you will find your place to continue your healing and because of how much you have helped so many others, you will see what a true blessing you are on this earth.
You are in my thoughts.
Thank you, Lisa!! For sharing about your own journey – you have given me even a brighter ray of hope for the process I am going through. Control. Hum….. My difficulties have a lot to do with giving up the known for the unknown, having moved probably over 100 times from birth – the stability here has been important to me. There is a lot to give up but there is a lot to gain – Your bravery and courage are inspiring! The reasons I am moving are powerfully positive ones for me and for my family. Just a LOT of uncertainty in this process and genuine grieving many wonderful “things” I am leaving behind – which does defy control! Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts – changing woman here is changing yet again!!