thewren

my forays through love and other gastronomical stories

The Lesbian Chronicles: You Reap What You Sow. — November 28, 2017

The Lesbian Chronicles: You Reap What You Sow.

I am co-habiting here in Montréal with my Mother due to a confluence of events much too complex to write about today, better saved for that proverbial rainy day blog.

Here is my mini version:

Years ago in a different time and place I was a practicing Buddhist. When the day arrived for my naming ceremony I felt quite hopeful, as I was attempting to rename myself from my given name of Rhona and my adopted name of Katharine to something else altogether.

I entered the temple and waited patiently for my turn, and hoped the Buddhist Name Goddess would be kind. My teacher gave me a blessing and named me ‘Sawjack’. I asked my teacher what my name meant and was told ‘You reap what you sow’. (This is where you insert that creepy music from the movie ‘It’ when the clown is about to do something very very bad.) At that time I didn’t understand the ramifications of reaping what you sow, today I most definitely do.

I have up until recently chosen only powerful but cruel women. Truth be told, their cruelty turned me on, but only in limited quantities. When they acted according to their character, I demanded that they treat me with kindness instead of cruelty.

“How did that work for you?” You might ask. “Not so well!” I answer. So here I am, living in Montreal with my cruel and powerful mother and certainly reaping what I have sowed which to be honest, is mostly manure.

C’est la vie! I have learned a lot and continue to do so. I am one of those irritatingly optimistic people who believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

‘Till next time,

K.A.L.

Advertisements
Shadows And Light — April 15, 2017

Shadows And Light

Recently  I made a video of myself reading one of my stories and frankly I was quite dismayed. I wasn’t sure who I was looking at, certainly this person on the video did not match up with the image I have of myself.

This was the first time that I had ever seen myself on video and frankly I was more than a little disturbed.  I did not like at all how I looked, or more specifically how I spoke. In still photography I look fine, because I can smile like everyone else, I’m just not able to smile with my teeth showing. On video however, I can see that when I speak I certainly do not speak as most people do.

I have Moebius Syndrome, or Moebius has me. Regardless of the how or by whom, having Moebius means that some muscles in my tongue do not function, forcing me to speak differently than the norm.

In my community which includes healers and therapists; there is a movement to look toward the light, believing that if you are in the vortex of positivity you will be rewarded with all the riches, healing and love that you have been longing for.

I have toyed with these concepts for a while and find them lacking. Here is why –

If I can’t make peace with my flawed mouth then I will have failed and the kingdom of heaven will then be permanently closed.

In my opinion however, this concept of praying away the shadow only forces the shadow deeper underground. I  am a perfectionist. I can never not be one, perfectionism is written in code into my DNA.

Now how can I make peace with not looking perfect?  I can’t. What I can do is this. I can finally make peace with never being normal and make peace with not looking nor sounding like Joni Mitchell (my heroine). Then paradoxically I can relax into me, because I just gave myself permission to love and accept my unyielding perfectionist self.

So I am loving the hater part of me instead of shaming the hater part of me into submission and into the shadows where she has lain waiting, always waiting to find another opportunity for self abasement.

Accepting the all of me just as I am: the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Forgiveness — September 12, 2016

Forgiveness

 

Definition of Forgive

1: to give up resentment

2: to grant relief from payment

3: to cease to feel resentment

I have had such difficulty writing this piece. I wanted to give all of you something perfect and shiny and bright. I wanted to wrap up my story with silver ribbon and a blue box from Tiffany’s.

Instead you are getting my truth which is not wrapped with a bow but in yesterday’s newspaper, and I didn’t even use the cartoon section for the wrapping, but the obits.

The greatest sorrow of my life has been my relationship with my mother. My first days of life were spent in an incubator in the ICU department of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal, where my mother abandoned me for a business trip with my father to Québec City –

” Why would I have stayed with you in the hospital? said my mother
The nurses were there!”

Late this summer when I told my mother I needed to stay with her for two months due to my untimely exit from the apartment I had shared with my now ex – partner Lorraine, her response was less than enthusiastic. I ignored her non response, and proceeded to annihilate what was left of my fantasy mother by asking her to come back with me to Toronto so that she could help me deal with the unpleasantness brought on by my exit from my aforementioned apartment.

“You know I’m not good with that stuff!” said my mom.
“Mommy!!! I need you!! I need you now!!!!” said desperate me

“I need you mommy!” was now looped through my brain and played non stop throughout my day, like an itchy ear worm.

I couldn’t stop myself. I understood intellectually that I did not win the good mother lottery prize but emotionally I was still just four years old, begging my mommy to come to my tea party. She never came and my Barbie’s had to drink their tea with just Ken and me for company.

In my desperation I called a psychic I saw advertised on my Facebook feed. Rachel told me I needed to forgive my mother before I can move forward. Really? This is what I paid five dollars for? ( It was a special offer.)

How do I forgive? According to the Miriam Webster – I need to stop feeling anger toward the person who wronged me.

I have tried repeatedly to do just that. I really have. I have gone to therapy for years with hopes that I could come to some type of peace with my mother. I have talked incessantly about my situation with Jodee, my long time therapist. I thought I was making slow but steady progress, but in Montréal all healing went to hell in a hand basket. I felt unhinged, as if I literally was coming apart. I was desperate for my mother to take my face in her hands and say –

” Don’t worry Katharine, I got you”

I so wanted my mother to create a safe space for me in Montréal, even though that had never happened on the thousand trips I had made to Montréal previously. I didn’t think I was asking for much, just a drawer to put my clothes in, and an acknowledgment that this was indeed a scary and difficult time for me.

As a child, I did not enjoy Halloween, as dressing up in costume made me anxious. I lived with parents that put on masks every day when they went outside our home. Just like the parents who caution their children to use their inside voices during school and synagogue; my parents used their inside face with me, and their outside face with others. The mask they showed to others was so radically different than the one they showed to me at home, that I am still disturbed by masks of any kind, knowing what danger can lurk beneath.

I tried this time, I really tried to make believe that I could calm this frightened fragmented inner child of mine, but I, like my mother before me, threw baby Katharine out to the wolves. I could not console her and I let her rage at being abandoned take me over.

I so wanted my mother to come to my rescue, just this once.

I kept on repeating:

” Mom, you can redeem yourself for all the damage that you have done before, all I ask is that you create a safe place here for me to rest and recoup until my new apartment becomes available in November.”

And each time I begged and each time I pleaded, I lost a little bit of my soul and a lot of my dignity but I could not help myself, so desperate was I to be seen. To make matters worse, as a retired psychotherapist, I understood intellectually that my mother was not ever going to give me what I needed, and in fact took pleasure in seeing her former jappy princess daughter reduced to sleeping on her not so comfy couch, but I was not able to make my brain meet my heart.

Weeks passed in this way, and then my birthday happened, or didn’t happen, to be more accurate.

I had spent the weekend before my birthday celebrating with my close friend Marcus and his family. Before meeting Marcus I had an idea of what familial love should feel like, but did not have a body memory to go with it. Thanks to Marcus and his family, I have experienced love as a felt sense. To celebrate my birthday, they surprised me with a weekend at the splendid Hovey Manor, located in the Eastern Townships.

When I came back I made the mistake of sharing my joy with my mother. If any of you here tonight are familiar with the reality TV show Survivor, whenever the winner of a reward challenge gloats about her reward, the people left behind become angry. I came home so happy, I forget my own rule about keeping my joy contained so as not to risk my mother’s wrath.

Too late.

Now I was to be punished, and since the punishment level was in line with my joy, the punishment was extreme. My mother decided to banish me from her kingdom which meant that my birthday would not be acknowledged.

No birthday cake. No birthday card.

” But I’m sixty, Mommy!! See me! Celebrate me!”

And my shame at my bottomless need to be seen by her, obfuscated my otherwise sound judgment.

And still.. and still.

I’m now back in Toronto, safely ensconced in my new cozy apartment. Every morning before I get out of bed, and every night before I go to sleep, this agnostic Jew prays to the Divine Mother and my Guardian Angels and anyone else I can think of, saying my prayers out loud because I don’t want to take any chances on any unseen helpers not hearing my forgiveness plea.

“I release you mother, and the hold you have on my heart. I am going to do my best to stop blaming you for not being the mother I so desperately wanted, and to try my best to live a life unencumbered by my old friends shame and blame. Please dear Mother God send me your love and healing and if you’re feeling really generous, please send me my Beloved. I am ready to receive her now!”

Hopefully these prayers will help me this month when Chanukah comes around, so that when I light my Chanukah candles sans Maman, I can take comfort in knowing that like the Maccabees before me, I have won the battle even though I have lost the war.

Feeding My Hungry Hippo — November 14, 2018

Feeding My Hungry Hippo

To ponder: How to know when being determined crosses the line and becomes desperate. I personally have crossed that line way too many times. Not only have I crossed the line, I’ve dotted the i, and crossed the t. In my newest incarnation I am trying to check in with my body, with my ‘knowing’ self, and keep checking in.

Once I begin to notice subtle changes in my breathing pattern, right before I move into full blown panic mode, I know I’ve begun to chase that ever elusive ‘thing’, be it person, place or object, that I’m convinced will bring me peace/love/security etc.

Ironic isn’t it, that the chasing of my desires, brings me back to the place I most don’t want to visit, my hungry hippo self, that will never ever be sated, as the nature of my hippo is perenially hungry. I just have to sit and be with with her, (I’ve named her Henrietta) feeding her what she needs instead of what she wants.

Love Is Who I Am — November 12, 2018

Love Is Who I Am

Love Is Who I Am

‘You either walk into your story and own your truth, or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness.’ Brene Brown

I have always been that hustler, that hooker, that looker, offering up my body as a token of my admiration, beseeching her to love me through my trifecta of tools: shame, blame and manipulation.

Always dancing as fast as I can, all the while singing the same refrain stuck on repeat, “Please love me. Please fill me. Please heal me. Never leave me. I will do any thing and be anyone you need. I will make your every wish come true.”

Hoping always that ephemeral, elusive feeling of safety would land on my right shoulder like a butterfly’s kiss, like a benediction.

But that was yesterday. After a lifetime of yesterdays, on this bright November day, I can walk straight into my story, thankful to proclaim my own truth, which is this:

I am worthy of love. I am inherently loveable. I did not need to change my surname to Love. I did not need to lie prostrate on the floor, begging to be loved. I just needed to know, I just needed to feel, I just needed to own that my flawed and broken self has inherent value in this world. And it does, and I do, and therefore I am, extremely thankful to be here now in this messy magnificient world.

– Katherine Angelina Love

I See You —
A Dogs’s Tale/Tail — November 2, 2018

A Dogs’s Tale/Tail

I took the Lucille for her early morning constitutional but as both she and I are not winter people ( the temperature today with the wind chill is -2c); I decided to go through the underground parking garage, something I rarely do. Just as I am about to open the heavy door, the door swings open towards me and out comes 6 huge dogs with a rottweiler leading the pack. I scream, a high pitched girlie scream.”Ahh!@@## !!!!!” just as this very butchy dog walker enters the garage, preceded by her gang of six . She gets immediately defensive and mumbles something to the tune of “Bad girl, bad girl, watcha gonna do” and goes on to say that I should not be scared etc., etc.


To defuse the situation I said that it was not her fault that i am afraid of big dogs that jump; I could see that she had them all on their respective leashes. and it was a good idea to go through the underground as opposed to the elevator. And so, once appeased she asked me if i was okay and I said “Yes, I love the smell of Rottweiler in the morning.” Sadly said dyke did not smile.
And now we have come to the end of this dog’s tail/tale.

Moebius Syndrome and Me: Kindness is my Manifesto — October 22, 2018
Letting Go — October 21, 2018

Letting Go

So hard for me to let go of resentment. I like to taste it, let it ruminate, and return to it again and again like those rainbow candy necklaces I use to love as a child.

I assign each coloured candy a different slight. Blue, she did me wrong. Pink, she broke my heart. Yellow, she took my parking spot. White, she stole my soul.

I’ve always believed it best to speak my truth, easier to then let my resentment go.  Lately I’ve been thinking that oft times it’s best to not speak my truth, but so damn hard to know when to go for it and when to just rest in the grrrrr of it.

I’ve always believed that the one most in control wins, and how I love to win!

So I’ve decided for the time being to just grrrr and bear it and try my best to let myself marinate in my feelings.

Shall I pour some hot sauce over my resentment or would I have more success with an cool glass of ice wine? I think right now I’ll just finish off my candy necklace, I’ve always bitten off more than I can chew, and tonight’s not the night to start something new.

I Am Loved. I am Loveable. I Am Capable Of Loving. I am Here. — October 13, 2018

I Am Loved. I am Loveable. I Am Capable Of Loving. I am Here.

‘The opposite of addiction is not necessarily sobriety but connection.’

As a sexual/physical and emotional abuse survivor, I abandoned my body long ago and have spent most of my life in the ethers. I have used food as a way to tranquillize, and shoplifting as a way to energize.

Often it’s how people in our lives respond to our telling of our abuse that changes our narrative. I told numerous members of my family who not only denied my truth but sided with my abusers. What choice did I have but to internalize my shame and blame? I needed to survive with these people, therefore I had to believe I was bad and that somehow, I was deserving of their abuse.

Truthfully for many years I acted according to their beliefs, as in “You think I’m fucked? I’ll show you fucked!” It has taken years of therapy and work on healing my wounds (every single minute of every single day) and though part of me will always feel bad and weird and wrong, slowly I am coming to feel that I just might not the bad person my family believed me to be.

I’m working on reparations where needed and finding support with other survivors. To my fellow survivors, you are not bad. You are worthy of love. You matter.
If anyone reading this wants to talk, please message me. I am here.

Moebius Syndrome and Me: I’m Almost There. — October 8, 2018
Moebius Syndrome and Me: I’m okay with not being okay. — October 7, 2018
October 4th, 2018 — October 4, 2018

October 4th, 2018

Since my ex’s surprise coup, I have been sleeping on the familial couch, and though I am exceedingly grateful to have any place to rest my head, I have turned into a somnambulant.

Last night my mother was in Stowe, Vermont with my sister (i.e The Chosen One) for a quick break and though I was miffed at first, because I always cast my vote for the all-inclusive, I took solace in that for the first time in a very long time, I would be able to sleep in a bed.

And so I did, and even though it was not my bed, and therefore did not come with my posturepedic pillow, nor my comfy down blankie, or my Bose stereo set on CBC Music to put me to sleep, I had for one night only, a bed.

I went to bed exhausted at 9 pm and woke up at 6 am refreshed and awake, ready to take my puppy Lucille on her daily search for squirrels. Now, before my little fork in the road on my journey toward enlightenment, aka ‘The Search For The World’s Best Bagel’, it would never have occurred to me to be grateful for a bed. But now it has and I am.

Go fourth! and Be Brateful.

4.10.18

%d bloggers like this: