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There Is Nothing Scary About Chicken Salad

18 Feb

[disclaimer: This blog post rambles. Even for one of my postings, ramble-freaking-city. You have been warned.]

 

I can honestly say that this has been one HELL of a year so far. Barely two months in and already there have been incredible good and bad things. New friendships begin, at least one very old friendship (I fear) has ended.

I have gone from constant pain to feeling more like myself than I ever dreamed possible. Very healthy days, very sickly days. As Charles Dickens wrote “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Yeah, I think Chuck had a point. I get it.

In the midst of all these things, there have also been things reaffirmed to me by the “powers that be”, whether one believes that to be God, the Universe, Allah, Krshna, or just my soul, the result is the same. I have experienced many life changing events and even a few real-time thought process changes.

I have really, for the first time, begun to turn loose of my past and the things that are difficult to speak of. I have (I think) finally not only made peace with the things that I have survived, but I have begun to turn loose of them.

All humans are part of the animal kingdom, and really, we pretty much do behave as animals. Now don’t get all wound up, I’m not saying that we don’t function on a different level, we certainly do! There is a very different playing field between what we consider “animals” and the “human animal”. What I am saying is that we tend to learn in much the same ways animals do, and to a point our reactions and habits are fairly easy to predict. If this were not the case, psychology would be useless, as my reactions and fears would not resemble anyone else, they would be completely random and I would be unable to control them. This is definitely not the case for humans. We are fairly predictable in our actions and habits, both in the personal sense and in the group setting.

So, with that in mind, I have begun to realize that my actions are not altogether unpredictable in nature, either. By “I have begun to realize”, what I mean is that is has been pointed out to me in great detail. It has been pointed out in such a way as it cannot be ignored. I’m getting ahead of myself. Okay. Whoa! Time to back it up a notch and explain this a little (lot) better.

This train of thought actually began about a month ago. After hearing a friend tell me over and over that I would really enjoy a specific book, I finally took two minutes and found it. At my local library. Right there in the stacks. (yeah, can you say duh?) I took it as a signal that perhaps this IS something I should read, since it was so very easy to find in my little town of less than 15000 people. I had barely cleared the prologue before I knew that this was going to be a game changing book for me.

I don’t come across things that affect me so profoundly very often. This little book was full of things that resonated with everything I feel, everything I know. As I was reading, I found myself nodding and thinking, gee, I knew that, even though I am sure I have never read it before. It was like someone describing your hometown to you. It is familiar to you, there is never a moment of “wait, can this be true?” It is just knowing. There were no earth shattering revelations between the well-worn covers of this little book, and it was also a very entertaining little story as well. The result was that I walked away changed by the wisdom I had absorbed. I think that is what all good books should do.

After that book, I had to read another book by the same author, and although I was sure I would have to buy this one, since it was not at the local library, I put off the buying for a few days. I don’t know why, I just felt like I should wait. So I did wait. On the Saturday that I took grandma shopping, we decided to stop at a Goodwill store, so I was looking through the worn out college books and “Chicken Soup for the insert-demographic-of-your-choice Soul” paperbacks. Grandma asks what book I’m looking for, so I told her. “Oh” she says “I think I have that book.”

Really?

I argued with her, mainly because I was just sure that she wouldn’t have the book I was looking for. How could she already know about the wisdom that I was just discovering after all? No way did she have this book! When I took her home, she wanted to look for it in her bookcases and I told her not to worry about it, we will look for it later, I was tired and the last thing I wanted to do was look through her many bookcases for something I was sure she didn’t have.

We ended up over at her house again, the next day, actually. I had forgotten by then about the book, but grandma didn’t . She insisted that we look through her bookshelf to see if it was the book she had. I sat down in front of the mammoth shelves, defeated and knowing that I would have to look through each and every one before she was satisfied. Honestly, I think I might have pouted just a little. As I scanned, half-heartedly for a book that I just knew I would not find, my hand landed right on a copy of the book I was looking for.

“I’ll be damned!” I said, which earned me a “Lunargirl!”* from grandma. (she didn’t actually call me that, she referred to me by my first and middle name, which still sounds just as impressive as it did when I was 8) The book I wanted, the one I had been looking for? It was right there all along. Grandma has had that particular book since 1979, when I was three. *facepalm* So, yeah, listen to granny…sometimes she isn’t confused…

After reading both books and deciding that there was much wisdom to be had in both, I decided that there were things about me that I could improve. I have worked very steadily on these things and some of you are quite aware of this, some less aware of it. I will take a moment to say that when a certain friend starts to get on my case in front of everyone on twitter IN ALL CAPS about how I am stubborn, it is well founded. I don’t disagree with him, mainly because he is absolutely right. Also because I know it is as a friend. I really don’t mind being called out by someone who cares. If the intent is good, then it is all good.

In the last year, fate has seen fit to send me several close friends. I find it more than ironic that my closest friends are all men. All of them. They are all older than I am. I think it is all part of me learning how to trust again. There is a part of me that has a very hard time trusting men, especially those that are close to the age that my father might have been now. It comes from the traumas of youth, when I was hurt deeply by those I should have been able to trust. I understand that part of myself now, and it makes healing much easier.

I find it more than a little ironic that most of the friends I have made (who as I said are men) are also very knowledgable in psychology and anthropology. I didn’t set out to meet these guys, fate just tossed us all together. Isn’t that cool? One of my closest friends is actually a retired psychiatrist. I didn’t know that when we began talking, honestly, if I had, I probably would have approached him differently. As I have stated before, I have a long time distrust of shrinks. I have been assured that I am no crazier than anyone else and that although I have a few bad habits, I can be a much happier person than I have been. I think that’s healthy. :)

I told you all that to tell you this:

There was a disagreement between She and I last week. She was acting in a way that I found very disturbing and I pretty much just lost it and shut down. I was afraid of being hurt and I wasn’t sure what to do. Eventually, it got late enough that we went to bed. She drifted right off to sleep (the biggest part of her problem was that she WAS tired and on edge) and I stared at the wall for a long time before finally deciding that I needed to sleep.

I was telling my retired psychologist friend about it and the first time around the response was “I don’t understand why you are so upset.” (which did not make me happy) so I told the story again, with more detail, and then a third time, when I told ALL of the story including what bothered me and how I felt about things. As it turned out, I was part of my problem. (I know, hard to believe)

I can tell you that after seventeen years together, if I were in any danger at all, I would have known it by now. Over the years, She and I have had some dandy arguments, but never, not one time in seventeen years has She ever raised her hand to me in anger. Never in seventeen years have I raised my hand to her in anger. We don’t believe that is what love is about. We might shout, we might even throw things on the odd occasion, but never is there violence. So why was I so scared? Somewhere, deep inside of me, there was still the same scared little girl afraid of being hurt.

“You are living in the past” my friend says. Well that pissed me right off. How dare you tell me that I am the problem here. I took a few minutes and was just breathing in and breathing out while he very patiently explained to me what he meant. “Why were you scared?” I had no choice but to answer that I was instantly reminded of the terrible things that happened when people started shouting and I was young. There was never an argument that didn’t end in someone getting hit, punched, slapped, etc. It always ended in violence. Part of me still wanted to react to that. Just like Pavlov’s dog, I had been conditioned. It had happened without my consent and without me even giving it a second thought. Having it pointed out didn’t make me feel very good about it though.

“So you have to decide whether you intend to stay where you are, or are you going to let go of the scared little girl and move on. You aren’t there anymore. Is that where you want to live?”

“No. (sniff) I don’t want to be that girl again. It sucked enough the first time around.”

“Then let it go and move on.”

“Well, how the hell do I do that?”

“I want to say something, but it will piss you off.”

(eye roll from me…)

“Just say it. I can take it.”

“Dammit, you are not that stupid.”

It didn’t piss me off, as it turned out. It did make me think, though. As per my usual, I was making it harder than it really was. I think my friend could sense this, so he broke it down so well for me using an analogy that works for me. Cooking.

“Listen. You can cook really well now, can’t you?”

“Yeah. I do alright.”

“Could you always, or was it hard at first, maybe a little scary…”

“yeah, it used to be harder than it is now.”

“alright then. So what seems hard now, it really isn’t. Eventually it gets easier. Just like once there was a time when you didn’t know how to make chicken salad, but now, chicken salad is nothing. Way easy. Get it?”

(lightbulb)

“yeah. I think I got it.”

We talked for a little while and I managed to bring it up when She and I got home that night. I told her how I felt, and even though I was a little embarrassed to admit it, I told her how much it upset me the night before. In the end, She and I are getting closer and closer all the time since I have committed to telling her EVERYTHING (hush you. I know we talked about this last year. You know who you are.) about how I feel and how things affect me. In the end, the things that I held back, afraid that She would see me as weak? Those things, once revealed actually made us stronger. (yeah, I know, you told me that too. lol)

So believe me when I tell you, the scared little girl has been turned loose and doesn’t live here anymore.

and

There is nothing scary about chicken salad.

 

:)

Lunargirl

 

Tags: ,

19 responses to “There Is Nothing Scary About Chicken Salad

  1. Cruel

    February 18, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Luna dear, I understood every word from beginning to end. With all the needless suffering we are exposed to everyday it was nice to read something so positive. Its nice too that you have discovered that your Gram is kinds cool.

    Cruel

     
    • lunargirl

      February 18, 2012 at 10:20 am

      You are (as always) very kind!

      Gram is very cool. Shame on me for thinking anything otherwise. She really knows “what’s cooking” and sometimes I just forget.

      Thanks for reading along!

      Lunargirl

       
  2. 1isty

    February 18, 2012 at 10:40 am

    This is not a great post. It is an inspiring post. And better yet, a really good read. Good to hear you are in a better place, physically and mentally too.

    But I do have to take issue on one very important point – Mr Dickens is not, nor has he ever been, known as Chuck. Shame. On. You! Consider yourself duly castigated, but in a caring, sharing kinda way ~grin~

    Ready to tackle boiled eggs yet?

     
    • lunargirl

      February 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

      I seriously can not stop laughing, and I am sure that is not the way “duly castigated’ girls are meant to carry on…lol…

      Thank you for the compliment. Slowly but surely I will get to the boiled eggs, but for now, best stick to the small stuff. :)

      Lunargirl

       
  3. Newt Kai

    February 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I read this entire post. Then had to read it again. It resonated with me. Change feels impossible, but necessary. I too have been making new friends. Of all genders. :) It makes me a little giddy.

    We can only take the past and rise from it. Accept it. Feel tremendous pleasure when we defeat it.
    George Eliot wrote: “It is never to late to be what you might have been.”

    Giant Newt HUGS! :) Beautiful post.

     
    • lunargirl

      February 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Newt,

      I am so glad you liked the post. Sometimes I write about kinky stuff, other times I write about whatever is stuck in my head. It is like some kind of freaky-deaky mismatched Lotto. In this case, I always win. hahaha

      I understand why the post would resonate with you, as I have said as much to you previously, we have lots in common. ;)

      I love the quote from George Eliot! Nice.

      I am also very happy to see you among my readers! You are all too too kind.

      Love love love

      Lunargirl

       
  4. Jen

    February 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I read this earlier, but I wanted to wait until I had time to actually write a long enough reply. I had the damaged childhood problem too, and for a long time, all of my reactions came from there, even though I didn’t realize it. I didn’t trust men either, because the biological father was a psycho, so how do you learn trust? Everything was arbitrary, and I was his scapegoat. I got married, but always had it in the back of my head that he would leave me every time he spent too much time in the bathroom of a restaurant.

    When I got online, I talked to men on SSS, and some of them showed me that men CAN be trusted. G., the real Quester, and a certain lawyer we all know and love, all proved that there are very good men in this world, no matter what we might think from our own experience. I had done some work on my own, being very introspective for a couple decades, so I wasn’t totally unaware of where I was coming from. Like you, I had a little girl inside me who was so damaged that she would take over occasionally, and make life difficult. A five year old taking charge of a grown woman’s life is NOT a good thing. Eventually I realized I had to go back into therapy, after having tried so many times and it not working. I could only get so far on my own, I needed somebody who could get me the rest of the way. I found somebody, and went every other week for three years, and you know what? It worked. I achieved all the goals I’d set out with at the beginning, plus some I hadn’t expected. I could finally admit that I was talented, that I was a worthy person (G. had told me that, but I couldn’t believe him early on), and that I was emotionally stronger than I had ever thought possible. I’d always wanted to be, but hadn’t thought I was, what with all the panic attacks I’d had over the years. Those went away too, which was great. I’m at an age where I can seriously appreciate how good it is not to have all that baggage anymore, and I KNOW G. appreciates it. : )

    As for boiled eggs, those are EASY. Three minutes for soft boiled, three minutes + twenty minutes sitting in the boiled water after that for hard boiled. It’s POACHED I haven’t had the guts to try. Those are tricky!

     
    • lunargirl

      February 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Wow. That was some comment. LOL.

      I know what you mean about the therapy vicious cycle. I did that a bit, but it never worked for me. I am sure that had more to do with the fact that I refused to be honest with the therapist than anything else, and she was so nice, she would never call me on the bull. I no longer have that luxury, lol, but I am really very happy to have good friends that can see through the crap that I fool even myself with.

      I am so so so happy to find that you have faced down those particular demons. It IS very hard to have good relationships with adults when one reverts to the knee-jerk reactions of a child, I will agree. I know that this will only get better the more I work on it, and hey, I have all the time in the world to get it right. Well, at least as long as I have in this lifetime, anyhow. ;)

      (just between us, I know how to boil eggs. I just let Listy think he knew something I didn’t. He seemed awfully flustered by the whole “Chuck” thing…and I can teach you all about poached eggs anytime. I love em.)

      Lunargirl

       
      • Jen

        February 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

        That was the good thing about my last therapist, he ALWAYS called me on the bull. It wasn’t a lot, because like I said, I had done a lot of the work on my own, but occasionally something would come up that I had tried to rationalize. You just have to find the right person to work with.

        You’re definitely still young enough to have TONS of time left to be happy after you’ve worked all this out.

        I was about to make this comment even longer than the last, but thought better of it. I’ll email you the other part!

         
      • lunargirl

        February 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm

        I don’t mind long comments. lol.

        I will look for the email.
        :)

        Lunargirl

         
  5. Barrister

    February 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    There is too something scary about chicken salad and don’t you ever forget that! Well, it is only scary when there is something crunchy in it like celery. Trust me. I know these things. There should never be anything crunchy in something otherwise smooth. Don’t get me started on jello with carrots or celery.

    That said, I have to say that your ability to grow and change and to absorb critique and comments and work with them is amazing. You are, to me, the Energizer Bunny.

    Larry aka Barrister

     
    • lunargirl

      February 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      I fear no crunchy. I actually like celery in my chicken salad, if you can imagine. I do not like onions in my chicken salad however. If it shows up with onions in it, there will be blood. (but also, not in the chicken salad. That’s just gross.)

      I can’t bear to think about jello with carrots or celery. ewwwww.

      As for that very sweet compliment, thank you. Sometimes I feel as though I must be the most thick headed numbskull around. It is good to know that I might be a bit sharper than I give myself credit for. :)

      Lunargirl

       
  6. Clare Flourish

    February 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    No more scared little girl? What, not never, not nohow? (Different Victorian). Just the best of times. Seriously.

     
  7. Emen

    February 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

    This was indeed a very good read. I’m recommending another old book to you (so you have something to put off looking for). It’s not in the style of the books by the author you’re talking about but it speaks very cleverly and compellingly to the predictability of our actions and habits. And was probably published around the same time.

    “The Passions. The Myth and Nature of Human Emotion” by Robert C. Solomon

    Thanks for a great post.

     
  8. Tabatha Barritt

    March 4, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great layout.

     
  9. Ana

    March 24, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I was laughing throughout your post but also smiling and nodding.

    By the way, anything to do with chicken is scary!! I’m always afraid I won’t wash well enough afterward and I’ll have salmonella somewhere…

    I thought I was following your blog, but I didn’t get this post. Is this different from the blog I found through Bonnie’s links? I think you mentioned having more than one.

    The part about being open, honest, direct, and simple is super hard. Super scary. And makes me mad that I have to do it, but I get in trouble every single time when I’m not (as you’ve seen on my blog!). Yeah. We’ll both work on it. :) And good luck.

     
    • lunargirl

      March 24, 2012 at 9:03 am

      It is hard to open honest and direct and especially when the message is not pleasant. :(

      Chicken and salmonella….just wash hands and areas with hot soapy water. That’s all. Don’t be…(groan)…chicken…lol

      This is the original blog, im not sure if Bonnie changed the link to the new one, but I will likely keep this one, posting new things to both. :) some of my readers (ahem….Listy) read from work and I wouldn’t want them in trouble for misbehaving…even if it would be a strange irony…

      I enjoy your blog very much. :) keep writing.

      Lunargirl

       
  10. Ana

    March 24, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I find that it’s most difficult for me to be honest and direct when I think the person won’t like what I have to say, either that it will be interpreted as criticism/judgment/a challenge or I’ve done something wrong, it’s messy, and am afraid of facing the consequences to our relationship. If I’ve 100% screwed up and have to say I was wrong and I’m sorry and I’ll take the consequences that’s one thing, but usually it’s well I did this that was wrong and I am sorry, but also there was this other factor why I did what I did, and so even though I was still wrong this other part needs to be addressed too…sometimes I hide behind an apology because it’s easier to let people think I was 100% wrong (or do something wrong that will earn me censure but allow me to keep the “other” stuff safely private, like skipping class and getting told off for doing so because another student was harassing me and I didn’t know how to handle it and didn’t want anyone to know.

    The threat of a spanking or a spanking currently in progress always has this magical effect to make me immediately direct and simple and honest, though. Funny how it works. :P

    And aww..thank you…and likewise, my dear. :)

     

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