I've been in Humboldt County for close to 20 years now. The honeymoon period alluded to at the end of the previous post lasted close to five years. And then life got kind of regular again ~ emotional ups and downs, a move to Eureka in 2003, job changes, financial difficulties, major downsizing, and a move to Fortuna in 2009.
After relocating to Humboldt, much of the reading I did in the domain of personal growth was focused on learning about extreme personality types and disorders, in an effort to fully understand what had been going on with my mother. Eventually I did figure it out, and then I put the matter to rest.
My mother had narcissistic and borderline personality disorders and some degree of paranoid schizophrenia. And then she got Alzheimer's. I learned after her death in 2013 that she had spent the better part of her last ten years in a locked facility under constant heavy sedation. She apparently had no idea who or where she was.
There are things that I will never fully recover from ~ one doesn't when one has suffered insidious abuse for over 50 years. Intimate relationships are landmines for me, and I will simply never be in one again. Participating in groups of any kind has always been treacherous for me. I can't abide the ubiquitous drama queens and divas. Or any other crazy-making people, or people who are dishonest, or people with no self-awareness. I limit my exposure to humans because I just can't deal anymore with people who won't take responsibility for their own interpersonal issues.
I spent quite a few years reading inspirational teachers like Tony Robbins, Terry Cole Whitaker, Wayne Dyer and many others, and studied Ernest Holmes' Science of Mind for a couple years. Although I've been inspired by all these teachings, replete with their aphorisms, maxims and quotes, in the end they all began to feel like wishful thinking. For instance, you simply can't tithe or pray your way to financial prosperity if it's not in the cards for you in the first place, if the circumstances of your life are such that these kinds of dreams are truly pipe dreams and simply not realistic.
You can change your attitude about your life and all the lessons you'll eventually learn, but attitude is the only thing you have any control over. Bad things happen to good people all the time. Ultimately the only thing you can do is accept your life just as it is, embrace what's so and be grateful for what you do have. Towards this end, the only non-fiction I read anymore is contemporary Buddhist literature, the stuff that helps you live a happier, better, less complicated life, the
stuff that helps you actually be in your own life.
"Getting it" has been a godsend for me. At the end of the day, I discovered that what I really want in life is to be at peace and to live simply and quietly. And that's exactly what I've been able to create for myself. After all the bad relationships, all the people-pleasing, all the resume-building jobs and volunteer work, all the striving to be a better me, all the marketing of myself and my art, all the trying to manage a bigger life than I could afford because I thought I was supposed to do that ~ I am completely happy with my life just as it is.
Sometimes I feel like I live a charmed life. I don't have aging parents to caretake or deal with. I don't have adult children to worry about who might be having their own difficulties. I don't have anyone in my life whose needs or wants I have to place above my own. I don't have to make concessions or sacrifices of any kind. I don't waste my time trying to do too many things, trying to please others, or striving to get things I don't need. All blessings indeed.
And that's the end of the story. And the beginning of the rest of my life.
Thanks for reading. I feel like I just chaired a week-long 12-step meeting. Your comments have been very much appreciated.
Next week we'll get back to our irregularly scheduled programming. Have a great weekend. xo