The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

The Dirtiest Thing I’ve Ever Written (Part 2- the REALLY Dirty Part) August 5, 2011

Hello all!  Thanks for sticking with me for this long story.  Where were we?  Oh yeah, we picked up our race packets.  We flashed our IDs and were handed our free race shirt and a large envelope containing marketing materials and the most marvelous thing- our race numbers!  You know, the little bib thing you pin on your chest that has a number on it?  I got one!  It even had my name pre-printed on it.  There was also a little orange rubber strap with a little box on it that I was told was our timer chips.  This racing business is serious, see, and these little orange thingamajigs go around our ankles or on our shoelaces, and they capture our race time!  Who knew?  (My entire team did, of course, because I was the only 5k virgin in the group!) 

 

*

So we had time to kill before our heat, and we took pictures and sat in the car trying to soak up the cool air and get un-nervous.  (I was, anyway.)  Then it was time to line up and we were herded into what can only be called a chute, grouped under a tent and crowded together like so many sheep.  Some guy was giving instructions over a bullhorn, but I couldn’t hear a single word he was saying.  I’m deaf like that.  Then we heard the start siren and we were off!  I’m not sure how many people were in each heat, but I’d bet it was at least 75.  We jogged off down the path.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up the jogging too far into the thing, but I wasn’t going to start off from the gate walking!  So we went down the straightaway and around a little curve, where we encountered our first obstacle, a minor one considering what was to come.  It was a tire run, where there were maybe about 10 or 12 tires laid out for us to run through.  Did that with no problem, although I wasn’t breaking any speed records.  I was terrified of rolling my ankles or twisting my knees, because they are my weakest points.  I came to finish, not to finish first.  So we cleared the tires and on we went. 

*

Middle sis and Bro-in-law had long since left me and the youngest behind, because hey, Sis is a fitness instructor and her hubby is in the second best shape of the group.  They amaze me- they ran almost the whole time.  So anyway, we continued the course.  Now I might get these somewhat out of order, but this is basically everything we went through.  I think The Wall was next.  It was a big plywood reinforced wall with ropes hanging down.  The idea was to use the ropes and climb up and over the wall.  I got up to the second knot on the rope, which translated to about 2-3 feet off the ground, and I had to let go because I had somehow caught the rope between my second and third fingers, and I was about to break one or both of them.   Not a good thing!

*

So around the wall we went, down through a little patch of mud, down into a ravine, a dry creek bed sort of thing.  We plowed along through there for a while, and it was difficult because the rocks made it very treacherous for weak ankles.  Finally we came to the next obstacle, which was similar to the rope wall, except it was the side of a ravine and it wasn’t straight up like the wall.  There were ropes hanging into the ravine, which were anchored to trees on the upland.  This was fairly intimidating.  Youngest sis went first, climbing up and over the edge with relative ease.  I tried to let the three skinny girls behind me go first so I might not embarass myself, but they said “We’ll let you.”  Which I think meant, ‘We want to have a good time laughing at your big butt climbing that ravine wall.’  But either way, I got a running start, grabbed that rope and powered on up the wall of dirt.  Sis was there, cheering me on, as I tried to figure out how to get my legs or feet up over the edge.  Finally I was able to get a knee up.  I jumped up and let the obstacle have a little of my rage as I called it a not so nice name.  “That’s right b****!  Woooo!”  Yeah.  I got a little carried away.  I hope the three skinny girls didn’t think I was talking to them.

*

Next, I think was the spider web, a bunch of small ropes crisscrossing the trail, that you had to crawl through.  This wasn’t really hard at all.  Then there was the section they referred to as “Over/Under” which was a series of waist-high walls followed closely by barbed wire things you had to jump over and then crawl under.  Next came a frame with a bunch of tires hanging down that you had to kind of beat your way through.  Somewhere in there was a series of three mud pits you had to go down into and come up out of, one after the other.  Later there was a pond to wade through, about chest deep.  Toward the end was a cargo net, which was like a big playground swingset frame covered in rope net, which you had to climb up and then back down the other side.  This particular obstacle was pretty scary for me- it was pretty high and shaky, and when you got to the top, the hardest part was figuring out how to get one leg over and then turn it back toward the net while trying to keep your footing on the other foot that was still standing on the backside of the net!  Quite an adventure.  Then came the hay bales, the big round kind, that you had to run and jump and scramble over, and finally a long hike to the finish line crawl, where you had to army crawl through the mud under the flags to get to the end.  There was supposed to have been a fire jump in there somewhere.

*

All in all it was a great adventure and I really loved the opportunity to push myself and see what I could do.  The obstacles were not quite as scary as I was afraid they would be, and the walking/jogging in between was more the test of my endurance.  I may or may not do it again.  There is a similar event scheduled right here in my hometown in October.  Odds are, I will find myself once again slogging through mud pits with close friends and family cheering me on.  We shall see.  For right now, this …

My Beautiful Sisters and Me- Mud Warriors! RAAAA!

… will be one of my greatest accomplishments!!!

*

Until next time,

D.

 

PS- The mud on my face was less from the race itself and more from me giving myself a ritual ‘mudding’ like hunters do that ‘blooding’ thing with their first kill!  I did it when I crossed the finish line and got my medal.  Here it is, btw:

The Spoils of Victory!

 

Following the Mule… November 7, 2010

Title: Sharecropper plowing. Montgomery County...

Image via Wikipedia

Hello all.  Today I am in pain.  My head feels like a cross between the worst hangover in the history of fermentation and a sinus issue so severe as to require enrollment in a study.  My eyes are puffy and they feel like they’re full of salted gravel and it hurts to turn them in their sockets.  What?  No, I didn’t go out and get trashed last night.  I’m pretty sure if I had, I would not feel quite this awful. No, this feeling is a direct result of last night’s family drama.  I got into a screaming, insane fight with my youngest sister and spent the rest of the evening weeping hysterically.

*

I don’t think I can really say what precipitated this outburst.  I’m not sure, except that everyone was cranky to start with, and there were unwanted goldfish, and sassy teenagers, and previously unspoken feelings, and unshared frustrations and fears, and it all got out of control like nitroglycerine on a tilt-a-whirl. 

*

The result has been that I have awakened this morning feeling that I’d give almost anything to just… take a break.  From parenting, from work, from family, from thinking, from life.  I have an intense desire to just check into a nice, quiet, calm facility somewhere where they feed you sedatives with your evening jello, and you can throw yourself around the walls of your comfy padded room and just enjoy the freedom to not think.  I’m so very tired of thinking.  So tired of trying to unravel the tangled knot of how I feel and what I think and what I believe and what I want my life to be. Taking a break would be nice.

*

But then the tiny little remaining part of me that is still struggling to be sensible and responsible says “No.  You can’t do that.  Everyone gets overwhelmed from time to time.  Everyone has issues and problems and things that make them, even if for the briefest instant, long to be swinging from a bridge or cooling slowly in a pool of blood in the shower floor.  But they don’t just decide to check out and neither can you.  You have to face it and keep going and keep trying and keep forcing yourself to do what you have to do.  Never mind that you feel like you’ve been existing on autopilot for your entire adult life except for the last year.  If it works, stick with it.  You know how individual farmers plowed hundreds of acres with just one mule and a little piece of steel?  By continuing to put one foot in front of the other, even when they were exhausted and worried and doubtful and afraid.  They didn’t have time to give in to it.  They knew the only hope they had that things might get better was if they plowed fields and planted crops and those crops survived.  All they could do was keep plowing.” 

*

It’s kind of funny though.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think it would have done the farmers much good to keep plowing if they were just following the mule up and down hills, through the forest, down the road, through the center of town, and wherever else the mule felt like going.  The metaphor doesn’t work that way.  The crux of the matter was that they were guiding the mule, making it go where they wanted it to go, where it needed to be. 

*

Well great.  At this moment I think I’d rather just unhitch my mule, sit down on my butt in the middle of the field and watch as it ambles on down the road without me.  Maybe I’ll decide to chase it down later.

So back to the unwanted goldfish part of the story.  My mother took Daughter J. and The Boy to the school band carnival last night.  It was supposed to have been the week before, but it got rained out.  So naturally, when they came in the door last night, they were both wearing hopeful expressions and clutching clear plastic bags containing poor prisoner goldfish.  As my regular readers can well attest to, I am not all about the pets.  We already have two cats and three dogs, and adding two fish to the equation is just going too far.  But they do provide a small source of amusement.  Right now, for example, The Boy’s fish is in a small container sitting on the desk across the room.  I’m not sure, but I think this poor creature is going to give itself a concussion trying to escape.  It’s flitting back and forth very fast, occasionally flipping out of the water, and then continuing to act like it is desperately searching for an escape hatch.  Now it is floating with its face just barely under the water, seeming to breathe heavily.  The funniest part is that the cats are obsessed with the fish!  Mussolini was climbing up the front drawers of the desk, trying to get up there to look at it (or perhaps dine on it) and Hitler was standing up reaching his front paws as far up the desk as he could, sniffing and looking!  Have you ever noticed how funny cat toes look when they’re all spread out and clutching for dear life?

*

Anyway.  I guess I’m fine.  Drama happens.  I’ll keep plowing, and hopefully I’ll find the strength so I won’t be just follwing the mule through the center of town. 

Until next time,

D.

PS- I woke up this morning and checked Facebook, and was honored and pleased to find a shout out from my blogging group, Studio30Plus.  To their Powers That Be, thank you so much for the plug!  I hesitated to put a post like today’s up on the one day when I might have more traffic than normal, but then I thought ‘What the heck?  This is who I am and this is where I am today.  Maybe someone else can relate.”  Thanks for reading me, and come back again!

 

Cranky Teens and Kidnapped Turtles! May 8, 2010

Hello all.  Ok, so tonight was what you might call a multi-occasion celebration.  My sisters and I, and our families, went out to my parents’ house to celebrate the birthdays of The Boy and my youngest sister, and for Mother’s Day.  Dad was going to grill for us, but he ended up letting my Bro-in-law, Melon Head, do it for him, because he overdid it on the lawn mowing today.

Anyway.  I already had one cranky teenager, because wouldn’t you know it, her baby brother’s birthday had the bad luck to be on the same weekend as her best friend, who was turning 16.  Now if you were a teenager, which event would be higher on your priority list- your baby brother’s 9th birthday or your Bff’s Sweet 16?  Your Bff’s, natch!  Of course it would.  So Daughter J.’s best friend’s party was a sleepover at a hotel in town, so they could swim.  Well actually, this event lasted several days.  Apparently they had a sleepover at their house on Thursday night, and they’ve been at the hotel last night and tonight.  Or maybe it was just Friday night at their house and tonight at the hotel.  Either way, we’re talking about a significant portion of time.  So I had the audacity to make Daughter J. stay with the family on Thursday night so we could celebrate as a family on The Boy’s actual birthday.  I took them swimming at the YMCA and we ate at Burger King.  Not exactly a high class evening, but hey- it was all Little Man wanted. 

So then I let Daughter J. go to her friend’s house after we got home Thursday night and they were getting ready for bed.  They didn’t have school Friday, for some reason, so her friend wanted Daughter J. to stay the night and “help her do some stuff.”  Let me just add that we had been going round and round about this all week, her begging to go to her friend’s birthday events and me telling her that family was more important and if she didn’t back off and quit bugging me, she wouldn’t get to go to any of it.  We were trying to swing it so that she could be at both. 

Anyway, long story short, she had been at L.’s house from Thursday night at about 10:00 to today when I picked her up from the hotel at about 4:15.  We went to Mom’s and she proceeded to hide out in the back room, watching videos or whatever she was doing, barely participating in the fun family togetherness, frowning and sighing with regularity.  She had made me quite aggravated when when I got to the hotel and she wasn’t ready to go, after Grandma had told her I’d be coming to get her around 4-ish, and she needed to be ready.  Where was she?  In the pool, of course, which necessitated that I wait for her to change her clothes and gather her stuff.  Mom had told her that my middle sister could take J. back to the hotel on her way home, but I told her she wasn’t coming back because she didn’t do as she was told.  This did not make her very happy.  The friend’s mom tried to help J. out by saying she was going to go get J. and have her ready to go, but she forgot or something. 

So, back to the party.  In addition to Cranky Daughter J., I also had Cranky Daughter S.  Now, to be fair, Daughter S. was not cranky until it was approximately 9:45 p.m. and we had consumed roughly enough food to feed an entire NFL team (burgers, dogs, chips, guacamole, veggies, cake, ice cream, and giant cookie), and then played a rather interesting family game of baseball.   **As a sidenote here, I would have sold my left arm to have a video of my sister chasing her husband with the bat for distracting her when she was trying to bat, or some similar offense.  Furthermore, this sister is quite possibly the most competitive person I’ve ever known, and cannot have her picture taken without looking high.  Just in case her identity is ever in question.**

Anyway.  Daughter S. was not cranky through all this.  She took a turn at bat a few times, hung out in the outfield, etc.  It was only when we finally got ready to go after she’d been nagging for twenty minutes, (here comes the turtle part) and Little Man was wanting to bring home the turtle he’d found in Grandma’s back yard and been carrying around all night, that she got really cranky.  I have several theories as to why this might be.  One:  I told The Boy he was not bringing the turtle home with us, and he cried and begged and pleaded and frothed at the mouth and I gave in.  Two:  she desperately wants a cat and I do not wish to provide a home to a cat.  We already have in the back yard three dogs that she hates passionately.  Daughter J. feeds them sporadically and refuses to let us consider getting rid of them when we say that the poor dogs deserve a more attentive family.   So when I let The Boy bring home the turtle, she quite resented it because she would be the only kid in the family without a pet.  Not entirely an unreasonable feeling.  And Three:  the turtle is a wild thing and we were taking it from its home, and she feels highly sensitive about most wild things and them being taken from their homes.  Also not an unreasonable feeling. 

I felt guilty, so on the way home I told The Boy that the poor kidnapped turtle could come home for a sleepover, but tomorrow after church, we are taking him back to Grandma’s house.  Poor kid.  He’s desperate for a turtle, but he killed the last one he had by taking a hot bath with it.   And no, I’m not kidding.  It was quite possibly the most traumatic thing that has ever happened to the poor child, aside from divorce and fire and natural disaster.

This may be my longest post ever, so thanks for reading.  I’ll let you know if we manage to return Mr. Turtle to his home before he passes from this life. 

Until next time,

D.

 

 
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One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Shawn L. Bird

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