The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

On Oklahoma and God May 21, 2013

Filed under: Steps in the Journey — DDKlingonGirl @ 1:34 pm
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Hey, y’all!  That, by the way, is an adaptation of my normal greeting, in honor of my home state that got hammered the last two days by the tornadoes.

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I have so much I want to say right now, and as usual, my biggest concern is that I will have the right words.  Starting from when I woke up this morning and was almost afraid to pull up Facebook for fear of what more horrible news I would find posted there, all my thoughts have been focused on the tragedy of the storms and the results and aftermath.

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As an almost-lifelong Oklahoman, I’ve been through this before.  I’ve watched weather updates, heard sirens, and “hunkered” down in hallways, bathrooms, cellars, and closets.  And…I’ve seen it up close and personal as well.  This happened to my own small hometown in 2009.  Trailer parks wiped out.  Eight or nine people dead.  Destruction and devastation and neighbors’ lives uprooted just like the trees in their front yards.

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And now, as then, there is good in every evil.  There is triumph in every test.  When bad things happen, good people come out of the woodwork.  I’ve seen it.  I am so proud of this state.  I am proud to be FROM here.  Someone was telling me about the news footage last night of the line of cars, stretching around blocks and blocks at ONE donation point.  Just one out of the whole city, and all you could see were headlights.   Not to sound cocky or anything, but guys, that’s just how we roll here.  When bad things happen, people are literally there in a moment to do whatever they can do.  Sometimes all you can do is hold people while they cry, but I can speak from experience:  there are times when that is everything.

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I think I know, intellectually, that there are good people in every state, and that if something comparable to this happened in California, or New Mexico, or Ohio, or New Jersey, or anywhere, people would be there to help.  Donations would pour in.  I know this.  But somehow, Oklahoma feels special.  The outpouring you see here isn’t just charity.  It’s love.  Pure, undiluted love in action.  I like to think it’s because we’re largely a group of God-fearing Christians, but that’s arrogant.  Oklahoma and Texas specifically, and the Midwest in general, are just very special places.

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It’s interesting to me how my thoughts move when something like this happens.  I have been feeling a need to draw near to God all day today.  As I drove in to work, I was singing some church songs and just kind of realizing what I was feeling.  I acknowledge how sad it is that it takes something like this to make me feel that need, to make me feel that strong desire to really come closer to God, but above and beyond that, I feel mostly a deep gratitude for the opportunity.  I’m thankful for this tragedy, in that it serves as a reminder that catches my attention, that wakes me up, that makes me realize as little else rarely does… I NEED God!  I need faith in my life.  I need to believe in a higher purpose, a higher power, in a wisdom far beyond mine that knows all, understands all, and has a greater plan for good from this, than I can scarcely begin to comprehend.

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I really truly do understand how angry that sentiment could possibly make some people.  Those who lost their homes, their children, their workplaces…I get how they could read that and go, “Are you INSANE?  Are you crazy?  How dare you be thankful for something like this, for MY suffering and MY loss?!”  All I can say is that I am.  I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be reminded of God’s awesome power, and how people’s love for Him leads them to walk in love for their fellow man and just give so much and so deeply.

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And I would say to everyone who is struggling with their thoughts about this, with their pain and anger and doubt, but especially to those people who lost loved ones, particularly children- can you just imagine where they are today?  Can you see the beauty that surrounds them?  The sunlight, the warmth, the absolute and utter peace and lack of pain where they are?  The love that they are wrapped in?  Can you picture the scene?  They are in the place Jesus Himself described as Paradise.  Feel that, and let it comfort you.

All in all, my pledge is this:  I mean to take advantage of the opportunity to wake up another day and draw near to God and also show that love by doing what I can to help those whose lives have been impacted by this storm tragedy.

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Until next time,

D.

 

Tested By Fire (Parts 2 & 3 of ?) February 19, 2011

Hello all.  Today is another anniversary for me.  I didn’t realize the date until I was at work today.  In the middle of just another Saturday at work.  I was actually hiding in the bathroom checking Facebook on my phone, and I noticed the date, February 19th.  Two years ago today, my world broke.  Not to be dramatic or anything, but you know, it kinda was.  A week and two days after a tornado hit my hometown and killed 8 people on the same day that I found out I wasn’t going to have a job the next year. 

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It had been a normal-ish day.  Read: a difficult day.  I was teaching, as usual.  It was almost the end of 6th hour.  Speech class.  We weren’t doing anything.  I think they were supposed to have been finishing an outline or something.  The principal’s secretary beeped in on the intercom and told me I had a phone call.  I went to the office to get the phone.  It was my husband, and his first words were, “You need to come home. The house is on fire.” 

*

My heart fell through the floor, and I said the dumbest thing ever:  “Are you kidding?!”  (Like he would joke about that, right?)  He assured me he was not kidding:  “No, I’m not kidding!  The house is on fire!” And I said “Well how bad is it?”  He replied, “I don’t know, but the firemen are here and there’s a lot of smoke.”  I told him I was on my way.  The secretary was sitting behind the counter looking at me, and I just looked down at her and told her my house was on fire and she said “Go. We’ll find someone to take your classes.”  I practically ran down the hall to my room, grabbed my purse out from under my desk.  I was hyperventilating, shaking, almost crying.  Things were falling out of my purse and I just grabbed them and stuffed them in the bag.  One of the kids asked me what was wrong and I said “Don’t worry about it.”  In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t been so snippy, but at the time, I think I didn’t want them to know or something.  I’m not sure.  I tore out of the room without a backward glance, ran out the side door, threw myself into the car and flew out of the parking lot throwing gravel. 

*

My school was about 10 miles from my home, and my normal 15 minute trip probably took 5.  I could see from down the street, there were several fire trucks surrounding my house, and I knew it was bad.  I pulled up and parked on the street in front of the house.  The firemen were everywhere, but it looked like they were finished.  The front door was standing open.  I think they were dragging a big hose out and rolling it up.  I walked up, and they said I could go in.  RMB and I went in together.

*

This house has been mine since it was built.  It was built especially for me.  Me and the kids and their father.   I was there when it was nothing but a concrete slab.  During construction, I crawled on my hands and knees and scraped plaster and wall texture off the floors, inch by inch, with a razor blade in the dead of winter.  I picked out the colors of the tile and the cabinets and the brick and the shingles on the roof.  The kids’ dad and I.  We were blessed to get this house because he has a CDIB card.  A certificate of degree of Indian bloodChickasaw, to be precise.  We entered the program at just the right time and we were able to get a new house, built on the lot we picked, with the colors we picked. 

*

When I walked in the front door of the home I’d lived in for 13 years, first with The Dufus, and then alone with my kids, and then with RMB, all I could see was black.  The walls, the floor, every surface, every object in the house was blackened.  One living room wall and the door leading to the hall were charred.  The firemen had torn into that wall and chunks of drywall were scattered in the floor around it.  The living room windows were blown out from the heat.  The living room ceiling fan was drooping, melted, toward the floor.  The back door was open, and the remains of the couch had been thrown outside.  Most of the things in the living room had been heat damaged.  The entertainment center, the computer desk.  My laptop that Mom got me when I started back to college.  The digital camera she got me for my graduation.  The TV, VCR, the kids’ collection of Disney movies.  The flower arrangement that was the casket spray on my first baby’s casket. The coats in the entry closet.  All blackened and melted.  The smell was overwhelming, nauseating.

*

I called my mom and dad to tell them what had happened.  I might have done that when I first got out of the car.  I don’t remember.  They were at our church building, sorting donated clothes and items that we had been collecting for the tornado victims.  School was almost out, and Mom went to go get the kids and bring them.  RMB and I had gone back outside, because we couldn’t take the sight, the smell, and the lingering heat.  Mom pulled up behind my car and she and the kids jumped out.  They walked across the yard, Mom hanging on to them, holding their hands, even though hers were shaking uncontrollably.  I walked in with them.  At first they just looked around in shock, then finally they started to cry.  Even RMB.  It was the third house fire he’d been through, and he said he didn’t think he could take it.  I did my best to comfort all of them, tried to tell them it was ok, that it was ok to be sad, and we’d get through it.  They couldn’t stand to stay in there very long, and we had to leave anyway.  The house was unliveable and there was no power and no water.  We knew Mom and Dad would let us stay with them, even though the kids’ dad and his wife and daughter were already staying there, since their house got ruined in the tornado. 

*

PART 3

We went to the church building to look through the donated tornado clothes and find something for the kids to wear to sleep in and to school the next day.  Mom and Dad’s house was now our house, and would be, indefinitely.  We were pretty sure the Chickasaw housing people would rebuild the house, but we had absolutely no clue how long it would take.  At the start, I was hoping for two or three months.  I was being optimistic. 

*

We went to Mom and Dad’s and tried to get settled in- just one big happy family.  My parents, me, my husband of only 21 months, my kids, their father, his wife, their toddler daughter.  Like a reality tv show from hell.  I only took a few days off from school.  Being me, I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone too much.  In the next few days and weeks, the rest of the family set about trying to remove everything from the house so they could gut it and rebuild.  I couldn’t be there.  I was stuck at school, trying to put on a normal face, trying to teach English and Speech to kids who couldn’t have cared less, all the while knowing it didn’t matter, because I wouldn’t be there the next year.  Meanwhile, everybody else was going through MY house, throwing out MY things, MY memories, without me.  I know, it was my choice to stay at school, but I didn’t feel at the time that I had a choice. 

*

Over time, we emptied the house and the reconstruction began.  Living at Mom and Dad’s was challenging at best.  After a few weeks, the kids’ dad and his family got some relief money from FEMA and moved to another town where they could find a house.  Things got easier then, but by that time, RMB had left.  He and my dad had a difference of opinion one night, but that was just a convenient excuse.  He went to stay with his mother, and remains there to this day, two years later.  We’re still legally married.  I plan to remedy that with this year’s tax return. 

*

So here we are.  Two years later.  The house was rebuilt, better and more beautiful than before.  Again, we got to pick the colors.  Wall paint, trim, carpet, tiles, kitchen laminate, everything.  Up until it was almost finished, RMB was going to join us when we moved back in, but at the last minute he decided he wasn’t coming back. 

*

But we’ve survived.  Exactly 6 months after the tornado, we moved back into the house that was cleansed by fire.  Our lives were a literal mess before the fire.  A literal disaster.  The house was continually a filthy wreck.  My new marriage was a complete disappointment.  The fire took care of all that.  A clean, fresh start.  The kids and I are here now, alone again, and we’re happy.  We’ve been tested and come out on the other side, stronger and better than ever before.  Tested.  And passed.

*

Until next time,

D.

 

Notes From The Shower September 1, 2010

Hello all.  Just thought I’d give a little shout out to the rain shower happening outside my window right now.  It’s still badly needed.  But also, the title of this post refers to a couple of things I realized yesterday. 

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First of all, judging by the amount of hair in the drain of my shower after one of the crumb-crunchers gets out, one would be under the impression that I live in a house full of 80’s rock stars undergoing chemo!  I swear, these children are about to find themselves in the barber chair getting an Army draftee hairdo!!

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And second of all, to steal a line from the late, great Erma Bombeck:  just because there is thirty pounds of hair in the drain, there is no need to shampoo it!  What is so difficult for these children about placing a shampoo bottle a) upright and b) lid closed!?  Really? 

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Also, I just have to share this.  I had to go around smelling all manly yesterday because we were out of body wash and the only thing I could find was my son’s AXE body wash.  🙂  (It was so cute when I bought that stuff for him.  He was just in awe that he had his very own bath stuff just for boys!)  So I was worried that people at work were going to be asking “Do you smell that?  Who’s wearing men’s cologne?  Somebody got a secret around here?”  But no.  Not a mention.  Which is good, don’t get me wrong.  I’m as happy to get attention as the next person, but for the right reasons, like my beauty, brains, and talent, not for my manly smell. 

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And since this post is kind of water-themed, I will address an issue that arises from LACK of water and say that I believe my newest tree is dead.  I think it has fallen victim to the rotten weather we’ve had the last two months and is now nothing but a baked stick with broiled leaves standing in the middle of my yard.  It was a redbud, too.  (Oklahoma’s State Tree, by the way!) I love those- I’ve always wanted one, and my mother, when she decided to singlehandedly reforest an entire trailer park that was wiped out by a tornado, saved me one of the trees she got.  She planted the little guy in a place of honor right in the middle of my front yard, and now I think he is just dead, dead, dead.  Thanks, Weather!  Now is a fine time to be pouring down rain!

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I’ll tell you this much, though.  If he’s not dead, I’m going to dig him up, plant him in a big planter, nurse him back to health, and make a bonsai tree out of him.  I toyed with the idea of making the bonsai out of the willow tree that’s been growing there since Mom and the kids planted it when I was on my honeymoon.  Sort of a reshaping, reforming of the hopes and dreams I had for my marriage, kind of thing.  However, Daughter S. said she likes the tree where it is and wants me to leave it there, so Little Redbud gets to be a bonsai, if he lives. 

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I’m going to be posting some more poetry in a minute, and I only mention this because it sort of fits in with the water theme.  At least one piece does.  Metaphorically, some of the other pieces do as well, because they come from a time in my life when I was simply drowning in darkness, despair, struggle.  I’ll admit they are very dark works, but they represent my process of getting through that time.  If you read through all my poetry, you will see many poems about the actual experience of writing itself.  For me, writing was surviving.  Writing was the only way I could express all the pain, the only way to let it out and keep it from killing me.  But check out the poetry anyway, and let the overall theme of survival speak to you however it will.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

D.

(ETA:  The new poetry is now up.  11:00 a.m.)

 

 
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