Sign Post

June 1, 2009 at 9:08 PM (Uncategorized) ()

There’s how others see you, and then, there’s how you see yourself.

I’m not speaking of physicality tonight…

But that inner gadfly that started quite early.

I see myself as the Kid With The Sign.

It has a wooden post, it has white backing, and the message has varied over the decades:

When I was really little, I didn’t need signs. The raised hand would do it, and eventually I would get to read aloud, assigned text or a book report, or sing…perhaps even a solo note or two.

When I was ten, I saw my first drunken rant, as my father vectored all over the house, screaming for ‘the gun’ he did not own, because he was going to kill that *****  his best friend. (He didn’t.  Like all of his rants the chief exponent was alcohol breath and hot air.)

So mentally, in dialogue with my mother I would hold up a sign. This sign said, basically “I love Dad, but can we kick him out please?  I can’t live in the same house with him anymore.”

So, I’m metaphorically dragging this sign around in my head, flashing it at Mom for *three years,* and then, she asked me:

“How would you feel if I divorced your father?”

“Would cartwheels across the kitchen floor convince you?” I answered out loud.

Still carried that metaphorical sign and flashed it with ever increasing frequency for three and a half more years, until he was removed from my living space at 17.

So I went to college, and the signs got briefer.   “Guess what, I’m not cognitively impaired.”  Flashed the intellect for a minute, and they obviously went…”Well! Ok, she’s not invisible and might very well be interesting.  Let’s find out!  And I made friends 🙂 (Friends Only.  Their signs of “I wouldn’t date a gimp for the entire contents of the US mint. ”  were flashing in their heads quickly enough.)

Then the signs got serious.

I got married, and held up the “Condoms Are Not Optional, They Are Mandatory/ Do You Actually Have HIV?” “sign to the hemophilliac husband so many times I can’t count them…and he didn’t answer( whether through misinformation or denial is not completely certain ) for four years….

One year later my sign said, “You’re losing weight, too much too fast, something’s up.”

His said ” The Scale is Lying.”

He actually said that one out loud.

Then, I had my own separate sickness…Twelve months of

“Somethings Wrong !” “I’m sick, I’m sick take me to the doctor please, I’m sicker…take me to the doctor please….

His sign said, “You can’t possibly be sick.  I’m the sick one here.”

My Hodgkins Lymphoma showed up.

Then I wished for real signs at the bank, the grocery checkout, at the theater.

“We Don’t Have Time Left.  We’re Busy and We Have Doctor’s Appointments…Move Out of The Fcuking Way!”

After, I didn’t have signs…I was moving around in the dark looking for lighthouses….

And widowed, I washed up on the beach that is Denver.

Helped some folk, not others….

And have resolved to *stop* holding up signs.

Good friends have potentially life altering or even life threatening conditions.   Or tortured relationships, or abusive partners or….I’ve spoken about these things one time each to my good friends.  They are grownups.  They can act to alter their trajectories, or not.  Free Will is a great thing.

I’m Not Holding Up Any More Signs… (Except the one from the inner child that says, ‘I Want to go Home…I may be able to next year, I may not.)

I have to try and take care of what’s left of my inner self.

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