I have a problem. Or two.
Okay, more than two.
But the problem right now is gauze. Or, more specifically, the word “gauze”… I can’t get it out of my head!
All I can think about are gauze-related headlines:
Oh My Gauze.
Mary, Mother of Gauze.
Gauze Only Knows.
Let Go and Let Gauze.
Gauze-ess of Love.
For the Love of Gauze.
Gauze in Heaven.
SEE WHAT I MEAN?
It is never-ending, the things I can do with the word “gauze”. I feel a little better having said some of these “out loud”, but I am afraid my gauze-issues are far from over.
As you may recall, I had a conversation with gauze the other day. This was prompted by a nightmare involving a gauze super-store from hell, a fiery auto crash, a biker dude, a meth addict and my Mom, of course.
The conversation itself was mildly useful/helpful/meaningful in that it turns out that Mom’s gauze obsession (Hey, did I mention the harem pants? She’s 67. And short. But they are gauze so I guess fashion rules don’t apply….) kind of represented her other obsessive behavior (no value judgments, most of her obsessions have been art-related and she has created some amazing stuff) which triggered icky memories of being a kid in the midst of her obsessions and, probably more painfully, of being an adult/parent and having my own obsessive behavior.
Lots of shame. Lots of guilt. A sprinkle of anger. An appreciation of the good things that came out of some otherwise questionable obsessive behavior.
Gauze suggested that perhaps I might consider forgiveness as an alternative to wasting one more minute of my precious life feeling angry about stuff I can’t change.
That would require me to give up my story.
(Flash of Painful Insight)
(And away we go…..)
Gauze: “I know, right?”
Me: “Well this sucks. I keep yapping about how other people should change their story and I am still holding onto mine. Color me blind to my own issues.”
Gauze: “Oh good, you’ve found something else to beat yourself up about. That is useful.”
Gauze: “Takes one to know one.”
Me: “Good point. Now what do I do?”
Gauze: “Seems fairly obvious from where I stand.”
Me: “You’re not real. And you’re fabric. In my head.”
Gauze: “Like I said, it seems obvious.”
Me: “What? Just snap my fingers and give up my story? Poof?”
Gauze: “It’s easier than that, you don’t even need to snap your fingers. Just give it up.”
Me: “I don’t know why this scares me so much. I feel like I need to hold onto my story with everything I have.”
Gauze: “What would have to happen for you to feel safe letting it go?”
Me: “I can’t even get to the feeling safe part because I can’t let go of my story unless I forgive myself first.”
Gauze: “Is that true?”
Me: “It fucking feels true. How else could it work?”
Gauze: “Now we are getting somewhere….”
Me: “I don’t want to do this right now.”
Gauze: “I know.”
Me: “But I guess we are going to do it anyway?”
Me: “Fuck. Okay, now what?”
Gauze: “Is it true that you can’t forgive yourself?”
Gauze: “What else is true?”
Me: “I don’t want to forgive myself. I don’t feel forgive-able. It seems like a luxury that I can’t afford to give myself. It doesn’t seem good enough to just say “Well, I did the best I could and I’m only human, so I should be forgiven.” I mean, couldn’t Hitler say the same thing? Or Jeffrey Dahmer, “Nobody’s perfect, sorry…”
Gauze: “So now you’re likening your past to a mass murderer and a serial-killer/cannibal? That seems a little far-fetched and dramatic…. Now, what else is true?”
Me: “Well. I don’t even want to say this out loud. Maybe it is also true that I haven’t forgiven people who have said to me “I did the best I could, but I’m only human, sorry…” and so how could I possibly forgive myself on the same basis?”
Gauze: “Can you be more specific?”
Me: “Not right now. It’s too much. Oh, alright. My parents. But my Dad is dead, so he kind of got off the hook. So, pretty much my Mom. But how fucking ridiculous is it that I even have one single complaint about them? In the whole scheme of things, I have had an exceptionally good life. Better than most people on this entire planet, actually. Unlike the kids I’ve worked with, my parents didn’t beat me, starve me, sell me for drugs or lock me in a closet for days. I never had to wonder where my next meal would come from. We always had shelter. I didn’t have to beg for money on the street. I wasn’t stoned to death when they found out I wasn’t a virgin before I got married. What kind of lunatic am I to complain that my parents had substance abuse issues and bad boundaries? Seriously? What kind of person am I to not be totally grateful every day for the piece of cake life I was handed on a silver-fucking-platter?
Gauze: “Oh goody, you found another reason to beat yourself up! Now you’re a whiny, ungrateful mass murderer/serial killer/cannibal-type person. Bravo!”
Me: “Fuck you.”
Gauze: “You used to have a sense of humor.”
Me: “You used to be fabric.”
Me: “Now what?”
Gauze: “Is there any other way to look at this? As it stands now, you aren’t even entitled to have the feelings about your parents that are the basis for your need to forgive them in order to be able to forgive yourself. Seems like a dead end.”
Me: “I don’t even remember why we are talking about this.”
Gauze: “You were considering letting go of/changing your story.”
Me: “Right. My brain is all jumbled. I can’t go any further right now, go on without me….give my love to my motherless child.”
Gauze: “Again with the dramatics. We can stop, for now.”
Me: “By the grace of gauze….”
Gauze: “But think about this: What would it be like if it was okay to have the feelings you have about your parents? If no one, and especially you, could judge you.”
Me: “I guess then I would have my feelings. Maybe if I really felt them, then they could go away or be less…problematic?”
Gauze: “Let’s pretend you’re in a safe place where you are totally and 100% entitled, nay, encouraged and expected to have your feelings. Not only that, you are pretty much required to acknowledge them out loud.”
Me: “That doesn’t sound safe, at all.”
Gauze: “You get to create this place and it will be as safe as you need it to be. No one else ever has to know what goes on in there. It’s yours. Say what you need to say. Stay as long as you want. Scream out loud and pound on the walls if you need to. You can’t be judged, even by you. It’s a no judgment zone.”
Me: “So, I create this safe place and then I go in and acknowledge my unjustified and selfish feelings and then what?”
Gauze: “I don’t know. But I do know that it can’t be worse than this dead end you have created.”
Me: “Can it be a pink room?”
Gauze: “Yes, Kim, it can be pink.”
I guess I’m going to create a safe place and then go inside and have some feelings, for gauze sakes.
p.s. note that i even have the nerve to complain when i’m in mexico, on the carribean, on vacation from the job i don’t have. is there no end to my wickedness?