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Finding My Self Worth: Part three

  • Posted on May 7, 2011 at 10:51 am

There was a smudge of something, similar to jelly on the paper.  She smeared it dry with her finger and scribbled the ink pen across the top until the ink flowed.  She let out a sarcastic laugh while reflecting how completely out of control her life had become in a short time.  A poor attempt at a straight line down the side of the paper followed by three more and finally one across. She had four boxes.
My life, she thought, as she penned the four words.
Scratches             Dents               Broken             Usable
Inhaling a deep breath to gather her focus as she thought about the beater car she needed sale in order to have the cash she needed to start, What?, she questioned …  “I’m not thinking of that now. I have to focus on this, the car.”
She quickly scribbled the word Scratches. There were scratches on the car when she had bought five years before. A tree limb had smacked it during an ice storm and it had the visible signs of more than a few Walmart whacks.  She took a few minutes to list where the scratches were and making a check mark in front of them if she thought they were important enough to be repaired.
Her mind wondered to the whacks she had taken lately.  A change in administration on her job forced her from the security of a position she’d held for ten years.  A taste of bitterness filled her mouth as she thought about the conversation with the director. “You’re a valuable asset to the company, which is why we chose to relocate you to the other department.” I don’t want to relocate; they didn’t ask me if I wanted to.  No one ever asks me anything, they make choices and I have to suffer along with them, learn to compromise and conform.
Shaking her head to fend of the pity tears that threatened her eyes, the pen dug into the paper as she wrote the word Dents. The silver paint on the car had been eaten away by rust on the left rear passenger door. It was a dent she hadn’t had the money to repair after the doctor bills. A smile crossed her face at the horrible scene of blood running down the window and her son splayed out on the concrete. She remembered watching his lip swell before her eyes and his nose bent and bleeding.  She had all but forgotten that the failed attempt to skateboard over her car had left a sizable dent in the door.
“Hell, I have my share of dents,” the curt snort she expelled let her know that her dents had also begun to rust due to lack of repair in a timely manner.  The list of life dents rambled through her mind and before she realized what she was doing they found their way onto the list under left rear passenger door. Teen mom, divorced before twenty, works too much, doesn’t earn enough … she forced herself to stop when she neared the bottom of the page.  “Wonder where you buy putty to fill those gaps?” she asked in a tone that expected an answer from an empty house.
She got up from the disheveled table to pour herself a glass of wine.  The bottle had lain in the bottom of the refrigerator since it had been gifted to her at Christmas, it was May.  I can’t even motivate myself to get drunk anymore, what the hell is wrong with me? The words chastised her in a familiar tone that sent a shiver down her back.
Sipping on the cold wine and allowing it to slowly trail down her throat gave just enough time to let the memories of a shattered past to bombard her mind. A tear trailed down her cheek and she wiped it away with a determination not to dwell in a place she couldn’t change. Yet, something inside of her was determined to make her confront what she had always refused to acknowledge. The hidden feeling that she felt unwanted.
The events ran past like a slide show; only receiving her moms attention when someone else was around, even to the point of being fed and cared for. Clinging to her daddy, begging him not to leave her when he went to work. The harsh echo of the words,”He ain’t your daddy. Your momma don’t know who your daddy is. He just feels sorry for you.” The squeeze of the pillow over her face as rough hands searched her tender baby fat body. The teasing torment of a teenage boy who threatened to let his friends have her if she didn’t so what he wanted. Begging neighbors for food to feed her younger sister and trying to hide the fact that she didn’t know where her mother was.

She wanted to be angry at the dents that had become rusted and scars on her soul. She wanted to blame, even hate those who had abused and neglected her. She slammed the wine glass on the table and continued to list the dents. The more she wrote it became visible that they were her dents, she could have them repaired, she could fix them herself. She didn’t have to live with them any longer.

Finding My Self Worth part 2

  • Posted on April 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm

The refuge can was full of trash and junk. The paper littered the floor. She glanced at the unpaid bills, hastily written to do notes and advertising flyers mixed in with the fast food bags and candy wrappers. Unhealthy, undisciplined and just darn right lazy you are, spoken out loud with determination to continue cleaning out the interior. The front was horrible and took up most of the morning.  I’m ashamed of myself, she thought as she glanced around to make sure no one could see all the stuff she had let pile up inside.

She took a break, sitting on the curb drinking a cold bottle of water. The cellulite on her thigh pinched up unattractively while she wiggled to loosen the waist band cutting into the decade old roll of baby fat. I should join a gym, the thought quickly dismissed with a glance at the over full trash can she knew held bills she couldn’t pay. What the hell am I gonna do? I can’t keep living this way. She smoothed an untamed strand of hair out of her eyes knowing she looked as worthless as she felt.

The cry inside to just leave things as they were became a scream. The trash would be picked up tomorrow morning. The can was full. She could put it on the curb and come back to finish another day. She was hot, tired and defeated. Nodding her head at her decision as she stood, with the tiny bit of confidence of a decision made giving her the strength to pull the can toward its last night on her property.

She stripped, no struggled out of the clothes that marked her neglected flesh. Stretching out a calf to kick her shorts toward the door, she paused to admire the form. “Hmm, not so bad below knee,” stated as she smiled into the mirror. She was startled by the dark circles under her eyes and the smear of dirt along her chin.  A fingertip lifted to trace a scar along her forehead, barely visible but she knew it was there. It was more relevant when she was tired and today she tired, tired of living this way.

The steamy hot water relaxed the tension in her shoulder and cascaded down the curve of her back. Eyes squeezed tight, the comparison of her life to the beater car in the driveway began to unfold. A poor attempt to wash the ugliness away was made while she washed her hair. It surfaced with more fervency as she bent to apply the shaving gel to her leg.  She watched the suds and filth tainted water circle the drain just as it had ran from the car to the street. I’ve neglected me just as much as I have neglected that car, she paused at the realization.

She felt a trickle of determination well up inside as a plan began to form in her mind. Quickly finishing her shower, and then tossing on a robe to pursue the thoughts lest they escape and she miss the opportunity to change her life once again.  The kitchen table was cluttered; she pushed a spot clear and then shuffled through it to find an envelope and an ink pen. It was a simple start, four lines and four words.  Scratches, Dents, Broken, and Useable.

Finding My Self Worth: Part 1

  • Posted on April 22, 2011 at 10:05 pm

She gazed out the window in disgust at what she saw. It has been in that condition for years, she thought, who would be willing to invest in it? A cynical tone causing her attitude to grow sharp with disgust, yet she opened the door to take a closer look at what was already apparent.

She circled around it more times than she could recall.  At first she ignored the fine points as her eyes were drawn to the major damage.  Abuse and neglect were most evident on the exterior. The dents and rust lay hidden under the coat of dirt and dust. A sigh of disgust disturbed the air and she knew if she didn’t get it started today, she would put it off again.

The pail of water quickly turned a murky shade of brown and the suds disappeared before she made much progress. Her frustration at the task began to grow so she grabbed the water hose in hopes of removing as much grime as possible with the least amount of effort. She moved from top to bottom on each side, watching the rivulets of a tarnished past trail down the side and run toward the street.

The longer she allowed the cleansing spray to flow the slower her progress became.  The initial layer revealed, brought an occasional smile to her face.  The memories flooding her mind were tinged with happy thoughts, a song and laughter of a cherished moment. As a scratch along the side caught her eye she laughed, recalling the valuable lesson it had taught her.  The dent and brokenness on the left rear  brought a grimace of pain she had long forgotten, but was now revealed.

Painstaking hours of sweat left her aching in places she had forgotten a person could feel. She was covered from head to toe in the refuge of a past. The desire to wash it all away, dress fresh and leave the mess behind grew to immense proportions.  She chastised her own weakness and forced herself to take a deep breath as she strode to get  a receptacle large enough for what may be hidden inside.

The stench sent her stumbling backwards as the old door creaked open. My God, she exclaimed, What the hell crawled in there and died?  Her mind echoed an answer that churned her stomach. You, the whisper vibrated and a tear slide down her cheek.

This is the introduction to a new series of post on Finding My Self Worth. It is a journey I was forced by circumstances to face and the one I found to be the most valuable of my life. I’ve shared it rarely. Each time it has sparked a journey of self-discovery in the listener. A journey such as this cannot be made in a day. It requires persistence toward a goal and for me that goal was to escape the confines of my past. I refuse to be a victim of choices  or to carry the refuge into my future. I am worth more. I shall make a post the end of each week, often sharing intimate details, yet always with the goal of encouraging another to take that first step then continue until you discover what is truly hidden inside.  ~ pixie