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De-programming

I’ve been in several relationships that were a disaster.  They took a toll that I wouldn’t wish on anyone and they left scars I doubt will ever heal.  They left buttons that are all too easy to trip – more like landmines than buttons, they are an immediate and visceral reaction to past pain. This morning I was telling my wife something that had been on my mind and she started acting antsy.  It struck me as “I don’t really want to listen to your dumbass story” and I got angry – really angry.  I felt unimportant and relegated to a closet – speak when I want to listen.  Heated words, hurt feelings.  The burning anger finally subsides and I feel terrible.  I feel hostage to past events, past circumstances and these buttons when tripped do nothing more than unleash an anger that threatens the very thing that I hold most dear. As it turns out she was simply feeling cold and was impatient to go grab a sweater… but now it’s another eggshell she feels obligated to tread past softly.  How, WHY is it that pain has this ability to come back, entirely unbidden, to wreak havoc in circumstances so far removed from the source of that pain it might as well be that galaxy, far far away?  I feel like I need an exorcism from myself after these incidents. I have given thought to the problem.  I loathe inadvertently hurting the one’s I...

Beautiful soul

My wife Susan is an amazing blend of steel, butter, smarts and soul.  She is in remission from stage 4 ovarian cancer for almost a year now.  She’s tough.  I read the post-op report and it’s nothing short of incredible she’s alive today.  I firmly believe that she knew how lost we’d be without her and willed herself to survive.  Of course the disease and recovery from it have taken their toll on her.   She’s a victim of her own success – she looks so good and healthy that I sometimes get impatient with her.  I forget that she is still recovering her strength and stamina. So yesterday I come home and she confesses she felt guilty for taking some time for herself and not getting some things done.  I need to digress a bit… While undergoing periodic chemo treatments my wife made friends with everyone in the clinic.  They supported each other, encouraged each other – they laughed, cried, prayed and bonded.  They became a positive motivating factor to attend chemo – a necessary counterpoint to the debilitating effects of chemicals seeking to destroy every last vestige of cancerous cells lurking in the dark.  Susan has long since finished her chemo program and now has checkups every few months with her ever vigilant oncologist.  On her last visit Susan mentioned that she was thinking about one of the women she’d befriended and wondered what had become of her.  The doctor gently said “I...

War stories

When I left the military I went to work for EG&G: Special Projects out of Las Vegas, NV.  All the guys I worked with were ex military.  One of the guys I worked with was Caroll.  They warned me about Caroll when I started – “He loves to tell war stories”.  I’d not heard the phrase before but was rapidly indoctrinated in the subtleties.  Quite frankly Caroll would talk your ear off – and you couldn’t even walk away as he would follow you.  Now if he’d only been realistic enough to realize you were trying to ignore him it could have been a workable symbiosis.  But nooooooo.  He’d punctuate his stories with questions to ensure you were listening.  It was excruciating. Over the years I’ve found myself in the situation of talking to folks that expressed an initial interest, but then didn’t actually care to hear whatever story I was telling.  The first clue I might miss is when they serve up a helping of crossed eyes with a glaze of ennui.  If I miss that one, next are stifled yawns  Do you know how painful it is to suppress all external signs of a yawn?  It’s almost like watching a seething volcano ready to explode – writhing lips try desperately to smother and contain the body’s desire to inhale deeply of fresh air.  When I’m aware of the situation I will stop the story and do a catch and release on the...
recent from 3 War stories
When I left the military I went to work for EG&G: Special Projects out of Las Vegas, NV.  All the guys I worked with were ex military.  One of the guys I worked with was Caroll.  They warned me about Caroll when I started – “He loves to tell war stories”.  I’d not heard the phrase before but was rapidly indoctrinated in the subtleties.  Quite frankly Caroll would talk your ear off – and you couldn’t even walk away as he would follow you.  Now if he’d only been realistic enough to realize you were trying to ignore him it could have been a workable symbiosis.  But nooooooo.  He’d punctuate his stories with questions to ensure you were listening.  It was excruciating. Over the years I’ve found myself in the situation of talking to folks that expressed an initial interest, but then didn’t actually care to hear whatever story I was telling.  The first clue I might miss is when they serve up a helping of crossed eyes with a glaze of ennui.  If I miss that one, next are stifled yawns  Do you know how painful it is to suppress all external signs of a yawn?  It’s almost like watching a seething volcano ready to explode – writhing lips try desperately to smother and contain the body’s desire to inhale deeply of fresh air.  When I’m aware of the situation I will stop the story and do a catch and release on the listener.  I’ll be damned if I turn into Caroll.  So feel free to hit that back button any time the spirit moves...