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Arden Raine is an ex-theatrical making sense of life through many lenses.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thoughts of Giving Up on Fat Tuesday

Today is Fat Tuesday. A day of whooping it up before turning inwards and sacrificing for the Lenten season.

But Arden, you're a Pagan? What does any of this have to do with you?

Kismet. You see today is a dark day for me. An anniversary of a decades old trauma that I have truly attempted to bury yet catches me off guard and emotionally vulnerable every year for almost three decades.

I spent today in an unsettled funk. I tried, unsuccessfully ( to my eyes) to repair a friendship.

I do the type of stupid crap I unconsciously do every February the 12th: I try to fix broken stuff. And usually I have no real awareness of the date. And it never ends well. NEVER.

But today, after I recognized the date and gave a name to my fevered need for reparation, I had some things,unrelated yet deeply symbolically related, snap me awake.

Awake as in self aware. As in fully fucking present with my own heart.

Three decades ago I was tossed literally away by the one person who should always hold you precious.

From a vehicle that never came to a full stop, I and my meagerly allowed possessions in a hefty bag (Generic brand thank you!) were chucked out of said car by my mother.

Yep. Baggageville party of me.The date was February 12. And just forget about Valentines Day- I mean my own mother couldn't love me. I still see it it slo-mo like it is a bad B movie complete with flipped lit cigarette in my general direction and chirping of tire as the car fled from sight.

So there has been years of ignoring this anniversary. There have been decades of: "this don't bother me!"  There have been years of understanding the mental state of my very emotionally damaged mother. There have been countless hours of therapy, forgiveness counseling (not for myself mind you), anger management, sobbing, ranting, railing, suicide attempts, misguided attempts at fixing unbroken and unrelated things all centered around 2/12.

But I have not ONCE in almost thirty years allowed myself to mourn. I have empathized with my mother's pain. Yet I have never allowed myself to feel my own.

Why? Have I been keeping a family secret? No, the whole damn neighborhood saw what transpired. (Secrets are very big with my family- but that's another post for another time.) Am I proving how tough I am by not being hurt that the person who birthed me hated and reviled me so much she couldn't be bothered to stop the car before she washed her hands of me? No.

All these years and the unrelated/related dramas are because my defense mechanisms do not work. This whole: nope not me, that didn't hurt, nope, nope, nope, stupidity has kept me from me.

"One does not simply get chucked out of one's car by one's mumsey and think that one's self hood shall be kept whole and intact." or some meme from a TV show based on a book that I have never read might say.

What the Sam Ax does this have to do with Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Friday Fish Frys and sacrifice you might wonder?

I through random acts of kindness from folks who had no idea that their love and friendship would help me today, the day I do not allow myself to have, I have had an epiphany!

I realize that I need to make February 12th a day of mourning. A day to allow a broken hearted child to miss, and ache and wail at the second worse betrayal her heart sustained by someone who should never had hurt her.

I need to let myself be angry and fully present about my day of being sacrificed. I need to allow this time yearly to grieve a lot of bad juju. And I think by finally embracing the pain I can finally let that mother go.(All imaginable puns intended.) And hopefully, one day, turn a yearly holiday of personal mourning into a day of memorial.

So I'm giving up my self flagellation over being dumped by my mom. I am going to stop ignoring the rage and loss and pain that is February the 12th. I am going to stop numbing my soul/heart/mind/breath and allow myself to be present. Maybe heal. At least stop blindly walking into the day thinking that it's just another ordinary fucking day.

It only took me three decades. What can I say? I'm a fast learner.


  1. Love you. Integration - the hardest yet most liberating thing I have done/trying to do. Integrating the traumas... the pain... allowing them space...allowing them to be a part of you... they stop screaming so much, I find...
    You are amazing.