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360: Severing, Feeling, Regenerating

Exactly one year ago I sat immobilized in my living room physically numb after my life was severed by divorce decree. Always the procrastinator, I had practiced the "maybe it will get better" mantra every night for 9 years until I no longer believed such a blanket of gibberish and plunged into divorce.

I had no doubt that I'd survive the loss but still, never anticipated the enormous pain, which was more than a constant throbbing (and which, thank God, disappeared half a year later). It was worse than dental issues. At least the dentist provides novacaine. The only medicines we have for emotional healing are time and prayer...but for me, not hope, because still, I don't trust that word in any relationship context. I don't know that I'll ever recycle it.


After three months of no communication with me, my ex had a bit of a meltdown,
flattened by a breakup with his new girlfriend (it -- their breakup -- was temporary). Whether it was stupid of me or stupider of me, I asked him over to talk and witnessed what for him was a total breakdown, uncontrollable tears and all: confessional, remorseful, apologetic, fractionally reflective (he is not capable of more than this). It was quite a scene to witness and I sat there like a nun, letting my heart chakra lead the way, suppressing my ego's need to shout, "GOOD! I AM VINDICATED! SUFFER, YOU!" I didn't do that. I couldn't.

But one sentence from that encounter still screams when I least expect it. Through tears he said, "I wouldn't have treated a dog that way I treated you."

What's wrong with this? Do I even have to tell you? Do I even have to point out that it has absolutely nothing to do with the way he treated me through a 12 year relationship?

The people who read this blog are the people who, like me, don't differentiate between loving, compassionate treament of human and animal. How many of these apply to your relationship with your animals:

Your dogs eat before you do
If you use a prepared food, you scrutinize the labels on your dog food more carefully than you do on your own
Your dogs get medical care before you schedule yours
Your nights, weekends, vacations, are all planned in your dogs' best interest
You can survive without your spouse but don't know that you can survive without your dog (or cat)

Our hearts are not calibrated to love our our animals any less than we love our families or partners....in some cases, we are committed to them even more because
their love for us remains unconditional,pure.

This morning, one year after the storm, I re-read my blog post from June 27, 2011. I wrote about one of my recurring tornado dreams; this emerged
during the worst of my post-divorce fire pit days. (Despite my best intentions, the marriage did NOT end well, knocking me sideways).

Well, last night I had one of my recurring water dreams, but it wasn't the tidal wave dream I am used to or the flooding dream I've experienced 100 times. In this one, I was on a broken bridge over an inlet, and I fell off, holding onto the metal rail along the road. It began flipping way into the air, almost like a bungee pole (the kind a pole vaulter would use), and even though I was scared, friends on the remaining section of the bridge sort of cheered me on until that pole landed me on solid ground across the bay, where I waited for a small boat to return me to the broken bridge and then to the mainland. I was with a friend who right now I can't remember,and we talked about how blessed I am to have such beautiful animal paintings. Somehow I was slow and missed the first boat. I lost a shoe and got sidetracked in the bathroom, which was actually the bathroom of an old, tiny Brooklyn amusement park and burger joint, "Buddie's," a happy haven for Mill Basin/Marine Park kids in the early 60's.

When the little motor boat returned,I was surprised that the captain was an old friend,
Lois,who remarried just last week. We exchanged joyful greetings as I boarded, and then the boat took off.

I can't guarantee what this means, but I speculate:


1) I have missed the boat more than once but there is always another boat
2) I have friends, new friends, old friends, constant friends, cheering friends
3) I am blessed to have such beautiful animals in my life
4) I have bathroom issues no matter what state of consciousness I enter
5) Some of my childhood was good, very good, and I can return there

I think I will halt any further inclination to analyze it. I know that one year later, the waters are calm, I am friend-rich, and marriage intersects with
rescue, but whether it's rescue to or from is individual.

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