About three weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with my ex.
In the midst of relating the story of a recent puppy rescue, he interrupted and declared, “Stop rescuing puppies and trying to fill holes. This is why we didn’t make it in the first place. You spend too much time on your animals and not enough time on your relationship and your boyfriend.”
I stopped for a beat, took a deep breath, and recalled the actual reasons we didn’t make it–an insidious network of lies that I am only now beginning to unravel, plus the many side affects of his alcohol/drug abuse including a desperate need to pursue sexual liaisons with multiple partners.
Not being one to take the bait, (among other things he’s a bully and loves to stomp you into submission via futile argument) I finished my story about the puppy.
When we hung up, I sat for couple minutes and thought about what he said…then I smiled to myself, grabbed my phone, and messaged the rescue organization to tell them how certain I was that I’m that puppy’s new mom.
I can write with 100% certainty that every moment I’ve spent on rescue, ie., healing and loving an animal, has been worth it and I am good with that. Yeah, this is America–he is entitled to his opinion about that but I’m also entitled to my happiness.
Right now it just so happens that means waking up to one cat sitting on my pillow purring into my ear as the other sits on my chest purring into my heart, a foster puppy’s head gently resting on my shin while she sleepily gnaws on her doggie bone, and Singer’s cold wet snout burrowed into my armpit snoring loudly.
Someday (soon I have a feeling), there will be another human body symphonically snoring next to me, and (I also have the feeling) he will have no problem with my super-hero side job of being an Animal Rescuer.
I have absolutely no problem holding out for him either. : )
To to the narcissistic, annihilistic, alcohol-addicted pissants who, in a previously known existence kicked my legs out from under me, bashed my head in a few times figuratively and literally, then undermined pretty much every single freakin’ thing I did via a web of manipulation, duplicity, and uh, Outright Falsification:
There’s a new Ginger in town. Not only is she fed up with your bullsh**, she’s onto frying some MUCH bigger fish.
“May the bridges I burn light the way.”
For a detailed and accurate definition of “pissant”, please see #3 at urbandictionary.com
The thing about a fresh start is, it isn’t fresh and it definitely doesn’t just start out of the blue all sparkly shiny.
New beginnings happen because we have an epiphany in a series of epiphanies, surrounded by events completely out of our control, and are goaded into context by the good, the bad, and the ugly inside of us.
I should know. I am standing here, right now, somewhere (I think) in the middle of mine.
When did it all start?
Well, to put it bluntly, after a couple years’s worth of stepping backwards, doubting myself, taking wrong turns, consistently selling myself out, dumbing myself down, and allowing myself to be treated like caca by all kinds of people. You name it, they were there. Employers, co-workers,“friends”, boyfriends, family members, grocery store clerks…
My fall from a very much less than ideal heaven began with a) the loss of a REALLY crappy job (Jan), b) falling in love with “my Hero” (aka a crush of two years) who turned out to be a Total Shit instead (Jan – May), c) coming down with pneumonia (Mar), d) slipping on an icy stairwell, cracking my head open and sustaining TBI #6 (Apr), e) and losing my beautiful dog (angel) Mateo suddenly to cancer a week later.
It certainly didn’t stop there, Oh No. For 9 months I worked three part time jobs to exhaustion just trying to cover rent and car, and despite using every shred of my being to prevent it, f) I had to give up my place and move into someone’s basement (Aug).
While I was grounded in that disheartening dungeon, things began to bubble up and out.
I started grieving. My tumultuous dreams were vivid renderings of beautiful yet deadly angel wings flying me high through the sky, then plummeting into mountain sides, volcanoes, and other assorted unsurvivable venues.
So I cried, screamed, hit pillows, kicked walls, but also went for long cool walks at night with my other dog angel, Singer.
In September (after volunteering for disaster relief and rescue during the Waldo Fire and then Black Forest in the summers of 2012-13), I went out on horseback looking for stranded people and animals during the Colorado floods.
I worked to reunite people with their pets, separated from them suddenly in the chaos and farmed out to shelters within a 50 mile radius. I also hauled hay out to folks who’d lost everything except what they loved most– their cows, goats, horses, burros, and chickens.
I did a ton of farm work and disaster clean up. In the process I wore down my favorite boots, got dirt stuck permanently under my fingernails, and came home stinking like horse manure more often than not. I still find hay stuck in the most random places of my car and clothing.
The hard labor did my soul an awful lot of good. Even in October when I became the grateful recipient of a real job, I kept putting in as much time as I could after hours. When my physical efforts weren’t needed anymore, I jumped into other animal welfare pursuits.
Once November arrived–and in the midst of letter writing and calling campaigns badgering representatives to step up for wolves, wild horses, and pit bulls– it finally hit me that this rescue bent of mine wasn’t going away.
Nope, it was here to stay, and wasn’t it actually building me into someone I thought I’d never see again? I couldn’t be sure, but I felt something suspiciously close to the tremble of angel wings as my fire started to blaze deep inside of me
Now, as a gainfully employed number-cruncher, looking out the window of my new apartment and watching the clouds pile up and roll in, I can finally take a breath and see my future.
I can’t go into much detail yet, all I know is I’m shaping up to be one helluva HellRaiser. Just check out my battle torn angel wings.
Clouds from huffingtonpost.com
Angel found on facebookkappaylas.blogspot.com.
Been off my game for a few months.
Wait, make that almost a year.
I stopped writing AND singing my heart out.
I also lost my ❤ of creating the best, most perfect Cowboy Cinnamon Roll–not to mention the pure unadulterated exhilaration I'd feel while performing outrageous amounts of lunges, burpees, and all out sprints across a bumpy Rugby field.
I withdrew into a very dark, very safe cave to rest and regather my strength. The only time I left it was when the welfare of an animal was at stake.
Some people judged me harshly. Others cracked jokes at my expense or shook their heads and left for good.
But my friends? They kept visiting me in the dark cave, bringing little gifts that reminded me of who I am, never doubting for a second that I'd come out when it was Time.
So, guess what time it is, "To Whom It May Concern"….
Stay tuned for the next installment of "How Ginger Got Her Groove Back", Chapter One:
A New Beginning.
There are certain things I do on this day every year.
I get up early and go for a run. Growing up back home, I always had the road to myself. I could feel every bird, tree, fence post, and animal within a country mile of myself. I still miss that.
After a hot shower, I eat oatmeal with crunchy peanut butter and maple syrup and turn on Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I like to pretend I’m really on 34th street, jumping up and down clapping my hands when the Snoopy balloon comes around the corner.
While my meal is cooking (this time around it was deep dish pizza, a pile of crunchy lettuce, romas, and green peppers, and cream cheese brownies with extra-fudgy frosting), I hang Christmas lights and sing along to all my favorite old school country western artists.
I’m lucky enough to have three guests of the canine variety, so my dog Singer and her buddies Max, Scout, and Barley all got to snack on pizza crust during clean up. We went outside and sat in the sunshine for a good long time after. Being surrounded by a sprawling pack of dogs who need nothing more than that is extremely satisfying.
Around 7, I always text or call my loved ones and tell ’em Happy Thanksgiving. Inevitably I wind up in conversation with someone, and as we deliver our heartfelt messages, my smile is so full of joy there are tears stinging in my eyes.
I wish this for all of you.