Life Always Gives You The Experiences You Need.
It never ceases to amaze me how life always gives you the experiences you need, helping you to heal and integrate disowned pieces of yourself that would have remained hidden had these circumstances not appeared to shake you and wake you.
And when something shows up in your life — something that you know is big — you know it because it’s just one of those things that feels so supercharged and miraculous, it has to be big; you start to interpret its meaning immediately, don’t you?
I do. I know better, and I still do.
And with this awareness, I am now going to interpret the meaning of some of these big events. I am going to overlay personal meaning onto a reality that has absolutely no agenda to wake me up.
Or does it?
I don’t know, but here’s my big story:
I met a man I’ll call J. He is a man with some kids. Two kids. Two little girl kids. Human kids, not goats. J and I fell into something like love. That’s my interpretation of some stuff that happened that caused me to feel some heart-centered sensations which I call… lalalalalalalalalala, love!
Anyhow, he’s got lots of troubles; some of my friends have called his troubles fatal flaws. It’s still hard for me to wrap my head (and it’s super-stretchy) around his situation.
To balance out his flaws (enormous legal troubles, custody battles, the very real possibility of jail-time, a trifecta of ex-wives, one of them rabid, and the absence of any sort of emotional boundaries with other women, etc. Yes, there’s etc.) he’s just about everything I want in a partner — which tells you, J’s pretty damn awesome.
Or I’m pretty damn crazy. I think both are true.
With J’s never-ending list of gruesome responsibilities, I wasn’t a priority in his life. I couldn’t be. He had his daughters ripped from his life, and interestingly, I am a daughter who was ripped from her father.
I would never respect a man who didn’t put his children first, but I still wanted to be first, or at least second. I am also the daughter of a man who would eventually, after getting his children back, chose a woman over his children. My father didn’t put me first. I wasn’t a priority.
In one of our recent conversations, J confessed that maybe it would be easier to let his kids go, to stop fighting because it was creating so much hardship for him. I just listened, I knew he wouldn’t do it, but I must shamefully and honestly admit — a part of me wished he would.
In the end, I had to let him go, because, in the end, I chose to interpret the situation as one that wasn’t going to bring me joy, based upon the absence of joy I was experiencing. I say in the end as if I know, but it felt like the end, based upon my interpretation of what the end feels like.
I thought I knew what our relationship was about, but I don’t know what it was about. Not entirely.
Through our interface with each other, I have been exposed to parts of myself that have been suffering for most of my life, parts that have remained mostly dormant, save for the times they are triggered and I react out of reflex instead of awareness.
These parts have been brought to the surface of my mind, standing in line to be acknowledged — dusty and tight, scared, shivering and exposed.
When I was three, my mother took me away from my father and told me he was dead. When I was ten, my mother and my very much alive father reunited for an itty-bitty amount of time. I don’t remember questioning my father’s resurrection. Maybe I never believed he was dead.
My parents’ reunion was my father’s successful bid to steal us back from my mother. After my mother left us, my father went out and found a scaly hillbilly to be our stepmother. After some time, my stepmother convinced my father to give us back to my mother.
He chose his new wife over his three beautiful children. Maybe she was a wizard in bed, I don’t know.
I don’t speak to my father, and I have yet to completely forgive him, whatever that means. Hearing my love speak about his girls, seeing his tears, holding him while he shared his anger and pain at having lost something so precious, opened me up a bit more to forgiving a man who did walk away.
Maybe my father wasn’t strong enough to bounce back after all those years of estrangement. Maybe my mother’s evil deed forever severed the bond for him, because I remember a bond. A deep bond, and it seems lost now.
I’m certain there is a bond that exists between a father and a daughter. I wonder where it lives, and I wonder if it can be repaired once broken.
During the time my relationship was ending, I had the honor of caring for another daughter’s father while he was dying. I wondered where she was as her stepmother cradled her father while he struggled with the hard work of leaving his tumor-filled body.
I picked up that the daughter existed, and there was some funky energy between all of them during the time I spent with my patient and his wife.
My wondering stopped when she called me just before the end of my shift. She told me that she had just talked to her stepmother who asked her not to come because her father would be dead before she got there. She asked for my opinion, did I think she should come?
This man had been hanging on for two days, causing me to wonder what he was waiting for. His wife told him it was okay to leave, and I expected him to stop breathing for good at any moment, but he just didn’t.
I assumed his daughter must live in another state for her stepmother to say such a thing, but when I asked her, it turned out she was just down the street.
Knowing that I might be causing some drama, and then doing some quick priority calculations in my head, I said, “If it was my father, I would come.” She said, “Thanks, that’s what I needed to hear.” And she did come, minutes before I went home. And I wondered, was it true?
If it were my father, would I go?
Yes, without a doubt. I wouldn’t miss it had I the chance.
And I thought, I am the stepmother and I am the daughter, and through this experience, I was able to open to forgiving him a little more, to forgiving everything a little more.
I’m not sure my relationship with J was simply about healing my big bad daddy wound, but I am certainly closer to my innocence than I was before we met.
I don’t know if god put me in charge of pushing morphine into a dying man’s veins while he waited in his wife’s arms for his estranged daughter to come say goodbye, simply to show me myself. I just don’t know a damn thing, do I?
No, but I have interpretations that sometimes make me feel good, and sometimes make me feel bad. Maybe the truth is neutral.
But, if all really is the one masquerading as many…
Kate Gotis is no one special. She brings home the bacon by tending to the chronic illnesses of those fortunate enough to be cared for at one of the most prestigious hospitals in the whole entire world. She also sometimes helps people die and can tell you with absolute certainty, that there is such a thing as a soul, though she can’t tell you what that thing is . She writes simply to stay alive, as her thoughts are so plentiful, she must dump them out on a regular basis in order to keep the pressure low enough so her skull does not explode. She is a Yoga, meditation, and nature junkie, whose motto is: “To hell with grammar, I shall have my say any frickin’ way!” You could contact Kate via her website.