Friday, December 09, 2005

Friendship: The Best Gift.

(ID characteristics have been changed to protect privacy.)

I am filled with gratitude. My landlord fails to understand why I believe he is up for Sainthood, new friends are astonished at my reaction to behavior they see as normal human relations and my psychiatrist tears up at the mental health and adjustment I've acquired since leaving the Intensive Outpatient Program, a bit over a year ago.

My landlord believes he has responsibilities after depositing my check. He actually
maintains his property, helps tenants out when they have problems and is just a nice guy.
I'll always remember his plaintive statement of being willing to buy a bed for me, if I couldn't afford one. I sleep on an army cot, covered with thick foam, luscious flannel sheets and warm fuzzy blankets.

My bed is perfect, not the torture rack this dear man imagines. When I needed immediate medical attention, he offered to let me keep back most of my rent until my health was stabilized. He further stated that he knew I'd get it back to him, when I could. See, this man is truly up for Sainthood.

New friends don't understand why I'm so moved by their average behavior. Behavior like: encouragement, support and interest in me. When I make the decision to accept the positive from the world around me, the sense of togetherness and elation is amazing. I've not had healthy friendship before. Concepts like modesty completely alluded me.

As usual the bizarre childhood held the answer. From age ten through age fourteen, I was the entertainment appetizer at my family's drinking parties. I'd be sweetly coaxed into the living room, filled with mixed company. I'd be invited to take off my clothes to show everyone my new "training" bra and panties (!) While this was happening at home, I was being sexually molested by a neighbor I cleaned house for. He'd grind his privates into me and attempt to French kiss me. I kept my teeth clenched, but was not strong enough to get away from him totally. When I complained to my family, they sided with the neighbor and I had to endure three more years of his completely inappropriate behavior.

As I got older and entered the world of church, I found more sexual harassment. As a thank-you to a male driving me to church, I was expected to provide a grope session, and or intercourse (which I refused). All I understood was that sex seemed to please people. So whatever... It is almost impossible for someone violated like this to have any serious concept of modesty, or shame.

In therapy I learned that a male holding me by my buttocks, while pushing me forward in a crowd is NOT acceptable how-to-lead-the-blind behavior. Because I really know how to pick 'em, my therapist was speechless at his response to my confronting his behavior. He claimed that I was ruining my reputation and causing his children to laugh at me! This lead-by-the-buttocks behavior was done in front of his wife and children. A very troubled family, indeed! Friends feel I have courage. I have trouble agreeing, as most of my life has been about being unwilling to be taught. But if in my CyberGal-just-being-herself musings, you are encouraged, or inspired, then I've done well.

For me courage is the man on that flight to Pennsylvania who tried to stop the hijackers during 9/11. Check out these lyrics and the song.

Let's Roll by Neil Young
(available at The iTunes Music Store)

I know I said I love you,
I know you know it's true,
I've got to put the phone down,
and do what we got to do.

One's standing in the isleway,
Two more at the door,
We've got to get inside there,
Before they kill some more.

Time is runnin' out,
Let's roll.
Time is runnin' out,
Let's roll.

No time for indecision,
We've got to make a move,
I hope that we're forgiven,
For what we got to do.

How this all got started,
I'll never understand,
I hope someone can fly this thing,
And get us back to land.

Time is runnin' out,
Let's roll.
Time is runnin' out,
Let's roll.

No one has the answer,
But one thing is true,
You've got to turn on evil,
When it's coming after you,
You've gota face it down,
And when it tries to hide,
You've gota go in after it,
And never be denied,
Time is runnin' out,
Let's roll.

Let's roll for freedom,
Let's roll for love,
We're going after Satan,
On the wings of a dove,
Let's roll for justice,
Let's roll for truth,
Let's not let our children,
Grow up fearfully in their youth.

Time is runnin' out,
Let's roll.
Time is runnin' out,
Let's roll.
Time is runnin' out,
Let's roll.

Those words will remain with me forever. It is wonderful the way we impact on one another. My friends are like a wonderful treasure chest. They plant themselves in the garden of my heart. Some develop into delicate bonsai trees, gracing my garden with their beauty. Others blossom into huge patches of fragrant flowers. A friendship, like any relationship requires some effort. Ignore your friends now, and they may not be around next year It is sad how many have completely forgotten about the small investment of time and love that can mature an acquaintance into a life long close friend.

God is healing me via a group of adults who still like to play. It is so nurturing to engage in mental volleyball with very smart people. MacPhilly (featured in my "Cool Link" section, has an amazing mind. He blogged about a dream he had. Scroll down to: "I Know I've Officially Turned 45". This dream has animation, live characters, TV characters and three or four subplots! If I ever had a dream like that, I'd request an immediate medication change. I actually had to re-read the post several times to gather it all in. I lay awake at night cogitating on things I can throw at his amazing mind, because: a) I can count on a reaction, b) it will be something I'd never considered and c) it will be hysterically funny.

Now to my favorite presents of all time. Maria (like a mom to me) and her husband provided me with a night at The Argent Hotel. The actual experience is even better than the video. I've always loved hotels, the more expensive, the better. The Argent is amazing. Maria knew one of their employees. I believe my file must have been labeled: "Related To God". I have never been so lavishly attended to ever. At that time I was carrying a white cane, so I wasn't hard to identify. Two concierges met me at the door, escorted me to the front desk and INTRODUCED me to this very nice desk person. My room wasn't ready, so they gave me a complimentary cup of coffee in their dining room, even though it isn't normally open at the time I arrived. I knew I was to get a welcoming basket, but didn't expect something large enough to need a table! Imagine a huge wine glass, I mean spanning eighteen inches across. Filled with fruit, cheese expensive crackers and a tasteful floral arrangement. Then came the silver tray with the wine bucket, overflowing with ice and a very nice merlot. I figured I'd get a small sampler-type basket. This was beyond belief.

Dining at The Argent is a true gourmet experience. They have one of only three Master Chefs in San Francisco. Their food is so different. Everything else is like a very good marching band. Their food is like a symphony orchestra. All the flavors blend, but are still distinct. The chocolate moose cake is to truly die for. I now go there for breakfast on my birthday, ordering one of their moose chocolate deserts, as a to-go item and Eggs Benedict. I was on the 29th floor. Did I mention, the higher up, the better. The last time I was at that altitude I was on a plane landing somewhere. Lovely, just lovely.

The second best present is a CD library a friend made for me of ebooks. I have over 700 ebooks on almost every subject. I have always wanted a real personal library, with the classics, but in a 12' x 12' room, where would I put it? You know who your are: damn, I LOVE IT!

The best gift of all are the wonderful people who are populating my life. I recommend you all start a "Rah-Rah" file, filled with treasures from your friends. When you aren't having the best day, their written belief in you can bring back a healthier prospective. I also have a "huh...?" file, for all those emotional concepts that are still a mystery to me, like my intrinsic value as a human being. Oh, sure, I can define it, and even quote the Bible about it, but my heart hasn't gotten it yet! I look forward to the next year. My life is far better than any fantasy I dared to dream. I cherish you all.

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