These Are My People: Linda Looney

Linda and Mare

A relationship between a mother and daughter

is far more complicated than it oughter

be, with wrecks and disasters no happily ever after

as one struggles to hold on, the other to be free.

But if you ask them, one on one how they feel,

you’ll hear nothing but the true theist spiel

of love and emotion, undying devotion

between mother and child, where nothing is mild

when familial blood runs rivers through reconciled

years washed pure in the hopeful heart referred

“Glad to be of help.” the moniker tenured

Dave Looney Sr., My dad

My dad, Dave Looney Sr, and his dog Apollo.

My dad, Dave Looney Sr, and his dog Apollo.

Today I’m in a deep state of admiration for my dad. I’ve been dangling carrots in front of you for a while, but truly, if you understood, you’d be madly in love with him too.

My dad is a man of courage, strength and integrity. He not only served America in the United States Navy as a Sea Bee (from which he retired), but he also struck out to begin a life away from everything he’d ever known. Not only was he incredibly good at solving problems, creating opportunities, waiting until he was ready to accept responsibilities, but he could also move large electrical wires as part of his career in a Union shop for Consumer’s Energy (from which he retired). And he did this all with a strong sense of morals and ethics he learned by choosing to be more than he was told he was worth.

When I think of how much he had to overcome from his upbringing, from the Vietnam War, from the struggles against poverty while raising a family of four children and maintaining a relationship with his new wife during a 1970’s economy, all while working any hours he could get his hands on to provide, I’m in complete awe.

While it is true I’ve been accused (accurately so) of putting men I’ve married or dated on a pedestal, if they only knew half of why I expect so much out of a man is because of my dad, and first from my Grandfather Louis A Coleman, Jr, then perhaps they’d have realized I wanted to hold them in the same esteem. Ben Stotler is trying hard to meet that lofty place because he sees the same thing I do.

My only regret is that I didn’t know how very great he is until I got to hang out with him as much as I have and look at him through the eyes of love. Dave Looney, you’re top hats all the way with true class, honesty, and an incredibly beautiful soul that I aspire to be like.

Binge reader

I gush distracted through my days

but when I choke with disgust, starve for poetry,

I dig out their works and cover my ears to the world

The common world where words are disposable,

no longer present pleasure

but tedious imaginings

of short-handed, short-sighted vulgarities.

The world where “u r ok” is acceptable bastardization.

Ready for a binge

Ready for a binge

I burrow into my favorite comfort foods

like a fork bringing sustenance to my body

I allow them to enter my veins with lusty anticipation.

When I ingest Joel, E.I. Wong, Roads, or Cardiff

I’m blissfully transported, transposed into a new trajectory,

rescued by the unsuspecting, unaware, shiny knights

The breathless depths of my immersion

puddle into my lap, spill onto my blouse

leaving me with short-lived shielding against ignorance

besotting my sensibilities with undulating vocabulary

I lift one last feather towards the wings of Queen Bird.

The final dollop of delectable dessert.

Deep sighs topped with a satisfied burp from my binge-filled indulgence;

Gratefully sated by the authors of still-life slices.

Acroamatic

They leave offerings at her altar, never seeing past her face

They vie shamefully for her affections; peacocking their disgrace

Like a Mother Mary statue she abides their adoration

They, the faithful worshipers, fall scantily in prostration

She rarely extends her fruitful bliss, suffering their confusion,

When they realize her trinity is akin to holy communion

Four Healing Helping Guides: TRIGGER WARNING

How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.

How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.

There was a long time in my life when I was called broken. No matter how much I screamed my denials to anyone who would listen, I was, indeed, broken. I was a child who believed in love when there was consistency but not when there was disappointment. I was conditioned to believe in betrayal, horrific plots against my personal safety, but worse yet, when those things went unheeded or unnoticed by my self incarcerated authentic being.

I’ve many times shared my stories, my poems, my grief over the loss of my childhood. I noticed there are themes at work among my purgings. I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a doctor. I’ve read extensively trying to understand, “Why?” For me, these are things that have worked.

Give Permission to Yourself to Grieve

There is no right way to grieve. There is no time limit. There aren’t any set in stone management techniques that apply to everyone. But, if you don’t allow yourself to grieve over the very real, very true, loss of time, safety, comfort, betrayal of trust, anger, hostility, and the myriad of emotions, then you’re not allowing yourself to be human. Grieving is a key to healing. It allows a walk through those emotions that, as a child, you weren’t able to process. In essence, you’re teaching yourself to again feel.

Process the Feelings Individually

Because, when you begin to heal there are so many emotions, it can be extremely overwhelming. I was misdiagnosed with bipolar, clinical depression, anger issues, and anxiety, and finally, accurately diagnosed with Non-combat PTSD. I suffered from major depressions for much of my early adult life.

At one point I suffered so much I developed agoraphobia which kept me locked in a room for months. If my friend hadn’t realized that my isolation was causing me to plan suicide, I wouldn’t be here writing this. Without her intervention, a forced promise to talk to a doctor the very next day, I wouldn’t be here.

ALL the emotions must be met with compassion for oneself. I had to look at it as, “What if I were comforting someone going through everything I am right now?” I’d talk to my mirror self, coaxing gentle thoughts when I was afraid. I could sit with myself and be as angry as I wanted to. I could hate myself if I felt the need, but compassion towards this “other” person was necessary. I had to rethink how I’d approach someone who was hurting so deeply, then adjust my behavior towards myself. Sometimes I’d look like a lunatic talking out loud to myself negotiating “me” off the ledge of despair or frustration. It was necessary. I had to feel what I’d forgotten in order to remember.

Fear is a Liar

One of the hardest things I’ve ever faced was the demons in my darkness. The places where I squirm uncomfortably because I did, said, or acted in a way that was not becoming to how I see myself. Example: My grandmother had the same color skin I did when it came to makeup. I was out. She was not. I took it. Even with my hands red with lies, I denied it. I swore up and down it was mine. Nobody believed me. (*) Can’t imagine why! (*)=Sarcasm Alert (btw) Yeah, that’s not a big one, but I don’t steal. I know better. I knew better. I did it anyway.

As I write about it now, it seems so trivial. It was a stupid thing I did. But, it made me afraid to tell the darker things in my life. It made me fear that if I told about my sexual abuse I wouldn’t be believed either. Because we can all see how stealing something and sexual abuse are related right? I could. Fear held me captive for far too many years. It became such a part of my life that I was suffocated by its “good” intentions. I was wrong. It kept me from living as I was meant to. It kept me from love. It kept me from light. But most of all, it kept me from finding personal grace.

When I realized fear was holding me back, I decided to change that. I started talking about my demons. I started disclosing the cobwebbed ideas that I’d held hostage under the guise that people would judge or hate me. I had to purge my closets. I had to release it. And holy cow was a scared to death! But, as with the next section, once I lopped off the ugliness and embraced me, allowed fear to fall away, I discovered I was okay. That people still loved me, still liked me, still talked to me, and I felt a freedom that I’d only fantasized about through much of my young adult life.

You Have Always Been Worthy

You are worth of love. You are worthy of compassion. You are worth a beautiful life. You are worth happiness. You are worth being every moment who you were born to be. Others may have attempted to steal away your being, but once you’ve decided to heal, as with ceasing any negative behavior, repeating positive messages to yourself when you “hear” the bad things you’ve been told is crucial.

Your inherent beauty is and always has been within you. You don’t have to believe me. You can write this off as new age fluff if you want to, but I know this is true. I see it in people who have no idea how very wonderful they are. There are people who are so confident in their very nature that they exude a sense of light from every action. You know those people. The ones that no matter how crappy your day is, just seeing them, hearing from them, or being with them makes you smile. A small secret here. YOU ARE THAT PERSON! I kid you not.

Understand that those voices, my beloved human, are not real. When you close your mind to the outside and listen to your spirit, you will know this to be true. You are new. You are whole. You are everything you’re meant to be. It’s up to you to decide you want your life to be love. It’s up to you to decide if you are worthy. I assure you, my dearest friend, you are. You really, truly, without a shadow of doubt, are that light of love.

A Walk Through Her

Soul Reflections

Soul Reflections

I walked through her soul picking stray bits and pieces,

Stringing the pearls, stitching them together

With dreams made of pink stitched green ribbon

I made it into a bouquet as a tribute to her beauty

Caught at the peak of fertile perfection

Lightly scented with the essence of her glory

Her gift to the living, loving world.