478: Off or Amiss

“I have the hardest time when I try not to be me. When I collect all the dos and do nots from the world and then try to act as if I am okay. To pretend and hold in my truth. I can do it for awhile; I take on this false persona and carry on, some strong soldier who is above it all and will get through. But then I collapse fast. Spiral downward and weep. I become lost and confused by what I had held onto as truth. I get tired of talking so much, of seeing so much, of frankly knowing too much; and I try to pretend my way out of it. To lie to myself and think I am like everyone else, and can make my way through, if I just release parts of who I am. And that is where I fail myself miserably. Yes, fail–in refusing to honor my authenticity and in imagining I am innately flawed and in need of alteration. In truth, in my true inner truth, I am perfectly me, and loved for me.” ~ Sam Craft

Distinguishing between who I am and who I am not comes down to my core values.

When I am in a mental fuzz, processing through something I deem rather important, which occurs on average a few times a week, I always confide in my friends. For part of me must process aloud with another person to reach an understanding of my own thoughts. I don’t process out loud to hear myself speak; I’d rather be a quieter person than I am. I process out loud because I am driven to, almost to the degree I am driven to eat when I am very hungry or drink when I am parched, only with a pulsing demanding urge in my brain.

I have often thought and desired to talk less. I have tried to repress my words. I have tried to remain silent. But whenever I do, my need to process comes out as some form of angst.

I don’t just process with one friend about one event. I usually process the same event over and over with three or four friends through the stretch of one day. It is amazing to me that I can ‘hash’ out the same information repeatedly, sometimes the exact same phrases and sentences, and not get bored, overwhelmed or exhausted. This act of processing aloud is a direct way to lubricate my engine, to reboot, and to get my chain in my brain unstuck.

If I can’t process with friends, for whatever reason—perhaps I am very emotional or at a loss to what I am feeling or perhaps no one is available—then I process through writing. This is not what I choose to do. It is what I have to do. If I do not find an outlet for my thoughts, I feel for certain I will lose my mind. I have never experienced anything remotely as painful as bottling up my thoughts inside my head. As I have written on many accounts, the complexities of the ideas inside my head will overwhelm me and consume me, if I don’t have means of escape.

The very first point in which I find I am not being true to myself is when
1) I bottle up my thoughts and pretend I don’t need to process.

This stuffing process never ends well. I always end up in some type of breakdown, typically locked away in my room crying, pleading to God, and/or trying to sleep away my pain. In other words, angst manifested!

The second point in which I cease from being me is when

2) I take on for an extended period of time any negative emotion that does not resemble love, acceptance, patience, understanding, and/or letting go.

If I attach to any extreme emotion, for example anger over someone’s behavior, then I am not being true to myself. However, typically I have no idea initially that I have attached to an extreme emotion.

I have watched many people hold grudges and anger towards others, sometimes for a lifetime. I can’t do this. I don’t have the capacity. I have had reason to try; and I have repeatedly failed. I failed and failed, until I got to the point where I realized negative energy doesn’t suit me.

But I am still human, no doubt, and I experience disappointment, loss, rejection, and extreme hurts, like everyone else.

Just yesterday I was very upset with a friend. Normally, at my best, I can only hold onto upset over someone for a few minutes, if not a few seconds. But this was a painful experience. I became someone else briefly to process and escape the circumstance.

As I attempted to partake in my walking mediation around the lake, I had totally convinced myself of several things. I believed fully that:

1) My friend was unkind
2) I was worthy of more understanding
3) I would cut off all communication
4) I would not regret this decision
5) I would remain strong and steadfast in my decision

At the moment, which lasted a couple of hours, (long walk), I truly believed I was going to stay in this state of distance and judgment forever. That was it. I was done with this person. In order for me to think these thoughts, I become a version of someone else. I thought of myself as not having Aspergers. And I played random tapes in my head, in an attempt to rationalize my attachment to the feelings I was experiencing. Everything needs a logical reason, even emotions.

I told myself: “I deserve more.” “That person is a jerk.” “Get them out of your life.” “Stop focusing so much attention on this person.”

I morphed into this headstrong person that no one could touch or damage. A person who was damn straight in the right! I held this mental state for a while, but it took vast amounts of energy. However, I believed myself. I truly did. I had changed. At least for that moment, I was done being me, and definitely done being Aspie.

Yet, after exerting extreme amounts of energy, I absolutely crashed and collapsed. I broke down. I became lost. I cried. I, as one might say, ‘wigged out.’

For my true calling is not to begrudge anyone or hold ill-will towards anyone. I cannot house discontentment or hatred. I can’t even house regrets. What is is what is.

At the point of emotional collapse, I came to a sort of bridge of truth, wherein this falseness of being I created deteriorated and I was made to walk over the ruble.

I surrendered.

And then I did what I had to do: be me.

And who is me?

Well part of me is this very, very truthful spirit that feels driven to process through any sense of discontentment. And the other part is someone who absolutely MUST talk to someone when something feels off or amiss. If I don’t confront the person directly, thoughts take over, and pieces rattle and rattle in my brain.

After I reach the breaking point, I speak my mind. I generally message a person and ask a question or write him or her pages of concern. This is my way. People who I hold close to my heart know this about me.

Once I speak my truth, I feel like I am me again. But the truth has to come from a pure place of heart, without ego, without manipulation, without want or need on my part, beyond the desire for clarification and peace of mind. If I act in any other way, I don’t feel right inside, and have a tendency to circle back through a version of someone I am not. Perhaps choosing a whole new line of rationalizations and ways of avoiding the issue at hand: the source of the discontentment.

After I get my heartfelt thoughts out, I am returned to a balanced state and I can focus. I can finally get those random chores done or fill out that paperwork. Until I am done processing something vital, though, I am lost to the rest of my world, even my children at times, lost in my head and trying to swim out of the currents to safety.

I am learning to observe myself more readily, as I move through these channels of thought and transformation. Ideally, I would like to catch myself before I have a chance to begin holding onto anything that doesn’t resemble peace. Yet, I understand that my avenues of self-processing are uniquely set to the way my brain is wired. That of a person with a builtin ability and survival-need to process, evaluate and reach a perceived endpoint.

458: Morphers Anonymous; What is ‘Self’

I am wondering if the female with Asperger’s Syndrome could also encompass a loss-of-identity-of-self element.

I have always had a hard time understanding my own interests, likes, wants, and needs. My desires become obscured and distorted based on my current love-interest. This could be a love of a person, as in friendship and/or romance.

I seem to morph in and out of existence based on my current lifestyle and interest. I can hold onto certain elements of self, primarily my special interests since childhood, e.g., writing, drawing, poetry, nature, animals, music, but other interests and ‘trademarks’ of my personality readily change without much effort and without me even knowing based on my interaction with another person.

Somethings that hold true and steadfast for my character and sense of self include:

Honesty
Integrity
Great Love and Passion
Processing
Lack of Manipulation
Lack of Game Playing
Intellectual in depth Processing
Tenderness
Kindness
Sensitivity
Intense Introspection
A Child-Like Heart and Spirit
Innocence
Hope
Trusting
Sharing
Giving
The Desire to Serve
The Desire to Make a Difference

The parts of my life that alter when I have an interest in another:

Spending less time on a past special interest or activity.
Focusing on new relationship, sometimes with nothing else seeming to matter, except pleasing the other person by becoming akin to their likes and interest.
Vast amounts of emotional energy spent on the person, in comparison to the amount previously spent on self or another.
Partaking in future planning regarding the person.
Over-analyzing and focusing on aspects of my appearance, habits, behaviors, and goals; effectually comparing myself to the other, and wondering in what ways my self could better reflect the other person.
Revamping of what I choose for entertainment, recreation, and sometimes food/drink, clothing, etc.
Taking on the likes and interests of the other person, including book, music, and movie genres, entertainment, social events and various activities.
Taking on mannerisms, dialect, ways of speech, or other unique characteristics of the person.
Taking on belief systems, philosophies and/or personality traits of the person.

This is usually not done at a conscious-level. Typically, I am blinded to my own behavior, justifying what I am doing with some mind-conditioning or logical sequencing, such as rationalization or total denial. This morphing differs in codependency, as I remain intact in my self-esteem and sense of worth. I do not enable. I have clear boundaries of what I will not tolerate or allow in my comfort zone. I maintain a sense of joy in my own life and accomplishments. But it is similar in codependency in my want to over-give, transform based on another, and my tendency to obsess, fantasize, and make the person more important in reality than he or she truly is. In some ways the person becomes like my god or sun, and I the dependent mortal or planet.

Even with all my growth and self-reflection, I still get caught in the pull-push state of wanting to be myself in completion and wanting to figure out how to be what another wants me to be. Even with this strong awareness, this morphing of who I am transpires without warning or clear indication, until I am in the transient state of a chameleon of my personhood.

This morphing is a common part of the female with Asperger’s condition; the female with Aspergers molds her own behaviors and mannerisms in a way that she believes will satisfy the need of her beloved.

The downfall in this behavior is foremost: losing self-identity.

The other issue at hand is the female with ASD cannot ever meet another’s expectations in completion, because the wants and needs of another individual (aka her ‘best friend’) are in constant transition.

It is important to note that this act of morphing is instinctual in nature to many females with ASD. She is seemingly programmed in the brain to morph based on attraction or interest in another human being.

I repeatedly try to transform my own ways and behaviors to meet the needs of another, without even realizing I am partaking in this behavior. Once I catch myself in this chameleon action, I pull back and wonder why I have once again fallen into the trap of losing self. From here I question the sense of self in all aspects, and become boggled by the concept of simply being.

During the morphing phase, I live my life through the eyes of one person. I see myself being watched by this someone at a distance. I see myself adapting, conforming, and molding in an attempt to fit some faraway expectation or goal, I have subconsciously created. I watch my own self through the eyes of someone else. I match my movements, choices, and even sometimes my thought processes to what I think this individual expects or desires from me. I do this without much awareness or analysis, much like a robot following a pre-instructed and installed program. There isn’t much thought to what I am doing or why I am doing it, beyond doing.

Usually this perspective, the way I interpret myself being ‘seen,’ and how I respond in word, thought, and action, shifts every year or so, depending on the duration of a relationship. Everything I do, I imagine and I believe is seen through the eyes of a human being beyond myself (boyfriend, lover, husband, best friend, boss). My movements, my words, my way of being, revolve around this someone beyond myself.

It is like constantly having an overseer observing me. I question would he/she behave like this? I ask, “Is this bringing me closer to his/her liking?” It isn’t as much a need for approval as wanting to match myself to this other. Interestingly, at the same time this morphing is transpiring, I still maintain my own self-esteem and self-love. I like who I am. I want to be me. But I somehow get lost in the process of befriending this high-interest person.

High-interest in the keyword and key point.

Without the high-interest, I am not drawn into the morphing and adjusting of self. With high-interest, my brain attaches, much like it does with a special hobby or activity, and I become a scientist dissecting the person, as if the person were a project. My brain’s natural ability to dissect, take apart, and rearrange pieces of a whole into a new whole takes over. I become a detective of self and other; again, not typically at a conscious level; though I have some awareness of what I am doing, a cloak to my full reality remains. This cloaking action resembles some sort of protective mechanism and functions the same way as in my high-interest projects, (aka: fixations). I cannot seem to pull myself out, or properly analyze and confront my own behavior, until the passionate interest has subsided; the stopping point/tilting point usually being a new special interest. I go from one to the other, a child on the monkey bars of a playground, not letting go of the one in hand, until the next in hand is firmly grasped.

Through this way of being, I lose track of who I am. Yet, I wonder if I ever was to begin with.

If I take time to process this sense of being, and the ‘whys’ of the way I respond in passion to another, I become confused in thoughts of ‘what is being?’ and ‘what is self?’ I have no idea of who I am, beyond space and matter, and a reflection of the universe. I am ever-changing and transitioning substance. I adhere to the string-theory, to ancient philosophies and belief systems—that of being nothing but the combined perception of others. In truth, I know a thousand others would have a thousand interpretations of this self I am, and in a year’s passing even these opinions would all transition. I am never stagnant, and awaken a new person not daily, but minute by minute. I have no general sense of self or of being. I am that I am. In essence I am nothing.

Perhaps because of the ‘no self’ theory, I transform without intention when fixated on another. Perhaps, like some spiritual teachers have professed, I am merely taking on the characteristics reflected in the person I am observing because I am only, and will always only be, a reflection. Perhaps, I am wired in a way, spiritually or biologically, in which I am not a solid form made to stay stagnant and unwavering; or perhaps I am more keenly alert and aware of the changes and transformations inside of me, to a point that the changes distract from me recognizing a fully forming personhood.

Regardless of my hypothesis, I get trapped in the cyclical repetition of morphing.

In the last season of inquiry, I have reached a new threshold, in which I have questioned: What do I want in another person? What makes me happy? What are my true needs?

The only answer I hear is: love

Beyond unconditional love and acceptance, (and beyond Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs), I don’t understand needs.
Any needs, to me, seem obscure and border on self-based, ego-needs. Who am I to claim a need without at the same time delegating to another how I wish him/her to be or respond (change) in order to please and satisfy me? And what is it inside of myself that is not complete and satisfied in which I need another to fulfill me?

With these thoughts, I become entangled in trying to contemplate the very basic nature of self needs and self-identity.

409: Unconditional and Conditional Love

( I am writing more because a lot is going on with our extended family. I process to find relief. If you don’t see me around for a bit, I might take a break. Hugs and love ~ Sam)

I have had the opportunity to experience a variety of friendships. In so doing, I have learned a lot about myself and love. For the majority of my life I felt a false-love from others and gave out false-love. Even though I felt the false-love, I didn’t recognize the falsehood for what it was. I was an active participant in the illusion. Most of these friendships were based on need. This desire was masked as possible fulfillment and completion. I know now no one can complete me.

I still hold all of these people in love and light. All of my friends continue to be some of my greatest teachers. I don’t choose to see any wrong in where I have traveled, and hold no one in my life responsible, not even my self. I have forgiven me and all. I place no judgment on any of my past or current friends either. I see them as lovely lights and filled with goodness. I don’t see them based on their actions but based on their hearts.

I was a player in the game of false-love, particularly in relation to men. Most of this telling is based on reflecting back to my behavior in pre-marriage years. I think if I had read what I have written below in my twenties, I never would have seen the ‘truth’ of it, and gone on living in denial. Maybe I even would have been spiteful and angry. I think if I had read this prose in my thirties, I would have thought I already loved unconditionally, and this was a waste of my time. I would have thought the person was preaching or trying to teach what I knew. If I read this last month, I would have thought, interesting, but I know this already. But it wasn’t clear to me until recently. Dynamically clear.

For now when someone claims to love me with a conditional type of love, I don’t feel love from them. I don’t know why, but all falsehoods affect me to a great degree. I don’t even know how I see this false-love, but I do. That’s not to say that people who proclaim to love me don’t love me. I believe they do. I believe a part of them does. But I believe a greater part is in constant battle with an unmasked, unnamed, and unforgiving fear. I believe this fear constantly transforms who I am when interpreted by another. I become what another projects from fear. In rare cases I become the light of love. This, and only this, is when fear is eradicated from its shell of illusion.

There is a struggle for people to find love and claim love, because they haven’t yet found the love inside themselves.

This false-love scares me momentarily, until I dismiss the fear.

It scares me because when another feels the illusion of fear, I feel the separation.

I have those in my life now that love me unconditionally. There is much freedom in this, to be me and be loved for me. I am not loved based on my outcomes or what I do or do not do. But even I, in my relationships with others, slip back into conditional love; this is very evident in my marriage and with my children. I continue to release judgment on self and others, and to learn. I am fortunate to have such experiences available.

When I am loved unconditionally I feel fed and nurtured. When I am loved by someone with conditions, I feel caged and judged. I am learning to not feel caged and judged, and to see this as illusion too, but it is taking some practice.

Lately, I am becoming more of a projection of what another choses to see in me. I can feel this in my depths. I become what another believes he or she sees. I become, in essence what they hold within. I have heard of this happening to other people, as well. So I am not alone in this experience. It is interesting to watch as I transform based on another’s deep level. I do not at this time think I am choosing to still see “fear.” I recognize the beauty and light in all, and see the fear only as illusion, nothing more. I can’t see beyond the beauty into fear, because there is no fear at the foundation.

I know I am still learning and growing.

I no longer choose to buy into another’s pain; especially when their pain is projected onto me, as if I did something or didn’t do something to cause the hurt. I do not have the power to knock down or to build up a person. Only source and a person’s own self can affect the spirit. I do have the power to love, and in this love to bring wholeness to self. Everyone has a choice to accept what he or she thinks I am saying or to reject it. To take in what he or she interprets as my truth or to decline. To say thank you and receive or say thank you, but no thanks. In this way, ultimately it is the receiver’s choice to determine what he or she takes in. I choose to take in all as truth and none as truth. I choose not to pick and choose. Unless someone is speaking from a place of fear, then I typically, when aware, politely decline. I prefer not to take on another’s fear-projection.

I believe there are only two roots: Love or Fear. All truth grows from there. Take a fruit off of the branch and examine it for what the fruit is. Rotten equals Fear. Ripe equals Love. One can tell much from the end product. Take the final outcome and drive backwards to the root. Where there is pain, there was fear to begin with manifested in false-love—illusion. Where there is mutual healing, there is love—the only existence.

Again this is my temporary truth.

My personal interpretation that assists me:

What true friendship is: Unconditional love.

What unconditional love is: Love without want, need, perimeters and/or expectations.

What want and needs are: Self-based, ego-centered desires that one thinks will make him or her happy. Also known as illusions and/or the path to suffering.

What perimeters are: Rigidness and separation; the judge emerging to decide if another has been deemed sufficient in their actions.

What unconditional loving friendship isn’t: All relations not based on unconditional love; in other words, all relations based on conditional, false-love, aka fear.

What unconditional love is not: False-love, also known as fear.

What fear is: An illusion often manifested in various actions and/or emotions that aren’t stemmed from love.

All false-love breeds fear and pain; all true love breeds more love. This true love can lead to spontaneous awakening and healing.

When one does not feel unconditional love, either the giver is loving with false-love or the receiver is misinterpreting the gift of genuine love.

This is not love: Expectations, martyrdom, fear-based desire, giving to receive, condition based giving, imagined selfless-giving, self-projection, owning, self-based desire, deeming one special or above the rest, caring more about self than other or caring more about other than self, blame, self-loathing in the name of love, fearing the future, needs based on outcome.

In love there is no hurt. All pain is self-inflicted.

Indicators of false-love:

Look at what a giving, loving, caring person I am, why can’t you love me like I love you?

I sacrifice for you, why can’t you sacrifice for me?

I am not good enough to be your friend.

You aren’t enough.

You should do this…

You disappointed me.

You won’t/don’t love me.

If you loved me, you would….

If you do this it will all be better.

You are the best person in the world.

You are hurting me.

People can have a mutual loving relationship based on unconditional love with moments of neediness and pain; unconditional love can fluctuate just like the seasons. No one is expected to be a perfect anything. Especially not a perfect lover or perfect friend. To suggest so, would be automatic judgment and separation. However healing happens when one starts to recognize his or her actions based on fear. Then self-healing can begin to take place in the one. After the one self has begun the healing process, the other in the friendship, noting the changes in his/her friend, will either continue in a state of fear, fight the change before also seeking self-understanding, or naturally seek out the friendship to heal in a way reflected in the healed or healing friend. In this way conditional love can bring both parties to pure love based on unconditional love.

If both partners are not ready, strong, and compassionate about growth and self-awareness, blame and jealousy quickly arises and the friendship may end. Yet, being this was a friendship based on false-love the illusion is what ends, not the friendship. This enables both to be free. One to go on to further unconditional love and the other to decide to remain in denial, suffering, and repeated pain or to seek out self-love. No one is right or wrong, better or worse; they are where they are.

In some cases someone who has learned self-love will be in a friendship with someone with conditional-based love. In this instant the person who continues to love unconditionally, despite the other’s projections, demands, and needs, can reflect back the ideal form of love and in this way transform the other trapped in a pain cycle.

True love heals when one capable of unconditional love simply is.

Again my temporary truth.

Strong indicators of conditional false-love:

No desire to celebrate a friend’s successes.

Not wanting to share the friendship with anyone else.

Thinking you are the best and/or only person for that person.

Changing actions or making decisions in an attempt to gain attention.

Obsessing about the person.

Thinking you are responsible for a friend’s growth, success, triumph, or accomplishments.

Thinking you are a person’s savior, teacher, protector, or safety.

Giving self-credit for another’s joy.

Thinking you have the answers another seeks and needs.

Thinking you were used, abused, or mistreated.

Jealousy of other people in the friend’s life.

Judging and putting down a friend’s friends.

Evaluating a friend’s choices, behaviors, mannerisms, and way of being.

Feeling the need to set a friend straight, so he can see your way.

Secretly or overtly harboring feelings of hurt and a sense of abandonment about the relationship.

Talking to someone about a friendship using harmful words about the friend.

How friendship appears:

A reflection of the love a person holds about his or her inner self.

What unconditional love-based friendship feels like:
Coming Home

354: Drunken Hostess with the Mostess

Photo

A few weeks ago I hosted a party and I was entirely wasted before the guests arrived.

This marks the second potluck in WA my husband and I have hosted since moving here, almost three years ago. The event was a big deal to me, and I loaded my grocery cart to the max to insure plenty of booze and munchies.

The last time I threw a party for my neighbors, which was also the first time, I was politely informed by my good friend’s husband that there wasn’t enough alcohol. He then left and brought back four bottles from his house. This time I was prepared. I bought the hugest bottles of Rum and Tequila I could find, and several bottles of wine. I am not a big drinker. No, sir! Never have been and doubt I ever will be. In fact, before the year 2012 I probably averaged between two and three glasses a year!

Since finding out I am aspie, the intake may have increased a wee bit.

My reasons for not drinking are multi-faceted; like everything else in my life, nothing I do is simple. I focus a lot of conscious thought and unconscious thought on the “right path;” even though I recently have come to terms with the fact there is no fricken right path and it’s all a big game, I still have that old “right path” mentality, much like a gag reflex.

Not following the right path, makes me want to gag and come up for air. Not doing the “right” thing feels like a recent ordeal I underwent at the orthodontist’s office, in which I was being fitted for a new retainer device. (The diagnostic x-ray revealed that I have unusually large sinus cavities; no big deal or of special interest. But I mention it just in case you are collecting random data about me.) At the orthodontist the lady worker gently shoved a metal contraption filled with cold grainy-cementy goop atop the roof of my mouth to take impressions for my new retainers. As she delicately shoved the banana flavored pink goop into my mouth she said, “Remember breathe slowly through your nose.” While my mouth airways were obstructed, I kept saying to myself: “You aren’t going to die. You aren’t going to die. You aren’t going to die.”

That’s how I feel if I don’t follow the right path, or rules, or guidelines. (A right I am very much aware doesn’t exist, but I have to find and try to adapt to nonetheless.) I feel like I am being gagged, out of breath, and will die. Makes no logical sense. I know this. But my brain has “follow the rules” tattooed around its frontal lobe. I am still working on the removal process of this tattoo; it’s slow going.

For me, the day of the party, the right path meant: Temperance. A word I had latched onto and deciphered and longed to apply in my life. Temperance meant no indulgences and no drinking alcohol. The party would be the perfect stage to practice my temperance and do the “right” thing. At least according to the recent “rules” I was applying.

The gods laughed at me.

For by the time the first guests arrived I had downed three glasses of port wine. But trust me, I had good reason!

In the end it turned out fine, except for the time the one guest mentioned how her memory is bad and then she laughed in jest saying, “It’s because I’m a genius.” Totally joking she was. And then I, being so very much beyond tipsy, blurted out: “The funny thing is, I am a gifted-genius, a professional just recently verified this.” And then, after slapping my knee, and elaborating about my big brain and Aspieness, I went into a full confession about how I was trying to release ego and be filled with humility. I ended this, I think, with telling my neighbor, a woman I barely see anymore, “You know you want take walks with me now; a gifted, published genius I be.” I’d thrown in the whole publishing story in there somewhere, I suppose.

As I have mentioned before, I don’t drink much. I am an extreme light weight. A half-glass of pear-cider at the local pub and I am saying to my husband in a very loud voice, “That guy is checking out my butt.” I try to curb my alcohol intake, not so much for the constant records that play when I am drinking: Destroying liver, destroying liver, destroying liver and/or you’ll become an alcoholic. But because I become a dang fool. I really do. I lose all inhibition and feel like I am freeeeee. One of my (drunk) relatives once got onto my aunt’s electric wheel chair and flew up the freeway onramp to take a ride on the freeway. And I think that’s me. I think when I drink I take a ride on the free-way! WEeeeeeee.

So I don’t drink much.

But that evening, an hour before the guests arrived, as I was putting the freshly made salsa into a pitcher, I began to burn. At first I didn’t notice. I just kept rinsing my hands under water, thinking the burn would pass. But, no! The burn did not pass. It grew increasingly worse, like my hands were in the snow without gloves and the frostbite was setting in; it was a deep, unreachable burn, penetrating and erupting from the inside of every finger, and the guests were to arrive in less than an hour.

My husband was not home, and I was in a pure panic.

I rationalized and reasoned, and then concluded the culprit was the Serrano peppers! I had used my bare hands to not only cut the Serrano hot peppers for the salsa, but when my food processor stopped working (as all electronics like to malfunction around me) I had dipped my hands in the freshly ground peppers to scoop out the remains and transfer the mixture to the blender.

Oh, my gosh! I had soaked my hands in hot pepper oil!

I quickly went to the internet for help. Google God to the rescue. I soon found other people who had been as dim-witted as me. The remarks were reassuring. There were some helpful tips to end the horrific pain.

Eventually I tried everything listed as remedies: butter, milk, yogurt, sugar scrub with olive oil, etc. But nothing decreased the pain. I thought for certain my flesh was going to peel off. I was going to have fleshless fingers! And still the pain intensified. At this point, my feet broke out in hives from the stress. Yes, with the guests arriving in less than a half-hour, I had burning flesh hands and hived up feet. Glorious!

When my husband came home with some cortisone cream the local pharmacist said would stop the pain, I shook my head nooooo. My husband insisted, and I gave in. Soon I was screaming at a high pitch and downing wine as fast as I could. The cream had only served to intensify the burn. Dumb pharmacist.

My husband at this point is saying, “You are like Lucy from I Love Lucy, you know?”

That didn’t help.

At last I found the answer in one of the comments online: “Called ER (emergency room); there is nothing they can do. The pain will last four to six hours.”

Really? No one could say that from the start.

What should have come up on the top of the comment section was: You are so screwed!

And that’s how it began, how I began slurping the port wine. The pain-relievers I took did nothing.

The wine really didn’t decrease the pain much either, but by the time the first patrons arrived, I didn’t really care. And eventually the margarita helped to ease the ordeal to a hilarious event.

As our first friends arrived, I confessed, “I am already drunk. Let me tell you a story….”

And towards the start of the party, to another couple I said, “I am not rinsing my hands under cold water every minute because of OCD, just so you know, let me tell you a story…”

And by the end of the night, three hours of hand rinsing later, shortly after my gifted-genius, I am zen and ego-less spill, I said, “And you know what the best part about being drunk before any of you arrived is and especially about being in so much pain?!” I paused, dipping my hands further in a bowl of cold water. “I really honestly don’t care what you think of me.”

And that was that.

(another funny story)

327: Ten Parts to My Heart

holy

Artwork by Samantha Craft 2/10/13

Ten Parts
I have ten parts to my heart
Ten parts that you take
Ten parts that you watch for
Ten parts where I ache
The runner is heavy, her breath out of wind
You take her up gently, and lift her to end
The mistress is surly, and tangled a lot
You take her in softly, untie all the knots
The witness is worried, her song out of reach
You take her beside you, the music you teach
The loner is hope-drained, her view rather bleak
You take her hand kindly, and starlight you seek
The lover is awe-struck, her emptiness grows
You take her eyes to you, and mend all her woes
The child is spinning, her thoughts moving swift
You take her mind off things, and offer a lift
The seeker is weary, so much truth to be found
You take her ear tender, and whisper no sound
The actor is drowning, she’s pretending to be
You take her dreams with you, and set them all free
The poet is hiding, her heart severed in two
You take in her pieces, and make her anew
The angel is crying, her fears come again
You take her pain to you, and call her dear friend

~ Samantha Craft February 2013