I bought a pair of shoes in the end of February, hoping they would end all my problems and signal the commencement of peace in the Middle East.
The sales lady didn’t seem to think that was out of the realm of possibility.
I realize they don’t look much like Cinderella’s slipper, but that’s okay. I needed a Destrier, not a Prince Charming. Imagine my dismay, these weeks later, when my butt is as sore from wearing the miracle shoes as it would be from riding the damn horse.
Finally admitting defeat, I accepted a referral to the physical therapist at my chiropractor. Turns out, you should start breaking in these shoes by wearing them 30 minutes a day for the first week, then gradually double the time, day by day, until (summer vacation is in full swing and you don’t need them anymore) you’ve grown accustomed to each other, and understand one another. This approach works equally well with gigantic, man-eating stallions.
The PT took one look at my feet and noted, “I can certainly see how bound your feet are!”
I enjoyed a moment of giddy excitement about my brand-spanking new FasciaBlaster that was on the UPS truck somewhere in town about to be delivered to my house, then took another to congratulate myself on finally being on the right track. Since I’d completely missed whatever she’d said as my brain halves were congratulating each other on finally working together for my common good, I pointed out my more delicate sore spots and asked her what I could do. She managed not to laugh, asked me how long I’d broken in my shoes before wearing them all day.
Sighing, she walked me up the stairs, gave me some advice about taking it slow, and put me on a table that rubbed and rolled my spine while vibrating me from head to toe. I’ll go check back in with her on Monday to see how I’m doing, because yeah, I’d sell my own mother to get back on that machine.
The word that stayed with me through all this was Bound.
My feet are bound from the inside out, and the pain has been getting close to unbearable.
Hot on the tail of that little gem was the realization that despite all my efforts over the past three years, my feet aren’t the only part of me still bound.
Last week I spent much of my time and energy arguing with myself. Generally, it is safe to say I avoid conflict. In fact, the lengths to which I will go to avoid confrontation are embarrassing, self-mutilating even. My own brain has no such compunctions when it comes to its battling halves. This week, the left brain lost, possibly for the first time ever.
Triumphantly, my right brain took her seat Sunday night at the Magic Men Live show. She absolutely refuses to feel contrite in the face of well-meaning criticism. She yelled and danced, and did a few other things that will stay at the Magic Men Live show.
I knew I wanted to go. I knew I’d be angry with myself if I woke up on Monday morning wondering how the show was. What I didn’t know, was how Bound I still am, by my past.
Last September, after the first show, I immediately promised myself that if they ever came back I’d go again. I had no inkling how difficult it would be to allow myself a few joyful moments. And not just those I need to be an adult to attend! Even the smallest things that fill me with contentment are hard-won battles. Breakfast from Panera with the youngest on the way to school because
we’re lazy we have thirty minutes till the bell rings and it is damn cold out there this morning. She’s says some crazy stuff when it’s just us in the car. Sunday morning and no one else home except the cats because I’m skipping church like a heathen deserving of a couple of hours to myself and my bulletproof tea. Spending the day with best friend, eating and swearing like a sailor eating out with my best friend and swearing if I blankety blank blank feel like it! I actually can’t bring myself to strike out one I enjoy so much.
This week, I am forced to admit that I am the biggest obstacle in the search for my authentic self. A part of me stands always ready to shatter my new-found joys with the very stick I carved so meticulously at my parents feet. Engraved with the angels and demons of my childhood. My worst nightmares, and moments of childhood joy are interlaced upon it along with the teachings and admonishings of two people.
My parents, the people whom I’ve come to realize I don’t care to emulate in almost any way. Their lifestyle was theirs, and holds no appeal to me. Their beliefs and practices, daily, fractured the delicate footings of the family they worked so hard to construct.
Now I know, my battle is almost exclusively with myself. My mother is gone, my father as good as, with his new wife and family.
I have only me to defend myself from.