Anyhoooooo. I am going to do Not Fainthearted's meme, but I'm only doing half tonight and the other half tomorrow night. I think we all know how much I like to yammer on, and it is, after all, 18 questions long. So, let's all take a nice deep breath and begin.
Here is my sister Moira and I (I'm the one kind of standing up) climbing around in Tonto National Well in Arizona as kids.
1. What were you afraid of as a child?
Um, everything? I don't think I could make a list long enough. I was terrified of bombs going off, and even a ticking clock would make me nervous. I was finally not allowed to watch the news when they showed Vietnam war footage anymore. Rattlesnakes, which in Arizona are sometimes hard to avoid. The Exorcist and Tubular Bells. Of course, my mom loved that soundtrack and could only play it when I wasn't around. Any strange noise at night. I could never sleep as a child and so my mom would let me listen to a radio all night to drown out any other sound that might freak my shit out. Now you know why I know the lyrics of almost every cheesy pop song ever written and can recite most commercials from the seventies.
2. When have you been most courageous?
Getting out of the two abusive relationships I was in. The first with my ex-husband and the second with that one asshole I dated almost five years ago. People always wonder why seemingly strong women stay in those things, but I don't think you could ever understand unless you went through it. It's not like the guy is suddenly a jerk. It's subtle things where the guy seems too good to be true and then gets kind of bad, but that behavior becomes normal and then he kicks it up again, so that becomes normal, and so on and so on... They also wear down your self-esteem, so you believe you deserve to be treated a certain way. It's kind of a double and triple whammy. I've been lucky enough that I've gotten out before things ever became too violent.
3. What sound most disturbs you?
The sound of violent retching. I spent a fun filled evening in the emergency room in the general hospital in San Francisco once with my ex-boyfriend who got sucker punched at a party and had a detached retina. There was some guy in the next room who retched for hours and I thought I was going die.
4. What is the greatest amount of physical pain you’ve been in?Easy - 36 hours of labor with my first daughter. Why didn't anyone tell me that natural childbirth was for pot smoking hippies? I also should have known just exactly how stubborn that Coadster would end up being. That girl was going to come out when she was good and ready and put me through hell, until then. It's kind of the way she goes through life.
The girls when they were nine and ten years old respectively.
5. What’s your biggest fear for your children? (or children in general if you don’t have some of your own.)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's global warming and nuclear war and stuff, but my biggest fear is that something will happen to me before they are adults, and someone else will raise them. Of course, it all comes from being raised by my abusive (are we detecting a theme here?) aunt and uncle after my mom died. Even if someone wonderful raised them, they still wouldn't understand the girls they way I do. I would hate to think that my daughters would have to grow-up without that unconditional love.
6. What is the hardest physical challenge you’ve achieved?The hardest physical challenge was probably in The Conservation Corps. We had to hike with eighty pounds of grip hoist cable strapped to our backs and a tool in each hand uphill and through rocky creek bed and use chainsaws that were so big and heavy that I could barely lift them when I first started, let alone run one for eight hours. Fighting wild land fires sucked too. I have this weird suffocation complex and it didn't exactly jive with all that smoke inhalation.
7. Which do you prefer: Mountains or oceans/big water?
Both. but if I had to choose, I'd say ocean. I'm a total water girl. My California boyfriend used to call me a mermaid because he couldn't keep me out of rivers, lakes or the ocean.
8. What is the one thing you do for yourself that helps you keep everything together?
Run, run and run. It is my meditation, my exercise and my happy pill. I've been doing it since my mom died and I can't imagine my life without it.
9. Ever had a close relative or friend with cancer?
Yeah. One of my best friends in the world, had sinal/nasal cancer for five years before he died at 31. He had been my roommate, our daughters were born 6 weeks apart and we saw each other almost every day for ten years. It broke my heart to see him in constant pain and it pissed me off that even after two back-to-back open brains surgeries, he was still smarter than I can ever imagine being.
Well, on that happy note, I'll continue with it tomorrow