Contemplations at the Crossroads

Sign pointing to the left reads: “To Hell.” Sign to the right reads: “No Idea. But Way Better Than Hell.”

I’m job-hunting.

I’m finding it extremely hard to get excited about applying for Lame Crap Jobs.

LCJ for short. Menial service-industry jobs that pay minimum wage. Jobs far, far beneath my abilities, work experience, life experience, intelligence and capabilities.

I was set, nee forced, upon a course of slavery — slave jobs, slave labor, slave mentality — by my father when I was tall enough to hold a broom. Around age 6. From that point, my father indoctrinated me (well, our entire family actually) into Slavehood.

For various reasons, I got the worst of it, his brutality and cruelty around work, labor and arduous tasks. The more arduous the better. The more disregarding of exhaustion and death-defying, the better. My father ran me into the ground psychologically, emotionally, physically.

I love him to death but he was a son of a bitch. The wounding and damage are very deep indeed. It’s been a lifelong struggle to survive, cope with and as of late just identify some of these complicated issues.

The complex of Slave Jobs vs. Work.

Work being my own purpose. Life purpose as a writer. A purpose that is of me and has nothing to do with what I was forced to be and forced into, quite literally, by my father. A slave. A means to his end. And if not his, then some other usually overbearing macho ass*ol* of a man.

If he demeans and degrades me, all the better. It means I’m doing my Job. Staying tough. Never giving up at the job no matter how badly I’m beaten. Ever producing supremely high quality work no matter how painful the welts on my back, metaphorically, or bent and crippled my hands from chains and ropes. I never let the slave master get me down so far that I produce anything but the highest quality work. For him.

My worth was based not on any so-called inherent value within our Creator’s breath but on what I produced for my father. Later in life, that became Anyone Else with Authority Over Me in the Workplace.

Truth is, my father did not teach me to be free. By force and control, he programmed me to be a slave. Who I was / am did not matter. My dreams, pfshaw! Useless silly stupid shitty things with no place in life. My purpose: DENIED! Like the giant word stamped by the parole board across a prisoner’s written request for parole.

Again, love my dad to death but he was a son of a bitch.

I write about this because I’m at a crossroads. And in a quandary.

Everything inside me is pushing against continuing this enslaved life, the Lame Crap Jobs that make me want to slit my wrists. If ONE more person tells me: “Take any job temporarily …” I’ll have to shoot that person. In the belly. One of the most painful places to be shot.

There are parts that truly want off this path of slavery and want in on the path to my true self and purpose. I can hardly tell you what it is! I can only say that I know it’s NOT what my dad forced upon me.

It’s all so complicated and complex. Rather than try to put words that can’t be put to this whole mess, I’ll return to the beginning.

I’m finding it extremely hard to get excited about applying for just more of the Lame Crap Jobs that have ruined or destroyed much of my life — and me.

I KNOW I should be excited. Okay, maybe not excited.

Willing.

I KNOW I should be WILLING to do anything — ANYTHING — in order to work and survive. And the more beneath me the job, the more humiliating and degrading, even sadistic, the better. That’s really what’s so much of this Slave complex comes down to. Sadism.

I should be willing to remain nothing except a slave, a peon, a nothing except a tool in someone else’s own gains because that’s all that gives me value. (according to my all-powerful all-dictating father.)

I should fall at the feet of the master — even if they be booted in leather and kicking me in the stomach and the teeth — and kiss them. Because A JOB IS A JOB. The most holy of words. The only words that truly matter in life.

But I’m NOT excited to continue what I was forced to do — BE — from age 6.

The anger and rage swelling within of late speak of an uprising brewing against all that my father shoved down my throat.

They speak of profound dissatisfaction with how things are — how they were made to be and forced to be — since I was a little girl.

They speak of the enormous pain and traumas brought to bear in my life because I was forced to bear them.

This anger and rage and disinclination, to put it mildly!, to continue wasting my life in just another fucking menial Lame Crap Job that pays nothing, jobs I loathe, detest, hate and are a TRUE waste my talents, abilities, intelligence and true self hints that the natives are getting restless.

I haven’t a vision of where the natives want to go. They don’t even seem to know. They want only one thing. To be free.

And to know the truth. For themselves. The truth of who THEY are, each as individuals. Not WHAT they are. Each a slave by the demands and controlling and totalitarian forces of their oppressor and master. He who has dictated: “You are my slave and I rule your world. No questions. No alternatives. No changes. End of story.”

+ + +

“Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.”

So wrote John Milton in “Paradise Lost.”

He’s correct. Absolutely correct.

I wish right now that I could sit down with Mr. Milton and engage in a deep conversation of philosophy. Clearly he’s a wise man to have recognized and written that.

I’d share with Mr. Milton of my past and current crossroads situation and ask him what I should do next. Because it seems clear that even with my enormous plethora of work/job aptitudes, skills, abilities, talents and impeccable work ethics, I’m nowhere near as good at breaking the chains of slavery. Not even close.

I could forge the metal and shape and couple the iron links that create the chain. THAT I could do. It’s my innate craftsmanship and work ethics.

Creating the cutters: I don’t have that blueprint. Or, if I do, I don’t know where it is. Or remember how it looked when I saw it a zillion years ago!

Today’s post is pure therapy. I don’t actually expect anyone to read it or last this far. That’s okay. I just need to put this down on paper. Sift through my thoughts. Organize them best I’m able to in an enormously, even ridiculously, complex and complicated subject. The roots of my slavery run very deep and very wide like those Great Giant Old Trees of the South. Those trees that outlive us all.

+ + +

So I got a call about a potential dishwashing job today.

My enthusiasm for just another Lame Crap Job … just another continuation to ruining my life and destroying my self … is zero.

Why do I apply? Why did I?

Certainly not interest or passion! It’s because:

I need a job.
A Job Is A Job.
My applying is not my choice. It’s because my dad’s thumb still oppresses, dictates and controls. Telling me What I Should Do. Not seeing me for who I am .

I’ve got a fucking lot of inner work ahead still. I’ve no clue or sense of what freedom looks like, tastes like, feels like. I know the tight grip of cold metal around my ankles and wrists and the rattlings and clankings of chains binding me from one man to the next.

“Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.”

Indeed, Mr. Milton, indeed.

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when writing’s therapy, relief, illumination, rattling chains of bondage

Call me a schmuck. A tool. A slave yearning to be free.

But I’m finding it so painfully hard to get excited about remaining any — or all — of the above.

I’m finding it extremely difficult to get all excited about applying for menial jobs that pay minimum wage — aka Lame Crap Jobs.

I’m really unenthused about it. I’m deeply unenthused about reducing myself to the size of an ant — an ant with broken legs, at that! — on applications so that I might have a shot at a job.

A job that in a month I’ll come to hate in one way or another for one reason or another.

I’m tired of being a tool. There’s loaded and deep history here and it began with my dad.

Discovering and rediscovering — it’s some of each — my own creativity and calling are much harder than you’d think. It’s because the roots of slavery are so deep, complicated and woven into my sense of self. The self that I was FORCED to be as a child, not the Self that I truly am. My dad really did a number on me when it comes to jobs and slavery.

Very hard these days to get excited about just another Lame Crap Job. Just another means to bring me down and destroy my life.

I know I SHOULD be excited. I know I SHOULD NOT CARE. About myself. My true self. y calling and passions ad nature and purpose. I KNOW that A JOB IS A JOB. That is from God himself — God being my father. A dictate that should’ve made it into Scripture but somehow got overlooked.

I KNOW that I’ve no right to want anything for myself. It’s all about THE JOB. And doing the job as if you don’t matter. Because you don’t.

I know my father would beat me up pretty harshly inside the head (and he does) because I’m NOT excited about about applying for menial jobs that are the Source of Darkness and misery for me.

I know he’d say that I’m somehow wrong BECAUSE I can’t get excited about crap lame jobs that I will hate.

Emotion has no part in the Job Pathos. Neither does heart or dreams or passion or purpose.

It’s ALL about being a tool. Producing. Like an automan. Like a robot.

Now don’t get me wrong. THOSE rules that he so shoved down my throat do not apply to HIM. In many ways, he was a prime example of “do as I say, not as I do.” The Rule of Slavery that he forced upon me was a 1-way dictate. That absence of fairness — that is, what he so imposed upon others he did not impose upon myself — really pisses me off still.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my father to death. But he could be a real son of a bitch too and it’s only recently, deep into my 5th decade of living, that I’m truly beginning to traumas and depths of the Forces that So Shaped Me that are Not of Me.

* * *

Hard to get excited about continuing to scrub toilets and floors. My dad would tell me I’m wrong for that. That I should be excited because It’s a Job.

Hard to get excited about dishwashing again. I’m wrong to feel that way. Because It’s a Job.

Hard to get excited about going back to home health care or warehouse work or Pick Any Other Lame Crap Job I’ve done in these many years of a life wasted — and lord knows there’s a mountain to pick from! But I’ve no right to feel badly. Because It’s Job.

I know my father was capable of more. Capable of teaching me better than I was given around Work vs. Job. I know because the rules toward freedom and creativity and self-expression that he allowed for himself were NOT allowed for others, including me.

If he’d allowed me to work by my heart and dreams and desires and life purpose in the same way that he allowed HIMSELF to do so, I would be a very very different person right now. I’d be on path. And never ever would have wasted a good half of my working life being a Slave to Someone Else instead of free.

I’m speaking circuitously because this stuff is that difficult to articulate. I’m early in the Discovery Phase. Discovering the traumas and true impact that my father had on me. In life. And, notably, in Work vs. Job.

I know I ought not quest.

I know I ought not reach for a star. I ought not even THINK about having a guiding star of my own.

I know I ought to stay bound in chains of consciousness. That I ought to remain bound by duty and (enslaved) service to others and have no will or desire for better.

I know that I ought never think of or give credence to any desire or dream of my own. That’s wrong. It’s all about The Job. And remaining beholden to and loyal to the Master.

And he indeed was the Master, my dad.

And in my head, lo these 58 years later, he still is.

The hardest part, I’m finding, in getting free of the chains of slavery is not the actually unlocking of the shackles.

It is acquiring the self-worth that you never had — you never received it, was never taught it, was denied it or refused it in harsh psychological and/or physical beatings.

The hardest part in any journey of healing and freedom lies not in liberating one’s self from what was done and imposed upon you but in CREATING what one never had.

Possibly the hardest of all.

{this post was actually written around April 4 but due to a router outage at the cafe, delivery was delayed.}

the Pharaoh and his tempestuous disobedient slave

Was all geared up for the day’s writing prompt from “The Writer’s Book of Days.”

Open to the page and March 8 prompt. Night.

Feel like I’ve done that one to death! No word play intended. Death – darkness – night.

So I’m gonna pass, which I rarely do on prompts, and write on a subject that’s near but not dear to my heart.

Slavery. More precisely, breaking the bonds of slavery.

I am a slave and was enslaved, from a very young tender age, by a father who was tyrannical, authoritative, cruel, brutal, oppressive, suppressive and domineering. It was his way or no way; the only in-betweens were World War IIIs.

He had his very good side, definitely. He was very intelligent, observant, witty, original in thought, perceptive, non-conforming and especially creative.

Whether it was a paint brush, wood carving tool or landscaping implement in his hand, he was a genius. He crafted everything to stunning perfection or very nearly so. He was an artist and artisan with incredible and rare attention to detail. (People generally don’t care about quality any longer.) He was a precisionist. In those aspects particularly, my father and I are two peas in a pod.

I love my father to death.

And am the first to acknowledge that he was not an easy man or an easy person. He intimidated everyone. Most adult neighbors didn’t like him and/or feared him. Friends of mine and my sister’s mostly refused to come to our house to play because they too feared him.

Growing up under his thumb was hell. Is hell. The branding marks remain on the inside, where no one sees them.

Slavery. These are deep and complicated issues that I’m not gonna write about, for many reasons. Instead, I wish to focus on breaking the shackles of slavery.

* * *

How is it done? I do not know.

Humankind has had slaves since before Christ. I’m not a Biblical or religious person — AT ALL! At all.

I’m the first to admit that my Bible knowledge is about zilch. Years ago, however, prompted by my own Valley of Darkness (speaking of the “night” prompt) in Washington state, I did plod my way through the Old Testament.

It was slow going and not really enjoyable. But by plodding onward (interspersed admittedly with plenty of skimming), I came to learn of the Egyptians’ oppression and enslavement of the Jews and their eventual release by Moses.

It is a historical tale of tremendous importance in meaning, symbolism, metaphor and actuality for mankind. For me as well (though, as I wrote, not in any Christian, religious or faith-based perspective.) I leave it to scholars and others with far more knowledge and understanding of history than I to dissect the most widely-read book in the world.

I do like how this particular person captured it here:

“Finally, in order to truly identify with the exodus from Egypt, we must understand how we have been (and continue to be) freed. The Jewish redemption from slavery meant the ability to serve God instead of Pharaoh. Our freedom from slavery does not mean freedom from acting on behalf others, but rather it means the ability to choose how we will serve others.”

* * *

The only God I’ve known is my father. He was God in the House (in both my childhood and adulthood). His force was the force of God. His anger and rage. His dictates were never to be questioned or challenged. Not without penalty and severe consequences. His thumb upon everyone in the home (not just me by any means!) was real. Forceful. Mighty. Unyielding. Controlling. He was more than a tyrant. He was the Pharaoh of Egypt. He was God.

We were a family with no religion or secular faith. I’ve no problem with that. I’m not conventional or a sheep or a follower. I question and I challenge and I think and I arrive at my own conclusions. I’m rebellious and defiant and abhor authority.

My father, last I heard, was an atheist. My mother may’ve had belief in God. If she did, she certainly didn’t draw from it or display it in any way in terms of protecting me. (She was not a good mother or well woman; I shall leave it at that.)

She briefly gave “religion” a go by taking me and my sister to the Unitarian church (dad stayed home). Which, as you should know if you don’t already, is about as non-churchy and non-religious as it gets!

That so-called church-going didn’t stick. No loss.

Outside my father, I’ve no concept of God. Not really. I’ve had innumerable moments, experiences (including life-threatening) and encounters that can be understood and explained only as revelations of a greater force and power. A Divine Intelligence. An Intelligent Universe. (Note that I said an intelligent universe, NOT an intelligent people!)

Life itself suggests a creative power and source that some would call God. My father, despite his authority as God, did not create this world. That may seem obvious but in fact is not to a child under an oppressive dictates and thumb of an other.

Circling back to slavery and breaking the bonds.

Moses has not stepped into my life to open the gates and lead me away from the torments and imprisonments under the Egyptians. I’d be a fool to wait around for him to appear!

What I lack is obvious to me. A trust in life being good. Because it hasn’t been, rather, more precisely, was not from newborn infancy. A trust in people being good. Because they have not been. A trust in a greater power that is not only benign (a huge leap itself) but one that sees each of us individually and cares. I’ve no sense of that; my childhood imparted none of that.

I have no faith. I did not just arrive at that in a day. Life experience taught me.

In short, the “f-word” to me is not the bad word. My f-word is “faith.”

* * *

I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

I do not mean every moment for the next 20-30 years or whatever I’ve got left. My father is gone, to the Other Side, that is, and not that long ago. I struggle and grapple with it as any true human being would. I am forever changed by the loss of my significant parent.

Yet his markings — his brandings by the Iron Fist — remain. They’re not scars yet. They’re wounds. Hurts and pains raw and bloody still, nowhere close to being scabbed over.

Too often I continue to think like that slave that he made me be and the slavery forced upon me.

Too often I continue to be confined and defined by his brutalities and limitations imposed upon me, nee forced down my soulful throat.

Too often I think of the punishments and hardships that await me rather than the dreams that might release me from Darkness.

Too often I think of Death as my relief and release rather than of the Light in my own soul. I think of his intelligence rather than my own. His enormous creativity rather than my own. His pains rather than my own. His nightmarish childhood rather than my own. His dictates rather than my own inner compass of deep morality, integrity and honesty.

It’s that that I surrounded into an invisible acquiescent nobody. If my father is the Pharaoh, then I am/was his tempestuous and rebellious slave.

I fought him and his dictates tooth and nail. I fought him to preserve my life. I fought him with all the force my little stature and big intelligent mind could muster.

But I always lost. Always. He was bigger than I. A fucking lot stronger than I. Had greater force than I. He held the controls. The authority. The power. The whip. He WAS God. I stood up and pushed back more than anyone else in the family (including a shitty mother who supposedly protects and loves her child) and I paid dearly.

* * *

I’m not sure why this is being written today. Perhaps it’s partly because I’ve got a birthday in a week (ditto my sister). We’re getting up there in the years. Aging’s got a way of challenging and altering one’s perceptions and viewpoints in life.

There’s more to it than just the impending birthdays. What to do with my life without my dad’s imposing unyielding God dictates is up for discussion. How to break the enslavement is a massive question.

And since I am unconvinced that God exists, or cares, to whom do I turn for guidance?

To whom do I pray for higher knowledge, wisdom and guidance at this challenging time?

My dad “bashed me” in the head and shoved his will down my throat time. Who hears my voice? Who can hear my heart? Who will listen? Does anyone listen? Is anyone there?

* * *

“Night” was today’s writing prompt.

Turns out this post, without intent, is aligned after all.

As a nocturnal creature, I favor and know more about night than day. Too, I know more about Darkness than Light. Slavery than Freedom. I know more about an other’s will imposed upon me than my own, free to be, free to live.

In closing, I circle back to the above excerpt: “The Jewish redemption from slavery meant the ability to serve God instead of Pharaoh.”

Remove “Jewish” from that statement — ethnocentricity is unnecessary and limiting; slavery is a human matter — and I’d concur.

At this time of my life and on the cusp of a birthday closer to death than birth, I’ve much to contemplate. I’ve much to learn about how it is that one — that I — break the chains and bondages of slavery … when there may or may not be a God.

On Saturdays, slavery and spiritual evolution

The proverbial Monday morning blues. I’ve got somethin’ that can top ’em

The first day of the weekend. Saturdays in conventional workweeks but for me Mondays since weekends are the busiest at the hotel and it’s full staff on. For convenience, I’ll use Saturday to convey the first day of the weekend, even though for me it’s technically Monday.

Saturdays are when I wake up feeling like I’ve been hit by a freight train … a bus … a semi-truck. In other words, a big fucking piece of industrial-sized moving metal!

Too, Saturdays are when I catch up on all the lost sleep from the workdays. Sleep sacrificed to the early-morning alarm clock. Sleep lost to shoulder and back pain and injuries. Sleep unattainable on a not-good mattress that comes in the rental room and a new foam mattress topper that’s hit and miss and unlikely to survive the cut.

Saturdays bring unfitful sleep above and beyond the workweek’s norm. Reason 1 is the body’s habituated to rising early and so awakens early even on the day off.

Reason 2 is house/roommates’ activity is in full swing in the early morn — an’ I hear it all!

Reason 3 is come Saturday, my body and mind awaken to the reality of the feats they’ve been pushed, prodded and pulled through to accomplish job responsibilities. And they are not happy campers!
I’ve got a job that’s age-inappropriate … which is to say that at 57, I’m doing a job of a 22-year-old. All physical. All about brawn and speed speeed speeeeeeeeeeeeeed, wheeeeeeee! Even at 22, I was the tortoise, not the hare! It’s unrealistic to expect me to perform at the same speed as the youngsters. Nonetheless, expected it is.

There’s also the all-important matter of shoulder and back injuries that slow and impede movements. Honestly, I deserve a medal just for my efforts and accomplishments despite real physical obstacles and pain. But what corporate service industry cares about its PEOPLE, really? It’s about numbers.

Anyhow, all told, come Saturdays, I feel like shit. It’s not unheard of me to sleep ’til noon — 5 hours past my workweek alarm. A significant indicator of just how fucking fatigued I am.

Fatigue.

Fatigue of the adrenals and kidneys was revealed in yesterday’s jin shin jyutsu treatment — a modality that’s doing WONDERS in my recovery and healing!! As if I didn’t have enough on my plate with whacked-out liver and gall bladder and spleen and joints and bones! Welcome newcomers adrenals and kidneys!

It’s all connected, I realize. Anyways, central is the awareness that this hotel cleaning job has a short shelf life. The muscular development and toning associated with this physically demanding work have plateaued.

Advancing to Level II of muscle development/toning would require a commiserate ramping-up of activity and that ain’t gonna happen at this job, neither should it. I’m not aiming to make the cover of “Brawny Women.” No one wants to see me oiled up in a bikini flexing my muscles!!

There’s an arc to the positive effects of all this physical movement and output … and that arc is just about reached. Maximum results are achieved. It’s downhill from here.
Again, fatigue. For no good cause. Which can mean only one thing: the end of the job is nearing.

Or is it?

The inner slave and slave-driver don’t know when to stop. More importantly don’t know HOW to stop. Lifetimes, including this one, as a slave and a slave-driver impart the message: “PUSH THROUGH PAIN. YOUR SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.

“You may die from overworking — in fact, chances are you will. No one could accuse you of being lazy! PUSH PUSH PUSH THROUGH THE PAIN. Then you die. Life over. Goals accomplished.”

Them’s some powerful lifetimes of hardships and brutalities and equally powerful messages I carry still to this day.

Until I don’t.

Saturdays. They top the Monday morning blues because that’s indeed the day when the body awakens to the realities that must be circumvented, ignored, denied, submerged under the demands of the job. Because if I let my body and mind truly feel and experience, they’d say what?

I know what they’d say. “What the fuck are you doing lifting mattresses by the corners with a seriously injured shoulder?!?

“What the hell are you doing crawling around on your knees scrubbing floors again?!? Haven’t you had enough?!? Enough lifetimes and enough jobs in THIS lifetime in menial service and in serving OTHERS, many of ’em authoritative assholes?!!

“Haven’t you got the message that you’re a writer, not a cleaner (though you love cleaning when it’s your own space!) Haven’t you got the message that you don’t have to do this anymore?!?

“You CAN wake up on Saturdays and enjoy them as they’re meant to be enjoyed: Leisurely. Awaking at a slow relaxed pace. Enjoying the sensations of a body rejuvenated by slumber and dreamtime. Lingering over a cuppa dark roast and a green smoothie and the newspaper. Taking your time saving the simple pleasures.”

Let go of this job so new and better can fill the space. Let go of slave jobs and enslavement so that your voice and light can shine!

And so that Saturdays can be special instead of the scene of a physical & mental train wreck!

That’s all on this your Tuesday, my Sunday. 🙂