The Value of a Hug

It seems everywhere you go, if people know you, you will end up in a conversation about being thrown away.  What this does for the one asking, is inform them about something they can’t possibly understand.  It’s good that they want to know, most of the time, but still, you can look at their eyes and see that they don’t have a CLUE about the devastating impact of being thrown away.  Good for them that they haven’t experienced the tragedy, and of course you know that if they HAD experienced it, they wouldn’t ask about it.  It’s too painful to re-live.  You guys know this stuff by now.

So I had a really nice visit with some friends yesterday, on the heels of putting flowers on the graves of three loved ones.  I almost added “who died” but then I thought, of course they died: otherwise why would they be in graves?  See how my mind works and how quickly I can run down a rabbit trail?  Stay with me.  It goes back on track.

Anyway it was an emotional endeavor, but it was good to honor my loved ones.  Then I visited my friends and we went to dinner, after which we talked until late into the evening.  One big topic, of course, was my armageddon.  Listen, I really love these people and I know they love me.  I know the reason they ask questions is because they care. And listen, even if they don’t ask directly, the topic bleeds in because you say things like, “When I was homeless…”  Crap like that.

“You were homeless???”  Anddddd off we go.

Afterward, as I drove home…a two and a half hour trek…I cried for the first leg of the trip.  And of course all of the emotion was once again, just at the surface.  And….it got me to thinking…

I hate it when that happens.  But I got to thinking about the people who were in the passing train cars as I suffered, how they shouted misguided wisdom or even sometimes hateful discourse, all in the guise of “help”, OR didn’t bother to look for God’s sake, as they trundled past me into the comfort of their life train…leaving me in a heap beside the tracks…so to speak.  And these are people who LOVE ME PEOPLE!  LOVE!  You can’t make this stuff up!

I’m sure they felt better having shared their misguided wisdom and of course that’s all that matters…that they feel good.   I mean they TRIED to help me, but I just wouldn’t help MYSELF.  Assholes.  No really, that’s what they believe.  GRRRRR.

See, I can’t help but be facetious when I talk about this stuff.  I mean people really piss me off.  I call them smooth-brains.  But I digress.  Again.

What does it mean when you get angry because you get sad?  I think that’s got a label somewhere.

And it suddenly stuck me…nobody hugged me, she said, finally getting to the point.  As broken as I was when I was discarded, as emotionally traumatized as I was, as alone as I felt and as embarrassed as I felt…you know all of the feelings…NOBODY HUGGED ME.  NO BO DY. And I wondered….

Am I unhuggable?  Am I not worthy of having anybody reach out in true caring love?

See, it’s been six years…five years…heck I can’t remember anymore.  Six.  It’s been six years, and  STILL these self destructive thoughts come crashing in.  NO.  I am NOT unhuggable.  And YES I AM worthy of caring love.  By society’s standards I’m more WORTHY of hugs and love than some of the assholes who treated me like garbage and reinforced the trauma.  Oh yeah, I’m in the anger phase.  But the GOOD thing is that I finally GET IT that I’m a VERY good person. And I get it that the train riders are out of my life.  Period.  My standards are higher now.  Oh look: A benefit.

Are you following this crap?  After all of this time, the PARADIGM of having been thrown away and society’s view of it still pollute my emotions.  After all of this time, a deeply seated part of me still believes somehow it’s my fault.  And that’s wrong.  It wasn’t me.  It was a person with no integrity, a liar and cheater, who was at fault.  I was targeted by him BECAUSE I am huggable and BECAUSE I am worthy worthy of love.  Precisely those reasons.  And I happened to have a lot of investment assets, which made me a HUGE target…just so you know I’m not all THAT lovable.  I mean, I’m pretty doggone good, but I’m not perfect.  Close though.  hahaha.

Bottom line is this.  After you send some anonymous cash to someone…as I suggested in the last blog entry?  HUG THEM, DAMNIT.  It doesn’t cost you a DIME to give someone a hug…and not a meaningless AIR HUG.  I mean a REAL HUG, and let them know they are NOT invisible and that they DO matter.  And if you are not trying to pick their POCKET while you hug them, then you just might be a keeper 🙂

And oh, while my anger phase is in full swing?  I still have my sense of humor.  HA.  The cheating, lying asshole couldn’t take THAT.

I’ll try to be nice next time, but I can’t promise.  The anger phase is good for me.  And NECESSARY.  That’s what all of the experts say…

I’ll be back.

About Donations

Yesterday I had yet another conversation with an older woman, living alone, abandoned by her family and struggling to make ends meet.  She told me that she never tells anyone how bad her financial situation is, because it’s embarrassing and because people don’t care anyway.  I get that.  I live it.  I have known this woman for decades, and knew her when she wasn’t poor and had family around her…when she had ‘something to give’.  A lot of something, in fact.  That’s the magic variable: Something to give.

I told you a long time ago, love is parasitic.  That sounds bitter and pathetic, doesn’t it?  hahaha.  But it’s not.  It’s the cold, harsh reality.  Love is all about what you can GET from somebody else.  That’s not Biblical, but it’s our new reality.  Sad.  I have studied this phenomenon from the inside and sometimes I chuckle.  I am amused at the unadulterated truth about life and how fooled we are.  We try to make things seem pretty and fair and safe and morally superior.  But the unadulterated truth is this:  It’s about what I can get from YOU.  No really.  Before you shake your head in disbelief, THINK about it.  Really think about your loved one and how you would react if you couldn’t get what you want from him/her.  I warn you; the truth hurts until you get used to it.  When you see that the ’emperor’ is really naked, it makes you laugh sometimes, at the games we play.

It is pathetic and socially heartbreaking that we claim to be such a great, wealthy nation and yet we treat a huge part of our citizenry as worthless.  We are NOT worthless and we are NOT invisible.  But we are also not one of the “defined” minorities who demand to be taken care of, about whom the bleeding hearts talk a lot but do little.  We can’t garner votes…nor have babies to guarantee a monthly check.  We’re not sexual anymore and we can’t hand over our paycheck.  So…society at large  wishes us to be invisible, because this way, people do not have to understand that love and care are both verbs as well as nouns.  Verbs, by the way, imply ACTION. Too complicated for you?  Well there you go.

As fate would have it, I also got a comment  on my blog yesterday about not having a ‘donate’ button on my blog site.  This reader would have donated to the cause of thrown away wives.  I never meet this person, but I know her.  I know her character and it is rare and precious.  This reader has “the care gene”, that rare and precious character trait that is fading from society and which, by the way, makes you a target for parasites who will use you and throw you away.  Anyway, the truth is, I don’t know how to manage online donations.  Her idea is a good one, and I have contemplated starting a non-profit organization just to help older abandoned women…the ones society deems worthless.  Maybe one day I can figure that out.

But here’s the thing.  And this is something I and the thrown away woman spoke about yesterday.  It should be NO surprise to people that older women are alone, often abandoned and struggling financially, if people only paid attention.  We are not “of childbearing years”.  That’s society’s veiled way of saying we are not sexually attractive anymore and therefore we are useless.  I know.  For God’s sake that’s harsh.  Well, if you have a brain that works, do your own research and face reality if you dare.  But that, folks, is THE one big reason we are invisible. If you are of child bearing years, you won’t believe it, and if you are past child bearing years, you are now invisible.  Welcome.

We are EVERYWHERE, the  unseen thrown away.  Most people do not care, But once in a while a person passes us who DOES see us, who does get it.  And here’s something you guys can do…all three of you.  Go to the bank and take out three one hundred dollar bills. Or two.  Or one.  Buy a card and put the money in it.  Mail that card with money to one of the thrown away women YOU KNOW.  Because I know you know many of us.  I PROMISE you she needs it and I promise you the result of that action will be disproportionately huge from YOUR perspective.  To you, three one hundred dollars bills is nothing; to her, it means she can buy groceries this month.  And to her, it means for a brief moment somebody ACTUALLY SAW her.  That might even be more important than grocery money.  Here’s an idea:  Do it anonymously.  That’s how its supposed to be.

Want to hear something you won’t believe?  We throw-aways ROUTINELY give to one another; we sacrifice, say, eating meat for a week, in order to give that value to a throw away who might not have grocery money at ALL.  We sacrifice even when it hurts.  And, do you remember me saying that it is precisely because of that element of our character that we were targeted by the users who bled us dry and thew us away?  We are compassionate and generous.  Isn’t that interesting? she said, being facetious.

Listen, I can’t afford to give anybody anything, yet I do.  And yet there are those less fortunate than I.  I live in a home.  I have a friend who, until just last week, lived in a bedroom.  I’ve done that.  It’s amazing that a bedroom is enough, but when you are worthless and invisible, it is.  In fact it is a gracious PLENTY.  This woman just moved into her own apartment, with no furniture.  She was as thrilled as if she had bought a palace.  All I had to do was mention in my church group that she would appreciate used furniture donations and before you know it, she had living room and dining room furniture.  Just like that.  Imagine.  Others’ old furniture became her “home”.  That’s how it works.  Oh.  And she has a son.  Who could have bought her furniture.  Just thought I’d throw that in.

Before I get off of my soapbox, let me add this.  We WORK.  We don’t lounge around waiting for a check to show up.  We don’t do drugs, we don’t stand on the corner begging.  We have JOBS.  And I said jobs, plural.  Like I said in my book, I worked THREE jobs at once in order to survive.  Many throw-aways work multiple jobs.  MOST work multiple jobs.  So we’re not sitting around on the pity pot.  But we are still human beings who deserve to at least be seen.  And I will add this again.  Love is a verb.  You don’t have to be an anonymous donor to make a difference.  You know people who need help.  Help them.  And let me add, finally.  God bless the ones who DO see us, and who do reach out.  We could NOT have made it without them.

I just had an idea.  Adopt a throw away.  Our families don’t want us.  But I, for example, am a grandmother. I have grandkids I never get to see because I’m invisible, you see.  But  I’d like to actually practice being a grandparent.  Any spare families out there?  Something to think about…for another blog.

Homework:  Find a throw away.  Donate.

When Does it End?

Well, never as far as I can tell.  IF your ex stripped you financially, then finding gainful employment will NEVER be easy again.  So get used to being poor.  Get used to being humbled by a society that doesn’t value you anymore.  I mentioned that to a friend of mine, about women over 50 being invisible, and she pooh-poohed the whole idea. So I challenged her.  I told her the next time she went to the mall, to notice how many people even LOOKED at her.  She called and said, “Oh my God!  You are right! People didn’t even LOOK at me!”

Yeah.  I know.

So, using that whole idea as a springboard, think about how you will find a handyman, someone to repair your washing machine, someone to take care of your car maintenance…without gouging you…let alone show up!

It’s going to be important to find trustworthy service providers.  Chances are, if you remember from reading my book, you can’t rely on your family either.  They don’t want your problems and they don’t really care.  Sorry.  True.  Eventually you will find people on whom you can call…and PAY…and you need that contact list.  Listen, I could recommend people but you guys are ALL OVER the United States and beyond.  It wouldn’t mean anything for you to look at my list.

You’ll get frustrated and angry every time you can’t move a piece of furniture, let’s say, and you have to beg someone and pay them, to help you.

In my book I tell you that every single relationship in my life was damaged or outright broken when I was thrown away.  That hasn’t changed.  It’s been six years.  I’m still garbage in the minds of people who claimed to ‘LOVE’ me.  Some of them will text me that they love me, but I NEVER SEE THEIR FACES.  I’m in the anger phase now and I’m PISSED.

Yeah, it’s terrible.  And…our society condones it.  Older white women are THE most discriminated against of ANYBODY I know of.  Why?  We don’t have the giant organizations with acronyms to bring out the big dogs for us.  We are alone.

Did you know there are laws agains age discrimination in the workplace and in hiring?  Yep.  Federal laws.  Still happens.  All day.  Every day.