Postcard from the Edge

I lie on my bed replaying the same game of Spider Solitaire on the iPhone. Their voices rise and fall in the next room. My personality, id Jada, superego Jodi, and ego Quiet One have been warring since it arrived. I’m resolutely indifferent. Let them sort it.

Patty lies with head on paws beside me, just within reach. She watches me intently, but I ignore her.

My fingers tap the screen, undoing moves. I’m determined not to break my winning streak; a superstitious dread of the probable deadlock has taken hold. I’ve never been superstitious. Is this a new thing?

I sense another presence beside us but still don’t look up. Jodi’s voice rises again as she angrily berates Jada, her voice cracking with emotion. Jada murmurs calming words. Happy go lucky Jodi? This doesn’t bode well. The silence stretches as the visitor waits patiently for my acknowledgment. I sigh, knowing I can’t win.

I glance finally at Quiet One. She sits regarding me, her face unreadable. Her kimono has changed from a colorful motif to a disturbing plain gray. Suddenly, I feel inexplicably small. Not able to hold her gaze, I stare at the small screen in confusion.

Quiet One armย reachesย across me; clearly she’s petting Patty.

She says simply, “she’s afraid of losing her freedom.”

Patty sighs.

My eyes closed as if to blot out everything. Jada has been upset since I refused to read the postcard they received. I resent her histrionics. I’m afraid too; I dont want any message from him either. I imagine Winston returning, running as fast as his doggy legs will carry him. Sending a postcard to make sure I wouldn’t miss his arrival, the little bastard.

Quiet One pauses and says with a hint of finality in her voice, “we can’t do this without you.”

I sigh, resigned. Indeed, they can’t. Progress will stall until I accept my fears. What ifย  Winston comes back?

Party sits up. She has the postcard in her mouth. Finally, I reach for it.

It starts, “hi” in dark crayon. This isn’t Winston.

“I’m struck by the crude, barely formed letters and imagine her tongue stuck out in concentration, little fingers gripping the crayon as she struggled with her first letter.

“whar r yu? I ned to see yu. Im skard! plees kom. luv judy.”

It isn’t Winston causing havoc but Little Judi, the small me, the ever present remnant from my past. Driven by memories and fears she is too young to understand, she reacts viscerally to events happening to my adult self. The latest salvo has rocked her apparently. I’d forgotten her. Again.

Jada and Jodi join Quiet One at my bedside. They will me to be strong and pull myself together. Closing my eyes again, I inhale deeply.

Patty licks my hand and I stroke her soft fur. Time to carry on.

They wait.

I”ll talk to her, I say.

I end the game with a few taps.

The transition continues.


28 thoughts on “Postcard from the Edge

  1. Did you write this for me? This describes so well how I’ve been feeling lately — does going forward mean going back? What do I gain, what do I lose, and above all what are the *risks*? Isn’t it safer to keep playing Spider Solitaire and drown out the noise from all the pieces that are demanding attention?

    In practice I know I tried that in the past and what it got me, but it’s still so frightening and so much calmer to keep playing video games.

    Biggest hugs, Judi, I have tears in my eyes just thinking about this.

    • Going forward means dealing with the past. Stuffing things down is only a temporary solution; things *will* bubble up again. You lose the misery and gain a new way of looking at life. The risk is if you don’t face the fear, you will continue to spin your wheels. And belive it or not, facing the fear will not kill you.

        • Keep in mind that I spent 10 years in therapy drilling down through issues, to reach the point of directly dealing with the inner child. As I said in the apology to little Judi, I needed to connect with her first. You have to connect with yours.

  2. I can’t leave this alone, so I’m going to ask another question. We can take this off blog if you want.

    Is it that you forgot her? Or that you’re angry?

    If there were a “little Serv,” I’m not copping to that, but let’s say there were, I would describe our relationship as hostile. Little Serv is nothing but angry all the time, and Serv herself insists on treating little Serv just the way she was treated as a girl, as if her anger doesn’t matter. “She doesn’t get to decide,” I find myself thinking.

    • After this mess earlier in the summer, both of us were afraid; me, for obvious reasons, and lilttle Judi, because she saw this as punishment for somehow not being a good girl. As time went by, the adult me knew I should have been feeling better, but the inner child was still terrified. The bad stuff was coming from Judi. In my anger, I forgot to listen to her and comfort her, until Dr. G drew a straight line from the present to the past. I couldn’t even see it.

      The inner child needs to be understood and comforted; she holds all of your pain. Ignoring her prolongs the pain.

      I also realized I was angry for being thwarted in my plans for Getting On with Life. How dare somebody throw another monkeywrench in the way! I need to remind myself repeatedly that transition doesn’t mean I live happily every after now. It means life proceeds with a new set of problems for which I need new tools to address.

  3. Rooting for judiang and servetus both. Fearless women. And both recalling the words of your Harry S. T.

  4. Now that I can post this, I don’t remember exactly what all I was going to say other than:

    “I need to remind myself repeatedly that transition doesnโ€™t mean I live happily every after now. It means life proceeds with a new set of problems for which I need new tools to address.”

    This, this x 1000. Good luck with the transition! *hugs*

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