Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Have a Broom

I have a broom with my name on it. Let me explain.

This afternoon I came home to my apartment, and noticed that the birds I love to feed made a horrible mess of my patio. Seeds were strewn everywhere, and I bet that Stellar Jay is to blame! So, like any other good housekeeper, I went to my hall closet and retrieved my broom to sweep off the mess.

On my way to my sliding door, I passed my dog. When she saw the broom her ears dropped and she cowered. It broke my heart.

Five years ago, I adopted my Golden Retriever from a rescue group that caters only to Goldens. Ruby, my dog, has not had the best in life. She was originally used for breeding. The first six years of her life she spent locked up in a puppy mill, pushing out babies, and sleeping in a kennel. After she was no longer useful to the breeders, she was shoved from home to home, abused, dumped, and eventually rescued.

When I brought her home, I was totally surprised at her nature. She's a dog that doesn't know how to be a dog. She won't sleep on anything of comfort. Ruby would rather scrunch up by my front door on the cold tile hugging the corner of the wall. She doesn't know how to play either. The first few weeks I had her in my home, I went to the pet store and retrieved the usual fluffy toys and balls. This dog is totally clueless as to what to do with them. Her eyes look back at me with a blank stare and not once has she played with me since I gave her a home five years ago.

Today I was surprised, as I passed her by with the broom on the way out the door, she still remembers being beaten by one. After five years, Ruby still doesn't trust me not to hit her. I never have, and I never will.

In a way it reminded me of myself. I guess, I have a broom with my name on it too. In my single blog, I've never really dealt with abusive relationships in our past, but I'm sure there are a few of you that have come out of those situations.

When I watched my dog today, I pitied her, but sadly related. There is a broom in my life, with my name on it, and there is still a fear inside of me that the next man I meet may turn out to be an abuser in disguise. I don't know what it will take for my dog to totally trust me that I will not beat her as her other owners did. Frankly, I don't know what it will take for me to trust another man not to hurt me.

For every single who reads this post and relates, you no doubt have a broom out there with your name on it as well. I found this picture on Photobucket and thought it appropriate. It represents the abuse, but it has a pretty bow tied around the handle. I guess that's what I need to do, is put some beauty back in the broom and not be so afraid of it.

I've cleaned the patio, and put the broom back in the closet. My dog is back to her old self now, but thanks to her I learned a lesson about myself today. Inspiration comes from the strangest places.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

One Independent Woman

I discovered this past week that living by myself for 11 years, come this November, that I've turned into a fiercely independent woman. It was a stark realization actually, and I'm not sure if that's good or bad!

Years ago I was worried about being co-dependent, and now I think I've flown over the edge to independent. How did I get here? Well, I guess it's because I've had no one to lean on for the past 11 years. I've made all my own choices, acted for myself, been an independent thinker, and haven't succumbed to the influence or control of others! Hum, sounds awfully freeing to me.

In addition, I manage my own money, financially support myself, fix my broken things, haul my stuff, and cook my meals. The independent list goes on and on like the Energizer bunny. There is no one to do things for me, which just adds to my independent thought of, hell, I can do this myself!

On the other side of the coin though I've recognized that living my life in close proximity with other human beings again is going to be a huge challenge! At this point, I'm certainly not going to match well with a man who is looking for a submissive wife.

Since I doubt I'll ever marry again, this may not be a problem. However, if by some divine intervention from above I do meet a man, they will need to respect the independent woman I have become over the years alone. I won't need to lean on a man to protect or rescue me, nor will I need one to take care of me. Looks like I've done okay by myself. What I will want, is a companion.

I guess I will look at marriage more like a partnership arrangement. Two independent individuals, who respect one another and blend together well. Sounds like a recipe for success. I just hope I get to taste it!