For those curious folks who may be wondering why I left my complete, grounded life in Houston for a cliff-hanging, "edge of your seat", spiritual based life in Sedona, here you go! It seems a natural human trait to discover people's motives. I'm known to be uber-curious as well. The investigative reporter in me I guess.
Basically, it was time for me to play & enjoy this wondrous, beautiful world we live in. For the past twenty-five years, my life has been 95% work and 5% play. That can wear on anyone. Through the '80s, I worked my way through college, concentrating on grades & making ends meet instead of playing and having fun with new friends & experiences. I did have some fun then! But it was always cut short. "George Bailey" syndrome from "It's a Wonderful Life." Plus I was never a partyer, so didn't get invited out much. During that time, the "oil bust" hit in Houston, so I came home to work full-time to make $$ for 6 months & return to finish school. My parents didn't lose as much as others did, but we lost stuff just the same - the big house, rental properties, 1/2 my dad's income, etc.
One year later, I finally graduated from Texas A&M & took two jobs (full-time & part-time) while searching for a "real job". For two weeks after graduation, life was complete. I was working & earning money, visiting with my folks, my brother & his family, my sister & her hubby, friends, etc. Even bought my first new car! My sister Kara was with me that day. Still remember that & have photos of it. Five days later, Kara was gone.
Two weeks after graduation, my brother & sister were killed in a robbery of one of my dad's businesses in Houston. I came home from an extra-long Galleria-area commute to find the house phone incessantly ringing while I tried to break in & answer it. No cell phones back then. Mom forgot to hide the key that day. That's when I got the news. It was long after 6p and it happened at 2:15p that day. The rest of that day is history, but not a blur as most would assume. I remember everything about that day vividly even now - 21+ yrs later. From the morning when I woke up, until 2a that night when we (parents & I) finally towered over on the sofas from emotional, spiritual, and mental exhaustion. Thank God we had hundreds of people at the house that night. That's EXACTLY what we needed.
For the next 5 months, disheartened, disillusioned & in a deep heavy fog, I came home to grieving parents who'd turned into walking zombies - understandably. My dad was a zombie for the next 15 years. Mom was in tears in the kitchen most of the time. I had no motive to play, no motive to do anything but take one step at a time, breathe & work. While other friends were enjoying their 20's, I was working to live. And working to keep my parents alive when all they wanted was to drink the Guyana koolaid and end their pain. I wanted to drink it too. Being in such emotional pain that your body gives out, wanting answers why 1/2 your family was taken so suddenly, asking God and the Universe what you did to deserve it - while watching others around you feeling same type of pain is not an easy road to travel. Staying in this world when you don't want to & convincing others to stay here too when they don't want to - it was rough. Suicide watch alert lasted about 10 years. During the 5 months after the murders, there was little energy to have friendships back then, only enough energy to keep breathing & walking. Went through 3 therapists during that time & still didn't feel "right."
After 5 months of pergatory, moved to NYC where I worked for a Wall Street securities firm & finally got to play! It was wonderful! Visited New England, had boyfriends! Went out every weekend, watched Broadway shows, rubbed shoulders with the Wall Street crowd, played at the beach in Long Island. Marvelous time! Didn't have much money, but had a blast! Played in the snow Thanksgiving night, walked through Central Park. Incredible! After over a year there, my devout Catholic grandmother called full of guilt-ridden words & asked I come home to take care of the family. It was time to stop "playing around & be responsible" she said.
A month after returning home to Houston, I began working full-time as a crime victim counselor assisting survivors of homicide & domestic violence. That experience could fill an entire book. It was very rewarding while also extremely draining. Still no time to play. Was on call almost 24/7. Learned about people who'd been so abused as children & adults that they developed Multiple Personality Disorders (MPDs), now known by some other name. Some rape victims had that. That led to learning about cult abuse that kept me up at night - conspiracy theories running through my head. Thank Heavens for my boyfriend Regan at that time. He made me feel safe when a strange, bizarre world was surrounding me. A world that didn't belong to me, but I had to recognize & acknowledge to help those victims. A dark world I hope no one I know ever has to see. I wish I'd never seen.
For years since, I've worked. Worked at keeping my parents happy, alive, balanced & sane. Worked at balancing myself after 1/2 our family was gone. Worked at compensating for my parents' 2 lost kids. Worked at grief therapy & happiness therapy. Worked at keeping the peace in my life & family's. Worked at staying sane and self-sufficient. Worked at keeping it together while my dad's businesses fell to the ground and they lost it all again. Worked in numerous, miserable full-time jobs just to pay the bills and survive. Worked, worked, worked. During all these years, I also chose to work at relationships that were doomed from the start. Constantly seeking that elusive love factor. Constantly coming up short. For the last 10 years, I also worked at having a child as a "single mom". All that work and NOTHING was WORKING!
Almost one year ago today, while working at a wonderful job that required 60 or 70-hr work weeks, & planting azaleas & ginger plants in my yard, I woke from the "work" dream and decided to give myself the most wondrous gift of all time - time off. Time off from expectations - my expectations of myself & those around me. Time off from workaholic syndrome. Time off from societal expectations. Time off from worries. Time off from responsibilities that I'd gathered along the way. One more year of work & I'd end up at Texas' Rusk Psychiatric unit wearing a straight jacket!
So now I live to make me & others happy and balanced. I hike among the truth, integrity & wisdom that exist among Sedona's Red Rock Wilderness where Native Indian spirits still guard & protect this area. My psychic & healing abilities have air now to breathe - they're finetuned like the piano I sold in Houston. They are my greatest skills & they empower me every day. Empowering & moving me to help others.
The only true worries I allow in my current life are the havelina & mountain lions attacking Zoe, my border collie - the Wilderness Red Rock climbing girl. She scares off the coyotes! And she can't outrun a rabbit anymore. But she tries. AND...I get to see my parents happy most days now. Especially when I make the 30-minute drive to their house for dinner, a holiday or to watch a good football game. They're awake, alive & happy. And so am I. If it only lasts another 6 months, it's still a blessing & gift I'm thankful for everyday. Took 25 long, arduous years to get here.