Monday, May 11, 2009

Things that Go "Thump" in the Night, and What I Might Learn About Myself

My Etsy shop is in the works, but delayed.  All the good things I've done to stay on track notwithstanding, sometimes someone puts a wrench in the works, and tosses your world upside down.  

Several Saturdays ago, I was exactly on schedule for my shop, with a planned opening on April 22.  The weekend up until then had been sunny and carefree.  Ada and I made beaded necklaces while Esme napped, and before we had dinner that night, I surprised them with a box of percussion instruments I've been collecting.  We danced and sang and ignored the carpet that needed vacuuming, and it felt wonderful.   
A few hours later, while I was watching tv, someone attempted to kick in our back door.  Which is in the television room.  Where I was sitting not 8 feet away.

Since then, I've been plagued.   The incident was not isolated to my home; there were several attempts at houses next door and across the street.  Our house is a fairly "hardened" target, and, as I keep reminding myself, this creep did not have any success here.  The cops were here in 3 minutes, and stayed guard around the neighborhood.    

However, I have been siderailed.  My plans to do my shop and work on the writing projects I have been on the backburner for a few weeks now.   In the meantime, all of my frenetic energies have gone into maintaining a normal family life with dinners, baths, playtimes, and homework.   
Anything left over has gone into fortifying our security here.   We are a good team, my husband and I, and I feel more successful with each effort, both the routine-keeping and the security-planning.   Our neighbors are amazing, each working through this themselves, and reaching out to the other to assist and reassure.  The police are sensitive and responsive, and all of this combines to give me renewed optimism.  

The incident was one moment.  I didn't even see it happen, rather, I heard it.  A single, sickening thud that could only be a man's foot on my door.   But it is a moment that lasts and lasts, and follows me with what-if's.

The few nights of sleeplessness have passed, but my sleep is now rich with dreams that are teaching more about myself and how I'm dealing with my own feelings of vulnerability and fear. I'm finding little insights hitting me throughout the day as I'm discovering the many layers of emotion I'm carrying:  I am stunned, outraged, mournful, angry, agitated, and determined.  I've surprised myself to find that of all of these, I am mostly determined and angry.  I am, day by day, forcing myself to return to my plans, to reclaim the thing that thug did almost get away with: my confidence.  

The past week brought me back to painting and making earrings, and this next week promises more painting and some fun sewing projects, and a writing workshop with a friend.   And I am loving all of it.  

In the middle of it all, I am pondering my reactions, especially the anger part.  I have always imagined that come across as a peaceful person, enthusiastic but generally harmless, mild as milk.  Perhaps there is more to me than I once guessed.   I have been gravitating toward this owl painting lately--there is a little more work to do on her, but she is vivid for me already, and she, too, seems to be more complicated than I had originally assumed.

The Etsy shop will be stocked soon, my writing will become a priority again within the week.  My caged-tiger self will someday stop seeing danger in every shadow, I am certain.    One moment won't control my perceptions of the world, but it might have awakened me to how I see myself.  I refuse to lose anything from this incident, but instead I am going to gain something from it...that's the biggest surprise of all.

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Paula said...

What a terrible experience! I am so amazed at how you are handling it and getting back to the normal routine- you should be very proud of yourself :)

Lisa said...

I'm glad that you've decided to not let this change how you define normal. The anger is a natural reaction, I think, because your safe haven (your home) was under attack. Anger and fear go hand in hand in that case, biologically and emotionally.

I look forward to when you have your etsy shop up and running.

Cheryl said...

I remember seeing a friend of my sister's, this largely unflappable kind of guy, break into tears as he told the police how someone had tried to run him off the road. And I can still get pretty worked up about how my fist and last bike purchased new and from a specialty bike shop was stolen in full view of two security guards while I was in class. These kind of things definitely unsettle our sense of security. And the anger you've been feeling is a necessary part of re-adjusting. It's also, I think, a leftover of the adrenaline rush you felt when you heard the kick and might have needed to protect your family through the use of force. And, really, the nerve of the guy! But, I'm glad your starting to create again. The watchful owl sounds like a good choice of subject...

Irene Latham said...

Kirie, yes, something that intrudes on your sense of safety can really shake a girl up, especially with little chickies to protect. It's such a powerless feeling, a reminder of how vulnerable we all are. Don't let it own you. And USE that anger to make your world what you want it to be... and to empower your girls. Wishing you PEACE and so looking forward to the shop!!

Kirie said...

Paula: Thanks for the support. I am actually amazed that I could try to stay on routine. I would have guessed that I would just dissolve into a puddle on the floor for weeks.
I am so glad to be back to blogging--looking forward to catching up with yours!

La Belette Rouge said...

I am amazed how this experience has impacted you in so many positive ways. Making choices that make you feel safe and protected is a really powerful and healing thing to do.
p.s. I love your Athena owl.

angela said...

Hi Kirie

I am so proud of you for handling this - it is so invasive and you have done such a great job of taking care of everything. You are really strong!

I love you and wish I were with you.
Love, Mom

PS The owl looks great!!

Judy said...

I was so angry at first read but, realize you can handle whatever comes your way. Looking forward to more blog and the shop!
Love you all and will keep you in prayers as always

Aunt Judyjudyrkfd

Cathy said...

Hey - - I finally got around to a gmail account, now I can comment.

Kirie said...

Lisa, it's funny, but I think the only normal I've redefined is how I'm a little more accepting of the mixed feelings I have in myself. Anger and fear do seem to go together--but until now I've really only ever noticed the fear part (I've been at expert at that at certain times of my life).
Thanks for reading. Writing about it has made a big difference, and helped me move forward and away from it.

Now on to the fun of the shop--soon, soon! Thanks for being supportive!

Kirie said...

Cheryl: Unsettled is the right word for it. But that feeling has actually been really productive for me, too. Not that I welcome the shakeup from an intruder, but it's good to be inspired by everything, right?

Looking forward to getting back to reading blogs and seeing what you've been creating lately!

Kirie said...

Irene, peace is a wonderful thing to wish me! And empowerment for me and the girls. I think that's exactly what is coming from this, and, as I said, it's such a surprise!
So glad you are anticipating the shop, too. I've got several things on the go for it, and should be opening within a few weeks.

Kirie said...

Belle, you know how much I love our friend the owl. She's been a good point of focus as I pull out of this and into new areas. Such a surprisingly fruitful time!


Kirie said...

Mom, I wish you were here, too. So looking forward to your visit! You are strong, too!!

love you!

Kirie said...

Aunt Judy, I love that you're reading the blog now. And I do think I'm getting stronger...what a strange and wonderful thing. You are a great example of an even keel, and I so appreciate that about you.

Miss you!

Kirie said...

Cathy, comment away! So glad to see you here!

Hilary said...

I'm late. But as you know, I'm sending you hugs and all the confidence that can reach across the country to you. XOXO.

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