Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sewage Pipe or Treasured Gift?

For several years before I began dating my (suspected OCPD) ex, my tabletop Goddess fountain was one of my favorite pieces of ?art? ?soul-nurturing?

The symbol of a female figure as a constantly renewing spring of life-giving water, inspiration, abundance, and nurturing, is an ancient one. My Goddess fountain became part of a growing impromptu altar, surrounded by candles, flowers, photographs, and small but significant knickknacks.

At one point in my life, distraught over the breakup of a love relationship, I carelessly reached for some books on a nearby shelf. Several fell on the fountain, breaking her into bits. I glued her back together - seamlessly in some spots, rather crookedly and badly in others. This distressed me, and yet, was quite appropriate, because I felt that my life, too, had been broken and put back together, many times.

You can see the breaks and holes on the right side.

In the basin of the Goddess's lap, and in the water below her, I placed small stones, rocks, and shells. Some had been gifted to me by friends and family, or gathered with a significance - one from the back yard of my childhood home, for example, or as knickknacks from a place I visited. Others were simply pretty; polished sea glass placed for visual effect.

When my ex and I decided to move in together, I carefully drained the water, and packed up my Goddess fountain, along with the rocks and shells, a favorite photo of my mother I generally placed near her, and carefully labeled the box. After all, it shouldn't take long before we worked out where everything would go, and she would be flowing again for both of us.

Partway to being reassembled.

You will not be surprised to find that there was never a "right time" to unpack her, never a good place for her to be set up. As my Goddess fountain stayed boxed, dry, and immobile, I too became increasingly dried up, spiritually, creatively, emotionally, even sexually.

I'm not saying that one caused the other in some creepy superstitious way, or that my Goddess fountain is possessed of supernatural powers, like the Chuckie doll from the horror movies. Simply that the environment I lived in, with the increasingly anxious and controlling OCPD behaviors of my ex, and my then unaware acquiescence to them, was unwelcoming to a free and joyous spirit. Closed off to spontaneity, creativity, messiness, and free-flowing expression.

One of the first things I did when I decided to move out, away from my ex, was to choose a location to set up my Goddess fountain once again. Before I even had a bed or a couch!  Since at that time we were still "dating," my ex often weighed in with opinions about how I should set up and furnish my new place. Some of it I listened to; other bits I ignored.

One family in my new apartment complex had a four year old child, who was curious, as kids are, about his new neighbor. I gave him the nickel tour of my new apartment, and he loved the small Goddess fountain I'd set up in my office.

A few weeks later, he had a present for me, for the fountain, and gave it to me in the presence of my ex. A small shard of broken pottery.

After the child departed, my ex looked at it dubiously. "It looks like a piece of old sewage pipe to me. Yuck. You should throw it away."

I decided instead to clean it thoroughly, and put it to use. In my most recent cleaning and re-establishing my Goddess fountain, I incorporated several new stones picked up in my travels. And I've been looking at that chunk of terra cotta and contemplating it again.

Health is something I've really decided to focus on this year.
The green shale is from Mt. Shasta.

To me, this piece - of what well may be a chunk of old sewage pipe - is also a symbol of my new life. A gift offered freely, with love, friendship, and childish joy. That's what I want in my life.

To my ex, it was just some nasty piece of trash, and though I tried to explain to him why it was valuable to me... he didn't get it, couldn't get it.

That sharp difference in philosophy and attitude towards life is why, three years "out" of sharing a home, I haven't regretted a minute of it. I feel deeply sorry for him, because all his rules and obsessions don't make him feel happy, safe, or loved, and never will.

But I am joyful, creative, and free-flowing, once again.

Clean and reassembled.

The natural beeswax candle I also picked up in recent travels.
Do you have symbols that are significant to you, ridiculed by a partner?
(Mind you, I'm not talking about a hoard!)
What do you do to keep your life free-flowing and refreshed?
Your thoughts?