For the first few weeks at U of T, I was getting used to being back in the city. Things were different from when I lived there as a kid, and the city on the lake where I was raised was really different than the new Toronto.
I enjoyed anonymity as I got used to the new energy. As odd as this sounds, going from a population of 30,000 to one of 2.7 million made it easier to breathe. Looking back, I can see it was because strangers in Toronto didn’t ask me for anything. Not energetically.
In the city on the lake, most people are wide open to support, and because I was raised to fulfill the needs of people within groups large and small, I was kind of like a well-stocked vending machine without knowing it.
As I walked by each person in the small town, I asked ‘how can I help you’ – energetically – and somehow found a way to give them a bit of what they needed in the moment. Kind of. I don’t really know how to explain it but I think I was hearing messages coming from their guardian angels, but I thought it was just people somehow showing what they needed. I know how limited a being can feel in that role, not having a body, so I would look people in the eye and smile or say hello or let me get that for you or I would get out of the way so they didn’t have to go around me. I think it was more complicated than that but that’s all I kind of know.
In Toronto nobody asked me for anything. I was just getting used to that when I met Aspen Matthew Love. He didn’t look like my type at all. He was attractive in a way that made most arrogant and he was outgoing and decisive and he was genuinely kind. All three in one person, the trifecta, wasn’t my type. Ask me why.
Anyway, after I met Aspen, I started dreaming about buckets. I saw a world where we all carried buckets with rocks in them and we could either relieve a person of some weight or give away weight. I was the girl who made room in her bucket for as many rocks as possible, and when that wasn’t enough, I carried two using a whip across my shoulders.
Aspen wanted me to give him one of my rocks. But I had already looked into his bucket and it was very full. What I didn’t know was that Aspen emptied his bucket when he got home at night. I didn’t do that. I didn’t think a person could do that, and by the time it occurred to me, I wondered if it would even be okay for me because most of the rocks I carried were from other people. I took the rocks with me everywhere I went.
So, I would only agree to give him a rock if he gave me a rock – but not just any rock, one that was heavier than the one I gave him. I admit, not only did I need to be useful, I also had a deeply rooted subconscious fear of becoming permanently indebted to any person to whom I gave more than I took.
And forget about allowing anything to be given to me without me also giving something to that person. Doing that in my past had changed my entire life because I believed that this man was sincere but it turned out he was receiving things in exchange I didn’t know about.
Things get (even more) jumbley and complicated here.
I started having dreams that Barry Bonds was yelling at a tree that had a bucket strapped to a tap. He yelled: WHY ARE YOU JUST STANDING THERE LETTING THEM TAKE YOUR SAP? DO SOMETHING! HAVE MORE RESPECT FOR YOURSELF. YOU’RE A SUBURBAN TREE NOT A BACKWOODS SUGAR BUSH TREE!
That was complicated because I wanted Barry Bonds to be proud of me and he obviously wasn’t but I thought I could do something to earn it. I didn’t know back then that you can’t earn someone being proud of you if you’re not doing anything to be embarrassed about. You can’t even really ask it of a person.
And suddenly I didn’t have a place to live and I had to go.
I said to myself, Aspen won’t care, he’ll be fine even if he does care because he’s ASPEN FUCKING LOVE. And I guess he didn’t care because he didn’t say, hey, why don’t you stay or something like that. But that’s not exactly fair. I didn’t say, hey I don’t want to go. Instead I said, hey, I have to leave I have no choice and I’m headed in this direction now, sorry. I kind of said that.
Then a lot of really awful shit happened. Like bam bam bam all one right after another. The veil was torn and even though I could have chosen to stay in the flume for the rest of my life, thank you very much, life wasn’t having any of that, oh no.
Losing my naiveté had a similar affect to what I think might happen to a person if the earth literally opened up beneath them and swallowed them whole, and that person somehow survived for almost three years and then climbed out into the populated world again.
I really struggled to trust people. Every people. I had dreams of a feral cat trying to escape the SPCA when an enforcement officer came at her with a cage. She jumped up to the ceiling and tried to hang on but the SPCA wasn’t having any of that, oh no. I was already bruised and weary when I met Aspen. In the years after I left, I was put through the wringer. As in, some days the best gratitude I could come up with was ‘at least I don’t live where it’s legal to physically torture females’. And I’m really good at seeing the bright side. But I did find God, so there’s that really amazing thing that happened. The brightest possible.
Slowly, with a ton of heavy emotional lifting and encouragement to try talking to safe people, I started to find my ground when it came to being able to trust again. God had a lot to do with that. He brought people into my life who knew exactly what I needed after what I’d been through and were in a place where they could help without getting sucked into the black hole that tried to keep me fenced in.
And then I tried to find Aspen again. And I did find Aspen again, It just wasn’t in the way I had expected to find him. But I was older and I was fatter and I was less hopeful and even less confident (if you can imagine that!) than I had been when we first met. I couldn’t tell him why I was different, so I think he assumed I didn’t really love him. And then for some miraculous reason he started to push me a little to get me to lean on him bit by bit.
Now the problem is that I’m starting to get used to this. For so many people that would mean boredom. But for me, it means I want more. But I can’t tell him that because I still have a weird fear that if I did just bust into his place and tell him that, he would turn cold and tell me I’m crazy and then we’d spend less and less time together because he’d be busier and busier, until it became him answering the phone ‘who is this?’ and me getting in line to go down the slide again so I could learn where I needed to improve my thinking and correct my vision after I was brave enough to unfreeze my heart again after another misread of a situation and a person.
I’m stuck in the flume here which means we’re both stuck in the flume and I’ve lost faith that anything that could really kick me back up and in will ever happen. And I can’t risk seeing the way I’ve been tricked. Not this afternoon. Maybe later when I’m a little, I don’t know, less caught up in everything I’m not.
I have had dreams recently of having a golden light radiating from my throat and being able to lighten rocks in others’ buckets without carrying the weight. I’ve seen us picking up brilliant gems from the ground, stones that don’t cost energy to hold, stones that give energy. I even had a dream where I tried to pick up a brilliant gem that was too big for me to carry alone. You came over to pick it up with me. We could only carry it together.
But if there’s even more stepping out of my comfort zone than I already have in the last year before I can get to that place, I don’t think I have it in me. Not after following some dreams has left me more broken than before. Not after some dreams have been written over by really mean people. Not after some of the ways I’ve been tricked. After all that, what I’ve been able to give so far is pretty much all I have to give. It’s kind of more than I had, but I would never say that. Saying that would be heaping a pile of clean laundry into your arms and saying, ‘see everything i’ve done? It might not look like much to you but it’s what i have. And if it’s not enough then there’s no point in trying anymore.’
It’s not that some things are best left unsaid. It’s that saying certain things are too painful. And that pain needs a gentle place to land.