Dealing with drama

April 18th

There is an undeveloped piece of land nearby where I live — about 300 meters by 300 meters of wetland and thick shrubs with several streams. A rail track embankment borders it on one side, on the other there is a busy roadway, and on two other sides are local allotments gardens. One day recently, as I was walking along the railroad tracks on the said embankment, I noticed down there something that looked like a beaver dam. I mean — a fricking beaver dam about a kilometer from where I live and only 200 meters from a major city roadway and 300 meters from a sizable apartment and shopping complex? I had to check it out.

Today was my third attempt to get there. It didn’t look like a serious challenge, but I found out that it was. On the first attempt, I went on a path that looked like it would take me right there, but the path ended in such a thicket that I had to turn around. On the second attempt, I went just walking from the sidewalk along the roadway there, but I got almost stuck in swampy mud and had to turn around again. And today — I just walked down the embankment and crossed two streams and finally got very close to where I wanted to be.

From up close — yes, it is a beaver dam. An old one and damaged by people. It is broken and cut down in the middle to allow the stream to flow. I also saw some other evidence of beaver activity as well — tree stumps and fallen logs with definite beaver teeth marks on them. Unfortunately, all that looked quite old — I would say about 10 years ago, beavers definitely were active there. But the fact itself that not so long ago, wild animals were making their home close to the city center is remarkable. I just checked the distance, and this place is literally 2 kilometers as the crow flies from the Bialystok city hall. Wow!

I climbed back up the embankment and had to catch my breath (those damned cigarettes…) before continuing along the railroad track to my forest. And I say my forest because I feel like it is mine. As a place where I know all the pathways, all the interesting trees, and places and sights. Even though today was a public holiday, and I had to share it with other people and loud children, and loud cell phone talkers, I still tremendously enjoyed my midday hike. I got home tired, dirty, sweaty with muddy boots and pants — it was a great day and a great time for me.

And that is how I deal with the drama that is a part of everyday life. And there was a drama during Easter dinner yesterday — no point in giving out more details. That is how I deal with the stress of being a go-to guy to resolve the issues, give support to either side of my family, or provide reassurance that this family side is right, and the other is wrong. Usually, I am tired of all that. But a delightful walk or hike like today (with some exploration thrown in for a good measure) or just being out in the fresh air clears my head quickly and puts me in a pretty good mood. Since I cannot resolve the underlying reasons for the family drama (and I don’t really want to be involved in solving that) I found myself a way of forgetting it and getting mentally ready for the upcoming week. That is my way of self-care.

BUT — in all that drama yesterday, I noticed something interesting in me and my reaction to it. I felt more withdrawn and not as emotional as I usually get when something like that happens. I was more of a curious observer than the involved party. I could see the stereotypical and predictable behavior from both sides, with anger and blame misdirection, and projections galore. I tried to present my point of view, but since I could see others did not want to hear it and accepted it as a valid point, I just kept it mostly to myself. All that came from what I learned in my therapy. I know how to observe myself and how to help myself. But I also know that I cannot help and change the point of view of others if they themselves don’t want to. And I am not the one anymore to try to save everybody from themselves and their ingrained thoughts and ideas.

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“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.

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footsteps of the Furies

footsteps of the Furies

“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.

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