I find it very interesting, sometimes even amusing, when people claim they have never participated in the questionable be it theft, lying, bullying, over-charging, pornography, etc. [There are just too many questionable things out there to name them all, right?]
For example I have family who like to tell people how awful I am, and then proceed to spell out to whomever they are chatting with, what in their minds that is. Some of them grew up using drugs sometimes upwards of 3 or 4 times per week when they were in school. My sister liked to call me a “prude” because I chose to follow a different drum. Now her choices were hers. No one “put a gun to their heads” so to speak forcing these choices. Robin was my sister, still is, but… I never judged her, never said bad things about her, yet because I made different choices she would claim I was judging her, simply because my choices were different. I didn’t then, don’t now, nor have I ever believed I was better than her. So I find it very interesting that she has sat in judgement of me. When I used to call her and friends would occasionally answer the telephone from time to time. Logically they would ask who is calling and when I told them I was her sister they would respond with, oh… you, in a rude manner.
I chose to basically abstain from intimacy as I didn’t want to get pregnant, or have a bad reputation. Or in another situation I really felt that it wasn’t my place to interfere with someone’s relationship. I wasn’t being “holier than thou” or “superior” or a “prude”. It just was the right thing to do in my mind, like not using someone just because they might be rich, or famous, or well connected. I didn’t use drugs because I didn’t see a need for them. These were my choices. It had nothing to do with thinking I was better. Even now my last efforts to build a working rapport with my sister (which ended about 2 years ago) didn’t go well. So I have given up on the whole concept that with time comes wisdom. I only ask myself why she hates me so much? Why it is that she doesn’t understand that I am merely trying to understand 60 years of her flagrant hatred towards me on so many levels. She likes to claim that “I dwell on the past”, or “don’t let go of stuff”. So please explain to me like I’m a 2 year old why you are so proud of your daughter-in-law who speaks Chinese and travels for her company back and forth to China. Why not me when I have been an interpreter helping to negotiate business deals for over 30 years, and sometimes with world leaders not just corporate.
Well I suppose it is fair to say that one could view my thoughts with this type of perspective. But really that’s not it. So let’s say you’re out and about maybe at the mall doing some Christmas shopping. And over hear someone chatting with someone else and they sound rather superior, maybe even sound bitchy too. Are they a bitch? Do you really have the background on this person to make that decision? Now I will admit that I have definitely sounded bitchy at times, maybe even looked bitchy at times, eek! I remember when I had cancer (circa 1987-1999) there were a lot of times that I sounded and probably looked like a bitch because of how sick I was. Sad but true. But I can tell you truthfully that whenever I realized that I was being “bitchy” I felt awful, even if I still felt bitchy, and I would say to the one(s) that I had been bitchy to, ” You probably won’t believe me ‘cuz of how I just spoke to you, but I am really sorry about treating/speaking to you that way. I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I hope so”.
I am a lot like my writings, I am who I am. People can say what they want about me and sometimes when it hurts badly enough, I cry. I still cry about how my family hates me whether it’s Robin, her husband Joe, my two daughters LauRenn and Jade, or my cousins. They will say no, they don’t it is the politically correct thing to do after all. But when Jade was in a car accident a couple of years ago and I sensed something was wrong and called. I was directed to the hospital where she was being checked out and the nurses put Robin on the telephone. Robin didn’t call me, and what’s more she asked why I was calling. I told her I love Jade and asked why she didn’t tell me about the accident… Unfortunately all of my efforts to get to the nuts and bolts of their feelings towards me have resulted in zero, diddly squat, nada, zip, etc. Cousin Tim hung up on me and told me to never call again. Pat, his brother, told me to hang up so that he wouldn’t have to hang up on me. Denny who’s now dead and gone would speak to me, but not believe anything I said and then talk and laugh behind my back. I know this because he told me this several months before I learned he died.
The interesting thing I learned from my conversations with Denny is this. After my maternal grandmother passed in 1982 (whose Will I was in and the main beneficiary of, as she and grandpa George had told me when I was 14 visiting in Oregon one year). Interestingly I was never called, or informed by any means about the reading of the Will. My sister, cousins, aunts and uncles all went. Funny too because I was living in Los Angeles, California at that time and my sister, my dad, and others new this, and had my phone number. But yet never once did anyone call me, especially the lawyer. Why is that, why didn’t the lawyer telephone? Well now given that my aunt Carol had been the executrix of my grandmother’s Will you would have thought that she would’ve contacted me, right? But no. And since I was the one who asked my grandparents to please give an inheritance to all of the other family members when I learned I was the main beneficiary, clearly it has never been about the money for me.
Denny proceeded to tell me in 2008 how I never showed up at anyone’s funeral. Not his mom’s, not his dad’s, not aunt Carol’s or uncle Gordon’s (her husband), and asked me why I didn’t even show up at my own father’s funeral in 1986? I told him I didn’t know he had even passed, no one called me and told me. Denny further proceeded to call me a liar and told me that he had been informed thus but apparently you simply chose not to go. Nothing I have said has ever made any difference to anyone in my family. Robin has had my telephone number always so if there’s an emergency she could call me. She doesn’t call. However when Denny died a year ago she did send an email. Maybe that’s progress, time will tell.
So why bring this up now well it’s the holidays and no one calls me, no family member sends a greeting card (although it would probably be disingenuous anyway). So I asked my sister during my last attempt to make a good rapport with her why she never contacted me about any of these family members’ deaths and funerals and her only response to me was, ” …well dad was cremated and we went out on a boat in the San Francisco Bay …then she paused and said… why should I be the one to call you? Why couldn’t Denny, Tim, or Pat”? I replied with, ” …so you went to dad’s funeral/cremation… AND oh, uh they didn’t have my telephone number”!
Look I believed my sister would do the right thing when it came to important things to me. Obviously I was wrong. I was wrong to believe in my family. I was wrong to believe that with age comes a certain wisdom, maybe even forgiveness. But I can say this that in as much as I have been terribly hurt by various family members, friends like Sana and Bakel (Ann), and my daughters LauRenn and Jade, that I am finally, actually getting past it all.
I became cancer free, I taught myself to walk again so I could take the bus to physical therapy in downtown LA, I got past all of the depression, and I am creating tools to deal with my PTSD. So I believe strongly that I can get past all of the bullsh– dished out by my relatives. I no longer believe in them but a part of me will always love them. I’m trying to manage that now, get over it I mean. It’s slow going as you see, but I am making head way a little at a time. I no longer feel “ugly, fat, or stupid” like they all told me growing up. Just one of the 2 mantra’s my sister and my parents drilled into me. The other being, do it right the first time or don’t do it at all. Do you know a kid that can walk right the first time up and not fall down, I don’t? My parents were seriously disturbed people but they had tons of friends. Guess they were doing something right, BS’ing maybe???
People like my cousin Tim who walk around calling people Toxic and say they won’t be around them because of how negative they are should get a reality check and see just how much they are contributing to the “Toxins” out there. I agree that we need to surround ourselves with positive, good people. But we also need to give back, pay it forward, this type of thing is very important otherwise where is the compassion, the “turn the other cheek”, the giving that God talks to us about. There’s a huge difference between being a friend, or giving back, and getting mired in it all and stuck up on yourself.
I believed that this fellow who proposed to me although married, really loved me. Maybe he did. I’m wrong about a lot of things but it’s not easy for me to sit in judgement of others when I don’t know their situation. My life is beginning to come together even though it may be slow. But like the turtle, I plan on winning. I still love “him”, always will love him and miss him so. He told me not to go, I said I had too. I was wrong. Do I need to be judged by anyone, no. People will say and do what they want. I prefer to venture to suggest that just maybe his hands are tied, sometimes lies are easier to swallow because you don’t know for sure if you are lying to yourself? You know it’s all hard to say, none of us has all of the pieces.
We screw up and we get up again. We screw up and hopefully get up again. Then there are those of us who fall down and don’t just hit the ground we slam into it head first ploughing through all of the gluck. Who catches us? Who helps us find our balls to slither out of all of the holes we’ve dug ourselves into? Life is like war that way isn’t it? Isn’t that why so many drink, or take drugs? Isn’t that why there are those who can’t take the pain anymore and eliminate themselves from the face of this beautiful planet like Phoebe Prince and so many others who are in terrible pain? And I don’t mean emotional pain only, but so many beautiful people killing themselves because they’re in such great pain.
My sweetie Mark has taught me how to deal with pain and I tell you there are no blueprints only determination, commitment, love, and moving forward trying to get past it all. He and Steve are my hero’s and I will forever revere them for their determination, commitment, compassion, and love they’ve given to me to help me through so many painful experiences be it family, cancer, car accident… It wasn’t until Wyoming 2009 that I began to feel some real hope and I have been blossoming again since. Re-learning what life is about, and what it’s for, and why it is important to feel hope, faith, and most of all love. Sundance gave me hope, doesn’t matter that I didn’t make their program line-up. Their email gave me faith, that I can make my movie and get it all right even if it’s slow going. To give hope>which leads to faith>is love after all. Doesn’t matter that it’s a stretch, there is hope now. We all need hope>faith>and to love one another as I have loved you. Do we remember the golden rule? Do we practice it in our daily lives?
Media, press, all of you who pay attention to the Sundance Film Festival let’s move forward, let’s move on. It’s Christmas time, it’s Ramadan, it’s soon going to be 2014, a new year. You don’t have to stay mired in someone’s silly perception of nudity and art on film. My relatives will always be related to me because we share the same blood after-all like it or not even if we don’t speak to one another. You the media, the press, fans of Sundance, and others just move on and do what I am trying to learn to do, move on. Forget the BS, forget the cute words and names people have gloated in using about SFF 2013. Maybe 2014 SFF will be a hit, maybe not, maybe mediocre, who knows but they’re moving onward so shouldn’t we? Do you really want to be a sheep rather than the leader?
After 30 years of giving us wonderful talents, great films, and opportunities we all have benefited in some form from Sundance like the channel, or the multitudes of film festivals that have sprung up over the years. Mr. Redford doesn’t deserve to be kicked while trying to pick himself up from being shot down last year. 2014 is a new year let’s all make it the best year possible and just move on, all of us. Maybe somewhere in the mix one of us will get it right.
We all live on this planet together and each of us will die here. What do you want people to remember about you? What is your legacy? Mine is to survive well and keep the promises I have made to myself. I will make this movie as well as I possibly can and honor our dear friend Steven J. Campbell. I will love those truly that truly love me. And maybe, just maybe… I will get lucky and hear from “him”, that one who said he loved me so, do you think you could ever love me the way that I love you?
I can’t predict the future but I can tell you this much, next year will bring me all the closer to getting over all of them. All the “Haters”, all of the naysayer’s, all of the “toxic” people that I have wanted to build a good rapport with and find themselves unable to get past themselves to meet me half way. You can’t make anyone care about you. You can’t make people like you, love you, help you, or naturally we would all be in a much better place than this world is in now. I can only make a difference in me. And should something I do, hopefully something of a positive nature, affect or effect someone else in a positive way, more the power to us all I say. This Earth needs goodness and mercy and love so very much.
Here’s to all of us trying to do just that. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!