Friday, January 20, 2012

Running Home- The book second preview

I am still getting ready for my run. Things are going as scheduled. The beauty of being able to just run from my house unsupported give me the freedom that If I don't feel my kids are ready for me to go, I can just postpone.

Training had being going well until two weeks ago, I was showing signs of over training. After two weeks finally I felt whole again. That and my piriformis is making it hard to run this week. Not a major concern, I just have to be more creative while training.

The hardest part is writing the book, I have had to walk away several times. Is strange and difficult since I have to be emotionally involve in the writing to make it truthful and make justice to it but also emotionally absent to criticize the style and organize the content around the thousand memories floating around my head.

The best way I can organize my memories is by choosing the stories of the audience I hope will one day read my story.

I was at the Doctors yesterday, I was there to make sure that my fatigue was not due to something more serious such as anemia. I had my doubts but I need to make sure I am at top of my fitness before I embark on a 2600 mile quest.

The Doctor listen to my request, asked me to fill a questionnaire and left me in the room. As soon as I saw the form I recognized it. It was to assessed depression. He came back and told him my symptoms where strictly physical not emotional. He apologized but clarified that most people that suffer from extreme fatigue is mostly from depression. I explained with as much detail the reasons why it couldn't be. Only a person who has been there could know. Like a wine connoisseur would explain the differences in grapes from one region to an other to a novice. After I explained how I had no problem enjoying my life, hanging out with my family, watching Mexican soaps with my sister or driving across town to taste the best hot chocolate ever. I just felt tired after running only two hours. He seemed horrified that I wanted to ever run more than two hours! but agreed that people who are experiencing depression felt no more pleasure or desire on the things once gave them joy and I just seemed irritated that I couldn't do more.

After my visit it became clearer. The people that I want to read my story are those who are experiencing pain. Not to reinforce their notion that life is unfair, quite the contrary. To make them feel that life is fair but sometimes you need incredibly courage to claim what destiny has for you.
The book idea only came in full force when I sat at the Vision Quest Conference. I sat there listening to new developments on the sight saving research that is almost at a point where it would benefit my son Karl but I couldn't just write a cheque so they can keep going. I came home determined to find a way. My journey is about violence because my life has been marked with terrible violence but it really is the same thing. Karl's condition makes him a target for all kinds of abuse because he is vulnerable. from bulling to domestic violence and that is something I will fight until the end of my days.

Here is the next few pages of the chapter. there would be no more updates after this one. the next few pages where incredibly hard to write and I prefer to keep going forward and not look at those pages again.

Running Home.

Is hard to know when my story truly begins. Knowing my parent history is not hard to imagine how my life evolved the way it did.
I was born in Mazatlan Mexico, the last of 5 children born to two young parents.
My parents relationship was difficult but so where the lives of most Mexicans that we knew. You just made the most of what you got, at least we had a roof over our heads and eat three meals, even if they were simple, we had food. We grew up in a small house, two rooms for all 7 of us, and we always had relatives living with us too, it didn’t matter how bad we had it, there was always always someone worse off than us that needed our help. Our bedroom resembled a hospital ward with rows of beds pushed together.

I can’t say that I ever saw my dad drinking but things where not normal. He was always out and when he came back he would wakes us up to keep him company or watch TV at 2am. Things always turned quickly .One moment we would be singing along, playing and the next minute someone was being punished.
Being the youngest I was spared of the worse physical punishments, I was the one mom sent to calm my dad when he became enraged. It was difficult to hear him punish my siblings, even after he quit drinking; disciplining them as he called it never really went away.
My mom came from a better family, she really never had interest on my dad, he was poor and of a different class. But she liked the attention he gave her so one day my dad offered to take her home, a simple, seemly harmless act that changed her life.
My dad got carried away, didn’t stop. Ashamed and feeling remorse he stood at my grandparent’s house asking for forgiveness and to take responsibility for what happened.
My grandfather refused to allow my mom back home being disgraced, she left right then.She left with my father, a man she barely knew. My parents married a few weeks later in front of a couple of friends only; neither of them was 16 years old yet.
In spite of how it began, I never got the impression that my mom didn’t love my dad, the contrary, they seem deeply in love, years later my mom would tell me the truth. She was practical; no sense on dwelling on things but she never loved my dad.

I have never doubted that there is a God but after what happened next I started to think he has a sense of humor. My dad eventually quit drinking. One evening after coming home drunk, he found my brother Hector helping our sister Muneca with her sawing project. He didn’t want any sissies at home, he said, just before punishing Hector so severely he had to be taken to the hospital. When he found out what he had done the next morning he finally admitted he had a problem and walked to his first AA meeting

I wondered many years how my life would have been if I had been born to a father who didn’t have a drinking problem. I know better now that to wish thing to be different but for many years, when I was in pain, imagining a different life for myself was the only way of coping.

After my dad quit drinking, almost overnight things improved dramatically, my dad got a promotion and we moved to Culiacan, Mexico. We settle in a modest neighborhood but it was luxury compared to the last home. These are the memories I cherish the most about my father; the kind loving man and I believe that even my mom started to fall for him too. I saw a man who stood firmly for injustice, a man whom never refuse help to anyone even if it meant he would go hungry himself.

But things didn’t stay happy for long, all the years of heavy drinking, stress and smoking finally caught up. One evening while we were at the movies. Dad started to feel ill. I was sitting on his lap and my mom was next to us, he felt nausea and mom gave him a hard time for eating too much junk, she asked me to stay behind with my siblings as she took dad home. That would be the last time I saw my dad. By the time the movie ended and we all walked home they where loading him into an ambulance. He had a massive heart attack and died three days later.

I was eleven then, I was the only one to not cry, I loved my dad but he had only been my real father for the last two years and even though he had been sober, we still walked on eggshells waiting for the day he came home drunk again. It seemed that it hit my mom the hardest, gone was the strong woman. She became frail almost birdlike. My three older siblings, Carlos, Hector and Muneca became the breadwinners overnight. They where 18, 16 and 14 and were responsible for themselves as well as my sister Lourdes, my mom and me.

I have to admit that I started to breath a little easier. I falsely thought that things where about to improve for us now that we didn’t have to worry about my dad ever drinking again. I was soon to be proven terribly wrong. What I didn’t know was that as bad as things where at home, dad had somehow protected us from all sorts of evil. With him gone and mom on a fog things could only get worse and I was about to find out about how much. If being the youngest had protected me from the worse at home, outside our house it only made me the most vulnerable.