First, in response to "A Phily Collector" I can't speak about dolls which are Supposed to represent Ireland. But I went to school with a girl with pale milky skin, blue eyes, and soft, curling black hair who was Irish. Bet no one Dares to make a doll like that, Why?
Second, since Ann died I've been concerned about my excessive behaviors: not eating, overeating, buying too many dolls, and one day I Finally realized on an Emotional level, where it counts, that None of these things would either make me happy in any kind of permanent way, Or fill the hole left by Ann in my life. For that matter, they can't fill most of the holes left by my early life either.
Then, again, on an emotional level, I realized that, having been trained to hate myself, This behavior hadn't either made me happy or filled Any emotional holes Either. What this discovery did for me was to allow me to release all of the things I felt I had done wrong in a 20 year relationship with Ann. Disagreements, arguments, mistakes, things I don't know How I could have done differently, but still Wish I had because they hurt Ann's feelings or made her angry, all of the accumulated stuff of a relationship lasting 20 years and a friendship lasting thirty.
Self-blame and self-criticism, being judgmental with myself for Failing to be Perfect, for being human, these things were Just as Toxic, if not More than my excessive behaviors!
And what has happened since then is a gradual lessening of misery. I still think of Ann each day. Something, a song, a favorite food of hers or ours, something she would have been interested in if she were here, there is No shortage of reminders that she is gone!
The difference is that Now I am more Free to Miss the Good times we had together, and to miss Ann, her voice, her laugh, her singing, the blues festival, Halowene, books read together and discussed, "doll greeding" beneficial changes she made in my life. Somehow, Ann's birthday was a turning point. I think now that I have stopped hating myself for being Human, things will be easier. I will and do still continue t miss Ann and I will keep trying to find ways to honor her memory, like a day sponsorship of our local NPR station dedicated to her, but my unhappiness doesn't feel so unbearably Heavy now! This is a scary (because it is new) but very Positive Change for me.
I'm not looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas without Ann, no presents for one another, or trying to psych. out what would make Ann happy. But somehow I will get through it, other people do, every single day. I am free now to remember the Good Times, for which I am Grateful!
New Subject: A doll site I check in on every once in a while and which I like is "Dolls Like Me." They have ethnic, religious, (no Buddhist) and multi-cultural dolls, including Mixis, "Fair Trade" and organic doll clothing. They also have ethnic party supplies, books for kids, and skin and hair care products.
No one has had the time to answer my question about renter's insurance to cover doll collecttions and fabric, but I am curious to know what you think.
A postsccript to that is that last week a friend found a ski mask in one of the trees in my back yard, from where the attempted break-in occured. It had been rained on, chewed by animals,and after thinking about it I pitched the thing. What could the police Do about it? They just don't have the funds anymore to try and get a hair sample DNA tested, Even if one could be found, for an "attempted break-in" which failed. I hope I did the right thing. We don't have enough officers here and DNA testing costs money. But it was creepy anyway!
I dread going out in the partially dark at night with the dog, and if we get a blizzard like last year, or even a lesser snow, it'll cover the rises and dips in the ground which I use as a partial guide to know where I'm going. It will also freeze gates to the back yard shut, and may well finish rotting what feels like the old barn gate which is one of those to the back yard. I like that gate. It is worthless as a blocker to the yard, but tells me where the back yard Begins. Oh well, it Isn't snowing, after dropping from eighty to fifty for a high temp. last week, today was in the seventies. And, if the gate Truly rots, then Both gates can't freeze shut. We humans are amazingly talented at comming up with things to worry about. It will just be the first Winter in twenty years that I have spent alone. One day at a time Is best!